La Jolla’s Best Bets for Events Dec. 18

Holiday Happenings

■ Menorah Lighting: Chabad of La Jolla invites the community to join in a grand menorah lighting Hanukkah celebration 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 18 at the corner of Prospect Street and Herschel Avenue. Following the kindling, the program will feature gifts and treats, Latkes, menorah kits, music and entertainment. Free. (858) 455- 5433.

■ Lunch with Santa Claus: Bring the kids down to the La Jolla Rec Center, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20 for a lunch and photo selfies with Santa. Reservations available, parents may only reserve places for their own children for this event. Donations accepted. 615 Prospect St. (858) 552-1658.

Christmas Performances

■ Irish Fiddle Fun: San Diego Symphony will be joined by Grammy Award-winning and nine-time, all-Ireland fiddle champion Eileen Ivers for an evening of festive Irish holiday songs including “The Holly Tree,” “Don Oiche Ud im Beithil (One Night in Bethlehem),” “Hark, The Herald Angels Sing” - in traditional jig time, and “The Wexford Carol” 8 p.m. Dec. 19, 2 p.m. Dec. 20 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21, Symphony Hall, 750 B St., downtown San Diego. Tickets from $52. (619) 235-0804.

■ Family Fun: An Evil Toymaker plans to kidnap Santa Claus and end Christmas once and for all in “The Christmas Toyshop” by Mark Pence. Described by director Siobhan Sullivan Crews as a child-friendly “Mel Brooks’ ‘Young Frankenstein’ meets ‘Elf,’ ” this all-ages show runs 11 a.m. daily, Dec. 20-24, North Coast Repertory Theatre, 987 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Solana Beach. Tickets $20 adults, $16 children. (858) 481-1055.

■ Traditions of Christmas: Watch Santa’s Workshop come alive with dancing elves, Raggedy Ann dolls, toy soldiers and magical toys. Witness the Rockettes-style dancing kick-line. Sing along with holiday classics. Matinees, evening shows Dec. 19-23. Don Powell Theater, San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Drive. Tickets $40. (619) 588-0206.

■ Music of the Season: For the eighth year in a row, La Jolla natives Peter Walsh and Katina Mitchell (joined by friend Frederic Rosselet on cello), offer the community a free, holiday concert, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 23 at La Jolla United Methodist Church, 6063 La Jolla Blvd. Walsh and Mitchell have been collaborating since their days at La Jolla High School, and are now professional musicians living in Los Angeles.(858) 454-7108.

Chinese Painting

■ San Diego Chinese Historical Museum hosts an exhibit of Jack Liang’s work, titled “Spirit of the Celestial Horse: Forging Chinese Painting into a New Frontier.” Chuang Archive & Learning Center, 541-B Second Ave., downtown San Diego. Admission: $4, members and children under age 12 attend for free. Exhibit runs through Feb. 28, 2015. (619) 338-9888.

Garden of Lights

■ After the sun goes down in December, the San Diego Botanical Garden lights up, with more than 100,000 sparkling lights illuminating the gardens, 5-9 p.m. through Dec. 23 and again Dec. 26-30. Activities include wagon rides, holiday crafts, marshmallow roasting, visits with Santa, music and refreshments including hot mulled wine (on select evenings). Tickets from $8, additional fee for some activities. 230 Quail Gardens Drive, Encinitas. (760) 436-3036, ext. 204.

Rescheduled Reading

■ Warwick’s Bookstore and Words Alive present the rescheduled book discussion with actor Cary Elwes on his recent release, “As You Wish,” the behind-the-scenes account of the making of “The Princess Bride.” 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 21 at Warwick’s Bookstore, 7812 Girard Ave. Admission with seating is sold out. Standing-room only tickets still available for $10. No posed photography and no signing of memorabilia. (858) 454-0347.