Thanksgiving weekend brings a magical flurry of holiday-related activities. A Christmas tea you don’t want to miss, Seas ‘n’ Greetings at Birch Aquarium, Holidays at LEGOLAND, Wild Holidays at the Safari Park and so much more festive fun awaits! Read on for where to get merry.

photo: Hotel del Coronado

Wild Holidays
Wild Holidays bring festive cheer to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and this year’s celebration offers safe, festive fun for the entire family. See the Safari Park in a whole new light. Go on a holiday expedition of light and travel through places that glow and twinkle with holiday cheer. During Wild Holidays the Safari Park will be open from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. each day, with holiday festivities from 4 p.m.-8 p.m.There will be culinary delights to enjoy at the Safari Park’s food stands, and guests can shop for the perfect holiday gifts at the Safari Park’s retail locations. Fri.-Sun.

Holidays at LEGOLAND
It’s time for Holidays at LEGOLAND®, where the Resort is bursting with holiday cheer and festive décor! Your favorite holiday characters Santa and the Toy Solider are back and ready for socially distanced meet-and-greets. Head over to Fun Town where there’s a 30-foot, fully decorated LEGO® Christmas tree with over 400 LEGO ornaments. And as the day winds down, the tree gets a-twinklin’ to holiday tunes at the Holiday Light Show. Need more pictures? Hop on a sleigh with a life-size LEGO Santa that’s pulled by his trusted reindeer. Along with the holiday fun, seasonal treats and live music performances, walk around a newly themed Miniland U.S.A and enjoy building LEGO ornaments among other building activities. Get ready to shop at the largest LEGO retail store on the West Coast, with LEGO sets and other items available at The Big Shop. Fri.-Sun.

Drive-In Nutcracker Ballet Performance
San Diego Ballet Company will present an outdoor matinee of The Nutcracker, enchanting playgoers with sugarplum fairies, leaping cossacks and flurries of snowflakes underneath the San Diego sky. Transforming a corridor of the Liberty Station neighborhood into a pop-up theater, the drive-in format will allow families to revel in this hour-long classical production with comfort and safety in mind. The al fresco auditorium will accommodate 30 parking spots per show, with two rows of offset parking to optimize views of the elevated stage. Passengers are encouraged to bring portable chairs, blankets and other cozy necessities to spectate “tailgate-style” in a dedicated parking spot located directly in front of each vehicle. Audience members are also encouraged to support local, neighborhood restaurants in bringing in outside food and beverage. Fri.-Sun.

Winter Wonderland at The Del
This holiday season thousands of white sparkling lights, towering Christmas trees, ornament-trimmed evergreens and garlands galore transform The Del’s Windsor Lawn into a Winter Wonderland. Kids will delight as they take socially distanced photos with Santa on his sleigh. Parents will want to bring their cameras to capture these cherished memories. Santa will be available from 4-7 p.m. on Nov. 28.The Frostbite bar trailer will be available on the South Paseo Lawn with holiday treats and libations. Special to-go holiday crafts will be available for sale including gingerbread house and cookie decorating kits, snow globe, Santa hat and ornament decorating kits, and more. Fri.-Sun.

Seas ‘n’ Greetings at Birch Aquarium
The magic of the holidays meets the magic of the underwater world at Birch Aquarium during Seas ‘n’ Greetings, a holiday celebration featuring SEAsonal music and decor the whole family will love. Deck the Hall (of Fishes) and get into the holiday spirit. Grab your favorite holiday sweater and take some epic selfies with their amazing ocean view or their new 18-foot-tall inflatable octopus. Their rescued Loggerhead Sea Turtle may even drop in for a photo bomb. Seas ‘n’ Greetings runs every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed on Christmas day). Don’t miss Tide Pool Plaza, where even the youngest guests can touch juvenile Swell Sharks, Horn Sharks and Round Rays. Sat. & Sun. 

Holiday Lights
The Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum will be hosting Holiday Lights: a special event where they will decorate several barns for the holiday season and have their farmhouse open for cookies and hot chocolate and activities. They’ll be offering wagon rides around the property to view their beautiful decorations. Santa has promised to come by, and even The Grinch might come down from Mount Crumpit! Fri. & Sat.

Santa Express Train Ride
The Pacific Southwest Railway Museum is offering a festive Santa Express train ride this holiday season. (Note: this event is different than their usual North Pole Limited event). On this 30 minute ride, you’ll enjoy holiday music and decorated cars on the way to visit with Santa and tour the Display Building. To return to the Campo Station you can either walk back or catch a ride on the Caboose Shuttle. Trains depart at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. Sat.

Christmas Arts & Crafts Vintage Market
Start your holiday shopping early for American handmade arts and crafts at the “Christmas on the Farm” Arts, Crafts & Vintage Market. Up-cycled, recycled, restored, vintage, antique, and handmade wares will be offered with a large variety of jewelry, woodworking, candles, soaps, fine art, and more. Family activities include Snows Pony Rides & Petting Corral, Kids ‘n Paint, and facepainting. Take a break from shopping to enjoy some great BBQ from What’s Cookin’, and listen to live music from the Bates Stage from noon-3 p.m. by Calico Ridge. Fri.-Sun.

Christmas Tea at The Westgate Hotel
It’s time for Christmas Tea at The Westgate Hotel! Gather family and friends and create magical holiday memories steeped in holiday tradition. Enjoy delicious beverages, premium teas, sweet pastries, and desserts. Indulge in this relaxing, festive scene for a très joyeux noël treat. Sat. 

––Beth Shea