San Diego Attractions North County Carlsbad
A holiday must see, Legoland style. Photo credit: @LegolandCalifornia, via Facebook

Stuffed from turkey, faux-turkey or for the kitchen phobic, perhaps, pizza, from Thursday? Rest up, and be ready this weekend, as more popular San Diego attractions launch their holiday events, including the Hotel del Coronado and San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

You have opening options Friday and Saturday (or start planning ahead, because many of the events have multiple dates):

  • The Safari Park – Wild Holidays opens Friday and continues on weekends through Jan. 3, with expanded dates just before and after Christmas. Park admission costs $60. During Wild Holidays, which includes a lantern walk, light show and roaming entertainers, the holiday festivities take place from 4 to 8 p.m.
  • Birch Aquarium – Enjoy the aquarium’s outdoor spaces at Seas ‘n’ Greetings, beginning Saturday. It includes Tide Pool Plaza (touch the sharks and rays!) and snuggling with an 18-foot-tall inflatable octopus. Admission, $16.50. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the holiday event continuing through Dec. 31.

The Hotel Del and Legoland got the Yuletide started already, so join in – in Coronado, there’s Winter Wonderland at the landmark resort through Dec. 31. The event includes Santa visits for the kids (he stays in his sleigh distanced from families), a beachfront tree, craft making and the Frostbite Bar for end-of-the-week libations.

San Diego Hikes and Trails
A view of Penasquitos Creek, where you may join a nature walk on Saturday. Photo credit: @PenasquitoFriends, via Facebook

At Legoland, spy a Lego tree 30-feet tall (it’s hard to miss), enjoy meet-and-greets with Santa and the Gingerbread Man, live music and a holiday light show. Admission costs $15, with the holiday fest continuing through Jan. 10.

But back to Thanksgiving for a sec. Shouldn’t the animals share the love? Alpine’s Lions Tigers & Bears hosts its annual “Turkey Bash” at 10 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Watch as the park’s residents tear into a Thanksgiving feast the weekend after we humans enjoyed our repasts. Admission costs $30 for adults and $15 for children.

Relax and recover with music by the New Orleans Swinging Gypsies at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. They perform in the outdoor courtyard of Achilles Coffee Roasters at The Rey, 800 B St. Enjoy the band’s rotating crew of musicians, who create a different experience each performance.

Meanwhile, a few hours later you have the chance to work off some of Thursday’s calories (and learn a little too). At 3 p.m. Saturday, naturalist Les Braund leads a nature walk across Penasquitos Creek. Meet at the kiosk off Park Village and Camino del Sur roads.

– Staff reports