’Tis the season: Local and regional holiday events and more

The tree at The Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch.
The tree at The Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch.
(Karen Billing)

Christmas choral concert ‘Joy and Light’ at Village Church

A free Christmas choral concert celebrating the mystery and magic of the life of Christ will be held in the sanctuary of the Village Church on Sunday, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. The Village Community Chorale is presenting “Joy and Light” under the direction of celebrated guest conductor Dr. Ianthe Marini. A distinguished educator, actor and dancer, Marini is a recipient of the American Prize in Choral Conducting.

A freewill offering will be collected at the concert. Childcare is available with an RSVP to For more information email

Women’s Christmas Luncheon at Village Church

The annual Women’s Christmas Luncheon at the Village Church will be held Wednesday, Dec. 14 at 11:30 a.m. in the Fellowship Center at 6225 Paseo Delicias in Rancho Santa Fe. This festive holiday event features a catered lunch, fellowship and friendship in honor of the Christmas season. Tickets are $20 with RSVPs required. Payment can be made online at or mail a check to the Village Church Christmas Luncheon, PO Box 704, Rancho Santa Fe, CA, 92067. A limited number of seats are available so contact Robin Singer ( to reserve your spot in advance.

In honor of the season, the event will support Care House serving homeless and underserved youth across San Diego. Everyone is asked to bring a $5 gift card for McDonalds, Jack-in-the-Box or In-N-Out. Childcare will be provided with a reservation sent to

Rancho Santa Fe Library events

By Sarah Z. Sleeper

The holidays are happening at the Rancho Santa Fe Library! Join your neighbors for the Holiday Tea, and donate to the Holiday Food Drive. All the fun and festivities are at the library.

Crafts, Treats and Carmen the Elf—Holiday Tea, Dec. 9

Save the date for the Library Guild of Rancho Santa Fe’s annual Holiday Tea and Tree and Wreath Raffle! This wonderful event is a great way to celebrate with your neighbors and ring in this festive time of year. It will be at the library on Friday, Dec. 9, 1 to 2 p.m. for adults, and 2 to 4 p.m. for all ages. Call the guild office for details, 858-756-4780.

Holiday Food Drive

San Diego families need food every day! During the holiday season, the Rancho Santa Fe Library is collecting canned chicken and tuna, dry and canned beans and fruits, canned vegetables and soup, rice, infant formula, powdered milk, cereal, peanut butter and more. No glass jars or homemade food products please. Donations accepted until Dec. 19 for the San Diego Food Bank,

No Chair Yoga Dec. 20 to 29

There will be no Chair Yoga during the last week of December, but classes will resume Tuesday, Jan. 3. The usual schedule is Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 to 11 a.m. Sign-up is required as class space is limited to 20 people.

Book Buddies—Every Monday

On Mondays from 2 to 3:30 p.m., please bring your kids to read with their teen Book Buddies! Children can listen to teenagers read books, or can read books out loud to their teen buddies. This is an excellent way to improve literacy and reading skills. No sign-ups are required, just come to the library and join the fun!

It’s Always Fun in the Children’s Library

Mondays: Book Buddies at 2 p.m. and Game Day at 3 p.m.

Tuesdays: Preschool Storytime at 10:30 a.m. and STEM at 2 p.m.

Wednesdays: Toddler Storytime at 10:30 a.m.

Thursdays: Crafts at 3 p.m.

Fridays: Movie Day at 2:15 p.m.

Saturdays: Drop in crafts from 10 a.m. to noon

Library Hours: Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Book Cellar Hours: Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

17040 Avenida de Acacias, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067

(858) 756-2512,

RSF Big Band Holiday Concert

The Rancho Santa Fe Big Band invites the community to attend its 17-piece Big Band Holiday Concert Sunday, Dec. 11, from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. at the Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club (Secret Garden Hall). The band will be performing jazz favorites and the All-American Songbook. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., the concert begins at 6 p.m. The Rancho Santa Fe Big Band has been entertaining for 21 years in the greater San Diego area, with top musicians from Southern California.

Cost is $75 per person (a table of 10 discount is $700 per table). For reservations, email or call 858-756-4542. Bring your appetizers and wine. The RSF Big Band will provide the wine glasses, table linens and decorations. The Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club is located at 17025 Avenida de Acacias, Rancho Santa Fe.

Santa’s Sleigh Ride Parade in Solana Beach

Back by popular demand, the city of Solana Beach and the Solana Beach Parks and Recreation Commission host Santa’s Sleigh Ride Parade from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16. Santa will be riding along with fire, sheriff’s and Marine safety personnel. The sleigh ride will start and end at the Solana Beach Fire Station, 500 Lomas Santa Fe Drive. A map is at

Exclusive Collections features The Art of Dr. Seuss Collection artworks

Exclusive Collections is sharing a compelling selection of artworks from The Art of Dr. Seuss Collection at its location at 212 S. Cedros Ave. #104, Solana Beach, now through Dec. 24. Hours are Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday. Visitors may explore and acquire works from Dr. Seuss’s best-known children’s books, as well as The Secret Art of Dr. Seuss, a mind-expanding collection based on decades of artwork, which Dr. Seuss created at night for his own personal pleasure.

Perhaps the wackiest and most wonderful elements of the collection are Dr. Seuss’s three-dimensional “Unorthodox Taxidermy” sculptures with names such as Carbonic Walrus, Two-Horned Drouberhannis, and Goo-Goo-Eyed Tasmanian Wolghast, to name a few.

For more information, visit or call (800) 599-7111.

Earl Warren Middle School to hold Winter Arts Festival

Earl Warren Middle School is presenting its Winter Arts Festival on Thursday, Dec. 15, from 5:15-7:30 p.m. Art will be on display from digital art, studio art, and video/film students; performances by concert band and drama students. Earl Warren students get in free; $5 for all other attendees.

Earl Warren Middle School is located at 155 Stevens Ave., Solana Beach, 92075.

Handel’s ‘Messiah’ concert to be presented at Church of the Nativity, RSF

Handel’s celebrated musical masterpiece “Messiah” Part I, Advent and Christmas excerpts plus the Hallelujah Chorus, will be presented in concert Saturday, Dec. 10 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Church of the Nativity, 6309 El Apajo Road in Rancho Santa Fe.

Featured artists include: Lisa Parente, soprano; Molly Fisher, alto; Chad Frisque, tenor,;Soren Pedersen, bass; and San Diego Baroque performers Pierre Joubert and Isaac Allen, Baroque violin; Angela Choong, Baroque viola; Alex Greenbaum, Baroque cello; and Alison Luedecke, harpsichord.

“It is both welcome and lovely to once again offer a musical tribute to the joy of Advent and Christmas after Covid stopped these kinds of traditional holiday musical presentations,” said Alison Luedecke, organist/quartet director at Church of the Nativity and musical director for the project. “We are delighted to bring live music back for the entire community with period-style Baroque instruments of Handel’s time, and in a unique chamber style presentation.”

The program is open to the public. Tickets are $25., available at:

Nutcracker Ballet performances by Encinitas Ballet

Encinitas Ballet will present the Nutcracker Ballet on Saturday, Dec. 17, at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. at the Encinitas Community and Senior Center. Audiences can expect “an uplifting and magical performance complete with a dazzling holiday party, giant mice doing battle with toy soldiers, a growing Christmas tree, dancing snowflakes, a Nutcracker that transforms into a handsome prince, and exotic dances from around the world,” according to the City of Encinitas website.

The performances will feature nationally-acclaimed Ukrainian bandurist Valentin Lysenko accompanied by pianist Alicia Jiang.

Encinitas Community and Senior Center is located at 1140 Oakcrest Park Drive, Encinitas, 92024. For tickets and more information visit or email

North Coast Symphony to perform ‘Holiday Gems’

The North Coast Symphony will present “Holiday Gems,” a performance of festive holiday music, on Friday, Dec. 16, 7:30 p.m. at the Encinitas Community Center, 1140 Oakcrest Park Drive, Encinitas. The concert will include “The First Noel, Around the World at Christmas Time, Christmas at the Movies, Toccata on Carol of the Bells, Music from Frozen,” and more. Celebrating its 75th year, the orchestra is conducted by Daniel Swem. Admission: $12 general, $10 seniors/students/military, $30/family max. For tickets and information, visit

Snow N Glow at the Del Mar Fairgrounds

Thursday, Dec. 8 to Sunday, Jan. 1, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays to Sundays and select dates.

This winter, the Del Mar Fairgrounds (2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd.) will be transformed into San Diego’s holiday headquarters at the Snow N Glow Holiday Festival, featuring three major attractions:

 Snow – Kids (and adults who are kids at heart) can snow tube down Snow Hill, made with real snow. There will also be an open area to play in the snow, and fresh snow is made daily.

Glow – Sip on hot cocoa while you stroll through a million festive lights. This winter wonderland of glowing lights is here to make your holidays bright.

 Private Igloo Reservations – Igloos are available to rent for private parties and include entry for six to Snow N Glow. Holiday Magic Igloos include a fresh snow delivery to build your own snowman. For more information, including dates, to purchase tickets, to reserve an igloo, visit

For more information, visit

Jungle Bells at San Diego Zoo

The annual holiday event from Dec. 9 to Jan. 1 (except Dec. 24) at the San Diego Zoo, 2920 Zoo Drive, features a wonderland of twinkling lights, live entertainment and music. The zoo is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. during this event; and the zoo closes at 5 p.m. Dec. 24. Free with zoo admission or membership; free parking. Visit

Glice skating at Fairmont Grand Del Mar

Join the fun a the Fairmont Grand Del Mar for some recreational skating on an eco-friendly Glice rink on weekends between Nov. 26 and Jan. 14, or daily Dec. 19 through Dec. 30. Rental skates are available, or you can bring your own, but recreational shoes are not permitted. For tickets and more information, visit

Fairmont Grand Del Mar is located at 5300 Grand Del Mar Ct., San Diego, 92130.

Rooftop Cinema Club Embarcadero offers holiday films and more

Throughout the month of December, the Rooftop Cinema Club Embarcadero at the Manchester Grand Hyatt will be dressed up in its finest holiday décor with Christmas trees, faux snow, twinkly lights and holiday music before every screening.

The December slate at Rooftop Cinema Club is loaded with everyone’s favorite holiday classics and cult-classic films, including Elf, The Grinch, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Home Alone, Christmas Vacation, The Polar Express, The Santa Clause, The Night Before and, of course, It’s a Wonderful Life. The full December lineup can be found online at

Also in December, Rooftop Cinema Club is continuing its annual tradition of holiday giving by partnering with Promises2Kids to raise important funds to help support foster children who’ve been removed from their homes due to neglect and abuse. Promises2Kids serves more than 3,000 current and former foster youth in San Diego and is dedicated to creating a brighter future for foster children. When any guest purchases a ticket to attend a screening during the month of December at Rooftop Cinema Club Embarcadero, they’ll have the option to donate $1 to Promises2Kids. One-hundred percent of contributed funds will go directly to Promises2Kids and at the conclusion of the month, Rooftop Cinema Club will match the final donation total.

Santa visits, holiday train rides at Village at PHR

Santa and Mrs. Claus will visit the Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch Square on Sunday, Dec. 11 from 3-6 p.m. Kids can take complimentary photos, enjoy live music and holiday train rides. Complimentary Holiday Train Rides will run on Dec. 10-11 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Holiday Moonlight Cinema at One Paseo

Enjoy a classic Christmas movie under the stars with family and friends as One Paseo in Carmel Valley hosts a special holiday Moonlight Cinema night featuring “The Grinch” on Saturday, Dec. 10 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the lawn behind Harland Brewery. The all-ages outdoor movie night is free and open to the public, and while guests are asked to bring blankets and chairs to set up their viewing party, there’s no need to pack a picnic basket, as guests can enjoy special bites, sips and treats from One Paseo’s eateries.

Santa, Hullabaloo at Del Mar Highlands

Get your family photo taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus for free throughout December at Santa & Mrs. Claus’s Workshop. Located in the upper level of Del Mar Highlands Town Center next to Ralphs Fresh Fare. Santa will be in the shop on Thursdays Dec. 15 and 22, Friday Dec. 23 and Saturdays Dec. 10 and Dec. 17 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.Hullabaloo concerts for the holidays will be held on Thursdays at 11 a.m. in the upper plaza on Dec. 15 and Dec. 22.

Cocoa with Santa at One Paseo

Santa is coming to One Paseo in Carmel Valley. For those who want to spend more time with Mr. Claus, stop by One Paseo’s Plaza West and enjoy hot cocoa, holiday treats and photos with Santa on Dec. 18 from 10 a.m. to noon. Santa’s Toy Soldier stilt walkers will also be wandering throughout the village.

One Paseo Menorah lighting

Grab the family and join One Paseo for a special Menorah Lighting celebration ceremony with the Chabad Jewish Center of Rancho Santa Fe on Thursday, Dec. 22 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Enjoy live music, kosher bites and a lighting ceremony led by Rabbi Levi Raskin. The menorah will be out beginning on the first day of Hanukkah, Sunday, December 18 through Monday, Dec. 26.

Holiday events at The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park

Special performances by the San Diego Symphony will be held at The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park (address: 222 Marina Park Way, San Diego, 92101).

Dec. 9 - 11| Noel, Noel: The San Diego Symphony’s signature holiday show, this performance features the San Diego Symphony Orchestra, San Diego Master Chorale, San Diego Children’s Choir and an all-new story and script.

Holiday Movies In Concert

Dec. 17: How the Grinch Stole Christmas In Concert - Watch CindyLou grow the heart of the infamous Grinch in this classic Christmas tale, accompanied by the San Diego Symphony

Dec. 21: Love Actually In Concert - Enjoy this modern holiday classic following the holiday season through the eyes of an unforgettable cast of characters as the San Diego Symphony performs its unforgettable score.

Visit for more information and tickets.

Popular ‘2 Pianos 4 Hands’ returns to North Coast Rep for the holidays

By popular demand, North Coast Repertory Theatre is bringing back the joyful, family-pleasing 2 Pianos 4 Hands to brighten the holiday season. Get ready for an interlude of riotous laughter as Jefferson McDonald and Matthew McGloin take the audience on a musical comedic journey about their would-be careers as concert pianists. The talented duo trade stories about piano lessons, pushy parents and eccentric teachers while playing everything from Bach to Billy Joel. This entertaining, crowd-pleasing show not only hits all the right notes, it tickles the ivories and your funny bone.

Performances have begun and run through Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. Call 858-481-1055 or visit to purchase tickets and more information.

‘Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!’

Andrew Polec, who was the childlike and wacky star in the Old Globe’s “Grinch” production last year, returns to reprise his role in this 25th annual production. Based on a 1957 children’s book by the late La Jolla author Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel, the musical by Timothy Mason and Mel Marvin premiered in 1994 at a children’s theater in Minneapolis. In 1998, it moved to the Old Globe, where artistic director Jack O’Brien worked with Geisel’s widow, Audrey Geisel, to add music from the famous 1966 animated TV version and a storybook-come-to-life scenic and costume design. It’s been an annual tradition ever since. Now playing through Dec. 31. Showtimes vary from week to week, but mostly evenings Tuesdays-Fridays and multiple shows on weekend days. The Old Globe, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park, San Diego. $59-$89. (619) 234-5623.

‘Ebenezer Scrooge’s BIG San Diego Christmas Show’

The Old Globe brings back its fast-paced comedic take on Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” which was first presented at the Globe in 2019. Written by Gordon Greenberg and Steve Rosen, it’s an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic Victorian novella about miserly Ebenezer Scrooge’s Christmas morning redemption, re-set in San Diego with music, comedy and all of the time-traveling ghosts and other characters for which the story is known. Now playing through Dec. 24. 7 p.m. Tuesdays-Sundays. 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, The Old Globe, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park, San Diego. $34-$85. (619) 234-5623.

Batiquitos Lagoon presentation: ‘Carlsbad on Climate Change’

Batiquitos Lagoon will host a presentation on Dec. 10 at 10 a.m. titled: “Carlsbad on Climate Change”, given by Katie Hentrich, Carlsbad’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) administrator. The City of Carlsbad was one of the first cities in the county to adopt a qualified CAP, outlining strategies and policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Hentrich will provide information on what Carlsbad is doing to mitigate climate change and how it impacts coastal and lagoon environments. This free event is suitable for an adult audience only. Meet at the Nature Center, 7380 Gabbiano Lane, Carlsbad. For more information, visit

New Village Arts presents holiday musical ‘1222 Oceanfront: A Black Family Christmas’

New Village Arts (NVA), North County’s cultural hub, recently announced that 1222 Oceanfront: A Black Family Christmas, written by San Diego playwright Dea Hurston, returns this year as a concert version at the Dea Hurston New Village Arts (NVA) Center in Carlsbad and various community locations in San Diego County. The holiday fun begins from Dec. 14 to Dec. 18, with a treat for San Diegans as the musical’s cast will take the show on tour, bringing this special performance to several community locations around San Diego County at no charge to attendees, but reservations are required. The community performances will be followed by five performances at the Dea Hurston New Village Arts (NVA) Center Dec. 20-24.

1222 Oceanfront: A Black Family Christmas is the story of widowed family matriarch Dorothy Black, who is hosting a Christmas Eve celebration with her adult children when unexpected family drama erupts. It features lively songs, an eclectic and lovable cast of characters, and lots of seasonal cheer. Meant for audiences of all backgrounds and identities, it reminds us that the holiday spirit has the power to unite us together in love, song, and joy.

New Village Arts is located at 2787 State St., Carlsbad. (760) 433-3245. Tickets to all 1222 Oceanfront San Diego County tour locations are free but reservations are required. To reserve tickets and for more information, visit or call 760-433-3245. Tickets to 1222 Oceanfront performances at New Village Arts in Carlsbad are $25 and are available at or by calling 760-433-3245.

Skate Rising Learn-to-Skate event, Holiday Jacket Drive

Skate Rising Encinitas is hosting a learn-to-skate clinic and community service opportunity on Saturday, Dec. 10 from 9-11 a.m. at the Encinitas Community Park. The clinic, hosted by Olympians and pro skaters, is open to girls ages 4 to 18 of all abilities. Skate Rising is also welcoming donations of new or gently used jackets and coats for its Holiday Jacket Drive benefiting the Community Resource Center. The park is located at 425 Santa Fe Drive.

‘Together Again For Christmas’ concert in Cardiff

“Together Again For Christmas,” with nearly 90 singers featuring the nine-time International Chorus Champion Masters of Harmony based in Los Angeles, joined by their guest, award-winning Pacific Coast Harmony chorus of La Jolla, will be presented on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 3 p.m. at Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Cardiff-by-the-Sea.

Tickets are $25 and may be purchased now online at with a $2 fee per ticket. Download and print your ticket or save it on your phone. Seating is limited. Order your tickets soon as a sellout is expected. The church is located at 3459 Manchester Ave., Cardiff-by-the-Sea, 92007. Doors open at 2:30 p.m. Open seating. Free parking.

Birch Aquarium kicks off Tidepooling Adventures Jan. 7

From sea anemones to hermit crabs, there is no shortage of life in San Diego’s tide pools. Starting this January, nature lovers will have the opportunity to explore local tide pools with a naturalist from Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego with the return of Tidepooling Adventures. Winter is the ideal time for exploring tide pools as the water recedes far enough to expose a vast area of beach.

During Tidepooling Adventures, guests will hear about the incredible animals that live in the intertidal zone, those rocky spots that are exposed during low tide. In addition, guests will learn how to safely navigate slippery rocks and spot the most elusive creatures in this rugged environment.

The weekend excursions kick off on Jan. 7, 2023. Dates and times vary based on tides; check the aquarium’s website for details. Tickets are $20 for aquarium members, $25 for nonmembers and pre-purchase is required. Participants must be at least 3 years old, and minors must be accompanied by a paid adult. Guests are encouraged to dress in layers, wear sunscreen and closed-toe shoes with a good grip. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

• Birch Aquarium at UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla presents “Oceans at Night” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26, at 2300 Expedition Way. The event for guests 21 and older will include an immersive blend of art, science and technology with live music. Glowing cocktails and food by The French Gourmet will be available for purchase. $27 for Birch members; $30 for non-members.