Balboa Park December Nights
Friday, Dec. 2 and Saturday, Dec. 3
The city of San Diego and the Balboa Park Conservancy co-produce this annual tradition with two free nights of festivities at Balboa Park. For the 39th year, the community is invited to partake in fun, food and attractions throughout the park. December Nights will be held from 3–11 p.m. on Friday and noon–11 p.m. on Saturday with complimentary admission to Balboa Park museums from 5–9 p.m. Live entertainment throughout the event will include musical and dance presentations by San Diego Junior Theatre, San Diego Civic Youth Ballet, Del Cerro Baptist’s Christmas Story Tree and more. Visit balboapark.org/decembernights for more info.
The USO Giving Tree and holiday entertainment
Saturdays in December
Every Saturday through Christmas Eve, the Headquarters at Seaport (789 W. Harbor Drive, Marina District) will present free holiday entertainment in their outdoor courtyard area while USO of San Diego collects donations and gifts under the Giving Tree to support military families in need. Performances will include:
- Dec. 3: Valhalla High School band from noon–2 p.m.
- Dec. 3: 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing Jazz Combo band comprised of Marines, sailors and civilians from 3–4 p.m.
- Dec. 10: Navy Band Southwest’s 32nd Street Brass band from noon–1 p.m.
- Dec. 17: Valhalla High School band from noon–4 p.m.
South Park Winter Walkabout
Saturday, Dec. 3
South Park Business Group presents this quarterly festival to support brick-and-mortar businesses in the area. The free event will feature complimentary treats, live entertainment and special offers at various businesses. This time of year, visitors can also enjoy Luminaria – South Park’s season of lights when the streets are lined with sparkling trees through New Year’s Day. The Walkabout highlights the business district from Kalmia and 30th streets on the north end to Beech and 30th streets on the south end. An info booth will be set up in the parking lot of California Liquor on Juniper and 30th streets. There will also be a free trolley making stops every 15 minutes at four spots around South Park. The event will take place from 6–10 p.m. Get details at southparksd.com.
The Waterfront Bar & Grill anniversary party and holiday fundraiser
Monday, Dec. 5
The Waterfront (2044 Kettner Blvd., Little Italy) will host its anniversary party from 6 a.m.–10 p.m. with $1 sliders and $1 Coors Lights for those that donate $10 to the Marine Corps Christmas Fund. The fund helps military families enjoy a festive Christmas dinner. Donations will be taken at the door and in past years The Waterfront has raised thousands of dollars for a good cause. Visit facebook.com/waterfrontsd for more information.
Holiday Bazaar and open house
Thursday, Dec. 8
Sparks Gallery (530 Sixth Ave., Downtown) will host this free event featuring jewelry and small works crafted by local artists. During the event from 5–9 p.m., there will be holiday treats and beverages served; a live painting demonstration by Alexander Arshansky; a kids craft corner and more. Visit bit.ly/2gSupRL for more info.
Poinsettia dedication celebration
Thursday, Dec. 8
Friends of Balboa Park is organizing poinsettia dedications at the Balboa Park Botanical Building in partnership with the city of San Diego’s Park and Recreation Department The $25 purchase is a tax deductible gift and the flowers will be on display through early January. This celebration will be held for Friends of Balboa Park members, poinsettia donors and their recipients from 3–5 p.m. at the Botanical Building (1549 El Prado). RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, Dec. 5 and donate a poinsettia at bit.ly/2gSCjL0.
East Village Holiday Tree Lighting and Quartyard’s Holiday Market
Thursday, Dec. 8 and Friday, Dec. 9
Quartyard (1102 Market St., East Village) will host a two-day holiday market from 5-10 p.m. featuring craft vendors, holiday cocktails, a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus. Plus there will be a bike valet hosted by East Village Association on Dec. 8 as well as a tree lighting ceremony to kick off the free two-day event. Proceeds benefit the East Village Landmark Sign project. Visit eastvillagesandiego.com for more details.
Sponsored by the Union-Tribune, this holiday event for pet owners and their furry family members will return to the Gaslamp Quarter from 1–5 p.m. The parade starts (at 3 p.m.) and ends at MLK Promenade Park (Fourth Avenue and K Street). Entry for the parade is $15 per pet in advance and $20 on the day of the event. There will be nine costume categories with prizes for pets, owners and families. Check-in and registration will start at 12:30 p.m. The coinciding pet expo will feature more than 25 pet-related vendors at Hilton Gaslamp Park (401 K St.). Visit holidaypetparade.com for more information and to register your pet.
Christmas Eve and Day Dining Cruises
Saturday, Dec. 24 and Sunday, Dec. 25
Hornblower Cruises and Events is hosting brunch and dinner dining cruises on Christmas Eve and Day. Attendees will be greeted by holiday carolers when boarding and a traditional holiday buffet will be served while the yacht sails around San Diego Bay. The brunch cruises will feature free-flowing Champagne and sparkling cider. Boarding will start at 11 a.m. and the cruise will be from 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. Prices start at $64.95. The Christmas Eve dinner cruise boards at 4:30 p.m. and sails from 5–7:30 p.m. Prices starts at $92.95. The Christmas Day dinner cruise boards at 3:30 p.m. and sails from 4–6:30 p.m. Prices start at $92.95. Visit hornblower.com to book your cruise.
Christmas Eve dinner, Christmas Day brunch and Christmas Day dinner
Saturday, Dec. 24 and Sunday, Dec. 25
Hornblower Cruises and Events’ on-land venue, The Abbey (2825 Fifth Ave.) will host several holiday meals over Christmas weekend. The venue was originally constructed as an Episcopal church in 1910 and is San Diego’s only remaining Classic Revival structure. Attendees will enjoy a seasonal buffet with desserts, Christmas carolers, holiday music and more. Prices start at $49 for adults with discounts available for seniors, military and children. Visit hornblower.com to make reservations.
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