This year's Winter Wonderland Celebration will have three times the real snow and loads of family-friendly holiday activities. Welk Resorts San Diego will feature custom-built snow hills for sledding and tubing, a 5,000-square foot snow play area, photos with Santa, an opportunity to meet Santa's reindeer and complete Elf Missions, plus holiday games and crafts, cookie decorating and more inside Santa's Elf Academy. Ride the Polar Express, hit up the carnival attractions, and roast s'mores around cozy fire pits. There will also be live bands, food trucks, international Christmas cuisine tastings, snow cones, hot chocolate and more.
It just isn't the holidays without The Nutcracker, which leaps to magical life on the San Diego Civic Theatre stage complete with beautiful fairies, handsome princes and a lovely young lady on her way to the Sugar Candy Kingdom. Audiences of all ages will enjoy the magical story of Clara, who dreams that her new toy nutcracker has come to life. Together, they experience a fantastic adventure that leads them through an epic battle with the Rat King to the Sugar Plum Fairy's magical Land of Sweets. Under the baton of Music Director John Stubbs, Tchaikovsky's extravagant score comes to life in a glittering production that will enchant all watchers.
Voted "San Diego's Best Nutcracker" by San Diego Dance Alliance Tommy Awards, and described as "a plum of a Nutcracker," by the San Diego Union-Tribune, City Ballet's 23rd annual Nutcracker returns to the historic Spreckels Theatre in downtown San Diego. This lavish production is fashioned after the choreography of the great Russian master Lev Ivanov who created the very first Nutcracker more than 100 years ago. Virtuoso dancing is complemented by opulent sets, costumes and Pyotr Tchaikovsky's brilliant score performed live by The City Ballet Orchestra with John Nettles conducting. The cast is made up of professionals from the City Ballet company, with children's roles performed by the top talent from the City Ballet School. This beloved holiday ballet follows young Clara on an exciting Christmas night journey through an enchanted dreamworld, where she encounters the Nutcracker Prince, fights epic battles and travels to the magical kingdom of the Sugar Plum Fairy.
Based on the modern cinema classic, Elf the Musical Jr. is the hilarious tale of Buddy, a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa's bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. Unaware that he is actually human, Buddy's enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa's permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father, discover his true identity and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. This youth production of the modern Christmas favorite is sure to make everyone embrace their inner elf as it ice skates into the Ocean Beach Playhouse and Arts Center in San Diego.
Prepare to take flight on a magic carpet ride and discover a whole new world filled with plenty of humor, whimsy and pop tunes when Aladdin and His Winter Wish soars into Laguna Playhouse for the third year in a row. Produced in the style of a classic British Yuletide panto, which traditionally takes a well-known fairy tale and gives it a wacky, melodramatic makeover, Aladdin and His Winter Wish updates the classic tale from Arabian Nights with plenty of singing, dancing and audience participation, along with modern pop songs from One Direction, Right Said Fred and Earth Wind and Fire. Bring the whole family and enjoy this fun holiday tradition.
Miracle on 34th Street gets even more miraculous when San Diego Musical Theatre performs it live in the style of an old-time radio play, complete with onstage sound effects. When a man named Kris Kringle agrees to serve as a last-minute replacement for Santa in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, he's so convincing that he's offered a job as the department store's in-house Claus. But how can he convince the doubters, including a cynical single mother and her eight-year-old daughter who yearns for something to believe in? Adapted from the 1947 Lux Radio Hour Broadcast, this charming production perfectly captures the spirit of the season at The Horton Grand Theatre.
Cygnet Theatre brings back A Christmas Carol to San Diego, a longtime tradition and a holiday favorite. Join Scrooge, Marley, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim and a variety of colorful characters as they help misguided miser Ebenezer Scrooge discover love, joy and the true meaning of Christmas. Three spirits usher Scrooge through the lessons of his past, present and possible future in this charming and heartfelt musical adaptation of Charles Dickens's classic, reimagined with original music, unique stagecraft, puppetry and live sound effects! It's a seasonal treat that the family will love.
Spun around a solid core of more than 20 traditional spirituals and folk songs, Black Pearl Sings! tells the engaging Depression Era story of Susannah, an ambitious folklorist from the Library of Congress, and Pearl, a Texas prisoner with a soulful voice, steely spirit and an incredible collection of historic African-American music. Susannah's after the songs that will put her in the spotlight, and Pearl's angling at a chance for freedom, but the women find common ground in their struggle to find respect in a man's world -- and in Pearl's powerful music. Inspired by the real-life musical partnership of historian John Lomax and legendary folk singer-guitarist Lead Belly, Black Pearl Sings! comes to the Lyceum Space courtesy of the San Diego Repertory Theatre.
Tis the season for the Holiday Hangover when four great tribute bands convene at House of Blues San Diego. Headlining the show is Strangelove, the ultimate tribute to '80s new-wavers Depeche Mode -- in fact, LA Weekly recently declared that "Strangelove's resemblance, both visually and sonically, to Depeche Mode is frightening." Strangelove performs the British synthpop band's biggest hits, from "People Are People" to "Personal Jesus" and beyond. They recreate the original group's famed theatrical concert experience with precision and style, including costume changes and multiple screen projections, to take you through the different eras of Depeche Mode's decades-spanning career. Also on the bill is The Cure tribute band The Cured, playing recognizable radio favorites like "Just Like Heaven," "Pictures of You," "Friday I'm In Love," and "Boys Don't Cry." They've also got Still Ill, playing the artful anthems of The Smiths, and Electric Duke, who'll keep things extra glam with David Bowie's biggest jams.
Friday, Dec. 15, 2017 / 8:00pm (Doors Open at 7:00pm)
It's hard to get into the holiday spirit when everyone's wearing shorts and t-shirts in San Diego. Frozen Fairgrounds at Del Mar puts wonder back into the season with two beautiful (and covered) outdoor ice skating rinks. Lace up your skates and glide around The Community Rink, which gives you plenty of room for epic twirls and spins -- or graceful/ungraceful falls, if you're more of a beginner. With the NHL Rink, you can tear up the ice just like a pro hockey player. If you want to take a break from all the ice skating, you can shoot some pucks at numerous Hockey Interactive Skill Zones or chill out at their onsite concession stand or lounge area. Your ticket includes skate rentals and an all-day skating pass, letting you bask in the frozen wonderland of this quintessential winter activity.
It's Christmas Eve, and New York copywriter Andy Gorski has returned home to Pittsburgh to introduce his new fiancee Randi to his family. Much to the chagrin of Andy's conservative, Catholic parents, their soon-to-be daughter-in-law turns out to be a Jewish atheist. Hilarious one-liners are slung and conflict breaks out between parents and children -- until a miraculous occurrence brings everyone together in an exploration of love, religion, personal truths and the very nature of reality. Greetings!, written by Tom Dudzick, is a quirky and touching farce offering its own signature cure for holiday angst and insensitivity. Check it out when it comes to the Patio Playhouse in Escondido.
San Diego's longest-running professional theatre production is celebrating its 27th anniversary this year, but Lucifer is sneering. The hard-partying Prince of Darkness and his minions are making plans to ruin Christmas. The newest in Teatro Máscara Mágica's award-winning series of Mexican-inspired Christmas musicals, once again features the timeless battle between Lucifer's forces of evil and Michael the Archangel's champions of goodness set in today's world of chaos and hope. Enjoy La Pastorela De Los Alacranes at San Diego's Lyceum Stage.
On a windswept moor in an old haunted house in England, a lonely widower still grieves the death of his wife 10 years ago. Enter Mary, a sour young orphan who's come to live with her uncle. She discovers a locked garden that's been left to grow wild and uncared for -- much like Mary herself. With the help of her friend and cousin, the little girl brings new life to both the garden and her uncle in the enchanting musical The Secret Garden, a story of hardship turned into hope, of beauty discovered in unlikely places, the power of a child's imagination and the wisdom that accompanies growing up. Written by Pulitzer winner Marsha Norman (The Color Purple) with music by Lucy Simon (Doctor Zhivago), the New Village Arts Theatre's production of this lush musical delivers a magical theatrical experience in Carlsbad.
Celebrate Christmas like they do in Ireland -- with glorious music, traditional dance, laughter and plenty of Celtic soul. The latest edition of An Irish Christmas, as seen on PBS, features world-champion Irish dancers Scott Doherty (Riverdance, Lord of the Dance) and Tyler Schwartz (Magic of the Dance, Gaelforce Dance). Traditional Irish vocalists, musicians and dancers lend their spirit, along with Connor Reider and Colin Barkell for a memorable night that sparkles with charm. This annual family favorite brings a joyous and authentic international spirit to the holiday season at San Diego's Balboa Theatre.
Lamb's Players Theatre has been celebrating its Festival of Christmas for 40 years and the annual Coronado tradition continues to deepen its roots. This year, resident playwright Kerry Meads brings fresh flair to the fest with A Fargo Christmas. Of course, the production's filled with great music capturing the spirit of the season. But the new narrative also features plenty of onstage hilarity and joyous discoveries. Watch what happens when a rising star, a real estate mogul, a precocious child and an octogenarian all vie for the same "dream" property to be their new Christmas home.
Push off for an evening paddle and see the festive holiday lights of San Diego. The annual San Diego Bay Parade of Lights features over 80 lavishly decorated boats on display, and you'll have the best view of the sparkling celebration from atop your kayak. The annual event is a delightful way to observe San Diego's maritime culture and will certainly put you in the holiday spirit as you paddle alongside the parade, past the downtown San Diego skyline and underneath the bright lights of the Coronado Bridge. This fun tour includes kayak rental, paddles and life vests.
A strong argument could be made that Oliver! is one of the most engaging and delightful musicals ever written. In fact, we'll make it. But don't let all that delight get to your head, because this tale also travels down some dark pathways, putting its characters through the narrative wringer. Lionel Bart brought Charles Dickens' unforgettable characters to vivid new life with this lively, heel-kicking classic about an innocent orphan thrown into the dark world of double-dealing thieves and con men of 19th-century London. Overflowing with jubilant songs like "You've Got to Pick a Pocket or Two," "Consider Yourself," "I'd Do Anything" and "Food, Glorious Food," this STAR Repertory Theatre production of Oliver! serves up a musical feast for the eyes and ears that'll have you calling out for "More!" at Vista's Avo Playhouse.
Make no mistake about it, these reindeer games from OB Playhouse and Different Stages are definitely for adults only. This dark-as-coal Christmas comedy finds the North Pole a hotbed of scandal after one of Santa's eight tiny reindeer accuses him of a little jolly old sexual harassment. As the media catches the scent of scandal and invades Santa's sanctuary, the rest of the reindeer chime in with their own perspectives. The result: a heinous and hilarious tale of perversion and corruption -- entangling everyone from the littlest elf in the workshop to the tainted Saint himself -- that's sure to have mature audiences howling this holiday season. Celebrate the XXXmas season with The Eight: Reindeer Monologues at the Ocean Beach Playhouse and Arts Center in San Diego.
Located in the heart of San Diego's Gaslamp District, Mad House Comedy Club is the perfect place to catch some of the best and brightest young comedians, not to mention local favorites, along with familiar faces from TV and national headliners. These hot comics boast major credits, including The Tonight Show, Late Show, Comedy Central, Key & Peele and tons more. With a full bar and food menu, Mad House makes it easy to make a night of it.
Monday, Dec. 11, 2017 / 8:00pm (San Diego's Funniest Person Contest)Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017 / 8:00pm (JC Currais)Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017 / 8:00pm (Francis Cronin)Friday, Dec. 15, 2017 / 7:30pm (8 Awesome Comics and Brian Simpson)Friday, Dec. 15, 2017 / 9:45pm (8 Awesome Comics and Brian Simpson)Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017 / 7:30pm (8 Awesome Comics and Brian Simpson)Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017 / 9:45pm (8 Awesome Comics and Brian Simpson)Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017 / 8:00pm (Mad House Favorites Show)
'Tis the season to sing your heart out (terribly or beautifully!) to your favorite Christmas carols! Get into the holiday spirit at the Lamplighters Theatre in the San Diego area when the city's shining vocal talent takes the stage. They'll break out some seasonal classics, a caroling sing-along and a few surprises.
Catch tomorrow's NHL stars as the San Diego Gulls tear up the ice in exciting American Hockey League play. After finishing last season in the Pacific Division Finals, the Gulls are going to be bringing the intensity as they set their sights on the Calder Cup. As the AHL affiliate for the Anaheim Ducks, the Gulls play a fierce game as the players look to make it to the big time. Valley View Casino Center boasts a new state-of-the-art scoreboard, so you never miss a second of the action, plus great food and drink options, like local brews on draft at the Tap Haus and Baja-style tacos at Rockin' Baja Lobster.
With more than 100 speciality martinis to choose from, an array of delicious food, and top live acts from L.A., New York and beyond, Martinis Above Fourth | Table + Stage is the ultimate supper club experience. On any given night, you'll enjoy entertainment ranging from jazz to pop to American standards, and even acts like an expert Dame Edna impersonator, comedians like Alec Mapa, movie and Broadway stars like Molly Ringwald and country musicians like Ty Herndon. Sit back and relax over a martini and treat yourself to a meal or a snack while you bask in the sounds of live music, comedy and more. Martinis Above Fourth | Table + Stage offers a hip, eclectic dining and entertainment experience in an upscale yet decidedly unstuffy environment.
Monday, Dec. 11, 2017 / 8:00pm (Joely Fisher in Growing Up Fisher)Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017 / 8:00pm (Ty Herndon in An Evening of Hits and Holiday Tunes)Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017 / 8:00pm (Sacha Boutros: Christmas in Paris)Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017 / 8:00pm (The Saxations in A Very Saxxy Holiday)Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017 / 8:00pm (The Skivvies in Sleigh My Name)Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017 / 8:00pm (Spencer Day in Angel City)Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017 / 8:00pm (Richard Shelton in Sinatra & Me)Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017 / 8:00pm (Holiday in Alec Mapa)
Enjoy up-close views of the beautiful marine life, sea cliffs and seven caves of the La Jolla Ecological Reserve on a two-hour guided kayaking tour. No experience is necessary for this fun excursion, and life-jackets are provided. After a brief lesson, you'll paddle out on a two-person kayak with an experienced and friendly guide to marvel at Arch Cave, Sunny Jim's Cave and others, and maybe even steer through the amazing double-sided Clam Cave (ocean conditions permitting). You might even catch glimpses of sea lions, harmless leopard sharks, Garibaldi fish and dolphins before returning to shore.
Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017 / Various TimesFriday, Dec. 15, 2017 / Various TimesSaturday, Dec. 16, 2017 / Various TimesSunday, Dec. 17, 2017 / Various TimesMonday, Dec. 18, 2017 / Various TimesTuesday, Dec. 19, 2017 / Various TimesThursday, Dec. 21, 2017 / Various TimesFriday, Dec. 22, 2017 / Various Times
See if you can spot Gray Whales migrating down to Baja California on an Oceanside Whale and Dolphin Tour. Each year these magnificent creatures pass by Oceanside on their way south to breed, and riding aboard a luxury catamaran is one of the best ways to see them. While aboard you might also catch a glimpse of dolphins or other whales, and any sightings will be pointed out and narrated by an expert captain, who is also a certified naturalist. And even if the whales aren't being cooperative, you can enjoy fabulous ocean views as you cruise along on the comfortable boat, taking advantage of the covered and open-air seating areas during the scenic two-hour journey.
With the Christmas frenzy in full swing, you'll no doubt appreciate the chance to chill out to synthpop faves from the '80s, courtesy of some of SoCal's best tribute bands. Arena re-creates the concert experience of New Wave pioneers Duran Duran with precision and plenty of style, starting with the band's Sing Blue Silver 1984 world tour. From "Hungry Like the Wolf," "Rio" and "The Reflex" to "Girls on Film," "A View to a Kill" and "Notorious," Arena focuses on capturing the live versions of those hits and more. Also on this bill at the House of Blues San Diego is New Order tribute Substance, The Cult cover band Sweet Soul Sister and more.
Experience the delicacies and delights of Argentine culture without ever leaving home as you watch an authentic and passionate Argentine tango dance show and enjoy a delicious three-course meal at Pampas Argentine Grill, named "Best Steakhouse in San Diego" by the San Diego Reader. Professional dancers Camille and Michael of the Positive Energy Dance Company will transport you to the romantic streets of Buenos Aires with their fiery moves. Please see the full event description for the dinner menu.
If you're in need of a mini-staycation, Pampas Argentine Grill is ready to whisk you away from San Diego to the romantic streets of Buenos Aires circa the 1920s. Feel free to get in the spirit and dress the part -- dancing shoes and flirty '20s attire are always welcome. Watch an authentic Argentine tango show as you sip South American wines, Pampas' special sangria or specialty cocktails and craft beers and dine on an authentic three-course meal. The show features a vintage-themed tango extravaganza that recreates the elegance and charm of 1920s Argentina, and after the pros are finished, you're invited to take the dance floor. Pampas Argentine Grill was named the city's Best Steakhouse by the San Diego Reader. Please see the full event description for the menu.
You can bet your bottom dollar that there'll be plenty of fun for the whole family when Annie takes over San Diego's ENCORE! Theatre. Forty years after its Broadway debut, the musical sensation that started out life as a comic strip and then grew into a huge hit on stage and then the big screen shows no sign of outgrowing its iconic red dress and curls. The beloved story of a plucky young orphan determined to find a family, Annie brings back all the great characters you know and love, including the adorable scamp herself, the lovable Daddy Warbucks, his faithful assistant Grace and the wicked Miss Hannigan. Featuring unforgettable numbers like "It's the Hard-Knock Life," "Easy Street," "I Don't Need Anything But You" and the ever-optimistic "Tomorrow," this community theater production will leave you with a spring in your step and a song in your heart.
Tarrytown reimagines the American fable The Legend of Sleepy Hollow as a surprisingly modern love story. This new musical finds Ichabod befriending married couple Katrina and Brom. Their unexpected new bond forces each of them to confront ghosts from their pasts as they gallop towards an unfamiliar and uncertain future. Part romance, part bromance, Tarrytown receives its world premiere from Backyard Renaissance Theatre Company at San Diego's Diversionary Theatre.
Grammy Award-winning singer Dianne Reeves, the world's top jazz vocalist, rings in the holiday season with music from her celebrated album, Christmas Time Is Here. Reeves was hailed as "a jazz singer of astonishing skill" by The New York Times, whose critic praised Reeves' holiday record as "one of the best Christmas CD's I've ever heard." Reeves will bring her virtuosity, prowess, grace and charisma to San Diego's Balboa Theatre, where she'll perform her unique jazz- and R&B-inflected renditions of holiday favorites such as "Little Drummer Boy," "Carol of the Bells," "Christmas Waltz," "I'll Be Home For Christmas," "Let It Snow" and many more. She'll be joined on stage by four acclaimed musicians: pianist Peter Martin, jazz guitar master Romero Lubambo, double bassist Reginald Veal and drummer Terreon Gully.
It just isn't the holidays without The Nutcracker, which comes to magical life on the San Diego Civic Theatre stage complete with beautiful fairies, handsome princes and a lovely young lady on her way to the Sugar Candy Kingdom. And California Ballet Company is the first professional ballet company on the West Coast to offer an autism- and sensory-friendly performance of this holiday favorite, with adjusted lighting and sound and relaxed theater rules. The show is one hour and features recorded music as it tells the magical story of Clara, who dreams that her new toy nutcracker has come to life. Together, they experience a fantastic adventure that leads them through an epic battle with the Rat King to the Sugar Plum Fairy's magical Land of Sweets.
From spoofs of melodramatic Spanish-language soap operas to Gary Busey, Arnold Schwarzenegger and the booming voice of a movie trailer announcer, Pablo Francisco is a man of many voices. A popular touring comic coming to The American Comedy Co. in San Diego, audiences never know what to expect from this manic performer. His hour-long Comedy Central specials OUCH! and They Put It Out There are two of the network's biggest hits ever, and he's a favorite guest on The Tonight Show. Francisco has also employed his arsenal of impressions as a cast member on FOX's MADtv, and in appearances on Comedy Central's Mind of Mencia and The Showbiz Show with David Spade, TBS's Frank TV and The Howard Stern Show.
Kayak along San Diego Bay and explore the sights of the city in this leisurely guided tour that highlights the region's renowned architecture, history and maritime culture. Along the way, you'll enjoy views of Petco Park, the Embarcadero, the USS Midway, Naval Station North Island, the Silver Strand, the San Diego Convention Center, the Coronado Bridge and Glorietta Bay -- all from the deck of your two-person, sit-on-top kayak. No previous kayaking experience is necessary for this fun and unique excursion that includes kayak rental, paddles, life vests and a paddle lesson.
Dig deep into the back of your closet and bust out your ugliest holiday sweater, then be ready to spread some yuletide fun and cheer through the streets of San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter. Starting at the Commons Bar, this guided tour includes exclusive drink specials at each venue and complimentary VIP entry at every stop. Plus, you'll be invited to a festive pub crawl after-party where you can dance the night away.
Isaac Oliver is an author who's not content just to sell books. No, he likes to also share his work in pubs and small theaters. Which is great, because having Oliver read his writings out loud, in his humorous style and with his wry expressions, is pure literary cabaret. His debut collection of essays, Intimacy Idiot, was named one of NPR's Best Books of 2015. Now, in Lonely Christmas, he shares brand-new stories, old songs and more, from seasonal eczema to holly-jolly melancholy -- all centered around this holiday-heavy time of year. Don't miss this evening at Diversionary Theatre with the man The New Yorker describes as "A rare talent who manages to deftly combine raunchiness, intelligence, hilarity, and heart. Brilliantly observant, funny, and wry."
Every Friday night, San Diego's Cafe Sevilla Restaurant and Tapas Bar hosts From Gypsy to Belly Dancing to Flamenco: The Journey, a dinner show featuring an authentic three-course meal and an atmosphere of European elegance and Mediterranean spirit. These performances showcase the evolution of flamenco dance through the fusion of Moorish, Andalusian and Spanish folk dance performed by flamenco, gypsy, belly dancers, singers, percussionists and guitarists. You'll marvel at the passion, beauty and athleticism of this traditional art form as you feast on delicacies like the restaurant's famed Paella Valenciana and Crema Catalana.
Soak up the glorious seaside sights of Coronado on this easy, breezy two-hour bike tour. The 10-mile course, led by an informative guide, is flat and pedal-friendly and provides great views of San Diego's "Crown City" for everyone ages 12 and older. You'll ride under the graceful Coronado Bridge, past the historic Hotel del Coronado and by the Naval Amphibious Base and Glorietta Bay. You'll also see Silver Strand State Beach, as well as the cute shops and homes along Orange Avenue. Bike rental, a helmet and bottled water are all included in the price of your ticket.
Back together after several years, the hard rockers in Adema have hit the road once again and are bringing the noise in a powerhouse concert at the House of Blues San Diego. With hits like "Immortal" and "Giving In," the group developed a loyal group of fans eager to see the original lineup back in action. Complete with original lead singer Mark Chavez, Adema will be joined at this action-packed concert featuring special guests Core 10 and Dirty Machine.
Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017 / 6:30pm (Doors Open at 6:00pm)