Holiday Events in Rancho Santa Fe and San Diego County

Aerial view of the Del Mar Fairgrounds and Rac...

Aerial View of The Del Mar Fairgrounds

Holiday of Lights: Drive through 400 twinkling light displays from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and from 5:30 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Jan. 3, including Dec. 24, 25, 31 and Jan. 1. A tractor-pulled Holiday Hayride is new this year and operates every half-hour from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 4, 11 and 18. Find carolers, fire pits for roasting marshmallows and Santa’s Pub and Piano Bar at the Paddock during hayride hours. Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar. Holiday of Lights: $14 per car up to five people, $19 per car for six or more. Hayride: $10 per person includes the Holiday of Lights tour, hot chocolate or cider and a cookie. (858) 792-4252.
Wild Holidays: The San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park will stay open until 7 p.m. during Wild Holidays through Nov. 29. Special activities include a black-light puppet show in the Benbough Amphitheater at 5:30 and 6:30 nightly. The park will stay open until 7 p.m. during the 12 Days of Enrichment, featured Dec. 12-13, Dec. 19-20, Dec. 26-31 and Jan. 1-2. The park will close at 6 p.m. Jan. 1-2. $26-$35. Parking: $6-$11. Wild Animal Park, 15500 San Pasqual Valley Road, Escondido. (760) 747-8702.
A Christmas Carol: The Musical”: A large cast in Victorian costumes will present a musical version of the Charles Dickens classic at 1:45 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays; 8 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, through Jan. 3. Welk Resorts Theatre, 8860 Welk Resorts Drive, Escondido. $68-$73 with buffet, $54-$57 show only. (888) 802-7469 or .
“It’s a Wonderful Life”: The holiday classic is staged at 7 p.m. Dec. 3-5 and Dec. 10-12; 2 p.m. Dec. 5 and 12. A salute to the military will be at 7 p.m. Dec. 4. Mt. Carmel High School, Theatre at the Mount Performing Arts Center, 9550 Carmel Mountain Road, San Diego. $8-$10. (858) 484-1180, ext. 3366, or .
Vista Christmas Parade and Village Fest: Floats, bands, equestrians and Santa Claus will partake in a parade from Main Street and South Santa Fe Avenue at 1 p.m. Dec. 5, and the festival will be staged in lots from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Main Street and Indiana Avenue in Vista. Live music, pony rides, a climbing wall and craft vendors are featured. Free. (760) 726-1122, .
“The Nutcracker”: Tony Award-winning “Billy Elliott” star Kiril Kulish and American Ballet Theatre dancers are part of the San Diego Academy of Ballet production at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4, and 1 and 7 p.m. Dec. 5. California Center for the Arts, Escondido, 340 N. Escondido Blvd., Escondido. $14-$36. (800) 988-4253.
Pet photos with Santa: Buy a gourmet pet gift at the holiday boutique, donate gently used blankets and toys, or purchase a $10 pet photo with Santa from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 5. Escondido Humane Society, 3450 E. Valley Parkway. (760) 888-2235.
Christmas Hawaiian Style: Frank Leong & The Moonlight Beach Serenaders will perform carols sung in Hawaiian and English, interpreted through hula, at 2 p.m. Dec. 6. Encinitas branch library, Community Room, 540 Cornish Drive, Encinitas. Free. (760) 753-7376.
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”: The classic family story by Barbara Robinson will be presented by the Village Church Community Theater at 7 p.m. Dec. 4-5 and 2 p.m. Dec. 6. Village Church, 6225 Paseo Delicias, Rancho Santa Fe. Donations appreciated. (760) 315-8015, [email protected] .
“The Christmas Story”: An original musical score by Randy Craig will accompany verses from the Book of Luke at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 5-6. Stonebrooke Church, 145 Hannalei Drive, Vista. (760) 726-1564, .
“Messiah” Community Sing-Along: A volunteer orchestra will perform the Handel oratorio, and the audience is invited to join in at 7 p.m. Dec. 7. Bring a score or borrow one with driver’s license as collateral. Order tickets early, purchase tickets at the venue or consider a donation to this fundraising effort that benefits the music program. Mt. Carmel High School Theater, 9550 Carmel Mountain Road, San Diego. $7-$10. (858) 484-9144 or [email protected] .
Annual Christmas Concert Series: The Emmanuel Faith Choir and Orchestra will perform in the main Worship Center at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11, and 3 and 5:30 p.m. Dec. 12-13. A complimentary dessert reception follows each concert. Emmanuel Faith Community Church, 639 E. Felicita Ave., Escondido. Free, but tickets are required. Donations are appreciated. (760) 745-2541, or .
The Pomerado Community Band: Christmas favorites will be sung during the 20th annual Holiday Concert at 7 p.m. Dec. 13. Poway Center for the Performing Arts, 15498 Espola Road, Poway. $5-$12. (858) 748-0505 or (858) 679-7464.

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