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San Diego Events Calendar: December 2018

How to be busy and important this month in San Diego


Great Russian Nutcracker

December 1:

Make your way through the twinkling Garden of Lights at San Diego Botanic Garden (through 12/30).

Browse seasonal vendors, enjoy live entertainment, and embark on a horse carriage ride at Little Italy Tree Lighting & Christmas Village, kicking off in Piazza della Famiglia.

Snack on scones and mini sandwiches at La Valencia’s new Holiday Afternoon Tea service (weekends through 12/30).

Get in the holiday spirit at North Park Toyland Parade & Festival along University Avenue.

Shop local at the South Park Holiday Walkabout & Luminaria.


December 2:

It’s a battle for the best bowl at SoNo Fest and Chili Cook-Off in North Park, with all proceeds benefiting the McKinley School Foundation.

SoNo Fest and Chili Cook-Off

Make progress on your shopping list in The Local Holiday Bazaar, featuring regional boutiques and artisans at Corky McMillin Event Center in Liberty Station.

Join the Hanukkah Celebration & Menorah Lighting in Liberty Station’s Central Promenade to mark the start of the holiday.


December 4:

Catch performances from the season 15 cast of So You Think You Can Dance on their live tour at the Civic Theatre.

The Year to Come world premiere at La Jolla Playhouse revisits the same family on several New Year’s celebrations, going backward in time to explore how they became who they are (through 12/30).


December 7:

Head to Balboa Park’s popular two-day holiday celebration, December Nights, for music, food, light displays, and other attractions.

December Nights

City Ballet of San Diego presents The Nutcracker, accompanied by a live orchestra and chorus at Spreckels Theatre (through 12/23).

The choral opera All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 at Balboa Theatre tells the true story of World War I soldiers entering no-man’s land to celebrate together (through 12/9).

Stake your spot along Orange Avenue for Coronado’s Annual Holiday Parade & Open House.

Bring the whole family to downtown La Mesa’s two-day Holiday in the Village for caroling, crafts, and children’s activities.


December 8:

Get a taste of the tropics during the Island Food and Beer Festival San Diego at Waterfront Park.

Shop the Makers Arcade Holiday Fair for local handmade goods at Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier.

Sing out loud to “Soul Man” as The Blues Brothers take center stage at Harrah’s Resort Southern California.

Fleetwood Mac | Photo: Shutterstock

You can “go your own way,” but don’t miss Fleetwood Mac at Viejas Arena.


December 9:

Snag a spot along the waterfront to watch scores of boats decked out for the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights in the spirit of this year’s theme, “A Tropical Island Christmas” (also 12/16).

Stroll L’Auberge Del Mar Holiday Market, reminiscent of European shopping sprawls, featuring local artisans and refreshments.


December 11:

Puerto Rican singer and guitarist José Feliciano, credited as the first Latin artist to successfully cross into the English market, brings his easy listening to Balboa Theatre.


December 13:

Have yourself A Merry-Achi Christmas at Balboa Theatre.

Fanilows unite as Barry Manilow presents A Very Barry Christmas at Viejas Arena.


December 14:

California Ballet Company performs The Nutcracker accompanied by San Diego Symphony at the Civic Theatre (through 12/23).

It’s a real-life Etsy shop at the two-day Queen Bee Market at Del Mar Fairgrounds.

Watch a screening of Love Actually In Concert, with San Diego Symphony playing the live score, at Copley Symphony Hall.


December 15:

The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus takes on popular holiday hits all weekend long in Jingle at Balboa Theatre.

Trevor Noah

The Daily Show host, comedian, and writer Trevor Noah stops by Viejas Arena.


December 16:

Dress your animals in festive costumes to march The Vet + Pet West Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade downtown.

The Vet + Pet West Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade | Photo: WASIOphotography.com


December 18:

Acoustic group Windham Hill presents Winter Solstice at Balboa Theatre.


December 20:

Moscow Ballet hits the Copley Symphony Hall stage for the Great Russian Nutcracker.


December 28:

Embrace your partner during the five-day San Diego Tango Festival at Wyndham San Diego Bayside.


December 29:

Take in a pop instrumental performance with vibrant multimedia effects at Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis at the Civic Theatre.


December 30:

John Legend saves the best for last—San Diego Civic Theater—to close out his first-ever holiday album tour, A Legendary Christmas.


December 31:

Ring in 2019 at Big Night San Diego’s all-inclusive New Year’s Eve Gala in the Hilton San Diego Bayfront.

Hotel del Coronado closes out its yearlong 130th anniversary celebration with The World’s Greatest Legend, a black-tie New Year’s Eve party.

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