Holiday Spirit: A Christmas Tabernacle

Santa Claus is coming to town a tad bit early this year to help ignite Christmas cheer at San Diego’s new three-day festival. A Christmas Tabernacle is a family-friendly community-oriented event that is helping San Diegans “Experience the gift of Christmas” from 11am-8pm, Dec. 16th – Dec. 18th at Liberty Station in Point Loma.

Featuring a wide variety of holiday attractions, entertainment, and approximately 20 food and 100 shopping vendors, this three-day festival is guaranteed to become a San Diego holiday tradition. With A Living Nativity showing multiple times throughout each day, attendees will get the chance to see a performance featuring the birth of Christ as well as extravagant displays, costumes, and live animals. Or young festivalgoers can catch a photo with Santa Claus and his live reindeer at Santa’s Village where there will be a snow hill and play area.

More perks include a themed Christmas tree forest, an elf workshop, Christmas concerts and plays, a cookie decorating station, and horse ‘n carriage rides. The Christmas tree forest features more than 50 uniquely themed trees, decorated from various organizations in San Diego, such as NBC San Diego, Rubio’s, San Diego Symphony and more. These trees will be donated after the event to less-fortunate families. At the workshop, participants get the chance to be an elf for a day by learning how to make chocolate, wreathes or ornaments. These items can be taken home or donated to a charity, such as Toys for Tots, Rady Children’s Hospital and the Salvation Army.

Christmas-themed plays, such as “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “The Nutcracker,” will provide continuous Christmas cheer and entertainment across two stages. View other entertainment acts here. From Ventriloquist Keven Johnson to the House of Blues Gospel Brunch Choir, these shows will keep both children and adults in the Christmas spirit. But the amusement isn’t only focused on the stages, as every day there will be various ground performances, such as strolling musicians, balloon twisting, and caricatures. And the Fun Zone also provides interactive entertainment with video games, bounce houses, a snowboard simulator, and inflatable water party balls.

Participants can decorate cookies to their sweet tooth’s desire or they can check out food vendors, such as Crepes & Corks, Klassy Kernel Kettle Cord, Fat Franky’s Funnel Cakes and Roasted Corn, Oggi’s Pizza & Brewing Co. and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. Or if trying to do some last-minute shopping, there will be approximately 100 local retail vendors to choose from, such as Sutton Sunglasses, Artists Ink, Apple Box Wooden Toys, Heritage Silver Wear and City Lights Christmas Store. View the full list of vendors here.

One-day general admission tickets cost $18 for adults, $15 for seniors or military, and $12 for children 4 though 12 years old. Or, buy two days to get the third free. $50 VIP tickets (only 500 available per day) get you festival admission, all access and priority lines to attractions, premium reserved seating at the main stage, $10 meal voucher, $5 decorated cookie voucher, complimentary horse ‘n carriage ride, and discounts on photos with Santa or his reindeer. For more information, call 619.754.9508 or visit

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