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Top weekend events in San Diego for Nov. 24-27: World Cup watch parties, holiday tree lightings and more

USA supporters wait for the start of the World Cup, group B soccer match between the United States and Wales.
USA supporters wait for the start of the World Cup, group B soccer match between the United States and Wales, at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022.
(Francisco Seco / Associated Press)

Here are some of the best things to do in San Diego County for Thanksgiving weekend, including ice skating, “The Sound of Music” and holiday concerts.

It’s Thanksgiving weekend. It’s also the time for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, not to mention the ramping up of the holiday season.

If you’re planning to do some shopping, check out our holiday gift guide.

Need a Christmas gift or any other present for the holidays? This list of ideas will help you choose one for anyone in San Diego, including surfers, book lovers and more

Otherwise, there’s a lot to do this weekend in San Diego County.

Here are the top events happening in the area from Thursday, Nov. 24 to Sunday, Nov. 27.

Thursday

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving dinner doesn’t have to be cooked at home. From sit-down meals to grab-and-go, lots of options are available across San Diego County.

Need to do some last-minute shopping? Check out this list of retailers and grocery stores before you make a trip on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday.

Friday

Fans of Mexico cheer during a World Cup group C soccer match against Poland.
Fans of Mexico cheer during a World Cup group C soccer match against Poland at the Stadium 974 in Doha, Qatar, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022.
(Martin Meissner / Associated Press)

World Cup viewing party with San Diego Loyal: The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park is also showing off its soccer bona fides with “Pride and Glory,” a FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 free weekend watch party, presented by the San Diego Symphony with San Diego Loyal SC. The public is invited to join in watching two matches on the giant LED screens at the symphony’s public bayfront park. Bring a picnic or buy food and beverages onsite. 10:30 a.m. Friday, USA vs. England, and 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Mexico vs. Argentina. 222 Marina Park Way, San Diego. Free. RSVP at bit.ly/3OaAhm4

We put together a guide of some of our favorite soccer bars and neighborhood watch parties for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Gaslamp Quarter World Cup viewing party: Soccer fans can enjoy the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar at an outdoor viewing party in the Gaslamp Quarter. Games include USA vs. England and Mexico versus Argentina. Enjoy the all-ages beverage garden, interactive games and more. Games at 8 and 11 a.m. each day, today through Sunday. Beverage Garden open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Island Street, between Fourth and Fifth avenues, San Diego. Free to attend. bit.ly/3TIL1cP

Winter wonderland: Lakehouse Hotel & Resort opens its Winter Wonderland Friday with a free tree lighting ceremony, featuring holiday sips from hot chocolate to spiked cider (for those 21-plus). Get set for an ugly sweater-themed ice skating session, an appearance from Santa Claus and carolers. Decorations feature a 140-foot holiday light tunnel and a 30-foot Christmas tree. Head to the ice rink for skating, join a Polar Express Hayride or spring for a meal in one of the resort’s “igloos.” Free tree lighting at 6 Friday; ice skating 2 to 9 p.m. daily (tickets $10 kids, $15 adults); Polar Express Hayrides from 4 to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Lakehouse Hotel & Resort, 1025 La Bonita Drive, San Marcos. lakehousehotelandresort.com/winter-wonderland

Safari Park features Wild Holidays: The San Diego Zoo Safari Park celebrates the “Wild Holidays” with an expedition of light and travel through places that twinkle, holiday tunes, stilt walkers and seasonal culinary delights. Entertainment includes the Light Up the Holidays choreographed lighted tree show with holiday music at Safari Base Camp, Santa at Village Market, Holiday Troubadour, Bridge of Lights, Firefly Stilt Walkers and Journey of Light decorated pathways and Nairobi Lantern Walk, among other attractions. 4 to 8 p.m. Nov. 25-27, Dec. 3-4, 10-11, 17-23, 26-31 and Jan. 1. San Diego Zoo Safari Park,15500 San Pasqual Valley Road. The Safari Park is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. during this event, except Jan. 1 when hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wild Holidays activities are free with Safari Park admission or membership. Visit sdzsafaripark.org/wild-holidays.

Liberty Station tree lighting: Ceremonial lighting of Liberty Station’s 88-foot Norfolk pine tree along with entertainment, festive firetruck rides, free photos with Santa, and outdoor holiday movie showings. 5 p.m. Nov. 25. North Promenade at Liberty Station, 2848 Dewey Road, San Diego. Admission is free. Visit libertystation.com/events/salute-the-season/holiday-tree-lighting.

Hyatt goes “Over the Top”: The Manchester Grand Hyatt has transformed its Top of the Hyatt bar into the “Over the Top Holiday Lounge,” a festively decorated pop-up experience that opens Friday and continues through Dec. 28. The lounge has been decorated to resemble a nostalgic family vacation getaway with bunk beds and holiday décor. Four specialty drinks will be served, including the minty vodka cocktail Classy Grinch, the vodka and eggnog Let It Snow, the spiced rum and apple cider Sweater Weather and the Build Your Own Cozy Cabin Coco, with choice of hot chocolate and spirits. Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, 40th floor, 1 Market Place, San Diego. topofthehyatt.com

“The Gifts of the Magi”: Lamplighters Community Theatre presents this musical adaptation of the O. Henry holiday story about an impoverished but devoted young couple who give up their most cherished possessions to buy one another Christmas presents. Opens Friday and runs through Dec. 18. 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. 2 p.m. Sundays. 5915 Severin Drive, La Mesa. $22-$28. (619) 303-5092. lamplighterslamesa.com

‘Plaid Tidings’ San Diego Musical Theatre presents this holiday edition of the popular doo-wop musical comedy “Forever Plaid.” In this version, the long-dead 1960s-era men’s vocal quartet, the Plaids, are resurrected for one night to give the holiday concert they never got to sing in life. Nov. 25 through Dec. 24. 7 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays. 8 p.m. Fridays. 4 p.m. Saturdays. 2 p.m. Sundays. SDMT Stage, 4650 Mercury St., San Diego. $40 and up. (858) 560-5740. sdmt.org

“The Nutcracker”: New West Ballet’s 41st production includes a cast of more than 50 performers, with a combination of professionals and pre-professional dancers. 7 p.m. Nov. 25, 2 and 7 p.m. Nov. 26 and 2 p.m. Nov. 27. The 2 p.m. show Nov. 26 is a family and sensory-friendly abridged show and all tickets that day are $15. Poway Center for the Performing Arts, 15498 Espola Road, Poway. $27-$42. newwestballet.com

Saturday

Debbie Gibson at the 2022 International Tennis Hall of Fame Legends Ball in New York
Debbie Gibson will performs Saturday at Viejas Casino. She is shown here in concert at the 2022 International Tennis Hall of Fame Legends Ball in New York City.
(Roy Rochlin / Getty Images)

Debbie Gibson’s Winterlicious: Onetime teen-pop star Debbie Gibson is now 52 and on tour in support of the first holiday album of her career. It includes what is being billed as a new “holiday anthem” called “Heartbreak Holiday,” a vocal duet with New Kids On The Block veteran Joey McIntyre. The no longer new kid will, presumably, not be present for the concert but Gibson may elicit some screams from fans on her own. 8 p.m. Saturday. Oak Ballroom, Viejas Casino 5000 Willows Road, Alpine. $30-$35 (must be 21 or older). viejas.com

Sound of Music: The Balboa Theater hosts this musical get-together for fans of “The Sound of Music” who just love to sing along. (Don’t remember all the words? No worries, the lyrics will be on screen) Everyone gets a prop pack, and you can channel your inner Liesl with a costume contest. The party includes a live organ concert featuring Russ Peck on the Wonder Morton Organ. 2 p.m. Saturday. Balboa Theatre, 868 Fourth Ave., San Diego. Tickets $3.50-$35. sandiegotheatres.org/node/179

Jack Tempchin and Mrs. Henry
(Andrew Huse / Courtesy Sideways Media)

“The Last Waltz,” featuring Mrs. Henry, Albert Lee, Scarlett Rivera, Jack Tempchin and more: On Thanksgiving night in 1976, the pioneering Americana-music group The Band performed its farewell concert in San Francisco with such guests as Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Neil Young and Eric Clapton. That concert, the subject of a Martin Scorsese-directed film, will be re-created Saturday, song for song, by award-winning San Diego band Mrs. Henry. The list of guest artist includes such illustrious collaborators as former Clapton band guitar wiz Albert Lee, former Dylan violinist Scarlet Rivera and noted North County troubadour Jack Tempchin. 6 p.m. Saturday. The Magnolia, 210 East Main Street, El Cajon. $26-$30. livenation.com

“The October Night of Johnny Zero”: Backyard Renaissance Theatre presents the world premiere of Francis Gercke’s mystery-comedy-scifi story about a teen boy’s coming of age in 1980s New Jersey. Opens Saturday and runs through Dec. 10. 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays. 7 p.m. Sundays. Backyard Renaissance Theatre at the Tenth Avenue Arts Center, 930 Tenth Ave., San Diego. $18-$40. (760) 975-7189. backyardrenaissance.com

“A Christmas Carol”: Cygnet Theatre presents its 11th annual production of Dickens’ holiday tale featuring Cygnet artistic director Sean Murray as Scrooge. Murray wrote the adaptation and lyrics and directed this production with music by Billy Thompson. It features sing-along Christmas carols, puppetry and special effects. Opens Saturday and runs through Dec. 24. 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays. 8 p.m. Fridays. 3 and 8 p.m. Saturdays. 2 p.m. Sundays. Cygnet’s Old Town Theatre, 4040 Twiggs St., Old Town San Diego. $30 and up. (619) 337-1525. cygnettheatre.com

Tree Lighting at One Paseo: Behold the lighting of a 30-foot Christmas tree. The center will be shimmering with firefly lights in the trees and festive decor. The evening will feature live music performances, snow cascading from the rooftops, Santa, special guests and photo ops. 5 p.m. Nov. 26 at One Paseo, 3725 Paseo Place. Visit onepaseo.com.

Neighborhood merchants throughout San Diego County invite shoppers on Small Business Saturday on Nov. 26

Light Up the Holidays: The Salvation Army hosts its red-kettle kickoff, “Light Up the Holidays.” The free family event includes a tree lighting, holiday music, performances and photos with Santa. Besides money donations, the Salvation Army is accepting new, unwrapped toys. 4 to 6 p.m. Nov. 26. Grossmont Center, 5500 Grossmont Center Drive. Visit salarmy.us/lightuptheholidays.

Parachuting Santa Claus: St. Nick will make a parachute landing for the free family-oriented Jingle Bell Jump event from noon to 3 p.m. The El Camino High School Band and Santa’s elves will lead Santa in a parade from the landing area. Highlights include visits with Santa, carnival games and rides, holiday crafts and cookie decorating, bingo for prizes, free churros and cotton candy, along with a petting zoo, pony rides, carolers and balloon art. Noon. Nov. 26. Mission Marketplace, 471 College Blvd. missionmarketplaceoceanside.com.

Sunday

The cast of The Old Globe's "Ebenezer Scrooge's BIG San Diego Christmas Show."
The cast of The Old Globe’s “Ebenezer Scrooge’s BIG San Diego Christmas Show.”
(Jim Cox)

‘Ebenezer Scrooge’s BIG San Diego Christmas Show’: The Old Globe presents the Gordon Greenberg and Steve Rosen adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” re-set in 1800s-era San Diego with music, comedy and puppetry. 7 p.m. Tuesdays-Sundays. 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Through Dec. 24. Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, The Old Globe, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park, San Diego. $34-$85. (619) 234-5623. theoldglobe.org

“Uplifting Gestures”: Artist Leslie Pierce is presenting this multimedia art installation that features video projections, drawings and paintings as well as participants’ drawings from the “Uplifting Gestures” public event. The exhibit was made possible through a Collaborative Grant awarded by the NTC Foundation and runs through Wednesday. Noon to 6 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Dick Laub Command Center, Liberty Station, 2640 Historic Decatur Road. Suite 104, San Diego. ntcfoundation.org

Lighting of Christmas Tree: Christ Presbyterian Church will kick off the Advent season with a festival of light from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Nov. 27 on the patio and in the lobby, 7807 Centella St. The event includes Advent wreath and Nativity set crafts for kids, fellowship around the fire, a hot chocolate bar and treats, culminating in lighting the outdoor Christmas tree. Visit christ-pres.church.

A Village Family Christmas: This is a free, communitywide event for families. Highlights include Christmas cookies, cocoa and coffee, along with traditional carols and jingle bell pop songs performed by soloists. Make Christmas ornaments and wreaths to decorate for the holidays. 4 p.m. Nov. 27. Village Church, 6225 Paseo Delicias. villagechurch.org.

OMA presents ‘Legacy: 25 Years’: The Oceanside Museum of Art is now exhibiting “Legacy: 25 Years of Art and Community,” a two-part exhibit of works previously exhibited at the museum from its 25-year history. Curated by Danielle Deery, the exhibit is designed to show how the museum has gone from humble beginnings to a renowned contemporary art center. “The Early Years (1997 to 2014)” and “The Recent Years” (2014-2021)” are being exhibited concurrently. “The Early Years” runs through Jan. 29. “The Recent Years” continues through Feb. 19. Sculptor Cheryl Tall’s “Zena and Zelda” (pictured) is in the “Recent Years” exhibition. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays. 704 Pier View Way, Oceanside. Free to $10. (760) 435-3721. oma-online.org


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