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San Diego’s top weekend events: Dec. 16-19

A boat decorated in Christmas lights on San Diego Bay at night
A boat participates in The 50th annual San Diego Bay Parade of Lights in San Diego on Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021 in San Diego. About 80 decorated boats made their way around the bay.
(K.C. Alfred/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Here are the top events happening in San Diego from Thursday, Dec. 16 to Sunday, Dec. 19.

Thursday, Dec. 16

Béla Fleck

For his My Bluegrass Heart tour, banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck returns to San Diego to showcase the genre that started his Grammy-winning, multi-decade musical career: bluegrass. The concert will highlight beloved songs from the genre featuring an all-star band — mandolinist Sam Bush, dobro player Jerry Douglas, fiddler Stuart Duncan, bassist Edgar Meyer, and guitarist Bryan Sutton. Proof of vaccination or negative COVID test required to attend. 8 p.m. Thursday. Balboa Theatre 868 Fourth Ave., downtown. $33 to $68; sandiegotheatres.org.

Botanic Wonderland at San Diego Botanic Garden

Botanic Wonderland at San Diego Botanic Garden.
(Bonnie Taylor/@famdiego)

The Botanic Wonderland returns to the San Diego Botanic Garden, turning its lush grounds into a twinkling holiday wonderland. The family-friendly event features activities like the mile-long, lighted path that takes guests through the Garden’s waterfall, gazebo lawn, children’s garden and other areas, photos with Santa (from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on nights before Christmas), hands-on kids’ activities, including writing letters to Santa, live carolers and various food and drink vendors. 5:30 to 9 p.m. through Dec. 23 and Dec. 26-30. The San Diego Botanic Garden, 300 Quail Gardens Drive, Encinitas. $10 to $22; free for children under age two. Advanced tickets required at sdbgarden.org/botanic-wonderland.htm.

The Tammy Tour

Stop by the Laugh Factory to see “The Tammy Tour: One Trailer at a Time,” an 18-and-up comedy set starring Chelcie Lynn. 8 p.m. Thursday, 7:30 and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The Laugh Factory, 432 F St., Gaslamp. laughfactory.com/clubs/san-diego

JP Sears at American Comedy Co.

A YouTuber whose videos have amassed over 300 million views, JP Sears prides himself on thoughtful satirical videos that poke fun at modern life and politics. Catch him as he headlines a whopping nine shows this weekend. 8 p.m. Thursday , 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Friday , 5, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday ; 5, 7 and 9 p.m. Sunday . American Comedy Co., 818 Sixth Avenue, Gaslamp. Prices start at $30; americancomedyco.com

Golden State Ballet presents “The Nutcracker”

The classic production features choreography by former California Ballet artistic director Jared Nelson. Professionals and more than 50 students from the award-winning academy will dance to the Tchaikovsky score, performed by the San Diego Symphony. 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday; 1 and 5:30 p.m. Sunday; 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 22-23. San Diego Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave., downtown. $28.50-$109; sandiegotheatres.org.

Opening has been postponed to 2 p.m. Saturday. Check goldenstateballet.org for latest information.

READ MORE: On stage, the return of ‘The Nutcracker’ and the birth of a ballet company

Friday, Dec. 17

“A People’s Cuban Christmas Tale”

OnStage Playhouse presents the final weekend of San Diego Repertory Theatre artist in residence Herbert Siguenza’s reimagining of Charles Dickens’ holiday tale set in 1950s Cuba, where “Ezequiel Scrooge” is an American sugar baron fighting to control workers just before the Cuban revolution. Features classic Cuban Christmas music. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 2 p.m. Sunday. 291 Third Ave., Chula Vista. $22.50-$25. (619) 422-7787. onstageplayhouse.org

Holiday Glow Ball (Ugly Christmas Sweater Edition)

Grab your golf clubs and your ugly Christmas sweaters for this special Holiday Glow Ball (Ugly Christmas Sweater Edition) with You & Yours Distilling Co. at The Loma Club. The popular Glow Ball takes place at night, on the lit-up course at The Loma Club’s nine-hole golf portion. A welcome hot toddy and festive canned cocktail tasters will be provided. Check-in: 6 p.m.; shotgun start: 7 p.m. The Loma Club, 2960 Truxtun Road, Liberty Station. $40; thelomaclub.com.

Dance Like Dynamite

K-Pop fans: Get ready to dance the night away to the genre’s best artists, including hits from BTS. 9 p.m. Friday. Soda Bar, 3615 El Cajon Blvd., Normal Heights. $25.50; sodabarmusic.com. Proof of full vaccination or negative COVID test within previous 72 hours required for entry. Masks required for all attendees.

Lil Jon at Parq

An audience enjoys live music at Parq on Saturday, June 8, 2019.
An audience enjoys live music at Parq on Saturday, June 8, 2019.
(Isiah Jones/ )

Get ready to shake it like a salt shaker with Lil Jon as he spins at one of San Diego’s favorite nightclubs. 10 p.m. Friday . Parq Nightclub, 615 Broadway, downtown. $24.74; parqsd.com

Tommy Chong Meet-and-Greet

Wanna go green for the holidays this year? Beloved actor, comedian and cannabis rights activist Tommy Chong will be hanging out at two San Diego March and Ash locations for a meet-and-greet with fans. While you’re there, check out his line of THC and CBD products. 21+. 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (City Heights), 2 to 4 p.m. (Chula Vista) Friday . March and Ash: 2281 Fairmount Avenue, City Heights and 684 Telegraph Canyon Road, Chula Vista. RSVP for more information at marchandash.com/chong

Saturday, Dec. 18

Family movies with the San Diego Symphony

What’s better than family movie night? Family movie night with live symphony accompaniment, of course. This week — as many children are off for their holiday breaks — the San Diego Symphony is presenting two different movie nights: “The Muppet Christmas Carol” on Saturday, and Disney’s “Frozen” on Wednesday. At each event, the movie will be projected on a giant, outdoor screen as the orchestra performs music from the films live. 5 p.m. Saturday and Wednesday. The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, 222 Marina Park Way, downtown. $25 to $95; theshell.org.

Holiday Edition Boozy Garden Tea Time

The Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa will host a Holiday Edition Boozy Garden Tea Time.
The Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa will host a Holiday Edition Boozy Garden Tea Time.
(Courtesy of Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa.)

The Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa will host a special event in its lush Secret Garden area. Enjoy gin and tea cocktails served tableside, gourmet holiday treats and dainty sandwiches. Festive outfits are encouraged. Noon to 3 p.m. Saturday . Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa, 9700 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla. $80; estancialajolla.com/special-events/holiday-happenings.html.

Ziggy Shuffledust and the Spiders from Mars

In San Diego, it’s kind of a tradition to see this David Bowie tribute around the holidays. The show is back for 2021, featuring opening acts Electric Warrior and DJ Camilla Robina. 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Casbah, 2501 Kettner Blvd., Midtown. $15 plus fees; casbahmusic.com.

Don Carlos

Jamaican reggae singer Don Carlos performs for a 21-and-up show at Music Box. Openers are Eureka Sound x Nick Sefakis, plus DJ Ital. 9 p.m. Saturday. Music Box, 1337 India St., Little Italy. $33; musicboxsd.com. Proof of full vaccination or negative COVID test within previous 48 hours required for entry. Masks required for all attendees.

Noah Kahan

Singer-songwriter Noah Kahan, known for his folk-pop sound, performs a San Diego show on his “I Was / I Am Tour,” featuring opener Blake Rose. 8 p.m. Saturday. House of Blues San Diego, 1055 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp. $22-$70; houseofblues.com/sandiego/concert-events. Proof of full vaccination or negative COVID test within previous 24 hours (antigen) or 48 hours (PCR)required for entry. Proof of vaccine or negative test must be printed out; see website for details.

Kip Moore

Country music star Kip Moore brings his “How High Tour 2021" to SOMA, accompanied by special guest Jordan Fletcher. 7 p.m. Saturday. SOMA, 3550 Sports Arena Blvd. $38; somasandiego.com. Proof of full vaccination or negative COVID test within previous 24 hours (rapid test) or 72 hours (PCR)required for entry. Masks required for all attendees.

Sunday, Dec. 19

San Diego Ballet’s “The Nutcracker”

Last year, San Diego Ballet presented a drive-in version of “The Nutcracker.” For 2021, the traditional holiday ballet is back in a theater and features professional and student dancers retelling the magical story of Clara receiving a nutcracker for Christmas and visiting the Land of the Sweets. 1 and 5 p.m. Sunday. The Magnolia, 210 E. Main St., El Cajon. $45 to $115; sandiegoballet.org.

San Diego Sockers

Get ready for some soccer! The San Diego Sockers kick off their season with its home opener game against Chihuahua Savage. 5:05 p.m. Sunday. Pechanga Arena, 3500 Sports Arena Blvd. Tickets are $20-$45; pechangaarenasd.com/events. Proof of full vaccination or negative COVID test within previous 24 hours (antigen) or 48 hours (PCR)required for entry. Masks required for all attendees.

Holiday singalong at the Conrad

Take a break from holiday prep with a free evening of music and cheer from La Jolla Music Society. This family-friendly event features a reading of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” by librarian Katia Graham, plus singalong holiday tunes performed by the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus. 5 p.m. Sunday. The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center, 7600 Fay Ave., La Jolla. Free; register at ljms.org.

Abbey Road: A Tribute to the Beatles

Celebrate the holidays with Paul, John, George and Ringo! The members of Abbey Road, a Beatles’ tribute band, present “Christmas with the Beatles” — a seated, 21-and-up show featuring mashups of holiday tunes and Beatles’ hits. 7 p.m. Sunday. Music Box, 1337 India St., Little Italy. $22; musicboxsd.com. Proof of full vaccination or negative COVID test within previous 48 hours required for entry. Masks required for all attendees.

Sip N Shop

Metl Bar Creamery hosts a holiday event where folks can shop from 14 local vendors. Plus, enjoy a welcome cocktail and food samples! 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday. Metl Bar Creamery, 2835 University Ave., North Park. Free; metlbar.com

Gaslamp Quarter Holiday Pet Parade and Pups in the Pub Party

A classic San Diego holiday event returns: The Gaslamp Quarter Holiday Pet Parade and Pups in the Pub Party invites people and their festive four-legged friends to don their finest holiday gear and participate in a parade down Fifth Avenue through the Gaslamp. There will be contests, prizes, an after-party and more. 1 p.m. Sunday . Pet parade starts at Fifth Avenue and K Street. Pups in the Pub Party will be on Island Avenue between Fourth and Fifth. Parade and party are free, but drink tickets are $15. gaslamp.org/holidays

Bivouac Ciderworks’ Holiday Hangout

Enjoy Bivouac Ciderworks’ latest release, Scenic Route cider, plus enjoy ornament making, flannel sugar cookies from Blackmarket Bakery, holiday music and Christmas movies. 2 p.m. Sunday . Bivouac Ciderworks, 3986 30th Street, North Park. $35; bivouaccider.com

READ MORE: Cheers to the holiday season with Bivouac Ciderworks’ Clove Hitch

Comedy Night at 619 Spirits

Kash Komedy presents Comedy Night at 619 Spirits, North Park’s distillery and restaurant. Featured comics include Alex Petit, Pallavi Gunalan, Kat Thomas, Sammy Cantu and headliner Bob Hansen. This series will occur every other Sunday, with rotating comedians. There is no cover charge and 619 Spirits will provide happy hour specials all night. 7 p.m. Sunday . 619 Spirits, 3015 Lincoln Avenue, North Park. 619spirits.com

San Diego Bay Parade of Lights

A photo of San Diego Bay Parade of Lights
San Diego Bay Parade of Lights
(Nelvin C. Cepeda/San Diego Union-Tribune)

The second installation of the famous San Diego Bay Parade of Lights is this weekend. Enjoy over 80 boats, lit up and decorated in the 2021 theme, the Twelve Days of Christmas, as they sail the bay with the sparkling city skyline as the backdrop. 5:30 p.m. Sunday . Along the San Diego Bay from Shelter Island to Coronado. Free; sdparadeoflights.org

READ MORE: San Diego Bay Parade of Lights returns for its 50th year


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