San Diego’s top weekend events: Nov. 25-28

Comic-Con International
(Nelvin C. Cepeda | San Diego Union-Tribune)

Here are the top events happening in San Diego from Thursday, Nov. 25 to Sunday, Nov. 28.

Thursday, Nov. 25

Thanksgiving Day

Happy Turkey Day! If you want to skip cooking this year, check out these Thanksgiving Day dining options offered at local restaurants, as well as our favorite mashed potatoes in San Diego.

Father Joe’s Villages Thanksgiving 5K

Kick off Thanksgiving Day with some exercise! Father Joe’s Villages’ Turkey Trot 5K is back for its 20th year. After the race, there will be music performances, a beer garden, photos with Santa, and pies for purchase. Race starts at 7:30 a.m. 1549 El Prado, Balboa Park. Registration starts at $45 (adult) and $35 (age 18 and under).

Friday, Nov. 26

Comic-Con Special Edition

Ron Maggi of Chula Vista takes a selfie during Comic-Con International at the 2019 San Diego Convention Center
Ron Maggi of Chula Vista takes a selfie at the Comic-Con photo wall during Comic-Con International at the San Diego Convention Center on Saturday, July 20, 2019 in San Diego, California.
(Hayne Palmour IV/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

A Special Edition Comic-Con — a scaled-down, in-person fall event — will take place this weekend. The event will be filled with panels, special guests, film screenings, games, autograph sessions and shopping for collectables. And don’t miss the Masquerade Costume Competition in Ballroom 20 on Saturday night, which gives attendees a chance to show off their creativity and win awards. Friday through Sunday. San Diego Convention Center, 111 West Harbor Drive, downtown. Badges are $150 for all three days; Proof of vaccination or a negative test taken on or after Nov. 23 are required. Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to wear a face covering.

READ MORE: What we’re most looking forward to at Comic-Con Special Edition

San Diego Virtual Jazz Fest and Swing Extravaganza

If it’s Thanksgiving weekend, that means it’s time for San Diego Jazz Fest, one of the longest-running jazz and swing festivals in the country. But ... don’t get your dancing shoes on just yet — this year’s event is once again going virtual. Throughout the weekend, you’ll be able to watch streamed performances by groups like High Society Jazz Band, Mad Hat Hucksters, and Sue Palmer & Her Motel Swing Orchestra. Throughout the day today through Sunday. Donations welcome. Performances will be available to watch at

Turkey Bash

Moka, a "generic tiger" celebrated his first birthday at Lions Tigers and Bears
Moka, a “generic tiger” celebrated his first birthday at Lions Tigers and Bears, the big cat and exotic animal rescue organization, July 27, 2019, in Alpine, California by enjoying a birthday party packed with chicken and a few surprises to excite his senses.
(Howard Lipin/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Want to see a lion eat a turkey? How about a bear enjoy a stuffed pumpkin? On Thanksgiving weekend, head to Lions Tigers & Bears in Alpine to watch rescued animals chow down on Turkey Day staples. Not only will the lions and bears enjoy a feast, but all proceeds from the event will benefit the animals — providing them food, veterinary care, habitat maintenance and more. 10 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Lions Tigers & Bears, 24402 Martin Way, Alpine. $60 (adult) and $35 (age 12 and under), with discounts available for members. 619-659-8078;

Desert Oracle

San Diego, California - November 05: Kocean performs in a new music venue called Bridges on Friday, Nov. 5, 2021.
San Diego, California - November 05: Kocean performs in a new music venue called Bridges on Friday, Nov. 5, 2021 in San Diego, California. The all-ages venue was formerly a church.
(Ana Ramirez/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

San Diego’s newest all-ages music venue is back with its second event! Desert Oracle, a radio show/podcast by Ken Layne, will perform live at Bridges. 7 p.m. 6555 Balboa Ave., Clairemont Mesa. Tickets are $25.10 at; visit for venue information and show updates. Masks mandatory. Proof of full vaccination or negative COVID test within previous 72 hours required for entry.

READ MORE: There’s a new, all-ages music venue in San Diego. Here’s the low-down on Bridges

Slim Jim Phantom

Stray Cats drummer Slim Jim Phantom continues to represent the world of rockabilly via fashion, a podcast, an autobiography and, of course, through music. Known as a show-stopping performer, he returns to the stage to perform his brand of rock for a 21+ crowd. 9:30 p.m. today. Casbah, 2501 Kettner Blvd., Midtown. $22 to $25;

New West Ballet’s “The Nutcracker”

The North County ballet school kicks off the holiday season with its 40th anniversary production of “The Nutcracker.” Along with waltzing flowers and leaping snowflakes, the show will have live accompaniment by Pacific Lyric Association Orchestra. 5 p.m. today; 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday ; 2 p.m. Sunday . Poway Center for the Performing Arts, 15498 Espola Road, Poway. $15-$37 (760) 525-6738 or

READ MORE: Where to see “The Nutcracker” in San Diego

Chris Kattan at the Laugh Factory

Spend a night in San Diego and see “Saturday Night Live” and “A Night at the Roxbury” star Chris Kattan as he headlines four shows over the long holiday weekend. 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday . The Laugh Factory, 432 F Street, Gaslamp. $25;

Saturday, Nov. 27

Surfin’ Santa at Seaport Village

Surfin' Santa at Seaport Village
(Seaport Village)

Swing by Seaport Village for to meet a very SoCal Santa! Donned in a Hawaiian shirt, Surfin’ Santa will arrive on Tuna Harbor Pier and make his way down the boardwalk for a parade. After the procession, Surfin’ Santa will stop to take photos with guests. Plus, there will be live music and entertainment starting at noon. A map of the parade route (and photo op location) is available to view online. 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday. Seaport Village, 849 West Harbor Drive, Embarcadero. Free;

Adams Avenue Spirit Stroll

Festive folks got into the holiday spirit at the Adams Avenue Spirit Stroll along Adams Avenue on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019.
Festive folks got into the holiday spirit at the Adams Avenue Spirit Stroll along Adams Avenue on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019.
(Jared Gase/ )

Sip, shop and stroll along Adams Avenue on Small Business Saturday! Presented by Cutwater Spirits, the sixth annual Adams Avenue Spirits Stroll returns to the University Heights, Normal Heights and Kensington neighborhoods. Ticketholders will receive holiday-themed drinks and treats at spirit and sweet stops, located at more than 20 participating businesses, and cocktails at the spirits stops will be crafted by San Diego bartenders from a dozen local establishments. There will be a complimentary trolley and a map is available to view online. 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday. Happening along Adams Avenue from University Heights to Kensington. Pick up tickets at will call, located at Smitty’s Service, 3441 Adams Ave., Normal Heights. $25;

Country Christmas in Julian

December 17, 2019: Wooden arrows pointing the way to different businesses in Julian area.
A group of wooden arrows pointing the way to different businesses in Julian are at the corner of Main Street and Washington Street, December 17, 2019 in Julian, California.
(Howard Lipin/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Take a drive to Julian for day full of festivities, including shopping at decorated storefronts, entertainment in Pioneer Park, and a tree lighting between 5:30 and 6 p.m. Don’t forget to take kids to Town Hall, where they can write and mail letter to Santa, as well as add a decoration to the felt tree. Saturday. Throughout Julian. Free;

The Greyboy Allstars

Do you remember 1994, back when The Greyboy Allstars had a Wednesday night residency at the Green Circle Bar (R.I.P.)? That’s when the jazz-funk outfit cemented itself as one of the most innovative local bands around — a reputation that continues to hold true, even though the band members (Karl Denson, Michael Andrews, Robert Walter, Chris Stillwell and Aaron Redfield) have gone on to work on other, high-profile projects. Relive a night of soul, groove and Latin boogaloowith the original harbingers of cool. 8:30 p.m. Saturday. Belly Up, 143 S. Cedros Ave., Solana Beach. $30 and $33;

Final Boss Gaming Event

Attention gamers! Redination presents an all-ages gaming event at Music Box. The contest will feature video games like Super Smash Brothers, FIFA, Call of Duty, Halo and Madden, along with drone racing and dominoes. Plus, enjoy live music performances from Microphone Doctors, Eturnul and more. 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Music Box, 1337 India St., Little Italy. $10; Proof of full vaccination or negative COVID test within previous 72 hours required for entry.

Fall Market at Tavern at the Vogue

Shop local this season on Small Business Saturday! There will be numerous events in honor of the holiday happening throughout San Diego County, including a Fall Market at Tavern at the Vogue. Browse more than 20 small business vendors, then stop by the bar/restaurant to fuel up or recharge. 1-5 p.m. Saturday. Tavern at the Vogue, 230 Third Avenue, Chula Vista. Free;

Sunday, Nov. 28

Menorah lighting at Liberty Station

Commemorate the first night of Hanukkah with the Chabad congregations of Downtown and Pacific Beach at this family-friendly event at Liberty Station’s Central Promenade. In addition to an outdoor menorah lighting, there will be a comedy juggler, crafts for kids, music, donuts and dreidels. 5 p.m. Sunday. Liberty Station, 2641 Truxton Road, Point Loma. Free;

“The Last Waltz” Concert

San Diego-based band Mrs. Henry will celebrate “The Last Waltz” documentary with a grand concert of its own at The Belly Up. The show pays tribute to both The Band’s music as well as the 1978 film, and features musicians Jack Tempchin, Marc Ford, The DecaDames, Mike Stax, Bryan Barbarin, Shane Hall, and the Fresh Veggies Micro Brass Horn Ensemble among others. 7 p.m. Sunday. Belly Up, 143 S. Cedros Ave., Solana Beach. $21.95;

Night Beats

Psychedelic/garage rock band Night Beats will perform a 21-and-up show at Soda Bar, which also features openers Wild Wild Wets and DJ Andrew McGranahan. 8 p.m. Sunday. Soda Bar, 3615 El Cajon Blvd., Normal Heights. $23; Proof of full vaccination or negative COVID test within previous 72 hours required for entry.