Thursday | 3
Australia’s platinum-selling rock stars of opera will perform traditional and contemporary favorites, with soaring renditions of “Joy to the World,” “White Christmas,” “Winter Wonderland,” and “Feliz Navidad.”
Friday | 4
Balboa Park museums open their doors free of charge from 5 to 9 p.m. both evenings, and more than 350,000 visitors are expected to attend San Diego’s largest free community festival. Traditions include food from around the globe at the International Christmas Festival at the House of Pacific Relations Cottages, the Santa Lucia Procession at the Plaza de California, gift shopping at museum stores and Spanish Village, and musical and dance presentations from the San Diego Junior Theatre, San Diego Civic Youth Ballet, and Del Cerro Baptist’s Christmas Story Tree. New this year is a children’s area (adjacent to the Botanical Building) with crafts and games and a community mural where families can contribute to a giant-sized coloring book featuring Balboa Park.
Saturday | 5
Kids can have a holiday-themed animal encounter with alpacas, chinchillas, doves, sheep, chickens, and Blitzen the miniature horse “reindeer” and take pictures with Santa and his polar dog. Each child receives a plush toy from Santa. With cookie decorating, face painting, faux snow, crafts, and live music. Runs three weekends through Christmas.
The San Diego Animal Support Foundation presents hundreds of animals from more than two dozen local animal-rescue organizations and shelters, billing it as “San Diego’s largest holiday adoption event.” See if anything strikes your fancy from this partial list of attendees: Maltese Rescue California, Ridgebacks & Friends Rescue, Greyhound Adoption Center, Great Pyrenees Association of Southern California, San Diego Turtle & Tortoise Society, San Diego Spaniel Rescue, Friends of Cats Shelter, Rottie Rescue San Diego, Passion for Pitties, Operation Greyhound Rescue, It’s the Pits Rescue, Chihuahua Rescue of San Diego, Pit Bull Rescue San Diego, Holly’s Garden Small Breed Rescue, Shelly’s Shelter-Rabbits, and Labradors & Friends.
- Saturday, December 5, 2015, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Del Mar Fairgrounds,
2260 Jimmy Durante Boulevard,
$6 - $8
The Steam Maker Festival (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) is an annual event — part creativity, part science, part education, part exploration — with 160 booths dedicated to students, crafters, makers, vendors, and small businesses celebrating a world of creativity. With robot-battle competitions, flying drones, 3D printers, exhibits, and Russell, a 17-foot interactive electric giraffe.
Here’s a makers’ event of another kind. Over 95 artists will show off handcrafted goods such as jewelry, ceramics, stationery, clothing, and home goods in a gigantic exhibition of gift opportunity at the Port Pavilion. With food trucks Miho Gastrotruck, Buona Forchetta, and Mastiff Sausage Co., craft beer by Lost Abbey, and cocktail lounges styled by local designers.
Sunday | 6
A commemoration of the Battle of San Pasqual, the bloodiest military clash of the Mexican-American War, fought near what is now Escondido on December 6, 1846. Walk through authentic military and mountain-man encampments and a 19th-century enlistment station to imagine life as a new recruit, see military equestrian drills and period demonstrations of roping, leather tooling, mule packing, and cooking, experience the cannon fire of the 12-pound Mountain Howitzer, and hear a dramatic reading of the Battle of San Pasqual as told by soldiers on both sides. Presented by the California State Parks and the San Pasqual Battlefield Volunteer Association.
Tuesday | 8
- Tuesday, December 8, 2015, 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
2660 Via de la Valle,
A meal with traditional favorites such as matzo ball soup, latkes, and hot brisket, a menorah lighting and prayer, and a Q&A to meet Janice Steinberg and Ona Russell. Steinberg is an arts journalist and author of five mystery novels. Ona Russell is a Next Generation Indie Book Awards finalist and author of a series of 1920s legal mysteries.