Beach Winter Holidays Resorts
Winter, San Diego-style – how’s ice skating by the beach for a proper excursion for your guests? Photo credit: Hotel del Coronado via Facebook

We’re not trying to guilt you or anything, but to start this blessedly long San Diego weekend, you could run a bit as an investment to offset those Thanksgiving calories. And the choices! There’s a certain worldwide sportsball event too – don’t care about soccer? You might care about the parties, though and oh, there are a plenty.

Have peeps in town? Outdoor ice skating by the beach is one of the more unique ways to see San Diego. And more and more holiday celebrations are cropping up. You ready? Here goes:

Turkey trots

Dress as a pilgrim, turkey, whatever you wish, Thanksgiving morning when thousands of runners and walkers join the Father Joe’s Villages Thanksgiving Day 5K at 6:30 at Balboa Park. Got time before your feast? Stay for live music by the Bill Magee Blues Band.

The O’Side Turkey Trot begins at the Civic Center, 330 N. Coast Hwy., with the finish line at 200 S. The Strand. Don your finest gear for the costume contest and watch for live entertainment on the course beginning at 6:45 a.m.

In North County, you get to sleep in a bit, as the Encinitas Turkey Trot 10K begins at 7:30 a.m., followed by the 5K at 8 a.m. Races start and end under the “Encinitas” sign on Coast Highway 101. Enjoy the costume contest too.

The Fallbrook Village Rotary Club Foundation hosts the Fallbrook Turkey Trot at Grand Tradition Estate & Gardens, 220 Grand Tradition Way, at 8 a.m. Funds support the Fallbrook Land Conservancy and Fallbrook Animal Sanctuary.

Will Santa surf this well when he arrives at Seaport Village Saturday? Head to Tuna Harbor to see. Photo by Chris Stone

World Cup

There are so many parties to mark the worldwide soccer extravaganza (get a taste here), but two of the biggest are at the bayfront Rady Shell and in the streets of the Gaslamp Quarter.

  • The Shell, along with the San Diego Loyal, will host watch parties for the Friday U.S. vs. England match and the Saturday Mexico vs. Argentina contest, both at 11 a.m. RSVP online.
  • Or make it a soccer weekend in the Gaslamp starting Friday for the 8 and 11 a.m. games outdoors at Fifth and Island avenues, and continuing Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m to 4 p.m.

Green Friday

Prefer the outdoors to the inside of a store? San Diego County’s Green Friday promotes fitness and fun at county parks. A range of free activities are open to the public at more than a dozen parks – from a three-mile hike at San Elijo Lagoon to a Star Party at Sycamore Canyon in Poway. Even day-use fees, where they are collected, will be waived.

Celebrate the season

It’s early yet, but if you like to get a jump on all things red and green before the calendar turns to December, head to:

  • Point Loma for the Liberty Station Tree Lighting and Holiday Festivities, on the North Promenade from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday. The evening includes lighting of a seriously tall Norfolk pine (88 feet!) as well as live entertainment, fire truck rides and Santa photos.
  • Seaport Village to greet Surfin’ Santa. He arrives at 1 p.m. Saturday at nearby Tuna Harbor, with a parade down the boardwalk to follow. He’ll pose for photos through 5 p.m. while music and entertainment will be provided from noon to 3 p.m.
  • Hotel Del Coronado for Skating by the Sea, even on Thanksgiving Day. Rink time costs $40 for the unique experience of ice skating within steps of the beach. Open at 11 a.m. each day of the long weekend. Check out our list for more local ice skating options.