San Diego’s top weekend events: Dec. 23-28

Balloons in a staging area before the start of the Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade
Balloons in a staging area before the start of the Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade on Thursday, December 26, 2019 in San Diego, California.
(Hayne Palmour IV/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Here are the top events happening in San Diego from Thursday, Dec. 23 through Tuesday, Dec. 28. Check event websites for latest health protocols.

Thursday, Dec. 23

City Ballet’s “The Nutcracker”

As Spreckels Theatre undergoes renovations, City Ballet takes its popular, Victorian-era “Nutcracker” on the road. The ballet still showcases choreography by Elizabeth Wistrich and will be accompanied by The City Ballet Orchestra, with John Nettles conducting the Tchaikovsky score. 2 and 7:30 p.m. Thursday. California Center for the Arts, Escondido, 340 N Escondido Blvd., Escondido. $32 to $99;

Golden State Ballet’s “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. 2 and 7:30 p.m. Thursday. San Diego Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave., downtown. $28.50-$109;

READ MORE: Where to see ‘The Nutcracker’ this year

Las Posadas: A Mexican Christmas Celebration

This special performance of “Las Posadas: A Mexican Christmas Celebration” from Mariachi Champaña Nevin features a reenactment of Las Posadas — Mary and Joseph’s arrival in Bethlehem. Program includes “Feliz Navidad,” “Santa La Noche (O Holy Night),” “Ave Maria,” “Navidad, Navidad” and more. 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Balboa Theatre, 868 Fourth Ave., downtown. $29.50 to $75;

Cash’d Out Christmas

San Diego’s beloved Johnny Cash tribute band performs a 21+ Christmas concert with opening act, Graceband. 8 p.m. Thursday. Belly Up, 143 S. Cedros Ave., Solana Beach. $25 to $27;

READ MORE: Shine bright! Here are the best places to see holiday lights in San Diego

‘Elf’ Marathon

Rooftop Cinema Club is closing out its 2021 season with a special event: a 12-hour marathon of “Elf,” the 2003 classic holiday flick starring Will Ferrell. 11 a.m., 1:30, 4:30, 7:30 and 10 p.m. Thursday. Rooftop Cinema Club, Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, 1 Market Place, downtown. Tickets start at $17.50;

Friday, Dec. 24

Exile on Kettner Blvd.

The rock ‘n’ roll Christmas Eve tradition returns. Local musicians perform The Rolling Stones’ 1972 double album in its entirety at this 21+ show. 9:30 p.m. Friday. Casbah, 2501 Kettner Blvd., Midtown. Free;

Sunday, Dec. 26

“Mystery Science Theater 3000” Live

The movie-riffing robots are back on the road, riffing off the film, “Making Contact.” Be prepared for a night of movie satire, niche humor and plenty of cheese. 7 p.m. Sunday. Balboa Theatre, 868 4th Ave., downtown. $29.50 to $61;

Doug Loves Movies Live

Comedian Doug Benson — known for the movie “Super High Me” — brings his podcast “Doug Loves Movies” to a live audience. 4:20 p.m. Sunday. American Comedy Co., 818 Sixth Avenue, Gaslamp. $20;

Mal Hall

San Diego comedian Mal Hall kicks off a small West Coast tour with a 21-and-up hometown show. 7 p.m. Sunday. The Comedy Store La Jolla, 916 Pearl St., La Jolla. Tickets are $25;

Monday, Dec. 27

A Magical Cirque Christmas

Acrobats suspended in the air
Acrobats from “A Magical Cirque Christmas”
(Courtesy of Broadway San Diego)

Broadway San Diego presents the national touring production of this holiday-inspired Montreal-style cirque show with circus acts, magic and holiday songs and music performed live. 7:30 p.m. Monday. San Diego Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave., San Diego. $27.50 and up.

READ MORE: Deck the halls: The ultimate guide to the holidays in San Diego

Bowl Bash’s Battle of the Bands

Marching bands of UCLA and NC State will face off in Snapdragon Bowl Bash’s Battle of the Bands. After the show, activities — like more live music, street performers, photo booths and face painting — will span four blocks of Gaslamp. 5 p.m. Monday. Throughout Gaslamp Quarter, with bands performing at Fifth Avenue and Market Street. Free;

‘80s Concert at Petco Park

Enjoy music for a good cause at Petco Park with Snapdragon Bowl Bash’s concert benefiting Rady Children’s Hospital. The lineup spotlights popular bands from the 1980s, including A Flock of Seagulls, The English Beat, Missing Persons and Taylor Dayne. 6 p.m. Monday. 840 K St., Gallagher Square at Petco Park, East Village. $40 for standing room; $55 for seated tickets.

Tuesday, Dec. 28

Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade

More than 100,000 people are expected to flock to the Holiday Bowl Parade, self-described as the largest balloon parade in America. The progression will showcase marching bands, colorful floats, drill teams and, of course, lots of balloons. A map of the parade route is available to download online. 10 a.m. Tuesday. Along Harbor Drive, Embarcadero. Free to view street side, with limited grandstand tickets available for $25.

SDCCU Holiday Bowl

The UCLA Bruins take on the NC State Wolfpack for the San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl, which was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19. 5 p.m. Tuesday. Petco Park, 100 Park Blvd., East Village. Tickets start at $90;

Donavon Frankenreiter

The popular surfer-turned-musician starts the first of a two-night gig at the Belly Up. Christina Holmes opens the 21+shows. 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 29. Belly Up, 143 S. Cedros Ave., Solana Beach. $30 and $33;

Check event websites for latest health protocols.