13330 Paseo del Verano Norte, Rancho Bernardo
Either way, Santa
The 125-year-old Bernardo Winery keeps a holiday traditions alive at its Rancho Bernardo vineyard, where its Holiday Nights events run December 11th through the 14th, from 5:00–9:00 p.m. Lights and carolers set the tone, with mulled wine, hot chocolate, and cider to warm bellies between horse-drawn carriage rides around the fields. The rustic winery, events center, and shopping village has a pleasant country feel — a little nostalgic vibe that works as both romantic, and worth sharing with the kids. Either way, Santa will be making an appearance.
7882 La Mesa Boulevard, La Mesa
All about those socks
Learn to knit your own Christmas stockings during this La Mesa yarn shop’s All About Socks class beginning Wednesday, December 10th at 5 p.m. The two-hour class meets weekly leading up to the holiday so you can return for feedback and help finishing your stocking — or pair of socks — in time. Instruction is free, though you’ll need to buy materials from the shop’s deep inventory of yarns and needles. For added assistance, or to learn how to make scarves and hats, sign up for the shop’s regularly scheduled knitting classes, which meet Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays for 15 dollars.
The Grinch to steal Christmas
For the 17th year, the Old Globe is staging a live musical based on the classic picture book written by longtime La Jolla resident Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. Performances run through December 27th, beginning at 7:00 p.m. most weeknights and 5:00 p.m. weekends, with additional matinee showings at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Ticket prices vary by performance date and time, starting at $39 for adults and $24 for kids, topping out at $109 and $96 for the hot-ticket Christmas Eve performance. The show does include music from the beloved animated special, so get your ticket to Whoville ahead of time.
1788 Garnet Avenue, Pacific Beach
Better recipes mean a better holiday dinner — all the motivation it should take to sign up for a cooking class at Great News! The Pacific Beach kitchen supply mecca has peppered its December schedule with holiday-themed lessons, including classes dedicated to vegan feasts, desserts, soups, and the intriguing Holiday Sushi Party. Other alternatives to ham or turkey are explored in classes dedicated to Hannukah, fondue, and tamales — plus a Harry Potter–themed kids’ course. Cost to register ranges from $39 to $65 per class.
2690 Historic Decatur Road, Barracks 19, Studio 206, Liberty Station
(Has gone out of business since this article was published.)
Make your own wrapping paper
Check out the Rustic Holiday Gift Wrap class offered by this Liberty Station art workshop to learn how to make your own gift-wrap. For 40 bucks, including materials, you’ll receive hands-on instruction on creating and applying stamps to Kraft paper or gift bags; skills you may take home to ensure your presents stand out under the tree. The class runs two hours on December 10th beginning at 6:30 p.m. Earlier that day, Bravo offers a five-hour class in making holiday ornaments out of copper and brass; that runs $92 including material fees.
2637 San Diego Avenue, Old Town
The touristy shops of Old Town aren’t without their holiday charms. El Centro Artesano offers something most of us would enjoy having on cool winter nights: chimineas. The terra cotta outdoor woodstoves keep our backyards livable even after the sun sets on our extended locals’ summer. Prices range from about $18 for a foot-high chimnea — large enough to warm a close couple — to about $200 for a five-footer on wrought-iron legs that should do to keep the entire family feeling toasty. Just add wood and hot chocolate.