Winter Fun

Cooler weather is upon us, but that doesn’t mean the San Diego fun has to end. Right now is the perfect time to check out favorite local destinations and mark the calendars for upcoming events. Whether you want an active outdoors adventure or a peaceful retreat, 92130 residents don’t have to travel far. Gather friends and family or gear up for a solo excursion as you take a tour through local offerings.

Outdoor Adventures

Botanic Wonderland

Spend an enchanting evening outdoors this holiday season at the San Diego Botanic Garden during its Botanic Wonderland: Holiday Nights in the Garden event, held December 3-8, 10-15, 17-23, and 26-30 from 5 to 8:30 p.m. The family-friendly festival features a fun zone, festive crafts, face painting, visits from Santa, and even real snow for the kids, and live entertainment, food trucks, a shopping bazaar, and beer and mulled wine for you. The whole family will enjoy thousands of twinkling lights, a dazzling 10-foot poinsettia tower, and holiday treats.

The event will be held in the brand new Dickinson Family Education Conservatory filled with unique and unusual tropical plants, and for the first time ever, select areas of Hamilton Children’s Garden and Toni’s Treehouse will be lit up and ready to play in during December evening hours.

Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve

Get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and suburbia, and take time to savor San Diego’s natural beauty. Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve is a 4,000-acre oasis. Explore on your own, or join the Friends of the Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve for a guided hike or wildlife tracking class with expert rangers. Don’t forget to watch the weather! Bring water and sunblock for sunny days, and remember the preserve is closed for rain.

photo by Alan Smith Photography

The preserve is also home to the historic Rancho Santa Maria de los Peñasquitos ranch house, the second-oldest standing residence in the county, which is open for tours Saturdays at 11 a.m. and Sundays at 1 p.m.

The Sporting Life

From the Stands

Fall football gets all the hype, but there are several winter sports that are just as thrilling to watch, including boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, girls water polo, and wrestling. Perhaps it’s all the cheering or running into friends and neighbors, but one thing is for sure: there’s something about attending a high school sports game that really makes you feel like you’re part of a community. Whether you’re supporting the Torrey Pines High School Falcons or the Canyon Crest Academy Ravens, get in on the action this season by heading out to your local field or court.

Catching Air

The Carmel Valley Skate Park is a 33,000-square-foot sporting paradise, open to skateboarders, skaters, and rollerbladers. Experts and novices alike can hone their skills in this concrete playground, open daily from 10 a.m. to dusk.

Remember to bring helmets, elbow pads, and knee pads – safety equipment is strongly encouraged. Ages five and up can also register for skateboarding classes through the City of San Diego Parks and Recreation Department.

Local Flavor

Farmers Markets

Fresh food and fresh air are a winning combination. From local produce to handcrafted treasures to live music, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at North County farmers markets.

Rancho Bernardo Farmers Market
Thursdays: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
16535 Via Esprillo

Rancho Bernardo Certified Farmers Market
Fridays: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
13330 Paseo Del Verano Norte

Poway Certified Farmers Market
Saturdays: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
14134 Midland Rd.

PQ Certified Farmers Market
Saturdays: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
9400 Fairgrove Ln.

Del Mar Farmers Market
Saturdays: 1 – 4 p.m.
1050 Camino Del Mar

Rancho Santa Fe Farmers Market
Sundays: 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
16079 San Dieguito Rd.

Leucadia Farmers Market
Sundays: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
185 Union St.

Solana Beach Farmers Market
Sundays: 12 – 4 p.m.
444 South Cedros Ave.

Dining Deals

San Diego Restaurant Week returns Jan. 19 to 26, with over 180 participating restaurants offering special prix fixe menus. The biannual event celebrates San Diego’s diverse culinary culture, and it’s the perfect chance to indulge in your family’s favorite local spot or taste-test a brand-new dining destination.

Participating North County restaurants include Avant, Draft Republic, Vintana Wine + Dine, 333 Pacific, CUCINA Enoteca Del Mar, Mille Fleurs, and Poseidon on the Beach. No tickets are needed, but make your reservations in advance to beat the hungry crowds!

Read & Relax

Loving Our Library

There’s always something new to discover and experience at the Carmel Valley Library. Stretch your mind with book club discussions, or stretch your legs with yoga classes. Get creative with art classes and writing workshops. Learn about the rest of the world through educational programs or listen to music with the whole family during the monthly concert series. Or, just pick up a book and cozy up for a few hours.

The library is constantly developing new programs to meet community needs – drop in to see what’s going on.

Scenic Spa Day

With the Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve as the scenic backdrop, the Fairmont Grand Del Mar offers a variety of relaxing opportunities for all of its visitors – whether you’re spending the night or just an afternoon. The resort’s pool and golf course are perfect for unwinding on a warm day, but you’ll still find a piece of paradise at the indoor spa on days with cooler temps.