Holiday Happenings in La Jolla 2015

Whether it’s “Ho Ho Ho” or “Happy Hanukkah” or simply a celebration of the season, there are lots of holiday happenings in La Jolla and across San Diego to add merriment to your days. Highlights include different productions of “The Nutcracker” ballet, traditional concerts, extensive decorations that transform San Diego landmarks, and classic theater productions.

Hosted in La Jolla

The 58 annual La Jolla Christmas Parade & Holiday Festival returns to the Village 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6 along Girard Avenue and Prospect Street with the theme of “100 years of Christmas Cheer” in honor of the La Jolla Rec Center Centennial in 2015. Enjoy floats, bands and a special visit from Santa Claus followed by the Holiday Festival at La Jolla Rec Center, 615 Prospect St. with activities and the lighting of the Rec Center Christmas Tree.

Get into the holiday spirit 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12 throughout La Jolla at Village Nights Holiday Event. Carolers will spread cheer on Girard Avenue from Torrey Pines Road to Kline Street and select local merchants are open extended hours with special offers for the community. Meet at Monarch Arredon Contemporary, 7629 Girard Ave. for treats. Free. Village Nights is presented every second Saturday at 5 p.m. (858) 454-1231

New, exciting anthems based on familiar carols, exhilarating compositions and arrangements will take center stage 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6 during the Christmas concert, “Somebody Build a Manger!” La Jolla United Methodist Church chancel and Dorian bell choirs, soloists, orchestral ensemble and percussion will perform. Freewill offering accepted. 6063 La Jolla Blvd.

Bach Collegium San Diego offers its annual performance of Handel’s beloved oratorio, “Messiah,” 7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 7 at St. James by-the-Sea, 743 Prospect St., featuring the complete London version from the 1750s. Soloists include Margot Rood, Angela Young Smucker, Reggie Mobley, Derek Chester, Erik Gustafson and Mischa Bouvier. Tickets $35.

La Jolla Presbyterian Church will present its many ensembles in “Gloria,” 4 and 7 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 13 at 7715 Draper Ave. Led by the Chancel Choir and accompanied by a professional orchestra, the concert will highlight Poulenc’s sparkling setting of “Gloria.” Part of the concert will involve readings, carols and anthems old and new, with opportunities for the congregation to sing along. The three Youth Choirs will participate in the 4 p.m. concert, a reception with the musicians will follow the 7 p.m. show. Free.

Celebrate Hanukkah with the San Diego Jewish Genealogical Society during an afternoon of food, friendship and a film screening of “Living our Legacy,” 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 13 in the Jewish Community Center Senior Activity Room, 4126 Executive Drive. Catered buffet including latkes: $5. Door prizes including a 50/50 drawing and a free, year membership to the San Diego Jewish Genealogical Society for those who purchase a buffet ticket. RSVP:

La Plaza La Jolla, with the help of neighborhood florist Adelaide’s, has been transformed into a holiday spectacular, complete with a tree and holiday décor that’s sure to spread holiday cheer. Visit with Santa and his helpers from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays, Dec. 6-20 at 7863 Girard Ave. Parents are encouraged to snap photos of all the happenings.

Meet Santa and stay for a movie, Friday, Dec. 11 at Villa La Jolla Park, 8436 Via Mallorca, between Caminito Eastbluff and Via Marin. Santa will be on-hand for photos from 4-6 p.m. followed a free screening of “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” at 6:30 p.m. Bring chairs and blankets.

Ever have lunch with the Man in Red? Now you can! La Jolla Rec Center will offer its annual Lunch with Santa, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19. 615 Prospect St. Join Santa for lunch, face painting, cookie decorating and crafts. Parents are encouraged to bring cameras. Reservations now being taken, parents may only reserve a spot for their own children. Donations accepted at the door. (858) 552-1658.

‘The Nutcracker’

Join Ooh La La Dance Academy dancers on a journey to the magical Land of the Sweets with Clara and her Nutcracker Prince in “The Nutcracker Youth Holiday Show.” Set to the timeless music of Tchaikovsky and other select groovy songs. 5:30 p.m. Dec. 12-13 at La Jolla High School auditorium, 750 Nautilus St. Admission: $20, free youth tickets at Ooh La La, 7467 Cuvier St. (858) 456-4500.

In this year’s production of the San Diego Ballet Company’s “The Nutcracker,” Rhys Rudolph, 11, of La Jolla and Mikaela Stewart, 13 of Clairemont share the coveted role of Clara, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 26 and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 27, at Symphony Hall, 750 B Street in downtown San Diego. Tickets from $20. (619) 294-7378.

City Ballet of San Diego’s award-winning production of “The Nutcracker” accompanied by the City Ballet Orchestra and Chorus, can be seen at 2 and 7:30 p.m., Dec. 11-23 at Spreckels Theater, 121 Broadway, Downtown. Following each matinee, the cast will be in the lobby to greet audience members and pose for photos. Tickets from $29.

Sounds of the Season

San Diego Children’s Choir will give two holiday performances, Sunday, Dec. 6 at Shiley Theatre at University of San Diego, 5998 Alcala Park. Listen for a diverse selection of choral music from the preparatory and intermediate choir (grades 1-5) at 3 p.m. with folk singer Natasha Kozaily, and at 5 p.m. the concert and youth guitar choir (grades 6-12) performs with classical guitar. Tickets at the door: $7.50-$18 per concert, $11-$22 for both. (858) 587-1087.

With a collection of songs from many holidays, Pacific Coast Chorale presents a holiday extravaganza featuring Hanukkah, Christmas and non-denominational tunes, with accompanist Rodney Girvin, 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 17 at Mount Soledad Presbyterian Church, 6551 Soledad Mountain Road. (619) 235-9500.

“Mainly Movies for the Holidays” is the theme of Peninsula Singers’ concert 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11 at All Souls Episcopal Church, 1475 Catalina Blvd., San Diego. Peninsula Singers is a community choir based in Point Loma under the direction of Sarah Suhonen. Program includes music from such movies as “Home Alone,” “Love, Actually,” “Charlie Brown Christmas,” “The Polar Express,” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Tickets: $15, ages 10 and under attend for free.

Patrick Walders leads the La Jolla Symphony Chamber Orchestra, Chorus, Soloists and audience members in San Diego County’s longest-running, annual sing-along of the Christmas portions of Handel’s “Messiah,” 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 13 at St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church, 6628 Santa Isabel St., Carlsbad. Music scores available for rent at $5 or purchase $12 onsite. Tickets: $18, $10 for youth under 21. (858) 534-4637.

Winter Wonderlands

After the sun goes down in December, the San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas dazzles with more than 125,000 sparkling lights, 5-9 p.m. Dec. 5-23 and Dec. 26-30. Family-friendly activities include: Horse-drawn wagon rides (select evenings), holiday crafts, spin art, marshmallow roasting, visits with Santa though Dec. 23, hot mulled wine, snow for sledding (select evenings), puppet shows (select evenings), holiday carolers (select evenings) and a nutcracker display. Admission at the door: $15 with discounts. 230 Quail Gardens Drive, Encinitas. (760) 436-3036.

Old Town San Diego State Historic Park will be decked out in holiday finery, including decorative gingerbread houses throughout the park, with a tree-lighting and caroling starting at 5 p.m. every Saturday in the December. A bonfire in the plaza complete with free s’mores and hot chocolate follows the caroling.

The annual Holiday in the Park Merchant Open House will be noon to 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12 with crafts for children and special holiday treats. Sunday, Dec. 13, marks the 65th Las Posadas – a walking reenactment of the biblical story of Mary and Joseph’s search for a birthplace for Jesus – in Old Town, starting at 4:45 p.m. Free parking available in the Caltrans parking lot on Taylor Street after 5 p.m. weekdays and all day weekends. (619) 297-3100.

Holiday cheer and winter fun come to LEGOLAND with festive treats, holiday entertainment and décor, and nightly fireworks, Dec. 26-31. Two snow play areas for throwing snowballs at LEGO-themed targets, build snowmen using LEGO accessories and join in the Holiday Village Build at the LEGO Clubhouse. 1 Legoland Drive, Carlsbad. (760) 918-5346.

SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration features its 320-foot Christmas Tree of Lights around the park’s iconic skytower, which has been a San Diego tradition since 1969. Watch it light up each night after a visit to The Christmas Village to see Santa’s cottage full of culinary delights and Christmas merch. Santa’s elves can be found outside the cottage along with caroling groups and other performers. RSVP for “Breakfast With Shamu and Santa,” and see two of Santa’s reindeer vacationing in the park for the holidays. The Happiest Christmas Tree dances the night away to popular Christmas tunes with shows every 10 minutes starting at 5 p.m. Six holiday-themed shows are also included with regular park admission. 500 SeaWorld Drive, San Diego. (800) 257-4268.

Holiday Theater

Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas,” through Dec. 6 at The Spreckels Theatre, 121 Broadway, Downtown. Presented by San Diego Musical Theatre. Tickets: $77. (858) 560-5740.

“A Christmas Carol,” with adaptation and lyrics by Sean Murray and score by Billy Thompson, through Dec. 27 at Cygnet Theatre in Old Town, 4040 Twiggs St. Tickets: $55. (619) 337-1525.

As a one-night-only special fundraising event, Circle Circle dot dot theater company presents A Christmas Bizarre featuring St. Beat Nick (local comic actor Michael Nieto), 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 21 at Tenth Avenue Arts Center, 930 10th Ave., San Diego. Last-minute Christmas shopping items (jewelry, clothing, artistic knickknacks and homemade finery) followed by a performance with sketch comedy shorts, live a capella, a holiday drag performance, spoken word holiday limericks and more. Tickets: $20 (includes drink voucher and opportunity drawing). or

North Coast Repertory Theatre has two holiday productions in December at 987 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Solana Beach. “This Wonderful Life” is a one-man show that brings 32 characters to the stage – from dissatisfied George Bailey to bumbling Angel Clarence, from patient Mary to greedy Henry Potter – all played by James Leaming, 2 and 7 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, Dec. 8-27. Tickets $35.

Sister’s Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of the Magi’s Gold” is CSI: Bethlehem, as Sister takes on the mystery that has intrigued historians throughout the ages — whatever happened to the Magi’s gold? Employing her own scientific tools, assisted by a local choir as well as a gaggle of audience members, Sister creates a living nativity unlike any you’ve ever seen, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13-15. Tickets: $35.(858) 481-1055 or