CARLSBAD, CA — Get out your calendars! Time to start planning as the holidays near throughout Carlsbad and the San Diego region.
Christmas this year falls on a Saturday, Dec. 25. Hanukkah 2021 comes a bit early, beginning Sunday, Nov. 28 at sundown and running through Monday, Dec. 6.
Peruse Patch’s annual holiday guide, find nearby events and select the outings that appeal to you and yours. Many events kick off soon, while several require advance bookings, and space may be limited.
Do note: Always confirm with organizers that the listed activities are proceeding as planned when posted.
And to all of our readers, wishing you the happiest of holidays, from Patch!
NOV. 2 – JAN. 2: Holidays at LEGOLAND. Attractions include 30-foot LEGO® Christmas tree, character meet-n-greets, shows & ‘snow,’ music & more.
NOV. 13: Jingle & Mingle. Supports Community Resource Center.
NOV. 27: Santa Arrival & Holiday Lighting Of Forum. Featuring La Costa Canyon High School Marching Band.
NOV. 30: Chanukah Celebration & Menorah Lighting: The Forum Carlsbad. Games & refreshments, too.
DEC. 3-4 & 10-11: ‘Winter WonderLights’ Holiday Light Show: The Forum. Plus snowfall!
DEC. 4: Holiday At The Rancho – Snow, Movie & Santa: Leo Carrillo Ranch. Tree lighting on the sand near the pool.
DEC. 4-19: Santa’s Secret Garden: The Forum. Visit on select dates, and don’t forget your camera.
DEC. 9 & 16: Free Fireside Stories With Santa: Sheraton Carlsbad. Includes carolers from the Carlsbad High School choir, s’mores & hot cocoa.
NOV. 16: Holiday Tree Lighting & Farmer’s Market: Otay Ranch Town Center. Free cookies & hot chocolate, plus snowfall at Santa’s house.
DEC. 4: Starlight Parade. Canceled.
NOV. 22: ‘Skating by the Sea’ Ice Rink: Hotel Del Coronado. With option to reserve a rink-side lounge at Frostbite – A Place to Chill.
DEC. 3: Holiday Parade, Tree & Menorah Lighting. “This special tradition culminates with carol singing.”
DEC. 4, 11, 18 & 31: Holiday Movies On The Beach. Food & drinks available, or book private bonfire with s’mores.
DEC. 12 & 19: San Diego Bay Parade of Lights. The time-honored tradition returns for 2021!
DEC. 31: New Year’s Eve Movie On The Beach: Hotel Del Coronado. With movie, plus New York City ball drop at 9 p.m.
NOV. 21: San Diego Toys For Tots Event: Del Mar Racetrack. Enjoy day at the races & support Toys for Tots.
DEC. 5: ‘North Pole By The Sea’ Tree Lighting & Holiday Fun: Del Mar Village. Family-friendly festivities & Santa.
NOV. 21: Annual Mother Goose Parade. Back & live on Main Street!
NOV. 28: Chanukah! Menorah of Gratitude: Centennial Plaza. Free event with latkes, donuts, gelt, balloon hats, music & ventriloquist show.
DEC. 19: San Diego Ballet’s ‘The Nutcracker’: The Magnolia. With Tchaikovsky’s timeless score & cast of costumed dancers. Sugarplum fairies, leaping Cossacks & flurries of snowflakes
NOV. 20-21: Holiday Street Fair – Entertainment & Kids’ Fun. Featuring food, craft vendors, four stages, children’s rides, bike valets & kid/dog-friendly beer garden.
DEC. 4: Holiday Parade & Lumberyard Tree Lighting & Santa. 2021 parade theme is “Encinitas Rocks!”
DEC. 4-30: San Diego Botanic Garden Holiday Wonderland. Family-friendly extravaganza with Santa, music food trucks, activities & more.
DEC. 18: Bach Collegium’s CHARPENTIER: JOYEUX NOEL. Celebrates the Christmas story.
NOV. 28: Chanukah Celebration & Menorah Lighting: Westfield North County. Menorah lighting, donuts, latkes, dreidel spinning & more planned.
DEC. 1: ‘Irish Christmas In America’: California Center For Arts. Family-friendly performance with tunes on fiddle, flute, uilleann pipes and harp, plus Irish old-style dancing.
DEC. 11: ‘Carols By Candlelight’ – With headliners Grand Ole Opry member & Academy of Country Music award winner Mark Willis & ACM award winner Jamie O’Neal.
DEC. 18-19: The Nutcracker & Live Orchestra. “It even snows on the audience.”
DEC. 22-23: City Ballet Of San Diego’s Nutcracker. Alongside City Ballet Orchestra.
DEC. 31: New Year’s Eve Cocktail Hour: Songs of the Rat Pack: CA Center for Arts. “This will be a NYE to remember.”
DEC. 11: Fallbrook Airpark’s Toys For Tots Collection Drive. Partnership with the U.S. Marine Corps.
DEC. 4: ‘Grinchmas’ At IB Holiday Artisan Market. Day of shopping fun & photo ops with The Grinch.
DEC. 4: Imperial Beach Woman’s Club Annual Bazaar. Shop for holiday gifts, plus enjoy raffles & great food.
DEC. 18: Ugly Sweater Day at IB Artisan Holiday Market. Ugliest sweater wins a prize!
NOV. 27: Country Christmas Fest, Tree Lighting & Santa. Kick off the holidays!
DEC. 2-23: Annual Victorian Christmas Teas: Julian Tea & Cottage Arts. Children’s menu offered, too.
DEC. 18: Country Christmas Light Parade. A Main Street extravaganza.
DEC. 1-31: Seas ‘n’ Greetings 2021: Birch Aquarium, Scripps. A month of “SEAsonal” decor, music & activities
DEC. 5: Christmas Parade & Holiday Festival. Includes entertainment & photos with Santa.
NOV. 27-28: Holiday Fest & Santa: Grossmont Center. With local makers & family activities.
DEC. 4: Holiday In The Village. Full day featuring music, fire pits, vendors, food & kids’ area.
DEC. 3: Annual Holiday Bonfire. With planned return for its 24th year!
NOV. 13: Chefcitos: Cheers to the Holidays. Cook seasonal goodies at Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center.
DEC. 5: Rock & Roll Christmas Concert with Mar Dels. Free at Civic Center Plaza.
DEC. 11: O-side Harbor Holiday Parade of Lights. A festive town tradition!
DEC. 11: San Diego Santa Run & PB Holiday Parade. Start day running with thousands of Santas & finsh with festive community parade.
NOV. 28: Chanukah Celebration & Menorah Lighting: Westfield North County. Hosted by Chabad of Poway with menorah lighting, donuts, latkes, dreidel spinning & more planned.
DEC. 1-JAN. 15: SCB Nutcracker Virtual Field Trip. Enjoy Poway OnStage’s virtual field trip with Southern California Ballet.
DEC. 4: Dance to the Holidays! Features celebrity pros from Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, American Idol, The Voice & America’s Got Talent.
DEC. 11: Christmas In The Park – Santa & Tree-Lighting. Holiday treats, caroling, train displays & more fun planned.
NOV. 15-22: Operation Christmas Child National Collection Week. Project of Samaritan’s Purse.
Through DEC. 3: Holiday Gift-Card Drive For Local Military Families. The Justin Shaw/VFW Gift Card Drive is back!
DEC. 4: Ramona Airport’s Toys For Tots Collection Drive. Partnership with the U.S. Marine Corps.
DEC. 4: Annual Christmas Tree Lighting, Santa & Festivities. With kids’ crafts, carolers, dancing & elf contest.
DEC. 15-19: 5 Breakfasts With Santa: Bernardo Winery. Save your seats!
DEC. 15-19: Holiday Nights & Winter Wonderland: Bernardo Winery. A community tradition with carolers, food trucks, vendors & new this year – Polar Express train exhibit.
RANCHO SANTE FE:
DEC. 3-18: ‘St. Nick At Night’ & ‘Wild Winter’: Helen Woodward Animal Center. Hands-on animal encounters, cute crafts & visits with Santa.
NOV. 10-DEC. 31: Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!: Old Globe. The family favorite is back!
NOV. 12-JAN. 2: SeaWorld Christmas Celebration & Fireworks. With snowfall, Tunnel of Lights, Santa & a new Elmo Christmas show.
NOV. 13: Mira Mesa Women’s Club 3rd Annual Holiday Showcase. Shop & support Wreaths Across America.
NOV. 18-JAN. 9: Rady Children’s Holiday Ice Skating Rink. “Ice Rink benefits the Peckham Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Rady.”
NOV. 19: St. Paul’s PACE Annual Drive for Local Seniors in Need. Goal is to provide essential & fall/winter items this holiday season.
NOV. 28: Hanukkah Celebration & Menorah Lighting: Liberty Station. Commemorate first night of Hanukkah at Central Promenade.
NOV. 28-DEC. 6: Hanukkah Menorah Lighting Celebration: SeaWorld. Nightly lightings planned.
NOV. 29: Community Chanukah Celebration: Humphrey’s By The Bay. Grand & festive & tickets on sale.
NOV. 29: Hanukkah Menorah Lighting & Fest: Seaport Village. Family fun with music & more.
DEC. 3-5: ‘Balboa Park December Nights’ Festive Drive-Thru. Featuring favorite food vendors, food trucks & entertainment.
DEC. 4: Annual Little Italy Tree Lighting & Christmas Village. With vendors, music, treats & 25-foot Venetian inspired tree.
DEC. 4: The Polar Express Experience. Don your pajamas! Fun at San Diego Model Railroad Museum.
DEC. 5: YAM Chanukah Party For Teens: Horton Grand Hotel. Featuring ’90s, theme, plus photo booth, giant doughnut wall, DJ, menorah lighting & more.
DEC. 10-11: Makers Arcade Holiday Fair: Broadway Pier. “Seasonal shopping experience with photo displays, gourmet food, live music & more.”
DEC. 11: Breakfast With Surfin’ Santa: Seaport Village. Book your seats!
DEC. 11: Nutcracker Tea Party With SD Ballet: Liberty Station. Jam-packed event & tickets are on sale.
DEC. 11: Ales N’ Rails. Beer tasting & ugly sweater holiday party at San Diego Model Railroad Museum.
DEC. 12 & 19: San Diego Bay Parade of Lights. The time-honored tradition returns for 2021!
DEC. 16: Holiday Movie Night & Pajama Party: Elf. Free at Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows. RSVPs requested.
DEC. 19: Bach Collegium’s CHARPENTIER: JOYEUX NOEL. Celebrates the Christmas story.
DEC. 19: Christmas with The Beatles Featuring Abbey Road. At Music Box on India Street.
DEC. 23: Holiday Movie Night & Pajama Party: The Santa Claus. Free at Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows. RSVPs requested.
DEC. 27: A Magical Cirque Christmas: Civic Theatre. “Merry treat that’s perfect for the entire family.”
DEC. 31: SSBD Presents: The Motet w/Special Guest Collin Miller. At Music Box on India Street.
DEC. 31: NYE Yacht Party San Diego. Set sail to a new year!
DEC. 4: Holiday Market, Tree-Lighting & Santa. Don’t miss the “snow”!
NOV. 19: Holiday Tree Lighting & Santa. With sledding, carriage rides & live music.
DEC. 11: For Registered Campers: Santa At The Campground: Santee Lakes. Festivities for all registered guests.
DEC. 1: Anuhea – All is Bright Holiday Tour with Thrive and Lea Love. At Belly Up Tavern.
DEC. 17-22: Noah Homes’ Annual ‘Enchanted Village’ Holiday Lights. Eight acres of lit trees, magical cottages, light tunnels, entertainers, giant candy canes & more than 200,000 lights.
NOV. 26-28: Christmas Arts, Crafts & Vintage Market: Bates Nut Farm. Start holiday shopping at “Christmas on the Farm.”
NOV. 26-DEC. 23: ‘Jingle Terrace Park’ Holiday Lights Drive-Thru. It’s free!
DEC. 3-23: ‘Miracle On 34th Street: A Musical Radio Play’ – A holiday classic, perfect for the whole family.
DEC. 4: Christmas Parade. This year’s theme: “Come Together.“