Dec. 22: Local and regional events


San Diego Junior Theatre presents Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘Gruesome Gallery of Grotesquerie’

Junior Theatre
(Copyright of San Diego Junior Theatre)

San Diego Junior Theatre, the nation’s longest-running youth theatre program, continues its 75th Anniversary Season with the world premiere of Edgar Allan Poe’s Gruesome Gallery of Grotesquerie.

Through tales of murderous madmen or supernatural mystery, Poe’s enigmatic musings endure because they allow us to confront some of our greatest fears and delight in the darkness while reflecting on our own life. Co-developed in collaboration with Junior Theatre students and cast members, this wholly original production will fuse storytelling, poetry, music, movement and puppetry to explore the works of Poe.

In this first-time venture for Junior Theatre, returning director Blake McCarty (last season’s Head Over Heels) brings his years of devising experience as the founder and executive artistic director of Blindspot Collective to guide JT’s students through the process of creating a show from scratch. JT alumnus Morgan Hollingsworth is composing original music for the production. Hollingsworth is no stranger to this subject, having created the musical The House of Edgar Allan Poe, produced in 2019 as part of Weber State University’s mainstage season.

Poe’s Gruesome Gallery of Grotesquerie will run from Jan. 13-22 and is recommended for ages 10 years old and up.

All Junior Theatre productions are performed in Balboa Park’s historic Casa del Prado Theatre, 1600 Village Place, at the corner of Old Globe Way and Village Place. Tickets are $16 - $18. Discounts are available for groups of 15 or more. For tickets and more information, visit or call the box office at 619-239-8355.

Junior Theatre strongly encourages all eligible patrons to be fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19. For the safety of its unvaccinated students who perform without masks, and its young, unvaccinated patrons, masks are still required for all patrons two years old and up. Patrons are asked to check for full details and any policy updates prior to attending a performance.

Penguin Plunge returns Jan. 1

The Penguin Plunge is back from 11a.m. to 11:30a.m. Jan. 1 at the Del Mar Beach near 17th Street. Friends of the Powerhouse is selling

commemorative beach towels to raise money to support its projects. Each towel costs $25; they are available online through Saturday at Bring your receipt and pick up your towel at the event from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Jan. 1 at the Friends of the Powerhouse tent by the lifeguard station at 1700 Coast Blvd., DelMar Beach.

Safari Park features Wild Holidays

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park celebrates the “Wild Holidays” with an expedition of light and travel through places that twinkle, holiday tunes, stilt walkers and seasonal culinary delights from 4 to 8 p.m. through Friday Dec 23 and Dec. 26-31 and Jan. 1 at the park, 15500 San Pasqual Valley Road. Entertainment includes the Light Up the Holidays choreographed lighted tree show with holiday music at Safari Base Camp, Santa at Village Market, Holiday Troubadour, Bridge of Lights, Firefly Stilt Walkers and Journey of Light decorated pathways and Nairobi Lantern Walk, among other attractions. The Safari Park is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. during this event, except Jan. 1 when hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wild Holidays activities are free with Safari Park admission or membership. Visit

Easy Wind to play classic Grateful Dead show at Belly Up

Easy Wind, a Grateful Dead tribute band, will perform at the Belly Up on Thursday, Dec. 29. To help celebrate another trip around the sun, the band will perform an iconic New Year’s Eve show that the Grateful Dead performed way back in 1976 at The Cow Palace in Daly City.

Easy Wind, fronted by Carmel Valley’s Patrick Brown, has built a reputation for creating shows that pull deeply from the vibe and feel of classic ’70’s era Grateful Dead—they are able to embody the style, the jams, and the riffs that were the trademark of the band in their heyday. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. For tickets, visit

Snow N Glow Holiday Festival at Fairgrounds

The Del Mar Fairgrounds hosts a Snow N Glow Holiday Festival with holiday lights attractions from 4 to 9 p.m. daily through Dec. 25 and Thursdays through Sundays through Jan. 1 at 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd. Highlights include a walk-through display of more than 1 million lights, a 100-foot snow tubing hill, live music, Ferris Wheel rides, and igloos reserved for cozying up along with hot cocoa. S’mores kits, festive food, and drinks will be sold. Tickets to the walk-through Snow N Glow path are $19.99 for adults and $15.99 for children ages 3 to 10. Tickets to both the Snow N Glow and the snow activities are $39.99 for adults and children. Admission is free for children ages 2 and younger. Visit

Botanic Garden hosts Lightscape

San Diego Botanic Garden hosts Lightscape from 5 to 8:30 p.m. select nights through Jan. 1 (except Dec. 25) featuring a more than 1-mile trail decorated with holiday lights that winds through the garden with lantern trees, tunnels and light attractions, along with installations from international artists that come alive at night with color and sound at 300 Quail Gardens Drive. Tickets start at $29 for adults, $18 for children ages 3-12, and free for ages 2 and younger. Discounted tickets for garden members and military with ID. Parking is $10 paid online in advance or $20 on day of visit. Entry times are every 15 minutes. Tickets are at

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