BEST BETS for fun things to do in and around La Jolla Dec. 8-15

Garden of Lights
The San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas is aglow for the holidays with more than 10,000 sparkling lights providing a magical winter experience for guests of all ages. Live music will fill the air from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 8-23 and Dec. 26-30, while a team of Blond Belgian draft horses provides wagon rides.

There will also be a Poinsettia Garden and a 60-Nutcrackers-strong exhibit, along with costumed characters and tales, tunes and crafts for children. Santa will be on hand for photos, and wine and other beverages will be available with Mexican fare from El Pollo Loco. S’mores around the campfire, too! Admission: $12-$6.

Film Series
Watch the 1946 film noir classic, “Deadline at Dawn,” screening at 3 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, at The Riford Library, 7555 Draper Ave. It stars Susan Hayward and Paul Lukas in the story of a sailor on leave who appears to have killed a woman. He has until dawn to find the real killer, aided by a weary dance hall girl. Free admission. (858) 552-1657.

The Nutcracker
City Ballet of San Diego, with its orchestra under the direction of John Nettles, will present the Tchaikovsky holiday classic with choreography by Steven and Elizabeth Wistrich, for 11 performances (matinees and evenings) Dec. 9-11; Dec. 16-17 and Dec. 20-21 at Spreckels Theatre, 121 Broadway. There will be lunch with the Sugar Plum Fairy and Friends prior to Saturday matinees, and a Champagne reception after Saturday night shows. Tickets: $29-$79. (858) 272-8663 and

Masterpiece Messiah
With a dramatic video presentation of art masterpieces complementing the music, this performance will feature Orchestra Nova joining with Bach Collegium San Diego Chorus for Handel’s classic, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9 at St. James by-the-Sea Church, 743 Prospect and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10 at Solana Beach Presbyterian Church. Tickets: $30-$75. (858) 350-0290. Orchestra

NOTE: La Jolla Symphony & Chorus will present its annual “Messiah Sing,” 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11 at St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church, 6628 Santa Isabel St., in Carlsbad. Whether you come to sing or simply enjoy the concert event, it will inspire you with the spirit of the season, said choral director David Chase. Music scores will be available for rent onsite. Tickets are $15-$8 at (858) 534-4637 and

New Visions
Ross Bleckner’s “Paintings,” exhibit continues through Dec. 21 at La Jolla’s newest gallery, Scott White Contemporary Art. In 1995, Bleckner became the youngest artist to ever receive a solo retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. 7655 Girard Ave. (619) 501-5689.

European Street Scenes
Works by Alvaro, Cortes, Chernysh, Elias, Gantner, Kuznecov and Tomaylla take center stage at Cosmopolitan Fine Arts through Dec. 31. The paintings depict Italian cafes, British bistros French marketplaces and Spanish palazzos. 7932 Girard Ave. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. (858) 456-9506. cosmopolitan

Cabaret Show
North Coast Repertory Theatre presents “Mistletoe, Music & Mayhem,” where five performers star in original comedy scenarios mixed with holiday-inspired songs to “melt your heart and tickle your funny bone.” Dec. 8-18, 987 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Solana Beach. Tickets: $20-$25. (858) 481-1055,

Merry Olde Music
The Grammy-nominated DuFay Collective will present a program of Christmas revels from Renaissance England, “To Drive the Cold Winter Away,” 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13, at St. James by-the Sea Church, 743 Prospect St. Hear dances and carols on flute, recorder, bagpipe, vielle, harp and guitar, with soprano Vivien Ellis directed by London Globe Theatre music director William Lyons. Tickets: $23-$30, (619) 291-8246.

Leave it to Liszt
Pianist Arnaldo Cohen will perform a Franz Liszt Anniversary Concert in honor of the 19th century Hungarian composer, 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, as a guest of the La Jolla Music Society at Sherwood Auditorium in the Museum of Contemporary Art, 700 Prospect St. Tickets from $25 at (858) 459-3728.

Beethoven’s Ninth
Hear a choral version from the San Diego Symphony, under the baton of John Nelson, with soprano Heidi Grant Murphy, mezzo-soprano Susanne Mentzer, tenor Robert Breault, and baritone Richard Zeller, Dec. 9-11, Symphony Hall, 750 B. St. Tickets from $24, (619) 235-0804.

Voices in Song
Eunice Williams will conduct The Pacificaires and the Cedar Center Chorus through ‘A Musical Journey,’ 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11, at Sherwood Auditorium, MCASD, 700 Prospect St. The free concert will include traditional tunes from around the world and some of the season’s jolliest carols.

Out of This World
San Diego Junior Theatre presents “Santa Claus vs. the Martians,” a slapstick comedy based on the 1964 B-movie, “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.” Showtimes: 7 p.m. Fridays; 2 and 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 18, at the YMCA Firehouse, 7877 Herschel Ave. Tickets: $11-$14. (619) 239-8355. Arrive early to allow for parking.

Da Vinci Debate
Recent books like “The Da Vinci Code,” have claimed the artist was the head of a secret occult society. It’s suggested that Leonardo’s masterwork “The Last Supper,” is in fact an astrological fresco, in which the 12 disciples represent the 12 signs of the zodiac. Learn more at a presentation, “Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper: The Astrological Secrets,” 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15, at The Riford Center, 6811 La Jolla Blvd. RSVP at (858) 459-0831.

Related posts:

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  2. Best Bets for fun things to do in and around La Jolla, June 2-12
  3. La Jolla’s Best Bets for fun events in and around town the week of March 10-19
  4. Best Bets for events in and around La Jolla, week of Feb. 3-11
  5. La Jolla’s BEST BETS for events – Dec. 27-Jan.6

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Posted by Staff on Dec 8, 2011. Filed under A & E, Best Bets. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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