College Football Bowl Games San Diego
Football fan or no, the Holiday Bowl is one of San Diego’s signature events. Photo credit: @HolidayBowl, via Facebook

The holidays are almost a wrap. New Year’s Eve is on the horizon. Look at this weekend as time to chill out  – or practice ahead – of the big day.

If you still have room after all the family feasting, Balboa Park hosts the Holiday Food Truck Festival beginning at noon Friday. Aside from grub from more than a dozen top trucks, the free festival also features live entertainment and family activities including giant checkers, hula hoops and bowling. In addition, some museums have extended hours, including the San Diego Museum of Art and the Fleet Science Center.

Even if you don’t have a vested interest in the USC Trojans or the Iowa Hawkeyes, the Holiday Bowl is an annual San Diego tradition. Iowa, by the way, is a slight favorite. The game starts at 5 p.m. Friday at San Diego County Credit Union Stadium in Mission Valley. Tickets start at $45.

Showing off your mad tango skills at your New Year’s bash would be sure to impress. You can tighten them up at the San Diego Tango Festival at the Wyndham Bayside near Waterfront Park beginning Friday. Day passes start at $35, with full festival admission rising to $175. Beginners are welcome too – prices for a pack of classes start at $50. The festival continues through New Year’s Day.

Ahoy matey! You might encounter this fearsome foursome at Boarded! A Pirate Adventure Saturday at the Maritime Museum. Photo credit: @sdmaritime, via Facebook.

Still need a little Christmas (or more options to entertain the fam)? Better late than never, two shows make a last-second entry for the holidays.

One of the classics, A Charlie Brown Christmas comes to the Balboa Theatre Friday at 1:30 and 5 p.m. The show depicts the hapless Charlie Brown trying to wrangle his friends into producing a proper Christmas program. It also features the timeless Vince Guaraldi Trio score from the 1965 animated special. Admission starts at $34.

A Magical Cirque Christmas drops in at the San Diego Civic Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Saturday as cirque artists from all over the world perform their daring feats, accompanied by your favorite holiday music, played live. Limited tickets remain.

In addition, several ongoing holiday shows close Sunday. They include: at Balboa Park, How the Grinch Stole Christmas! and Ebenezer Scrooge’s Big San Diego Christmas Show; the Cygnet Theater, A Christmas Carol, and the Horton Grand Theatre, A Christmas Story.

Many a child young and old would thrill to being a pirate’s first mate. “Boarded! A Pirate Adventure” at the Maritime Museum of San Diego gives them the chance. Climb aboard and jump right in the middle of the action, navigating the bay, sword fighting and more. Performances are 90 minutes long with check-ins at 10:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. Saturday. There’s also a a costume contest for children 12 and under. Admission starts at $40 for adults and $25 for children.

Also on Saturday, the New Children’s Museum hosts “Pajama Jam!” a family night out ahead of New Year’s. It includes a catered dinner, crafts, dancing and even a big countdown balloon drop a la Times Square. Admission costs $35 for adults and $25 for children.

– Staff reports

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