There’s a tale of a Cat, so cool in a Hat, that…did you hear…was created right here! 🙂
Yep Dr. Seuss, that master smith of rhyming words for kids, lived atop a hill called Mt. Soledad in La Jolla (north of downtown San Diego) where his fantastical world of Cat in the Hat and other memorable characters came to life for readers of all ages.
I’ve always been a big fan of Dr. Seuss whose real name BTW is Theodore (Ted) Seuss Geisel. His widow Audrey still lives in lovely seaside La Jolla.
On the heels of Dr. Seuss’ recently released new book, Horton and the Kwuggerbug and more Lost Stories, me thinks with my thinker that a fun way to tinker would be an incredibly fun linker to a few Seussian sights and events in La Jolla:
Wish Dr. Suess at Happy Birthday at UCSD
Dr. Seuss birthday celebration at Geisel Library, UCSD in La Jolla
Every year in celebration of Dr. Seuss’ birthday on March 2, the aptly named Geisel Library at University of California at San Diego (UCSD) in La Jolla exhibits selections from their Dr. Seuss Collection of over 10,000 items(!), including his drawings, rough drafts, notebooks and other cool memorabilia. It’s the world’s largest repository of original works by Seuss. Last year Mrs. Geisel substantially added to the collection, donating an additional 1,500 items from his personal archive!
Look for an announcement of next year’s big b-day bash on Geisel Library’s news page after New Year’s.
7 ½ foot Cat in the Hat
Dr. Seuss and Cat in the Hat sculpture at Geisel Library, UCSD in La Jolla
In the meantime, next time you’re in La Jolla, check out the life-size bronze sculpture of Dr. Seuss and a towering 7 ½ foot Cat in the Hat in front at the library. Seuss selfies are encouraged!
Secret Art of Dr. Seuss
The Secret Art of Dr. Seuss includes Unorthodox Taxidermy
In the charming Village of La Jolla, the Legends Gallery displays some wonderful imaginings in its “Secret Art of Dr. Seuss” exhibit. Visitors can view the sophisticated, technically accomplished and unrestrained side of Seuss’ talent, including lesser-known paintings, illustrations and sculptures from his Unorthodox Taxidermy collection (a fun fav!).
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! at the Old Globe
“Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” at the Old Globe in Balboa Park
Another year of amazing nightlife has come and gone in San Diego. We’ve had some top-notch talent visit America’s Finest City this year and if you didn’t get out much this year, make it a New Year’s Resolution to get out more and enjoy some of San Diego’s nightlife!
San Diegan’s like to celebrate milestones as much (if not more!) than the rest of the country and as such, there are a multitude of parties to choose from this New Year’s Eve. Here’s a modest selection of those parties:
Bottom’s Up @ Marriott Gaslamp
Marriott Gaslamp’s “Party From The Street To The Sky” features both the lobby level and rooftop! All Inclusive tickets include unlimited alcoholic drinks, a great selection of food (think sushi, carving stations and chocolate fountains!), DJ’s spinning top tunes in both the lobby and at their Altitude Sky Lounge and a champagne toast at midnight to start the 2014 clock ticking!
Join FLUXX as they say farewell to 2013 and their latest Fluxxuation “Big Top”. Close out 2013 at one of San Diego’s hottest clubs with music by DJ Karma and Special Guest Rico De Largo live on trumpet. General Admission tickets including entrance and a midnight champagne toast are currently around $80, or spring for the extra $10 and get a VIP ticket which also includes hosted champagne from 8:00 to 10:00 PM and hosted apps from 8:00 to 9:00 PM.
Ring in the New Year on the bay with the San Diego skyline as the perfect backdrop
Hosted on the 3-deck Hornblower Yacht “Inspiration,” you and 1,000 of your closest friends can party it up to the beats of Sleeping Giant artists DJ Who & Paulo Da Rosa, DJ Demon and DJ Chris Devoy This All Inclusive, All VIP experience features unlimited alcoholic drinks and gourmet hors d’oeuvres.
There will be plenty of toasting champagne at Big Night’s New Year;s Eve Party
Probably one of the biggest and most well-known San Diego New Year’s Eve parties is Big Night. Sponsored by radio stations Channel 93.3 and 91X, Big Night has 12 different party zones including 6 dance floors featuring both DJ and live band music. Their All Inclusive tickets include unlimited alcoholic drinks, a tasty dinner buffet and fun party favors to get you in the spirit! The party runs from 9pm – 3am and tickets start at $130.
Pick from one of three NYE parties at the Grand Del Mar
Those a little farther north, might want to check out one of the Grand’s two NYE parties. 80’s lovers will want to check out one of SoCal’s top 80’s bands BETAMAXX at the main party, or head to Club M for sounds by DJ By The C and DJ Showtime.
Balboa Park December Nights is as close as San Diego gets to becoming a winter wonderland, and this year’s event promises to be bigger and better than ever. San Diego’s largest free festival, which is designed to be the city’s holiday gift to the community, is expected to draw at least 300,000 in this its 35th year.
The two-day celebration of entertainment, food and fun, takes place Friday, Dec. 6, from 3–11 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 7, from noon–11 p.m. Balboa Park is decked in twinkling lights and silvery garlands. Fanciful Christmas trees abound, and the aromas of multi-cultural holiday treats waft through the air.
The Lily Pond and Botanical Building decked out for December Nights. (Photo by Manny Cencieros)
In the spirit of the season, participating park museums open their doors to the public free of charge from 5–9 p.m. both evenings. Many present special holiday programs. Kids will be awed by the elaborate gingerbread constructions at the Mingei International Museum and can join in holiday-inspired craft projects at the San Diego Air & Space Museum. All ages will be enthralled by the amazing handbell ringers who perform at the San Diego History Center, and don’t miss the San Diego Floral Association’s exhibit at the House of Hospitality of 30 beautifully decorated holiday trees.
Festive performances take place on the beautiful stage of the Organ Pavilion.
Festivities are family friendly, multi-cultural and staged throughout the park. The San Diego Civic Youth Ballet will perform excerpts from “The Nutcracker” on the Casa del Prado Stage. Steps away on the California Quadrangle near the San Diego Museum of Man, revelers can see the Santa Lucia Procession and children’s choir performances. The San Diego Civic Dance Company will present Rockettes-style routines, while a puppet version of “The Christmas Carol” will be presented at the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater. African drumming and dance performances and Reggae music performances are planned at the WorldBeat Center. Dozens of singers, dancers and musicians will take to the stage at the Organ Pavilion.
Kids can get their photo taken with the Grinch at the Old Globe.
Youngsters will have the opportunity to visit with Santa as he strolls the park, and they can pose for a photo in the Old Globe courtyard with Dr. Seuss’s Grinch who stole Christmas. Kids of all ages can join with Junior Theatre students singing holiday songs. A series of children’s holiday movies will run nonstop both evenings in the theater at the Hall of Champions. There also are plenty of carnival rides to keep the younger set entertained.
Hungry? December Nights is known for its mouth-watering range of food and drink offerings. The House of Pacific Relations International Cottages offer traditional holiday foods from a smorgasbord of nations: think empanadas, egg rolls, shepherd’s pie, pasties, pancit, samosas, plantains, pierogi, bourekas, baklava, paella, and even blueberry soup. Many museums offer tasty treats as well. You’ll find roasted chestnuts at the San Diego Art Institute, yakisoba at the Japanese Friendship Garden and hot toddies at the Hall of Champions. In addition, numerous food vendors sell an array of yummy holiday delights, from melted Swiss raclette to fresh-baked gingerbread cookies. The 21+ set can sip a locally crafted brew at one of several beer gardens.
Ethnic food specialties are part of the delicious fun at December Nights.
December Nights are prime time for holiday shopping. Find great gifts at museum stores, from Spanish Village artisans and at a wide range of arts and crafts booths. For $300 or less, buy a piece of original art right off the walls at the San Diego Art Institute. And don’t forget to buy a sprig of locally sourced mistletoe from San Diego Natural History Museum Canyoneers.
With so many attending December Nights, parking can be tougher than fitting down a chimney. Your best bet is to take public transportation or park for $5 at Petco Park or for free at City College. Free shuttles will ferry celebrants to and from 6th & Laurel from 3 p.m.–midnight on Friday and from 11:30 a.m.–midnight on Saturday.
Finally, be sure to bundle up! While San Diego may better known for sandmen than snowmen, it can get downright chilly here on December nights.
What’s your favorite part of December Nights in Balboa Park? Let us know in the comments.
San Diego’s big attractions go all-out for the holidays, but not all families that want to the hustle and bustle of large events. Families looking for a more intimate holiday experience can enjoy some equally charming activities happening all around town.
Garden of Lights at San Diego Botanic Garden
Lights, flowers and s’mores – what more could you ask for? (photo by by John Bryant)
Garden of Lights transforms the San Diego Botanic Garden into a dazzling winter wonderland filled with more than 100,000 sparkling lights illuminating the garden for a magical holiday experience that includes snow sledding (bring your own!), live music that includes mariachis and traditional Christmas carolers and get this – even a team of blonde Belgian draft horses ready to take your tykes on a wild wagon ride they won’t soon forget.
The event is a shutterbug’s dream, with Santa Claus posing for pics with young and old in a brightly lit gazebo and a vibrant, festively decorated “Poinsettia Garden” that will certainly make your snapshots sparkle. The social set will appreciate the warm and cozy campfire setup that provides s’mores and marshmallow roasting opportunities; supplies will be available for purchase, including cocoa, hot mulled wine and standard coffee drinks.
There will also be a variety of special holiday crafts that children can take home, a nutcracker exhibit displaying a collection of more 50 nutcrackers and a unique display of gourd figures featuring characters from the original Alice in Wonderland book.
Where: 230 Quail Gardens Drive, Encinitas CA 92024 When: December 7 – 23, 2013 and December 26 – 30, 2013 Time: 5 – 9 p.m. Cost: Adult $14; Child (3-12) $6; Seniors, Military & Students $10; Kids under 3 free >Find out more about the Garden of Lights
Frosty Farm at Helen Woodward Animal Center
It doesn’t get much cuter than the Frosty Farm (photo courtesy Helen Woodward Animal Center)
There’s nothing cuter than miniature horses dressed as reindeer, and kids who love animals will agree as they revel in Frosty Farm’s festive four-legged frenzy that takes place at the Helen Woodward Animal Center. The event features hands-on interaction with sheep, bunnies, guinea pigs and reptiles. In addition, kids can frolic in falling snow, navigate a Magical Ice Palace Maze, build a gingerbread house and receive a special gift from Santa.
Where: Helen Woodward Animal Center 6461 El Apajo Road, Rancho Santa Fe CA 92067 When: December 7-8 & December 14-15 Time: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Cost: $20 Child; $9 Adult (registration required at animalcenter.org/education) >Find out more about the Frosty Farm
Christmas in the Park at Old Poway Park
Santa welcomes guests to Old Poway Park.
Families looking for a holiday festival that captures that small town charm will want to head to Old Poway Park in the City of Poway. The festival embraces the historic park’s turn-of-the-century heritage with a community Christmas tree lighting, horse drawn hayrides, a live petting zoo, square dancing, children’s theater and piano player sing-a-longs that the whole family will enjoy.
Even Santa and Mrs. Claus add to the nostalgia of these old-fashion traditions when they make a surprise visit rolling into the festival riding on a 1907 Baldwin steam locomotive. Families will also be able to ride the antique train during the festival.
No matter how good (or bad) 2012 was, everyone’s looking forward to a better 2013 and that starts with New Year’s Eve in San Diego! So are you going to spend another night on your couch watching thousands of revelers celebrating on TV or are you going to go out there and usher in 2013 with a bang?!
Haven’t made plans yet? Not sure where to go? Here’s a handful of options that will surely give you a night to remember!
Big Night San Diego
Spend New Year’s Eve and make new friends at Big Night San Diego
The thousands of people attending this event each year can’t be wrong…This party is A-mazing! Your All-Inclusive tickets get you access to 12 themed party areas, 6 dance floors, food, drinks and a ton of fun! If you’ve got a little extra cash to spend, spring for the VIP tickets for the top-shelf liquor and private bars – while the lines at the normal bars are never bad, it’s always good to ring in the new year VIP-style!
Featuring headliners DJ Drop The Line from NYC and DJ GRUM from Scotland, Andaz is definitely an enticing option for the imported electronic music crowd. With 5 separate venues throughout the hotel offering entertainment – including the Ivy Nightclub downstairs and the Ivy Rooftop (because let’s face it…San Diego’s beautiful weather let’s us party outside while people in other cities have to bundle up on NYE). And let’s not forget the Lipstik Dancers. These girls are H-O-T, hot! Tickets include “playful party favors” and a champagne toast at midnight.
Located at the beautiful Catamaran Resort Hotel & Spa on Mission Bay, this 2,000+ person party features entertainment by Sleeping Giant Music (DJ Fresh One, DJ Chris Cutz, DJ G-Roy & DJ Sanjay, etc) in 4 separate areas. Hors d’oeuvres, drinks and a ton of fun can be had at this annual event. This year’s bonuses include an optional VIP Party Boat pass that will take you out onto Mission Bay aboard a private boat with 3 decks of music, a prize casino, open bar and the ultimate in unique experiences. Also, don’t forget to stop by one of the party’s themed photo booths for some commemorative photos. Remember what happens on NYE stays on NYE, right?!
Moonlight NYE Cruise 2013 Aboard The California Spirit
Board the California Spirit at 9:30pm and ring in the New Year on the open water. What better way to enjoy the last night of 2012 than gazing at the picturesque views of Downtown and Coronado? With 2 dance floors, open bar, food and party favors you will experience an evening like no other! Tickets start at $175 or spring for an extra $25/person for your group of 6 and get a reserved table. The boat returns to the dock at 1:00am.
It’s never to early to start making your weekend plans. Here are top things to do this weekend in San Diego.
1. Hillcrest Taste n’ Tinis
Start off the weekend with a walking tour through Hillcrest including delightful drinks, scrumptious eats and fabulous holiday shopping. Local chefs will be serving up scrumptious appetizers and sweet treats while boutiques along the tour will warm you up a holiday inspired martini. Event is 21 and up.
Elves celebrating Jungle Bells at the San Diego Zoo
Starting this Saturday, the San Diego Zoo is transformed into a magical winter wonderland. Enjoy a nightly tree-lighting ceremony, lighted animal displays throughout the park, live animal shows, storytelling, bell ringers and, of course, Santa Claus.
Take part in a traditional Las Posadas in Old Town State Historic Park
Celebrate the holidays over the weekend in the Old Town State Historic Park. Enjoy period decorations, carolers, warm beverages, holiday treats, activities, and extended shopping hours. Arrive early on Sunday for festivities at 2:00 PM and a traditional Las Posadas starting at 5:00 PM followed by a piñata party for the kids.
Lights on the water at the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights
This is the last Sunday to marvel at the spectacular Boat Parade of Lights featuring individually holiday decorated private crafts. The parade starts at the southwest end of Shelter Island, travels past Harbor Island, the Embarcadero, Seaport Village, the Convention Center, the Coronado Ferry Landing Marketplace and ends at the Navy Carrier turning basin.
If you love holiday lights, grab some hot cocoa; throw on a scarf because this is your weekend! Between Balboa Park’s December Nights to the San Diego Bay’s Parade of Lights, visitors will surely be in the holiday spirit with all these wonderful things to do!
1. Balboa Park December Nights
Balboa Park December Nights
This popular park-wide Christmas celebration features carolers, entertainment, ethnic food and crafts.
This popular boat parade begins at Quivira Basin. Best viewing will be from Crown Point, east side of Vacation Island or the west side of Fiesta Island. The parade ends with the lighting of the SeaWorld Skytower Tree of Lights at 9:00 PM.
Lights on the water at the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights
The spectacular Boat Parade of Lights feature individually holiday decorated private crafts. The parade starts at the southwest end of Shelter Island, travels past Harbor Island, the Embarcadero, Seaport Village, the Convention Center, the Coronado Ferry Landing Marketplace and ends at the Navy Carrier turning basin.
Everyone with 2 to 4 Legs will have fun at the Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade!
San Diego’s furriest festive parade returns to Downtown as the Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade presented by Downtown Ace Hardware takes over the streets of the Gaslamp Quarter. All pet owners and their furry, featured and scaled companions are invited to don their favorite costumes and put their best paw, wing and fin forward for this jolly promenade and pet expo.
Music, food, drinks, rides and more! Find some Holiday Cheer at Balboa Park’s December Nights
Balboa Park’s December Nights – the city’s annual holiday gift to the community – promises to be bigger and better than ever this year. The 35th annual two-day celebration is the city’s largest free festival, expected to draw at least 300,000 this year.
December Nights is as close as San Diego gets to becoming a winter wonderland. Balboa Park is decked in twinkling lights and silvery garlands. Fanciful Christmas trees abound and the aromas of multi-cultural holiday treats waft through the air.
Free Entry into the Museums
For the occasion, park museums open their doors to the public, free of charge, from 5:00 until 9:00 PM both evenings. Many present special holiday programs. Kids will be awed by the elaborate gingerbread constructions at the Mingei International Museum and can join in holiday-inspired craft projects at the San Diego Air & Space Museum. All ages will be enthralled by the amazing bell ringers who perform at the San Diego History Center.
Things to Do During December Nights
Enjoy a traditional Santa Lucia Procession in the California Quadrangle in front of the Museum of Man
Festivities are family friendly, multi-cultural and staged throughout the park. The San Diego Civic Youth Ballet will perform excerpts from “The Nutcracker” on the Casa del Prado Stage. Steps away, on the California Quadrangle near the San Diego Museum of Man, revelers can see the Santa Lucia Procession and children’s choir performances. Dozens of singers, dancer and musicians will take to the stage at the Organ Pavilion.
Youngsters will have the opportunity to visit with roving Santas and can pose for a photo in The Old Globe courtyard with Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! At the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater, they can see puppets come to life in an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and they can join with San Diego Junior Theatre students singing holiday songs. A series of children’s holiday movies will run nonstop both evenings in the theater at the San Diego Hall of Champions. There also are plenty of carnival rides to keep the younger set entertained.
December Nights are prime time for holiday shopping. Find great gifts at museum stores, from Spanish Village Art Center artisans and at a wide range of arts and crafts booths.
December Nights Food Options
Sample delicious delicacies from around the world including traditional dishes from the House of China.
Hungry? December Nights is known for its mouth-watering range of food and drink offerings. The International Cottages of the House of Pacific Relations offer traditional holiday foods from a smorgasbord of nations: Think empanadas, eggrolls, aebleskiver, samosas, fried plantains, pierogi, bourekas, baklava, paella, even mashed potato stew. Many museums offer tasty treats: Find roasted chestnuts at the San Diego Art Institute, yakisoba at the Japanese Friendship Garden, hot toddies at the Hall of Champions. In addition, numerous food vendors sell an array of yummy holiday delights – from melted Swiss raclette to fresh-baked gingerbread cookies. The 21+ set can sip a locally crafted brew at one of several beer gardens.
Getting to December Nights
With so many attending December Nights, parking can be tougher than fitting down a chimney. Shuttles are provided from PETCO Park (where parking will cost $5), the County Administration Building and several City College Parking lots offering free parking. Carpooling with all your friends is a must!
Since parking can be a little rough, consider saving yourself the hassle and taking public transportation. Ride the Orange or Blue Trolleys to the City College stop on 11th Avenue and then either hop on the Number 7 bus or enjoy a brisk walk up park. From Hillcrest, Uptown, Mid-City, Normal Heights, City Heights, and North Park communities take any bus to University Avenue and Park Blvd and transfer to a special Route 7 shuttle heading to Park Blvd.
Want to relax without worrying about which stop to get off at or if you can get to the parking spot before it’s gone? Consider taking a taxi or using the posh Uber private driver service.
If you are close enough, try getting some fresh air and cycling into Balboa Park. There are plenty of bike racks throughout the park. The biggest bike racks can be found by the entrance of the San Diego Zoo. Please remember to be safe and to wear a helmet and reflective vest, and to use front and rear blinking lights.
Balboa Park’s December Nights General Information
Location: Balboa Park Dates: December 7-8, 2012 Times:
– Friday, December 7: 5:00 to 10:00 PM
– Saturday, December 8: 12:00 to 10:00 PM Cost: Free Website:www.balboapark.org/decembernights
And be sure to bundle up. While San Diego may better known for sandmen than snowmen, it can get downright chilly here on December nights!
1. San Diego Parade of Lights: Head over to San Diego Bay on December 11th and 18th for the 40th Annual San Diego Bay Parade of Lights where hundreds of boats will be decorated for this dazzling holiday boat parade of lights.
2. La Mesa Christmas in the Village: This popular holiday event features horse-drawn carriages, carolers, marching bands and entertainers, all lined up along La Mesa Boulevard. Guests can also enjoy an outdoor market, food and special appearances by Santa Claus.
3. Holiday LEGO Train Exhibit: Through January 12, 2012, the San Diego Model Railroad Museum features its annual Holiday LEGO Train Exhibit. For any train and/or LEGO enthusiasts, this exhibit is not to be missed. Be sure to be on the lookout for Santa scaling one of the buildings!
4. Garden of Lights: From December 8 through the 30th, head up to the San Diego Botanical Garden for the Garden of Lights. The Garden is transformed into a dazzling winter wonderland with over 100,000 sparkling lights illuminating the Garden for a magical holiday experience. Many of these lights are LED, which are much brighter than regular lights. Numerous activities include horse-drawn-wagon rides, holiday crafts, marshmallow roasting, visits with Santa, live music, hot mulled wine and refreshments.
Photo: TJ Shimabukuro
5. Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade: If you own a pet, the Gaslamp Quarter on December 11th is the place to be. Once a year San Diego pets and owners are invited to dress up in their favorite costumes for a special promenade throughout the Gaslamp Quarter to celebrate the holiday season. You can only imagine the fun and excitement as downtown becomes filled with costumed pets & their handlers all vying for prizes and bragging rights including Best Costumed Duo, Cutest Critter, Best Pet Costume & Best of Show!
1. Balboa Park December Nights: This annual celebration on December 2nd and 3rd is the largest free community festival in San Diego, featuring foods and crafts from around the world, music and events at Balboa Park’s divers museums.
2. La Jolla Christmas Parade & Holiday Festival: On December 4, marching bands, floats, equestrians, vintage automobiles and more parade down the streets of La Jolla. The parade ends with a holiday festival featuring craft booths, carnival rides, food, entertainment and a tree lighting ceremony.
3. 36th Annual Coronado Christmas Open House & Parade: Get in the holiday spirit on December 2nd as Santa Claus will be arriving by ferry across the San Diego Bay and a Snow Mountain play area will be at the Coronado Ferry Landing. Afterwards, a colorful holiday parade and Merchants Open House takes place along Orange Avenue, followed by the traditional tree lighting of a 50-foot Christams tree and free community concert in Rotary Park.
4. Canine Cocktails: Head to the Hotel Indigo with your four-legged best friend for Canine Cocktails. Canine Cocktails happens monthly, on their Level 9 Rooftop Bar and offer Happy Hour drink specials and complimentary treats for your dog!
5. Amtrak 40th Anniversary Exhibit Train: On December 2nd and 3rd, come and experience Amtrak’s new exhibit train, which is traveling throughout the USA. The special train depicts Amtrak’s 40 year history, celebrating the past, present and future of Amtrak. Bring the kids to visit the special “Chugginton’s Depot” play area for story reading, coloring, hands on play with toy train sets and Chugginton episodes on continuous loop for viewing.