Theater Thursday: Holidays Take the Stage

If you’re like me, the holidays arrived out of nowhere and the stress may be bearing down on you about now. With lists to make, gifts to buy, trees to decorate, end-of-year projects to finish, and holiday cards to mail out, you just may be one more task away from shouting BAH, HUMBUG!!

Every year, the holidays come and go, sweeping me up in a frenzy of hectic travel, last-minute gift-buying and furious baking. So I hereby declare that this year will be different. We are staying in San Diego, for one. And two, we are starting a new holiday tradition: To enjoy what the season has to offer and take in some holiday cheer at the theater. San Diego offers a variety of holiday-themed plays and performances that will surely get you to slow down and reflect on what this season is all about. Be inspired, celebrate and enjoy some of these lively shows!

The Nutcracker
San Diego Civic Theatre
Through December 23, 2011

Be swept away by this magical and classic tale of a girl and her holiday dream. Featuring the talented and dazzling dancers of the California Ballet company, accompanied with soaring overtures by the San Diego Symphony Orchestra.

It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play
Cygnet Theatre
Through December 31, 2011

Take a visit to Studio A of WCYG Radio for the telling of this classic tale about a selfless man on the verge of giving up his life, and the apprentice angel who earns his wings by helping him see how his town, family, and friends would have turned out if he had never been born.

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
Old Globe Theatre
Through December 31, 2011

Based on the classic Dr. Seuss book the Old Globe Theater presents a production of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Celebrate the season with this whimsical musical, back for its 14th year, in a theater that’s been transformed into the snow-covered and festive Whoville.

Festival of Christmas: The Spirit of Christmas Present
Lamb’s Players Theater
Through December 31, 2011

Enjoy this quirky and fun production by the talented actors and singers of Coronado’s Lamb’s Players’ in their yearly Festival of Christmas showcase. This year’s production premises on unknowing neighbors – an 8 year-old orphan, a Vietnam Vet, a Pop Star and a former investment banker – brought together by Mrs. Riley, the neighborhood welcome wagon, as they discover a sense of community.


Museum Monday: Happy (Museum) Holidays

It’s beginning to look a lot like…well, you know the rest. The holiday season is upon us, and a great place to soak up the season is Balboa Park.

With more than a dozen amazing museums, Balboa Park is a joyous place any time of year. But if you’re looking for a festive exhibition with a side of Santa, you won’t want to miss these museums this December:

The San Diego Model Railroad Museum

Just watching the toy trains circle the tracks is enough to make anyone feel like a kid again, but every December, the San Diego Model Railroad Museum presents the Southern California LEGO Train Club’s Annual Holiday LEGO Train Exhibit. The favorite toy of childhood is used to construct building, landscapes, and of course, lots of trains. Both the young and young-at-heart can view the exhibition through Jan. 14, 2012.

The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

Santa Claus comes to town at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. After an afternoon of getting hands-on with science, take the kids to indulge in some holiday fun with a screening of Santa vs. the Snowman. Shown in the Fleet’s state-of-the-art IMAX dome theater, this quirky comedy by the creator/producer of Jimmy Neutron features the voice talents of Jonathan Winters, Ben Stein and Victoria Jackson.

The San Diego Natural History Museum

It may not be a holiday exhibition per se, but All That Glitters: The Splendor & Science of Gems & Minerals will definitely makes the season sparkle. On view is a stunning selection of spectacular natural mineral crystals, exquisite jewelry, and works of art, including pieces on loan from the American Museum of Natural History, Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and the Smithsonian Institution. You can see these dazzling displays through April 8, 2012.


Attraction Action: San Diego Snow Days!

The two years I spent in Toronto affirmed my desire to live in a warm climate. True, Toronto is a lovely city, but the winters were long and brutal. I remember being snowed in, literally, where 2/3 of our house got buried and we couldn’t get out! On a few occasions, I had to cross-country ski to school. Winters spent in New York didn’t help my loathing for snowy winters either. Walking on slippery slush mixed with salt and dirt, the cumbersome layers of clothing, numbed fingers and icy toes made for hassle and discomfort during the cold months, which is why I love the year-round temperate climate of Southern California.

Having lived in San Diego for a decade now, however, I do miss the snow. My daughter has yet to experience the exhilaration of a sleigh ride, the joy of making a snow man or the thrill of a good snowball fight. Luckily, there are two San Diego attractions that answered my yearning for wintery goodness. Both Legoland and SeaWorld accomplished what nature could not: to let it snow in San Diego! Looks like we can have our snow balls, and eat them too.

Holiday Snow Days at LEGOLAND

The weather forecasts unprecedented snowfall in Carlsbad everyday, now through January 2 during LEGOLAND’s Holiday Snow Days. Visit the festive winter wonderland in Holiday Fun Town with plenty of LEGO accessories to adorn your snowman, or aim your snowball at a LEGO target. At the center of Holiday Fun Town is the 30 foot giant LEGO Christmas tree made of more than 245,000 forest green DUPLO® bricks.

If you’re looking for unique photo-ops with Santa, be sure to watch for the new life-sized LEGO Minifigure Santa as he strolls throughout Holiday Fun Town with his helpers. Or pose with the life-sized LEGO Santa, perched on his sleigh and two reindeer, of course, all made entirely out of LEGO bricks. And be sure to visit SEA LIFE™ Carlsbad Aquarium to see the underwater LEGO Christmas tree ‘planted’ at the bottom of the impressive 200,000 gallon ocean display, the Lost City of Atlantis. Other SEA LIFE holiday features include a Daily Dive Shows and crafting events.

SnowWorld at SeaWorld

SeaWorld San Diego celebrates the season with a number of Holiday themed shows and attractions. Located in Arctic Plaza, SnowWorld comprises 6,500 square feet of fresh snow made each day, where kids and families can enjoy all the delights of snowy fun. From snow angels, snow balls to snowmen, there’s plenty of frost and flakes to go around, but be sure to get there before the exhibit closes on January 1. While you’re there, don’t miss all the new shows including Shamu’s Christmas, the Christmas Tails pet show, Clyde and Seamore’s Night Before Christmas and the Polar Express 4-D experience.

Yearning for snow in San Diego too? We’re giving away two (2) sets of four (4) SEALIFE HOPPER PASSES good for entry into LEGOLAND and SEA LIFE, good for use through 12/31/2012. Leave a comment on this blog post by noon P.S.T. on Friday December 9, 2011 for a chance to win!