It should be as plain as the nose I’m about to lick on your face that I live for the holidays. Being a cute, cuddly four-legged mammal, I’m ideally positioned to be a frequent recipient of this time of year’s spirit of giving. And I’m more than happy to reciprocate by, well, licking your face, hands, or shoe (your preference).
This dynamic of giving and receiving is nowhere more apparent than during the annual Balboa Park December Nights, when dozens of park organizations and the City of San Diego throw the biggest free public holiday party in the known universe for over 300,000 guests. This year’s kick off to both the holidays and the 2015 Centennial Celebrations is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 5, 3-11pm, and Saturday, Dec. 6, noon-11pm.
Thousands of volunteers will once again don their gay holiday apparel, tune up their singing voices, polish their brass bells, and serve up vats of holiday cheer. From traditional holiday performances and decorations to contemporary dance music and dazzling light displays, Balboa Park December Nights offers a little something for all creatures great and small.
In addition, every museum in the Park will be open free of charge from 5pm to 9pm on both Friday and Saturday nights. And believe me, it is no small matter for a museum that normally sees only a couple thousand or so visitors a week to be suddenly inundated with over a thousand visitors every hour!
In spite of this embarrassment of holiday richness thrown your way, you need not fret about the giving being a one-sided affair. With scores of vendors and food stations spread throughout the Park, including at the Spanish Village Art Center and the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages, there will be plenty of opportunities to show your appreciation. Most museum gift stores will be open as well, with proceeds from all sales supporting the respective museum’s mission. And, yes, they do take plastic — though not in the form of chewed up toys, I'm told.