Holiday festivals, parades, Christmas concerts, Hanukkah celebrations, Bethlehem walks and community events to celebrate the season are coming to North County.
Holiday concert: Features Christmas songs performed by the Seaside Singers from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Dec. 13-14 at the Carlsbad Senior Center, 799 Pine Ave. The 35-member vocal group will perform ongs such as "Hark the Herald Angels," "White Christmas Medley," "Amen! Go Tell It On The Mountain!" and "O Holy Night." The choral group is directed by Jeff Sell, with accompanist Violeta Petrova and Mark Phelps on bass. Free admission. For questions about joining the choral group, call (760) 602-4650.
Community Hanukkah celebration: Festivities include menorah lighting, latkes and donuts, holiday songs with Cantor Larry Kornit and Rabbi Ben Leinow and renewal ceremony, starting at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 15 at Congregation B'nai Tikvah, 2510 Gateway Road. Enter the Latke Contest or bring a dairy item to share. Also, A free family Hanukkah party is from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Dec. 19 with children’s activities, songs and a play at B’nai Tikvah. Both are sponsored by the National Jewish Outreach Program’s "Chanukah Across America." (858) 472-0303.
Holidays at Legoland: Festivities include holiday-themed entertainment, 30-foot-tall Lego Christmas tree and Winter Holiday Market during extended park hours Dec. 9 and 16 featuring “German Christmas Market” with traditional German items, such as holiday breads, grilled sausages and giant Bavarian pretzel. Visit legoland.com or call (760) 918-LEGO (5346).
Free holiday films: Free movie Saturdays at The Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch, 13490 Pacific Highlands Ranch Parkway, are at 6 p.m. Dec. 9, featuring “Polar Express,” and Dec. 16, featuring “Elf,” with live music starting at 5 p.m. Visit phrvillage.com.
Garden of Lights: San Diego Botanic Garden will be adorned with more than 125,000 lights from 5 to 9 p.m. through Dec. 30 (except Dec. 24-25). Nightly entertainment includes blues and jazz bands and Santa with horse-drawn wagon rides and snow on some evenings, family crafts, food, marshmallow roasting and mulled wine and beer along with holiday gift shop. Admission: $15 or $20 Fridays and Saturdays; $10 for seniors, students; $5 for ages 3-12. Free for military on some dates. Visit sdbgarden.org.
Holiday Makers Market: The market will be from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 10 in the Community Park at 425 Santa fe Drive. More than 60 artist and makers will be donating a portion of their sales to different charities and nonprofits. Festivities include live music, treats, diy crafts and visit from surfing Santa. Visit encinitasmakersmarket.com
Christmas parade: The 67th annual Escondido Jaycees Christmas Parade with the theme “Christmas at the Cinema” takes off at 9:30 a.m. Dec. 9 from Escondido High School and goes south on Broadway to Grape Day Park. In honor of the 50th anniversary of Patio Playhouse, the parade will be led by Brenda Townsend, vice president and director of Youth Theater at Patio Playhouse Community Theater. Visit escondidojaycees.com/parade.
Farmstead Christmas: The 1880s Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead, 12655 Sunset Drive, holds a holiday party from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 10. Highlights include crafting Christmas decorations similar to those made by San Pasqual Valley pioneers, farmhouse tours, hot drinks and cookies, and Christmas music. Suggested donation: $3 for individuals, $5 for families. Email email@example.com or call (760) 432-8318.
Bethlehem Walk: The First United Methodist Church of Escondido will host the 30th annual Bethlehem Walk with a recreation of the birthplace of Jesus Dec. 8-10 at 341 S. Kalmia St. The free Bethlehem Walk tours begin every five minutes during designated times: 5:30 to 8:55 p.m. Dec. 8; 4 to 8:25 p.m. Dec. 9 and 4 to 7:55 p.m. Dec. 10. Reservations are recommended and give priority entrance. Reserve at fumcescondido.org.
“Let the Bells Ring” concert: The Center Chorale and The Center Children’s Chorus present a Christmas concert at 3 p.m. Dec. 13 at Grace Lutheran Church, 643 W 13th Ave. The Bell Choir of the First United Methodist Church in Escondido, conducted by David Leigh Shearer, will join the choral ensembles in the concert with English hand bells and organ. Tickets at EscondidoChoralArts.com cost $20 for adults and $10 for students.
Holiday Express: The Coaster’s Holiday Express departs from the Oceanside Transit Center and takes passengers on a 65-minute nonstop round-trip down the coast and back. The decorated train will feature carolers and a visit from Santa Claus and his friends. The rides are at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. Dec. 9 and 10 a.m. and noon Dec. 10. Tickets cost $10 at gonctd.com.
Holiday concert: The Music Men Chorus of the Palomar-Pacific Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society of America and Pacific Belles, a women’s four-part a cappella chorus, will perform a holiday concert at 2 p.m. Dec. 16 at the Oceanside Senior Center. The Music Men will also present Christmas programs at Palomar West Mobile Home Park in San Marcos at 7 p.m. Dec. 9 and 5:45 p.m. Dec. 16 at Via Verde Estates in Escondido. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit musicmenchorus.org. For tickets to the joint concerts, visit www.pacificbelleschorus.org.
Oceanside’s annual tree lighting: Music and festivities start at 5 p.m. Dec. 7 at Regal Cinema Plaza, 401 Mission Ave. Horse and carriage rides, amusement rides, zip lines and bounce house tickets will be sold. Free cookies and milk for children and free holiday craft-making. At 6 p.m., Santa will arrive for the tree lighting and photos. Sunset Market will be open. Free parking is available in the Civic Center parking structure and Oceanside Transit Center. Visit oceansiderec.com.
Boat parade: The Parade of Lights celebration with boats decorated for the holidays circling through the Oceanside Harbor is from 7 to 10 p.m. Dec. 9; sponsored by the Oceanside Yacht Club, 1950 Harbor Drive North. Call (760) 722-5751 or visit ci.oceanside.ca.us.
Christmas concert at church: The First Presbyterian Church Oceanside Chancel Choir and Orchestra will present “Gloria!” at 7 p.m. Dec 9 at 2001 El Camino Real. The Advent Choral Concert will include Christmas anthems and carols directed by Robert Larson, with accompanist Steve Vandlen and special guests Cherylyn Larson, soprano, and Patricia McAfee, mezzo-soprano. Visit fpcoceanside.org.
Menorah lighting: A community Menorah lighting is at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 13 at Oceanside City Hall Plaza, 330 N. Coast Highway. Festivities include live music, circus hoopers performance, hot cocoa and latkes. Local dignitaries are slated to speak. Visit jewishoceanside.com.
Holiday jazz concert: The First Christian Church of Oceanside hosts a Holiday Jazz Concert at 3 p.m. Dec. 10 at 204 S. Freeman St. The performance features Bob Boss on guitar, Jaeryoung Lee on piano and Marshall Hawkins on bass. Freewill offering; suggested donation is $10. CDs signed by artists will be available. Visit fccoside.org or call (760) 722-8522.
Family Christmas: Grace North County hosts a one-hour family Christmas service at 7 p.m. Dec. 13 followed by festivities at the church campus, 1602 S. El Camino Real. There will be kid-friendly worship and a Polar Express performance. Festivities after the service include pictures with Santa, cookies and hot chocolate, and a train ride. Children are welcome to come in their favorite Christmas pajamas. The event concludes by 9 p.m. Call (760) 760-433-9922 or visit gracesd.tv.
Car Menorah Parade: The parade for the Hannukah season starts with lighting of the menorah at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 12 at Chabad of Poway, 16934 Chabad Way, and travels to Westfield North County mall in Escondido, culminating in a celebration with menorah lighting, doughnuts and a Hebrew school performance at the mall’s second floor entrance. The parade is slated to include 10 vehicles, each with a menorah mounted on top. Visit chabadpoway.com.
Hannukah funzone: A Hannukah celebration with booths, crafts, fair, dreidel house, and moon bounces followed by a Menorah lighting and “Chocolate gelt drop” from a firetruck will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Dec. 18 at Chabad of Poway, 16934 Chabad Way. Visit chabadpoway.com.
RANCHO SANTA FE
Breakfast in Bethlehem: The Village Church hosts Breakfast in Bethlehem from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Dec. 9 featuring a breakfast buffet and family-oriented interactive retelling of the Christmas story with music and singing. The church is at 6225 Paseo Delicias. Tickets are $10; $6 for children; and free for age 2 and younger. Visit villagechurch.org.
Christmas concert: A Christmas Choral Concert featuring the Village Church Community Chorale and Chancel Choir with orchestra is at 7 p.m. Dec. 10 at 6225 Paseo Delicias. Free; donations welcome. Visit villagechurch.org.
Family Christmas event:Calvary Lutheran Church hosts an intergenerational advent event from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Dec. 10 with retelling of the Christmas story. Participants of all ages can make a wooden Nativity scene to take home. Cookies and apple cider served. Free. The church is at 424 Via de la Valle. Visit calvarylutheranchurch.org; call (858) 755-2855.
Holiday concert: The Valley Center Symphony Brass Quartet will perform a free holiday concert at 4 p.m. Dec. 13 at the Valley Center Library, 29200 Cole Grade Road. Festivities include caroling, cookies and light refreshments, and visit from Santa, who will be available for photos after the concert. The event is sponsored by the Friends of the Valley Center Library. Call (760) 749-1305.
Boosters’ Christmas Concert: The Valley Center/Pauma Music Boosters’ 5th Annual Christmas Concert will be at 6 p.m. Dec. 18 in the Maxine Theater at Valley Center High School, 31322 Cole Grade Road. Students in six performance groups from Valley Center Middle and High School bands will perform holiday favorites and traditional Christmas music. Hot meals, desserts, snacks and drinks will be sold starting at 5 p.m., with proceeds supporting music programs for students. Seats are first-come, first-served. The event will include a raffle, gift baskets and prizes. Call (858) 527-5500 or email email@example.com.
Christmas party: The Vista Historical Society’s annual Christmas Party is from 2 to 4 p.m. Dec. 10 at the Park Terrace Café of the Gloria E. McClellan Adult Activity & Resource Center, 1400 Vale Terrace Drive. The Moonlight Holiday Youth Choir will sing holiday music and refreshments will be served. Santa Claus will visit and might bring gifts for the children. Free. Call (760) 630-0444.
Children’s Chanukah Wonderland: Free community event hosted by Chabad Jewish Center of Oceanside/Vista will be from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Dec. 17 at the center, 1930 Sunset Drive. Highlights include Hanukkah preschool age children's performance; visit from the Dreidel Man, face painting, Toby the Clown, toddler Hanukkah play zone, giant menorah building, story time and latkes and donuts. Free. Visit jewishoceanside.com.
Christmas concert: “Rejoice, Rejoice! Creation Sings” will be at 4 p.m. Dec. 17 at United Methodist Church of Vista, 490 S. Melrose Drive. Highlights include “O Little Town of Bethlehem” and “I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In,” solo by organist Adam Ferrara, arrangements of a carol by musicians Jimmy Patton and Enrique Platas and title piece by the Rev. Frank Hallock, who will lead a pre-concert conversation about the music at 3:15 p.m. The concert features the chancel choir, the Anderson Handbell Choir and chamber orchestra. Light refreshments will be served; free-will donation. Visit umcvista.org.
Holiday carnival: A free family holiday carnival is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 9 hosted by Classic Chariots in their parking lot at 1611 W. Vista Way. The ninth annual event features free children’s games for the children, bounce houses, face painting, food and beverages raffle tickets and free gifts from local community sponsors. Visit classicchariots.net.
Holiday boutique: The Gloria McClellan Senior Center will hold a “Holiday Boutique” from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 8 at 1400 Vale Terrace Drive. The event features handmade, local items such as jewelry and crafts. Call (760) 643-5281.
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