San Diego Venues Embarcadero
The Rady Shell is just one of the sites embracing the holidays along San Diego Bay this weekend. Photo credit: @SanDiegoSymph, via Twitter

Two weeks to go ’til Christmas! Don’t stress though – why shop and scurry when you can gather friends and loved ones close and share in something fun this San Diego weekend?

Bundle up for Noel at the Shell, as San Diego’s new outdoor venue, the Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, dresses up for the holidays for the first time. The San Diego Symphony performs, joined by the San Diego Master Chorale and the San Diego Children’s Choir. Admission starts at $25 for the 5 p.m. shows Friday through Sunday – but tickets are going fast.

More community holiday celebrations roll out this weekend:

  • Pacific Beach hosts its annual Holiday Parade at noon Saturday. The route starts on Garnet Avenue and Haines Street, heading west to Bayard Street. Plus, start the day by getting ahead of your holiday indulgences – while repping in a Santa suit, of course – at the San Diego Santa Run, preceding the parade at 9 a.m.
  • Enjoy caroling, hayrides, a craft boutique and night-time train rides around Old Poway Park at the free Christmas in the Park in Poway at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. The tree lighting takes place at 5:30 p.m. Leave your car at Poway City Hall or Poway Adult School and shuttle in or out from 3-9 p.m.

If you love the season’s bright lights and relish the chance to see them on boats, you’re in luck! Choose a North County view or several spots in the city to indulge:

  • The Parade of Lights launches from Oceanside Harbor at 7 p.m. Saturday. All manner of boats, from yachts to kayaks will boast holiday swag. Best spots for viewing, according to those in the know? Near the fishing dock and police station.
  • The San Diego Bay Parade of Lights casts off at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, with prime viewing spots along much of the bayfront, including the Embarcadero, Harbor Island, Shelter Island, in Barrio Logan and Coronado.

For a break in the holiday action, but festive nonetheless, try Uncorked at Embarcadero Marina Park North at 1 p.m. Saturday. The wine festival features more than 200 wines and champagnes from across the globe, along with gourmet local food trucks and a live DJ. Admission starts at $65.

Santa seems to be everywhere, but he’ll morph into a cow in Del Sur. The Thumprint Project Foundation for homeless kids is offering cookies, coco and photos with a cow dressed as father Christmas from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday at the Chick-fil-A at 17115 Camino Del Sur.

Finally, the Women’s Museum of California hosts a 1 p.m. house warming Saturday at its new “educational space” at the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation, 404 Euclid Ave. The party includes items from the collection, a look at past exhibits and a preview of future events. A DJ will spin an “empowerment playlist” as guests enjoy free food and drinks.