I try very hard not to jump straight from Halloween to Christmas. But this week’s Fave 5 focuses on Christmas events because, if you want to participate in some of San Diego’s more popular holiday events, you’ll need to get your tickets before they are sold out.
Here are five holiday happenings that we’ve loved over the years …
Holiday weekends beginning November 29th
Pacific Southwest Railroad Museum in Campo
I see lots of San Diego families traveling great distances to enjoy a live “Polar Express” experience, and I often wonder if they realize that the super fun North Pole Limited train takes off from nearby Campo throughout the season. This has been a favorite of ours for many years. Arrive before your train departs to stroll through the hobo camp next to the depot to hear tales from railroading’s past.
Once onboard, Santa’s elves lead guests in singing favorite Christmas carols, they read Polar Express, pass out cookies and hot chocolate and, before you know it, the North Pole Limited has arrived at Santa’s Workshop to pick up Santa and Mrs. Claus. Each guest gets to sit with Santa on the way back to the depot. Don’t forget to come dressed PJs if you’re taking the night train!
Some dates for the North Pole Express are already sold out. For the full schedule and to purchase tickets, visit psrm.org/npl/.
December 14th, 15th, 20th, 21st & 22nd
San Diego Symphony, Downtown
The San Diego Symphony’s annual “Noel Noel” holiday concert will put your whole family in a festive mood. The show features some of the season’s favorite songs as well as magical new holiday music that everyone will love. Noel Noel is performed several times over two weekends, and there is a special family daytime concert on December 15th. Get more information and purchase tickets at SanDiegoSymphony.org.
Mom’s Guide Tip: The famous Donut Bar is just across the street from Copley Symphony Hall and is often open before and after a performance. They serve awesome, mega-sized donuts and amazing craft beers. 😉
December 13, 14, 15, 20, 21 & 22nd
Lincoln Performing Arts Center, 4777 Imperial Ave
Ok so we haven’t seen this version of Traditions of Christmas yet, but we have seen the original and were so sad when it went dark for two years to be “remixed.” With lots of dancing and singing to favorite holiday songs, the original version of this Christmas musical extravaganza has been seen by over 250,000 patrons. I just know that the new LED scenic designs, lighting, new songs and dance numbers are going to get everyone into the holiday spirit – even the Grinch! For tickets visit CYTSanDiego.org/shows.
Select dates now through December 29th
The Old Globe Theater, Balboa Park
This is one show we try to do every single year because it is so fun, so happy and imparts a wonderful message about Christmas being a whole lot more than shopping and gifts. Uber talented children and adults in whimsical costume perform day and evening shows throughout the holiday season, including a special sensory-friendly performance on December 14th. For tickets and more information, visit TheOldGlobe.org.
Mom’s Guide tip: Arrive early to take pictures in front of the Christmas tree. There’s a nice snack bar serving hot chocolate and other kid-friendly goodies as well as cocktails and light meals.
December 5, 6, 7 & 8
Faith Chapel in Spring Valley
Here’s another San Diego favorite that has changed since we last visited. For many years Fatih Chapel’s Bethlehem Story was interactive with visitors walking the streets and bazaars of Bethlehem on the night Jesus was born. Last year the show was changed to a stage performance, and the free tickets were distributed before I could snag 4. If you’re looking for events that really express the reason for the season, Bethlehem Story is a must. As told in the Gospel of Luke, encounter Mary and Joseph as they travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem, witness the announcement of the birth of the Christ child, learn of the great census and visit with citizens of Bethlehem as they experience the extraordinary event that changed the world forever, the birth of the Messiah.
Tickets are FREE. Get yours here.
We know you’re also looking for fun things to do this week, so check out our online calendar to help plan your week as well special seasonal activities!