Exploring San Diego


Things to do in San Diego Dec. 19-22: Merry-Achi Christmas, menorah lightings, Victory at Sea Day

Posted at 1:25 PM, Dec 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-18 18:26:04-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The holidays are approaching, giving San Diego plenty of things to do — in addition to any last-minute shopping — this weekend.

San Diegans looking for holiday cheer can enjoy nightly snowfall in Eastlake, Jungle Bells fun at the San Diego Zoo, and ice skating around town.

California County Christmas returns to Pacific Beach, packing Moonshine Beach with more than a dozen bands for a massive benefit concert and toy drive. A "Merry-Achi Christmas" comes to Balboa Theatre, where Mariachi Sol de México will serenade audiences with Christmas classics from Mexico and America.


San Diego's annual Holiday Half Marathon returns to take runners down the Sr-56 bike path to Torrey Pines for a fun run before the holidays. And Ballast Point celebrates Victory at Sea Day with some pirate-themed fun around one of their most popular brews.


A Merry-Achi Christmas
Where: Historic Balboa Theatre; Cost: Tickets start at $35
Celebrate the season with a special performance by three-time Grammy-Award nominee Mariachi Sol de México at the Balboa Theatre. The 13-piece ensemble brings the sounds of the season to the stage with Mexican and American Christmas songs and carols.

6th annual California Country Christmas
Where: Moonshine Beach; Cost: Free with donation of an unwrapped toy or $10 donation at door
Enjoy an old fashioned, country-style holiday celebration in Pacific Beach at Moonshine Beach, where their annual Christmas toy drive and benefit concert will bring holiday cheer to the coast. More than a dozen bands will play throughout the night and guests will enjoy a silent raffle, line dancing and two-step competitions, and more.


Nightly snowfall at Village Walk
Where: Village Walk at Eastlake; Cost: Free
(Thursday - Sunday) Village Walk at Eastlake turns into a winter wonderland this month with daily snowfall at 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m., then again at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. from Dec. 7 - 24. From 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. everyday, kids can grab a photo with Santa and get a free coloring book.

Jungle Bells
Where: San Diego Zoo; Cost: $48 - $64
(Thursday - Sunday) The San Diego Zoo's holidays are sure to be wild with Jungle Bells, with daily light shows, live entertainment, and an all new "aurora" light experience blends 3-D projections with music and lights into a dazzling show.


San Diego Holiday Half Marathon
Where: Rancho Peñasquitos; Cost: $69-$109
Lace up your running shoes and hit the ground for San Diego's annual Holiday Half Marathon starting in Rancho Peñasquitos, and leading runners along the State Route 56 bike path all the way to beautiful Torrey Pines State Beach. The race finishes with entertainment and awards and — hopefully — a new race record under your belt.

Holiday Market at Societe Brewing Company
Where: Societe Brewing; Cost: Free to attend
Speaking of Societe Brewing, they'll be hosting a holiday market in their parking lot this month, with local vendors offering goods perfect for holiday shopping. Every dollar purchased at the market will also go towards every full pour inside their tasting room.

Winter Wonder: Beachside at Belmont Park
Where: Belmont Park; Cost: Free
San Diego's 94-year-old theme park by the sea comes alive this month with Winter Wonder at Belmont Park. The event features a holiday toy drive, holiday sculptures, free photos with Santa, and other winter-themed activities and entertainment.


Liberty Station Hanukkah and Menorah Lighting Celebration
Where: Liberty Station Arts District; Cost: Free to attend
To ring in the Hanukkah festivities beginning on Dec. 22, Liberty Station will hold a public menorah lighting, featuring music and other holiday festivities for families. The lighting will take place near the Rady Children's ice rink, giving families another fun holiday option. More Hanukkah events around San Diego.

Ballast Point: Victory at Sea Day
Where: Ballast Point Brewing Company; Cost: $30
Fans of craft beer will surely enjoy Ballast Point's celebration of their Victory at Sea brew, and several of its variations, at the brewery's local tasting rooms this weekend. Victory at Sea Day gives drinkers the chance to sample the brewer's varieties of their popular stout, complete with a commemorative goblet, sticker, and eye patch. Pirate costumes "aarrrgh" highly encouraged.

Skating by the Sea
Where: Hotel del Coronado; Cost: $25-$30
Where else can you glide along the ice right next to the surf? This rink at the Hotel del Coronado’s Windsor Lawn is built every holiday season. Part of your admission supports San Diego’s Make-A-Wish Foundation. More places to ice skate in San Diego.