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San Diego County holiday events adapt amid coronavirus pandemic

'December Nights' opens at Balboa Park
Posted at 12:11 PM, Nov 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-15 23:40:09-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- The holiday season may look different this year, but organizations around the county are making the most of the situation.

Instead of large gatherings, many San Diego holiday favorites are going virtual while others adapt to the changes in unique ways.

See the list below for more:

Taste of December Nights

This year, Balboa Park’s famed December Nights will look a little different. Swapped for the usual hustle and bustle is Taste of December Nights. The event takes place from Friday, December 4 through Sunday, December 6 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and will feature more than 20 food trucks and vendors.

Organizers say all safety protocols by the county will be strictly enforced. This year, customers must remain in their cars and everyone must wear a mask. Click here for more information on the event.


Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center Hanukkah Celebration

This year, the center is hosting a socially distanced traveling Hanukkah celebration. "Hanukkah Happening Hits the Highway" is taking place on December 6 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The center has two car routes planned throughout the county where families travel to three different places to find Jewish landmarks and symbols.

While in the car, there will be Hanukkah stories, music, games, and trivia shared. The event is free, but you will need to pre-register. Click here for details on the event.


Petco Park Holiday Trail and Market

The market and trail will take guests through a socially distanced, one-way trail at Petco Park's Gallagher Square, featuring artisan shops, lighting displays, foods and drinks, and unique crafts and gifts.

Vendors on the trail will feature seasonal gifts like ornaments, wooden figurines, oils and soaps, and many more stocking stuffers. Visitors will be able to enjoy cider or wine, and delicious bratwurst, shortbread, and other treats along the way.


Menorah Lighting in Liberty Station

In partnership with the Chabads of Downtown San Diego and Pacific Beach, Liberty Station plans to host a public menorah lighting on December 10 at 5 p.m. in the Central Promenade.


La Mesa's Holidays in the Village

La Mesa's Holiday in the Village returns on Dec. 5 from 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. with a craft market, holiday music, a food court, and holiday photo stations. The free event will observe public health orders and precautions and temperature checks will be required to enter. Face coverings and social distancing will also be required.


Del Mar Fairgrounds Holidays in Your Car

A magnificent display of lights and sounds will ring in the holidays at the Del Mar Fairgrounds this season, with Holidays in Your Car from Dec. 5 - Dec. 24, Dec. 26 - Dec. 30, and Jan. 1 2.

More than one million LED lights, holograms, and projection mapping animated to holiday music will take over the fairgrounds for visitors to enjoy their own little sleigh ride, with some displays standing at over 40 feet high.


Little Italy Virtual Tree Lighting

Due to COVID-19, Little Italy will host a virtual tree lighting. Standing at 30-feet tall, the Christmas Tree in the center of Piazza della Famiglia will be lit on December 5 at 5:30 p.m.


Old Globe's "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" and tree lighting

The Old Globe's production of "Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" won't be taking the theater's stage this year, instead, coming to audiences on the radio and online. The free, audio-only production can be heard on 89.5 FM and can also be streamed on the KPBS website or mobile app, and on smart speakers on Nov. 26, Dec. 5, and Dec. 20 at 12 p.m.; and Dec. 24 at 6 p.m.

The 15th annual Globe Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place virtually on Nov. 22 at 6 p.m. and can be viewed on the Globe's website or social media channels. The tree lighting ceremony will feature songs, videos, and special greetings from company members and The Grinch himself.


Winter Wonderland at Hotel del Coronado

The Hotel del Coronado is bringing holiday magic to the beach, with thousands of sparkling lights, magnificent Christmas trees, and a winter wonderland at The Del’s Windsor Lawn.

The holiday fun will include pictures with Santa, a "Frostbite" bar trailer with holiday treats and drinks, and holiday crafts available for sale, including cookie decorating kits, ornaments, and more.


Seas 'N' Greetings at Birch Aquarium

From Nov. 28 to Dec. 31, Birch Aquarium is bringing holiday fun to the coast with Seas ‘n’ Greetings. Visitors can enjoy an 18-foot-tall inflatable octopus, check out a rescued Loggerhead Sea Turtle, and visit an outdoor Tide Pool Plaza with juvenile Swell Sharks, Horn Sharks and Round Rays.

This list will be updated as we learn of more holiday festivities.