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FREE December 2016





J. Bernard Calloway and Tyrone Davis, Jr. Photo by Jim Cox.

1 th 9 Smash Year! Now Playing Through December 26! 11am matinee performances are open to ALL AGES.*

At the 11am performances only, children under the age of two are free, but must occupy the same seat and sit on the lap of a parent or guardian in attendance, and must present a ticket for lap seating to be admitted. Lap seat tickets may be obtained from the box office when purchasing your other tickets.

Everyone must have a ticket.

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Book and Lyrics by Timothy Mason Music by Mel Marvin Directed by James Vasquez Original Production Conceived and Directed by Jack O’Brien

Generously sponsored by Audrey Geisel

(619) 23-GLOBE! (234-5623) Dr. Seuss Properties TM & (c) 1957 and 2016 Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. All Rights Reserved.

From Your Neighborhood McDonald’s® and

The Season’s Sweetest Treats McCafé® Peppermint Mocha and McCafé® Peppermint Hot Chocolate

During the hustle and bustle of the holidays, enjoy a simple moment celebrating the most delicious season of all with the rich, silky flavors of a McCafé® Peppermint Mocha or Peppermint Hot Chocolate. Even better? All of McDonald’s espresso used in the U.S. and Canada is made with beans sourced from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms. This means our coffee beans come from farms that meet environmental, social and economic sustainability standards.

Come See Ronald McDonald®! Dec. 10, 2016, 1 p.m. McDonald’s

Westfield Plaza Camino Real 2525 El Camino Real Carlsbad, CA 92008

Happy Meal® Toys in December Hello Kitty® Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles™ © 2016 McDonald’s

Limited time only. Participation varies.

Apply for RMHC®/HACER® Scholarship By Jan. 18! High school seniors in San Diego County can apply for the local RMHC/HACER Scholarships and the RMHC/HACER National Scholarship. RMHC San Diego will award 10 local students a $2,000 scholarship each to help with college expenses. Access the application at RMHC/HACER. •


L o o k & Fe e l G r e a t b y L o s i n g T h a t W e i g h t ! “I’ve been on Dr. Wong’s program for 24 days and I’ve lost 20 pounds so far. I feel very good about it and I’m feeling progress everyday and I recommend it to anybody.” Isabelle S. — San Diego

“So far in the last 60 days, I lost 35 pounds and I even took seven days off during the holidays for eating fat foods! I expect to drop another 25 pounds in the next 30 to 60 days!” John R. — San Diego

NO SHOTS/DRUGS “I’ve tried every known diet program NO SURGERIES out there but I’ve always gone back NO EXERCISE and gotten even larger than when I first started. I “After being on Dr. knew I needed Wong’s program for to do something 2 months, I’ve lost different. With Dr. Wong’s program, almost 40 pounds. within 2 months, I’ve lost a total I was lethargic and of 38 lbs. I feel great! My goal is couldn’t keep up with to lose another 25 lbs and I’m ecstatic. my kids but I’ve found I want to thank Dr. Wong and his staff an answer to my energy for their support because otherwise it problems and I wake would have been much more difficult.” up with energy, I feel better, I’ve been Chris U. — Chula Vista eating healthier and I’ve been more active. Thank you Dr. Wong!” Rachel R. — San Diego I started with Dr. Wong exactly 50 days ago when I decided to do something for me. I was scheduled for surgery and needed to lose 20 pounds but I’m happy to say I’ve (619) 333-8782 lost over 30 pounds! I’m very happy and appreciative because it’s been Dr. Henry Wong, DC easier than before and it’s been worth the money and the time. 3689 Midway Drive, Suite G Cyndi F. — San Diego

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“I knew I wanted to make changes after I had my 2 year old and get rid of my baby fat. Dr. Wong guided me along the way and was very supportive and I’ve lost 23 pounds in 2 months. I’ve met my goals and I’m happy! I feel a lot better, healthier and I have more energy. I’ve noticed that I’ve had to get new clothes!” Mandy C. — San Diego

“Before I came to see Dr. Wong, I had a lot of health concerns. I had extreme knee pain, I was over-weight and I also had a lack of energy. After I had a consultation with Dr. Wong, he told me what was wrong. Everything we did involved no pain and in 8 weeks, I have lost 32 pounds without doing exercise! I am a lot more energetic and I feel like working out. I am stronger, more alert, more flexible and limber so I appreciate everything about Dr. Wong. If you’re ever in need of optimal health, come see Dr. Wong because he’ll make you strong!” Rodney W. — San Diego

free free registration registration with this with this ad flyer


successfully Nutcracker Performance serving the community December 4th for the past Tickets on sale now!14 years


“The joys and disciplines of dance remain within a child’s heart forever” 15,000 Sq ft. facility • 6 dance studios

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For membership and birthday deals, visit EASTLAKE 619-651-8622 | 4S RANCH 858-207-6088 | LIBERTY STATION 619-573-9625 December 2016 • •



34 198

2 - 2016

Volume 35 • Number 9 • December 2016


in every issue

18 Out & About: Little Italy

Fun spots to eat and hang out with kids

Photo courtesy of Jessica McClure-Kuhar


Local Etsy Moms Make Gifts with Heart Find a special gift handmade by local artisans


More Holiday Toys Part two of our kid-tested reviews


Art with Alyssa: Poinsettia Yarn Painting A fun craft highlighting the popular flower


Recipe: Gingerbread Man Hot Chocolate A tasty twist on a favorite beverage


Gingerbread House Fun Where to see awesome displays, take a class and more


Sock Snowmen Easy to make and oh so cute

12 14

Staff Page


Business Spotlight News from our advertisers


December Calendar of Family Events


The Marketplace/Classifieds

Short & Sweet News | Notes | Tips

On the Cover: 8-year-old Ariadne of Carmel Valley enjoys

special advertising section 44

the twinkling lights of Paradise Point

10 Magical Holiday Experiences A round-up of must-do activities for families, including San Diego’s Map of Christmas Lights

Resort on Mission Bay. Cover photo:


All Colors Photography

Christmas LIGHTS

6 • • December 2016


Become a Member & come back for FREE all year long!

Plus, now enjoy:

10 off



Join online and save: Restrictions Apply.

Or complete the form below.

Annual Pass Membership One year FREE Unlimited Admission to both the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park (save $52 each time you visit).

One Adult: Single $111 $101 Two Adults: (in the same household) Buy 1 Get 1 50% Off! $111 $101+$55.50 = $156.50 Print Full Name _____________________________________________ Dual Member Name _________________________________________ Address __________________________________________________ City _____________________________ State ____ ZIP ____________ E-Mail _________________________________ (for Zoo updates) Daytime Phone ( ____ )____________ (optional)

Koala Club® $52 (ages 3-17): One year FREE Unlimited Admission to both the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park (save $42 or more each time you visit). Please enroll my children in the Koala Club (print):

$52 (Ages 3-17) M F First______________________ Last______________________

$52 (Ages 3-17) M F First______________________ Last______________________

Send the completed form with your chosen payment option to:


P.O. Box 120271 San Diego, CA 92112

Total $________ Account #____________________________ Exp. Date___/__/____







Signature of card holder__________________________________________________

Make payable to:

San Diego Zoo

Or, if you prefer, please bring this form to the membership booth at the San Diego Zoo or the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and start enjoying your membership benefits today. For more information, call 1-619-231-0251 or 1-877-3MEMBER (toll-free outside San Diego). $10 savings offer good for new adult memberships only. Not valid outside zip codes 91900-92899, or with any other offer or discount. Allow 3-4 weeks for processing. Prices and benefits subject to change. Safari Park parking fee not included.

© 2016 San Diego Zoo Global

PROKX on the web Get to know the sections of, where you’ll discover a plethora of awesomeness for parents.



To enter these contests, visit, go to “Contests”, then “This Month’s Contests.”

Things to Do: Seasonal Happenings • 20 Ways to Use Holiday Leftovers • Finding Snow in (or near) San Diego

Travel: Family Travel & Travel Tips • Happy Family Travel • Tips for Traveling Abroad with Children • Visit National Parks, Oahu and more

Dining & Recipes: Family Recipes

Photo courtesy of Food Network

• Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies

Can’t find what you’re looking for on our website? Enter key words in the search box and browse our list of articles.

Follow Us: San Diego Family /SDFamily

San Diego Family Magazine eNewsletter


Mission Statement To enhance the quality of life for San Diego County families by providing information and resources that support the importance and pleasure of parenting. Main Office: 1475 Sixth Avenue, Fifth Floor, San Diego, CA 92101 Mailing Address: P.O. Box 23960, San Diego, CA 92193-3960 Phone: 619-685-6970 Fax: 619-685-6978 E-mail:

8 • • December 2016

Win toys for your children and make their season extra bright! Read our Holiday Toy Review on page 32 to find out which toys to put on your must-buy shopping list. Enter to win a Storybook Castle, Imaginext DC Super Friends Super Hero Flight City or an Enchantails Slumber Bag Set. Contest ends Dec. 13.

Bond with your children at Our Family Spa where they care about the health and wellness of your entire family. Try out family massages, sports pedicures, teen facials, Mommy and Me spa dates and more! Enter to win one of three prizes: a Mommy and Me Massage, a Mommy and Me Facial or a Mommy and Me Mani-Pedi. Contest period: Dec. 1-15. Win an Orbit Baby G3 stroller travel system. Enjoy hands-free travel without carrying a heavy toddler car seat. We love the one-handed fold and the height-adjustable handle features. Enter to win an Orbit Baby Infant Car Seat, Car Seat Base, Stroller Base and Basket from Orbit Baby ($1,500 value). Contest period: Dec. 15-Jan. 4, 2017.

San diego’s largest, most trusted & awarded pediatric dentistry & orthodontics! 5 Reasons Why You Should Care for Your Children’s Teeth Like Their Life Depends On It!

Go into any of our 4 locations to enter to win Your own virtual reality system! Offer runs from 11/22 - 12/22

call today! 855.925.6507


Editorial Publisher/Editor in Chief Sharon Bay Managing Editor Lisa Gipson Calendar Editor Jennifer A. Burman Proofreading Gina Petrone

Design Art Design/Web Design Rik Thiesfeld Cover Photo All Colors Photography

Editorial Submission Guidelines

Would you like to write for San Diego Family Magazine? For editorial guidelines, visit and see Editorial Guidelines at the bottom of the home page. A submission does not guarantee publication. We reserve the right to edit all submissions.

Distribution Locations

San Diego Family Magazine is distributed at more than 1,700 locations. Pick up your free copy at: Vons Supermarkets, McDonald’s, Sombrero’s Mexican Food, Round Table Pizza, Wahoos, Fleet Science Center, schools, libraries, medical offices and more.


Children’s Creative & Performing Arts Academy • Small Class Size • Individualized and Advanced Academic Programs • Emphasis on Science & Mathematics • Incorporating Music, Art, Dance, Drama, Spanish, Chinese and Physical Education • WASC Accredited A complete academic program for grades preK through high schoolMontessori & college preparatory curriculum with an emphasis on the Creative and Performing Arts Call about our scholarship program • 619-584-2454 3051 El Cajon Blvd., San Diego 92104

10 • • December 2016


Receive 12 issues for $18. Subscription includes our annual publication, Out & About. Orders must include check or money order made out to: San Diego Family Magazine. Mail payment to: SDFM, Subscription Request, P.O. Box 23960, San Diego, CA 92193.

Member of

Distribution Audited by

Turning frowns upside-down Business Business Manager Larry Bay Marketing Coordinator Michele Hancock Administrative Assistant Marketing Intern Ryan Martinez Accounting Circulation Linda Bay Printing California Offset Printers


Advertising/Marketing Advertising/Marketing Representatives Tony Andrews 619-685-6977 • Point Loma, Pacific Beach, La Jolla, North County Coastal Giovanni Baldan 619-685-6987 • South Bay, San Diego Downtown, Uptown Ramona Warner 619-685-5860 • East County Nicole Maggio 619-685-6971 • North County Inland (includes Scripps Ranch)

ic Car e for all Ag e s

Pediatric Dentistry Friendly experienced staff • State-of-the-art equipment • Digital x-rays • In-office sedation • •

Invisalign • Damon clear • Prevention • Game room • Beautiful new office •

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7930 Frost Street, Suite 101 San Diego, CA 92123


619-685-6970 • Clairemont, Linda Vista, Mission Valley North, Mira Mesa San Diego Family Magazine is published monthly by San Diego Family Magazine LLC. Copyright 2016. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Opinions expressed by contributors are not necessarily the opinions of this publication.


A Family Adventure Guide to San Diego County

The Parent Resource Guide for Children with Special Needs

Compass Education “Today’s Learner, Tomorrow’s Leader!”

Personalized tutoring in Math, English, Test Prep, and more. Now accepting students for our Winter/Spring 2016/2017 session.


11772 Sorrento Valley Rd #130 • San Diego, CA 92121 • FREE consultations available

December 2016 • •


Happy Holidays from

San Diego Family

Front Row: Ryan Martinez, Sharon Bay, Tony Andrews, Ramona Warner, Nicole Maggio Back Row: Lisa Gipson, Rik Thiesfeld, Larry Bay, Michele Hancock, Giovanni Baldan, Linda Bay. Circle Photos: Lisa Pawlak, Gina Petrone, Jennifer Burman, Emily Dolton.

12 • • December 2016

Battle Tested, Kid Approved!

of Battle heater yT Midwa

Nown Ope


Adventures for All! Audio tours for adults and kids, videos, climb-in aircraft, flight simulators and more!


Make meaningful connections with other homeschoolers! Group Learning Experiences Media Arts • Pottery Gardening • Music Robotics/LEGO Engineering

10380 Spring Canyon Rd. San Diego 92131

858-271-1414 Home Learning Community at Innovations Academy

Visit us online for a list of locations, menu & coupons! December 2016 • •


Short & Sweet

Lisa Gipson

Choose Pet Adoption Thinking about adding a furry friend to your family? There are many things to consider before purchasing a pet for yourself—or as a gift for someone else. Experts at Helen Woodward Animal Center will explain the many benefits of pet adoption and help your family decide if making the commitment to a pet is the right decision. Learn more about the “Home 4 the Holidays” program at


We received three awards at this year’s San Diego Press Club “Excellence in Journalism Awards.” Congratulations to Art Director, Rik Thiesfeld who received third place recognition for the Greetings that Pop! April 2016 cover of Family Magazine. We can’t get enough Congratulations to our contributing writer, of Lovepop, awesome Lisa Pawlak, who won two awards: pop-up greeting cards • Second place in “Health & Medicine” for featuring intricate 3D Just Say No to E-Cigarettes, Oct. 2015. paper sculptures. They Read the article at www.SanDiegoFamily come in hundreds of .com/resources/health-guide/1846. fun designs for every • Second place in “Profile” for Local occasion. When you want Teens Making a Difference, Nov. 2015. to send something special, Read it at www.SanDiegoFamily send a Lovepop. See all the .com/resources/san-diegocreative designs at www heroes/1864.

Plastic Bag Ban Effective Now Don’t miss the latest adventure in the beloved Penguin book series by San Diego author/ illustrator, Salina Yoon. Penguin’s Christmas Wish is a sweet story that celebrates the gift of friends and family. Find more seasonal reads in our round-up of holiday books for kids at for-the-kids/book-multimedia-reviews/1693.

14 • • December 2016

The recent approval of Proposition 67 means singleuse plastic bags are officially banned in the state of California—a ban that is already enforced in other cities across the state. Consider stocking your car with reusable bags now because many San Diego stores aren’t observing a grace period to implement the new law. Shoppers have the option to purchase reusable or paper bags on site. The law impacts grocery, convenience and liquor stores.




Musical Theatre Department presents



present an All-Youth Production of


December 9-10, 17-18

December 3-4, 10-11 & 19-20

Tickets On Sale Now! 858.362.1348

Tickets On Sale Now! 435.222.2849

Now Registering for our Winter Session and Second Semester Classes!

w w w . S c r i p p s P e r f o r m i n g A r t s . c o m

December 2016 • •


Business Spotlight • News from Our Advertisers Find more great businesses in your area at “A learning environment that balances the physical, emotional, cognitive, creative, social & emotional needs of your child.”

Give the Gift of Art

Visit our website 858-755-8338 13692 Mango Drive, Del Mar

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Scheduling Tours for the 2017-2018 School Year Leaders in Early Childhood Education Since 1970

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The Hot Spot is a pottery painting, candle making and party studio where all ages create one-of-a-kind art for any occasion. Choose from a variety of scented and colorful wax, stamps, ceramic pieces and stencils to create personalized gifts for loved ones. “We have lots of holiday items and are encouraging everyone to start [making] those gifts now,” says Olivia Franks, owner. Grab friends for Wine and Cheese Night, offered every Thursday, 6-9 p.m. Capture your baby’s precious hands or feet on pottery at Monday’s Mommy & Me—makes a perfect gift for grandparents. Plan a family night and paint a special set of dinner plates, cereal bowls or mugs. All pottery is non-toxic and dishwasher, microwave, and food safe. Host an artsy holiday party, birthday celebration or scout troop meeting at The Hot Spot. Need time to shop for the holidays? Drop the kids off (6 yrs. & up) for 1.5 hours of crafty fun! See website for available times and call to reserve a spot. The Hot Spot Pottery Painting 2770 Historic Decatur Rd., Liberty Station 619-223-1339

Bring in the Holidays with The Nutcracker

cOmmunicAtOrs Individualized speech-language evaluations & therapy for children at no cost to families

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16 • • December 2016

City Ballet of San Diego offers 12 performances of The Nutcracker at the historic Spreckels Theatre downtown from December 9–23. Voted San Diego’s Best Nutcracker production by the “Tommy Awards,” this elaborate ballet performance will take your family on an enchanted Christmas journey with Clara and the Sugar Plum Fairy. Meet and take photos with the cast following each matinee performance. “My family loved this production, it was magical and executed professionally,” says Ashley of El Cajon. City Ballet offers family-friendly productions and year-round ballet instruction for ages 3 through adult. The staff and performers are committed to the same high quality performances, ballet education and artistic achievement as other renowned ballet companies around the world. Find class registration forms and purchase Nutcracker tickets on the website. City Ballet of San Diego 941 Garnet Ave., Pacific Beach 858-274-6058

Whole health for the whole family!

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any service with this ad, for new customers. Expires Dec. 31, 2016.

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Electric bill going up?



Contact us at 619-WINDOWS ext. 40 today!



Out & About

Lisa Pawlak

has evolved from an Founded in the 1920s, Little Italy und the tuna fishing immigrant community developed aro neighborhood filled industry, into today’s thriving urban eateries, festive markets with rich culture, authentic Italian family-friendly events. and piazzas, public art displays and


Ph o t

o cour te sy of Je ssica M


u re




A local favorite for freshly made, hand crafted, artisan developed, traditional Tuscan gelato (and pastries!). Need we say more? 1602 State St.

Filippi’s Pizza Grotto History of Little Italy Tour To learn about the neighborhood’s rich history, download the free Little Italy San Diego App to take a kid-friendly, video-guided tour. Kids will follow Danny Boy, an animated mascot, and enjoy videos, photos, augmented reality, games and quizzes. Parents can opt for the adult tour version.

This authentic, family-owned and operated Italian eatery has been around since the mid-century, with no shortage of old school charm. Serves pizzas, pastas, salads and traditional recipes. Buon appetito! 1747 India St.

Crack Shack

o ne Piazza Basil ews, hang

vi Enjoy fantastic in, and ta un fo e th around atch the w ly p m si relax to you. This world around located in urban plaza, Little Italy, is the center of , John Basilone dedicated to unnery U.S. Marine G Medal of Sergeant and nt. Honor recipie dia St. In d an Fir St. w w w.lit tleita a-basilone explore/piazz

If gourmet free-range fried chicken is your thing, stop at this fun outdoor restaurant for a chicken sandwich or salad in a casual, family-friendly setting. Everyone will love the tasty menu, pleasant patio dining, bocce ball court and giant chicken sculpture. 2266 Kettner Blvd.

Firehouse Museum The former home of San Diego Fire Station No. 6 now displays a wealth of firefighting memorabilia, dating back to the late 1800s. Exhibits include La Jolla’s first fire engine, a horse drawn steamer and a piece of the World Trade Center. Closed Mon-Wed. 1572 Columbia St. cont. on p. 20

18 • • December 2016

Best Kids’ Birthday Party Winner 2015 & 2016

Best and Top Pick in three categories!

FUNBelievable Play 11655 Riverside Dr., Unit 155 (River Run Business Park)

Lakeside, CA 92040

Tel 619-456-2474

OPEN 7 days a week. Suitable for 0–12 yrs. Socks Required.

Warren-Walker School


A private, independent school, Prekindergarten to 8th grade 2016 WINNER

Join us in Celebrating 85 years Low student teacher ratio | Technology | Art, Drama and Music Daily P.E. and Spanish | Before/After School Programs Summer Camps | Concert Band | Interscholastic Athletics

Open HOuses RsVp Online Dec. 5 & Jan. 18 - Point Loma Lower School PK-5th Jan. 11 - Middle School 6-8th Dec. 2 & Jan. 25 - La Mesa Lower School PK-5th

(619) 223-3663 RSVP Online: December 2016 • •



Canyon Rim Children's Center “Dedicated to the individuality of children.”

Canyon Rim Children’s Center (CRCC) has been providing high quality, enrichment, preschool programs for San Diego children since 1998. We are a full day, year round, enrichment program. Our learning philosophy is based on developmentally appropriate practices inspired by the schools in Reggio Emilia, Italy. Our developmental, play-based, preschool serves children ages two through six.

At CRCC, we strive to maintain child to teacher ratios lower than those required by the State of California. Our teachers’ educational credentials exceed those as specified by the State. Our professional staff creates a safe and caring environment where the emphasis is on learning through play. As Fred Rogers, a.k.a., “Mr. Rogers” said, “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” We recognize each child is a unique person with individual rates of growth. Our goal is to meet each child’s

emotional, social, cognitive and physical needs in a relaxed, loving environment, free from personal criticism and excessive competition. Activities in art, music, math, language, science, dramatic play, fine and gross motor development are fashioned to facilitate transition from one developmental stage to the next. Our teachers also use our wellequipped, natural playgrounds to support exploration and promote physical development. Natural outdoor spaces enhance curiosity & encourage children to develop an appreciation and awareness of nature. At CRCC, children develop the skills of observation, inquiry, concentration, problem solving, and self-reliance. Our structured, yet open-ended program prepares each child to utilize his or her intellectual and creative abilities in future learning tasks. Here we work to give each child the tools and the foundation on which to build a lifetime of learning. Kindergarten teachers love our CRCC children!

Tree Lighting & Christmas Village Saturday, Dec. 3; 4-8 p.m. Deck the halls with this magical, annual holiday event! Santa will arrive in style to kick off the festivities. Shop seasonal vendors for stocking stuffers and gifts, enjoy live music and indulgent goodies, and watch the tree lighting ceremonies— including a towering “tree” of more than 1,000 poinsettias. Don’t miss fun crafts in the kids’ area. Buone Feste! India St., between W. Date and W. Fir little-italy-tree-lighting

iDessert Create a delicious, customized gelato treat at one of iDessert’s iPad stations and it will be delivered in minutes! Don’t miss this fun, kid-friendly outing. Dairy-free options available. 1608 India St.

Piazza della Famiglia

For more information go to www or to schedule a tour call (619) 287-6767.

Coming Spring 2017. A central community gathering space, destined to become the heart of Little Italy, is currently under development. The 10,000 sq. ft. European-style piazza will offer shops, restaurants, markets, concerts, community events and more! W. Date St. between India and Columbia piazza-della-famiglia cont. on p. 22

20 • • December 2016

Become a surrogate ...Give The Gift of LIFE!





• $35k plus in earnings (up to $70k) • Wellness Package: Prenatal, yoga classes or massages, Mental health support, Fitness and nutrition program, and Manicures/Pedicures


Your furnace should be serviced annually

• Direct deposit • Bonus for your children’s summer/fall activities

-Burning smell when you turn on your furnace? -Weird noises? -Heater not working properly?

• Gift cards on special occasions



*Furnace or A/C. $80 per unit. Does not include filter change. Must mention this coupon to qualify. Offer expires 2/25/17.

• Entrance into a drawing for 2 round-trip tickets within the United States

GET IT CHECKED There are 9,900 residential fires and almost 200 deaths per year associated with faulty heaters.


How to get your surrogacy journey started? Call us now and sign up for one of our free surrogacy seminars. • (844) 557-2412 •

Experience the Power of Homeschool!

CSLB #902494

Enroll Today!

The Learning Choice Academy A FREE Personalized Learning School for Grades K–12

• A credentialed educational partner to assist you • Specialized programs available; AIM, full day, middle and high school options • Funds for enrichment classes • UC approved high school courses • Field trips, internships, teen club

WASC accredited. Se habla español.

Chula Vista • La Mesa • Scripps Ranch • Temecula

Call now for our next orientation. 844 GO TO TLC (844-468-6852) Visit for more information. December 2016 • •


Little Italy Mercato Farmers’ Market Soak in the ambiance of this lively farmers’ market as you stroll through a huge selection of fresh farm produce, meats and seafood, flowers and plants, live music, crafts and more. It’s a kid-pleaser; corner musicians will even invite them over to dance! Held every Saturday, rain-or-shine, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. W. Cedar St. from Kettner Blvd. to Front St. mercato

San Diego County Waterfront Park Kids have a “splash” playing in the interactive fountains and climbing on modern play structures of this park, located just a couple blocks from Little Italy. With lots of green spaces and beautiful views, it’s a great spot for families to take a picnic or spend a few hours. 1600 Pacific Highway en/park-pages/Waterfront.html

Turn to page 40 to learn about this month’s gingerbread house contest at Queenstown Public House in Little Italy. Lisa Pawlak is an award-winning contributing writer and Encinitas resident.

22 • • December 2016


Congratulations to the awesome TEACHERS highlighted here! Serena Leitner graduated from the School Of Creative & Performing

NEW address: 6822B El Cajon Blvd., San Diego, CA 92115 Michael Tong holds high standards for students. His classroom is filled with passion, collaboration and social entrepreneurship. With background experience in business and media, he brings real world application to students. Technology, projects and community building are daily practice for Michael, who brings energy and passion to Thrive Public Schools.

Brandy Flesock teaches Kindergarten at Thrive Public Schools. She teaches the whole student by fostering academic and social emotional growth. Brandy is a passionate educator who values interdisciplinary connections and collaboration. She builds strong classroom communities, promotes high expectations, instills passion for learning and brings joy to the classroom.

Spanish and Mandarin Winter camps are just around the corner! Regislltraoptioenn! is sti

The programs are conducted by qualified native teachers in a fun and engaging • Daily field trips (less than 10 minutes away!) - San Diego Zoo, Museum of Man, Natural History Museum, The Art Institute, approach through the use of music, games, literature, cultural activities, arts and crafts, Botanical gardens and much more. (Admission to the museums outdoor activities and daily field trips. All activities are conducted in target language. is included in fee.)

December 19-23 $150/half day/8 a.m. - 12 p.m. or $275/full day/8 a.m. - 4 p.m. 10% discount for returning students & sibling registrations

Hurry up! Space is limited! Located in Balboa Park- Centro Cultural de la Raza • 2004 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101

619.366.3098 • •

School Recognition: Outstanding Teachers

Arts in 2015 and has been an instructor at Little Fish since then, having previously taken classes and winning awards for her fantastic combination of traditional and digital art. Serena created and teaches our “Digital Drawing and Coloring” classes Monday and Saturday afternoons. 619-356-1103

Happy Kids Hang Out Here You can go to work confident your child is safe, happy, having fun and thriving with our teachers. We help your child develop excitement and curiosity about learning, plus strong self-esteem that can last a lifetime.

FREE REGISTRATION ($100 value) Expires 12/31/16

Newborn - Age 5 Preschool & Child Development Center

Caring for children for over 19 years! 3422 Tripp Ct., San Diego, CA 92121 At Sorrento Valley Road

(858) 794-9130

California State License Numbers 3766000130 /1

December 2016 • •


M ontessori …


Why Montessori Education? Dr. Maria Montessori demonstrated

that children learn best in an environment of love, trust, understanding, patience and consistency. With a Montessori education, students can excel academically, while experiencing the values of cooperation, respect, selfconfidence, and the joy of learning! For an education that can transform lives, contact your local Montessori school.

“A Montessori Student is a Future Citizen of the World” San Diego Coastal BETH MONTESSORI Infants/Toddler/Preschool/Kindergarten Lic. # 376700496

8660 Gilman Dr., La Jolla 92037-2202 La Jolla


East County

South Bay


MONTESSORI AMERICAN SCHOOL Toddler/Preschool/Kindergarten

Lic. #376600356

10435 Campo Rd., Spring Valley 91978 Rancho San Diego



3604 Bonita Road, Chula Vista 91910 Bonita, Chula Vista & Eastlake


MONTESSORI EXPLORER Toddler/Preschool/Lower Elementary

619-825-5557 MONTESSORI DISCOVERY SCHOOL First Step/Preschool/Kindergarten Lic. #376600555

8559 Fanita Dr., Santee 92071 Santee, San Carlos, Fletcher Hills



7427 Fay Ave., La Jolla, CA 92037 La Jolla

Lic. #376614702

LA JOLLA VILLAGE MONTESSORI SCHOOL 2½-6 yrs./Toddler/Preschool/Kindergarten

Lic. #370805837

8121 Braddock Place, San Diego 92114 Lemon Grove


MARIA MONTESSORI SCHOOL Preschool/Elementary/Middle Lic. # 372002147

Lic. #376700503

4544 Pocahontas Ave., San Diego 92117 La Jolla, Clairemont, Pacific Beach


271 East J St., Chula Vista 91910 Bonita & Chula Vista MONTESSORI HILLS ACADEMY Preschool/Pre-K/ Kindergarten


MISSION BAY MONTESSORI ACADEMY Preschool/Elementary Lic. #372005444

lic.# 376700758

2640 Soderblom Ave., San Diego 92122 La Jolla, Pacific Beach, University City


612 Paseo del Rey, Chula Vista 91910 Chula Vista, Bonita, & Eastlake


MONTESSORI INSTITUTE OF SAN DIEGO 18 mos.-12 yrs. Toddler/Primary/Elementary Lic. #376700098

“Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment.”

8745 La Jolla Scenic Drive N., San Diego 92037 La Jolla


Infants • toddlers • Preschool • KIndergarten • elementary • mIddle school

San Diego Central

North County Coastal

North County Inland


CENTRAL MONTESSORI SCHOOL Toddler/Preschool/Kindergarten

COUNTRY MONTESSORI SCHOOL Preschool/Kindergarten/Elementary

Lic. # 372005868

6917 Tait St., San Diego 92111 Linda Vista


Lic. #376700910

Encinitas, Cardiff, Carlsbad, La Costa

760-479-9889 ENCINITAS COUNTRY DAY SCHOOL Preschool/Elementary/Middle Lic. #372005943

Two Locations in Encinitas Encinitas


Lic # 372006093

12642 Monte Vista Road, Poway, CA 92064 Poway, Rancho Bernardo, 4SRanch, Scripps Ranch, Rancho Penasquitos

858-673-1756 MONTESSORI CHILD DEVELOPMENT CENTER/LITTLE HANDS MONTESSORI Preschool/Kindergarten Lic. # 372001507 & 376618271

14911 Espola Rd., Poway 92064 Poway, Rancho Bernardo, Ramona

858-748-1727 Toddler Care 858-748-1728

SCRIPPS MONTESSORI SCHOOL Toddler/Preschool/Elementary Lic. # 370801839

9939 Old Grove Rd., San Diego 92131 Scripps Ranch


Each Montessori school is independently owned and operated. Please check your local school for specific information regarding program options and Montessori content.

Cherie Gough

I love buying handmade one-of-kind gifts for friends and family. I

also love the convenience of shopping online. With Etsy—an online marketplace of handcrafted items—I can do both and shop for unique holiday gifts from the comfort of home. Many Etsy artisans supplement family income while following their creative passions. Read on to discover several San Diego County moms who make and sell beautiful gifts on Etsy. It takes time to make each item, so order early to receive gifts in time for the holidays.

Local Etsy Moms Make Gifts with Heart

Snugglebug Designs Carlsbad resident Cobi Campbell creates a variety of cheery items for her Etsy shop, Snugglebug Designs. From baby onesies and bibs to festive pennant banners and aloha print stockings, all her creations evoke the laid back Southern California beach culture. Campbell has loved sewing since childhood. Her creativity was rekindled with the birth of her daughter and really took off after her daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 2. Campbell shares, “Snugglebug Designs became not only a way to contribute to our family income, but also a haven for me—a place where I could hold the worries and demands of diabetes at bay for a short time. The creative process is healing and restoring.” Find her sunny creations at shop/SnugglebugDesigns.

Pop Go the Clutches Shopping for a friend who loves to express her distinct style? Angela Greenwald of San Carlos recently opened her second Etsy shop, Pop Go the Clutches, where she creates women’s purses in fabrics that pop. “I purchased a clutch for myself at a chain store and thought it would be cute to make one with fun, quirky, modern fabrics,” says Greenwald. “I added faux leather detail and loved the look so much that I decided to make that my signature clutch.” This holiday season she is branching out to make wallets and small business card holders, too. Shop her hip designs at shop/PopGoTheClutches. cont. on p. 28

26 • • December 2016

Looking for an Engaging, High Quality FREE K-12 Charter School?

8 Reasons why Thrive could be perfect for your active learner:

Enroll Today!

1. Personalized instruction

Elementary School

4. Robotics & art electives

2. Hands-on learning 3. Focus on creativity & exploration 5. Nationally recognized & award winning academic model

Middle School

6. Joyful community 7. Highly trained & caring teachers

High School

8. Small class sizes

4260 54th Street San Diego 92115

(619) 839-9543


Serving Allied Gardens, San Carlos, Del Cerro Easy Access for SDSU

Kindergarten teachers love students from our programs! ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓

Serving Ages 2 - 6 (Diapers OK) 2, 3, 4 & 5 Day Schedules Full Day Enrichment Program 3 Large, Beautiful Playgrounds Loving, Caring and Secure Environment

Canyon Rim Children's Center “Dedicated to the individuality of children.”

6801 Easton Court San Diego, CA 92120

Schedule a tour now: (619) 287-6767


Candle Making & Pottery Painting! • Fast Turnaround • Kids & Adults • No Experience Needed

Parties for all occasions • Scout Troops • Bring a date! (YES, you can bring wine!)

• Great Group Activity • No Studio Fees

Come In, Relax & Enjoy Creating Located in Liberty Station between Corvette Diner & Ace 2770 Historic Decatur Rd. Barracks 14

Phone: (619) 223-1339

December 2016 • •


Rediscover the JOY of Learning Renaissance Village Academy Dedicated Art and Music Rooms

Outside Playground!

Celebrating 7 years of serving the Scripps Community. Meeting the needs of gifted, profoundly gifted, and highly motivated students.

FREE ACTIVITY Learn about the Middle Ages and design your own family crest. Saturday, Dec. 17, 3-5PM

10625 Scripps Ranch Blvd., Ste. A, San Diego, CA 92131 • 858.564.9622 •

Kirsten/Dec 2016/cr

San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum Explore, Imagine, Experiment Through Hands-On Science, Art, and World Culture Activities

Around the Hook

Inspired by her love of nature, Karen Jimenez of Paradise Hills crochets soft, heirloom-quality hats, gloves and scarves for her shop, Around the Hook. Encouraged by friends who love her crocheted hats, Jimenez began her “little” shop in 2009. Today she has more than 100 items from which to choose. Her popular cherry blossom and butterfly hats for little girls photograph beautifully and make a perfect gift for a new baby. Also find scarves that toddlers can button themselves, matching gift sets and her newest creations: lightweight, soft infinity scarves for women. Search Around the Hook for treasured gifts at

DISCOVERY WINTER CAMP For Grades K-3 Camp Hours: 9:00am-12:00pm DEC 27-30, 2016 & JAN 2-6, 2017

Want to come to the museum all the time? Become a Member! Use online code: SDFAMILY during online checkout to receive 20% off your annual Family Membership!

(760) 233-7755 • 320 North Broadway, Escondido, CA 92025 • SDCDM.ORG

Tony/Dec 2016

M ega

Play Structure

Mt Helix Academy

where children love to learn

love reading;in K-2 •• Kindergarteners Low ratios for fundamentals read their graduation speeches • Kindergarteners love reading: • 8-to-1 ratiograduation for fundamentals in K-2 read their speeches Technology •• Arts, Arts, Music, Music, Theater, Theater, Technology •• Robotics Robotics

For Kids: Exercise, Fun, Parties, Drop In Play! Supervised Drop Off! For You: Café, Comfy Couches, Free wi-fi


•• Affordable Affordable tuition tuition •• Before Before and and after after school school program program •• Trans Trans K-9 K-9 school school receiving receiving highest highest level level of of WASC WASC accreditation accreditation 619.243.1400

5955 Severin Drive La Mesa, California 91942

Brita’s Bowtique Need a fun present for a girl who loves to sparkle? Savvy entrepreneur Brita Jack of Lakeside began crafting as a hobby and to help supplement family income. In 2012 her daughter turned 8 and started to like ”girly” necklaces and bracelets. Using her do-it-yourself attitude, Jack bought a bracelet, figured out how it was made, and opened her shop, Brita’s Bowtique. “I started out with a small selection of beads as it was costly to get inventory,” says Jack. “So, I started a wholesale bead group and hosted monthly buyins.” Now Jack offers more than 200 pieces and fills custom orders. She and her daughter love making beautiful pieces together. Find their sparkling creations at BritasBowtique. cont. on p. 30

28 • • December 2016

y Family Christmas Tree Farm FREE Seedling Tree!

Fresh Winter Wreaths & Greens!

(approx 4-6”)

with tree purchase! (While supplies last)


• Select and cut your own Monterey Pine! • Fresh cut Noble, Douglas, Frasier and Grand Fir trees! • Live container trees! • Your whole family will love Family Christmas Tree Farm!


Come Experience a San Diego Tradition! 300 Pepper Drive • El Cajon • 619-448-5331 • • Open 7 days • 9a.m. to 9p.m.

Untitled-2 1

11/7/16 3:24 PM

December 2016 • •


A place where happiness is found and a love for nature is born AniWares

A perfect family adventure!

Space is limited – make your reservation today! (619) 320-4942 | 5178 Japatul Spur, Alpine, CA 91901

Searching for an adorable gift sure to bring a smile? Anita Chan of Del Sur started her Etsy shop, AniWares, after her son Griffin was born and she decided to stay home with him. Chan started knitting, crocheting and sewing hats and blankets for him and his friends. She enjoys making fun new products that meet kids’ growing needs. Her AniWares shop is filled with cheerful animal-themed hats, pencil bags, pencil toppers, hair accessories and bags, perfect for gift giving. You’ll even find themed hats for pets! Shop the delightful collection at www.etsy .com/shop/AniWares.

Dangle Jangle Designs Alicia Haynes of Oceanside works with sterling silver, Swarovski crystals and personalized handmade charms to create signature glass pendants and other unique jewelry that celebrates family. A self-taught jeweler, Haynes holds a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, but learned to fashion her one-of-akind jewelry by experimenting with techniques until she created something that she wanted to wear herself. Haynes is in the process of creating pendants that feature a child’s own handwriting. Find a wide selection of charms in varying colors and fonts in her shop, Dangle Jangle Designs, at www.etsy .com/shop/DangleJangleDesigns. v Cherie Gough is a freelance writer and San Diego resident.

30 • • December 2016

Their world awaits... At La Jolla’s renowned Birch Aquarium.

Archery Fencing



1/2 off first month of classes Must purchase by Dec. 31, 2016.


LionHeart Academy

1331 N. Cuyamaca St., El Cajon


December 2016 • •


MORE Holiday Toys ...for kids on the “nice” list. Missed last month’s round-up of toys? Don’t get your blocks in a bunch. You will find ALL of this year’s favorite kid-tested, parent-approved toys at

See page 8 for details. Storybook Castle $100; 12 mos.+ Four quadrants of fun activities featuring gliders, gears, bead runs and more. Perfect for toddlers as it supports fine and gross motor development. “My son plays with it everyday!” says mom Liz.

Cookies for Santa Set $40; 3+ Making cookies for Santa is extra fun with this kid-sized baking set that comes with cookie cutters, frosting bottle, spatulas, spoon, pastry brush and more! “We will use this set for many years to come,” says mom Kirsten.

Fisher-Price Bright Beats Learnin’ Lights Dance Mat $39.99; 9 mos.+ Interactive dance mat with light effects and music that baby can groove to! “Very entertaining and promotes physical activity,” says mom Kari. “It’s great that my daughter is learning shapes, colors and sounds.”

32 • • December 2016

American Girl Melody Doll $115; 8+ The story of Melody Ellison provides a glimpse of life in the 1960s—a significant decade for the civil rights movement. Melody inspires girls to be a force for positive change. Includes book and accessories.

RipStik Electric $179.99; 8+ Riding the new RipStik Electric gives the sensation of surfing or snowboarding with a continuous flow of twisting and carving action for up to 40 minutes. Goes up to 10 mph. Includes handheld remote.

Skylanders Imaginators Starter Pack $74.99; 10+ Unleash your imagination by creating unique Skylanders characters—choose appearance, powers, catchphrases and more—to battle alongside the almighty Senseis. Supports all 300+ Skylanders from previous games.

Belle Musical Tea Party Cart $59.99; 3+ Push the tea cart to see Mrs. Potts & Chip spin and to hear the beloved song, “Be our Guest” from Disney’s Beauty & the Beast. Perfect for a tea party with a favorite friend.

Enchantails Mermaid Slumber Bag Set $149; 4–11 Little girls feel like mermaid royalty when they take this beautiful slumber bag to a sleepover party or to Grandma’s house. Slumber bag features glow-in-thedark thread. Includes a book, a carrying tote, pillow and wall decals.

See page 8 for details.

Roller Glamper $34.99; 3+ Super cool doll camper includes a removable table, kitchen accessories, pillows, blankets, functioning lights and more. Six-inch dolls sold separately. “So cute—exciting for kids and parents!” says mom Autumn.

Zing Firetek Crossbow $29.99; 8+ Light-up arrows shoot over 45 feet! A special scope for supreme accuracy makes it great for target practice. Includes three suction-cup arrows. “My kids love the glowing darts. It’s fun to play at night!” says mom Suzanne.

LEGO Juniors Emma’s Ice Cream Truck $24.99; 4-7 Ice cream truck with sun roof and seating area provides tons of sweet fun for young Lego builders. Includes Andrea and Emma mini-dolls, a puppy and lots of other accessories.

Thomas & Friends TrackMaster Thomas’ Sky-High Bridge Jump $99.99; 3+ Thomas completes his most impressive stunt yet: soaring two feet through the air and landing on the other side to continue his journey around the 8-ft. track. Includes motorized Thomas train, Harold the Helicopter and full track layout.

Disney Frozen Northern Lights Elsa Doll $39.99; 3+ Kids help restore the beautiful Northern Lights by waving their hands over the snowflake. Watch the lights sparkle on Elsa’s dress as she sings “Let it Go.” Elsa also says 40 phrases.

Balance Beans $17.99; 5+ A logic and math game all in one. When using the challenge card and colored beans to balance the seesaw, you balance an equation, too! Introduces young learners to elementary algebra. “This toy is both educational and fun,” says dad Paul. December 2016 • •


Wishbone Mini Flip Ride On, Rocking, Pushing Toy $99; 1-3 Transforms from a rocking toy, to a walker and a ride-on toy within minutes. No tools required! Perfect for toddlers.

Think & Learn Code-A-Pillar $49.99; 3-6 Preschoolers learn sequencing when they connect segments to make Code-A-Pillar move. They learn programming when they create a path for Code-A-Pillar to reach a target. It’s all coding—and it’s all fun!

Neon Viper Scooter $49.99; 5-9 Bright LED lights under the stable grip deck illuminate, making this scooter extra fun to ride at night! Also features a strong lightweight frame, smooth rolling wheels and a quick-stop rear brake.

Zoo Jamz Piano $24.99; 18-48 mos. Play more than 20 songs in one of four instruments modes (piano, violin, xylophone or saxophone). Light-up piano keys help little ones learn to play a song at their skill level. Tons of fun and special features!

Imaginext DC Super Friends Super Hero Flight City $79.99; 3+ Batman and Superman fans will have double the fun with two worlds in one: Gotham City and Metropolis. “It’s like a superhero dollhouse with trap doors, cool gadgets and endless possibilities,” says mom Joanne. “The helicopter feature is awesome!”

See page 8 for details.

34 • • December 2016

Trick Shots Sports Action Dudes $6.99-$9.99; 5+ Discover an exciting lineup of athletic Dudes, ready to kick, throw or hit the ball with powerful spring action! Compete on a tabletop or set up your own challenging trick shots. Ball ricochets safely off any item or surface. “This is the sleeper toy of the year— so fun!” says Michele.

IDO3D Five Pen Art Set $29.99; 8+ These soft, squeezable pens use 3D ink that turns from liquid to solid instantly. Use the included 3D vertical light (and your imagination) to sculpt objects vertically into mid-air! “It’s very cool to draw in the air,” says Liam, 9.

Holiday shopping at Clairemont Town Square Bath & Body Works • Big Frog Custom T-Shirts Big Lots! • Burlington Coat Factory Carter’s Babies and Kids • Crown Ace Hardware Culture Gear • GameStop • GNC • Michaels Payless Super Store • Petco • Ross Dress for Less Sally Beauty Supply • T.J. Maxx • ULTA Clairemont_HolidayShopping_7.25x4.5125_Ad_Final.indd 1

11/2/16 4:33 PM

Gifts for Growing Minds


Buy One Get One


Valid in-store & online through 12/31/16, 11:59 p.m., PST. Purchase one item at regular price & get the second item of equal or lesser value at 50% off its regular price. One coupon per customer. Valid for one-time use. Valid on non-discounted, in-stock items only. Cannot be used for commercial purposes or resale, ship-to or special orders, or combined with any other coupon, discount or offer. Not for use toward the purchase of gift cards; not applicable on prior purchases. Offer excludes sales tax & shipping charges. No cash value. Returns are subject to the discounted purchase price & Lakeshore’s return policy. Must show coupon code at time of purchase for all in-store transactions. Subject to restrictions & change without notice.

NEW Lakeshore Counting Cars 3 yrs. - 6 yrs.

coupon code: 2305 SHOP A STORE NEAR YOU! SAN DIEGO 7510 Hazard Center Drive San Diego, CA 92108 SAN MARCOS 702 Center Drive San Marcos, CA 92069

©2016 Lakeshore 619751

December 2016 • •


Alyssa Navapanich

Art with Alyssa: Poinsettia Yarn Painting Create a yarn painting featuring the season’s favorite festive flower, the poinsettia. Find books about poinsettias at your local library to learn more about them.

Did you know? Poinsettias are native to Mexico. They’re named after Joel Poinsett, the first U.S. Minister (now called Ambassador) to Mexico. This type of yarn art originated in Mexico and South America. The red “petals” are called bracts; the yellow buds in the center are the flower.

Supplies • Newsprint or paper grocery bag • Damp paper towel • Cardboard or cardstock (Or cut a cereal box to approx. 9” x 12”)

Directions • Cover your workspace with newspaper; place a damp paper towel nearby for sticky fingers.

• Pencil

• Use a pencil to draw three circles in the center of the cardboard. This will be the middle of the flower.

• White Elmer’s glue

• Draw 5–7 ovals coming off the center circles. These will be the red “petals.”

• Yarn (red, yellow, blue/gray, green)

• Draw two more ovals between the first set of ovals to represent green leaves.

• Scissors

• Outline and fill a circle with a light coating of glue. Starting on the outside of the circle, gently place yellow yarn onto the glue around the edge.

• Toothpick

• As you close the circle, bring the yarn as close to the first row of yarn as possible. Push with a toothpick if needed. Continue until each circle is filled with yarn. • Cut the end of the yarn and tuck under by pushing the end with a toothpick. • Repeat this process with the red petals, green leaves and blue (or gray) background, outlining first and filling in with rows of yarn until you reach the center. Let dry completely. • Optional: Turn the artwork into a wall hanging by gluing a loop of yarn on the back. Note: For younger children, cut the yarn into 1-inch pieces and have them fill the spaces with cut yarn. Using large plastic tweezers will help improve their hand-eye coordination. v Alyssa Navapanich is an art enthusiast who teaches art to elementary school kids in North County.

36 • • December 2016

$2 off

any full haircut

Not valid with other offers. Valid at Del Mar, Chula Vista, San Marcos and San Diego locations ONLY. EXP: 12.31.16

Otay Ranch 2015 Birch Rd, Suite 1012 Chula Vista, CA 91915 619.656.5437

NewYear Style

Point Loma 2865 Sims Road, Suite 100 San Diego, CA 92106 619.501.2375

Del Mar 2650 Via De La Valle, Suite C-150 Del Mar, CA 92014 858.481.5437

San Marcos 157 N. Twin Oaks Valley Road, Suite 132 San Marcos, CA 92069 760.798.9455

presented by


AMERICA’S LARGEST BALLOON PARADE “Honoring our First responders”



Serves 2 Ingredients Whipped Cream

Gingerbread Man Hot Chocolate

• ½ cup heavy cream • 1 Tbs. granulated white sugar

Hot Chocolate • ¼ cup water • 1½ cups lowfat milk • 2 Tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder • 2 Tbs. granulated white sugar • ½ oz. chopped dark chocolate • 6 PEEPS Gingerbread Men or Chocolate Mousse Reindeer

Directions To make whipped cream, put cream and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on highest speed with whisk attachment until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until needed. To make hot chocolate, put water, milk, cocoa, sugar and chocolate in a small saucepan. Over low heat, stir constantly until chocolate is completely melted and uniform in color. Add four of the PEEPS, stirring until completely dissolved. Evenly pour hot chocolate into two mugs. Top each with a PEEPS Gingerbread Man or Chocolate Mousse Reindeer. Serve while hot. v From the cookbook Peeps-alicious, and published with permission from Race Point Publishing, an imprint of Quarto Publishing.

38 • • December 2016

Scan this QR code to learn more about our parties!


Weekend Party Packages Include

10 Skaters/Skate Rental Cake, Ice Cream, Punch Skating Games Refreshment Time Place Setting Party Server

Tutoring Tots In Tutus All Dance Since 1962 Wear F urnishe

Ages 2 & Up

Combination Class Tap • Ballet • Tumbling

d Leotards • Tights Tap Shoe Ballet Shoe s s • Tutus

1st Lesson is FREE! Enroll Anytime!

Vernetta’s Dance Studio

619-260-1707 |

Tony/December 2016 Book Online Any Time!

SWIM & SURF SCHOOL 6907 Linda Vista Road, San Diego, CA, 92111 | (858)560-9349 | @skateworldsandiego

Swim Lessons


Get in the pool today! FREE Introductory Lesson*

*Check for available times & enroll today.

Photo by Zena Holloway •

• Peace of Mind • Confidence • Great Exercise • So much FUN!

• Indoor heated pool • Infant to adult • 3-to-1 student/ teacher ratio Excellent, Special Needs Programs for children with Autism! Call Today



619-209-2990 December 2016 • •


Take a stroll dow n

Lisa Gipson

GINGERBREAD LANE There’s something extra special about gingerbread houses—the enchanting miniature details, the temptation to eat

each sugary decoration, the comforting smell of ginger and cinnamon. San Diego provides plenty of opportunities to include gingerbread houses in your holiday festivities this year. Whether you participate in a local contest, see the handiwork of others, take a kids class or dine inside a life-size gingerbread house, family memories are a sure bet.

Visit the beautifully decorated lobby of Omni La Costa Resort to see spectacular gingerbread houses made by locals in the community. The gingerbread houses—in addition to the largest display of poinsettias in California—will be on display from Nov. 26 through Dec. 30. Also free and open to the public is Carols Of Carlsbad on Saturday, Dec. 3, featuring music from local elementary school kids, a holiday market, kids activities and a visit from Santa Claus. Learn more at

Stop by Rancho Bernardo Inn during the month of December to see the life-size gingerbread house—which takes months to prepare. Check out all the ingredients used in last year’s gingerbread house! 1,000 lbs. powdered sugar 750 lbs. granulated sugar 500 lbs. brown sugar 24 lbs. baking soda 2,160 eggs 1,500 lbs. flour 20 lbs. cinnamon 4 lbs. ground ginger 282 lbs. molasses 12 lbs. vanilla Visit to learn about special holiday events for guests and visitors.

40 • • December 2016

experience HANDS-ON Animal Interactions!


frosty farm

Dec 19-23 + Dec 27-30

Dec 3, 4, 10, 11

Preschool-6th Grade

Gingerbread houses made by area schools will be on display in the Cape Rey Carlsbad Resort lobby from Dec. 13–25. Anyone can visit the hotel to vote for their favorite gingerbread house contest entry. While there, families are also invited to participate in complimentary “Kids Countdown to Christmas” movie nights on select dates (below) at 6 p.m. RSVP to concierge@ Visit for more details.

Register at


Sat., Dec. 17: “Elf” and Cookie Decorating

Sponsored by

Mon., Dec. 19: “Polar Express” and Cookie Decorating Wed., Dec. 21: “Miracle on 34th Street” Fri., Dec. 23: “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”

See two winning sculptures from the annual Gingerbread City fundraiser, on display at the Mingei Museum during December Nights (Dec. 2 & 3) in Balboa Park. Proceeds from the Gingerbread City event benefit the Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County, which provides programs and services to San Diego families affected by epilepsy. Learn more at and find additional resources for families with special needs at

December 30, 2016 | 5:30–8:30pm Jump into your jammies and celebrate 2017 at The New Children’s Museum! Tickets start at $15. Visit for more information

We’ve Moved!

TO A BIGGER & BETTER LOCATION 6822B El Cajon Blvd. San Diego, CA 92115


cont. on p. 42

December 2016 • •


Gingerbread House Decorating Contests There are two ways to participate in the decorating contests at Queenstown Public House in Little Italy: • Children (ages 12 & under) who bring a new, unwrapped toy for donation from Dec. 1–20 receive a gingerbread house to decorate at home. Enter the contest by emailing a photo of the child’s creation to kiora@ (put “Kid’s Contest” in the subject line). The winner (selected from submitted photos) receives two tickets to Legoland.

OPEN DAILY THROUGH JANUARY 29, 2017 at the FLEET SCIENCE CENTER in beautiful Balboa Park. Book your tickets in advance! (619) 238-1233

San Diego Family is looking for six children ages 2-11 and one multiples combo to appear on the cover of a future issue of San Diego Family Magazine or our annual Out & About family adventure publication.

Do you want your child to appear on the

cover of our magazine?

2017 Cover Kids Search

• Enjoy an evening of family and friends at the Annual Holiday Bash on Dec. 20, which includes prizes, food and a “Kid at Heart” Gingerbread House Decorating Contest for teens and adults. Bring a new, unwrapped toy in exchange for an assembled gingerbread house to decorate at the party (must use provided decorations). Winner receives a special prize from Queenstown Public House. Learn more at www events

Carlie was one of our 2016 Cover Kids Winners!

Take a Gingerbread House Workshop

Enter online at: Visit our website for complete rules and more information, or call 619-685-6970.

Thank you to our sponsors:

Deadline is January 31, 2017 (Online entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. on this date. Mail-in entries must be postmarked by this date.)

Contest open to all San Diego County residents. Visit our website to enter contest online or print out the mail-in registration form. A $25 registration fee per entry ($35 for multiples category) must accompany a recent high quality photo, used to determine finalists (photo will not be returned). Submitted photos of 25 finalists from each category (100 total) will be displayed on our website at: Category finalists will be invited to a judging event to help determine contest winners. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Birch Aquarium at Scripps and the

Special Needs Resource Foundation of San Diego.

42 • • December 2016

Do It with Icing in Clairemont Mesa offers cake decorating and candy making classes for adults and kids. Take a gingerbread house workshop on Saturday, Dec. 10, 10:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. Learn how to use a piping bag, work with royal icing and decorate a pre-baked gingerbread house to take home. Children under age 8 must be accompanied by an adult. Preregistration and payment required. Learn more and see class schedule at

Tony/December 2016/cr

at Spreckels Theatre

r nts fo Discou , seniors n e r d chil military and

Dec. 9-23

“Best Nutcracker” Tommy Awards 858-272-8663

LEARN TO SWIM! Dine Inside a Life-Size Gingerbread House Yep, you read that right! During the month of December make a private reservation to dine inside a life-size gingerbread house in the lobby of Great Wolf Lodge in Garden Grove. Complete with gingerbread walls, candy trim and white icing snow, the table inside the house accommodates 2–10 guests. There’s a $10 fee (in addition to meal cost) for this extra special experience; proceeds go to Ronald McDonald House Charities. Make reservations now at www snowland. v

Find a recipe for gluten-free gingerbread men and royal icing at dining-and-recipes/familyrecipes/1996. Lisa Gipson is the managing editor at San Diego Family Magazine. As a tween she and her mom spent hours creating a gingerbread village and gingerbread train.

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December 2016 • •


0 1Experiences for Families Sponsored Content

Lisa Pawlak


Your must-do list of activities this season During this most magical time of year, San Diego comes alive with fun, family-friendly holiday events. It’s the perfect season to plan some outings with your kids to share the joys of theater and musical performance, experience parades and community events, or discover local snow and holiday light displays. Here, we’ve listed some of our favorite, can’t-miss December events to help your family create joyous and memorable holiday traditions.


heading communit y event by with a fun (and free!) 6 p.m. Michael at 3 c. De , Celebrate the season day tur simply rlight Parade on Sa e Starlight Parade is to Chula Vista’s Sta and MC, shares, “Th joy ge jud the e to rad ts pa ligh r me and Monaco, for From the parade t the kid in all of us. in a Chula ue en Av ird Th wn magical. It brings ou es do in en Santa Claus com 5 p.m., kids can play in children’s faces wh event, from noon to in y ma lida the ho e for tive Be fes ” Vista Fire Truck. visit Snack Alley for Snow Hill. Be sure to ’s sty m. Fro .co on de w ara sno the tarlightP event details at ww w.S goodies. Find more


For many local families, it just doesn’t feel like the holidays without an annual excursion to snow- covered Whoville. The wonderful, whimsical musical, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, is back for its 19th incredible year at The Old Globe in Balboa Park. Soon, the whole family will be singing along to “This Time of Year”, “Santa for a Day” and “Fah Who Doraze.” The music will chase away your innerGrinch. A special sensoryfriendly production on Dec. 10 will be performed for children with special needs and their families. Find ticket and show details at


44 • • December 2016

Discover the delig hts of dance performance with the Scripps Ballet Theatre an d Scripps Performing Ar ts Ac ademy’s 28 th annual, all-yout h produc tion of The Nutcracke r. Based on the beloved tale by E.T .A. Hoffmann, this classic ballet encompasses the musical brilliance of Tchaikovsky an d tells the story of a young girl and her magical adventu res one holiday evening. The talen ted cast features dancers ages 3–17 years old. Young viewers wi ll be mesmerized and audiences of all ages will be captivated by the wonderful story narrative, professio nal quality of the dancers and the fab ulous costumes. Ticket information is available at ww w. ScrippsPerfo rmingAr ts tcracker.


Experience snow in San Diego throughout the holiday season during Villa ge Walk at Eastlake’s Nightly Snow fall. Gather in the court yard, where festive holiday mu sic and lights will beckon as snow flakes gently fall. Kids are given “magic” glasses to see the snow in rainbow colors. Wi th more than 30 shops and restau rants (see full list at ww w. ShopVillag, cross some items off your holiday shopping list and enjoy a family dinner out. Our wi nter forecast predic ts snow De c. 3–24 at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m .

want to miss If your kids are intrigued by the theater, you won’t in Old Carol mas Christ A of Cygnet Theatre’s production ss tale features timele s’ Dicken of tion adapta unique This Town. and live sound original new music, creative staging, puppetry Dec. 4 at 1 p.m. effects. A special Family Day performance on coloring, hot includes pre-show cookie decorating, holiday Check www chocolate and discounted admission for kids. G and suitable for details. The show is rated for ages 5 and up. Take a road trip about 125 miles nor theast of San Diego and make merry in a nat ural Alpine wonderland! Ride the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway from the des ert floor to 8,516 ft. to exp erience breathtaking wild erness views. After the 12-minute journey, enjoy mountain top vistas, restaurants and hiking. Holiday choirs per form on select days, plus don’t miss the Annual Tree Lighting on Dec. 4 and Santa visits on Dec. 17. Book a special Ride ‘n’ Dine experience on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway on Dec. 25. Visit ww w.pstramway .com for details and reservations.


en your family enjoys an as the holiday lights wh Eyes twinkle as brightly ’s Holiday Nights. The ery Win fun at Bernardo evening of old-fashioned runs from Dec. 12–18. ich 9 p.m. for the event, wh il unt m, n ope ys sta ery win ns from the tasting roo us while enjoying selectio w ww See Visit Santa and Mrs. Cla . ppe Sho Merlot and V’s Cof fee outdoor wine bar, Café music, arts & crafts details. Kids love the live for m .co ery Win rdo .Berna s around the vineyard; ride e riag car rd, carolers and activities in the courtya ! htly lled wine. Food trucks nig parents love the hot mu


Diego Bay with a Ho Ho friends and family on San ‘Tis the season to gather to look for whales and ng alo s kid ise. Bring the Hornblower Holiday Cru n’t have to cook!) or wo u ed family gathering (yo end ext an oy e night. This enj ns, phi dol consider a romantic dat s include month’s day time option iday lunch; hol or nch bru e champagn Gala, y lida Ho evenings include Sunset y lida Ho , hts Nig ber Decem cruises. ner din hts Lig and Parade of r’s Eve Christmas and New Yea full event cruises also available. The w ww at calendar available ategor y/ s. ise sd+diningcru




If you’re seeking a spiritual conn ec tion this seas United Methodi on, First st Church in Mi ssion Valley inv family to worsh ites your ip at one of two Ch ristmas Eve se early 3 p.m. fam rvice s. An ily Christmas Ev e service will ha singing Christm ve ever yone as carols, with co okies, refreshme opportunities to nts and photo follow. At 5 p.m ., the annual Ch and Candle Light ristmas Pagean ing service shar t es the story of Jes through scriptu us’ bir th re readings and music. Visit ww christmaseve fo w. fumc r additional infor mation. cont. on next page

December 2016 • •




Christmas LIGHTS

presents the county’s most comprehensive list of holiday light shows and glittering festivities. If you know of awesome Christmas light displays in San Diego County that aren’t listed, email to be considered next year.

North County Inland

North County Coastal


CARLSBAD, 92009, 92011

Fairway Village, east and west sides of Stoney Gate Pl. 80 homes decorated in “Holiday Magic”. Dec. 10-Jan.1, 5:30-10:30 pm.


7607 Romeria St. Nicknamed “The Carlsbad Christmas House”. Walk up to see the animated window display, swimming penguins, surfing Santa, Snoopy skating and three snow machines. Food drive donations accepted. Dec. 4-31, 5-9 pm.

2609 Meadowlark Ln. An inflatable world for Christmas with over 35 inflatables and 1,000 lights. Candy canes for kids on Fri. & Sat., 6-9 pm. Dec. 1-Jan. 1, 5-10 pm. Dec. 24-26, 9am-10pm.

6646 Elegant Tern Pl. Real Santa’s mailbox for the kids and treats nightly. Santa writes back a free personalized letter to each child. Free community event Dec. 17 with cotton candy, crafts, bubbles and a special guest. Dec. 3-25, 5-10 pm.

POWAY, 92064

OCEANSIDE, 92056, 92057

12631 Stoutwood St. Off Twin Peaks Rd. & Deerwood St. Nicknamed “The Griswolds.” Dec. 1-Jan. 1, 5:30-10 pm weekdays, 11 pm weekends.

1615 Quiet Hills Dr. Lights synchronized to over 10 songs on 87.9 FM.

Hickory Ct./Hickory St., 12659 Butterwood Ct. and Rockrose Ct. All off Twin Peaks Rd. & Silverset St. named “Candy Cane Courts.” Entire cul-de-sacs are lit up. Dec. 10-24, 6-9 pm.

2329 Snead Dr. Lights, lights, lights, Santa arrives by hot air balloon, nativity scene, animated elves and Santa village light display. Walk up to see a Christmas scene in the garage. Dec. 5-31, 5:30-9 pm.

RAMONA, 92065

1562 Peacock Blvd. Rudolph, Christmas trees and lights. Dec. 10-Jan. 5. 5:30-10 pm.

23542 Bassett Way. “Happy Lights Ramona” with 30,000+ lights animated to music on 106.9 FM using 996 computer channels to control the lights. Nov. 24-Jan. 1; Sun-Th, 5:30-10 pm; Fri & Sat, 5:30-11 pm.


Holidays at LEGOLAND California. Enjoy live entertainment, twinkling lights, festive holiday songs and dancing with LEGO Friends Live, snow flurries, nightly fireworks Dec. 26-31, and the annual Kids’ New Year’s Eve Party on Dec. 31. Nov. 25-Jan. 1. 760-9185346.

Oviedo St. Off Black Mountain Rd. “Christmas Card Lane.” Also enter off Twin Trails Dr. & Carmel Mountain Rd. Dec. 9-31, dusk-10 pm.

Oceanside Harbor Parade of Lights Boats decorated in holiday lights circle Oceanside Harbor. Dec. 10, 7 pm. 760-722-5751.

SAN MARCOS, 92069, 92078

San Diego Botanic Garden “Garden of Lights” 125,000+ lights illuminating the Garden. Horse-drawn wagon rides, live music, holiday crafts, visits with Santa, marshmallow roasting and more. Dec. 3-23 and 26-30, 5-9 pm. Adults, $15-$20, children 3-12, $5. 230 Quail Gardens Dr., Encinitas. 760-436-3036.

1639 Knob Hill. Off Nordahl Rd. Between Tam O’ Shanter Dr. & Augusta Dr.; 29th year of decorating. 100,000+ lights plus themed displays. Nov. 24-Dec. 30, 5-9 pm. See Santa Dec. 14-23, 6:30-8 pm.

South Bay CHULA VISTA, 91910, 91911, 91914, 91915 Whitney St./Mankato. Circle between First and Second Ave. off H St. & 1st Ave. “Christmas Circle.” 59th year of decorating 55+ homes. Dec. 10-26, 5-10 pm.

PARADISE HILLS, 92139 2160 Reo Dr. 14th year of decorating. Nov. 21-Dec. 31, 7pm-midnight. On Dec. 17, free cookies and cocoa, 6:30-9 pm and Santa will be there from 6:30-8 pm.

CORONADO, 92118 Hotel del Coronado Celebrate the magic of the holidays as America’s beachfront legend transforms into a winter wonderland of ice and lights, sparkles and snowflakes. With its magnificent outdoor ice skating rink and DELights, The Del is celebrating all things shiny and bright. Join friends and family for lavish feasts, Victorian teas, festive parties and holiday traditions. 1500 Orange Ave. 619-522-8490.

#sdfamilylights – Share your holiday light photos with us!

46 • • December 2016

Downtown San Diego

San Diego Coastal

Luminaria. Trees, lamp posts, roofs and courtyards all decorated with lights. Along 30th St. and Fern St. from Juniper to Grape to Beech. Nov.27-Jan. 1.


The Forward House in Bankers Hill. Experience the sight and sounds of the season at 108 Ivy St. (1st & Ivy). Built in 1905 for Mayor John Forward Sr, adorned with lights every season since 1998. Nov. 24-Dec. 31, 5–10 pm. 619-533-7904.

San Diego Central

Garrison St. & Chatsworth. Off Rosecrans. “Garrison Street Lights”. Dec. 1-31. dusk-10 pm. Mission Bay Christmas Boat Parade of Lights. Over 100 vessels. Begins on Quivira Basin. Dec. 10, starts at 7 pm. 858-488-0501. San Diego Bay Parade of Lights. 45th Anniversary. “It Began with a Roar – San Diego Zoo Celebrates 100 Years” theme. Dec. 11 & 18, 5 pm. Starts off Shelter Island, goes through the harbor and ends at the Ferry Landing, Coronado. SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration. SeaWorld is decked out with more than a million holiday lights and a 40-ft. tree with an animated light show. Also visit Rudolph’s Christmastown and Snow Hill with real snow, Dec. 17-Jan. 1. Nov. 19-Jan. 1. Sights and Sounds of Christmas. Walk the San Diego Temple grounds and enjoy more than 130,000 lights and nativity scenes. Free. Dec. 1-Jan. 1, 5-11 pm. San Diego Temple, 7474 Charmant Dr., UTC.

BALBOA PARK Jungle Bells at the San Diego Zoo. Celebration of Lights and Carol of the Jungle Bells light experiences, Twinkle Light Trolley and live entertainment. Dec. 10-Jan. 2, 9 am-8 pm (til 5 pm Dec. 24). 619-231-1515.

CLAIREMONT, 92117 Lana Dr. & Jamar. Off Mt. Abernathy Ave. Circular street. “Clairemont Christmas Park”. 40+ homes decorated. Dec. 1-24. 5404 Mt. Burnham Dr. Features a 96-channel animated light display to 98.5 FM. North Pole village display, train and animated figures display in garage. Dec. 12-31, 6-10 pm.

El CERRITO, 92115 4210 E. Overlook Dr. Nicely decorated home includes 4-ft snowmen, lights, an English phone booth, nutcrackers, life-size sleigh and non-toxic falling snow. Dec. 5-Jan. 5, dusk to 10 pm.

East County EL CAJON, 92020, 92021 Jingle Bell Hill (also known as Pepper Dr. Lights). Solomon Ave./Pegeen Pl. and surrounding area. Off 67 & Bradley. Dec. 7-26, Mon-Th, 6-9 pm, Fri-Sun, 6-10 pm. 11456 Pegeen Pl. “Nightmare Before Christmas” theme, complete with Jack, Sally, Zero, the Mayor & Oogie Boogie. Santa may make a surprise visit. Dec. 5-Jan. 1, Mon-Th, 6-9 pm and Fri-Sun, 6-10 pm. 1838 El Pico Dr. Off Hacienda Dr. 53rd year decorating the 20-ft. star that’s 100 ft. up. Nov. 29-Dec. 31. Also see a 55-ft. train. Dec. 8-31, dusk-10 pm. 9777 Valley Ranch Rd. Cul-de-sac of lights programmed to 89.1 FM/87.9 FM. Giant dazzling trees, twinkling stars and a winter wonderland of computerized light and music shows. Nov. 28-Dec. 31, 5-10:30 pm. 1552 Cajon Greens Pl. Light-o-rama with a 20-ft. tree, thousands of lights, leaping arches, yard decorations, roof slopes of lights and video projector. Nov. 25-Jan. 2, Sun-Th, dusk-10 pm and Fri-Sat, dusk-midnight.

LAKESIDE, 92040 10248 Paseo Palmas Dr. 20+ houses nicknamed “Tinsel Town.” Dec. 5-25, 5:30-9 pm. 13518 Appaloosa Dr. 48 channels of lights dancing to 88.1 FM. Dec. 1-Jan. 1, 5-10 pm.

MIRA MESA, 92126

LA MESA, 91941, 91942

8866 Cassioepia Way. Decorated house with a Disney theme. Dec. 10-31, dusk-10 pm.

6266 De Camp Dr. 22-ft tree of light and more. Lights dance to Christmas songs. Dec. 1- 25, 5-9 pm.

10780 Foxwood Rd. Decorated house with a Scooby Doo theme. Dec. 10-31, dusk-10 pm.

9367 Urban Dr. Decorated with lots of lights and inflatables. Dec. 1-31, dusk-10 pm. 7817 Quince St. House lit up. Donations for Humane Society accepted. Dec. 6-31, dusk-10 pm. 8045 Stadler St. Inflatables matched with traditional illuminations. Dec. 1-24, dusk-10 pm.

11505 Elbert Ct. Decorated house with a PAW Patrol theme. Dec. 10-31, dusk-10 pm.



689 Meadowbrook Dr. Off Jamacha Rd. South of Lemon Grove. Occasional sightings of Santa and Mrs. Claus. Dec. 8-Jan. 1, dusk-10 pm.

Stonebridge Pkwy & Merritage Ct. Nicknamed “Merry-tage Court”, entire street lit up with fun themes. Dec. 1-31, 5:30-9:30 pm.

TIERRASANTA, 92124 5306 Belardo Dr. Off Via Valarta at Via Playa De Cortes. Over 100,000 lights and decorations all sequenced and animated to music at 106.1 FM. Nov. 26-Dec. 26, 6-10 pm. 10927 Baroque Ln. A Winter wonderland with shooting star display, animated ski village, miniature village, snowmen and more. Dec. 9-28, 6-10 pm.

2618 Sheri Lane. Cul-de-sac turns into Santa Claus Lane. Light show at 6:30 pm and every 30 minutes on 89.9 FM. Dec. 1-31, 5:30-9:30 pm.

SANTEE, 92071 Starlight Circle/Sunburst Santee. Tomel Court, off Magnolia. Many homes lit up. Dec. 17-26, dusk-10 pm. 9325 Pebble Beach Dr. Displays on house and yard set to music. Dec. 1-31, dusk-10 pm. 9435 Saint Andrews Dr. Santee’s gingerbread house with over 12,000 lights. Nov. 28-Jan. 1, dusk-10pm. 9773 Roe Dr. 27,000 Christmas lights dance to 10 songs over 128 computer channels. Food Bank and St. Jude donations accepted. Dec. 3-Jan. 2. Sun-Th, 6-10 pm and Fri & Sat, 6-11 pm.

SPRING VALLEY, 91977 4037 N. Bonita St. Lots of lights, music and decorations. Dec. 15-Jan. 5, dusk-11 pm.

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December 2016 • •


Calendar • December

Jennifer A. Burman

Helen Woodward Animal Center’s Frosty Farm

Experience a cool blend of amazing animal interactions and festive activities including crafts, an elf obstacle course, story time with Santa, a hot cocoa station, cookie decorating and letters to Santa. Dec. 3, 4, 10 & 11, 9 am-2:30 pm. $9.99-$19.99. 6461 El Apajo Rd., Rancho Santa Fe. Register at

Editor’s Picks FREE Escondido Jaycees Christmas Parade

This year’s theme, “Christmas on Route 66,” takes you on the road to all things merry and bright! Parade heads south on Broadway, from Escondido High School to Grape Day Park. Dec. 10, 9:30 am. After the parade, head down to Christmas on Maple in historic downtown Escondido with sleighloads of delightful activities for the family.

48 • • December 2016


Still looking for last month’s events? Check out the digital edition of our November issue at

Stress-Free Family Holiday Month Read a New Book Month Safe Toys & Gifts Month

Unwrap the magic of the holidays with our list (Santa already checked it twice) of the biggest and brightest happenings of the season! Check out Santa sightings, holiday parades, tree lightings, Nutcracker performances, caroling and yuletide tunes, and other attractions. Don’t forget to call to confirm dates, times and admission prices.

thursday | 1 FREE Tree Lighting & Holiday Open House. Plus live music, photos with Santa, cookie decorating and holiday shopping. 5:30-8 pm. Please bring an unwrapped toy donation for the Toys for Tots Foundation. Cape Rey Carlsbad, 1 Ponto Rd. www FREE Joan Embery’s My Animal World. This exhibit highlights the life of this iconic San Diego Zoo “Wild Animal Ambassador” and local horsewoman. Through Dec. 3; visit website for hours. Bonita Museum and Cultural Center, 4355 Bonita Rd. Cygnet Theatre’s “A Christmas Carol.” Through Dec. 24. Also, don’t miss Family Day at Cygnet on Dec. 4 from 1-2 pm. Old Town Theatre, 4040 Twiggs St. For details, see page 45.

friday | 2 San Diego Symphony’s Fox Film Series: “Home Alone.” John Williams’ beloved soundtrack is performed live by the San Diego Symphony Orchestra as this 90s classic is shown on three large screens. 8 pm. Visit website for tickets. Copley Symphony Hall, 750 B St., downtown San Diego.

FREE Fallbrook Holiday Tree Lighting. Also featuring live music, holiday shopping, Toys for Tots, food and family activities. 5-7:30 pm. Fallbrook Community Center, 341 Heald Lane. Lamb’s Festival of Christmas: “The Angel’s Arms.” A novelist suffering from a case of writer’s block encounters an odd old inn where its inhabitants add an unexpected dose of magic, not only to his writing but to his experience of Christmas. Tonight until Dec. 24; visit website for schedule and tickets. For ages 5 & up. Lamb’s Players Theatre, 1142 Orange Ave., Coronado. FREE Alpine Village Christmas Parade of Lights & Snow Festival. Parade starts on Alpine Blvd. at West Victoria Dr., and ends near Tavern Rd. 6:30-8:30 pm. Also, enjoy free sledding on real snow during the festival (starts at 7 pm) at the Alpine Creek Town Center (1347 Tavern Rd.). Queen Bee Market’s Holiday Show. Featuring vintage and handmade goods from more than 85 vendors, live music, food and drinks. Today, 4-9 pm & tomorrow, 9 am-4 pm. $5 per person; ages 12 & under and military free. 1300 Specialty Dr., Vista.

Plan fun-filled family adventures all year long with Out & About! Find the digital edition at www.sandiegofamily .com/out-and-about.

FREE Coronado Holiday Parade & Open House. Parade travels along Orange Avenue, from 8th to R.H. Dana. 6 pm. More details at “A Snow White Christmas.” Watch this updated version of the classic tale in the style of a traditional British family Panto with magic, dancing, contemporary music and more. Tonight until Dec. 24; visit website for schedule and tickets. Lyceum Theatre, 79 Horton Plaza, downtown San Diego.

FREE Balboa Park’s December Nights

Photo by Isaiah Leggett

Kick the holiday spirit into high gear at this community festival filled with fun, food and attractions throughout the park including free admission to Balboa Park museums from 5-9 pm. Enjoy seasonal entertainment, gift shopping opportunities as well as spectacular lighting throughout the park. Dec. 2, 3-11 pm & Dec. 3, noon-11 pm.

December 2016 • •


Calendar • December FREE Friday Night Liberty. Meet working artists, enjoy live performances, visit museums and galleries, and exploring the growing district decorated in its holiday finest. 5-9 pm. ARTS DISTRICT Liberty Station, Point Loma. www.libertystation .com/blog/salute-the-season. FREE Christmas in the Valley. Take a Polar Express ride to visit with Santa, make crafts, listen to carols, shop for gifts and more. Today, 4-8 pm & tomorrow, 10 am- 4 pm. Bates Nut Farm, 15954 Woods Valley Rd., Valley Center. FREE Lindley Lopez Circus Presents “An Angel’s Gift.” Tonight, 7 pm & tomorrow, 2 & 7 pm. Mid-City Gym, 4302 Landis St., City Heights. North Pole Limited. Come aboard for Christmas carols, a popular Christmas tale read by Santa’s elves, cookies and hot chocolate, and of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus. Fridays & Saturdays, through Dec. 17, 5 & 7 pm. $10-$50. Tickets must be

purchased in advance. Trains depart from Campo Depot, 750 Depot St. Scholarshare’s Toddler Time. Fun activities for ages 4 & under. This month, sing and dance to festive tunes, make a fingerpainting masterpiece for the holidays, snuggle up with cool tales to embrace the New Year and more. Fridays, 10-11 am. Free with admission. The New Children’s Museum, 200 West Island Ave., downtown San Diego. FUNbelievable Play’s Family Fun Nights. Fridays, 5-8 pm. Regular admission prices apply. 11655 Riverside Dr. #155-157, Lakeside. Holiday Fun Aboard the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Holiday choirs on select days, the annual tree lighting (Dec. 4), Santa visits (Dec. 17) and more. For details, see page 45. FREE Balboa Park’s December Nights. See page 49.

saturday | 3 “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” Through Dec. 26. Also, watch a sensory-friendly performance for children with autism (as well as other sensitivity issues) and their families on Dec. 10, 10:30 am. Old Globe Theatre, Balboa Park. Learn more on page 44. FREE Santa’s Magical Village. Breakfast with Santa (9-11:30 am at San Marcos Civic Center, 1 Civic Center Dr. $4$5), free children’s crafts, the annual tree lighting (5:30 pm), arts and crafts vendors, and entertainment. 9 am-7 pm. San Marcos Community Center, 3 Civic Center Dr. FREE Holiday Fun at Village Walk at EastLake. Pose with Santa, get a free coloring book from Mrs. Claus, ride a train, make a themed craft and enjoy afternoon snowfalls (1, 2 & 3 pm. Also, nightly through Dec. 24, 6 & 7 pm). Noon-3 pm. 878 EastLake Pkwy., Chula Vista. See page 45 for more details.


A Great Place for Birthdays, Sports and Teen Parties! Ask us about fundraisers, club meetings, banquets and catering. CASA DE ORO 9676 Campo Road


ENCINITAS 1321 Encinitas Blvd.


ESCONDIDO 1161 E. Washington Ave. NORTH ESCONDIDO 555 W. Country Club Lane #J

760-489-0191 760-489-0955

LA MESA 5999 Severin Drive


LA MESA 8032 La Mesa Blvd. (by Vons)


RANCHO SAN DIEGO 2650 Jamacha & Fury (by Ralphs)


SANTEE 9824 Magnolia Avenue


TIERRASANTA 10415 Tierrasanta Blvd.


UNIVERSITY CITY 3250 Governor Drive


50 • • December 2016

South Coast Equestrian (SCE) focuses on teaching children and adults the importance of horsemanship while sharing our passion and love for horses. SCE riding school provides quiet, well-mannered horses and experienced instructors, to guide you from the ground up whether it’s your first time around a horse or it’s been since childhood that you rode last. Come treat yourself or give your child a safe and fun environment to get away from it all!




CALL NOW! 858-442-2569

5275 Del Mar Mesa Rd., San Diego, CA 92130

Scripps Performing Arts Academy & Scripps Ballet Theatre Present “The Nutcracker.” Today, tomorrow, Dec. 10 & 11, 2 pm. David & Dorothea Garfield Theatre, 4126 Executive Dr., La Jolla. More details on page 44. STEAM Maker Festival. Featuring activities, demonstrations and attractions dedicated to furthering a love of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics in kids of all ages. 10 am-4 pm. $6-$8. Exhibition Hall, Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd. FREE Vista Christmas Parade. This year’s parade celebrates 20 years of Pokémon and all things Nintendo! 1-3 pm. South Santa Fe Ave. & Main St., downtown Vista. Lightwire Theater Presents “A Very Electric Christmas.” Light up your holidays as you watch this production with dazzling visuals and storytelling that incorporate dance, puppetry and technology. There will also be a snow area for the kids before the show. 6 pm. $10-$25. Moonlight Amphitheatre, 1200 Vale Terrace Dr., Vista. FREE Chula Vista’s Starlight Parade. Travels along Third Avenue, between H & E Sts. 6 pm. Learn more on page 44. FREE Holiday Tree Lighting and Winter Wonderland Festival. Experience the North Pole in the heart of Escondido. Featuring live reindeer, cookie decorating

for kids, themed entertainment, vendors, Santa and real snow! 3-8 pm. California Center for the Arts, Escondido, 340 N. Escondido Blvd. FREE North Park Toyland Parade & Festival. Parade travels down University Ave., between Utah & Herman Sts. 11 am-1 pm. Festival located behind the North Park Theatre on North Park Way, 29th St. & Granada. Noon3 pm. Holiday at the Rancho. Blending holiday spirit with a bit of western history, this event features a 14-foot tree lighting, games and crafts, cookie decorating, an outdoor screening of The Polar Express, train rides ($3), Santa visit and more. 5-8 pm. Tickets: $8; under 3 free. Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park, 6200 Flying L.C. Lane, Carlsbad. (search under “Special Events”). FREE Little Italy’s Tree Lighting & Christmas Village. Experience two tree lightings (5:30 pm) for the first time this year, seasonal vendors, festive décor, live music and entertainment, holiday treats and crafts, and more along India Street in downtown San Diego. 4-8 pm. You can also visit Santa’s Living Room on the corner of W. Fir & India Sts. to take photos with Santa until 6:30 pm. Details at FREE OB Holiday Parade. Featuring more than 100 entries including decorated floats, classic cars, marching bands, Santa Claus and more. 5:05-7 pm. Along Newport Ave., Ocean Beach.

Garden of Lights. See more than 125,000 sparkling lights illuminating the San Diego Botanic Garden. Also, horse-drawn wagon rides and snow for sledding (select evenings), marshmallow roasting, visits with Santa (through Dec. 23) and more. Tonight until Dec. 23 & 26-30, 5-9 pm. $5-$15; additional fees for some activities. 230 Quail Gardens Dr., Encinitas. FREE South Park’s Holiday Walkabout. Explore all the unique businesses around South Park, and take advantage of free treats, entertainment and special offers. 6-10 pm. North and south end of the South Park business district, from Kalmia & 30th St., extending south to Beech St. FREE Encinitas Holiday Parade. Encinitas celebrates 30 years since becoming a city in 1986 with this year’s theme, “Encinitas86.” Parade travels along Coast Highway 101, starting at 5:30 pm. Also, attend the tree lighting ceremony at 5 pm with a Santa appearance at the Lumberyard. A Rawhide Country Christmas. Pony and hay rides, a petting zoo, photos with Santa, campfire carols, holiday treats, horse vaulting exhibitions and more. See the entire ranch decorated with Christmas lights and decked out in its holiday best. Today, tomorrow, Dec. 10 & 11, 3-8 pm. $10 per car; nominal fee for some activities. 6987 W. Lilac Rd., Bonsall.

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619-685-6970 December 2016 • •


Calendar • December FREE Holiday in the Village. Arctic animals and characters from The Nutcracker, The Polar Express and A Snow White Christmas join Santa to create a merry experience for young and old. Join the Ugliest Holiday Sweater Contest, see snow showers, make crafts and watch live performances. Noon-4 pm. Memorial Park, 373 Park Way, Chula Vista. Party on the Pier: Toy Drive. Donate two toys and receive a free guest pass to the museum (while sFree for guestupplies last). Also, meet Delana and the Star Team during the Star 94.1 live broadcast, see more than 100 decorated Jeeps courtesy of the San Diego Jeep Club, enjoy giveaways and vendors, and take a selfie with Santa. 10 am-3 pm. USS Midway Museum, 910 N. Harbor Dr., downtown San Diego. www. FREE Holiday Model Train Display by the San Diego S-Gaugers. Through Dec. 31. Saturdays, Sundays & Tuesdays, noon-6 pm. Next to Super Brows (#304 on the mall map), Grossmont Center, 5500 Grossmont Center

52 • • December 2016

Dr., La Mesa. KinderTots: Colors, Colors Everywhere. Today, Dec. 10 & 17, 8:30-9:30 am. $15 plus admission. Call to register. For ages 18 mos.3 yrs. San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park.; 619-557-3962. FREE Crafts at the Lakeshore Learning Store. For ages 3 & up. Saturdays, 11 am-3 pm. 7510 Hazard Center Dr., San Diego & 702 Center Dr., San Marcos. FREE Cookies & Cocoa with Santa. Take family photos with Santa and enjoy sweet treats. Saturdays in Dec., 3-5 pm. Free for resort guests and patrons. The Island Market at Paradise Point Resort & Spa, 1404 Vacation Rd., San Diego. Helen Woodward Animal Center’s Frosty Farm. See page 48.

sunday | 4 FREE Holiday Concert by All About Music. Listen to the spectacular sounds of the

season courtesy of the All About Music Youth Orchestra. 2 pm. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church in Bay Park, 1945 Illion St. Donations accepted. FREE Kiwanis Club of San Marcos Holiday Parade. This year’s theme: “Christmas Around the World.” Starts at Palomar College, travels east on Mission Rd., turns right on San Marcos Blvd. and ends at the San Marcos Civic Center. 1 pm. Go, Chargers! See the Chargers take on the Buccaneers at 1:25 pm. Also, Dec. 18 (vs. Raiders), 1:25 pm. For tickets, visit website. Qualcomm Stadium, Mission Valley. FREE Solana Beach Holiday Tree Lighting. Plus live music, treats and a visit from Santa. 5 pm; Santa’s arrival, 5:20 pm. Fletcher Cove Park, 111 S. Sierra Ave. Vienna Boys Choir. The internationally renowned, charming young choristers from a centuries-old singing tradition return

to the Jacobs Music Center to perform heartwarming choral classics. 7:30 pm. Visit website for tickets. 750 B St., downtown San Diego. FREE Santa by the Sea. Join Santa and Mrs. Claus in the L’Auberge Amphitheater for holiday photos, seasonal tunes, letters to the North Pole, the Rad Hatter, a tree lighting and more. 3-5 pm. 1540 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar. Battle Day. Commemorate the 1846 Battle of San Pasqual at this event that includes living history activities, period demos, military and mountain men encampments, and more. 11 am-3 pm. San Pasqual Battlefield State Historic Park, 15808 San Pasqual Valley Rd., Escondido. SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration. Meet Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, watch live shows, get a photo with Santa at Santa’s Christmas Village, check out the 320-foot Skytower Tree of Lights and more. Through Jan. 1; visit website for hours and admission. Interstate 5, exit SeaWorld Dr., San Diego. FREE SoNo Fest & Chili Cook-Off. Holiday shopping, live music, kids fun fest and more. 11 am-5 pm. 32nd & Thorn, North Park. FREE Train Rides, Photos & Visits with Santa. Noon-2 pm. Old California Restaurant Row, 1020 W. San Marcos Blvd., San Marcos. Hornblower Holiday Cruises. Choose from a merry array of daytime and nighttime cruises this month! Details on page 45.

monday | 5 Rady Children’s Hospital’s Fantasy on Ice. Spend the holiday season ice skating in an outdoor rink at ARTS DISTRICT Liberty Station. Through Jan. 3; visit website for schedule. $12-$14. 2875 Dewey Rd., San Diego.

tuesday | 6 San Diego Gulls Home Games. See them play against Bakersfield tonight at 7 pm. Other home games this month: Dec. 13 (vs. Ontario); Dec. 16 & 17 (vs. Stockton); Dec. 26 (vs. Tucson) & Dec. 27 (vs. Ontario). For complete schedule and tickets, visit website. Valley View Casino Center, 3500 Sports Arena Blvd., San Diego.


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KOHLSCARSAFETY.ORG 54 • • December 2016

Calendar • December Girl Singers of the Hit Parade Holiday Show. Listen to popular holiday songs of the 50s in the stylings of The Andrews Sisters, Lennon Sisters and McGuire Sisters. Also includes the music of Hanukkah as well as a Frozen medley! Tonight until Dec. 24; visit website for schedule. $42. North Coast Repertory Theatre, 987 Lomas Santa Fe Dr., Ste. D, Solana Beach.

wednesday | 7 Family Night: Tree Ornaments. Bring a pie tin for each pie being made. 6-7 pm. $3. Registration closes two days prior to the event. San Marcos Community Center, 3 Civic Center Dr. Register at FREE First Wednesdays: The Cherries Jubilee. Experience the music and dance of the early jazz era. 7 pm. Tickets handed out on a first-come, first-seated basis. California Center for the Arts, Escondido, 340 N. Escondido Blvd. FREE Del Mar Highlands Town Center’s Holiday Celebration. Featuring two laser light shows (5:15 & 6:15 pm) complete with falling snow, visits with Santa, carolers, cookies and more. 5-7:30 pm. Please bring an unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots. Cor. of Del Mar Heights Rd. & El Camino Real, Carmel Valley. Parent Movie Mornings at UltraStar Cinemas. Bring your baby to see a movie and enjoy valet stroller parking, dimmed lights and changing facilities in the auditorium. Wednesdays, 10 am. UltraStar Mission Valley Cinemas at Hazard Center, 7510 Hazard Center Dr. #100, San Diego.

thursday | 8 Nature & Me Story Time: Cats. 10:15 am. Free with paid admission. For ages 1-5 with parent. San Diego Natural History Museum, Balboa Park.; 877-946-7797.

friday | 9 KinderNights: H is for Hippo, Hyena, Hyacinth Macaw and More. Encounter a few “H” critters in this alphabet adventure at the San Diego Zoo. Tonight, tomorrow, Dec. 16 & 17, 6-7:30 pm. $18. For ages 3-6 with adult. Call for reservations. Balboa Park.; 619-557-3962.

San Diego Civic Youth Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.” Journey to the magical Land of the Sweets with young Clara and her brave Nutcracker Prince. Tonight & Dec. 16, 7 pm; tomorrow & Dec. 17, 2 & 7 pm; Dec. 11 & 18, 2 pm. $12-$18. Casa del Prado Theatre, Balboa Park. San Marcos Theatre West Presents “Annie.” Tonight, 7:30 pm; tomorrow, 6 pm; Dec. 11, 2 pm. $7-$10. San Marcos Community Center, 3 Civic Center Dr. Holiday Doggie Café. Get training tips from San Diego Humane Society’s certified behavior training team, and have your dog’s photos taken with Santa. Tonight, 6-8 pm at the Oceanside Campus (572 Airport Rd.); tomorrow, noon-2 pm at the Escondido Campus (3450 East Valley Pkwy.); Dec. 16, 6-8 pm at the San Diego Campus (5500 Gaines St.). Register at “The Nutcracker” by City Ballet of San Diego. Tonight, Dec. 16 & 21, 7:30 pm; tomorrow, Dec. 17 & 22, 2 & 7:30 pm; Dec. 11, 18 & 23, 2 pm. Following each matinee performance, meet cast members in the lobby and have your pictures taken with them. Visit website for tickets. Spreckels Theatre, 121 Broadway, downtown San Diego.

FREE Liberty Station’s Holiday Block Party. Get ready for Santa’s sleigh and plenty of wondrous activities as unique eateries, creative studios and community located within Liberty Station pull out all the stops with free bites and sips, live entertainment and holiday fun. 4:30-7:30 pm. 2640 Historic Decatur Rd., Point Loma. Polar Express Family Day. Wear your jammies and enter a magical world full of holiday treats and trains. Watch The Polar Express (11:30 am) and enjoy games, a holiday keepsake to make and a visit from the North Pole. 11 am-3 pm. Activities included with admission price. San Diego Model Railroad Museum, Balboa Park. Family Art Class at Mission Trails Regional Park: Orchids in Mixed Media. 1-4 pm. $25 per class. For ages 7 & up. Rm. C of Visitor Center, One Father Junipero Serra Trail, San Diego. To register, visit or email FREE Christmas in the Park. Come to this old-fashioned celebration that offers

horse-drawn hay and pony rides, model trains, holiday treats, petting zoo, tree lighting (5:15 pm) and Santa. (5:30 pm). 3:30-8:30 pm. Old Poway Park, 14134 Midland Rd., Poway. Tinkerers’ Club: Holiday Lights, Paper Circuits. Make a paper circuit that can be used as an interactive art piece or a holiday card for loved ones. 10:30 am-12:30 pm in the Tinkering Studio. $20. Advance registration recommended. Fleet Science Center, Balboa Park. FREE Prelude to the Holidays. An MTRP trail guide unravels the mysteries behind mistletoe and other plants that showcase Southern California’s winter ornamentation and holiday traditions on this fun walk. Today & Dec. 24, 8:30-10 am. Meet by the flag poles at the Kumeyaay Campground Entry Station, Mission Trails Regional Park, Two Father Junipero Serra Trail, Santee. Jungle Bells. Familiar holiday traditions take on a wild twist at San Diego Zoo’s seasonal celebration. Hop on the Twinkle Light

Scripps Performing Arts Presents “Elf, Jr.” Tonight, 7 pm; tomorrow, Dec. 17 & 18, 4 pm. For tickets, visit website. Vincent Paul Black Box Theater, 9920 Scripps Lake Dr., San Diego.

saturday | 10 FREE Meet Ronald McDonald. Plus fun and surprises! 1 pm. McDonald’s at Westfield Plaza Camino Real, 2525 El Camino Real, Carlsbad.

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Calendar • December Trolley for a special tour of the Zoo’s festive décor, do some holiday shopping, enjoy animal experiences and live entertainment, meet Santa and more. Today until Dec. 23, 25-31, Jan. 1 & 2; visit website for hours and admission. Balboa Park. FREE Christmas on Maple. Shop at the Holiday Boutique with more than 50 vendors, and enjoy family-friendly activities. 10 am-3 pm. On Maple Plaza in historic downtown Escondido. FREE Jolly Fun at EastLake Village Marketplace. See Santa arrive on the Holiday Express Train and enjoy live performances, face painting and balloon sculptures. 1-4 pm. Cor. of EastLake Pkwy. & Otay Lakes Rd., Chula Vista. Parol Philippine Lantern Festival. View an impressive exhibit of a hundred parols, watch cultural performances and enjoy Filipino food like pansit, lumpia, pandesal and turon. 1-5 pm. Visit website for tickets. Joe & Vi Jacobs Center, Celebration Hall, 404 Euclid Ave., San Diego. FREE HolidayFest at Grossmont Center. Meet costumed characters like the Grinch and Frosty the Snowman, make crafts, spend some time with Santa and his elves, jump in a gingerbread bounce house and more. Today, tomorrow, Dec. 17 & 18, 2-4 pm. 5500 Grossmont Center Dr., La Mesa. California Ballet Company’s “The Nutcracker.” Tonight until Dec. 24; visit website for schedule and tickets. Also includes an autism-friendly performance (today, 2:30 pm) and a toddler-friendly performance (Dec. 21, 2 pm). San Diego Civic Theatre, 1100 3rd Ave., downtown San Diego. FREE Oceanside Parade of Lights. View festively decorated boats in the Oceanside Harbor. 7-9 pm. Breakfast with Santa at San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Today & Dec. 17, 9-11 am. $15.95-$25.95 plus admission. Call for reservations.; 619-718-3000.

56 • • December 2016

FREE San Diego Gulls’ Learn to Play Clinics. A program for new hockey players under 12. Saturdays, Dec. 10, 17, Jan. 7 & 14, 10:40-11:40 am at Icetown Carlsbad (2283 Cosmos Ct.); Sundays, Dec. 11, 18, Jan. 8 & 15, 3:15-4:15 pm at Poway Ice Arena (12455 Kerran St. #100). Register at

monday | 12

Escondido Jaycees Christmas Parade. See page 48.

Santa’s Hut at Grossmont Center. Strike a merry pose with Santa in the gazebo in the courtyard. Through Dec. 24; visit website for hours. 5500 Grossmont Center Dr., La Mesa.

sunday | 11 Skating by the Sea. Skate on San Diego’s only beachfront ice skating rink amidst The Del’s iconic Victorian Building brimming with thousands of sparkling lights. Through Jan. 2; visit website for hours and tickets. Hotel del Coronado, 1500 Orange Ave. FREE San Diego Bay Parade of Lights. This year’s theme: “It Began with a Roar – San Diego Zoo Celebrates 100 Years.” The parade of approximately 80 lavishly decorated boats will start at Shelter Island and proceed to Harbor Island, the Embarcadero, Seaport Village, the Pier at Cesar Chavez Park, and end at the Ferry Landing in Coronado. Tonight & Dec. 18, 5 pm. Family Day at theNAT: Nature Detective. Uncover nature’s secrets through activities and crafts that explore the great outdoors. 11 am-3 pm. Free with admission. San Diego Natural History Museum, Balboa Park. San Diego Union Tribune Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade & Expo. This annual parade steps off at 3 pm from MLK Promenade Park, continues up 4th Ave., takes a right on E St. and down 5th Ave., and ends under the iconic Gaslamp Quarter Archway. Pet expo at MLK Promenade Park features live music, a photo booth, giveaways and more from 1-5 pm. Register to join the parade at Holidays at LEGOLAND California Resort. Get in the festive spirit at the annual winter holiday celebration featuring dazzling lights, live entertainment, the world’s largest LEGO Christmas tree, snow flurries and more. Through Jan. 1; visit website for hours. Free with admission.

Gingerbread House Day Sweeten the season with gingerbread house-related activities on page 40.

FREE Holiday Nights at Bernardo Winery. Tonight until Dec. 18; open until 9 pm. 13330 Paseo Del Verano Norte, San Diego. Learn more on page 45.

tuesday | 13 Holiday Memories. Revel in the joy of the season through this exhibit that highlights cherished traditions of members of the community. Through Jan. 9; visit website for hours and admission. San Diego Model Railroad Museum, Balboa Park. San Diego Gulls Home Games. See Dec. 6.

wednesday | 14 “An American Christmas.” Travel back to 1916 for a grand Christmas feast and celebration. Tonight until Dec. 24 (except Dec. 19), 6:30 pm. For tickets, visit website. For ages 5 & up. THE US GRANT Hotel, 326 Broadway, downtown San Diego. Don’t forget to call to confirm dates, times and admission prices.

thursday | 15 “An Irish Christmas.” Experience Christmas in Ireland with dancing, singing and traditional Irish music. 7 pm. Visit website for tickets. California Center for the Arts, Escondido, 340 N. Escondido Blvd. Photos with Santa at Seaport Village. Through Dec. 24; visit website for schedule and photo packages. Located at the East Plaza Gazebo. 849 W. Harbor Dr., downtown San Diego.

friday | 16 Parent’s Night Out at North County Gymnastics & The Gyminny Kids. Take the night off while the kids have a blast with games, gymnastics, a movie and more. 6:309:30 pm. Call for fees and to reserve your spot. For ages 3 & up (must be potty-trained). 17022 Camino San Bernardo, San Diego.; 800-GYMINNY. “Miracle on 34th Street: A Live Radio Show” by Oceanside Theatre Company. Also, pre-show activities including winter treats, a children’s holiday choir singing carols and Santa visits. Tonight, 7:30 pm; tomorrow, 2 & 7:30 pm; Dec. 18, 2 pm. $9-$19; ages 3 & under free. The Brooks Theatre, 217 N. Coast Hwy., Oceanside. CCT’s “Traditions of Christmas.” Embark on a musical journey through all the greatest Christmas songs and celebrations from around the world. Tonight, Dec. 20-23, 7 pm; tomorrow & Dec. 18, 2 & 7 pm. $20-$42. Lincoln Performing Arts Center, 4777 Imperial Ave., San Diego. shows/Traditions-of-Christmas-2016-116. Pet Pals. Children, ages 6-12, learn about animal friends. 4:30-5:30 pm. $10 per child. Reservations required. San Diego Humane Society’s San Diego Campus, 5500 Gaines St., San Diego. www; 619-299-7012, ext. 2256. San Diego Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.” Tonight, tomorrow & Dec. 18; visit website for show times and tickets. UC San Diego’s Mandeville Auditorium, La Jolla.

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KinderNights: H is for Hippo, Hyena, Hyacinth Macaw and More. See Dec. 9.

saturday | 17 Kids Abominable Snowman Cake Workshop with Jose Barajas. Make a cool cake of the Abominable Snowman from the animated TV classic. 10:30 am-1:30 pm. $80. For ages 8 & up. Pre-registration required. Do It With Icing, 7240 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., San Diego. 858-268-1234. Parent’s Nite Out at Elite Gymnastics Academy: Winter Wonderland. Kids, ages 4 & up, have a great time with gymnastics, games and other activities. 6-10 pm. $20. December 2016 • •



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Calendar • December Register online. 1817 John Towers Ave., El Cajon. FREE Breakfast with Santa. Plus arts and crafts, games and contests. 10 am-1 pm. Call for details. Municipal Gymnasium, 2111 Pan American Plaza, San Diego.; 619-525-8262. FREE Star Party Marvels. Join stargazer George Varga for an evening tour of the night sky. 5-8 pm. Meet at the far end of the Kumeyaay Campground Day Use parking lot, Mission Trails Regional Park, Two Father Junipero Serra Trail, Santee. Breakfast with Santa at Harbor House Restaurant. Plus carolers, a kids’ show, balloon artist, face painting and a gift bag for the kids. Today & tomorrow, 9-10:30 am. $25. Call for reservations; space is limited. Seaport Village, 849 West Harbor Dr., downtown San Diego. www.seaportvillage .com; 619-235-4014, ext. 8. Hike Borrego Palm Canyon for FREE. In honor of its 50th anniversary, Anza-Borrego Foundation is sponsoring free admission to popular hiking trail, Borrego Palm Canyon, a family-friendly hike known for its oversized palm tree grove and bighorn sheep sightings, culminating in a palm oasis and waterfall. Today & tomorrow; all day. Registration required. To get your pass, visit FREE Kids Countdown to Christmas. Enjoy a pairing of traditional holiday films with cookie decorating, ornament making, craft projects and visits with Mrs. Claus. Tonight until Dec. 23, 6 pm. To RSVP, email Cape Rey Carlsbad, 1 Ponto Rd. holidays-at-the-cape.htm. Breakfast with Santa at Spring Valley Community Center. Plus arts and crafts, and entertainment. 9-10:30 am. $4-$5; additional $5 for photos with Santa. Call for reservations. 8735 Jamacha Blvd. 619-479-1832. FREE Escondido Roots Series: Scotland. Storytelling, cultural performances and activities. 2-4 pm. San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum, 320 N. Broadway. Dancers Against Cancer Presents Annual Christmas Carnival Fundraiser & Winter Show. Spend a day filled with activity booths, cookie decorating, games, pictures with Santa, treats for

58 • • December 2016

purchase and holiday shows (2:30, 4:30 & 6:30 pm). Noon-9 pm. $7-$8. Dance Unlimited Performing Arts Academy, 4263 Oceanside Blvd., 2nd Flr., Oceanside. FREE HolidayFest at Grossmont Center. See Dec. 10.

sunday | 18 San Diego Symphony’s Family Holiday Concert. Featuring traditional Christmas tunes, the San Diego Master Chorale and a visit from Santa. 2 pm. Visit website for tickets. Copley Symphony Hall, 750 B St., downtown San Diego. FREE DELights at The Del. Stroll through the shops at The Del and enjoy a light show (5-9:30 pm), treats, children’s activities and more. Through Jan. 1; visit website for more details. Hotel del Coronado, 1500 Orange Ave. “Holiday Harmonies” by The California Note Catchers Chorus. Featuring four-part barbershop classic, traditional and international holiday music. 3:30 pm. $12. Paradise Village, 2700 East 4th St., National City. For tickets, call 619-889-0299. Go, Chargers! See Dec. 4. San Diego Civic Youth Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.” See Dec. 9. Scripps Performing Arts Presents “Elf, Jr.” See Dec. 9. FREE San Diego Bay Parade of Lights. See Dec. 11.

monday | 19 FREE Carrier Johnson + Culture Gaslamp March. Marching bands and spirit squads from the universities participating in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl perform holiday favorites and popular tunes. 6 pm. Horton Plaza Park, 900 Fourth Ave., downtown San Diego.

tuesday | 20 FREE Winter Solstice Hike. Today & Dec. 22, 6-8 am. Bring a flashlight and sturdy shoes. Meet at Cowles Mountain trail head at Golfcrest Dr. & Navajo Rd., San Carlos.

wednesday | 21 Winter Solstice San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl. Features the bowl-eligible BYU Cougars against a top team from the Mountain West. Also, don’t miss WinterFest before the game that offers holiday fun including a snow hill, holiday crafts for kids, a petting zoo and more. Game kicks off at 6 pm. Visit website for tickets. Qualcomm Stadium, Mission Valley. California Ballet Company’s “The Nutcracker.” See Dec. 10.

thursday | 22 Animals Among Us: 11th Annual Youth Exhibition. Inspired by the San Diego Zoo’s 100th anniversary, this exhibit of works by students, grades K-12, in San Diego County and Tijuana explores the world of animals. Through Feb. 5. Tues.Sun., 10 am-5 pm. Museum of Photographic Arts, Balboa Park. “A Snow White Christmas.” See Dec. 2. CCT’s “Traditions of Christmas.” See Dec. 16.

friday | 23 The Art of the Brick. View inspiring works of art made out of millions of LEGO bricks! Walk under a 20-foot-long T-Rex dinosaur skeleton, view re-imagined versions of some of the world’s most famous art masterpieces and more. Through Jan. 29; visit website for hours and tickets. Fleet Science Center, Balboa Park. Garden of Lights. See Dec. 3.

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Christmas Day Dining Cruise. Flagship Cruises & Events offers this festive luncheon cruise with a gourmet buffet, breathtaking views of the San Diego skyline and live music. 1-3 pm; boarding at 12:30 pm. For reservations, visit cruises/christmas-day-dining-cruise. Jungle Bells. See Dec. 10.

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FREE Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade. See marching bands, drill teams, specialty units and giant, heliumfilled character balloons fill the scenic bayside streets of San Diego. 10 am. Along Harbor Dr., downtown San Diego. FREE Congregation Beth Am Menorah Lighting. 6 pm. Del Mar Highlands Town Center, 12925 El Camino Real. National Funding Holiday Bowl. Features a classic college football rivalry between the Pac12 and Big Ten Conferences. Also, check out the National Funding FanZone with local food trucks, interactive football skills challenges and live cover bands. Game kicks off at 4 pm; FanZone opens four hours before the game.

Visit website for tickets. Qualcomm Stadium, Mission Valley. San Diego Gulls Home Games. See Dec. 6.

wednesday | 28 “Mannheim Steamroller Christmas” by Chip Davis. Features beloved Christmas tunes along with spectacular multimedia effects. 7:30 pm. Visit website for tickets. San Diego Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave., downtown San Diego.

thursday | 29 Steering Small: The Wonders of Nautical Models. Explore the world of small ships in this exhibit showcasing beautifully crafted, historical models of ships from our past. Through Jan. 31. Free with admission. Maritime Museum of San Diego, 1492 N. Harbor Dr., downtown San Diego.

friday | 30 “Wild Africa.” This 3D film takes audiences on a spectacular journey across, over and through the magical realms of the wildest continent on earth. Showing daily; visit website for show times. Free with admission. San Diego Natural History Museum, Balboa Park.

saturday | 31 New Year’s Eve FREE Sweet Inspiration! Join this trail guideled walk and let nature inspire you. 10 am-1 pm. Meet inside the Visitor Center, Mission Trails Regional Park, One Father Junipero Serra Trail, San Carlos. Kids’ New Year’s Eve Party at LEGOLAND California Resort. Special music performances, a countdown followed by a huge LEGO brick dropping 22 feet into 2017 and spectacular fireworks at 6 pm to end the night. For tickets, visit

Find weekly activities and more events at Want us to spread the news? Email and include the name of the event or activity, a brief description, event address, date, time, cost, contact number and website. Submission does not guarantee publication. Deadline for the February issue: January 2.


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December 2016 • •



This cute sock snowman craft is easy enough to make with the kids from items you probably have on hand at home. Supplies 1 long all-white adult tube sock Scissors 3 rubber bands 1½ cups rice (dry) Hot glue gun 2 googly eyes 1 small orange bead or sequin (for nose) 2 medium sequins or buttons 6-8” strip of scrap fabric, 1” wide Small colored pom-pom

Instructions • Cut off the leg portion of the sock (approx. 4 inches) and set aside. Using the foot portion, turn the sock inside out and secure a rubber band to the tip of the toe. Turn the sock right side out again. Fill the sock with ¾ to 1 cup of dry rice. Twist and use a rubber band to secure the bottom part of the snowman. Add ¼ to ½ cup of rice to the next part of the sock so it is slightly smaller than the lower portion and then secure a rubber band on the top. Don’t worry about the uneven part at the top as it will be covered by the hat. • Use a hot glue gun to attach the eyes, the orange nose and the buttons. Wrap the piece of fabric around the snowman’s neck as a scarf. • Use the leg portion of the sock as the snowman’s hat. Place the top part of the sock on the snowman’s head to create the rim of the hat and then fold forward. Add a pom-pom to the end of the hat. v

Find more creative and festive ideas from Deborah Stallings Stumm at

62 • • December 2016

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San Diego Family Magazine Dec 2016  

The get families ready for the holidays issue! Things to do in San Diego, crafts, gifts, Map of Holiday Lights!