Christmas holidays
The Holiday Market at Petco Park continues through Dec. 23. Photo credit: Screen shot, mlb.com/padres

It’s December so the countdown is on for Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa – you ready? No one says you have to be right this second. Let the festivities get you in the spirit this San Diego weekend.

It’s December Nights time at Balboa Park, one of the biggest local seasonal celebrations. The family friendly event offers up larger-than-life decorations, entertainment on four stages, free entry to various park attractions, including the San Diego Zoo, many projects for youngsters, photos with Santa and food and vendors spread out over eight zones. And it’s priced like your local street festival – admission is free. Gates open at 3 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday.

Take me out to the holiday fest? That’s not the way the song goes, but Holiday Market will attract crowds to Petco Park for local artisans, Christmas lights, seasonal snacks, Santa (not Soto) and other holiday characters to boot. You have select dates to choose from through Dec. 23. Admission starts at $14 for adults and $10 for kids, with slots from 4 to 10 p.m. Book them online.

You may want to root on Team USA Saturday for the World Cup, but you’ll have to be up earrr-lllly – 7 a.m. O’Brien’s Pub in Kearny Mesa will be open and other restaurants have pledged to open their doors for U.S. games. See our World Cup watch party list for details.

More than 100 local creatives head to the Makers Arcade Holiday Fair at Broadway Pier Saturday and Sunday starting at 10 a.m. each day. Enjoy shopping experience, as well as photo displays, food, live music, cocktails, workshops and more. Performers include Nathan & Jessie and Morning Glory Family Band. Admission is $6 online ($7 at the door), including a free make-and-take holiday wreath.

Servers will be ready with big pots of chili at the SoNo Fest. Photo credit: @SoNoFestandChiliCookOff via Facebook

The Pacific Southwest Railway Museum’s North Pole Limited takes to the tracks with elves singing Christmas carols, reading Christmas stories to children and passing out cookies and hot chocolate. Two special passengers jump on for the return trip, Santa and Mrs. Claus. The train ride, starting at the Campo Depot, lasts for approximately 90 minutes and continues Fridays and Saturdays through Dec. 17. Fare starts at $35 for adults, $25 for kids and $10 for toddlers if they sit on a lap, with first-class tickets available.

Prefer some non-holiday entertainment? Comedy superstars Dave Chapelle and Chris Rock conclude their two-day stand at San Diego State’s Viejas Arena at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Will Rock talk about the big slap (’cause Will Smith is)? Will Chapelle refer to the SNL opening last month that got everyone talking? You’ll have to go to see, but find tickets at StubHub. Primary tix are sold out.

Want more comedy? Another master of the trade, Adam Sandler, follows Sunday at Viejas. His tour, nearing its end in Las Vegas and Phoenix, stops at SDSU for an 8 p.m. show. Tickets start at $39.

South Park and North Park will have a lot of tasting to do at 11 a.m. Sunday for the SoNo Fest & Chili Cook-Off. The fundraiser for McKinley Elementary School features dozens of chefs from local restaurants including the Kindred, Ponce’s and Wise Ox. Start from Thorn and 32nd streets. Tasting passes start at $22.


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Ellen Bullock