DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: DEC. 17-JAN. 29

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East County News Service

December 17, 2016 (San Diego’s East County)--This week’s Destination East County includes full moon fishing at Lake Jennings, a concert of many strings, Santa’s reindeer at Grossmont Center, a winter solstice hike up Cowles Mountain, a holiday homes tour and more.

Plus, we’ll tell you about coming attractions  including excursions to Split Mountain in the Anza Borrego desert, a New Year’s Eve party at Viejas, and a wintertime walk up Mt. Helix.

So scroll down for all of these events and many more!

A CHRISTMAS CAROL:  THROUGH DEC. 17 IN JULIAN

Julian Theater Company will present Charles Dickens' “A Christmas Carol” at the Julian Town Hall  with a final performances on December  17th.  This classic holiday tale reveals the transformation of Ebenezer Scrooge, who discovers the holiday spirit after visits by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and future.

(Tickets cost $15 adults, $8 children 12 and under) For tickets and more information visit  http://www.juliantheatercompany.com.

FULL MOON FISHING DEC. 17 AT LAKE JENNINGS

You can fish beneath a full moon and stars at Lake Jennings in Santee on Saturday, December 17th, when the lake will remain open until 10 p.m. A full-sized lantern is required after 5 p.m. For more information, you can visit www.LakeJennings.org.

GUITARIST JIM EARP DEC. 17 AT SAN PASQUAL TASTING ROOM

Fingerstyle guitarist Jim Earp will entertain guests at the San Pasqual Winery Tasting Room in La Mesa (8364 La Mesa Blvd).  on December 17th from 7 to 10 p.m. He performs original material in a Hawaiian-slack-key-meets-Celtic guitar vein- plus sings a host of covers from The Police to 70's folk-rock a la Neil Young and James Taylor.

 For details visit www.SanPasqualWinery.com.

JINGLE! SAN DIEGO GAY MEN’S CHORUS AT SYCUAN DEC. 17

The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus will present “Jingle!” a holiday concert at Sycuan’s Live and Up Close Theatre.  This festive musical event will take place on December 17th at 6:30 p.m. and again at 9 p.m.  For tickets and details, visit www.Sycuan.com.  

A RENTED CHRISTMAS THROUGH DEC.18 IN LA MESA

Lamplighters Theatre in La Mesa presents the musical “A Rented Christmas” continuing through December 18th.  

A bachelor and prominent businessman has a challenging job for a rental shop proprietor. He wants to rent a Christmas complete with a wife, a family, and all of the happiness for which he has been secretly longing. A ’rented’ Christmas soon turns into a new life for all concerned, making this a warm and special holiday treat.

For tickets you can visit http://www.lamplighterslamesa.com.

MANY STRINGS CONCERT DEC. 18 AT MISSION TRAILS

Mission Trails Regional Park will present a (free) “Many Strings” concert on December 18th at 3 p.m.  featuring hammered dulcimer and guitar. Their instrumental music is a delightful mix of Renaissance, Celtic, American and classical melodies. Many-Strings performs in San Diego's finest art galleries and, on a weekly basis, performs for Scripps La Jolla and Mercy hospitals.  For details, visit the Mission Trails website at www.MTRP.org.

SANTA’S REINDEER AT GROSSMONT CENTER DEC. 18

Grossmont Center welcomes some special visitors from the North Pole! On December 18th, two of Santa’s reindeer will be in the center courtyard from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.   Of course, youngsters can also visit with Sant Claus, too!  For more information, visit www.grossmontcenter.com.

KENSINGTON HOLIDAY HOMES TOUR DEC. 18

On Sunday, December 18, 2016 from 12:00-4:00 p.m. the Kensington Holiday Homes Tour will present a tour of five homes in Kensington, each decorated by professional interior designers. This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to see some of San Diego’s unique and historical homes that showcase elegant architectural features in their original settings. The tour benefits the San Diego Center for Children. For tickets and details visit www.CenterforChildren.org.

CELIA LAWLEY, THE SINGING AND CLOGGING FIDDLER DEC. 22

Celia Lawley, a singing and clogging fiddler, will be performing at Parkway Plaza shopping mall in El Cajon on December 22nd. You’re invited to clap and dance along with this talented local songwriter and performer from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Center Court under the Christmas Tree.

For details on this and other holiday concerts you can visit www.ShoppingParkwayPlaza.com.

COWLES MOUNTAIN WINTER SOLSTICE WALKS DEC. 20-22

To experience the winter solstice,  the Mission Trails Regional Park Trail Guides will lead pre-dawn hikes to the area of the solstice observatory atop Cowles Mountain on December 20th and 22nd. On the 21st, Canyoneers of the San Diego Natural History Museum will lead the hike.

The age of the site is unknown. The Kumeyaay Native Americans used similar sites across Southern California. For all three hikes, visitors may be rewarded by seeing the rising sun split by a peak on the eastern horizon.

All hikes start at 6 a.m.  The solstice site is approximately one mile up the trail. The ascent will be in the dark, so good shoes and a flashlight are recommended. Meet at the Cowles Mountain Staging Area on the corner of Golfcrest Drive and Navajo Road. Plan on a two hour hike to and from the solstice site.

LA MESA CONVERSATIONS HOLIDAY MIXER DEC. 21

La Mesa Conservations invites you to a holiday mixer on Wednesday, December 21 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at  Centifonti’s Bar & Restaurant, 8365 La Mesa Blvd . in La  Mesa. The evening will be an opportunity to meet neighbors, talk about the new changes at City Hall, and discuss the progress in La Mesa as we approach 2017. Get details and RSVP (it’s free!) at www.LaMesaConversations.org.

NOW FOR A PREVIEW OF COMING ATTRACTIONS…

SPLIT MOUNTAIN EXCURSIONS: THURSDAYS IN DEC. AND JAN.

Winter is a wonderful time to warm up with a visit to the Anza-Borrego Desert. California Overland Adventures will be leading excursions to Split Mountain in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park each Thursday in December and early January starting at 10:30 a.m. 

The adventure begins with an off-road ride in a military truck that rumbles into Split Mountain, where you’ll see the enormous slot canyon and towering rock walls where earthquakes and flooding split the mountain in half. 

Then a one-mile trek uphill will reward hikers with views of wind caves formed by erosion, with panoramic views of the desert below. Participants must be in good physical health for this excursion into a land of dramatic geological formations.  For reservations or details on this or other desert adventures, you can visit www.CaliforniaOverland.com.

NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY AT VIEJAS DEC. 31

Once again, Viejas Resort will host its signature New Year’s Eve ball drop reminiscent of the one in New York’s Times Square.  You can rock the house with fellow revelers in the Park at Viejas and party under the stars while awaiting the ball drop.

Other options include cocktails in the park or party seating in the Oak Ballroom. For more information you can visit www.Viejas.com.

WALK UP MT. HELIX JAN. 7

You’re invited to start the New Year off on the right foot by joining the Grossmont Mt. Helix Improvement Association’s Walk Up Mt. Helix on Saturday, January 7th at 10:00 am.

Walkers will gather at the Fire Station on Vivera and stroll to the summit. At the amphitheater, enjoy live music by Jan McBride Jazz, tasty refreshments, and the beauty of this unique community.

This (free) event is open to everyone in the community to join old friends, meet new neighbors, and relish a beautiful morning in the Park. Children and dogs are welcome to participate.

ICE SKATING AT VIEJAS NOW THROUGH JAN. 29

The largest outdoor ice skating rink in Southern California is open at Viejas from now through the holiday season, until January 29th.  Under the glow of holiday lights, guests and visitors can glide around the rink or enjoy seasonal goodies. Feel the cool Pacific mountain air on your face while you bunny hop, camel spin, and swizzle your way around our ice rink—right here in San Diego.  For details you can visit www.Viejas.com.

That’s all for this week!

If you have an event you’d like added to our calendar, or if you would like to sponsor the Destination East County column on our website, or the Destination East County show on KNSJ radio, you can contact editor@eastcountymagazine.org   Destination East County is the most-read feature on our website.

We’ll be back next week with more festivals, events and attractions in San Diego’s East County!


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