Things to do in December

It’s (almost) December! Events to look out for next month include Miracle on 30th, Makers Arcade Holiday Fair, Toast of Gaslamp, San Diego Santa Run and SDCCU Holiday Bowl.

11.25-12.31: Sippin’ Santa Pop-Up

This temporary, Tiki-themed tavern welcomes guests to wet their whistles on wintry drinks including the rum-based Kris Kringle Colada and the Christmas Eve of Destruction.

The Grass Skirt, Pacific Beach,

A photo of Sippin’ Santa Pop-Up
Sippin’ Santa Pop-Up
(Randy Schmidt)

11.29-12.31: Miracle on 30th

Normal Heights’ posh cocktail spot transforms into a winter wonderland serving cheekily named Christmas cocktails amid kitschy décor that’ll brighten the spirits of even the grouchiest Grinch.

Polite Provisions, Normal Heights,

A photo of Miracle on 30th
Miracle on 30th
(Melissa Hom)

11.30-1.1.20: Winter Wonderland at The Grand

Head to Fairmont Grand Del Mar for a ride on the Ferris wheel, selfies with Santa around a 25-foot Christmas tree, live music, holiday shopping and many more festive activities. New this year is an outdoor ice skating rink that is open to the public, which also features special ice shows on select Fridays. Check the website for specific weekday and weekend hours. (Sara Butler)

Fairmont Grand Del Mar, Del Mar,

12.1: 10th Annual SoNo Fest & Chili Cook-Off

Forty local restaurants compete to create the city’s best chili while 24 purveyors of craft beverages provide refreshments, 30 merchants showcase their wares and local bands like The Creepy Creeps and The Amandas perform on three stages.

32nd & Thorn streets, North Park,

A photo of SoNo Fest & Chili Cook-Off
SoNo Fest & Chili Cook-Off
(Nancee E. Lewis)

12.2: So You Think You Can Dance Live!

The Emmy Award-winning show that reignited America’s fascination with dance celebrates the conclusion of its 16th season during this stop of its nationwide tour featuring the Top 10 finalists.

Balboa Theatre, Downtown,

A photo of So You Think You Can Dance Live!
So You Think You Can Dance Live!
(Fox Broadcasting Co.)

12.6-7: December Nights

Featuring new light displays and inspirational choirs, this iconic, two-day extravaganza celebrates its 42nd anniversary. Guests will find access to an endless amount of international food as well as exhibits, entertainers and other attractions at many of the park’s museums.

Balboa Park,

A photo of December Nights
December Nights
(Hayne Palmour IV/San Diego Union-Tribune)

12.7: Jingle Bell Run

Do your part to find a cure for arthritis at this holiday-themed 5K that encourages runners to dress up in their North-Pole best.

Liberty Station, Point Loma,

12.7: 28th Annual Red Nose Run

Choose to run either 3K or 5K on this Fido-friendly fundraiser followed by drinks and bites at the picturesque Poseidon Restaurant.

Del Mar Beach, Del Mar Beach,

A photo of Red Nose Run
Red Nose Run
(Bill Wechter)

12.7: Winter Wonderland Festival

Scamper in real snow, create winter-themed crafts and rub noses with live reindeer as the North Pole takes over the heart of Escondido with carolers, stilt walkers and new light installations among other decorations.

Lyric Court, Escondido,

12.7: A John Waters Christmas

The director, comedian and artist famous for his cult films brings his explicitly irreverent style of storytelling to San Diego for one night.

The Observatory, North Park,

A photo of Director John Waters
Director John Waters
(Mireya Acierto/Getty Images)

12.7-8: San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus Jingle

Join 200 of San Diego’s most talented singers, dancers and musicians as they present a family-friendly holiday show featuring traditional favorites and modern classics.

Balboa Theatre, Downtown,

A photo of The San Diego Gay Men's Chorus
The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus
(Hayne Palmour IV/San Diego Union-Tribune)

12.7-8: Queen Bee Market

This urban-style artisan market includes more than 100 local and national vendors specializing in handmade and vintage accessories, along with clothing, home décor, furniture and more.

Del Mar Fairgrounds, Del Mar,

A photo of Queen Bee Market
Queen Bee Market
(Megan Plenge)

12.7-8: Makers Arcade Holiday Fair

Meet makers, listen to live music and express yourself at the make-and-take craft center during this unique event that includes scrumptious bites, a free photo booth and finely crafted cocktails.

Port Pavilion @ Broadway Pier, Downtown,

A photo of Makers Arcade Holiday Fair
Makers Arcade Holiday Fair
(Jasmine Fitzwilliam)

12.8: Vista Winterfest 2019

Enjoy holiday carolers, a horse-drawn carriage and colorful ballet dancers at this free, family-friendly fete that also includes a seasonal marketplace, wintertime movies and a roaming mariachi band.

Along Main Street, Vista,

12.12: Taste ’ ‘n’ Tinis

Shop till you drop during this self-guided sip ’n’ stroll in which many Uptown restaurants serve samples of signature dishes while local boutiques mix holiday martinis and other festive cocktails for customers.

Throughout Hillcrest,

A photo of Taste' 'N' Tinis
Taste ’ ‘n’ Tinis
(Courtesy photo)

12.13: Straight Up With Stassi Live feat. Beau Clark & Taylor Strecker

Television personality, fashion blogger and author Stassi Schroeder discusses TV, culture and celebrity gossip with her guests as the Vanderpump Rules star records her hit podcast, Straight Up With Stassi.

The Magnolia, El Cajon,

12.13-14: La Mesa Holiday in the Village

Get into the holiday spirit by ambling through historic downtown La Mesa while enjoying live music, craft merchants and occasional fire pits where you can warm your weary bones.

Throughout La Mesa Village,

12.14: Poway Christmas in the Park

Travel back to a simpler time this holiday season with steam locomotives, horse-drawn hayrides, a petting zoo and live entertainment reminiscent of an earlier era.

Old Poway Park,

12.14: Toast of Gaslamp

Raise a glass to the heart of downtown during this decadent evening that includes treats from 20 of the Gaslamp’s top restaurants complemented by scorching deals at 10 of the area’s most desirable retailers.

Throughout the Gaslamp Quarter,

12.14: San Diego Santa Run

Choose from the competitive Speedy Santa Mile, the kid-friendly Santa’s Elves’ Mile or the pet-friendly Santa’s Little Helper Mile, then put your drink ticket to good use at the post-race party before the PB Holiday Parade.

Garnet Avenue, Pacific Beach,

A photo of San Diego Santa Run
San Diego Santa Run

12.19: Merry Achi Christmas

The 13-piece mariachi ensemble Sol de Mexico performs traditional carols with a Mexican twist in this joyous celebration that fuses the holiday spirit with facets of culture from both sides of the border.

Balboa Theatre, Downtown,

Maricahi Sol de Mexico
(Camille Tarazon)

12.21: San Diego Holiday Half Marathon

Burn hundreds of holiday calories on this 13.1-mile course that follows the bike path along State Route 56 and includes a 711-foot drop in elevation.

From Penasquitos Drive to Torrey Pines State Beach,

A photo of San Diego Holiday Half Marathon
San Diego Holiday Half Marathon
(Christian Rodas/UT San Diego/Zuma Press)

12.26: Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade

Join 100,000 street-side spectators as one of the country’s biggest balloon parades unites world-class marching bands and entertaining drill teams in a sea of floats and inflatables.

North Harbor Drive, Embarcadero,

12.27: SDCCU Holiday Bowl

Two Division-I football teams face off after a heart-pounding pregame featuring marching bands, parachute jumpers and a football-field-sized American Flag.

SDCCU Stadium, Mission Valley,

A photo of SDCCU Holiday Bowl
SDCCU Holiday Bowl
(K.C. Alfred)

12.28: Magical Cirque Christmas

Experience the magic of Christmas in this spellbinding new holiday production featuring Cirque artists from around the world performing to timeless holiday tunes.

San Diego Civic Theatre, Downtown,

A photo of Magical Cirque Christmas
Magical Cirque Christmas
(Lou Baldanza)

San Diego Gulls Home Games

  • 12.7 vs. Colorado Eagles
  • 12.11 vs. Grand Rapids Griffins
  • 12.17 vs. Grand Rapids Griffins
  • 12.20 vs. San Jose Barracuda
  • 12.21 vs. Stockton Heat
  • 12.28 vs. Ontario Reign
A photo of San Diego Gulls
San Diego Gulls
(Chadd Cady)

San Diego Sockers Home Games

  • 12.13 vs. Ontario Fury
  • 12.15 vs. Soles of Sonora
  • 12.22 vs. Tacoma Stars
  • 12.20 vs. Soles of Sonora
A photo of San Diego Sockers
San Diego Sockers
(Chadd Cady)


Rock the holiday with these parades, tree lightings and boat parades

Here’s where to party in San Diego this New Year’s Eve