Robert Arends

Holiday Cheer, Santa, Snow and more in Coronado!

Ho ho ho from Coronado! Just a bridge or convenient ferryboat ride away from downtown San Diego…

This weekend, the island kicks off its holiday fun with Santa Claus” arrival by ferryboat, snow for the kids to play in (yep!) and a good ol” fashioned parade down Orange Avenue.

Here”s a quick look at the day”s stocking full of fun, festive, free activities:

38th Annual Coronado Christmas Parade & Open House

Santa Claus

Santa Claus” festive arrival at the Coronado Ferry Landing!

3:20 PM: Santa Claus and his elves arrive by ferry-boat at the Coronado Ferry Landing.
3:00 to 7:00 PM: Snow Mountain at the Coronado Ferry Landing for sledding and making snowballs and snowmen! There will also be carolers, live entertainment, hot cocoa and photos with Santa.

Snow Mountain fun at the Coronado Ferry Landing!

Snow Mountain fun at the Coronado Ferry Landing!

5:00 to 9:00 PM: Merchants online casino Open House along Orange Ave. to find the perfect one-of-a-kind gift for everyone on your shopping list; there”s also free metered parking!
6:00 to 7:00 PM: Christmas Parade down Orange Ave. with floats, marching bands and Santa on a fire truck.
7:00 PM: Christmas Tree Lighting in Rotary Park with Santa Claus.

Skating by the Sea

Skating by the Sea at the Hotel del Coronado

Skating by the Sea at The Del!

Throughout the month there”s also Skating by the Sea at the Hotel del Coronado, just steps from Coronado Beach – so wonderfully surreal and magical! 😉

> Find out more about Skating by the Sea at the Hotel del Coronado

Festival of Christmas – “Catch a Falling Star”

Lamb”s Players Theatre presents its spectacular annual Festival of Christmas show through December 29 (I guarantee you”ll be humming Christmas carols long after the show is over!).

> Find out more about Festival of Christmas – “Catch a Falling Star”

“Buon Natale” Gondola Cruises

Singing Santa gondolier at Loews Coronado Bay Resort!

Singing Santa gondolier at Loews Coronado Bay Resort!

And at Loews Coronado Bay Resort, “Buon Natale” gondola cruises with a caroling Santa gondolier (cool!) take to the bay December 20-23. Also throughout December, The Gondola Company offers gondola rides to view dozens of boats and yachts in the Coronado Cays decorated with colorful holiday lights.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the Crown City”s First Annual “Mistletoe Magic” shopping night on December 11, 5:00 to 8:00 PM, with strolling carolers, visits with Santa, store specials and prize drawings along Orange Ave.

> Check out the new Coronado Holiday Guide PDF

Happy holidays from the sparkling warm sands of Coronado! 🙂

Brent Bernasconi

Theatre Thursday: Live and Upcoming in San Diego

West Coast Premiere of Moby Dick

You can always count on San Diego for good weather and spectacular beaches. But if you’re looking for something a little different, the San Diego theatre scene does not disappoint. With blockbuster Broadway shows, Operas, and award-winning performance incubators, theaters from downtown San Diego to La Jolla are pushing the boundaries of live and interactive productions.

Below are a highlights of new theater performances coming to San Diego in the next few months. You can find even more live theater and performing arts in the Arts section of

West Coast Premiere of Moby Dick

West Coast Premiere of Moby Dick. Photos Courtesy of Karen Almond/The Dallas Opera.

Moby Dick

San Diego’s rich maritime history makes it the perfect place for the west coast premiere of Moby Dick by Jake Heggie at the San Diego Opera. The actions of this large and emotionally irresistible work are played out against a multimedia-enriched staging that ranges from striking to near miraculous. This is one opera you don’t want to miss.

Guys and Dolls at the Lamb's Player Theatre

Guys and Dolls at the Lamb's Player Theatre. Photos courtesy of J.T. MacMillan.

Guys & Dolls

Walking through downtown Coronado is like going back to a simpler time. Coronado’s Lamb’s Player Theatre presentation of the American classic, Guys & Dolls, will transport you back to the glory days of New York in the 1950s, when fedoras were a must and traveling to Havana was a possibility.

Next Falls at Diversionary Theatre

Next Falls at Diversionary Theatre

Next Fall

Diversionary Theatre’s Next Fall, is a gripping tale told of two men and the complex issues of faith, sexuality and family. In 2010, Next Fall received Tony Award nominations for Best Play and Best Director and won the Outer Critics Circle’s John Gassner Award for “Best New American Play.”

The Car Plays: San Diego at the La Jolla Playhouse

The Car Plays: San Diego at the La Jolla Playhouse. Photos Courtesy of JayPG Photography

The Car Plays: San Diego

La Jolla Playhouse is known for their bold and progressive performances. In The Car Plays: San Diego the audience explores five different stories, revealed in a one hour production. Once seated, the car door is closed and the first story begins, unveiling a drama or comedy. Ten minutes later, audiences move on to a next car for a whole new story. This is a great way to experience live theater in a whole new way.

A Room with a View

Join the Old Globe Theatre and Lucy Honeychurch in the violet-covered hills of Tuscany as she battles with the decision between two men. Will she yield to Edwardian conventions? Or will she give up everything she knows to be with the free-thinking George Emerson. A Room with a View is a timeless story presented in the perfect setting of historic Balboa Park.

Disney’s Peter Pan

Another premiere in San Diego! San Diego Junior Theater’s young actors will bring the epic battle between the evil Captain Hook and the forever youthful Peter Pan and his Lost Boys to life in this pilot of Disney’s newest production, Peter Pan.

Robert Arends

Theater Thursday: Curtain Calls in Coronado!

Sun-kissed Coronado, just a bridge away from downtown San Diego, is home to two professional resident theaters, offering some of the most entertaining plays and musical productions in the region.

Lamb’s Players Theatre, Coronado’s year-round theater company with a 350-seat resident stage on Orange Avenue (located two blocks north of the Hotel del Coronado), presents classics and lesser known gems of the theater. Since its founding in 1972, Lamb’s has produced over 38 World Premieres and more than 35 Regional Premieres, including zesty musicals, comedies and riveting dramas.

Laughs aplenty at Lamb's Players' "Servant of Two Masters."

Now through Nov. 20 – and then again Jan. 5-22 – visitors can take their seats for the World Premiere musical comedy, Servant of Two Masters. Based on Carlo Goldoni’s classic Italian comedy and written by David McFadzean, creator of TV’s Home Improvement(!), this delightful dizzying caper is filled with love, mistaken identities and hilarious physical comedy. I was lucky to catch the media preview night last month and I’ve got to say, the slew of one liners and playful shtick were laugh-out funny! Our daily newspaper, the San Diego Union-Tribune, called the show a “feast of farce” and I couldn’t agree more!

Lamb's Players' "Festival of Christmas"

Next month (Dec. 1-30), Lamb’s presents its annual musical Festival of Christmas, a favorite holiday tradition in Coronado. The music, story and theme change year to year. This season’s show, “The Spirit of Christmas Present,” is the story of five neighbors (only they don’t know it) and is chock full of memorable carols.

Trivia Tidbit: Lamb’s Players Theatre is the third largest theater in San Diego County.

The island’s second sensational theater company is the Coronado Playhouse, producing classic and modern comedies, dramas, mysteries, musicals, an outdoor Shakespeare Festival and original works by local playwrights. Its intimate 100-seat cabaret-style theatre overlooks picturesque Glorietta Bay. They wrap up their 2011 season with the Tony Award-winning musical The Drowsy Chaperone, playing now through Dec. 4.

Trivia Tidbit: Founded in 1946, the Coronado Playhouse is San Diego’s oldest community theater.

I applaud Coronado’s theater scene and we hope you will too!

Robert Arends

5 to Try: Summer Events in Coronado

Bay views from Coronado Island Marriott Resort.

Discover San Diego’s Neighborhoods with our Summer Sweepstakes. Join us every week as we showcase the best in what to do, where to eat, and where to stay in some of San Diego’s unique neighborhoods. Be sure to check back for exciting insider tips, giveaways, and more! This week’s spotlight is on Coronado.

Things are heating up this summer in Coronado, just a bridge away from downtown San Diego. Visitors with swim towels, beach umbrellas and boogie boards are finding their happy place on the island’s 28 miles of beaches on sparkling San Diego Bay and the Pacific Ocean.

In addition to fun under the sun, following are Five Summer Events to Try on San Diego’s enchanted island:

Picnic at Promenade Concerts in the Park.

1.  Sure, there’s the soothing sound of palm trees swaying in the breeze, but visitors can also hear the sweet sound of live music in Coronado. A beloved local tradition is the Promenade Concert in the Park Series, which takes place every Sunday at 6:00 pm, through mid-September, in Spreckels Park. A perfect activity for families and picnickers; admission is free.

Bayside concerts at Coronado Ferry Landing.

2.  Also music to your ears: the Summer Concert Series at Coronado Ferry Landing which takes place every Saturday and Sunday from 2:00 – 5:00 pm, through September 5, at the Coronado Ferry Landing shops on scenic San Diego Bay. Featured musicians include the Crown Island Jazz Band, Coronado Big Band and Teagan Taylor Trio. Continue reading

Robert Arends

5 to Try: Star-spangled Fun in Coronado!

Coronado 4th of July parade (credit: Coronado Visitor Center)

Let your patriotic colors fly this 4th of July – and all weekend long – in Coronado, just across the bridge from downtown San Diego.

Coronado’s Independence Day bash is the most popular in San Diego County. The prominent Navy presence on the island is a big reason why. There’s NAS North Island, aircraft carriers like the famous USS Carl Vinson which just returned from the Middle East, and Naval Amphibious Base Coronado where the elite Navy SEALs train. (Did you know: Coronado traces its rich military roots back to 1911 when the first navy plane flew from its shores)

A jam-packed day of July 4th fun includes a 5K/15K run/walk, rough-water swim at North Beach and a two-hour parade down Orange Avenue, Coronado’s quintessential “main street USA,” complete with military bands, floats and Navy aircraft. It’s like a Norman Rockwell painting come to life with families of locals and visitors alike lining the route donned in red, white & blue and waving flags. There’s also “Art-in-the-Park” and a music concert in Spreckels Park, and at night, catch the spectacular fireworks display over Glorietta Bay.

Before, during and after the festivities, following are Five Fun Places to Try along Orange Avenue:

The Music Man at Lamb's Players Theatre.

  1. Guaranteed to have audiences humming “76 Trombones” all weekend long, the musical classic “The Music Man” takes center stage at the Lamb’s Players Theatre on July 2-3. Great way to launch into the 4th and set the celebratory mood.
  2. Catch a movie at the all-new Village Theatre, a polished cinematic gem at 820 Orange Ave. The dazzling Art Deco design and 3-D color murals are eye-candy for the kids – adults too! Bargain matinee shows before 6pm are only $8.50. Current flick: Pixar’s “Cars 2.”
  3. Sample handmade candies like “Coronado Crunch” (white or milk chocolate with peanut butter, marshmallows and rice krispies, drizzled in more chocolate!). at Fuzziwig’s Candy Factory at 1126 Orange Ave. Other tempting sweets: caramel, fudge, turtles and several varieties of caramel apples.

    Elvis (and a cow!) greet ice cream fans at Moo Time.

  4. Another sweet place to “chill” is MooTime Creamery at 1025 Orange Ave., famous for their fresh made-to-order ice cream creations and hand rolled waffle cones with totally cool flavors like girl scout mint, apple pie and “silly vanilly.” There’s a Moo Time at the Hotel del Coronado too!

    One of Artist Navarro Montllor's amazing seascapes!

  5. Take home a slice of paradise at the Art & Frames by Wood Gallery at 936 Orange Ave. Their just launched exhibit of fantastic seascape paintings by world-renowned artist Navarro Montllor are so realistic you can almost hear the waves crashing through the frames!

Have a fantastic 4th of July weekend!