'Tis the season for wearing a jacket (sometimes), promising to get back on that exercise regimen you abandoned, and making excuses for drinking hot toddys. Though we can hardly call this season "winter," there are plenty of ways to make it feel festive. Here are the very best things to do in San Diego this winter, through the holidays and beyond.
November
christmas tree star
Christmas Tree Lighting | Flickr/Ernie Tyler

November

Tuesday - Sunday
Nov 29-Dec 4
Hedwig and the Angry Inch -- a musical comedy about a transgender punk-rocker from East Berlin -- makes its San Diego debut at the Civic Theatre, promising a genre-bending good time set to an explosive score.
Wednesday
Nov 30
Liberty Station
Head to Liberty Station to see the neighborhood’s 100ft pine tree bedazzled with lights at the annual tree lighting ceremony. The holiday event will feature a European-style holiday pop-up market with tasty things to eat and drink, along with gift items from local boutiques.
December
balboa park
Christmas ornaments at Balboa Park | Courtesy of Balboa Park

December

Friday - Saturday
Dec 2-3
Balboa Park
December Nights returns to Balboa Park for two glorious days of holiday festivities, like live music and dance performances, complimentary admission to museums from 5-9pm, and plenty of delicious eats (available at the International Cottages, and from food trucks, and carts throughout the grounds). More than 350,000 people are expected to attend; save yourself the parking headache by taking public transit or the free shuttle, which stops on Ash Street between 5th and 6th and City College.
Friday - Saturday
Dec 2-3
1300 Specialty Drive, Vista
More than 85 local and national vendors will set up shop at an industrial warehouse in Vista for the Queen Bee Holiday Market. Wares for sale include a curated selection of vintage and homemade decor items, paper goods, furniture, accessories, and clothing.
Saturday
Dec 3
The Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier
Get in the holiday spirit with a beer and wine tasting bonanza at the Carols and Barrels Beer and Wine Festival. Other highlights include holiday treats from local restaurants, an ugly sweater contest, and appearances by Buddy the Elf and Santa.
Sunday
Dec 4
32nd and Thorn Streets, North Park
Pick up a snazzy handmade ceramic bowl and gorge on chili at the SoNo Fest and Chili Cook-Off. Billed as the “ultimate chili smackdown,” this popular fundraising event highlights hot and spicy creations from 40 local chefs who compete for various titles, including People’s Choice. The outdoor event also features artisan vendors, a craft beer garden, and live music on two stages.
Wednesday - Wednesday
Dec 7-21
The Pearl Hotel
The Pearl Hotel’s “Dive in Theatre” has three choice selections lined up for December: Elf (Dec 7), National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (Dec 14), and It's A Wonderful Life (Dec 21). Movies are projected onto a large screen overlooking the poolside lounge and anyone who purchases a drink is welcome to take a dip!
Saturday
Dec 10
Liberty Station
Celebrate all things holiday at Liberty Station’s Holiday Block Party. Local galleries will stay open late and host pop-up shops, while restaurants and Liberty Public Market vendors will offer complimentary bites. Other scheduled highlights include a holiday singalong and outdoor ice skating at the “Fantasy on Ice” rink, benefitting the Rady Children’s Hospital Foundation.
Sunday
Dec 11
5th Ave., Gaslamp
Head to the Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade to see local pups (and their owners) promenade through the Gaslamp Quarter dressed in quirky costumes. The lighthearted (and hopefully joy-inducing) event also includes a Pet Expo at MLK Promenade Park with an awards ceremony honoring the best-dressed pets.
Sunday
Dec 11
Feast on Baja-Med with a Boat Show
Feast on Baja-Med with a Boat Show
The holiday edition of the Coronado Island Marriott’s Lunar Feast dinner series might just be the best seat in the city to view the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights. A multi-course Baja-Med dinner with Adobe Guadalupe wine and beer from Mike Hess Brewing Company will be served on the property’s private pier, providing guests a front-row seat to watch the decorated boats by. Call (619) 435-3000 to make a reservation.
Saturday
Dec 17
Gaslamp Quarter
San Diego Pub Crawler’s Ugly Sweater Holiday Crawl returns for its sixth year. Participants are encouraged to dress in their holiday finery -- including Santa hats, elf ears, and ugly sweaters -- while spreading holiday merriment at four different bars in the Gaslamp. Tickets include VIP entry, drink specials, and a complimentary cocktail to kick things off.
Wednesday - Thursday
Dec 28-29
Venissimo Cheese
Learn which varieties of cheese pair best with sparkling wine and chocolate in time for your NYE celebrations at Venissimo locations in The Headquarters (Dec 28) and Del Mar (Dec 29). The interactive class includes enough tastings to make you feel a certain way, and attendees enjoy a discount on in-store purchases made that evening.
Saturday
Dec 31
Stone Brewing Liberty Station is hosting a NYE event to remember (or forget, as the case may be) with live music throughout the grounds, a dance floor with a DJ, food stations, and a heated cigar lounge (with stogies for purchase). Admission includes three glasses of draft beer or wine and a commemorative glass for the toast at midnight.
Saturday
Dec 31
Keep NYE Classy with a Prix Fixe Dinner
Keep NYE Classy with a Prix Fixe Dinner
Chef Matt Gordon has New Year’s Eve covered with a three-course prix fixe menu available at Urban Solace in North Park and Solace and the Moonlight Lounge in Encinitas. Dishes include celebration-worthy options like lobster bisque, peppered beef tenderloin, and bittersweet chocolate mousse torte. A pared-down version of the standard menu will also be offered.
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January
San Diego Brew Fest
San Diego Brew Fest | San Diego Brew Fest

January

Saturday
Jan 7
Liberty Station
The 7th annual San Diego Brew Fest returns to Liberty Station with unlimited tastings from dozens of local and international craft breweries, plus live music and noshes from local food trucks. Proceeds benefit Southern California Golden Retriever Rescue.
Sunday - Sunday
Jan 15-22
Citywide
San Diego Restaurant Week is back, which means you have eight glorious days to eat your way through budget-friendly prix fixe meals at over 180 different restaurants, ranging from casual neighborhood spots to fancy fine dining that might otherwise be out of reach. Check the website for a full list of restaurants and to make reservations.
Monday - Sunday
Jan 23-29
The Comedy Palace
Comedians from all over the country will showcase their talent and compete for cash prizes at the San Diego Comedy Festival. 2017 is the festival’s fourth year and its timing (shortly after the Presidential inauguration) couldn’t be better.
February
Tater Tots & Beer Festival
Tater Tots & Beer Festival | Tater Tots & Beer Festival

February

Wednesday - Wednesday
Feb 1-Mar 1
Citywide
Pick up a free Museum Month Pass at any Macy's store in San Diego, Temecula, or Imperial Valley and enjoy half-price admission at more than 40 museums during the month of February, including the USS Midway, San Diego Museum of Art, and the San Diego Natural History Museum. The pass is good for up to four discounted admissions at each participating venue.
Saturday
Feb 11
Liberty Station
Strip down to your skivvies and take part in Cupid’s Undie Run, a quick and easy “one-ish” mile run in support of the Children’s Tumor Foundation. If you’d rather walk or remain fully clothed, that’s totally cool -- the whole point is to have fun.
Saturday
Feb 18
Hall of Champions, Balboa Park
Sample beverages from breweries located in San Diego (and beyond) at the Winter Brew Fest. If you love cheese, opt for the VIP option for early admission and a beer and Venissimo cheese pairing. Live music will be supplied by Elektric Voodoo.
Saturday
Feb 25
Balboa Park
Head to Balboa Park to stuff yourself with chef-inspired tater tots and unlimited beer samples at the San Diego stop of this nationwide event that celebrates two of life’s greatest culinary pleasures: beer and carbs.