San Diego’s top holiday art events and performances | Jobs Reply

Yiddishland California: ‘Hanukkah Themed Art Walk’

Visual art

Yiddishland California opened a year ago as a cultural center and hub for Jewish and Yiddish arts and culture. Located in the heart of La Jolla, it is run by the Yiddish Arts and Academics Association of North America (YAAANA).

They are having a Hanukkah themed event at the First Friday Art Walk with a market Judaica — Ceremonial art and Jewish objects used in rituals and traditions.

The art walk also marks the opening of an exhibition by painter Miriam Libhaber. Libhaber was born in Mexico City and studied architecture, which still influences his work, not only in his cityscapes, but also in the way he paints forests that evoke clusters of skyscrapers.

It’s part of La Jolla’s First Friday Art Walk, so there will be plenty to see around town. This year’s Hanukkah runs from December 18th to December 26th.

Details: From 16:00 to 19:00, Friday, December 2, 2022. Yiddishland, 1128 Wall St., La Jolla. for free

A Step Beyond: ‘El Alebrije’

the ballet

“El Alebrije” is a remake of the Nutcracker ballet, inspired by Mexican culture. In pre-Hispanic Mexican culture an Alebrije is a spirit guide, and the term is also used for carved and painted animal figures, as well as an imaginative or make-believe sense, which continues as a twist on Nutcracker dolls.


By A Step Beyond

A Step Beyond dancers appear in the 2021 production of “El Alebrije”.

It’s an outdoor show at the Kit Carson Amphitheater in Escondido, with one performance only. There is a large cast, including 150 students from the ballet school of A Step Beyond. The story, costumes and props have been transformed into the Mexican tradition, but the music is the same Tchaikovsky “Nutcracker Suite”.

Details: 18:30 Saturday, December 10, 2022. Kit Carson Amphitheater, 100 Amphitheater Dr., Escondido. General admission is $10, children 5 and under are free.

The Nutcracker: San Diego Ballet and Scripps Performing Arts Academy

the ballet

If you want to have the quintessential “Nutcracker” experience with a tea party, Scripps Performing Arts Academy will host its Holiday Tea and Holiday Brunch “Nutcracker” performances at the Fairmont Grand in Del Mar. Tea is Friday, December. 23 ($88+), and lunch on Saturday, December 24 ($100+).

San Diego Ballet will also host a Nutcracker Tea Party at Liberty Station on Sunday, December 18th ($55+).


Conductor Christopher Dragon will conduct the San Diego Symphony for “Noel Noel” December 9-11, 2022.

San Diego Symphony: ‘Noel Noel’

Music, Storytelling

“Noel Noel” is a mix of storytelling and holiday music. It’s a new story and script this year, so if you’ve been involved in the past, this will feel new. Christopher Dragon (Wyoming Symphony) conducts, and the San Diego Symphony, San Diego Master Chorale and San Diego Children’s Choir will perform.

Details: 7:00 p.m. Friday, December 9, 7:00 p.m. Saturday, December 10 and 5:00 p.m. Sunday, December 11, 2022. The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, 222 Marina Park Way, downtown. General admission is $20+.

San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus: ‘Jingle’


“Jingle” is the annual holiday show of the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus, now entering its 38th season under new artistic director Dr. Charles Beale. The event celebrates how integral music (especially song) can be to remember the holidays. SDGMC will perform some holiday classics along with music by Eric Whitacre, The Temptations, James Taylor and more.

Details: 20:00 on December 10 and 15:00 on December 11, 2022. Balboa Theatre, 868 4th Ave., downtown. General admission is $30+.

Cygnet Theatre: ‘A Christmas Carol’

the theater

This production of the Charles Dickens classic features original music and puppetry, as well as everything we know and love about this story. Artistic director Sean Murray will play Scrooge. Murray played all the characters from “A Christmas Carol” in a one-act adaptation of the play during the pandemic.


Ken Jacques / Cygnet Theatre

A prior production of “A Christmas Carol” at the Cygnet Theater is shown in a 2019 photo.

At Cygnet’s Old Town theater you can find shows almost every day on Christmas Eve, including American Sign Language interpreters.

Details: Until December 24, 2022. Cygnet Theatre, 4040 Twiggs St., Old Town. General admission is $30+

San Diego Botanical Garden: ‘Lightscape’

Visual art

“Lightscape” is an immersive installation along a mile-long trail inside the San Diego Botanical Garden in Encinitas, featuring more than a million lights. There are light tunnels, pyrotechnics, sculptures and visual arts activation along the way. Evening tickets are available until January 1st, and they recommend about an hour and a half.

Winter Cathedral.jpg

Courtesy of the San Diego Botanical Garden

The installation “Winter Cathedral” is shown in an undated photo in “Lightscapes”. The light show will be at the San Diego Botanical Garden until January 1, 2023.

The trail has some dirt sections, so comfortable shoes are recommended. Pushchairs and wheelchairs are accepted, although some parts with stairs will require a detour and/or staff assistance.

Details: 17-20:30 November 18-20, 23, 25-27; December 1-4, 8-11, 14-23, 26-31; Jan. 1. San Diego Botanical Garden, 230 Quail Gardens Dr., Encinitas. Admission is $13-$29.

La Jolla Music Society: Holiday Sing-Along

Music, Books, Crafts

The La Jolla Music Society’s “Holiday Sing-Along” features the Pacific Coast Harmony Choir, and a La Jolla librarian to read “‘T’was the Night Before Christmas.”

Also, artists from the Spanish Village Art Center will guide families in making their own holiday cards. This is a free event, held on the outdoor patio, and you can bring a book to donate to the Friends of the La Jolla Library.

Details: 17:00, Sunday, December 11, 2022. Wu Tsai QRT.yrd at The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center, 7600 Fay Ave., La Jolla. Entry is free.

Art Production: ‘Craft Works Holiday Market’

Visual arts, Shopping

There are many gift markets, but don’t miss the Holiday Craft Market at Art Produce. The market is open every weekend through the end of the year and is stocked with handmade goods from San Diego City College art program faculty, students and friends, including jewelry, candles, soaps, ceramics, textiles, artwork. It takes up the entire front gallery of Art Produce in North Park, and 70% of every purchase goes directly to the artist and the rest goes to Art Produce, which is a non-profit organization.

Details: 14:00-18:00 Thursday and Friday; from 12:00 noon to 6:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, until December 30, 2022. Art Produce, 3139 University Ave., North Park. Entry is free.

For more winter holiday events, visit our special holiday calendar listings. For more art events and editor’s picks, check out KPBS/Arts Calendar.

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