Holiday fun to attend over the winter break

by Juniper Perkins, Staff Writer

Decided to stay local for the upcoming break? No worries! San Diego is packed with winter events for everyone to enjoy. From holiday classics to cultural celebrations, this winter break is sure to excite. 

Winter Fun

The Rady Children’s Ice Rink is already in full swing at Liberty Station. It’s open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. until Jan. 5, 2020. The rink is closed Christmas Day. 

Tickets can be purchased at the door; adult tickets are $15 and children tickets are $13. Proceeds from the event benefit the “Thriving After Cancer” program Rady for Children’s Peckham Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. 

If ice skating isn’t for you, relax at the Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade and watch giant, beloved characters float down Harbor Drive. The parade will start at 3 p.m. on Dec. 26 after the Holiday Bowl 5K Run/Walk. 

Street view for the parade is free while grandstand tickets are $22. Maps and more information can be found on the Holiday Bowl’s website.  

Lastly, the fun at Balboa Park doesn’t stop with December Nights. The park is hosting a Holiday Food Truck Festival from Dec. 26 to 30, noon to 7 p.m. 

In addition to food trucks, the festival will also feature live music, a prize drawing for museum tickets and several special activities and attractions at various museums. More information can be found on the Balboa Park Conservatory website

Religious Festivities

Christmas is already shining bright in Chula Vista’s Christmas Circle. The houses on Mankato and Whitney streets adorn twinkling lights, candy decorations and more. The street is open to drivers, but visitors are encouraged to get outside and enjoy the lights in person. 

The streets light up at 5 p.m. every day until Dec. 26. Hot chocolate and other sweet treats are sold at one house, but otherwise the experience is free. 

This year, the eight day-celebration of Hanukkah kicks off on Sunday, Dec. 22. Liberty Station will end its “Salute to the Seasons” series with its annual Hanukkah Celebration and Menorah Lighting between the ice rink and The LOT. 

The family friendly event begins at 5 p.m. on Dec. 22 and will feature music as well as some holiday surprises. 

The weeklong celebration of Kwanzaa begins Thursday, Dec. 26. The WorldBeat Cultural Center will observe five of the seven days during its 39th Annual Kwanzaa Celebration. Festivities include “The Kola Nutcracker,” an African twist on the classic nutcracker story, ceremonial candle lighting and more. 

Each day of the celebration will focus on a different aspect of Kwanzaa: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics and purpose. This year commemorates the 53rd year of Kwanzaa after it was founded in 1966 by Maulana Ndabezitha Karenga. 

New Years

The merrymaking doesn’t end there. San Diego offers countless ways to celebrate the new year in style. 

Party into 2020 at the Big Night San Diego New Year’s Eve Gala on the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. Tickets start around $85 and include endless drinks, all-you-can-eat buffet, multiple party areas and an electric lineup hosted by DJ D-Rock. More information can be found on the event’s website

Celebrate at the Hard Rock Hotel while dancing through seven rooms on three different floors, listening to 15 unique DJs and possibly drinking endless champagne. Tickets start at $60.

For more mellow fun, feel free to save some time and money by watching the ball drop in Times Square from the comfort of your own home or dorm room.