What’s Happening in San Diego



One of SoCal’s best ballparks transforms into a beautifully wintery North Pole scene during Holiday Wonderland at Petco Park. With Christmas- and winter-themed activities and attractions to enchant kids and kids-at-heart alike, this Holiday Wonderland will be equally magical and memorable. Under the twinkle and glow of festive lights, you and yours will be able to visit Santa’s Workshop, feed live reindeer, ride a Polar Express train, explore Candyland, take a photo with Santa near a 40-foot-tall Christmas tree and buy a copy to take home or give as a gift. Holiday-themed concessions and merchandise will be available for purchase throughout the ballpark.

San Diego Bay Parade of Lights

Coronado Ferry Landing, (1201 1st Street Coronado, CA 92118)

Irving Berlin’s White Christmas on Stage With Live 21-Piece Orchestra

The musical stage adaptation of Irving Berlin’s beloved 1954 holiday film White Christmascomes to the Birch North Park Theatre this holiday season, complete with a live 21-piece orchestra. Brimming with such timeless Berlin hits as “Blue Skies,” “How Deep is the Ocean?” and the unforgettable title song, White Christmas tells the story of U.S. Army veterans Bob Wallace and Phil Davis, a pair of performers in a successful song-and-dance act after World War II. With romance in mind, the two follow a duo of beautiful singing sisters en route to their Christmas show at a Vermont lodge — which, as it turns out, just happens to be owned by Bob and Phil’s former Army commander. When they learn that the inn’s future is in jeopardy, the showbiz gents team up with the sisters and save the day by producing a sparkling, family-friendly holiday show bursting with cheerful dancing, treasured tunes and a generous helping of yuletide cheer.

The Nutcracker: The Dazzling Holiday Favorite From California Ballet Company

San Diego Civic Theatre, (1100 3rd Avenue San Diego, CA 92101)

It just isn’t the holidays without The Nutcracker, which comes to magical life on the San Diego Civic Theatre stage complete with beautiful fairies, handsome princes and a lovely young lady on her way to the Sugar Candy Kingdom. Audiences of all ages will enjoy the magical story of Clara, who dreams that her new toy nutcracker soldier has come to life. Together, they experience a fantastical adventure that leads them through an epic battle with the Rat King to the Sugar Plum Fairy’s magical Land of Sweets. Based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s tale The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, California Ballet Company’s production portrays the main character of Clara as an older child who’s just beginning to dream of love.

A Christmas Carol: Traditional Holiday Fave With All-New Music

Join Scrooge and the gang, including Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim and the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future in this musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol. This timeless story of redemption and forgiveness captures the true spirit and magic of the holiday season through the transformation of the miserly old Ebenezer. Set in Victorian times, this new musical adaptation has an original score by Billy Thompson, amazing puppetry, and live Foley sound effects. Full of 19th century tradition, the show also features a 21st-century twist that will delight the entire family!

Holiday Favorite The Nutcracker From City Ballet

Voted “San Diego’s Best Nutcracker” by San Diego Dance Alliance Tommy Awards, and described as “a plum of a Nutcracker,” by the San Diego Union-Tribune, City Ballet’s 20th annual Nutcracker returns to the historic Spreckels Theatre in downtown San Diego. This lavish production is fashioned after the choreography of the great Russian master Lev Ivanov who created the very first Nutcracker more than 100 years ago. Virtuoso dancing is complemented by opulent sets, costumes and Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s brilliant score performed live by The City Ballet Orchestra with John Nettles conducting. The cast is made up of professionals from the City Ballet company, with children’s roles performed by the top talent from the City Ballet School. This beloved holiday ballet follows young Clara on an exciting Christmas night journey through an enchanted dreamworld, where she encounters the Nutcracker Prince, fights epic battles and travels to the magical kingdom of the Sugar Plum Fairy.

La Pastorela de Inspiración: A Mexican Holiday Tradition

The story of poor shepherds who are themselves shepherded by Archangel Miguel to Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus, La Pastorela de Inspiración is a classic holiday tale in the centuries-old tradition of Mexico. The devil knows how important this event is, and he sends his most intimidating minions to shake the shepherds’ faith. Featuring music and topical humor appropriate for the whole family, this pastorela play is part of San Diego’s longest-running theatrical holiday show.

Michael Jackson Impersonator Devra Gregory’s Highly Personal Woman in the Mirror

In this award-winning, one-woman tour de force, professional dancer and Michael Jackson impersonator Devra Gregory takes audiences on a music- and dance-fueled odyssey through her fascinating life’s journey with passion and humor. Weaving in the threads of her spiritual quests — Judaism to transcendental meditation, Buddhism to Wiccan priestess — with past dance experiences in the worlds of jazz, modern, burlesque and beyond, Woman in the Mirror: A Dancer’s Journey explores Gregory’s transition from fearful child to empowered woman. In the end, Gregory reaches her most challenging work as a Michael Jackson impersonator, seeking to find equality as a woman in a male-dominated world.

San Diego Ballet’s The Nutcracker, Featuring an International Cast

Jacobs Music Center, Formerly Copley Symphony Hall (750 B Street San Diego, CA 92101)
San Diego Ballet brings America’s favorite holiday event to dazzling life in its 25th-anniversary production of The Nutcracker, which features Tchaikovsky’s timeless score and a cast of more than 100 beautifully costumed dancers from China, Japan, Russia, South Africa, Mexico and the United States, as well as San Diego School of Ballet’s children from all over San Diego county. Based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s beloved holiday tale, this glittering production follows young Clara, who receives the gift of a nutcracker at a family Christmas party, magically leading to a grand adventure that begins with a handsome prince and an epic battle between mice and toys, and ends with a delightful journey to the Land of Sweets.

Ice Skating Outside at Horton Square: Benefit for Rady Children’s Hospital

Ice skating outside in San Diego? That’s right, come for a twirl at the 18th annual Fantasy On Ice, a benefit for the Peckham Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego. If it’s not one already, make ice skating at Horton Square a holiday tradition. Glide around a winter wonderland looking up at the towering buildings and beyond at the moon and stars while listening to the sound of metal blades skimming over smooth ice. The bonus is that while you and your family and friends are playing outside in the fresh air, you’ll be helping kids, too.

The Marvelous Wonderettes’ Holiday Musical:Winter Wonderettes

Winter Wonderettes — the sequel to ’60s girl group musical The Marvelous Wonderettes — picks up the action on Christmas 1968, a few months after the Wonderettes’ 10-year high school reunion. This festive comedy brings back the signature four-part harmony of Missy, Suzy, Betty Jean, and Cindy Lou, as they perform at the Harper’s Hardware Store Holiday party. The evening has taken an unexpected turn for the worse and it’s up to the girls to bring everyone’s spirits back up with songs like “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” “Santa Baby,” “Jingle Bell Rock,” “O Tannenbaum” and “Mele Kalikimaka.”

Cure Tribute Band The Cured Leads ’80s Party at Holiday Hangover

The holiday season may be coming to a close, but that doesn’t mean the party is over. House of Blues San Diego wants to take you back to the 1980s with its Holiday Hangover concert, featuring some of the best tribute bands in the area. Headlining the show is The Cured, which plays all the gloomy pop hits from the The Cure, including “Lovesong” and “Friday I’m in Love.” In addition, you’ll hear classic songs from The Joshua Tree (U2), Idolized (Billy Idol), Fears for Tears (Tears for Fears) and Cosmic Thing (B-52s). There’s also happy hour before the show, with food and drink specials, contests and prizes, so get ready to have some flashback fun at this 80s concert showcase.

The American Comedy Co. — The Finest in Stand-Up Shows

Whether it’s established national headliners taking the stage or promising up-and-comers behind the mic, The American Comedy Co. is dedicated to providing you with the absolute finest in stand-up entertainment by manufacturing the most laughs in town. Situated in the heart of San Diego’s hip Gaslamp District, the speakeasy-style bar and restaurant has showcased the top touring comics in the country, including names like Dave Foley (Kids in the Hall), Brian Posehn (Mr. Show), Finesse Mitchell (SNL), John Caparulo (Chelsea Lately) and many, many more.

Forget Scrooge! Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol Tells the Real Story

Everybody knows the story of Ebenezer Scrooge’s miraculous redemption, but what about his late business partner, Jacob Marley? Marley, after all, was the ghost responsible for the old miser’s transformation, so isn’t it time he got a little recognition? A funny and heartwarming show, Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol takes you behind the scenes of Charles Dickens’ holiday classic. Chained and shackled, Marley is condemned to a hellish eternity. He’s even given his own private tormentor: a malicious little hell-sprite who thoroughly enjoys his work. To escape his own chains, Marley must first redeem Scrooge. So begins a journey of laughter and terror, redemption and renewal, during which Scrooge’s heart is opened — but not before Marley discovers his own.

The Nutcracker: A Holiday Musical Tale Based on the Classic Ballet

A fresh theatrical interpretation of The Nutcracker reinvents E.T.A. Hoffmann’s original holiday tale with lots of humor and heart. This modern theatrical production weaves together magic, original song and spellbinding spectacle to tell the story of young Clara’s journey to save Christmas with the help of a magical nutcracker who comes to life. With book by Jake Minton and Phillip Klapperich, music by Kevin O’Donnell and lyrics by Jake Minton, this West Coast premiere is a treat the whole family will enjoy.

Northern Lights: A Tale of One Family’s Holiday Foibles

This year, Lamb’s brings back one of the theater company’s favorite Festival of Christmas scripts, Northern Lights, which was last produced 10 years ago. This is playwright Kerry Meads’ (Boomers, American Rhythm) most personal story, centered around a Minnesota family celebration in 1962. In this music-filled celebration of family ties, three generations adjust their traditional holiday plans after the pipes burst at the family home. Surprise guests, family discoveries and a magnificent night sky all make for one memorable Christmas.

Swinging Holiday Play The 1940’s Radio Hour

Patio Playhouse, Corner of Grand Ave and Kalmia St in Escondido (201 E Grand AvenueEscondido, CA 92025)
The golden age of radio comes to life in the nostalgia-filled holiday favorite The 1940’s Radio Hour. It’s December 1942, the world is at war and “Strike Up the Band” and “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” are topping the charts. New York’s little-radio-station-that-could, WOV, is about to air its final broadcast of the holiday-themed Mutual Manhattan Variety Cavalcade — that is if the show’s harried producer can corral a drunk lead singer, a delivery boy looking for his big break, a second banana who dreams of singing a ballad, and a trumpet-playing sound-effects man who chooses a fighter plane over Glenn Miller. Nominated for five Drama Desk Awards when it premiered on Broadway in 1980, The 1940’s Radio Hour is chock-full of favorites tunes — including “Ain’t She Sweet,” “Blue Moon,” “You Go to My Head” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” — that’ll guarantee you have a swingin’ Christmas.

Sing Along With Handel’s Messiah and the City Ballet

You’ve always wanted to sing gorgeous classical music with a huge chorus and professional orchestra. Here’s your chance! City Ballet invites all singers, and would-be singers, to sing along with the chorus to the majesty of Handel’s Messiah. This is a full audience participation production backed by live musicians, a large on-stage choir and professional soloists. Written in 1751, Messiah is the most performed choral work in the English language, and for many, it is a winter holiday tradition. Bring your own score or rent one in the lobby and join the chorus. Hallelujah!

For discounted tickets, visit http://www.goldstar.com/.  Enjoy!