The Farmers Insurance Open Returns to La Jolla January 24th

The Farmers Insurance Open Returns to La Jolla January 24th

The upcoming Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego is the golf event of the year! It has been held at Torrey Pines every year since 1968. Tiger Woods has confirmed he’ll be playing this year; Woods, who recently turned 42, won eight of his PGA Tour victories at the Torrey Pines Golf Course, including the 2008 U.S. Open. Woods is a clear favorite, especially among locals: keep an eye out for him and you just may score an autograph!

Overview

Opening Day is on Thursday, January 24, and each day through Sunday, January 27 holds a Championship round in the morning. Here’s the schedule breakdown for the week:

  • Thursday, January 24
    • Opening Round, North and South Courses
    • Post Party presented by Harrah’s Resort SoCal at The Fringe
  • Friday, January 25
    • Second Round, North and South Courses
    • Post Party presented by Harrah’s Resort SoCal at The Fringe
  • Saturday, January 26
    • Third Round, South Course
    • Post Party presented by Harrah’s Resort SoCal at The Fringe
  • Sunday, January 27
    • Final Round, South Course

In addition to Tiger Woods, players this year include defending champion Jon Rahm (who won in 2017), Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth. Before you go, purchase tickets online at the Farmers Insurance Open website. You’ll also want to familiarize yourself with the parking options available and the detailed Spectator Guidelines. Specific tee times will be updated the night before each event.

History of the Farmers Insurance Open

The tournament (originally called the San Diego Open) was first played in Chula Vista, then moved in 1954 to Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club in Rancho Santa Fe, which had hosted the Crosby Pro-Am prior to World War II. The event was played at Mission Valley Country Club in San Diego in 1955 for one year, then moved to El Cajon in 1956.

In 1968, the event began its present relationship with Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, a 36-hole public facility owned by the City of San Diego. In the current tournament set-up, players split the first 36 holes between the North and South Courses, then play the final 36 holes on the South Course. In 2008, the South Course hosted the U.S. Open, won by Tiger Woods in a playoff. Today, the Farmers Insurance Open is a PGA Championship tournament known as the “West Coast Swing,” and is organized by The Century Club of San Diego .

Itinerary

6:00 am – Get breakfast! Nearby restaurants include Caroline’s Seaside Cafe open at 8 am, and Farmer & The Seahorse open at 7 am weekdays. The Grill at Torrey Pines also opens at 6 am, situated at The Lodge at Torrey Pines hotel right next to the golf course for a closer breakfast.

7:00 am – Gates Open. If you’re an early bird, now is a great time to get yourself situated and set up your chairs or look for autograph opportunities (Tiger Woods if you get lucky!).

9:00 am – The round opens. You can bring pop-up stools and chairs without their carrying bags, but no lawn chairs or step stools. Times for each of the holes are on the schedule, and the player list is here. Then grab lunch at the event zones found at multiple locations throughout the event. See below for a full list of concession areas and food spots!

3:30 pm – Typically, the day’s round lasts until about 3:30 pm. The Post Party hosted by Harrah’s kicks off after the end of the rounds (Thursday, Friday and Saturday). Enjoy drinks and live music while mingling with other tournament attendees.

Attractions

SERVPRO Fan Village:

  • The Michelob ULTRA Zone: Open to the public, the 30,000-square foot Michelob ULTRA Zone features premium food and drink offerings.
  • Champions for Youth Tent in the Fan Village: Buy an official Farmers Insurance Open “Keep Calm & Torrey On” quiet paddle. All proceeds benefit at-risk youth charitable organizations!
  • Official Merchandise Tent: Shop all Official Tournament gear.
  • Fan-Friendly Expo: Try the latest golf equipment, learn more about special offers from Tournament partners, and engage in interactive displays.
  • The Fringe: Located on the 15th green. Upgrades on site are available at The Fringe entrance so check out what has become our most popular venue with artisan menu choices for purchase and a premium cash bar.
  • The Post Party: When play ends, keep the party going with live music from local DJs and Happy Hour drink specials.

The Swell Coffee Co. Grove (located between the 7th and 18th Fairways):

  • Grey Goose 19th Hole and Flight Deck: The expanded Grey Goose 19th Hole and Flight Deck will feature an all-new elevated viewing deck with panoramic views of the course, a Pétanque course and specialty drinks including the 2018 signature cocktail, the Torrey Breeze.
  • Concessions and picnic benches

Vantage Point (located near the 1st tee and 18th hole of the South Course).

  • Grey Goose La Cantine: Get the morning started with signature Grey Goose Boody Mary
  • Practice Putting Green: Watch the Pros as they prepare to play.
  • Autograph Area: Snag an autograph from your favorite player after the round.
  • Torrey Pines Golf Shop: Buy Official Tournament merchandise and accessories.

 

The PGA Championship Tour continues after the Farmers Insurance Open with the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February, the Genesis Open in Pacific Palisades, and the Honda Classic in Palm Beach, Florida in March. Open tickets and tickets for each upcoming event can be purchased at pgatour.com, along with a complete schedule and list of players. Tee times will be announced as each event approaches. The highly anticipated World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational will be held in August of this year in Akron, Ohio; the current American favorite player for that one is Zach Johnson.

What to Do with Your Best Photos of Southern California

Southern California has some of the most diverse landscape in the United States. From sweeping mountain ranges and sprawling cities to gorgeous sandy beaches and the mostly placid ocean on Earth, Southern California is a vacation destination for plenty of tourists.

Once you’re home after that much-needed Golden State sabbatical, you find yourself scrolling through the photos on your phone. Your photos of Southern California are gorgeous! Beautiful sunsets over the ocean, the neon-lit nightlife of the cities you visited, that jaunt you took to learn to ski in the mountains; all of these photos just sitting on your phone, waiting to be used! So, what exactly should you do with them?

There are a few different ways to display your breathtaking photos:

Commission a Painting

The world is drowning in photographs thanks to smartphones. This means your amazing photo of La Jolla Cove at sunset is, despite its brilliance, one of many very similar looking images. One way to make your gorgeous photo stand out from the crowd is to have it painted. Artists are able to turn a photo into a painting for you to hang up in your house or give to someone as a gift. It’s a simple yet effective way to take an amazing photo from your trip to California and make it even more interesting.

Assuming you lack the artistic skills to paint a photo, you could always commission a local artist to recreate your photo for you. If time is not on your side or there isn’t anyone available nearby, consider using services that turn photo into painting fast and affordable. These services offer quick turnaround time without sacrificing on quality.

Glassy is Classy

Another way to display your fantastic snapshots is to have them turned into a glass photo. There are so many different styles to choose from! Use a curved glass print to display those gorgeous panoramic ocean views, or a tri-print on glass to showcase up to three different pictures. They can be displayed on your end-tables or even framed and hung up. With a glass print, you don’t have to worry about your picture getting stuck against the glass in a frame, it’s already the glass!

They also bring a touch of classy elegance to modern and chic rooms. You can have your glass photo in a base instead of a frame to give that overall smooth modern feel.

Print, Frame, Hang

A tried and true option is to print out your photos and create a gallery wall. Choose your display area wisely, making sure it has enough space to accommodate frames of different shapes and sizes. Pick your prints with a theme, whether it be color, landscape type, or cherished memories. Utilize both landscape and portrait style pictures to add a bit of uniqueness to your gallery wall.

Once you’ve cleared your area, and chosen your photos, just head on down to the local photo print booth and print your pictures out. Choose your frames by the size of the photos you printed, but don’t be afraid to throw in a couple of frames that have a splash of color or pattern. Lastly, hang your photos up proudly!

However you choose to display your photos of your picture-perfect picnic in La Jolla or other wonderful moments in Southern California, remember that a picture says a thousand words and holds even more memories. Your aesthetic and taste are as important as the photos you want to display. You’ll delight your family and friends with your photographer’s eye.

new years eve san diego

New Years Eve Events in San Diego

We’re officially in the throes of the holiday season, and New Year’s Eve in San Diego is right around the corner! If you’re looking to get out and about for NYE this year, there are plenty of fun events, parties, and happenings going on around San Diego County – from epic hotel parties in the Gaslamp Quarter and downtown to casual craft beer dinners and everything in between. Here’s our roundup of the best New Year’s Eve events in San Diego this year!

Big Night San Diego NYE

Where: Hilton Bayfront

Ring in 2019 at one of the biggest parties in San Diego! The 16th annual Big Night NYE is back with an all-inclusive extravaganza, including unlimited drinks all night, a buffet, and live entertainment at ten different party zones (with eight dance floors) throughout the hotel. Guests are free to roam – beverage in hand – from party room to party room, from the Retro Zone to the Club Zone and the silent disco. About a dozen popular bands and DJs will be playing throughout the gala’s many party areas all evening. At midnight, celebrate with exclusive party favors and a big countdown.

New Years Eve at Tower 23

Where: Tower 23 Hotel; 723 Felspar Street, San Diego
Tower 23 in Pacific Beach is a fun lifestyle hotel situated right on the beach. This year, make your way there to pop, sparkle, fizz, toast, and sip as you ring in the new year! Dine before you dance with dinner at JRDN (there are two seatings, at 5:30pm and 8:30pm), then enjoy live music and sets from local DJs starting at 10pm. Stay overnight with an exclusive discount hotel package, and enjoy a special New Year’s Day brunch the next morning until 3:30pm!

New Years Eve Hornblower Cruise

Where: Pier 1 Hornblower Landing, 1800 North Harbor Drive
This NYE, head to an Old Hollywood-themed Hornblower cruise! This special night will include a fun four-hour cruise around the San Diego Harbor, and feature plenty of free-flowing champagne, a five-course gourmet seated dinner, a live jazz band, New Years Eve party favors, and of course, incredible views of the San Diego coastline! The High Spirits, built in 1929, is a beautifully restored classic motor yacht that’s going to be decorated in the spirit of Old Hollywood this New Years Eve. The upper deck offers a bar and dining room with breathtaking views, making the High Spirits perfect for a themed celebration. Be sure to wear your best black and white ensemble as you step back in time and are swept away by the glitz and glamour of yesterday and a night of fun on the water.

New Years Eve Gala

Where: Hotel Del Coronado; 1500 Orange Avenue, Coronado
Ring in the New Year at The World’s Greatest Legend, a once-in-a-lifetime celebration with dazzling star attractions and awe-inspiring performances at the Hotel Del Coronado. The oceanfront Ballroom will transform into a lavish big top, complete with black tie-clad aristocrats, a delectable five-course feast, open bar, and dancing to the sounds of the Mighty Untouchables. Kick the evening off with Cocktail Hour in the Crown Room from 7pm-8pm, then head to the Ballroom at 8pm for an extravagant dinner, live performances and music, and dancing until 1am. For an extra special experience, be sure to book a room at this world-famous hotel and cap off your evening in style!

NYE Beach Party

Where: Catamaran Resort; 3999 Mission Blvd.
Ring in 2019 at the beach this year! Head to the Catamaran Resort for an all-inclusive evening packed with unlimited drinks and cocktails, festive hors d’oeuvres, four rooms of top-tier entertainment featuring San Diego’s hottest DJs, themed photo booths to create lasting memories, and an epic LED screen midnight countdown and balloon drop. For a five-star evening, upgrade to the VIP Party Boat and cruise around Mission Bay on the William D. Evans. Aboard you’ll find multiple decks of music, two open bars, a dance floor, and casino games, all in addition to the fun inside the Catamaran.

Craft Beer New Year

Where: Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens at Liberty Station; 2816 Historic Decatur Rd.
Go all-out on the last night of the year with an extravagant affair at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens Liberty Station! Your $99 ticket includes three drink tickets, light bites throughout the night, a celebratory toast pour at midnight (with souvenir tasting glass), two dance floors and live music from DJ Tropixx, a cigar lounge in the movie courtyard, speakeasy room, interactive photo booth, and a midnight countdown and ball drop. Group packages and discounts are available for parties of nine or more.

Black & Gold New Year’s Eve

Where: Maritime Museum of San Diego; 1492 North Harbor Drive
Celebrate the new year in style at the Maritime Museum! Located directly on the San Diego Bay, guests can spend a gorgeous and exciting night in one of the most unique venues in town. The event center located on the historic 1898 Steam Ferry Berkeley will be transformed into a classy lounge, complete with live music and dancing from the era, a 30’ candy and dessert bar, photo booth, party hats and favors, appetizers all night, and a complimentary champagne toast at midnight. Be sure to reserve your tickets early.

NYE at Hard Rock Hotel

Where: Hard Rock Hotel; 207 Fifth Avenue
The biggest New Year’s Eve bash in the Gaslamp Quarter returns this year with Kid Ink and live DJ Pauly D at the Hard Rock Hotel. This year, experience a festive journey to the world’s most epic party cities, including Beijing, Los Angeles, New York, Giza, and Mykonos to ring in 2019. Don your holiday finest and celebrate until long after midnight on three hotel levels and five totally decked-out party rooms. A limited number of Hotel Room Packages are available this year, and include two party tickets and a one-night hotel stay. VIP Bottle Service Packages are also available.

Ball on Broadway

Where: Parq Restaurant & Nightclub; 615 Broadway
Head to Parq Restaurant and Nightclub this New Year’s Eve to dance the night away and bring in 2019 in style! Toast to the new year in an expansive venue featuring 35,000 square feet and two nightclubs as part of a five-room opulent experience. Wander through each room, listening to multiple DJs and enjoying five distinct musical experiences to ring in the New Year. Parq Restaurant and Nightclub is located in downtown San Diego in the Gaslamp Quarter.

2019 Bottoms Up NYE

Where: ALTITUDE Sky Lounge (Marriott Gaslamp Quarter)
Level up your New Year’s Eve! From the lobby to Altitude Sky Lounge, enjoy free-flowing champagne, unlimited well drinks, domestic beers, and two of San Diego premier DJs plus an exceptional selection of gourmet food stations, including a raw seafood and sushi bar, street taco stand, chocolate fountain, carving station, and more. Your top-to-bottom evening will include unlimited drinks and food all night, party favors, a New Years Eve countdown, and live music from various DJs in the lobby and on the 22nd floor. Guests can roam between the San Diego skyline lounge and the lobby all evening long at this epic downtown San Diego hotel party!

Have kids in tow? Check out our kid-friendly New Year’s Eve events in San Diego!

Things To Consider When Choosing a Venue for an Event

If there was ever a perfect destination to plan an event, San Diego would be it. The city has plenty of beautiful beaches, luxury hotels, cultured restaurants, and popular bar scenes to choose from. Whether you’re planning a business event, birthday party, bridal shower, or gender reveal party, there are several options available to you. With so many venues, however, you’ll need to iron out a few details to determine which is best for you.

Location

Though you know you’re going to have your event in the San Diego area, you have to consider the location of the venue based on attendee convenience. If it’s a local event, it is ideal to have it somewhere neutral to those you’re inviting so they don’t have to travel far. If you’re expecting mostly out-of-towners, then you might opt for a venue closer to an airport.

Number of Attendees

How many people will be attending your event? This will be important for several reasons. First, you’ll need to find a venue that can host that many people. You’ll also need to make sure there is enough parking. Lastly, you’ll need to know how many are in attendance for seating, food, and beverage preparations.

Services and Amenities

As you think about the type of event you’re planning, what type of services will you need? If you were planning a corporate event, for instance, you might need a conference room, technical equipment, and lunch catering. If you were planning a wedding you might prefer a venue with a caterer, baker, and wait staff. You’ll also want to ask about things like tables, chairs, tents, and whatever else you might need to host your event.

Decor Acceptions

The decor is often a big part of event planning. However, not all venues allow all types of decor and devices onto their premises. If you were throwing a gender reveal party, for example, you might want gender reveal smoke bombs and gender reveal confetti cannons to share the sex of the baby. What makes a lot of gender reveal celebration products great is they are safe for indoor and outdoor use! You can pop gender reveal confetti and make a moment to remember. You may want to check with the venue if you are planning to use gender reveal smoke though. This might be fine at a venue that has an outdoor area, but for a secluded place like a small restaurant or bar, these things may not be allowed. However, you can also decide to just use gender reveal confetti cannons.

Availability

San Diego is a really popular place to host events, so you’ll want to find out about availability right away. Try to choose several dates that your event could take place, just in case the date you want isn’t available. Find out about what options are available if there’s inclement weather or another unforeseen reason you need to postpone your date.

Layout

The layout of a venue will need to be considered for your event. You need to consider the number of people you’re inviting, the type of event it is, and activities that will be taking place. You’ll need to have enough space to accommodate your guests, food, and anything else you plan on having at your event. Going to see venue layouts in advance is recommended to ensure it flows with your vision.

Holiday parties, weddings, business conferences, gender reveals, birthday parties, they can all be great when you host them in a city like San Diego. As you browse the town for the perfect venue, be sure to keep all these factors in mind. In doing so, you’ll ensure that your event goes off without a hitch.

Great Decor Options To Light Up Your Nighttime Outdoor Wedding

Planning a wedding under the stars? There’s something magical about getting married at night in a destination as beautiful as California. The crisp evening breeze, starry skies, and beautiful landscapes really set the tone for a romantic affair. The only thing that can make the day even better (outside of the attendance of your loved ones) are the right decorations. Wedding decor helps to tie in the theme and send the event over the top. Here are some ideas that are sure to make your nighttime wedding shine!

Strings of Lights

Adding illumination to your wedding is a great way to brighten up the evening. Strings of lights, such as those you’d use around the holidays are perfect for an outdoor wedding. They come in various colors and styles to tie in with your theme. You can hang them from trees, shrubbery, or overhead in your wedding tent.

Lanterns

Lanterns are another nice touch to consider for your outdoor wedding. They can be placed throughout the venue to help light up the night skies. Adding a lantern at the end of each row of chairs for the wedding ceremony can serve as a great touch for the aisles. It gives a romantic vibe as the bridal party walks down.

If you really want to light up the skies at your wedding ceremony, you might also consider floating lanterns. You and your guests can light the lanterns, make a wish for the bride and groom, and cast them into the air. The view is really amazing and the symbolism quite special.

Wedding Sparklers

You can’t have too much light and sparkle with an outdoor evening wedding. Create a little shine and shimmer with wedding sparklers. You can buy individual sparklers for attendees to hold as the bride and groom exit the ceremony as husband and wife. There are other sparklers for weddings that can add to your outdoor wedding decor like bottle sparklers. You can add them to the champagne bottles and hand them out to tables right before it’s time for the toasts. Wedding sparklers are quickly becoming one of the hottest wedding trends. You can either choose to use 36 inch or 20 inch sparklers for weddings. Either choice is a no brainer and sparklers are very affordable and help take amazing pictures. Wedding Sparklers will end your wedding night in style!

Candles

If there’s one decor item that screams love and romance it’s candles. Candles are commonly included in the wedding theme and add a nice personal touch. A great way to use them would be to incorporate them with your reception table centerpieces. You could use the candle as the base and surround it with flowers, or get creative with floating candles.

Fire Pits

Getting married during cooler seasons? Fire pits are a great wedding decor item and they can help to keep the chill off you and your guests. You can invest in one large pit or purchase a few smaller ones to place around the venue.

Floating Lights

If your outdoor wedding happens to be near a pool, light it up with beautiful floating lights. They come in an array of sizes, shapes, and colors and can easily be accompanied by floating flowers. They help to add more light to the evening and also look awesome as they reflect on the water.

Outdoor weddings really are amazing. With nature as the backdrop, brides are able to design truly romantic ceremonies. Of all the things to add to your wedding planning checklist, don’t forget lighting. Lighting is a very important element to the design and it helps to illuminate the rest of the decor. If you’re planning a night time wedding, these decor items are easy to incorporate into any theme making your special day shine just as bright as your future.

Holiday Party Venues in San Diego

The winter season is upon us, and nothing says ‘the holidays’ like a fun party at one of San Diego’s best venues! Toast to your colleagues, friends, or family at one of these unique San Diego party venues fit for a day or night of merriment this holiday season. From casual craft breweries and romantic, urban-chic eateries to rooftop bars and skyline-view museums, we’ve rounded up 12 of the best San Diego venues made for the perfect 2018 holiday gathering!

1. Clara (Carlsbad)

Having just opened this summer, Clara is the newest addition to the ever-growing downtown Carlsbad Village scene. The space here is serene, casual, and comfortable; making this spot pretty ideal for a dinner feast with your friends or colleagues. The neutral interiors and menu offerings work well for vegetarians and carnivores alike – from the chili braised cauliflower tacos to skirt steak skewers, there is a little something for everyone here. The craft cocktail menu is expansive and innovative, and many of the drinks are infused with locally grown produce.

2. Madison on Park (University Heights)

Located in San Diego’s University Heights neighborhood, Madison on Park serves upscale Mediterranean and Southern California inspired cuisine in a modern, gorgeous atmosphere. Madison features a full bar and an upscale menu offered in the main dining room, which is a dramatic 3,000 square-foot space built by industrial design firm ARCHISECTS that features sky-high vaulted ceiling made of wood and cedar walls in colorful geometric patterns. The whole space has a fresh, eclectic indoor-outdoor vibe, which makes it a great choice for your holiday party in San Diego.

3. Kettner Exchange (Little Italy)

The open-air rooftop of this Little Italy restaurant is a huge draw for locals – and one of the best rooftops in the city – with the only private cabañas and ocean views in the neighborhood. The cabañas are definitely the main attraction here; each one is totally private, complete with a variety of wines, craft cocktails, and self-serve tap beers. Standing parties of up to 400 can celebrate with innovative cocktails and sophisticated bites – think suckling pig larb, hamachi ceviche, foie gras French toast, and grilled quail char sui – but if you’re hosting a smaller group, consider the hidden, more private Chef’s Table for a special five-course dining experience.

4. BRICK (Point Loma)

From the simple elegance to the stunning ambiance, BRICK just oozes charm, character, and originality. This beautiful, historic Point Loma space can hold up to 450 guests, and there are no curfews or noise ordinances. The best part? The space is yours for a full 24 hours! The aesthetic is modern-industrial, and features market lights, exposed beams, and plenty of (of course) natural brick walls.

5. Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa (Rancho Santa Fe)

This expansive, luxurious oasis covers 45 beautiful acres in the hills of Rancho Santa Fe, providing eight garden-filled options for celebration spaces. Each space – from the popular Croquet Lawn to the turquoise fireplace of the Sunrise Room – has its own vibe and aesthetic, and can work for a low-key day party or formal nighttime affair. Each room has a different capacity and rules, so be sure to inquire ahead of time to plan your special event.

6. Luce Loft  (Downtown)

Housed within a historic 1928 Carnation Dairy Factory, Luce Loft boasts cathedral ceilings, exposed brick, and romantic market lights to create the perfect urban party backdrop. One of the best aspects of hosting an event here is that you can customize essentially everything – including booze, as it’s one of the only venues in San Diego that boasts a BYOB policy. Pick from one of 10 catering vendors from nearby restaurants and food trucks, and get the party started with a DJ and photo booth.

7. Darlington House (La Jolla)

Throw an elegant holiday garden party in the heart of La Jolla Village at the Mediterranean-style Darlington House. This historic home is an architectural gem, and echoes the days of vintage La Jolla and a lifestyle of elegant dinner parties and delightful musical concerts (it’s also a popular wedding venue). There are different rooms to explore around every corner; consider The Library, which features dark wooden bookcases, a Moroccan fireplace, and a gorgeous Moorish-inspired staircase and is perfect for smaller, more intimate events, or the Andalusian Patio, which was modeled after the style of Southern Spain and features stunning Roman arches.

8. The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe (Rancho Santa Fe)

Sitting on 21 lush acres in the heart of Rancho Santa Fe Village, this quaint, luxury inn boasts seven dreamy indoor-outdoor event spaces. The Azalea room is perfect for more intimate parties, while the Croquet Cottage & Lawn features a larger space complete with vaulted wood ceilings, a stone fireplace, and an accompanying outdoor patio for indoor and outdoor seating.

9. The Lodge at Torrey Pines (La Jolla)

In an endless-summer city, it’s not always easy to create a festive wintery ambiance but at this craftsman-style resort, that’s a different story. The Lodge features a great variety of indoor-outdoor venue options (with capacity for up to 400 people), and boasts panoramic Pacific Ocean views, cozy fireplaces, a golf course, and of course, the rare Torrey Pine trees make it a location that pretty much guarantees to put everyone in the holiday mood.

10. Farmer and the Seahorse (La Jolla)

The playful details of the Farmer and the Seahorse in La Jolla (near Torrey Pines) give it a naturally festive vibe — from the vintage Airstream to the telephone booth to the inviting corn hole games on the lawn. Combining the best produce from the restaurant’s gardens and local farms with the freshest catch from the Pacific, the menu from celebrity chef Brian Malarkey is all kinds of delicious.

11. Juniper & Ivy (Downtown)

Treat friends, family, or coworkers to a magical holiday dinner at chef Richard Blais’ high-end restaurant in Little Italy, where he seriously pushes the limits of fine dining. What’s great about this spot is the variety of private dining areas to choose from; including a second-floor overlook or an al fresco patio experience. Take your experience a step further and reserve the exclusive and highly coveted Chef’s Table, which can seat between 14 and 65 and puts you right at the heart of Juniper & Ivy’s main dining room with a clear view into the action in the kitchen.

12. Vin de Syrah (Gaslamp)

This Gaslamp District speakeasy is truly a one-of-a-kind San Diego gem. The quirky, understated décor has been compared to Alice in Wonderland — picture oversized, cushy booths and botanical chandeliers — and the entertainment options go way beyond a live cover band. Reserve a burlesque show, a tarot card reading, or an illusionist, and your friends and family won’t forget your epic Holiday Party of 2018!

For more fun holiday events, tips, and happenings, check out our other Holiday blogs!

The Best San Diego Holiday Parties 2018

What better way to ring in the holidays than with a San Diego holiday party? There is no shortage of fun happenings this year – from a New Year’s Eve yacht party on the Bay to fancy hotel festivities to round out the holiday season. Here’s our roundup of some of this year’s best San Diego holiday parties!

Drink, Play, Create: A Holiday Party

When: December 7, 2018; 8pm
Where: The New Children’s Museum

Head to The New Children’s Museum this December for a free drink, lots of dancing, and a fun party inspired by art, play and the holidays. This year’s party will feature music from local DJs Rob and Dimitri of Booty Bassment, a cash bar, food trucks, a giveaway, photo booth, games, art activities, and open access to galleries and studios. Plus, the first 300 guests to arrive get a free Passion Planner! Tickets are $20 in advance, or $30 at the door.

Parade of Lights Holiday Party

When: December 9, 2018
Where: Chere Amie Yacht; 1901 N. Harbor Drive

Celebrate holiday cheer aboard a 90-ft yacht, enjoying the cool crisp winter air and dazzling lights parade – all while sipping on a chilled glass of Champagne! The 2nd Annual Parade of Lights Holiday Party is sure to be the perfect activity to kick off the winter season. Guests will get to cruise the San Diego Bay during the action of the Parade, and get up close and personal with the decorated lit up boats. On top of having an unbeatable view of the parade, there will be holiday-themed cocktails, seasonal music, Christmas decorations, complimentary champagne, hors d’oeuvres, and more! The yacht comes complete with a full bar, open-view dance floor, and plenty of lounge areas that provide a fun and festive atmosphere perfect for mingling and partying with friends. Tickets start at $35.

12 Things to Do During the Holidays in San Diego

Bad Santa Pub Crawl

When: December 22, 2018; 7pm
Where: Taste & Thirst; 715 Fourth Avenue, San Diego

It’s that time of year! Grab your friends and your Santa hats and get ready to spread some yuletide fun and holiday cheer through the streets of Gaslamp Quarter during this year’s Bad Santa Pub Crawl. Your ticket includes exclusive drink specials at each venue throughout the pub crawl, complimentary VIP entry to all venues, a private host to guide you from venue to venue, and an awesome after-party where you’ll be able to dance the night away. This event sells out every year, so be sure to get your tickets early!

Ugly Sweater Holiday Cocktail Cruise

When: December 22, 2018; 7pm
Where: Hornblower Cruises; 970 N. Harbor Dr.

Come aboard the only floating holiday happy hour in San Diego! Join hosts Tati and Frankie plus DJ Gigi from JAM’N 95.7, and special appearances from STAR 94.1 and Channel 93.3 for the ultimate ugly sweater party on the water. The cruise includes a complimentary boarding holiday cocktail and a cash bar with plenty of drinks on the menu including specials on beer, wine, and specialty Hornblower cocktails along with light appetizers. This is the perfect excursion on the San Diego Bay, or a great way to kick off a night downtown.

New Year’s Eve Gala at the Hotel Del Coronado

When: December 31, 2018; 7pm
Where: Hotel Del Coronado

Ring in the New Year at The World’s Greatest Legend, a once-in-a-lifetime celebration with dazzling star attractions and awe-inspiring performances. The oceanfront Ballroom at the Hotel Del Coronado will transform into a lavish big top with black-tie clad aristocrats, a delectable five-course feast, open bar, and dancing to the sounds of the Mighty Untouchables. Attendees must be 21+.

Have little ones at home? Bring them too! This is a kid-friendly event, and fun for the whole family! Kids and teens can ring in the New Year at their own party from 7pm-12:30am. The night includes dinner, ice skating (ages 8+), special shows, games, a s’mores roast, and a midnight toast with sparkling cider. Teens ages 13-17 can also hang out in their own teen lounge and watch movies as they mingle. Cost is $125 for the first child; $100 for each additional child.

New Year’s Eve Yacht Party

When: December 31, 2018; 9pm
Where: Spirit of San Diego Yacht; 990 N. Harbor Drive

Spend New Year’s Eve aboard San Diego’s most elegant oversized luxury yacht, The Spirit of San Diego! At 146 Feet Long, with three levels, outdoor decks, lounges, and two huge dance floors, this 500-person capacity luxury yacht is guaranteed to make for a memorable NYE. This event has sold out 15 years in a row, so be sure to get your tickets early! Tickets include three levels of entertainment with live music and DJs, a premium open bar all night long, appetizers, and a boat-wide New Year’s Eve countdown.

New Year’s Eve Beachfront Bash

When: December 31, 2018
Where: South Draft Mission; 3105 Ocean Front Walk, San Diego

Kick off 2019 at San Diego’s newest New Year’s Eve party overlooking the ocean in Mission Beach! Guests will experience three totally different atmospheres at three different venues throughout the evening – from an upscale rooftop vibe at Cannonball to a laid-back groove at Draft and a beachfront party at Beach House to cap the night. Drink specials will be making their rounds all night, and the final beachfront venue will be heated with fire pits and fabulous market lights for guests to enjoy.

Big Night San Diego NYE

When: December 31, 2018
Where: Hilton San Diego Bayfront

Ring in 2018 at the 16th annual Big Night San Diego New Year’s Eve celebration! ​Big Night San Diego is the perfect, all-inclusive night out; each ticket includes unlimited drinks, access to the fully-stocked buffet, and a variety of live entertainment and DJs throughout the ten different party zones. The hotel will be transformed into “Countdown City” and the perfect location to celebrate the New Year! ​Guests will be free to roam, beverage in hand, from party room to party room; get your groove on in the Retro Zone or in one of the several Club Zones, or check out the silent disco. All the while, about a dozen popular bands and deejays will be playing throughout the gala’s many party areas.

Bottoms Up at ALTITUDE Sky Lounge

When: December 31, 2018
Where: ALTITUDE Sky Lounge (at the Marriott San Diego Gaslamp Quarter); 660 K St, San Diego 92101.

Ring in the New Year at the epic rooftop ALTITUDE Sky Lounge, atop the San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter. Your free-flowing celebration will include unlimited well drinks, domestic beers, and free-flowing champagne all night for only $189/person, plus unlimited food at gourmet dining stations, a New Year’s Eve countdown, party favors, and live music from local DJs. The dining stations will consist of an array of California cuisine with a carving station, raw seafood bar, a chocolate fountain, and more.

For more fun holiday events and happenings, check out our other holiday blogs!

Where to See Christmas Lights in San Diego (Updated 2018)

There’s really no better holiday tradition or way to get into the holiday spirit than going around to see Christmas light displays in San Diego! With so many unique neighborhoods in the area – each with their own vibe – there are countless light displays throughout the County. It can get a bit overwhelming to try and track them all down, so we’ve gone ahead and picked out some of the very best! Here’s your guide to the best Christmas lights in San Diego and San Diego County. (Updated 2018). 

Sights & Sounds of Christmas: San Diego Temple

The Mormon Temple off I-5 near La Jolla is an awesome feat of architecture, and definitely worth a visit even during the daytime (although only members of the church are allowed inside). This holiday season, it turns into a winter wonderland–walk the Temple grounds and enjoy more than 130,000 lights and nativity scenes. Admission is free.

December 1st – January 1st; 5pm-11pm. 7474 Charmant Dr., UTC.

San Diego Bay Parade of Lights: The Bay

Now in its 46th year, the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights is truly a sight to behold. Presented by the Port of San Diego, the boat parade of more than 80 lavishly decorated vessels has become an iconic Christmas light installation in the area. This year’s theme is “Arrgh! A Pirate’s Christmas,” so you’ll be sure to see plenty of pirate-themed boats and decorations! The parade starts at Shelter Island, travels through the harbor and ends at the Ferry Landing in Coronado.

December 10th & 17th; 5pm.

Forward House: Banker’s Hill/Downtown

This famous historic house was built in 1905 for then-San Diego Mayor John Forward Sr, and has been adorned with an array of holiday lights every season since 1998. It’s a beautiful, two-story house, and essentially every inch is covered in lights – this is a must-see.

Through December 31st; 5pm-10pm. 108 Ivy Street (1st & Ivy), San Diego. 

Luminaria: South Park

It’s South Park’s very own season of lights! Every tree, lamp post, roof, and courtyard is decorated with lights and ribbons. Stroll through the neighborhood and stop along the way at one of the coffee shops or restaurants in the area.

November 17th – January 1st; starts at dusk. Along 30th St. and Fern St. from Juniper to Grape and Beech Streets. 

Belardo Lights: Tierrasanta

The Belardo Lights display has a beautiful story behind it. Started by the father of two boys, both diagnosed with autism, who wanted to create a special Christmas tradition that they could look forward to and work on together each year. Every year since 2006, he and his sons have worked to create the display entirely from scratch, and this year they’ve upped the ante even further with new light displays. For an extra bonus, this year’s display is synchronized to festive music played on 106.1 FM. 

Through December 27th; 6pm-10pm. 5306 Belardo Drive, San Diego. 

Christmas Park: Clairemont

More than 30 homes are lit up with holiday lights in an area of Clairemont that’s been dubbed “Christmas Park.” The circular street’s colorful display has been going strong since 1977 and continues to delight both locals and out-of-towners alike.

December 1st – December 25th. Lana Drive & Jamar Drive (off Mt. Abernathy), San Diego.

Jingle Bell Hill: El Cajon

Tucked away in El Cajon, you’ll find nearly 80 homes lit up with all kinds of festive holiday themes (some get super creative here, as well). We’ve seen Nightmare Before Christmas references, among others! The display has grown significantly in recent years, lending it its nickname; it used to be called simply the “Pepper Drive Lights.”

December 7th – December 26th; Mon-Thurs 6pm-9pm, Fri-Sun 6pm-10pm. Solomon Ave & Pegeen Place/Pepper Drive plus surrounding areas. 

1838 El Pico Drive: El Cajon

This Christmas light installation is a seriously longstanding local tradition – it’s now going on its 53rd year decorating the 20-foot star that stands 100 feet above El Cajon valley. Visitors will also see a 55-foot long automated train and extensive automated yard decorations.

December 15 – 31st; dusk-10pm. 1838 El Pico Drive, off Hacienda Drive, El Cajon.

Merry-tage Court: Scripps Ranch

This display is definitely pop culture oriented, with nods to Star Wars, Minions, Cars, and more. The entire street gets creative and lights up, so don’t miss this one if you’re in the area!

December 1st – December 31st; 5:30pm-9:30pm. Stonebridge Pkwy. & Merritage Court, San Diego. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Christmas Card Lane: Rancho Peñasquitos

This is one of the liveliest light displays in the County. Each year, residents decorate their yards with plywood greetings depicting cartoon characters or Christmas themes. The display was actually started in 1982 by Rancho Peñasquito resident Alana Hastings as a way to share the holiday spirit of the tight-knit community with others in the city. Originally, only about 15 families participated; now, there are more than 200 – and several have even been known to hand out some hot chocolate!

Nightly from dusk-10pm. Ellingham, Oviedo, and Renato streets off Black Mountain Road.

Knob Hill: San Marcos

This display, located at 1639 Knob Hill Rd. in San Marcos, has been lighting up the North County neighborhood since 1988. Over the decades, it has grown to more than 85,000 lights, powered up nightly through Dec. 30. Visitors will also see 100 plastic holiday figures, 80 snowmen and 100 candy canes, to name a few of the bells and whistles. Santa Claus visits Knob Hill each year and, this season, he’ll be there from Dec. 14 through Dec. 23, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., listening to Christmas wishes and spreading cheer.

Through December 30th from 5pm-9pm. 1639 Knob Hill Road, San Marcos. 

Candy Cane Lane: Poway

Entire cul-de-sacs are lit up in Poway, with more than 100 homes decorating for the holiday season. Parking can be tricky here, so it’s usually best to park a few blocks away and walk through the displays on your own little Christmas light tour.

December 10 – 24; 6pm-9pm. Stoutwood Street, near Brookstone Drive; Poway. 

Fairway Village: Carmel Mountain Ranch

Each year, Carmel Mountain Ranch also spreads holiday magic of its own via Fairway Village, a neighborhood located on the east and west sides of Stoney Gate Place. There, around 80 homes are decked out in Christmas lights through New Year’s Day. Visitors will sometimes find residents playing holiday movies outside, carolers and dancers. On the Saturday evening before Christmas, this neighborhood typically holds a block party featuring hot chocolate, cider, music, lights, cookies, snacks and more. Santa has also been known to make an appearance — depending on the workload at the North Pole, of course.

Through January 1st; 5:30pm-10:30pm. East and west sides of Stoney Gate Place, 92128.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Starlight Circle: Santee

In Santee, this massive lights display known as “Starlight Circle” draws crowds year after year. Located on East and West Glendon circles off Magnolia Avenue, visitors can see elaborate, handmade Christmas displays spanning dozens of homes. Many of the displays follow a theme – from “Star Wars” and superheroes to “Toy Story” and “Sesame Street.” Sometimes, the residents will sell hot cocoa, kettle corn, cookies and other holiday treats, for visitors to enjoy as they stroll the neighborhood. The lights are usually on from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. nightly.

Nightly from 5:30pm – 10pm. Along Tomel Court, off Magnolia St. in Santee.

DB Christmas

Also in Santee is “DB Christmas,” a dazzling display created by Michael Balazs each year at his home. The lights – in honor of Balazs’ late father, who died from cancer in 2009 – include thousands of multi-colored strings, spiraling Christmas trees, lawn displays that read “HOPE” and “CURE,” and even holograms of Santa Claus projected on the windows of the home. Balazs’ display is synced to holiday music played on 98.5FM; he collects donations from spectators to support charities such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital on behalf of his father. Balazs said he gets his holiday cheer from his dad, who loved Christmas. 

Nightly from 5 pm to 10pm. 9773 Roe Drive, Santee. 

Tinsel Town: Lakeside

Each year, more than 20 houses are lit up in Lakeside with festive lights and front-yard decorations. This neighborhood definitely goes all out for the Christmas season!

Nightly from 5pm-10pm. 10248 Paseo Palmas Dr., Lakeside. 

Other Light Displays

If you’re looking for Christmas lights that aren’t in residential neighborhoods, here are a few places around the County to go:

Jungle Bells: San Diego ZooEnjoy the Zoo in holiday mode until January 1st, 9am-8pm every day, complete with a holiday light display, animal experiences, costumed characters, and live music. Head over to Balboa Park after for more holiday cheer! Read our guide for more information about how to purchase San Diego Zoo tickets this holiday season. 

Christmas Celebration at SeaWorld San Diego. This year, SeaWorld is totally decked out with more than a million lights plus a 40-foot Christmas tree with an animated light show. Don’t forget to check out Rudolph’s Christmastown and the new O Wondrous Night, a living nativity performed every night. Through January 6th. For more information about how to purchase Seaworld San Diego tickets this holiday season, check out our guide. 

Holiday Event Planning Tips in San Diego

Everyone knows that hosting the holidays can take your stress level from 0 to 60 in no time; but, not to worry, with careful planning and our top San Diego expert event planning tips, this year will be the holiday entertaining season that you actually enjoy as much as your guests! Here’s how to get some holiday event planning in San Diego done this season.

Make a list!

The ultimate way to create a stress-free holiday is to live by a list: plan ahead, and don’t be afraid to delegate. Know what you’re capable of and comfortable doing, and give other people things to do so you aren’t stuck doing everything. Asking guests to help with tasks when planning an event makes them feel more involved and more times than not they are happy to help, so never be afraid to ask!

Stock up on supplies

You’ll never run out of supplies if you shop with an aim to entertain! Stock your pantry with a selection of small bites and appetizers to nibble on as they chat. A well-placed charcuterie, fresh veggies and dip, or even nuts and cracker assortments can all go a long way, and a signature cocktail that you can have prepared ahead-of-time in large batches will make day-of preparations much easier. Include fun holiday treats such as candy canes or sugar cookies for guests with a sweet tooth.

Pick an awesome venue

If you’re hosting this year, make sure your home is set up to encourage conversation and comfort. A vibrant and cheery atmosphere that guest will want to stay and enjoy is always key! Having open spaces where guests can feel free to chat and socialize with others is a great idea, as well as having seating options so your guests can get comfortable and enjoy the party.

If you’re planning to host a party at an outside venue (such as a restaurant or bar), be sure to book the site well in advance. Having a solid headcount ahead of time is essential to ensuring the venue can accommodate you and your guests. The more you get done ahead of time, the less stress you’ll have during the weeks and days leading up to the event, which is already packed with stress as it is! However, one of the great things about San Diego is its plethora of awesome venues – from restaurants and bars to fun event halls, there is no shortage of great spots to host your holiday event right here in San Diego especially in areas such as La Jolla or Downtown San Diego.

Some of our favorite event venues in San Diego include The Darlington House (a great space to throw a holiday garden party in the heart of La Jolla – there are rooms to explore around every corner at this beautiful home!) and the gorgeous La Valencia, which does a great job of hosting grandiose private events all year long for any celebration.

Save time with catering

If you want to host the event but don’t feel up to the challenge of feeding all of those people yourself, holiday catering is the way to go. Whether you’re looking for a full-service menu here are a few spots in San Diego and La Jolla that cater to all sorts of events and parties year-round, including:

  • The French Gourmet
  • Giuseppe Restaurants & Catering
  • Eco Caters
  • Rimel’s Rotisserie
  • Cuvier Club
  • TOAST
  • Water’s Fine Foods and Catering

However if you are on a tight budget, preparing the food yourself can be a huge money saver. Maybe invite some friends over the night before to help prepare the food in advanced so the tasks isn’t solely placed on you.

Get creative!

There are tons of great ways to shake things up at your next holiday event. Planning interactive activities or games is a fantastic way to get people out of their comfort zones and chip away at lingering discomfort. Making sure you have a variety of activities for guests is also an easy way to make things go smoothly. Here are some other fun ideas for a different spin:

  • Charades may feel cheesy, but getting people to laugh at themselves is a great icebreaker
  • Run a food or clothing drive to collect items to donate to a local nonprofit
  • Plan a Secret Santa (or even better, White Elephant) gift exchange
  • Another fun option is to rent a photo booth with some funny and festive props. Guests can capture their special moments and take their group pictures home to remember the occasion.
  • If you have a flexible budget consider hiring a band for some live music.

Or, you may want to hire a professional photographer to capture all those fun candid moments. You could also choose a little more of a low-key experience like a wine tasting station, where everyone can sample various wines and learn about some different varieties.

Create a fun signature cocktail

If you’re hosting, creating a special cocktail for the night is a fun way to celebrate the holiday and make your event unique – and it can keep the cost of multiple drink options down. It’s also the perfect opportunity to come up with a fun name that gets attendees in the spirit of the festivities. Don’t feel intimidated; most of us aren’t natural mixologists!

To get started, get some inspiration from well-known recipes, or copy a recipe and simply make a play on the name. You can also follow these tips for creating your own cocktails. Whatever you choose, make sure to have plenty of non-alcoholic alternatives in addition to a few standard wine and beer options for those who aren’t fans of mixed drinks.

For more holiday ideas in San Diego, visit our other blogs!

Annual La Jolla Christmas Parade & Holiday Festival

The annual La Jolla Christmas Parade & Holiday Festival returns to the Village Sunday December 2nd, 2018 from 10:30am to 5pm. The parade will begin at 1:30pm at Girard Ave and Kline Street, and end at the Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla (700 Prospect Street). The holiday festival will start at 10:30am and go until 1:00pm, and will include photos with Santa and live stage entertainment. A tradition that’s been going strong for nearly six decades, the parade and festival are one of La Jolla’s most treasured holiday activities!

The Details

This year, the Holiday Festival will begin at 10:30 am and end at 1pm, with live stage entertainment in front of the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library. There will also be some arts and crafts and the opportunity to take photos with Santa! The theme changes every year; this year’s being “The Sounds of Christmas.”

The parade will begin at 1:30pm at Girard Ave. and Kline Street. It will head down Girard and make a left onto Prospect, where it will finish in front of the Museum of Contemporary Art La Jolla.

Santa’s highly anticipated visit to the Christmas Parade is provided by Sunrise Rotary. He will be driven in the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club’s Old Black Goose, a classic 1915 Black Packard Convertible; making it a truly classic La Jolla Christmas!

Highlights

There will more participants than ever before this year from local businesses – the La Jolla Historical Society, the Rotary Club, the Gillispie School, and Birch Aquarium. More than a dozen floats, equestrians, beauty queens and princesses, marching bands, and of course, fire engines, will make up the rest of the Parade. Car lovers will be excited about the lineup of rare and vintage vehicles this year; keep your eye out for some of the rarer cars, like this year’s Antique 1988 560SL Mercedes.

A Few Tips

  • Parking will be extremely limited the day-of, and many streets will become tow-away zones starting at 9:30am. This includes most of Girard Avenue (between Torrey Pines and Kline), most of Kline (between Ivanhoe and Fay), and Herschel (between Torrey Pines and Silverado).
  • Most of Girard Avenue and Prospect Street will be closed, as this is the parade route. Vehicles that are parked in zones cordoned off for the parade or festival will be towed! Make sure you’re aware of all signs and that you park in a designated area.
  • You’ll find all the Holiday Festival activities on the grounds of the La Jolla Rec Center, where the parade will end at 3pm. It’s an easy walk from the parade’s starting location, so it might be easier to just keep your car parked in one spot for the day.

Visit ljparade.com for more information!

[photos courtesy of ljparade.com]