Page 1

FREE December 2017






’Tis the

Season that Sparkles

ift t Park G Belmon ke a great a Cards m his holiday t t presen ason! se


From Your Neighborhood McDonald’s® and

While the holiday season is full of gatherings and good times, it can also create unpredictable schedules. McDonald’s wants to help – by bringing your order straight to your door with McDelivery on UberEATS. Enjoying your McDonald’s favorites from the comfort of your own home has never been so easy. At participating McDonald’s. McPick 2 and other offers excluded from delivery. Delivery prices may be higher than at restaurants. UberEATS booking fee applies. See the UberEATS app for details.

Come See Ronald McDonald®! Dec. 2, 2017 at 5 p.m. Encinitas Holiday Parade

Happy Meal® Toys in December Holiday Express

© 2017 McDonald’s •

‘Tis the season to indulge in the rich, silky flavors of a McCafé® Peppermint Mocha.


35 198

2 - 2017

Volume 36 • Number 9 • December 2017

articles 26 Feliz Navidad

Celebrate Mexican Holiday Traditions

in every issue 12 Staff Page 14 Short & Sweet News | Notes | Tips

40 December Calendar of Family Events Plus, a round-up of San Diego’s holiday parades

16 The Wildflower Initiative Takes Root in San Diego Local nonprofit supports literacy in friend’s honor 18 Give the Gift of Technology Easy ways to help people in need 20 Cute Christmas Cookies “Melted” snowmen and Nutter Butter reindeer 22 16 Simple Holiday Traditions Choose simple pleasures over chaos

61 The Marketplace/Classifieds

30 How to Help Kids Cope When a Parent is Away Ways to make holidays special when a parent is absent 32 More Kid-Tested Toys Part two of your favorite holiday toy reviews

On the Cover:

36 San Diego’s Famous Map of Christmas Lights The original. The most comprehensive. The best.

Mattea (5) of Chula Vista sparkles and

62 Art with Alyssa: 25 Days ‘Til Christmas Make this fun twist on a traditional advent calendar

Cover photo:

shines as she kicks off the holiday season. All Colors Photography

special advertising section 34 12 Ways to Make Magical Holiday Memories Your family’s list of must-do activities

6 • • December 2017



Lose 20 lbs by the Holidays! Without Shots/Drugs, Surgery or Exercise

Christine was skeptical but lost 33 lbs and 2 sizes in 60 days.

Lew was skeptical but it worked “amazingly well” and lost 22 lbs.

Sandy lost 20 lbs in 2 months and even her skin and hair is better!

“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

“After being on Dr. Wong’s program for 2 months, I’ve lost almost 40 pounds. I was lethargic and couldn’t keep up with my kids but I’ve found an answer to my energy problems and I wake up with energy, I feel better, I’ve been eating healthier and I’ve been more active. Thank you Dr. Wong!” Rachel R. — 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

Call TODAY for your

$27 weight loss Evaluation Special (Normally $97)

(619) 333-8782 Marianna lost almost 25 lbs and was “so happy!” - We’re happy too!

Actual patients, not compensated. Individual results may vary. See other testimonials at

Greater Life Wellness Center 3689 Midway Drive, Suite G San Diego, CA 92110



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

Things to Do: Dining & Recipes • Healthy Snowman Snack

Photo courtesy of Cedar Fort Publishing

• Hanukkah Mini Menorah Treat

For the Kids: Crafts for Kids • Poinsettia Yarn Painting • Marshmallow Snowman Card

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

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

Looking for a blast of cold air to get your family into the holiday spirit? Add the San Diego Ice Arena to your family holiday adventures. Experience tons of fun with on-ice games, dancing under the disco lights and a visit from Mr. Ice Qub, SDIA’s friendly mascot. Enter to win a family 4-pack of tickets (skate rentals included) to the San Diego Ice Arena. Don’t forget your mittens! Contest ends Dec. 13.

Win tickets to Global Winter Wonderland at SDCCU Stadium in Mission Valley! Marvel at the dazzling illuminated structures, worldclass entertainment, carnival rides, international cuisine and holiday shopping. Enter to win a 4-pack of tickets! Contest ends Dec. 4.

Need an extra gift to put under the tree? Enter to win an awesome toy from our popular toy review. Contest ends Dec. 13.

Follow Us: San Diego Family /SDFamily

San Diego Family Magazine eNewsletter


8 • • December 2017

Win the GRACO Snugride Click Connect 35 and Snugrider Elite portable travel solution. The ultra lightweight infant car seat makes it easy to carry your little one from car to stroller. Contest ends Jan. 4, 2018.

Teen Parties! Friday Nights

Birthday PartyTime!


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





Saturdays & Sundays from 11:30 AM to 3 PM or 12:30 PM to 4:30 PM Check out the party pictures Facebook/San Diego Ice Arena 11048 Ice Skate Place, Mira Mesa (858) 530-1825

celebrate the new year in your jammies! Purchase your tickets today to the family party of the year at The New Children’s Museum. Tickets starting at just $15.

tickets start at $15! 200 West Island Avenue San Diego CA 92101

10 • • December 2017

Art Design/Web Design Rik Thiesfeld



ice skating experience FUN!

December 30 5:30-8:30pm



••••• the host & entertain •• Party includes: Skate Heroes to al on rs pe s ou m BEST OF • One of our fa end. m beginning to FAMILY n. entire party fro so les e -ic d on FUN! rty. ctor y of f-ice an pa e du E th ro of Int ar in. st m e D • 15 B Y PA R E ard medal for th aw d an wl Bo ey 2 0 1 • Exclusive Turk 5 T OP PICK . games on the ice ll. Ha • Over 8 exciting rty Pa ub Cl e Ice Qub Disco • 1 1/2 hrs. in th d paper goods. • Decorations an n cake. ow • Decorate your lian Salad. on & e Giant Ita • Pizza, Punch ches. Cream Sandwi • Cake and Ice Swirly Pop. with collectable • Goodie Bags ey Skates. • Figure or Hock D.J. e • Energetic Liv b. Where we make your first it from the Ice Qu vis ial • And a spec

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.


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 Business Business Manager Larry Bay Marketing Coordinator Michele Hancock


your FREE exam

Administrative Assistant Adrienne Sigeti Accounting Circulation Linda Bay

Call (619) 579-2363 Today


Pediatric Dental Exam

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 New patients only. Cannot be used with insurance.

Nicole Maggio 619-685-6971 • North County Inland (includes Scripps Ranch) 619-685-6970 • Clairemont, Linda Vista, Mission Valley North, Mira Mesa




Official School of the Scripps Ballet Theatre

A Youth Ballet Company

San Diego Family Magazine is published monthly by San Diego Family Magazine LLC. Copyright 2017. 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

ARTS present an All-Youth Production of



December 2-3, 9-10 & 23

Also Registering for 2nd Semester Classes! Call 858.586.7834

Tickets On Sale Now! 858.362.1348 The Parent Resource Guide for Children with Special Needs

December 2017 • •


Publisher’s Letter

From our family to yours— Warm wishes for a joyous holiday season!

Standing, left to right: Nicole Maggio, Kristen Castillo, Anne Malinoski, Linda Bay, Ramona Warner, Michele Hancock, Giovanni Baldan, Lisa Pawlak, Tony Andrews, Emily Dolton, Adrienne Sigeti, Rik Thiesfeld, Cherie Gough, Lisa Gipson Kneeling, left to right: Sharon Bay, Larry Bay Insets: Jennifer Burman, Gina Petrone

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: 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.

12 • • December 2017

Make a difference

BECOME A SURROGATE Great benefit package:

Wellness package massages, pre-natal yoga, pedicure, manicure, fitness and nutrition Gift cards on special occasions $500 Bonus for children’s activity and more…

We are looking for surrogates now!

All Aboard the

NORTH POLE LIMITED! Meet Santa, Sing Carols, Eat Cookies, & Sip Hot Cocoa!


Trains depart from the Campo Depot every Friday PSRM Campo, CA RTH PO & Saturday North Pole Limited! ROUND TRIP December 1-23 LI MIT ED DEC 1-23 • 5 & 7:00PM at 5 & 7pm. NO

Up to $70,000 compensation


Call us today (844) 557-2412


During the first two weekends. Pacific Southwest Railway Museum •

750 Depot St, Campo, CA • 619-465-7776

December 2017 • •


Short & Sweet

Lisa Gipson

Matthews 1812 House Sweetens Gift Giving Looking for a unique gift for out-of-town loved ones? Family-owned and operated Matthews 1812 House uses high-quality ingredients to make delicious handmade cakes, cookies, candies and snacks. We recommend the Almond Roll Up Cookies—also one of their best sellers! Browse all products at

Holiday Lights Photo Contest

Family Magazine Wins Nine San Diego Press Club Awards! We are thrilled to announce that we won nine awards at San Diego Press Club’s 44th Annual Excellence in Journalism Awards! Congratulations to freelance writer, Anne Malinoski! • How to Support Military Spouses (May ‘17) won 1st place in the “Military” category. • Let Your Kids Get Messy: A clean freak’s guide to sensory play (Mar ‘17) and Let Your Kids Get Dirty: A clean freak’s guide to outdoor play (Apr ‘17) won 3rd place in the “Series” category. Congratulations to freelance writer, Kristen Castillo!

Plan to tour the holiday lights with your family this year? Share your fun photos for a chance to win a cool prize! Follow these steps to enter:

• Camp Erin: Healing for kids after the loss of a loved one (June ‘17) won 2nd place in the “Profile” category.

1. Follow us on Instagram @sandiegofamilymagazine

• After Prop 58: Will your child attend dual immersion school? (Feb ‘17) won 2nd place in the “General News” category.

2. Post your fun photo 3. Tag us @sandiegofamilymagazine 4. Use the hashtag #SDholidaylights Deadline to post is December 31. Submitted photos may be featured on our website and/or in our magazine. We will pick our favorite photo and announce the winner on Instagram.

Congratulations to freelance writer, Lisa Pawlak! • Explore the Ocean Sciences (Mar ‘17) won 2nd place in the “Education” category. • How Digital Devices Affect Eyes: What to know about Computer Vision Syndrome (Jan ‘17) won 2nd place in the “Health & Medicine” category. Our annual publication, Flourishing Families won 2nd place in the Special Interest or One-Time Publications category. Shout out to Emily Dolton for all her help and support with this important resource for San Diego families with special needs!

Malala’s Magic Pencil was written by Malala Yousafzai, the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. The story mirrors Malala’s own childhood in Pakistan and her mission to obtain education for girls. This beautifully illustrated book inspires readers to have hope despite challenging circumstances.

Congratulations Rik Thiesfeld and our design team! Our November 2016 issue won 3rd place for Cover Design.

Find more gift books at

Visit to read digital editions of the articles above.

14 • • December 2017

Anne Malinoski

Where to Get Messy in San Diego

The Hot Spot is a family-friendly ceramics and candle studio in Liberty Station. Drop in to paint pottery or create a stunning candle.

Let Your Kids Get Messy

The New Children’s Museum offers rotating sensory activities in a beautiful multistory space downtown. Workshops are also available. San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum in Escondido offers hands-on learning opportunities for young children.

A clean freak’s guide to sensory play

Pachis Art Studio at Liberty Station offers classes, workshops and art play for children as young as 18 months.

Mess-Free Sensory Play Not all sensory play is messy. Other ways to engage the senses include: • Music and movement • Light or shadow play • Exploring different textures • Smelling or tasting new foods

Part one of a two-part series

paint and a soft brush to cover her skin with bright colors. Contain the mess by painting in an empty bathtub. Your wiggly little masterpiece will be free to touch, explore and smear. When the fun is over, simply rinse the paint away. Not ready for an epic mess? Fill the brush with water instead of paint. Colored spaghetti A bowl of spaghetti is a wonderful, squishy experience for a baby. Add color by mixing cooked noodles with a drop of food coloring and oil or find a recipe for natural food coloring. Omitting color will still create a fun sensory experience. Water play Gather an assortment of plastic containers and cups. Fill the large containers with water. Show your baby how to scoop the water from one container to another. Talk about the noises you can make by pouring, dumping and splashing the water. Keep a few towels handy so cleanup will be a breeze.

I’ll admit it—I have a problem with messes. My baby wants to smash soft foods into his hair. My 3-year-old wants to roll in paint. Yes, roll. One morning, my preschooler went wide-eyed and asked, “Mom, can I please get messy?” Clearly, he noticed my distaste for all things slimy, gooey and dirty. He was hopping from foot to foot with longing. What’s a mom to do? I took a deep breath and said, “OK.” He promptly grabbed a box of dot markers and adorned his entire body with bright spots. It took three days and multiple baths to remove them. He was delighted. I’m still on the fence. Not every parent is a clean freak, but most parents have vetoed a messy activity simply to avoid the dreaded cleanup. It’s time to let go. Messy play is sensory play—the gold standard of early childhood learning. Children learn best when they engage multiple senses. The more they can touch, taste, see, feel and hear in their play activities, the better—better for their brains, that is (your floors and counters might be worse off). Here are tips to engage in sensory play without losing your sanity.

Messy Play for Little Kids

Ready to get messy with your youngster? Try these activities with your preschool or elementary-aged kids. Remind them that they’ll need to help with cleanup when the fun is over. Cornstarch goop Even clean-freak parents will want to get their hands in this fun science experiment. Just combine two parts cornstarch with one part water. The irresistible goop has a unique consistency that changes from sort-of-solid when you press it, to sort-of-liquid when you pour it. The best part? It washes off quickly with a little water. Mix in a couple drops of food coloring for messy bonus points. Ice block In a large mixing bowl, freeze small plastic toys in a few inches of water at a time so there are toys “layered” throughout the bowl. Once it’s solid, remove the hunk of ice and place it in a larger plastic bin. Experiment with different tools to introduce warm water—like turkey

Messy Play for Babies

basters or squirt guns—and melt the ice block. The giant, messy puddle will be well contained in the bin. Keep towels nearby. Shaving cream It’s so versatile and washes away easily. Practice writing sight words in it. Or add a drop of food coloring to paint with it. For something completely different, add ice cubes and build with it. The cream will act like mortar.

Messy Activities for Older Kids

Tweens and teens need to get messy, too. Encourage your child’s unique interests with these hands-on learning activities. Cooking Creating a meal is the ultimate sensory experience. Teach your child the basics; then let her try a recipe by herself. Supervise from a distance. Don’t stress about the mess and be OK with mistakes. The skills will encourage a lifetime of creative expression and thoughtful food choices. Tinkering Encourage your tween to design, build or disassemble something, whether it’s a machine or a Halloween costume. Agree on a designated space where tools, parts and pieces can remain until the project is finished so clutter doesn’t take over the house. v

The article Let Your Kids Get Messy: A clean freak’s guide to sensory play (Mar ‘17) won 3rd place for Feature Layout. If your baby can sit up, she’s probably ready for messy play. She might be hesitant at first, but keep trying. These activities will be more fun as she gains familiarity with them. Body paint Let baby be your canvas. Use non-toxic, water-based

Find fun experiments in the Family Science section of our website: Anne Malinoski is a freelance writer and mother of two boys. She is a recovering clean freak. Check out next month’s issue (April) for part two of this series: Let Your Kids Get Dirty: A clean freak’s guide to outdoor play.

30 •• •• March March 2017 2017

sdfm-mar2017-layout.indd 30

March 2017 2017 •• •• March

2/13/17 10:43 AM

sdfm-mar2017-layout.indd 31


2/13/17 10:43 AM

December 2017 • •


Cherie Gough

Local nonprofit The Wildflower Initiative is helping people grow in beautiful ways. Run by a small group of women who came together to honor the memory of their friend Jenny Dyer, the organization keeps her passion for literacy and social services alive through their good works.

Filling a Need The Wildflower Initiative approached the YWCA to determine how the group could fill a need in the community; they were met with an overwhelmingly positive response. Together they are partnering to provide reading nooks to three local shelters where women and their children take refuge from domestic violence. The project—Jenny’s Jungle—is the first campaign of its kind to enter a San Diego YWCA shelter. The concept is to create colorful, hopeful spaces where kids and their mothers can find comfort from the pain they’ve endured due to homelessness or domestic violence. The cozy spaces will be filled with rugs, pillows, blankets and lots of books.

The Inspiration “As literature majors in college, we had plenty of reading to keep our active minds busy exploring new worlds, concepts and ideas,” says the group’s founder, Tiana Uribe. “Jenny’s Jungle was created in large part from our literary conversations. The creativity and exploration in reading a book that touches your soul is life changing. We are hopeful the children in the reading spaces experience it and dream to create, inspire and imagine a world they want to live in.”

16 • • December 2017

The Wildflower Initiative Takes Root in San Diego

Since many of the children arrive at shelters with only the clothes on their backs, they need enrichment materials and comforting items to help in the healing process.

A Community Comes Together

Game Masters: The Exhibition showcases the world’s best video game designers, from the arcade era to today’s console and online games.

This summer, The Wildflower THROUGH JAN. 15, 2018 Initiative delivered nearly 400 books to the YWCA for the reading nooks. To facilitate this, the group organized book drives around the county and collected donations from community members. Several businesses offered to be book drop-off locations. Donors ranged from families cleaning out bookshelves (619) 238-1233 EXCLUSIVELY to a Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) AT THE FLEETSCIENCE.ORG Group in North County where several hundred women took action. In fact, because of Uribe’s presentation to the group, an additional act of service took root. MOPS North County chose to make baskets for Becky’s House (a YWCA residential FAMILYS program) as their spring charitable 4-PACK 9! giving initiative. Toiletries, women’s start at only $9 st! la clothing, cookware, blankets, books While supplies AY! D TO K O BO and gift cards were donated to women Hairspray Live! STARRING in transitional housing. The gifts from Riley CostelloHairspray Live! Mark RyanSTARRING as “Peter Pan” as “Captain Hook” Riley Costello this special project arrived in time for Mark Ryan Hairspray Live! STARRING as “Peter Pan” as “Captain Hook” Hairspray Live! The Thundermans Broadway’s STARRING Mother’s Day. Riley Costello Mark Ryan Hairspray Live! STARRING Riley Costello Mark Ryan The Thundermans Broadway’s Audrey Whitby David F.M. as “Peter Pan” as “Captain Hook” Vaughn The Wildflower Initiative is proud Riley Costello as “Peter Pan” as “Captain Hook” Mark Ryan as “Smee” as “Wendy” Audrey Whitby David F.M. Vaughn The Thundermans Broadway’s as “Peter Pan” as “Captain Hook” to see its plans come to fruition. “It’s as “Wendy” as “Smee” The Thundermans Broadway’s Audrey Whitby David F.M. Vaughn a real testament to the community Audrey The Thundermans Whitby David Broadway’s F.M. Vaughn as “Wendy” as “Smee” Audrey Whitby David F.M. Vaughn as “Smee” as “Wendy” coming together to solve a need for our as “Smee” as “Wendy” children,” says Uribe. “We are currently exploring ideas that may build on the success of the Jenny’s Jungle project.” ©SEGA


The reading nooks are scheduled to So You Think You Can Dance Clarice Ordaz The Thundermans open in December. Uribe and the as “Tiger Lily” Clarice Ordaz Audrey Whitby So You Think You Can Dance members of The Wildflower InitiativeSo You Think You Can Dance as “Tiger Lily” as “Wendy” Clarice Ordaz You Think You Can Dance Ordaz are excited to see the children enjoy SoClarice as “Tiger Lily” Clarice Ordaz as “Tiger Lily” their new space. as “Tiger Lily” Learn more about the group’s future plans by following The Wildflower Initiative on Facebook. Support its mission to bring growth to San Diego women and youth by shopping on AmazonSmile and designating The So You Think You Can Dance Clarice Ordaz Wildflower Initiative as the charitable as “Tiger Lily” organization of choice. Donations stay local. v So You Think You Can Dance

Cherie Gough is a freelance writer and local mom of two.


Hairspray Live!

Looking Forward

Riley Costello

Mark Ryan

as “Peter Pan”

as “Captain Hook”

The Foster’s

Ashley ArgotaThe Foster’s Broadway’s as “Tinker Bell” Ashley Argota David F.M. Vaughn The Foster’s

The Foster’s Ashley Argota as “Tinker Bell” Ashley Argota

as “Tinker Bell” as “Smee”

The Foster’s

Ashley Argota as “Tinker Bell”

as “Tinker Bell”

The Foster’s

Ashley Argota


as “Tinker Bell”


619.570.1100 •

December 2017 • •


Carolyn Jabs

Give the Gift

of Technology (to people who truly need it) These days, gift giving is often

about gadgets—cellphones, educational toys and smart devices for the home. Families lucky enough to take technology for granted have a big advantage over those who aren’t. Since technology plays such a large part in education and adulthood, it would be great if everyone had easy, early access. Instead, we face what’s often called a digital divide: Families that don’t have easy access to technology often fall behind, creating a bigger gap between haves and have-nots. During the holidays, when people look for opportunities to give, it’s worth thinking beyond mittens and turkey dinners. Consider participating in one of these efforts to put technology in the hands of all students and help make the digital divide less of a chasm.


Donate money. One way to get technology into the hands of kids who wouldn’t otherwise have it is to donate to wellrun organizations. • One Laptop Per Child has an ambitious goal—get a rugged, connected low-cost computer into the hands of every child in the world. The laptops weigh less than a lunchbox and come equipped with simple software that allows children to read, write, record, measure and make music. With partners around the world and in low-income regions of the U.S., they have distributed more than 2.5 million computers. Learn more at • The Rural Technology Fund was founded by a tech executive who had

18 • • December 2017

limited access to computers while growing up in rural Kentucky. His organization helps out-of-the-way schools get equipment and books that ignite a spark for studying electronics, programming or engineering. The organization also gives scholarships to students from rural communities who hope to pursue careers in technology.


Adopt a classroom. Teachers know what equipment would make a difference in their classrooms—and playing Santa can be very rewarding. • Find out if teachers at your child’s school have technology on their wish lists. Or make a gift to your school’s foundation. If your district is affluent, consider supporting a school in a community that has more challenges. • Donors Choose is a website that gives teachers a chance to explain how they would use specific equipment or supplies. Search the site by location or curriculum. In many cases, a relatively modest donation will put current technology in the hands of teachers eager to use it with their students.

delivers them to families in need. C2SDK also provides recipients with the education, training and technical support to achieve success. Visit for details. • Child’s Play helps get video games to children via hospitals such as San Diego’s Rady Children’s Hospital. A map on www.childsplaycharity .org shows the organizations in the Child’s Play network, each of which has an Amazon wish list featuring video games and systems. The website also includes a guide to therapeutic games that help children cope with pain, boredom and anxiety.


Set up “passive” donations. Perhaps the easiest way to offer support is registering with a site that makes a small donation every time you search or shop online. Goodsearch (powered by Yahoo) donates to a chosen charity each time you do an online search—and the numbers add up. Their sister site, GoodShop, donates a fraction of every online purchase to good causes. Learn more at


Whatever you decide to do, involve the kids as much as possible. Encouraging them to imagine life without their beloved devices may be the gateway to a habit of empathy and generosity. v

• Computers 2 SD Kids is a local nonprofit that recycles and refurbishes used computers and

Carolyn Jabs, M.A., is a freelance writer and book author who has been writing about families and technology for over 20 years.

Donate equipment. If family members receive tech gifts during the holidays, consider donating used or older equipment. Or share the joy by giving another child a game your child loves.

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 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.

SDFM 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 San Diego Family Magazine?

2018 Cover Kids Search Cheryl was one of our 2017 Cover Kids Winners!

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, 2018

(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 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.

December 2017 • •


e k a m o t e m i t It’s


S E I K O O C When there’s a tower of flour, sugar and colorful sprinkles in the grocery store entrance, it must be holiday baking season! This timeless tradition creates childhood memories and magical moments in the kitchen. While your family probably has favorite recipes, it’s fun to try new treats as well. We recommend these adorable cookies from Sara at My Imperfect Kitchen. Get the ingredients lists and full instructions at www Nutter Butte Reindeer Co r oki Kid-friendly al es er These don’t ev t: require bakin en g— dip, decorate just and devour!

Melted Snowman Cookies These “melted” snowmen will melt your heart—almost too cute to eat!

20 • • December 2017

presented by


AMERICA’S LARGEST BALLOON PARADE Free street-side viewing . Grandstand tickets available





11:49 AM


Give the gift of FUN this Holiday Season BEST KIDS’ BIRTHDAY PARTY




FUNBelievable Play






JAN 5-18, 2018

Casa del Prado Theatre, Balboa Park TICKETS


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.


2017 WINNER December 2017 • •


Cherie Gough

Holiday Traditions

16 Simple

Are you frustrated by the stress of the holiday rush? Before allowing the whirlwind of the season to blow you away, take a mindful breath, let go of “perfect”, and make time to enjoy yourself and your loved ones.

Hunting down parking spots, checking gift after gift off the endless list, and

baking the perfect cookies for the kids’ holiday parties is exhausting. This year, choose simple pleasures over chaos and commercialism, say no to doing too much, and create traditions that reflect what truly matters to your family. These easy-toaccomplish traditions focus on simplicity and create meaningful joy.

Cook up Tradition in the Kitchen Even people who don’t love to cook appreciate spending time in the kitchen together.


Jon and Yolanda of Allied Gardens invite friends of all persuasions to join their warm, informal Hanukkah celebration. Jon cooks up plenty of latkes and provides goodies from D.Z. Akins, a New York-style Jewish deli in the College Area. The kids play dreidel and take turns lighting candles.

6 Celebrate Cozy Moments at Home

1 2 3 4

Wrap 12 Christmas-themed books you already own. Unwrap one each night for the 12 days of Christmas and read together at bedtime.

If your family gathers on Christmas Eve, have the kids open one present together: a new board game. They’ll love a sneak peek at gifts and the family will enjoy playing together. Make magic “reindeer food.” Simply mix together oats and glitter and sprinkle it outside on Christmas Eve. Don’t forget to take photos!

One of the most treasured gifts I give each year is an ornament that reflects my children’s current interests. They love opening a present early (the day we decorate the tree). I love honoring who they are each year and creating an ornament collection for their own trees when they are grown.

22 • • December 2017

Getting together to make ravioli with grandparents and all the kids is a favorite holiday activity for 11-year-old Myles of San Carlos. “We make stations so everyone can help with thinning the dough or stuffing the ravioli. After that, we feast.”


Diana of Ocean Beach still helps her mother grind pork to make tamales each year, even though she’s now a vegetarian. Her daughter and grandson share in the tradition. “It’s the gathering of family that’s important,” Diana says.


With vegetarian and gluten-free eaters in our family, a big pot of homemade minestrone is just right for a chilly evening. And it’s easy to make ahead.

Breakfast with Santa. Harbor House Restaurant December 16 & 17 9 am – 10:30 am $25 per person

Includes full breakfast, carolers, kids show, face painting, balloon artist and gift bag for the kiddies!

Yum! Presented by

Seaport Village

Reservations are required, (619) 738-1627 Call now, space is limited.

Merry Christmas c h r i s t m a s e v e • d e c e m b e r 24 birthday party

9:30 am •


Happy birthday Jesus party for kids of all ages. regular sunday worship at 8 • 9:30 • 11 am


Sing carols and hear the Christmas story. Cookies and refreshments afterwards! Nursery care available.


Christmas in song, readings, nativity scene and candle lighting. Nursery care available. lesssons, carols & candles at 8 pm communion & candles at 10:30 pm c h r i s t m a s d ay • d e c e m b e r 2 5






’ ‘ n Seas Festive Decor • Scuba

It feels nice to receive, but even nicer to give. If you want to teach your kids that the holidays are about more than their wish lists, choose ways to give back that are realistic and interest the whole family.


Collect and donate new socks. Socks are one of the most needed (but least donated) items at shelters. Have each family member pick out a pair and donate them to San Diego Rescue Mission or a similar organization.


Donate a copy of your child’s favorite book to a local teacher. Having your child pick out the book helps her take ownership and feel good about giving back.


usic Santa • Crafts • Live M

From December 1 to 31, Birch Aquarium at Scripps is transformed into a holiday wonderland full of SEAsonal activities for the whole family.

Reinvent the advent calendar and make it more meaningful. Add good deeds you can do together, such as helping an elderly neighbor. Turn to page 62 to learn more.


Empty out the family change jar and donate the coins to Salvation Army bell-ringers. Your gift is especially pertinent in this year of extreme hurricanes and wildfires.




24 • • December 2017

Bring Joy to the World

Do your kids dream of a snowy winter? Ice skating gives San Diegans a reason to bundle up in scarves and mittens, and an outing can help others. Proceeds from Fantasy on Ice at Liberty Station benefit programs at Rady Children’s Hospital; a portion of the proceeds from Skating by the Sea at Hotel del Coronado benefit Make-aWish San Diego.

Tony/December 2017/cr

ff $5 O

with The City Ballet Orchestra


: Fa ode nt C

December 8-24

ou Disc


Let Lights Fill You with Cheer There’s something about whimsical, colorful holiday lights that make this the most wonderful time of year.


My family walks around our neighborhood with a thermos of hot chocolate to look at lights together. We have a favorite house with lights choreographed to music that is the highlight every year.


Nikki of San Carlos looks forward to her family’s holiday light expedition each season. “We all bundle up in PJs, pile into the car, grab San Diego Family Magazine’s map and take a tour of the holiday lights,” she says. Nikki’s family starts in East County and drives up to Scripps Ranch.


Anessa of San Carlos enjoys San Diego’s warm holiday weather at the Hotel del Coronado. Her family eats burgers on the patio, takes in the ocean view, then heads into the beautifully decorated hotel, full of holiday magic. They choose a special collectible ornament for their tree. v Cherie Gough is a local freelance writer. December 2017 • •


d a d i v a N z Feli Celebrate Mexican

Kristen Castillo

Holiday Traditions

While American Christmas traditions focus primarily on

December 25, Mexican holiday customs start weeks before and end weeks later.

History The Mexican holiday season kicks off on December 12 with the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patron saint of Mexico City and all of the Americas. From December 16 to 24—the nine days before Christmas—Mexicans celebrate Las Posadas, which means “inn” or “lodging” in Spanish. These nine days honor Mary’s nine months of pregnancy and the journey with her husband Joseph to find a place to stay, a birthplace for Jesus. By tradition, families would light candles, pray, sing and participate in a walking journey.

Las Posadas Each year, Old Town San Diego State Historic Park hosts a Las Posadas celebration, a walking candlelit procession. This year’s event is Saturday, Dec. 9, starting at 4:45 p.m. Local actors will walk from inn to inn, symbolically asking for lodging. The procession ends with a live nativity and musical performance in front of Casa de Estudillo. Afterwards kids can take a swing at a piñata at the Wells Fargo museum, check out a bonfire, sing holiday carols, and enjoy complimentary hot chocolate and s’mores. The bonfire is every Saturday in December. This year’s expanded Las Posadas celebration includes all-day activities, crafts and choir performances. The park’s decorations will represent the historical setting of Pueblo de San Diego. Learn more at

Festive Foods Mexican Christmas celebrations involve many cultural foods—especially tamales, a cornbased dough or masa filled with sweet or savory ingredients, wrapped in a corn husk or banana leaves, and steamed. Sweet tamale ingredients include pineapple, strawberry, chocolate, pumpkin and guava; while savory ingredients are cheese and proteins like pork, beef, chicken and turkey. “Tamales are the most traditional food to make and eat during the holidays, not only for Mexicans, but for many fellow Latin Americans,” says Teresa Anaya of Northgate Gonzalez Market, noting the tamales tradition goes back to MesoAmerican times. Five of the eight Northgate Markets in San Diego County offer free seasonal tamale-making classes. “Customers usually learn to make three types of tamales and a drink that complements the tamale season,” says Anaya. Kids under 12 can take classes, too, learning to make two kinds of tamales. While participants don’t cook their tamales on site, they do taste one that’s been cooked. Registered participants receive an apron, tamale spreader, a certificate of class completion, and a coupon for tamale ingredients and supplies. Class size is limited. Sign up at en-us/promotions/tamale-classes. In addition to tamales, Mexican Christmas celebrations often feature a full dinner. Paulina Chaidez of Cocina 35, a restaurant in downtown San Diego, caters many Mexican Posadas. They serve turkey breast with picadillo stuffing, topped with cream, almond and Granada sauce. During holiday parties, the meal finishes with buñuelos, a customary south-of-the-border cinnamon dessert, as well as hot chocolate and café de olla, a spiced Mexican coffee made in a clay container with cinnamon, clove, cacao and a special unrefined sugar called piloncillo. “It’s the most traditional coffee in Mexico,” says Chaidez. “It’s aromatic, has great flavor, and is really good for winter.” cont. on p. 28

26 • • December 2017

Mexican Christmas Traditions with Chef Marcela Valladolid

Learn to make tamales! Register for free tamale-making classes at local Northgate Markets. Visit www.northgatemarkets .com/en-us/promotions/tamale-classes for dates and locations. Space is limited.

Three Kings Day The Mexican Christmas season ends Jan. 6 with the Epiphany, also known as Reyes Magos or Three Kings Day. This commemorates the visit of the three wise men who gave gifts to Jesus. Traditionally Mexicans exchanged gifts on Christmas and the Epiphany, but these days not as many people participate. This is also the day when Mexicans eat a sweet, ring-shaped pastry called La Rosca de Reyes or Three Kings Bread. A tiny plastic baby is baked into the bread and whoever gets it is considered to have good luck.

Local chef and cookbook author Marcela Valladolid grew up in Tijuana. Until a recent move to L.A., the Food Network star of “The Kitchen” and “Best Baker in America” lived in Chula Vista with her fiancé and three children: Fausto, David and Anna. Decembers are filled with family, friends and lots of festivities on both sides of the border. “I’ll go to a posada with my mom’s side of the family, and another with my childhood friends,” Valladolid says. “We celebrate all month!” Read on as she shares her favorite Mexican Christmas traditions. What are your favorite Mexican family holiday traditions? Although we host a traditional Christmas dinner, we certainly have elements that remind us and our kids of our beautiful heritage. Tamales make an appearance at the table. There is always a piñata for the kids. Sparklers (luces de bengala) remind me of Christmases spent in Tijuana. Which foods are a special part of your Mexican holiday celebrations? We certainly do a rosca (Three Kings Bread), which we purchase in Tijuana every year. We make tamales or purchase them from my friend, Vivi Ley. We also make tortas de bacalao (salted cod) during posadas. My mom used to make a few staples every single holiday season. Our home would become a factory for buñuelos and polvorones (Mexican wedding cookies). We would help my mom package them in cellophane bags with huge red bows for her to distribute to friends, family, teachers, nuns and anyone she wanted to show thanks to during the holiday season. What advice do you have for families who celebrate more than one culture during the holidays?

“Each guest has to cut their own piece and if you get the niño (baby), you have to buy the tamales for Dia de la Candelaria on February 2,” says Chaidez. This day, also known as Candlemas, commemorates when Jesus was presented at the temple. v Find a recipe for Three Kings Cake at dining-and-recipes. Kristen Castillo is an award-winning freelance writer who lives in Chula Vista with her family.

28 • • December 2017

Do it loud and do it proud. In this house being half Mexican is something we shout from the rooftop. Our food, language and traditions are simply the best in the world. I truly feel that and I know that I will pass that on to my kids!

GIFT IDEA: Casa Marcela: Recipes and Food Stories of My Life in the Californias is a delightful cookbook in which Valladolid shares her love of food, family and culture.


as fun as the


San Marcos 760.798.9455 San Diego 619.501.2375

Del Sur 858.798.9170

Del Mar 858.481.5437

Chula Vista 619.656.5437

a full haircut Not valid with other offers. Available at Del Mar, Chula Vista, San Marcos, San Diego and Del Sur Location. Valid thru Dec 31, 2017

December 2017 • •


Anne Malinoski


When a Parent Is Away

According to the Global Business

Travel Association, the number of business trips per year has increased by 38 percent since 2009. More parents are traveling for work, which means more families are dealing with separation. If an extended trip falls over the holidays, it might be especially difficult to help children cope. Here are ideas to help make the holidays special when a parent is away.

Celebrate Early When her four children were between the ages of 1–10, Maria Provencher of San Carlos planned a surprise Christmas in October. Her husband, a Naval Officer, was scheduled to deploy soon and would miss the holidays. “It was our best Christmas ever,” says Provencher. She secretly wrapped gifts, and stayed up most of the night decorating their Christmas tree. Then, she transformed the living room with festive decor. “It was truly a magical morning,” says Provencher. “Once the real Christmas actually arrived, we didn’t have the sadness that might have been expected because we had the memories.” She says the celebration

30 • • December 2017

also helped her husband feel as though he hadn’t missed so much.

Plan Surprises If the traveling parent will be out of town on a special day, schedule a flower or gift delivery for loved ones before departure. It’s easier to handle details in advance, and then free time (while away) can be used to communicate with the kids. Loved ones will be delighted to receive something thoughtful from the absent parent on the day they are missing him most. Likewise, if your partner will be away, plan to send something to the hotel. It’s also fun to have the kids create special notes and drawings to slip into mommy or daddy’s luggage. Place them in envelopes marked with dates they should be opened.

Utilize Technology Keep the family updated while traveling. Send lots of texts and photos to help them learn about the city you’re visiting. If traveling internationally, be sure to download WhatsApp, a free messaging application that allows users to send texts, photos and videos

without racking up international data fees. Choose a video chat platform before departure. Skype and Facebook Messenger are great choices, but practice at home first. Sometimes setup is confusing, and there won’t be precious minutes to waste when trying to connect between business appointments.

Make Videos for the Kids If you know the traveling parent will be hard to reach while away, make videos in advance that the kids can watch whenever they want. Record the parent reading a favorite book or telling a family story. Babies enjoy games like “Touch your nose” and “So big.” Don’t forget to say “goodbye” at the end of each video, so the ending doesn’t feel too abrupt for the child(ren). Military families can find great resources at local nonprofit United Through Reading at www v Anne Malinoski is an award-winning contributing writer, Navy spouse and mother of two boys.

Gifts for Growing Minds SHOP A STORE NEAR YOU! SAN DIEGO 7510 Hazard Center Dr. San Diego, CA 92108 SAN MARCOS 702 Center Dr. San Marcos, CA 92069

buy one, get one




Valid through 12/31/17, 11:59 p.m., PST. Purchase one item at regular price and receive a second item of equal or lesser value at 50% off its regular price. Limit one coupon per customer and valid for one-time use on instore or online purchases only. Not valid on sale, discounted or clearance items. Purchase must be made in a single transaction. Cannot be resold or used for commercial purposes. Cannot be used toward the purchase of gift cards or combined with any other coupon, discount or offer. Not applicable on prior purchases or custom-stocked items. Excludes sales tax and shipping charges. No ship-to or special orders. Valid on in-stock items only. No cash value. Returns are subject to the discounted purchase price and to Lakeshore’s return policy. Must present coupon code at time of purchase for all in-store transactions. Void where prohibited. Subject to restrictions and change without notice. ©2017 Lakeshore 862651

coupon code: 2761

Fairy Land Playset • 3 yrs.–7 yrs. 862651_20171017_December Regional Print Ads_color_8 version_W1_RM.indd 7

10/4/17 9:52 AM




Share the joy of music with your family this holiday season.

Experience one of the most cherished holiday movies of all time like you’ve never seen it before: It’s a Wonderful Life — in Concert. You know the story: struggling Bedford Falls hero George Bailey discovers, through the timely intervention of his Guardian Angel Clarence on Christmas Eve, that he’s the “richest man in town.” Now this timeless classic will be accompanied by the San Diego Symphony performing Dimitri Tiomkin’s richly sentimental score LIVE.


Who doesn’t love holiday music? Gathering together as a family, listening to timeless classics and singing along to your favorite carols are traditions everyone enjoys! In one short afternoon concert, you’ll see and hear the Symphony perform many of the classic Christmas carols…and we might even get a visit from a certain jolly North Pole resident!


December 2017 • •


MORE Kid-Tested Toys Did you miss last month’s round-up of awesome toys? Find ALL of this year’s favorite kid-tested, parent-approved toys at Barbie DreamHorse $99.99; 3+ This interactive horse nuzzles in response to touch, nods yes or no when someone asks a question, and can walk, neigh, and feed on carrots (included).

Kidizoom Action Cam 180 $49.99; 4+ Kids can record their adventures with this rotatable camera that takes photos and videos from all angles! Mount to a bike for great action shots anytime. “It’s attached to the handlebars. My kids use it every time they ride their bikes,” says mom Hayley. Includes micro USB cable.

PAW Patrol Shape Sorter Clock $9.99; 3+ Kids love PAW Patrol; parents love the educational components of this wooden puzzle. Moveable hour and minute hands make it a great tool to teach kids to tell time while learning colors, shapes and numbers.

Imaginext DC Super Friends Batbot Xtreme $110; 3+ Batman fans can’t get enough of Batbot Xtreme, which is over two feet tall! “It’s pretty much a lifesize Batman, which the kids love!” says mom Amy. “The wings come out, arms move and it shoots missiles. They have a blast playing with it.”

32 • • December 2017

My First Christmas Tree $49.99; 18 mo+ Toddlers can enjoy tree decorating with a Christmas tree just their size! Includes a miniature train set that rolls around the base of the tree.

Thomas & Friends Super Station $100; 3+ Get ready to roll on this new special track that provides hours of playtime— compatible with any Thomas & Friends engines. Includes iconic locations such as Tidmouth Sheds, Brendam Docks, Knapford Station and more. Features storage for over 100 engines (three engines included).

Stack & Tumble Elephant $14.99 6 mo+ The Stack & Tumble Elephant is an interactive baby toy that helps build fine motor skills while teaching colors, numbers and shapes. Push the tail to make him sneeze, sending the rings tumbling off his trunk.

Dr. Beaker $21.99; 8+ Use logic and a stirring rod to be the first to match Dr. Beaker’s formula. “I love the entire concept of this fun game,” says mom Courtney. “It brings in science, thinking and problem solving.” Discover tons more family games at Disney Pixar Cars 3 Ultimate Florida Speedway Track Set $99.99; 4+ Kids love this five-foot-long playset that’s loaded with movie-inspired details. It features themed play areas and a motorized booster that propels vehicles around hairpin turns. Includes Lightning McQueen. Batteries and additional cars sold separately.

Brackitz Pulleys Set $39.99; 4+ Award-winning Brackitz encourage imaginative play and creativity as kids design zip-lines, cranes, elevators, drawbridges and more! This set includes planks, connectors, pulleys, string, a crank and a bucket.

SmartGurlz: Teach Girls to Code $79.99; 6+ SmartGurlz offers a line of action dolls and self-balancing Siggy robots (programmable scooters) that teach girls coding. Story-based missions and games stimulate imagination. Each doll has a name and STEM-based “career” such as chemist, computer hacker or mathematician. Compatible with most smartphones and tablets.

Fisher-Price 7” Learning Tablet powered by nabi $99.99; 3+ A great learning tool for little ones! Includes 35 Fisher-Price apps and games that introduce letters, numbers, colors and shapes; plus, volumes 1-6 of Storybook Rhymes, Little People videos, and Pre-k/kindergarten lessons from nabi.

Razor Spider-Man RipRider 360 $69.98; 5+ Packed with authentic Spidey details and dual-inclined caster wheels, riders steer the front and experience unique drifting fun in the back. “Easy to assemble, well made and good fun—especially for a Spiderman fan!” says Nicole. Cutie Stix Cut & Create Station $29.99; 6+ Customize jewelry, nail art, fun figures and more. Choose a cute design and create a masterpiece! Design combinations are endless. “This would make an excellent gift for a little girl,” says mom Courtney.

December 2017 • •



Sponsored Content

Anne Malinoski


Your family’s list of must-do activities this season The Holidays are here, San Diego! Whether you’re looking to rekindle a favorite family tradition or start a new one, we’ve got you covered. Here’s how to make magical holiday memories in our city.

2 1

Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a wonderful, whimsical musical based on the classic book. Back for its 20th year, the family favorite features the songs “This Time of Year,” “Santa for a Day” and “Fah Who Doraze,” the delightful carol from the popular animated version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Celebrate the holidays now through Dec. 24 as the Old Globe Theatre is once again transformed into snow-covered Whoville, right down to the last can of Who Hash. A sensory-friendly performance on Dec. 9 is designed for guests with special needs. Buy tickets at

34 • • December 2017

There’s no better way to experience familiar sounds of the season than with the San Diego Symphony. Dive into the holiday spirit at a special concert and screening of It’s a Wonderful Life on Dec. 3. The classic film will play on three giant screens while the orchestra performs the score live. The Symphony will also present a program of holiday favorites in Noel Noel —catch one of five concerts Dec. 16-23. A shorter, family-friendly performance is offered on Dec. 17. Pre-concert activities include the Instrument Discovery Zone, where kids try to play a tune. Tickets available at

3 Kick off the holiday season in downtown Chula Vista when The Starlight Parade and Children’s Faire returns on Saturday, Dec. 2 with free festive attractions for the whole family. Zoom down a genuine snow hill from 2-5 p.m. Enjoy STEAM activities from the public library, along with festive food and games. The parade starts at 6 p.m. with floats, marching bands, dancers and an appearance from Santa! Don’t miss the fun. Find more information at







Treat your family to the magic of winter snow. Experience the Village Walk at Eastlake’s Nightly Snowfall Dec. 2-24 at 6 and 7 p.m. Lights and festive music make this free experience truly whimsical. And for the coolest photo op in town, visit a giant, walk-in snow globe (located near the children’s play area) on Dec. 3, 10 and 17 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. To plan your snowy evening of holiday shopping and dining, visit www

Your family’s new holiday tradition is waiting aboard a Hornblower Cruise. With festive feasts, cheery Christmas dinners and champagne brunches, there’s something for the whole family to enjoy. Looking for a unique adventure? Take the kids on a whale and dolphin watching tour! Pristine views of the San Diego harbor and skyline make Hornblower cruises an ideal treat for out-of-town guests, too. Sailing all season, including Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. Tickets available at

Cygnet Theatre’s production of A Christmas Carol brings Charles Dickens’ most memorable characters to life each holiday season. Join Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, and the Ghosts of Christmas for a beautiful lesson in hope and redemption, showing Nov. 29-Dec. 24. This delightful retelling includes original music, puppetry and live sound effects. Don’t miss the holiday classic, suitable for ages 5 and up. Find tickets and information at www.cygnettheatre .com. This show marks Cygnet’s 100th production!

All are welcome to join the community at First United Methodist Church in Mission Valley this Christmas Eve (Dec. 24) for their two most popular holiday celebrations. The 3 p.m. Family Service offers carols and scripture readings followed by festive refreshments. The Christmas Pageant and Candle Lighting is at 5 p.m. This event features stunning choir performances that tell the story of Jesus’ birth. There is no cost to attend. Learn more at

Visit scenic Alpine for holiday fun with the animals at Children’s Nature Retreat. You won’t want to miss the annual Christmas tree lighting on Saturday, Dec. 2 at 4 p.m. Guests gather around a 15-foot tree to experience breathtaking lights and festive tunes. Cocoa and cookies make the memory complete in this gorgeous outdoor space. Animals will be dressed in their finest coats. Be sure to bring yours, too! Event is free with admission.

Dave & Buster’s Breakfast with Santa is the ultimate holiday event for kids and kids at heart. In addition to a delicious breakfast buffet and photo ops with The Big Guy, guests receive a $10 power card with unlimited video game play. Have a blast at hundreds of games and simulators before the restaurant opens to the public. Don’t forget your camera! Sunday, Dec. 3 from 9-11 a.m. in Mission Valley. Purchase tickets at breakfastwithsantasd. cont. on next page

December 2017 • •


o’s San Dieg

Sponsored Content




Looking for a truly charming holiday shopping experience? Visit Summers Past Farms for an Antique and Craft Fair Saturday, Dec. 2 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. More than 70 vendors will showcase unique designs and collectibles at this outdoor event. Visit all season long to experience the Barn Shoppe decorated for a country Christmas, and offering gifts like holidayscented soaps, home decor and unique gardening gear. Closed Monday and Tuesday. Learn more at www

Celebrate the holidays in an Alpine Wonderland just 12 minutes from the desert floor at The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Join celebrity guest Shari Belafonte for the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony, Dec. 3 at 5:30 p.m. Santa will pay a visit on Dec. 16 with free candy canes and photo opportunities. On Christmas Day, enjoy Ride ‘n’ Dine at Pines Café starting at 11 a.m. Extended tram hours from Dec. 18-Jan. 1. Visit www for details.



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 linda@ to be considered next year.

North County Inland CARMEL MOUNTAIN RANCH, 92128 Fairway Village, east and west sides of Stoney Gate Pl. 80 homes decorated in “Holiday Magic.” Dec. 16-Jan.1, 5:3010:30 pm.

POWAY, 92064 12631 Stoutwood St. Off Twin Peaks Rd. & Deerwood St. Nicknamed “The Griswolds.” Dec. 1-Jan. 1, 5:30-10 pm weekdays, 11 pm weekends. Hickory Ct.,Hickory St., Butterwood Ct., Rockrose Ct. All off Twin Peaks Rd. & Silverset St. named “Candy Cane Lane.” Entire cul-de-sacs are lit up. Dec. 10-24, 6-9 pm.

RAMONA, 92065


Have a magical morning at Breakfast with Santa, a new holiday tradition at Bernardo Winery. This beautiful outdoor venue makes a relaxing space to sip mimosas while the kids interact with Santa and enjoy fun activities like cookie decorating, face painting and crafts. Breakfast with Santa is offered daily from Dec. 18-23. Advance reservations required. Don’t miss Holiday Nights, when the winery stays open late with strolling carolers, wine tastings, food and twinkling lights.

36 • • December 2017

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. Dec. 1-Jan. 1; SunTh, 5:30-10 pm; Fri & Sat, 5:30-11 pm.

RANCHO PEÑASQUITOS, 92129 Oviedo St. Off Black Mountain Rd. “Christmas Card Lane.” Also enter off Twin Trails Dr. & Carmel Mountain Rd. Dec. 9-31, dusk-10 pm.

SAN MARCOS, 92069, 92078 1145 Barham Dr. Festively decorated house with an electric train and snow machine. Nov. 26-Dec. 24, Sun-Th, 5:30-9 pm, Fri & Sat, 5:30-10 pm. 1639 Knob Hill. Off Nordahl Rd. Between Tam O’ Shanter Dr. & Augusta Dr. 30th year of decorating. 100,000+ lights plus themed displays. Nov. 23-Dec. 30, 5-9 pm. See Santa Dec. 16-23, 6:30-8 pm. and Facebook @christmasonknobhill

North County Coastal Holidays at LEGOLAND California. Experience the magic of the Holidays with music, twinkling lights and the world’s largest LEGO Christmas Tree. Enjoy live entertainment with LEGO Friends Live in Heartlake City, Santa’s elves singing in Fun Town and a lifesized LEGO Brick Santa and Reindeer. Nov. 18-Jan. 1. 760-918-5346. Oceanside Harbor Parade of Lights. Boats decorated in holiday lights circle Oceanside Harbor. Dec. 9, 6-10 pm. 760-722-5751. San Diego Botanic Garden “Garden of Lights”. 125,000+ lights illuminate the Garden. Horsedrawn wagon rides, holiday crafts, visits with Santa, marshmallow roasting and more. Dec. 2-23 and 26-30, 5-9 pm. Adults, $10-$20, children 3-12, $5. 230 Quail Gardens Dr., Encinitas. 760-436-3036.

CARLSBAD, 92009, 92011 7607 Romeria St. The “Carlsbad Christmas House” where it snows! Walk around to see Surfin’ Santa, Snoopy & Friends ice skating, Island of Misfit Toys, animals frolicking in the waterfall, animated window display, and more. Food drive donations accepted. Dec. 3-31, 5-10 pm (closed rain days). 6646 Elegant Tern Pl. Real Santa’s mailbox for the kids (Dec.1-23) and treats nightly. Santa writes back a free personalized letter to each child. Free community event Dec. 22 with crafts, bubbles, music, hot cocoa, fresh spun cotton candy and a visit from Santa. Dec. 1-26, 5:309:30 pm. 3520 Corte Ramon. 5th year of decorating with a different theme every year: Sponge Bob Sings, Olaf Sings, Santa Sings. Tune into FM 95.3. Dusk-10 pm.

OCEANSIDE, 92056, 92057 1615 Quiet Hills Dr. Lights synchronized to over 10 songs on 87.9 FM. 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. 1562 Peacock Blvd. Rudolph, Christmas trees and lights. Dec. 10Jan. 5. 5:30-10 pm.

San Diego Central Global Winter Wonderland. Handcrafted, lighted traditional Chinese lanterns inspired by international landscapes around the world including the Taj Mahal and Eiffel Tower. The Circle of Lights event features Cirque de Soleil level acrobatics, 35+ carnival rides, holidaythemed activities, games, international food, shopping and more. Nov. 19-26, Dec. 1-3, 8-10, 15-27, 29-31, Jan. 1-2, 5-7. Adults, $22, ages 4-12, $19. Unlimited ride wristband, $36. SDCCU Stadium. 510962-8586. Jungle Bells at the San Diego Zoo. The Zoo will be aglow with holiday cheer and activities to keep the whole family jolly. Seasonal decorations, animal experiences, costumed characters, live entertainment and more. Dec. 8-Jan. 1, 9 am-8 pm (until 5 pm Dec. 24). Free with Zoo admission. 619-231-1515.


Downtown San Diego The Forward House in Bankers Hill. Come by to experience the sights and sounds of the season at 108 Ivy St. (1st & Ivy). Built in 1905 for SD Mayor John Forward Sr, adorned with lights every season since 1998. Nov. 23Dec. 31, 5–10 pm. 619-533-7900. South Park’s Luminaria Season. Trees, lamp posts, roofs and courtyards all decorated with lights. Along 30th St. and Fern St. from Juniper to Grape to Beech. Nov.17Jan. 1.

Lana Dr. & Jamar. Off Mt. Abernathy Ave. Circular street. “Clairemont Christmas Park”. 40+ homes decorated. Dec. 1-25. 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. 11-28, 6-10 pm. 5348 Charming St. Light display to music. Dec. 4-31, dusk-10pm.

MIRA MESA, 92126 8866 Cassioepia Way. Decorated house with a snowman theme. Dec. 10-31, dusk10 pm. 11505 Elbert Ct. Decorated house with a Smurfs theme. Dec. 10-31, dusk-10 pm.

SCRIPPS RANCH, 92131 Stonebridge Pkwy & Merritage Ct. Nicknamed “Merry-tage Court”, entire street lit up with themes including Star Wars, Minions, Cars and more. Dec. 1-31, 5:30-9:30 pm.

SERRA MESA/MISSION VALLEY, 92123 2002 Ainsley Rd. Features a 20 ft. snowman, multiple blow-ups and lights. Dec. 1-31, dusk-9 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. 25-Dec. 27, 6-10 pm. 10927 Baroque Ln. A Winter wonderland with shooting star display, animated ski village, miniature village, snowmen and more. Dec. 8-29, 6-10 pm.

San Diego Coastal Mission Bay Christmas Boat Parade of Lights. Over 100 vessels. Begins on Quivira Basin. Dec. 9, starts at 6 pm. 858-488-0501. San Diego Bay Parade of Lights. 46th Anniversary. “Arrrgh. A Pirate’s Christmas” theme. Dec. 10 & 17, 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, check out holiday-themed animal shows and the all-new O Wondrous Night, a living nativity performed nightly under the stars, told through a different point of view: through the eyes of the animals. Nov. 18Jan. 6. 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.

POINT LOMA, 92106 Garrison St. & Chatsworth. Off Rosecrans. “Garrison Street Lights”. Dec. 1-31. dusk-10 pm. December 2017 • •


East County CAMPO, 91906 2434 Cypress Dr. 50 inflatables, lights, music and lighted yard decorations. Nov. 24-Dec. 31, 6:30-10pm.

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. 1-Jan. 1, Mon-Th, 6-9 pm and Fri-Sun, 6-10 pm.

13518 Appaloosa Dr. 48 channels of lights dancing to 88.1 FM. Dec. 1-31, 5-10 pm.

9435 Saint Andrews Dr. Santee’s gingerbread house with over 13,000 LED lights. Nov. 25-Jan. 1, dusk-10pm. 9773 Roe Dr. 30,000 computer controlled Christmas lights. Santa pictures on Dec.9 and Grinch pictures on Dec.13. Donations of non-perishable food/unwrapped presents accepted for Santee Santas and monetary donations for St.Jude’s. Dec. 2-31. 6-10 pm.

1838 El Pico Dr. Off Hacienda Dr. 53rd year decorating the 20-ft. star that’s 100 ft. up overlooking El Cajon valley. Nov. 26-Dec. 31. Also experience a 55-ft. automated train and extensive automated yard decorations. Dec. 15-31, dusk-10 pm.

SPRING VALLEY, 91977 4037 N. Bonita St. Lots of lights, music, penguins, Snoopy, Mickey, Minnie and Santa in the window. Dec. 10-Jan. 5, dusk-11 pm.

South Bay

LA MESA, 91941, 91942 6266 De Camp Dr. 22-ft tree of light and more. Lights dance to Christmas songs. Dec. 1- 25, 5-9 pm. 7817 Quince St. House lit up. Donations for Humane Society accepted. Dec. 6-31, 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. 25-Dec. 26, 5-10:30 pm. 1552 Cajon Greens Pl. Thousands of synchronized lights, yard decorations and music set to 97.7. Plus video of Santa delivering presents under the tree. Nov. 25-Jan. 2, Sun-Th, dusk-10 pm and FriSat, dusk-midnight.

LAKESIDE, 92040 10248 Paseo Palmas Dr. 20+ houses nicknamed “Tinsel Town.” Dec. 5-25, 5:30-9 pm.


Hotel del Coronado Celebrate “A Winter of Whimsy, Wishes and Wonder” as America’s beachfront legend becomes a playful wonderland with pops of bright color at every turn against a backdrop of twinkling white lights. With the return of Skating by the Sea, The Del is truly a sight to behold with carolers, jingle s’mores, whimsical polar bears, lavish feasts and festive parties. 1500 Orange Ave. 619-522-8490.

CHULA VISTA, 91910, 91911, 91914, 91915

689 Meadowbrook Dr. Off Jamacha Rd. South of Lemon Grove. Occasional sightings of Santa and Mrs. Claus. Dec. 8-Jan. 1, dusk10 pm.

Whitney St./Mankato. Circle between First and Second Ave. off H St. & 1st Ave. “Christmas Circle.” 60th year of decorating 55+ homes. Dec. 9-26, 5-10 pm.

2618 Sheri Lane. Cul-de-sac turns into Santa Claus Lane. Computerized light show at 6:30 pm and every 30 minutes until 9pm on 89.9 FM. Dec. 1-25.

PARADISE HILLS, 92139 2160 Reo Dr. Lights and decorations. On Dec. 17 enjoy hot cocoa, cookies and smores’ at fire pit.Nov. 23-Dec. 31, 6-12 pm.

SANTEE, 92071 Starlight Circle/Sunburst Santee. Tomel Court, off Magnolia. 75 homes lit up in an easy to walk circle. Dec. 1-31, dusk-10 pm.

Merry Christmas

9325 Pebble Beach Dr. Full light display on home and yard set to music. Dec. 1-31, dusk-10 pm.

#sdfamilylights – Share your holiday light photos with us!

Limousine Services Instead of doing the driving yourself, why not hire a party bus limo? Make it a party with family and friends! You’ll have a blast being chauffeured around town in style.

38 • • December 2017

H No Driving H No Hassles H Pajamas Optional

Top Dog Limo Bus 858-581-3644





december 16 · 10am in the food court, next to reading cinemas · 10am–1pm

Santa Photos | Carolers | Kids Crafts Face Painting | Entertainment | & More! clairemonttownsquare

Tony/Dec 2017

Tickets available for...

Polar Express Family Day Saturday December 9

11am to 3pm

Free with museum admission *Movie will start at 11:30 am Crafts for kids of all ages!

TOP DOG LiMO BUS Christmas



Limo Packages & Theme Parties • Proms • Birthdays • Graduations • Sweet 16/ Quinceañera





A Movie Event to Benefit Families with Special Needs December 15, 2017 • 7 p.m.



December 2017 • •


Calendar • December

Jennifer A. Burman

Global Winter Wonderland

Travel around the globe for the holidays as you view the largest display of traditional Chinese lanterns outside of China, inspired by international landscapes from all over the world. Also, check out Cirque du Soleil-level acrobatics, more than 35 carnival rides, international cuisine, shopping, games and holiday-themed activities. Through Jan. 7; visit website for complete schedule and tickets. SDCCU Stadium, Mission Valley.

Editor’s Picks

Photo courtesy of Global Winter Wonderland

FREE The San Diego Union-Tribune Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade Presented by Blue Buffalo

On Dec. 10, see festively-dressed critters and their owners unleash some holiday cheer! Parade steps off at 3 pm from MLK Promenade Park, continues up 4th Ave. to E St., then down 5th Ave., ending under the iconic Gaslamp Quarter Archway. Pet Expo at MLK Promenade Park with live music, pet presentations and more from 1-5 pm. $15-$20 per pet participant in the parade. More Christmas parades on page 42.

40 • • December 2017


Safe Toys & Gifts Month Write to a Friend Month Egg Nog Month

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

Keep the humbugs away – fill the season with all that’s merry and bright using our jolly guide ‘wrapped’ with the biggest and most dazzling holiday happenings and attractions around town.

friday | 1 “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella.” There’s the pumpkin, the glass slipper, the masked ball plus other surprising new twists in this Tony Award-winning Broadway musical. Tonight, 7:30 pm; tomorrow, 2 & 7:30 pm; Dec. 3, 1 & 6 pm. For all ages. San Diego Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave., downtown San Diego. Seas ‘n’ Greetings. The Birch Aquarium transforms into a wonderland full of SEAsonal activities for the family. Deck the Hall (of Fishes) and get into the holiday spirit with music, crafts and special appearances by Scuba Santa. Today until Dec. 31, 9 am-5 pm. Visit website for admission. Birch Aquarium at Scripps, 2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla. “Lamb’s Festival of Christmas: A Fargo Christmas.” A rising star, a real estate mogul, a precocious kid and an octogenarian are all eyeing the same property to be their new home for Christmas. This leads to hilarious misunderstandings and joyous discoveries. Tonight until Dec. 30; visit website for schedule and tickets. Lamb’s Players Theatre, 1142 Orange Ave., Coronado.

Cygnet Theatre Presents “A Christmas Carol.” Through Dec. 24; visit website for schedule and tickets. Family Day on Dec. 3, 1 pm featuring Santa, a coloring station and hot chocolate. Old Town Theatre, 4040 Twiggs St., San Diego. Learn more on page 35. Skating by the Sea. Skate to your heart’s content on Hotel del Coronado’s outdoor ice rink that boasts breathtaking views of the Pacific and Coronado Beach. Through Jan. 1; visit website for complete schedule. $30 includes skate rental. 1500 Orange Ave., Coronado. FREE Friday Night Liberty’s Holiday Extravaganza. Watch dance, theatre and musical performances, and visit museums and galleries during Liberty Station’s open-house event in Point Loma. 5-9 pm. FREE Tree Lighting in Fallbrook. Plus live music, games, Toys for Tots, face painting, food and more. 5-7:30 pm. Fallbrook Community Center, 341 Heald Lane. www St. Nick at Night. Cookie decorating, animal encounters, hot cocoa, craft and story time with Santa. Tonight & Dec. 8, 5-6 & 6:157:15 pm. $9.99 per child. Register online. Helen Woodward Animal Center, 6461 El Apajo Rd., Rancho Santa Fe.

Plan fun-filled family adventures all year long with Out & About! Find the expanded digital edition at www .sandiegofamily .com/things-to-do/ out-about. Don’t forget to call to confirm dates, times and admission prices.

FREE Christmas in the Courtyard. Experience the sights and sounds of the season with a 500-foot light show on Bradley Ave., tonight until Dec. 25. Also, come to Family Nights on Dec. 3, 10 & 17 that offer free hot chocolate, popcorn, movies, kids’ crafts, story time and more. Events from 6-10 pm. 365 W. Bradley Ave., El Cajon. For details, visit FREE Balboa Park December Nights. See page 44.

FREE Little Italy Tree Lighting & Christmas Village

Experience Little Italy’s Christmas magic as you revel in the community’s colorful décor, seasonal vendors, live music and entertainment, carriage rides, yuletide treats, a tree lighting (6:30 pm) and Santa. Dec. 2, 4-8 pm. Visit Santa’s Living Room on India St. where he can listen to kids’ Christmas wishes from 4-6:30 pm. Downtown San Diego.

December 2017 • •


Christmas parades are coming to town! Sprinkle some magic into the season with sparkling lights, stunning floats and sleighloads of ho-ho-holiday cheer! Alpine Christmas Parade of Lights. Dec. 1, starting at 6:30 pm on Alpine Blvd. at West Victoria Dr., and ends at the Alpine Creek Town Center (1347 Tavern Rd.) where you can attend the free Snow Festival with real snow for sledding, vendors, Santa Claus and entertainment from 7-9 pm. Holiday Parade & Open House in Coronado. Parade travels down Orange Ave. from 8th to R.H. Dana. Dec. 1, 6-9 pm. Please bring a new stuffed animal for the Coronado Police Department’s teddy bear drive to benefit Rady Children’s Hospital. Vista Christmas Parade. Dec. 2, 1-3 pm. Historic Downtown Vista Village. North Park Toyland Parade travels down University Ave., between Utah & Iowa Sts. Dec. 2, 11 am. OB Holiday Parade. This year’s theme: “California Dreamin’ in the Season of Love.” Brightly-lit floats, bands, vintage vehicles, eye-catching costumes, Santa Claus and more. Dec. 2, 5:05 pm. Along Newport Avenue.

Escondido Jaycees Christmas Parade. This year’s theme: “Christmas at the Cinema.” Starts at 9:30 am on Dec. 9 at Escondido High School and travels south on Broadway down to Grape Day Park. Parade of Lights in Oceanside. See festively decorated boats in the Oceanside Harbor. Dec. 9, 7 pm. Pacific Beach Holiday Parade travels down Garnet Ave., from Haines to Bayard St. Dec. 9, 1 pm. San Diego Bay Parade of Lights. Don’t miss a procession of approximately 80 boats lavishly decorated for this year’s theme, “Arrgh! A Pirate’s Christmas.” Awards are presented to the best decorated boats and those that truly capture the event’s theme. Dec. 10 & 17, 5 pm. Spectators can view the parade from Shelter Island, Harbor Island, the Embarcadero, Seaport Village, the Pier at Cesar Chavez Park and the Coronado Ferry Landing. The San Diego Union-Tribune Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade Presented by Blue Buffalo. Steps off at 3 pm from MLK Promenade Park, continues up 4th Ave. to E St., then down 5th Ave., ending under the Gaslamp Quarter Archway. Dec. 10, 3 pm. Learn more on page 40.

Encinitas Holiday Parade. This year’s theme, “Celebrating the Arts” will showcase amazing and creative floats, performance art and music. Remember to say a jolly hello to Ronald McDonald during the parade! Travels along Coast Hwy. 101. Dec. 2, 5:30-7:30 pm. Before the parade, attend the 5 pm tree lighting ceremony with an appearance by Santa at the Lumberyard. Starlight Parade & Children’s Faire. Parade starts at 6 pm on Dec. 2 in the historic Third Avenue Village in Chula Vista. Also, special attractions at the Children’s Faire in Memorial Park from 2-5 pm. For details, see page 34. Kiwanis Club of San Marcos Holiday Parade. This year’s theme: “California Christmas.” Dec. 3, 1 pm. Along Mission Ave., between Comet Circle & San Marcos Blvd. Details at


TS PARADE OF LIGH AY B O G IE D N SA 42 • • December 2017 by Marv Sloben Photo

Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade. World-class marching bands, impressive floats, drill teams, dance troupes and giant character balloons! Dec. 28, 10 am. Along Harbor Dr., downtown San Diego. For parade route, visit


Calendar • December saturday | 2 FREE Santa’s Village & Tree Lighting in San Marcos. Breakfast with Santa (9-11:30 am; $4-$5), free kids’ crafts, Santa visits, arts and crafts vendors, food and entertainment. 9 am-7 pm; tree lighting, 5:30 pm at the courtyard. San Marcos Civic Center, 1 Civic Center Dr. FREE Family Activity at Renaissance Village Academy: Strategies for Chinese Checkers. 3-5 pm. 10625 Scripps Ranch Blvd., Ste. A, San Diego.


FREE Winter Wonderland Festival at California Center for the Arts, Escondido. Play with real snow, meet live reindeer, shop for gifts, decorate Christmas cookies, see Santa and enjoy themed entertainment. 3-8 pm. 340 N. Escondido Blvd. FREE Family Festival at Village Walk at EastLake. Featuring train rides and crafts for ages 12 & under. Santa Claus will give each child a coloring book and pose for pictures. Also, don’t miss special daytime snowfalls (1, 2 & 3 pm today; nightly, tonight-Dec. 24, 6 & 7 pm). Noon-3 pm. Eastlake Pkwy. & Miller Dr., Chula Vista. See page 35 for details. Scripps Ballet Theatre and Scripps Performing Arts Academy Present “The Nutcracker.” Today, tomorrow, Dec. 9 & 10, 2 pm. Visit website for tickets. David & Dorothea Garfield Theatre, 4126 Executive Dr., La Jolla. Helen Woodward Animal Center’s Frosty Farm. Merry encounters with wintry animals and a holiday craft during a onehour excursion, plus a round-up of activities including a meet and greet with Santa, photo ops with various critters, an elf obstacle course, cookie decorating, music and games. Today, tomorrow, Dec. 9 & 10, 9 am-2:30 pm. $19.99 per child; $9.99 per adult. Register online. 6461 El Apajo Rd., Rancho Santa Fe. Yuletide Cinema: “Elf.” Also, strolling Christmas carolers, food trucks, DJ, a photo booth and more. 8 pm; festivities start at 6 pm. $12-$35. California Center for the Arts, Escondido, 340 N. Escondido Blvd.

10th Annual Tree Lighting Event December 8, 2017 4:00-8:00 P.M.

Obstacle Course

A Kimball Holiday Celebration December 8-9, 2017 Kimball Park 12th Street & D Avenue, National City

Saturday 11 am - 8:00 pm P.M.

Free Family Fun

Craft & Food Vendors

Kid's Activities

Family Snow Play Area

Santa's Village

Outdoor Holiday Movies

Canned Food Drive

Food & Live Music

Bike & Helmet Opportunity Drawing

NEW! - Hello Kitty

NEW! - Tinker Bell Jump

Clean Units! Insured! Free Delivery & Set-up! Other Interactive Games Available! 15’ H Slide

EE Ice Skating Rink FR Friday 4:00 - 8:00 P.M.

Princess Combo

NEW! - Justice League NEW! - Sesame Street

Officially Licensed Jumps! Choose From Our Large Selection Such As: Lilo & Stitch, Mickey Mouse, Dora the Explorer, The Lion King, Power Rangers, & Much More! And Now – Our New Licensed 5-n-1 Combos!!


Disney Cars


Toy Story

Finding Nemo Frozen

Disney Princess

5-n-1 Licensed Combo Multiple Themes!


r Camp Winte ation registr A SAN DIEGO ORIGINAL open w o is n Learn the Language of Graphic Storytelling and Speak with Art! ! n onli e From beginning idea to scanned-in art, Little Fish and our pool of instructors will guide you in telling your story in any genre and style you want!

Our enrichment classes not only help students with their creativity and artistic skills, but also with their writing, visualization, conceptualization, problem solving, and completion techniques all of which help to boost overall academic and future career success.

Little Fish Comic Book Studio 6822B El Cajon Blvd., San Diego, CA 92115

619-356-1103 • December 2017 • •


Calendar • December FREE Christmas Tree Lighting & Carols of Carlsbad. A skydiving Santa, carolers, a poinsettia display, holiday market, hot chocolate and cider, crafts and family activities. 3-7 pm. Omni La Costa Resort and Spa, 2100 Costa Del Mar Rd., Carlsbad. www San Diego STEAM Maker Festival. Enjoy interactive STEAM demos and activities presented by schools, makers, crafters and vendors. 10 am-3 pm. $6-$8; under 5 free. Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd. Holiday at the Rancho. Blending holiday spirit with a bit of Western history, this event offers train rides, games, a 14-foot tree lighting, photos with Santa, screening of The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, cookie decorating and shopping. 5-8 pm. $10; under 3 free. Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park, 6200 Flying L.C. Lane, Carlsbad. www (activity number 23553). “Frozen” Sing-along Experience. ‘Let it go’ and sing along to your heart’s delight with Elsa, Anna and Olaf! Come early for premovie activities including a snow play area for kiddos. Costumes strongly encouraged. 6:30 pm. $16-$36; discounts available. Moonlight Amphitheatre, 1200 Vale Terrace Dr., Vista. Garden of Lights. Visit the San Diego Botanic Garden at night as 100,000 sparkling lights illuminate various areas. Also, entertainment, horse-drawn wagon rides and snow for sledding (on select evenings), crafts, Santa visits (tonight until Dec. 23), a Nutcracker display and more. Tonight-Dec. 23 & 26-30, 5-9 pm. $5-$20; additional fees for some activities. 230 Quail Gardens Dr., Encinitas.

FREE South Park Holiday Walkabout. Stop by unique businesses and take advantage of 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. www Christmas Tree Lighting at Children’s Nature Retreat. Dazzling lights, festive music and yuletide fun with critters, big and small. 4 pm. Free with admission. $15-$25. 5178 Japatul Spur, Alpine. See page 35 for more details. FREE Antique & Craft Fair at Summers Past Farms. Have a great time shopping in a merry atmosphere. 9 am-3 pm. 15602 Olde Hwy. 80, Flinn Springs. Learn more on page 36. FREE Little Italy Tree Lighting & Christmas Village. See page 41.

sunday | 3 Handwashing Awareness Week, Dec. 3-9 FREE Holiday Tree Lighting in Solana Beach. Plus live music, a Santa visit, cookies, cider and treats. 4:30 pm; Santa arrives at 5:20 pm. Fletcher Cove Park, 140 S. Sierra Ave. “Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” Through Dec. 24; visit website for schedule. Also, don’t miss a sensory-friendly performance on Dec. 9, 10:30 am. Tickets start at $24. Balboa Park. See page 34. Family Drop-in Day: Viewing the Wonders of Balboa Park. Explore Balboa

Park through art projects, docent-led tours and activities. 1-3 pm. Free with museum admission; ages 17 & under free. The San Diego Museum of Art, Balboa Park. Traditional Santa Photos at Seaport Village. Head down to the East Plaza Gazebo and bring your best smile! Through Dec. 24; visit website for complete schedule. Photo packages available for purchase. Pets are welcome. 849 W. Harbor Dr., downtown San Diego. “It’s a Wonderful Life” in Concert. Watch this holiday classic on the big screen as the San Diego Symphony performs Dimitri Tiomkin’s sentimental score live. 2 pm. Copley Symphony Hall, Jacobs Music Center, 750 B St., downtown San Diego. See page 34 for more information. FREE SoNo Fest & Chili Cook-Off. Drawing top restaurants and breweries from the bordering communities, the festival features more than 40 local chefs battling it out for bragging rights to the best pot of chili in the city, 20 breweries, a holiday craft market, two music stages, a food truck court and Kids Zone. 11 am-5 pm. Thorn & 32nd Sts., North Park. Dave & Buster’s Breakfast with Santa. Breakfast buffet, Santa pics and a $10 power card with unlimited video game play for guests. 9-11 am. 2931 Camino Del Rio North, Mission Valley. See page 35 for details. Teddy Bear Teas. Plus storytelling by the Peppermint Princess. Bring a teddy bear to donate to the Ronald McDonald House at Rady Children’s Hospital. Today, Dec. 9, 10, 16, 17, 20, 21 & 23, 11 am-12:30 pm. $35-$50 plus

Editor’s Picks FREE Balboa Park December Nights

San Diego’s treasured holiday extravaganza unwraps its 40th year with even more sparkle, food and nonstop merriment! Get your yearly fix of spectacular lights, irresistible holiday flavors from around the world, arts and culture, and awesome attractions throughout the park. And to put you in a jollier mood, Balboa Park museums will offer free admission from 5-9 pm each night! Dec. 1, 3-11 pm & Dec. 2, noon-11 pm.

44 • • December 2017

School Recognition: Outstanding Teacher


School Recognition

Outstanding Teacher Know a great teacher or administrator who motivates students and deserves special recognition? Talk to your school about featuring them in San Diego Family’s education spotlights. Congratulations to this month’s awesome teacher!

Ceri Langell is the newest instructor at Little Fish; she

graduated from the School Of Visual Arts in New York City and now publishes her own independent comic, “Corrsolla Robot”. Ceri designed and teaches our Sunday class, “Comic Creation”. Little Fish Comic Book Studio • 6822B El Cajon Blvd., San Diego, CA 92115

CAMP DATES: Dec 18-22, Dec 26-29, Jan 2-5, Jan 8-12 REGISTER: DIGITALGYM.ORG/CAMPS COST: $245 FOR MORE INFO: or 619-230-1938 ADDRESS: Digital Gym (North Park) 2921 El Cajon Blvd San Diego, CA 92104





Classes • Teams

• Open Gym • Competitive Team for Girls • Preschool Girls & Boys thru Adult






Air Conditioned Facility!

Sign Up Now!!

Preschool-6th Grade

Dec 18-22, 26-29 & Jan 2 - 5

Register at December 2017 • •


Featured Winter Camps & Programs

Poway Gymnastics

experienc e HANDS-ON Animal Interactio ns!

Tony/Nov 2017

Calendar • December

MEGA PLAY STRUCTURE tax and gratuity. Call for reservations. Vivace Restaurant, 7100 Aviara Resort Dr., Carlsbad. Vivace.html; 760-448-1234.


The “We do it all” No Stress Party Package for any budget!

From A la carte to invitations and catering! Call or visit the website for details!




Lizards, Frogs, Turtles, Snakes & Bugs

For most occasions

For kids of ALL ages

Licensed & Insured since 1993



Calendar of availability on website:

3-1 COMBO TO $140

2-1 COMBO TO $120


$ 89 Package #1: Jumper, 4 Tables, 32 Chairs $139 Package #2: Jumper, 4 Tables, 32 Chairs, Concession Machine $139 Package #3: 2-1 Combo Jumper, 4 Tables, 32 Chairs $159 Package #4: 3-1 Combo Jumper, 4 Tables, 32 Chairs

(619) 399-5237

*add $50 to any package if generator is needed


46 • • December 2017

FREE San Pasqual Battle Day. This annual event commemorates the 1846 Battle of San Pasqual with living history activities that transport visitors to the battlefield 171 years ago. 11 am-3 pm. San Pasqual Battlefield State Historic Park, 15808 San Pasqual Valley Rd., Escondido. FREE Santa by the Sea. Photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, treats and refreshments, Rad Hatter holiday hats, letters to Santa, live music, tree lighting (5 pm) and more. Starting at 3 pm. L’Auberge Amphitheater, 1540 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar.


Now serving all San Diego

FREE Winter Fest at Vista Village. The Holiday Marketplace featuring Santa, carolers, screening of the movie, Elf, horsedrawn carriages, holiday sips and sweets, and a tree lighting ceremony. Noon-6 pm. Details at


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

FREE Merry Fun at Old California Restaurant Row. Pose for photos and chat with Santa, take a ride on the holiday express, and receive free activity pads for the kids. Noon-2 pm. Located near Old California Coffee House. 1080 W. San Marcos Blvd., San Marcos. Jolly Surprises at The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Don’t miss the annual tree lighting (tonight, 5:30 pm), holiday choirs on select days, a Santa visit (Dec. 16) and more. 1 Tram Way, Palm Springs. For details, see page 36. FREE Celebrate the Season at The Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch. Carnival games, a petting zoo, face painting, carolers, a train ride and more at the Holiday Festival today, noon-5 pm. Photos with Santa & Mrs. Claus, 3-5 pm. Also, ice skating on Dec. 7 & 8, 2-9 pm. Free admission to ice rink with an unwrapped toy donation for AJ’s Kids Fund for Rady Children’s Hospital. 13490 Pacific Highlands Ranch Pkwy., San Diego.

nurturing cOnfident

monday | 4 Cookie Day Dream Big: Engineering Our World. Narrated by Academy Award winner, Jeff Bridges, this giant-screen film celebrates the human ingenuity behind engineering marvels, big and small, and shows how engineers push the limits of innovation in unexpected and amazing ways. Showing daily; visit website for schedule and admission. Fleet Science Center, Balboa Park.

tuesday | 5 Rady Children’s Ice Rink at Liberty Station. Rink open until Jan. 7, 10 am-10 pm (closes at 5 pm on Christmas Eve). $12$14 includes skates. Net proceeds benefit the Rady Children’s Hospital’s Peckham Center for Cancer & Blood Disorders.

Tutoring Tots In Tutus All Dance Since 1962 Wear F Ages 2 & Up

Combination Class Tap • Ballet • Tumbling

1st Lesson is FREE! Enroll Anytime!

cOmmunicAtOrs. Individualized speech-language evaluations & therapy to children at no cost to families. nOw Accepting ApplicAtiOns!

wednesday | 6 FREE First Wednesdays: MiraCosta College Symphony & Choir Present “Dueling Nutcrackers.” 7 pm. Tickets handed out at the door; early arrival strongly recommended. California Center for the Arts, Escondido, 340 N. Escondido Blvd. The Sky Tonight: Constellations of the Southern Sky. Discover the stars and constellations of the southern hemisphere. 7 & 8:15 pm. $14.95-$16.95. For ages 5 & up. Fleet Science Center, Balboa Park.


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

Vernetta’s Dance Studio

619-260-1707 |

Circus Classes

Tony/Nov 2017

Sign up for

After School Programs! GivinG The GifT Of Speech, One VOice At A time. Tm

1895 Camino del Rio S, San Diego, CA 92108 (619) 291-2506

• Tumbling • Flexibility • Balance • Aerial Silk • Trapeze • Chinese Pole • Lyra, Hammock & Rope 619-220-4909 ~ Call Today!

FREE Holiday Celebration with Santa. Two laser light shows complete with falling snow, the Dickens Carolers, photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, local school performances and free hot chocolate and cookies. 5-7:30 pm. Please bring a toy or cash donation for the Marine Corps Toys for Tots. Del Mar Highlands Town Center, 12925 El Camino Real. San Diego Civic Youth Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.” Journey to the magical Land of Sweets with Clara and the Nutcracker Prince in this enchanting production. Tonight until Dec. 17; visit website for schedule. $12-$18. Casa del Prado Theatre, Balboa Park.

December 2017

December 2017 • •


Fencing & Archery

Calendar • December thursday | 7

SPECIAL 1/2 off first month of classes Must purchase by Dec. 31, 2017. New students only. Not valid for camps.

Classes in • Archery • Fencing • Medieval Sword • Light Saber

LionHeart Academy • 1331 N. Cuyamaca St., El Cajon 619-462-2027 •

“Peppa Pig Live!: Peppa Pig’s Surprise!” Join Peppa, George, Mummy Pig and Daddy Pig in an adventure filled with songs, games and delightful surprises. 6 pm. Visit website for tickets. Balboa Theatre, 868 Fourth Ave. at E St., downtown San Diego. FREE Celebrate the Season at The Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch. See Dec. 3.

friday | 8 FREE Christmas in the Valley. Polar Express rides to visit Santa, carols and crafts, shopping, and The Christmas Voice singing contest. Santa will arrive aboard a fire engine! Today, 3:30-8 pm & tomorrow, 10 am-4 pm. Bates Nut Farm, 15954 Woods Valley Rd., Valley Center.

“WINTER WONDERLAND” Parent’s Nite Out 12/9 6-10PM $20 per child PNO

HOLIDAY GIFT SPECIALS FOR NEW STUDENTS Small Class Sizes Individualized Instruction Affordable Monthly Tuition Visit us for a

Free Trial Art Class! Drawing and Painting Classes for Kids

Age 11


Age 5

Age 8

Holiday Gift Certificates Available! UTC/Clairemont 858-268-2255


Poway 858-486-1555

San Carlos 619-462-1955

Rancho Bernardo 858-451-2055

Celebrating 17 Years!


NEW STUDIO COMING SOON call for more details 619-462-1955

48 • • December 2017

Broadway Theatre West’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Tonight, 7:30 pm; tomorrow, 6 pm; Dec. 10, 2 pm. $7-$12. San Marcos Community Center, 3 Civic Center Dr., San Marcos.; “Carols by Candelight.” Country music stars Lonestar, Brandy Clark, Charlie Worsham and other performers come together for an evening of hits and Christmas tunes at this concert that benefits Rady Children’s Hospital. Tonight & tomorrow, 8 pm. $19-$68. California Center for the Arts, Escondido, 340 N. Escondido Blvd. Jungle Bells. Go wild at the San Diego Zoo’s annual celebration where guests are treated to seasonal decorations, animal experiences, costumed characters, live entertainment and more. See the Zoo aglow with holiday cheer and join activities that are sure to keep the whole family jolly. Today until Jan. 1; visit website for hours. Free with Zoo admission. Balboa Park. City Ballet of San Diego’s “The Nutcracker.” Tonight, Dec. 15 & 22, 7:30 pm; tomorrow, Dec. 16 & 23, 2 & 7:30 pm; Dec. 10 & 17, 2 pm; Dec. 24, 1 pm. Spreckels Theatre, downtown San Diego. 121 Broadway, downtown San Diego.

saturday | 9 FREE Christmas in the Park. Train rides, treats, horse-drawn hay and pony rides, petting zoo, tree lighting and Santa (arrives on the train at 5:15 pm). 3:30-8:30 pm. Old Poway Park, 14134 Midland Rd. Parent’s Nite Out at Elite Gymnastics Academy: Winter Wonderland. Kids, ages 4 & up, have a great time with gymnastics, games and lots of play! 6-10 pm. $20. Register online. 1817 John Towers Ave., El Cajon. Scripps Performing Arts Musical Theatre Department Presents “Shrek the Musical, Jr.” Everyone’s favorite ogre, Shrek, leads a cast of fairytale misfits on a quest to rescue a princess and find true acceptance. Today, tomorrow, Dec. 16 & 17, 4 pm; Dec. 15, 7 pm. Vincent Paul Black Box Theater, 9920 Scripps Lake Dr. #105, San Diego. Polar Express Family Day. Wear your PJs to a screening of this well-loved movie, meet a special visitor from the North Pole, make a holiday keepsake and participate in themed activities. 11 am-3 pm. $5-$11; ages 5 & under free. San Diego Model Railroad Museum, Balboa Park. FREE Christmas on Maple. Holiday shopping boutique, cookie decorating, photo ops with Santa, Christmas carols, free teddy bears (while supplies last), kids’ crafts, letters to Santa and gourmet food trucks. 10 am-3 pm. Maple Plaza, downtown Escondido. “Mammal Mania” Family Day. Crafts and activities celebrating the variety and diversity of this class of animal. 11 am-3 pm. Free with admission. San Diego Natural History Museum, Balboa Park. California Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.” Tchaikovsky’s score comes to life with a cast of more than 150 performers in this grand production. Today until Dec. 23; visit websites for schedule and tickets. Don’t miss a toddlerfriendly performance today at 10 am, and a sensory-friendly performance on Dec. 16, 10 am. San Diego Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave., downtown San Diego. www.sandiegotheatres .org;

Winter Whale Watching. Starting today, encounter some of the most magnificent creatures on earth courtesy of Hornblower Cruises & Events. Meet docents from theNAT who will provide whale facts, enjoy views of the San Diego skyline and see dolphins, sea lions and sea birds. Daily, 9:30 am & 1:30 pm. $21-$47; under 3 free. 970 N. Harbor Dr., downtown San Diego. A Rawhide Country Christmas. Pony and hay rides, photos with Santa, live bands and carolers, equestrian vaulting exhibitions, s’mores, Christmas gift ideas, and arts and crafts fair. Today, tomorrow, Dec. 16 & 17, 3-8 pm. Admission: $10 per vehicle; active military, fire dept. & law enforcement free (show ID); fees for some activities. 6987 W. Lilac Rd., Bonsall. FREE Santa Arrives on the Holiday Express Train. Also, musical entertainment, face painting and balloon sculptures. 1-4 pm. Eastlake Village Marketplace, 2275 Otay Lakes Rd., Chula Vista. Parol Lantern Festival. Experience a Philippine Christmas with cultural entertainment and exhibits, festive food and family activities amidst 200 parol star lanterns! 2-6 pm. $15-$25 includes Philippine merienda of pansit, lumpia and turon. Joe and Vi Jacobs Center, 404 Euclid Ave., San Diego. Holiday Carnival & Show. Food, games, dance performances, a bounce house and photos with Santa. 1-5 pm. $7-$10. Benefits Dancers Against Cancer. Dance Unlimited Performing Arts Academy, 4263 Oceanside Blvd. FREE San Diego Gulls Learn to Play Hockey Program. First-time hockey players, ages 4-12, will learn the basics of hockey and how to skate properly in this four-week session. Hockey equipment provided. Today, Dec. 16, Jan. 6 & 13, 2:45-3:45 pm. Ice-Plex Escondido, 555 N. Tulip St. Register at www.sandiegogulls .com/community/learn-to-play-hockey. FREE Nature’s Holiday Traditions. Get the real facts behind the mysteries of mistletoe and discover other plants that showcase Southern California holiday traditions during this guided walk. Today & Dec. 23, 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.

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 will last a lifetime.

FREE REGISTRATION ($100 value) Expires 1/31/18

Newborn - Age 5 Preschool & Child Development Center

Caring for children for over 21 years! 3422 Tripp Ct., San Diego, CA 92121 At Sorrento Valley Road

(858) 794-9130

California State License Numbers 3766000130 /1


Swim Lessons • Peace of Mind • Confidence • Great Exercise


• So much FUN!

Get in the pool today! FREE Introductory Lesson*

*Check for available times & enroll today.

Photo by Zena Holloway •

St. Nick at Night. See Dec. 1.

Happy Kids Hang Out Here

• Indoor heated pool • Infant to adult • 3-to-1 student/teacher ratio

Excellent, Special Needs Programs for children with Autism!

619-209-2990 December 2017 • •


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” East County

San Diego Coastal


BETH MONTESSORI Infants/Toddler/Preschool/Kindergarten

10435 Campo Rd., Spring Valley 91978 Rancho San Diego

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


MARIA MONTESSORI SCHOOL Preschool/Elementary/Middle

Lic. #376600356

Lic. # 376700496



Lic. # 372002147

Lic. #376614702

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


8121 Braddock Place, San Diego 92114 Lemon Grove


South Bay


Lic. #376600555

MONTESSORI AMERICAN SCHOOL Toddler/Preschool/Kindergarten

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


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

MONTESSORI DISCOVERY SCHOOL First Step/Preschool/Kindergarten 8559 Fanita Dr., Santee 92071 Santee, San Carlos, Fletcher Hills

Lic. #370805837

Lic. #372005444


619-422-1220 MONTESSORI EXPLORER Toddler/Preschool/Lower Elementary Lic. #376700503

271 East J St., Chula Vista 91910 Bonita & Chula Vista


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

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 # 372006093

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


Lic. #372005943

SCRIPPS MONTESSORI SCHOOL Toddler/Preschool/Elementary


9939 Old Grove Rd., San Diego 92131 Scripps Ranch

Two Locations in Encinitas Encinitas

Lic. # 370801839


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

Calendar • December with living light at this event featuring bioluminescence. Get hands on with glowing activities, meet scientists who study illuminating creatures and create a glowing path on a bioluminescent carpet. 6-9 pm. Visit website for admission. Birch Aquarium at Scripps, 2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla.

Kids in the Garden: Seasonal Nature Crafts. Make natural decorations for the holidays using pine cones, berries and cotton. 10 am-noon. $5. To preregister, call or email farmerjonesavbg@ Alta Vista Botanical Gardens, 1270 Vale Terrace Dr., Vista.

Scripps Ballet Theatre and Scripps Performing Arts Academy Present “The Nutcracker.” See Dec. 2.

Santa Run. More than 3,000 Santas will take over Garnet Ave. in Pacific Beach for this annual event that consists of a 5K Run and one-mile runs: the Santa’s Little Helper Mile (for the festive pup), Santa’s Elves Mile (for kids) and the Speedy Mile (for competitive Santas). 5K starts at 10 am. $20-$50.

Dream! Design! Build!: Brick-Art. This exhibit brings you the classic Block Busters, the Fit-a-Brick Build Zone where you can build with LEGO bricks or LEGO DUPLO bricks, and ProtoPipe, the newest addition to the engineering interactives collection. This month, build a winter wonderland with bricks at the Fit-a-Brick Build Zone. Through Jan. 15; visit website for hours and admission. Fleet Science Center, Balboa Park.

Nature & Me Story Time: Pack Rats. Budding naturalists take an imaginative journey into nature through readings and exhibition visits. 10:15 am. Free with museum admission. Recommended for ages 1-5. San Diego Natural History Museum, Balboa Park.

tuesday | 12 Hanukkah, Dec. 12-20

Ugly Christmas Sweater Day International Tea Day

Linda Hawley’s Nature Adventures: Mountain Lion & Mule Deer, Predator & Prey. Learn how species interact in nature’s web of life, and the importance of protecting our environment. 9:30-11:30 am. $10 per child with advance registration. For ages 4 & up. Mission Trails Regional Park’s Visitor Center, One Father Junipero Serra Trail, San Diego.

Frozen Fairgrounds. Check out a 7,200-square-foot community ice rink and the first-ever NHL-sized ice rink to be installed outdoors in San Diego. Also, have a cool time at the hockey Fan Fest with themed, off-ice attractions. Today until Dec. 31; visit website for times, complete event schedule and tickets. 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd.

FREE Hanukkah Celebration & Menorah Lighting. Celebrate the beginning of Hanukkah with a menorah lighting in the early evening, music and more. 5 pm. Central Promenade, between the ice rink and The Lot, Liberty Station, Point Loma.

“An Irish Christmas.” A showcase of superb dancing, singing and traditional Irish music for the whole family. 8 pm. Tickets start at $33.50. Balboa Theatre, 868 Fourth Ave. at E St., downtown San Diego.

San Diego Ice Arena Presents “Christmas Classics on Ice.” Noon, 3:30 & 7 pm. $15-$25. 11048 Ice Skate Place, Mira Mesa. Jingle Bell Run. Wear your favorite holiday costumes and tie bells to your shoes for this annual event that offers a timed 5K race and kids’ 1K race, festival zone, entertainment and Kid Zone. 8 am. $15-$35. Benefits the Arthritis Foundation. 6th Ave. & Quince St., Balboa Park. Register at

sunday | 10 Pet Photos with Santa. Take your pets to sit, stay and pose for a photo with Santa. 6-7 pm. Center Court, Carlsbad Premium Outlets, 5620 Paseo Del Norte. Holidays at LEGOLAND California Resort. Entertainment, twinkling lights and festive cheer abound at this annual celebration. Don’t miss the nightly lighting of the park’s LEGO Christmas tree. Through Jan. 1; visit for hours and admission. Wacky Wonky Wonderland. This festival/holiday donation drive includes carnival games, mini-train rides, food trucks, music, Willy Wonka and Santa, and more. Benefits the San Diego Center for Children. Noon-3 pm. Please bring a new, unwrapped toy, a $25 gift card from the center’s wish list or a monetary donation. 3002 Armstrong St., San Diego. Target Family Day. Explore The New Children’s Museum for only $3! Noon-4 pm. 200 West Island Ave., downtown San Diego.

52 • • December 2017

Helen Woodward Animal Center’s Frosty Farm. See Dec. 2.

monday | 11

wednesday | 13 Cocoa Day MOPA’s Juried Youth Exhibition: Defining Boundaries highlights the work of local students, grades K-12, that explores the theme of “boundaries” through photography and video. Through Feb. 27; visit website for hours and admission. Museum of Photographic Arts, Balboa Park.

thursday | 14 Holiday Night Lights. Let it glow, let it glow, let it glow! Celebrate the season

Don’t forget to call to confirm dates, times and admission prices.

friday | 15

Queen Bee Market Hosts “Etsy Comes to Life” Winter Market. Home décor, clothing and accessories, paper arts, furniture, make-and-take stations and live demos at this urban-style handmade market. Today, 4-9 pm & tomorrow, 9 am-4 pm. $3; military with ID and ages 12 & under free. Wyland Hall, Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd. “Miracle on 34th St. – A Radio Play.” Experience this popular radio version of the classic film as done in 1947 as part of the Lux Radio Hour. Tonight & Dec. 22, 7:30 pm; tomorrow & Dec. 23, 2 & 7:30 pm; Dec. 17, 2 pm. $9-$19. The Brooks Theatre, 217 N. Coast Hwy.

saturday | 16 Santa’s Hut & Giggles Holiday Hunt at Grossmont Center. Have your photo taken with Santa, then children can pick up a map and find all the hidden elves around Grossmont Center to win a prize. Through Dec. 25; visit website for more details. 5500 Grossmont Center Dr., La Mesa. Holiday Traditional Tea by the Sea. Indulge in scones, croissants, mini sandwiches and desserts. Champagne for adults and merry surprises for the young ones. Today & tomorrow, noon & 2 pm. $49-$59. Call for reservations. L’Auberge Del Mar, 1540 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar.; 858-793-6460. FREE Roots Series: Thailand. Live performances, costumes, crafts and other activities showcasing the culture of Thailand. 2-4 pm. San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum, 320 N. Broadway, Escondido. Breakfast with Santa at Harbor House Restaurant. Plus face painting, balloon artists, kids’ show and a gift for the kiddos. Today & tomorrow, 9-10:30 am. $25. Call for reservations. 831 W. Harbor Dr., downtown San Diego. www; 619-738-1627. FREE Holiday Family Day with Botany for Kids. Learn basic gardening skills as you plant flowers and transform the Garden by the Lily Pond in the heart of Balboa Park. 10-11 am. For details, email

Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hula, Flamenco, Pilates 2 years thru Adult Boys Program Annual Performance Opportunity

Find your spot at the barre! (858) 560-5676 Kearny Mesa, Liberty Station & La Mesa

LEARN TO SWIM! 2 Months to Adult Small Group Classes Year Round Program Warm Water


10369 Campo Road Spring Valley, CA 91978

Renaissance Village Academy

California Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.” See Dec. 9.

“Noel Noel”: A Family Concert. Hear the San Diego Symphony perform classic Christmas carols, and receive a visit from the jolly man in red. 2 pm; preconcert activities, 1 pm. $10-$25; ages 2 & under free. Copley Symphony Hall, Jacobs Music Center, 750 B St., downtown San Diego. More details on page 34.

Now lling! En r o

Rediscover the JOY of Learning

Garden of Lights. See Dec. 2.

sunday | 17

Bubbles Swim School

Local Private School for GATE Students

Celebrating 8 years of serving the Scripps Ranch Community. Ability-based Full Academic Program including Music, Art, and Foreign Language.

Outside Playground!


Strategies for Chinese Checkers Saturday, Dec. 2, 3-5PM

10625 Scripps Ranch Blvd., Ste. A, San Diego, CA 92131 • 858.564.9622 • December 2017 • •



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

54 • • December 2017

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!

Calendar • December FREE Congregation Beth Am Menorah Lighting. Celebrate Hanukkah with a traditional lighting ceremony, choral performances and refreshments. 6 pm. Del Mar Highlands Town Center, 12925 El Camino Real. Family Sunday at Mingei International Museum. View colorful exhibits with an interactive treasure map, take a docentled tour, make art and more. Noon-5 pm; Family Gallery Spotlight at 1:30 & 3:30 pm. $5 per family. Balboa Park. FREE Christmas in the Courtyard. See Dec. 1. San Diego Civic Youth Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.” See Dec. 6. Scripps Performing Arts Musical Theatre Department Presents “Shrek the Musical, Jr.” See Dec. 9. A Rawhide Country Christmas. See Dec. 9.

monday | 18 Answer the Telephone Like Buddy the Elf Day Breakfast with Santa & Holiday Nights at Bernardo Winery. Today until Dec. 23. Breakfast with Santa, 9:30 amnoon; Holiday Nights, until 9 pm. 13330 Paseo Del Verano Norte, San Diego. More details on page 36. Kids Countdown to Christmas. Get a merry blend of traditional holiday films and cookie decorating, ornament making, craft projects and visits with Mrs. Claus tonight until Dec. 23, 6 pm. For complete schedule and to RSVP, visit website. Cape Rey Carlsbad, 1 Ponto Rd., Carlsbad.

tuesday | 19

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

“The MeshugaNutcracker!” Celebrate all things Hanukkah courtesy of this musical comedy that comes to the big screen tonight at 7 pm. The production showcases eight stories that pay tribute to the first celebration of Hanukkah in the new state of Israel, as well as Judah Maccabee’s triumphant saga and accounts of perseverance. For tickets, visit

Jewish Montessori Preschool in La Jolla • • • • • •

Children ages 9 months to 6 years Proven Montessori Method and Philosophy Learning through hands-on experience Integrated secular and Judaic curriculum Bilingual Program Skilled teachers, trained in early childhood development • Secured, state-of-the-art facilities

wednesday | 20 SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration. Featuring the new nativity musical, O Wondrous Night, Santa’s Christmas Village, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Breakfast with Orcas and Santa (select dates until Dec. 24), live shows, yuletide flavors and more. Through Jan. 6; visit website for hours and admission. Interstate 5, exit SeaWorld Dr., San Diego.

Classes are filling up quickly! For more information, contact us at

(858) 452-3030 or

Traditional Santa Photos at Seaport Village. See Dec. 3.

thursday | 21

Beth Montessori adheres to the principles of Association Montessori International (AMI)

8660 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92037

Tel (858) 452-3030 • Fax (858) 777-9199 •

Winter Solstice “Peter Pan and Tinker Bell: A Pirate’s Christmas.” Filled with magic, big laughs and contemporary songs by famous artists, from Taylor Swift to the Bee Gees, this remarkable show has something for everyone. Tonight-Dec. 24 & 27-31; visit website for schedule and tickets. Balboa Theatre, 868 Fourth Ave. at E St., downtown San Diego. Polar Bear Tea at The Del. Treat the fam to a classic tea experience plus a special children’s spread that includes book readings with Mrs. Claus and fun activities in the Ballroom. Donate a new toy for Toys for Tots and receive a plush polar bear keepsake gift from Coca-Cola. 11 am-4 pm. 1500 Orange Ave., Coronado. For fees and reservations, visit San Diego Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.” This production delights with more than a hundred beautifully costumed performers dancing to Tchaikovsky’s beloved score. Tonight & tomorrow, 7:30 pm; Dec. 23, 2 & 7:30 pm. Visit website for tickets. Mandeville Center, UCSD Campus, 9500 Gilman Dr., La Jolla.

Located in University City Ages Two through Sixth Grade


Call us to tour and experience our individual and rigorous method of creating life long learners.


FEBRUARY 1st 3:30 - 5:30

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

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

Teddy Bear Teas. See Dec. 3.

friday | 22 Snow Day San Diego. Winter tubing, Penguin Polar Express, miniature train rides, a giant gingerbread house, a snow globe photo booth, a skating rink, animated lights and more. Today until Dec. 30 (except Dec. 24); visit website for hours and tickets. Rohr Park, 4440 Sweetwater Rd., Bonita.


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


December 2017 • •


Calendar • December Seas ‘n’ Greetings. See Dec. 1.

Lic.# 376600498

“A learning environment that balances the physical, emotional, cognitive, creative, social & emotional needs of your child.”

Visit our website 858-755-8338

Scheduling Tours for the 2018-2019 School Year

13692 Mango Drive, Del Mar

Leaders in Early Childhood Education Since 1970

Mt Helix Academy

where children love to learn

Kindergarteners love love reading: reading; •• Kindergarteners read readtheir theirgraduation graduationspeeches speeches •• Low ratios 8-to-1 ratiofor forfundamentals fundamentalsininK-2 K-2 •• Arts, Arts, Music, Music, Theater, Theater, Technology Technology •• Robotics Robotics •• 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 levelof ofWASC WASCaccreditation accreditation 619.243.1400

5955 Severin Drive La Mesa, California 91942


A new model of education featuring project based learning, holistic development, and a conscious and intentional culture. We Believe “Schools should guide students to recognize and awaken their true genius.” For details call us at 858-345-1888 or visit SOUL is located at the Boys and Girls Club of Solana Beach

56 • • December 2017

“Miracle on 34th St. – A Radio Play.” See Dec. 15.

saturday | 23 Russian Grand Ballet Presents “The Nutcracker.” See the world’s most loved Christmas classic performed by Russia’s brightest ballet stars. 6 pm. $35-$85. California Center for the Arts, Escondido, 340 N. Escondido Blvd. “The Nutcracker” Holiday Tea at Fairmont Grand Del Mar. The Scripps Performing Arts Academy performs an abridged version of Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece. Pair every plié with a bite of delicious tea sandwiches and French pastries. 10:45 am & 1:45 pm. Call for reservations. 5300 Grand Del Mar Ct.; 858-314-1988. San Diego Civic Youth Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.” See Dec. 6. FREE Nature’s Holiday Traditions. See Dec. 9.

sunday | 24 Christmas Eve FREE Spend Christmas Eve at First United Methodist Church of San Diego. Family service, 3 pm; Christmas Pageant and candle lighting, 5 pm; traditional services at 8 & 10:30 pm. 2111 Camino del Rio South, Mission Valley. See page 35 for details. FREE Christmas Eve Services at Newbreak Church. 9 & 10:45 am in Pacific Beach (4033 Ingraham St.); 9 am, 3:30 & 5 pm in Ocean Beach (4694 Cape May Ave.); 10 am, 3:30 & 5 pm (plus Dec. 23, 5 pm) in Tierrasanta (10791 Tierrasanta Blvd.); 10:45 am in East County (470 N. Mollison, El Cajon); 10:45 am & 5 pm in Scripps Ranch (10635 Scripps Ranch Blvd.). Cygnet Theatre Presents “A Christmas Carol.” See Dec. 1.

monday | 25 Christmas Day Hornblower Christmas Day Dining Cruises. Featuring a champagne brunch cruise (11:30 am-1:30 pm) and a dinner

buffet cruise (4-6:30 pm) with traditional holiday fare, photos with Santa, music and breathtaking bay views. Visit website for fees and reservations. Cruises depart from Grape St. Pier, 1800 N. Harbor Dr., downtown San Diego. For more holiday cruises, visit Skating by the Sea. See Dec. 1. Jungle Bells. See Dec. 8.

tuesday | 26 Kwanzaa, Dec. 26-Jan. 1 Candy Cane Day FREE Day of Dance. The Arts District’s Dance Place will offer a free day of classes for dance enthusiasts of all levels and abilities. Meet the instructors and take sample ballet, modern, tango, jazz and theatre classes. 8:30 am-5 pm. Pop-up showcases will take place on the Community Stage (between the ice rink and The Lot) throughout the day. www Frozen Fairgrounds. See Dec. 15.

wednesday | 27 FREE Carrier Johnson + Culture Holiday Bowl Marching Band Showcase. Marching bands and spirit squads from the universities participating in the San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl perform for a highenergy Battle of the Bands! 6 pm. Horton Plaza Park, 900 Fourth Ave., downtown San Diego. EcoVivarium Living Museum. View reptiles, amphibians and arthropods, and participate in hands-on encounters with animal ambassadors. Wed.-Fri., noon-5 pm; Sat. & Sun., 10 am-4:30 pm. $8-$10. 136 S. Juniper St., Escondido. Rady Children’s Ice Rink at Liberty Station. See Dec. 5.

thursday | 28 San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl. Featuring a high-octane match-up of top teams from the Pac-12 and Big Ten conferences. Game kicks off at 6 pm. Fans can enjoy the ultimate pre-game party, FanZone, with food trucks, an interactive

Giovanni/Aug 2017/cr

Calendar • December college football skills challenge, kids’ activities and more, starting at 3 pm. Visit website for tickets. SDCCU Stadium, Mission Valley. Frida and Me. This educational exhibit for children explores the inventiveness and power of Frida Kahlo’s work. Mon., Tues., Thurs.-Sun.; visit website for hours. Included with admission. The San Diego Museum of Art, Balboa Park.

tony/ December 2017/cr

Children’s Creative & Performing Arts Academy • Small Class Size • WASC Accredited • Emphasis on Science & Mathematics • Individualized and Advanced Academic Programs • Incorporating Music, Art, Dance, Drama, Spanish, Chinese and Physical Education

A Complete Academic Program – Montessori & College Preparatory Curriculum with an Emphasis on the Creative and Performing Arts • 619-584-2454 3051 El Cajon Blvd., San Diego 92104

• Childcare Aware of America member • Military rates and scholarships available


Mr. Scrooge

The Musical December 8th & 9th

Pick up

your FREE copy at Vons • McDonald’s • Party City Sombrero Mexican Food


friday | 29 “Incredible Predators.” From the mighty blue whale to the resourceful Darwin’s bark spider, experience the thrill of the chase, the great escapes and the determination of nature’s predators in this 3D film. Showing daily; visit website for schedule and admission. San Diego Natural History Museum, Balboa Park. Farm Animal Friday. Find out why pigs are one of the cleanest and smartest animals, and meet an oinky friend. 10:3011:30 am. Free with museum admission. San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum, 320 N. Broadway, Escondido. www.sdcdm .org/farm-animal-Fridays.

saturday | 30

and more than 1,700 other family locations San Diego Family Magazine

Winter Whale Watching. See Dec. 9.

San Diego Family • 619.685.6970

Honda Family Night Out: Pajama Jam. Celebrate the New Year with themed art activities, a dance jam, games, photo booth and the popular countdown balloon drop. 5:30-8:30 pm. $25-$35 includes dinner. The New Children’s Museum, 200 West Island Ave., downtown San Diego. FREE Be a Modern Explorer. Take to the trail and discover both the majestic and minute offerings of Mission Gorge on an interpretive outing with your MTRP guide. 10 am-1 pm. Meet inside the Visitor Center. Mission Trails Regional Park, One Father Junipero Serra Trail, San Carlos. “Peter Pan and Tinker Bell: A Pirate’s Christmas.” See Dec. 21. Snow Day San Diego. See Dec. 22.

58 • • December 2017

Nicole/December 2017/cr

Petits Amigos is a combined Spanish Immersion and Gymnastics Preschool for children ages 2.5 to 5 years old. Located inside of Gyminny Kids Gymnastics in Rancho Bernardo, we combine foreign language and gymnastics for a complete mind and body learning experience.

858-248-HOLA 17022 Camino San Bernardo, San Diego, 92127 Lic #376701280

Experience the Power of Homeschool!

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 2017 • •


Calendar • December sunday | 31 New Year’s Eve New Year’s Eve Bash at Sheraton Carlsbad Resort and Spa: “Heroes vs. Villains.” Grab your capes and blast off into 2018 at this family-friendly event. Prizes will be given to the best-dressed couple and family, and there will be buffet-style dining, live entertainment, kids’ party zone and two balloon drops (9 pm and midnight). 6:30 pm-12:30 am. 5480 Grand Pacific Dr., Carlsbad. Tickets at LEGOLAND California Resort’s Kids’ New Year’s Eve Celebration. Children can ring in 2018 without missing their bedtime! This event features live music, entertainers and a countdown of its own with a huge LEGO brick that drops 22 feet into 2018 followed by a fireworks display at 6 pm. Included with park admission.

Weekly Activities Don’t forget to call to confirm dates, times and admission prices.

saturdays/sundays North Pole Limited. All aboard for Christmas carols sung by Santa’s elves, story time plus cookies and hot chocolate for all passengers. Santa and Mrs. Claus will also be onboard to spread some holiday cheer. Fridays & Saturdays, Dec. 1-23, 5 & 7 pm. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Pacific Southwest Railway Museum, 750 Depot St., Campo. FREE Giant Snow Globe at Village Walk at EastLake. Take photos and videos inside a giant snow globe located near the children’s play area. Sundays, Dec. 3, 10 & 17, 5:30-7:30 pm. Eastlake Pkwy. & Miller Dr., Chula Vista. Sunday Brunch with Santa at The Del. Kids can visit with Santa in the Crown Room during Hotel del Coronado’s festive brunch. Dec. 3, 10, 17 & 24; reservations available between 9:30 am-1 pm. 1500 Orange Ave. Make reservations at

60 • • December 2017

FREE Kid-Friendly Nature Hikes. Saturdays, Sundays & Wednesdays, 9:30-11 am. Visitor Center, Mission Trails Regional Park, One Father Junipero Serra Trail, San Carlos. FREE Crafts at the Lakeshore Learning Store. For ages 3 & up. Saturdays, 11 am-3 pm. Dec. 2: Frosty Friend Bookmark; Dec. 9: Make a Face! Frosty Mask; Dec. 16: My Winter Headband; Dec. 23: Ugly Sweater Ornament; Dec. 30: My Resolution Craft. 7510 Hazard Center Dr., San Diego & 702 Center Dr., San Marcos. FREE Holiday Marketplace at Liberty Station. Shop from local vendors and Liberty Station tenants while enjoying live musical performances and ice skating. Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays, Dec. 1-23, 4-10 pm; Dec. 24, noon-5 pm. Point Loma.

mondays FREE Stories with Grandma Carmel. Tales, coloring and fun books! Mondays, 11 am-noon. Rancho San Diego Branch Library, 11555 Via Rancho San Diego, El Cajon.

tuesdays Residents FREE Tuesdays. San Diego City and county residents, and active military and their dependents receive free admission on rotating Tuesdays at Balboa Park’s museums. For schedule, visit Toddler Tales & Tunes. Play in the garden, enjoy preschool stories and songs, and pot plants to take home. Tuesdays (except first Tues.), 10 am-noon. Free with admission. $8$14; ages 2 & under free. For ages 1-4. San Diego Botanic Garden, 230 Quail Gardens Dr., Encinitas.

wednesdays FREE Park 101’s Movies in the Park. Watch family-friendly films shown on an outdoor projector. Bring your own blanket and snack on free popcorn. Dec. 6: Home Alone; Dec. 20: A Christmas Story; Dec. 27: Elf. Movies start at dusk. 3040 Carlsbad Blvd., Carlsbad.

Parent Movie Morning & Baby’s Night Out at UltraStar Cinemas. Bring your baby to see a movie and take advantage of valet stroller parking, dimmed lights and changing facilities in the auditorium. Wednesdays; Parent Movie Morning, 10 am; Baby’s Night Out, 7 pm. UltraStar Mission Valley Cinemas at Hazard Center, 7510 Hazard Center Dr., San Diego. Garden Arts & Crafts. Wednesdays, 1011:30 am. Free with admission. $8-$14; ages 2 & under free. For ages 1-6. San Diego Botanic Garden, 230 Quail Gardens Dr., Encinitas. FREE Kid-Friendly Nature Hikes. See Saturdays/Sundays.

thursdays FREE Junior Rangers at Tijuana Estuary. Thursdays, 3:30-4:30 pm. For ages 7-12. 301 Caspian Way, Imperial Beach. Trains, Paints & Plants. See motormanengineer James run his special trains, pot plants and make a nature-themed craft. Thursdays, 10-11 am. Free with admission. $8-$14; ages 2 & under free. For ages 1-6. San Diego Botanic Garden, 230 Quail Gardens Dr., Encinitas.

fridays Mac’s Kids Corner. This weekly story time brings a book to life with operating trains, paints, puppets and more. Fridays, 10-11 am. Free with admission. San Diego Model Railroad Museum, Balboa Park. FUNbelievable Play’s Family Fun Nights. Fridays, 5-8 pm. Regular admission prices apply. 11655 Riverside Dr. #155157, Lakeside. FREE Holiday Marketplace at Liberty Station. See Saturdays/Sundays. North Pole Limited. See Saturdays/ Sundays. Want us to spread the news? Send us an event, class or weekly activity you would like included in our magazine. Please 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: Jan. 2.



Charms Children, Amazes Adults, Entertains Everyone! ~ MAGICIAN ~

Loch David Crane $100 - $200 Call for details! Magic Lessons Too!

(619) 222-2849 •

DENTAL Insurance Physicians Mutual Insurance Company

A less expensive way to help get the dental care you deserve If you’re over 50, you can get coverage for about

$1 a day*

Keep your own dentist! NO networks to worry about NO annual or lifetime cap on the cash benefits

No wait for preventive care and no deductibles – you could get a checkup tomorrow Coverage for over 350 procedures including cleanings, exams, fillings, crowns…even dentures

For larger events, rent a Santa Setting! Kid’s Craft Creative, fun parties for kids 2 &


up, in your home, yard or park. Crafts at preschools & camps too!


Tickets available for...



A Movie Event to Benefit Families with Special Needs

you can receive

FREE Information Kit

1-877-308-2834 *Individual plan. Product not available in MN, MT, NH, RI, VT, WA. Acceptance guaranteed for one insurance policy/certificate of this type. Contact us for complete details about this insurance solicitation. This specific offer is not available in CO, NY; call 1-800-969-4781 or respond for similar offer. Certificate C250A (ID: C250E; PA: C250Q); Insurance Policy P150(GA: P150GA; NY: P150NY; OK: P150OK; TN: P150TN) 6096C MB16-NM001Gc


Teena’s Custom Crafts

December 15, 2017 • 7 p.m.

NOTICE TO READERS – Do not send money in advance or provide personal information (bank, license or credit card numbers) before thoroughly investigating any business and its refund policy. DISH Network. 190+ Channels. FREE Install. FREE Hopper HD-DVR. $49.99/month (24 months). Add High Speed Internet - $14.95 (where avail.) CALL Today & SAVE 25%! 1-855-837-9146

A PLACE FOR MOM. The nation’s largest senior living referral service. Contact our trusted, local experts today! Our service is FREE/no obligation. CALL 1-844-722-7993 AUTOS WANTED


Become a published author! Publications sold at all major secular & specialty Christian bookstores. CALL Christian Faith Publishing for your FREE author submission kit. 1-855-548-5979.

Home Mailers needed! Earn UP TO $2,485 Weekly! Experience Unnecessary! Start Immediately! Earn $1,000’s! Processing Mail! Rush SASE: JDF/CAD, Montgomeryville, PA 18936-0142.

Prescription medications for up to 85% off retail prices! STOP paying so much! $15 off for First Time Customers. FREE shipping. Price match guarantee. CALL for FREE Quote: 1-877-627-7239 or visit


LIFELOCK Identity Theft Protection. Do not Wait! Start Guarding Your Identity Today. 3 layers of protection. Detect, Alert, Restore. Receive 10% off. Call for Details 1-855-399-2089.

EDUCATION AIRLINE MECHANIC TRAINING Get FAA Technician certification. Approved for military benefits. Financial Aid if qualified. Job placement assistance. Call Aviation Institute of Maintenance 866-453-6204

Suffering from Knee or Back Pain? Learn How a Brace Can Help! Fast & Easy Medicare Approvals. FREE Shipping. Relieve Your Pain Now! 24/7 Call Center. CALL 1-844-502-1809 MISCELLANEOUS

Lung Cancer? And Age 60+? You And Your Family May Be Entitled To Significant Cash Award. Call 866-428-1639 for Information. No Risk. No Money Out Of Pocket.

Spectrum Triple Play! TV, Internet & Voice for $29.99 ea. 60 MB per second speed. No contract or commitment. More Channels. Faster Internet. Unlimited Voice. Call 1-855-652-9304

HughesNet Satellite Internet? 25mbps for just $49.99/mo! Get More Data FREE Off-Peak Data. No phone line required! FAST download speeds. WiFi built in! FREE Standard Installation! Call 1-855-440-4911

CARS/TRUCKS WANTED! All Makes/Models 20002016. Any condition. Running or Not. Top $ Paid! Free Towing! We’re Nationwide! Call Now: 1-888-985-1806 GOT AN OLDER CAR, VAN OR SUV? Do the humane thing. Donate it to the Humane Society. Call 1-855-558-3509 WANTED TO BUY CASH PAID- up to $25/Box for unexpired, sealed DIABETIC TEST STRIPS. 1-DAYPAYMENT. 1-800-371-1136 Wants to purchase minerals and other oil and gas interests. Send details to P.O. Box 13557, Denver, Co. 80201 ADVERTISE to 10 Million Homes across the USA! Place your ad in over 140 community newspapers, with circulation totaling over 10 million homes. Contact Independent Free Papers of America IFPA at or visit our website for more information.

December 2017 • •


Art with Alyssa

Alyssa Navapanich




CALENDAR Who doesn’t love an advent calendar— something kids can “open” daily to reveal a surprise? There’s no candy in this DIY advent calendar—each surprise helps create new family traditions and holiday memories. Get the kids involved! Activities such as writing, cutting and gluing increase fine motor skills. Discussion Points for Teachers/ Parents • Activities kids love to do with family or ways to help others • Different holidays traditions Start by making a list of 25 fun activities your family can easily do together. Some suggestions: • Make breakfast for dinner. • Make a blanket fort. • Have a sunset picnic. • Learn about a tradition from another culture. • Eat dinner by candlelight. • Make hot chocolate from scratch. • Do a kind deed for a friend. • Tour holiday lights in your pajamas (with San Diego Family’s Map of Christmas Lights, of course).

er il v at e D Tre a r a to bo gh i Ne

Find complete project instructions and supply list at www.sandiegofamily .com/for-the-kids/crafts-for-kids. Alyssa Navapanich is an art enthusiast who teaches art to elementary school kids in North County.

62 • • December 2017

Flip the card to reveal the surprise activity



Earn your B.A. in Child Development from PLNU at a campus near you. Point Loma Nazarene University has partnered with community colleges across San Diego county to offer you a B.A. in Child Development that can help take your career to the next level with class just one night a week with built-in, real-world experience — and the rest online.

Learn more at

20th Smash Year!

Dr. Seuss’s 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

Hurry! Must close December 24! With special thanks to Audrey S. Geisel/ The Dr. Seuss Fund at The San Diego Foundation and Terry Atkinson

(619) 23-GLOBE! (234-5623) Dr. Seuss Properties TM & (c) 1957 and 2017 Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. All Rights Reserved. Edward Watts. Photo by Jim Cox.

San Diego Family Magazine December 2017  
San Diego Family Magazine December 2017  

It's the family holiday issue! Map of Holiday Lights, Kid-tested Toy Reviews and more!