Liberty Station ice rink and tree lighting kickoff holiday events
Published - 11/28/19 - 10:30 AM | 9881 views | 4 4 comments | 51 51 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The return of the Nutcracker Tea Party by San Diego Ballet will take place 3:30-5:30 p.m. on Dec. 15 at Building 177.
The return of the Nutcracker Tea Party by San Diego Ballet will take place 3:30-5:30 p.m. on Dec. 15 at Building 177.
From ice rinks to artworks to a big tent show in a Christmas-themed village, Liberty Station has it all this year in its holiday extravaganza.

Each year, Liberty Station hosts a full event calendar during Yuletide known as “Salute the Season.”

Festivities kicked off with the opening of Rady Children’s Ice Rink in mid-November, leading up to the Liberty Station Tree Lighting and Holiday Festivities on Friday, Nov. 29.

Rady Children’s Ice Rink

For the fifth year in a row, and more than two decades in the making, Rady Children’s Ice Rink again welcomes 40,000-plus skaters to enjoy a manmade outdoor winter wonderland daily (except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day) from 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

Tickets, with skate rental and helmets included, is $15 per person, per day for adults, $13 for children and $10 with military identification, or $50 for a punch card offering five skates. Group reservations/school field trips are also available by calling 619-221-1970 or via email at [email protected]

Rink sponsors this year include San Diego Gulls, NBC 7/Telemundo, Radio Latina, Quick Dry Flood Services, Nordstrom, Sentre, Inc., Cigna, Kitchell, Team Select Home Care, and Barona.

“It will really set the scene for a magical holiday season, providing families a great way to have fun and also support patients and families at the Peckham Center,” said Bridgett Brown, Rady Children’s Hospital Auxiliary president about the ice rink, a fundraiser to support the psychosocial programs and services offered through Rady Children’s Peckham Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. Those programs and services include bereavement and supportive care, child life services, social workers, translators, parent liaisons and entertainment.

Currently, 75 percent of children treated for cancer will become long-term survivors. Rady helps link those children and their families to services while providing education about healthy lifestyle choices, ensuring the best possible outcome for each child.

Tree lighting and holiday festivities

Salute the Season’s main event, Liberty Station tree lighting, and festivities take place Nov. 29 in the North Promenade from 4 to 9 p.m. Visitors will enjoy a magical evening with the iconic 88-foot Norfolk pine tree being lit from top to bottom by a Rady Children’s Hospital patient family. There will also be live entertainment, festive firetruck rides and free photos with Santa.

Following the lighting, attendees are encouraged to stop by one of Liberty Station’s restaurants. Everyone is then welcome to set up lawn chairs and picnic blankets for an outdoor viewing of “The Grinch” movie, which will be projected onto a sail movie screen. 

Friday Night Liberty holiday extravaganza

Come for the art, stay for the concert. Arts District Liberty Station invites guests to get (((amplified))) on 5-9 p.m. Dec. 6 with a free concert featuring San Diego- based musician Whitney Shay with opening act, Lauren Leigh, in Bldg. 177. Sip and stroll while you shop for holiday gifts with a creative twist, enjoy lively entertainment and new culinary and creative experiences. Salute the Season at the holiday-themed Local Bazaar Pop-Up Market and enjoy drinks from Amplified Ale Works & Revolt Wine Co. First Friday details are at

Natale - Journey To The North Pole

New this year is Natale – Journey To The North Pole, a circus-style big tent show set in a Christmas-themed Holiday Village that runs Nov. 14 - Dec. 6. Created by Spain’s La Fiesta Escénica, and making its U.S. debut in partnership with La Fiesta Shows, Natale features a nostalgic holiday experience with top acrobatic performers and dancing animatronic polar bears. The show also has an array of unique and inspiring surprises.

South Promenade with be converted into a “Holiday Village” affording visitors a Polar Experience that will include train rides, a glacier-like climbing wall, and a bounce house, as well as sponsors and numerous vendors selling holiday treats, merchandise, and food.

Tickets and information are at

San Diego Ballet Nutcracker Tea Party

The return of the second annual Nutcracker Tea Party by San Diego Ballet will take place 3:30-5:30 p.m. on Dec. 15 at Building 177. Tickets are $55. Locals and visitors once again can partake in this family-friendly event featuring a joyous afternoon of narrated performance of the “Nutcracker” by San Diego Ballet. 

Enjoy scrumptious treats and hot cocoa along with photo opportunities with Santa, as well as an interactive demonstration by the ballet.

Said Laurie Albrecht, director of the Liberty Station CommunityAssociation: “When we brought this event to the community for the first time last year, we knew it would become a beloved tradition. Liberty Station’s Building 177 transforms into a whimsical winter wonderland for attendees of all ages to gather and celebrate the season, while fully engaging in an interactive performance of “The Nutcracker” by the San Diego Ballet, a Liberty Station tenant.

Small Business Saturday

Get a head start on holiday gifts and begin your search locally during Small Business Saturday on Nov. 30. As one of San Diego’s top destinations, the former Naval Training Center offers a wide range of locally owned stores for shoppers to explore unique gifts in each of its districts.

Hanukkah and Menorah Lighting

Guests are invited to Liberty Station to celebrate the annual Hanukkah & Menorah lighting at 5 p.m. Dec. 22, the final event of the Salute The Season holiday festivities.

In partnership with Chabad of Downtown San Diego and Chabad of Pacific Beach, the event takes place in between The Lot and Rady Children’s Ice Rink. Prepare for a magical night at Liberty Station as guests are welcomed for a family-friendly evening filled with music and other holiday surprises.

Following the celebration, visitors may enjoy a night of outdoor ice skating at the Rady Children’s Ice Rink, which will stay open until 10 p.m.

For more information, visit


- Rady Children’s Ice Rink – Nov. 14 - Jan. 5, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

- Tree lighting and holiday festivities main event – North Promenade, Nov. 29, 4-9 p.m.

- Small business Saturday – Nov. 30, all day.

- Friday Night Liberty holiday extravaganza – Dec. 6, 5-9 p.m.

- Nutcracker Tea Party with San Diego Ballet – Sunday, Dec. 15, 3:30-5:30 p.m.

- Natale — Journey to the North Pole – Nov. 14 – Dec. 1.

- Hanukkah and Menorah lighting – Sunday, Dec. 22, 5-9 p.m. between The Lot and Rady Children’s Ice Rink.
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