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Holiday Event Guide: Encinitas & Nearby 2018

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, CA – Ho-ho-ho! Holiday time is here! Make the most of it, and enjoy community events that abound throughout the San Diego region.

Peruse our annual event guide — a round-up of the region’s top festivities.

And Happy Holidays, from Patch!

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DEC. 1: Lions Tigers & Bears Christmas Festival Fundraiser. An uplifting event viewing rescued lions, tigers and bears & more animals now at a sanctuary and enjoying the holidays.


DEC. 2: Chanukah Celebration 2018: East County Chabad. At Crown Hills.



DEC. 1: 2nd Annual “Crafter’s Showcase.” Unique & handcrafted items.

DEC. 1: Holiday At The Rancho 2018: Leo Carrillo Ranch. Tree lighting, Santa & The Muppet Christmas Carol .

DEC. 2: Holiday Concert For Meals On Wheels San Diego Co. With the award-winning Coastal Communities Concert Band.

DEC. 2: Harpist Leah Panos – Free Holiday Concert. Repertoire ranges from Beethoven to The Beatles.

DEC. 2: Carlsbad Village Tree Lighting Ceremony. Free photos & visits with Santa.

DEC. 2, 8-9, 15-16, 20-23: Teddy Bear Tea 2018: Vivace, Park Hyatt Aviara Resort. Guests asked to bring teddy bear to donate to Rady’s

DEC. 6: Mariachi Divas Trio – Free Holiday Concert. Celebrated group of musicians.

DEC. 6-8: 2018 Lancer Dancer Showcase. Carlsbad High’s annual holiday showcase.

DEC. 6, 13, 20: Family Friendly Christmas Nights. Free family fun.

DEC. 9: Pet Photos With Santa 2018: Outlets. Dogs love Santa, too!

DEC. 9: Yale Strom & Hot Pstromi – Free Holiday Concert. “A fusion of traditional klezmer, new Jewish music, Gypsy, khasadic, world beat and Balkan music.”

DEC. 31: The Westin Carlsbad’s 2018 New Year’s Eve Bash. With 1920s theme.

Through DEC. 31: Holidays At LEGOLAND . Open daily with giant LEGO Christmas Tree & other festivities.



DEC. 1: Christmas Tree Lighting 2018: Piazza Carmel. Free photos with Santa.

DEC. 5: Hanukkah 2018: Del Mar Highlands Town Centre. A lighting of the fourth night candles.


Through JAN. 1: ‘Skating By Sea’ Outdoor Ice Rink 2018-19: Hotel Del Coronado. A spectacular beachfront ice rink with stunner views of the Pacific.

DEC. 2, 9, 16, 23: Brunch With Santa 2018: Hotel Del Coronado. Tickets on sale for event that the kids will love!

DEC. 5: Chanukah On Ice & Menorah Lighting 2018: Hotel Del Coronado. Nightly menorah lightings also planned in lobby.

DEC. 7: Annual Holiday Parade & Tree Lighting. A Coronado tradition.

DEC. 7: Snow Mountain & Santa Arrival 2018: Ferry Landing. Santa, crafts, games & snow!

DEC. 15: Skating by the Sea, Skate with Tara Lipinksi. Hotel Del Coronado. Tickets on sale.

DEC. 15 & 22: Holiday Movies On The Beach 2018: Hotel Del Coronado.Bundle up for fun family night.


DEC. 2: Santa By Sea & Christmas Tree Lighting 2018: L’Auberge Del Mar. Free to public.

DEC. 4: Hanukkah Menorah Lighting 2018: Flower Hill Promenade. With snow, latkes, donuts & cocoa!

DEC. 8: Countryfest Christmas 2018: Fairgrounds. Starring: Lee Brice, Granger Smith, Walker Hayes & Jimmie Allen.

DEC. 15: Breakfast With Santa 2018: San Dieguito Co. Park. Breakfast & entertainment.

DEC. 22: Breakfast & Story With Bergie The Elf 2018: L’Auberge Del Mar. Storytime is free to all, but book your reservations for the breakfast.

DEC. 24: Holiday Concert with Peter Sprague 2018: L’Auberge Del Mar. A Christmas Eve tradition, and free to the public.


DEC. 1: San Dieguito Art Guild – 8th Annual Holiday Bazaar. Find one-of-a-kind gifts.

DEC. 1: 2018 Encinitas Holiday Parade. A community tradition in its 61st year!

DEC. 1-30: Holiday ‘Garden Of Lights’ 2018: SD Botanic Garden. Snow, Santa, wagon rides, marshmallow roasting & 125,000 sparkling lights.


DEC. 1: Winter Wonderland Festival. North Pole comes to Escondido, with real reindeer, too!

DEC. 6-9, 13-16: ‘Mark Twain’s Christmas Carol’: North County Players. The beloved tale you already know, but different.

DEC. 7-8: 29th Annual Carols by Candlelight Benefit Concert. Proceeds from country show benefit Rady Children’s Hospital.

DEC. 15-16: Winter Wonderland, Snow & Santa 2018: Welk Resorts. Expected to be a sell-out, so get your tickets!

DEC. 16: A Totally POP Christmas. At the Ice-Plex.

Through DEC. 16: Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!)“A madcap romp through the holiday season!”

DEC. 17: Winter Wonderland on Ice! Holiday music & decorations on ice!

DEC. 22-23: West Coast Ballet’s Nutcracker. A staple of the season.


DEC. 15: Fallbrook Airpark’s Annual Toys for Tots Collection Drive. Help children in need, and see U.S. Marines in dress blues, airplanes, classic cars and more.


NOV. 30: ‘Christmas Comes To IB’ Tree Lighting. Planned at the Farmers Market.

DEC. 8: Annual Holiday Bazaar In IB. Accompanying Toy Drive benefits Burn Institute.



DEC. 1-31: Seas ‘n’ Greetings Holiday Celebration at Birch Aquarium. We love Scuba Santa!

DEC. 2: Holiday Storytime Breakfast 2018: Estancia La Jolla. Hosted by La Jolla Library, then guests transported to parade.

DEC. 2: Christmas Parade & Holiday Festival. A La Jolla tradition!

DEC. 4-30: The Year to Come. A funny, touching New Year’s Eve on stage with La Jolla Playhouse.


DEC. 7-8: Holiday In The Village: Snow, firepits, reindeer games and more …



DEC. 7: Annual Holiday Community Bonfire. Fun, food and fire kicks off holiday season!


DEC. 5: Glow-In-The-Dark Hanukkah Menorah Lighting. A glowing affair, to be sure!

DEC. 6: Holiday Tree Lighting & Santa On Firetruck. Milk & cookies, crafts & more!

DEC. 7-8: Annual Christmas Concert 2018: Mission San Luis Rey. “Enjoy your favorite Christmas carols in the beautiful historic church.

DEC. 7: Annual Tree Lighting, Toy Drive & Art Walk. Hosted by Springfield Suites.

DEC. 8: Harbor Holiday Parade Of Lights. Don’t miss this! It’s beautiful.

DEC. 9: Holiday Home Tour & Library Fundraiser. Tour homes dressed up for the holidays.

DEC. 14-16, 21-23: ‘A Christmas Carol: A Radio Play’ 2018: Brooks Theatre. Entertaining twist on the Dickens classic for the whole family.


DEC. 15: Pacific Beach Holiday ParadeA community tradition on Garnet Avenue.


DEC. 2: Home Depot Menorah Workshop. RSVP to save your spot!

DEC. 8: Christmas In The Park – Tree-Lighting & Santa. Festive evening with hay rides, train rides, caroling, crafts & more.

DEC. 15-16: The Nutcracker by Southern California Ballet. Award-winning dancers bring holiday magic.

JAN. 11-12: Winter Festival – Snow & Ice Skating. Bundle up & build a snowman!


DEC. 1: Annual Christmas Tree Lighting 2018: Main St.. A town tradition with Sleigh rides, caroling & Santa!

DEC. 8: Ramona Airport’s Annual Toys for Tots Collection Drive. Help children in need and see U.S. Marines in dress blues, seven-ton military trucks, airplanes, classic cars and more!


DEC. 15: Hot Cocoa With Santa & Snow In Park Day. With food trucks, bounce house and sledding.

DEC. 17-22: Breakfast With Santa 2018: Bernardo Winery. The little ones will love it!

DEC. 17-22: Holiday Nights 2018: Bernardo Winery. Fun evening with artisans, carolers, carriage rides, mulled wine & more.


NOV. 30: Olde-Fashioned Christmas & Santa 2018: Inn at Rancho Santa Fe. Tree-lighting, bounce house, plus tasty soup benefit.

NOV. 30-DEC. 2: A Charlie Brown Christmas 2018: Village Church. Sing-along, crafts and refreshments, too.


Through JAN. 5: Holiday by the Bay at Hilton San Diego Bayfront. An ice and snow adventure park!

DEC. 1-2, 8-9, 15-23: Holiday ‘Teddy Bear Tea’ 2018: Westgate Hotel. A magical, holiday tradition.

DEC. 3: Liberty Station’s Hanukkah & Menorah Lighting. Live entertainment, plus skating at Rady Children’s Ice Rink.

DEC. 7: Drink, Play, Create: A Holiday Party. At New Children’s Museum.

DEC. 7-8: Balboa Park December Nights. Free museum admission and much more!

DEC. 8: Free Winter Wonderland 2018: Princess Del Cerro Park. Santa, reindeer, craft & more!

DEC. 9 & 16: San Diego Bay Holiday Parade of Lights. A beloved tradition in its 47th year.

DEC. 13: Zoo’s Wild Night Out & Jungle Bells Preview. For ages 21 and up.

DEC. 14- JAN. 6: Zoo’s Holiday ‘Jungle Bells’ Festivities. “Animal experiences, costumed characters, lighted displays and live entertainment—including zany Dr. Zoolittle and jolly elf himself—Santa.”

DEC. 15: Wake Up Santa 2018: Clairemont Town Square. Free fun for the little ones!

DEC. 16: Nutcracker Tea Party with Santa 2018: Liberty Station. With a narrated, interactive performance of The Nutcracker by San Diego Ballet.

Through DEC. 29: How the Grinch Stole Christmas! 2018: Old Globe. A San Diego favorites in is 21st year.

Through DEC. 31: ‘Clint Black’s Looking For Christmas’ 2018: Old Globe. Based on country music legend’s holiday album, and sure to become a seasonal favorite!

JAN. 1-6: Three Kings Celebration 2019: SeaWorld. New to the park.

Through JAN. 5: Holiday By The Bay & Ice-Tube Slide 2018-19: Hilton San Diego. New this year: two-story 100 ft. ice tubing slide!

Through JAN. 6: Rady’s Holiday Ice Rink 2018-19: Liberty Station. an outdoor rink with a very worthy cause.

Through JAN. 6: SeaWorld Christmas Celebration. A bevvy of holiday fun.


DEC. 1: Santa Breakfast, Village & Tree Lighting. Join Santa for breakfast, and stay all day!

Through DEC. 30: Christmas on Knob Hill. Santa Claus will be available on select nights.


DEC. 6: ‘Taste of Santee’ & Santee Santas Benefit. Consider a donation to the bike drive.

DEC. 9: Santa At The Lakes & Snow Hill. Crafts, pony rides & more planned.


NOV. 30, DEC. 1-2: The Snow Queen at North Coast Rep Theatre School. Your children will love this. Audience participation, too!

DEC. 18: For The Sender Holiday Show 2018: Belly Up Tavern. “Grammy-winning, platinum-selling artists presenting powerful songs and stories of love, loss, redemption and hope, all inspired by real-life letters.”


DEC. 1: 2018 Candyland Christmas ParadeA free, festive event to kick off the holidays.

DEC. 2: Vista Community Clinic’s Holiday Home Tour. Exquisite homes plus the historic Rancho Buena Vista Adobe decked out for holidays.

If we missed your organization’s or city’s event, email details and online links to



–Image via Phil Walter Getty Images

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