Things To Do In San Diego This Weekend 12/7-9!

Friday, Dec. 7
Rady Children’s Ice Rink
Time: 10 a.m to 10 p.m.
Location: Liberty Station
Grab your skates and take a spin on the ice while supporting a good cause this holiday season. NBC 7 and Telemundo 20 are partnering with Rady Children’s Hospital for this festive ice rink in the heart of Liberty Station. All proceeds benefit the hospital’s Peckham Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. The Rady Children’s Ice Rink is open every day from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. through Jan. 6 at Liberty Station, except Christmas Day. Tickets are $15 for adults and $13 for children. Discounts are available for military personnel.
December Nights
Time: 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday
Location: Balboa Park
Balboa Park’s flagship community event returns with all of the festive flairs that makes it a beloved holiday tradition in San Diego. December Nights is a two-day festival featuring Christmas light displays, choir performances, bands, dancers and holiday-inspired eats. The annual event draws huge crowds, so plan ahead of time to make the most of your outing. Here’s our guide on how to get to December Nights. 
Friday Night Liberty
Time: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Location: The Arts District at Liberty Station
The Arts District at Liberty Station (2640 Decatur Rd.) hosts Friday Night Liberty, a free, monthly art walk showcasing the working artists, dance, music and theatre that are helping the district grow in its mission to highlight the arts culture in San Diego. Bonus: While you’re at Liberty Station, take a stroll to the North Promenade and check out the newly-lit Christmas tree.
Location: Oceanside SpringHill Suites by Marriott
The First Friday Art Walk in Oceanside – at the Springhill Suites Marriott hotel – will highlight dozens of artists and vendors that make the community unique. Attendees can enjoy arts, music, live performances, activities and food at this free, all-ages event presented by the Oceanside Friends of the Arts, an organization that raises funds for scholarships for kids who want attend local arts and culture schools. This Friday, the event will also feature the community’s 4th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony to kick off the holiday season. The tree lighting is at 6 p.m. sharp.
Location: The Old Globe
The Grinch can't stop Christmas from coming this year but he can bring his shenanigans to The Old Globe. For the 21st year, the theater in Balboa Park is showcasing "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" the classic musical with catchy tunes like, "You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch," and "Welcome, Christmas (Fah Who Doraze)." See the show on the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage with tickets starting at $54.
Saturday, Dec. 8
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Location: Council Brewing Co. in Santee
Santee’s Council Brewing Co. hosts this brewery-themed workout session – think grain bag carries, keg walks, keg swings, etc. – with the help of Crossfit East County trainer Joe Craig. After the high-intensity workout, participants will head into the brewery to enjoy a well-deserved cold one. Folks of all fitness levels are welcome to join, as the exercises can be modified to fit one’s abilities. A $15 ticket includes a pint of brew or kombucha; bring a friend and you can both partake for $25 total. Cheers!
A Celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Time: 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Location: Eternal Hills Memorial Park (Oceanside)
Eternal Hills Memorial Park on El Camino Real in Oceanside will host a celebration Saturday of our Lady of Guadalupe that includes music, food and the crowning of our Lady of Guadalupe. The event is free.
Hops, Hash & Hip-Hop Brunch
Time: 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Location: North Park Beer Co.
Hankering to brunch? If you like hops and hip-hop jams, North Park Beer Co. hosts its Hops, Hash & Hip-Hop Brunch, which includes a full menu from Mastiff Kitchen, $4 mimosas and “Brew-Tails” – special mixed drinks featuring North Park Beer Co. beers.
Urban Arctic at Stylus Park
Time: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Location: Stylus Park at Alexan Millenia (1660 Metro Ave.)
Featuring more 100 tons of snow and lots of holiday-themed activities, this inaugural “Urban Arctic” event will take place Saturday at Stylus Park, the central plaza at the new luxury apartments, Alexan Millenia, on Metro Avenue. The community is invited to enjoy the winter wonderland, which will also include a visit from Santa and his ice princess friends, face painting, food and drinks and a “reindeer station.” At the same time, visitors will be able to explore the different communities throughout the new residential development. The event is free.
Location: Waterfront Park
Aloha! For the second year, the Island Food & Beer Fest takes over Waterfront Park in downtown San Diego for a day of tasty eats, brews and entertainment. A $40 general admission ticket includes unlimited beer samples from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., a souvenir cup, access to games and raffles and live entertainment. Bring cash to buy island food or to buy gifts at the Village of Vendors.
Toast of the Gaslamp
Time: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: Gaslamp Quarter
Sip, savor and shop at Toast of the Gaslamp, which invites visitors to stroll through the heart of downtown San Diego in the most delicious of ways: with bites and sips at 20 local restaurants. Eateries partaking in the self-guided tour include Burger Lounge, Gaslamp BBQ, Le Parfait Paris and Rustic Root and Whiskey Girl, to name a few. Your $25 to $30 ticket also includes access to 10 shopping deals at retailers like Lucky Brand Jeans, Oakley, Bubbles Boutique and Reebok Fit Club. Those 21+ who plan to get a little toasty by sampling cocktails along the way must bring an ID.
Christmas in the Park
Time: 3:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Location: Old Poway Park
Poway’s old-fashioned holiday tradition – with carolers and horse-drawn hay rides, to boot – takes over Old Poway Park on Saturday. The free community event includes the lighting of Poway’s Christmas tree at 5:15 p.m. followed by the arrival of Santa Claus, as well as nighttime rides around the park on the Poway Midland Railroad and pony rides (both for a small fee). Bring cash for tasty holiday treats and other gift-worthy goodies. Attendees can park at Poway City Hall (13325 Civic Center Dr.) or the Poway Adult School Parking Lot (13626 Twin Peaks Rd.) and ride free shuttles to and from the event. 
Holiday by the Bay
Time: 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Location: Hilton San Diego Bayfront
Looking for a little more excitement this holiday season? New this year, the Hilton Bayfront is opening a holiday adventure park along San Diego Bay. Holiday by the Bay features reimagined traditions -- like a two-story ice tubing slide, “iceberg” bumper cars and a dynamic light show centered around a Christmas tree, to name a few. For adults, festive cocktails will be doled out at the Yule Lodge cocktail bar. The adventure park is open through Jan. 5, 2019, to those with a ticket, starting at $20 or $15 for those under 12. Some activities cost extra. 
Location: Viejas Arena at Aztec Bowl San Diego State University
The beloved British-American rock group – and one of the world’s best-selling bands – performs this one-night-only gig at Viejas Arena. Surely, Fleetwood fans will be hoping for the hits from the Rock Roll Hall-of-Famers like “Rhiannon,” “Go Your Own Way,” “Black Magic Woman” and “Landslide.” There are still some $87 seats available for the concert; other seating ranges from $100 to $300.
Sunday, Dec. 2
Guided Nature Walk
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Location: Mission Trails Regional Park
Start your Sunday with a little nature walk at Mission Trails Regional Park. A trail guide will take visitors through one of three trails -- the Oak Grove Loop, the Visitor Center Loop or the Riverside Grinding Rocks -- while talking about the plants, animals, geology, history, and ecology of the park. These weekly guided walks are free and open to the public and begin at the Visitor Center. Wear sturdy shoes and bring water, a hat and sunscreen. Rain cancels the walk.
Santa at the Lakes
Time: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Location: Santee Lakes
Santa Claus heads to Santee for this annual community festival at The Lakes, which includes a “Snow Hill,” crafts, face painting, pony rides and more. Parking costs $10; tickets for activities and rides cost $1 each, with most activities costing between one and seven tickets.
A Very Carnitas’ Christmas
Time: 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Location: Carnitas’ Snack Shack
The Snack Shack along the Embarcadero will have live entertainment during the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights, should this be your preferred parade-viewing location. The Shack will offer festive treats during the event including hot chocolate, peppermint soft-serve and holiday-inspired cocktails. Visitors can also partake in fun, free activities like ornament decorating, lawn games and a photo station.
Location: Hotel Del Coronado
There are few places in the world where you can glide on an ice rink just feet from the ocean. The Hotel Del Coronado offers just that at their annual Skating by the Sea event. Through Jan 1, 2019, guests can take a spin on this beachside rink and enjoy sweeping views of the San Diego Bay with the purchase of a $35 ticket. Times vary by day so be sure to check the schedule here before you go.
Three Decades in the Rearview
Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: San Diego Automotive Museum (Balboa Park)
Over the past 30 years, the San Diego Automotive Museum in Balboa Park has exhibited cars and motorcycles from across the globe. This retrospective exhibit, “Three Decades in the Rearview,” showcases a variety of unique vehicles that encapsulate the automotive culture including race cars, hot rods, low-riders and more. The anniversary exhibit runs through Jan. 26, 2019, and is included with the purchase of a general admission ticket, which costs $10 for adults and $4 for kids age 15 and under.
Location: San Diego Bay
A Christmas tradition in San Diego, the Parade of Lights returns for its 47th year to the beautiful bayfront. The local boating community will deck out vessels in lights and festive decorations and float along San Diego Bay, illuminating the water for spectators. This year, the theme of the holiday boat parade is “Tropical Island Christmas,” so expect a few palm trees and pineapples. The San Diego Bay Parade of Lights typically attracts more than 100,000 spectators to the shores of San Diego Bay. The parade starts at Shelter Island, then heads to Harbor Island, the Embarcadero, Seaport Village, the Pier at Cesar Chavez Park and ends at the Coronado Ferry Landing. The procession takes about an hour to pass any given point and there are many viewpoints for spectators. The waterfront will get crowded, so spectators might want to plan ahead and take the trolley.
Free or Cheap Things to Do in San Diego
Times and locations vary
Looking to save some cash, but still enjoy the city? In San Diego, there are still plenty of activities to enjoy for free or on the cheap. Go for a hike at Torrey Pines State Park or Cowles Mountain, stroll Balboa Park, try a new craft brewery, admire the murals of Chicano Park or read a book at a downtown park. Get out there and explore America’s Finest City.
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