Fun photos of 2017 Christmas on the Prado!

Energetic elves run about the colonnade of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion during 2017 Christmas on the Prado in Balboa Park!
Energetic elves run about the colonnade of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion during 2017 Christmas on the Prado in Balboa Park!

Look at all these fun photos! I took them today in Balboa Park, where the 2017 Community Christmas Center’s “Christmas on the Prado” is being held, even as I type this.

I caught the very beginning of the annual family-friendly event. Various activities and musical entertainment on the stage of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion emphasize the religious importance and meaning of Christmas. The central feature is an extensive life-size nativity display showing Biblical events leading up to the birth of Christ.

When I walked around Balboa Park during the afternoon, I noticed other holiday decorations are going up all throughout the park. Next weekend the big December Nights event will be held, which is one of the nation’s most popular and spectacular holiday festivals!

Even with that smile, you can't fool me Mrs. Claus! That's not really Santa!
Even with that smile, you can’t fool me Mrs. Claus! That’s not a real Santa!
A bunch of folk from the North Pole were getting ready as Christmas on the Prado was almost set to open.
A bunch of folk from the North Pole were getting ready among toys as Christmas on the Prado was almost set to open.
These outstanding U.S. Marines were collecting Toys for Tots during the annual family-friendly event.
These outstanding U.S. Marines were collecting Toys for Tots during the annual family-friendly event.
I learned kids would be playing pin-the-carrot-on-the-snowman!
I learned kids would be playing pin-the-carrot-on-the-snowman!
First up to sing were those elves. They attend Dailard Elementary School. Funny songs included Silly Humans and Elfie Selfie.
First up to sing were those elves. They attend Dailard Elementary School. Funny songs included Silly Humans and Elfie Selfie.
Lots of parents were in the large crowd waving.
Lots of parents were in the large crowd waving.
This elf probably thought I was a silly human, who asked her to smile for my camera!
This elf probably thought I was a silly human, who asked her to smile for my camera!
Christmas on the Prado emphasizes the religious importance of the holiday. Scenes in the Spreckels Organ Pavilion show Biblical events leading up to the birth of Christ.
Christmas on the Prado emphasizes the religious importance of the holiday. Scenes in the Spreckels Organ Pavilion show Biblical events leading up to the birth of Christ.
I spy four smiling faces in this photo. Can you count them?
I spy four smiling faces in this photo. Can you count them?
As the evening becomes chilly, a line will form at the Gingerbread House for cookies, cocoa and coffee.
As the evening becomes chilly, a line will form at the Gingerbread House for cookies, cocoa and coffee.

Here are some additional photos from around Balboa Park today. The first two I took at the International Cottages…

A beautiful small Christmas tree inside the House of Sweden cottage.
A beautiful small Christmas tree inside the House of Sweden cottage.
Visitors to the House of Norway were making all sorts of holiday crafts.
Visitors to the House of Norway cottage were making all sorts of holiday crafts.
Artists were selling their work not far from the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. I spied some truly amazing Christmas artwork created by Katrina Bittar. I learned that the core of each delicate piece is papier-mâché.
Artists were selling their work on some grass near the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. I spied some truly amazing Christmas artwork created by Katrina Bittar. I learned that the core of each delicate piece is papier-mâché.
All sorts of fun holiday stuff can be found in Balboa Park's Spanish Village Art Center. Seems it's going to be a Meowy Christmas!
All sorts of fun holiday stuff can be found in Balboa Park’s Spanish Village Art Center. Appears it’s going to be a Meowy Christmas!
I bought 3 bags of cookies from this happy elf in front of the Casa del Prado. I believe funds were being raised for the San Diego Junior Theatre.
I bought 3 bags of cookies from this happy elf in front of the Casa del Prado. I believe funds were being raised for the San Diego Junior Theatre.
A bunch of elves are running loose in Balboa Park!
A bunch of elves are running loose in Balboa Park!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Holiday by the Bay opens in San Diego.

Holiday by the Bay in front of the Hilton San Diego Bayfront opened on Thanksgiving. There is an ice rink, Christmas-themed miniature golf and many colorful lights.
Holiday by the Bay in front of the Hilton San Diego Bayfront opened on Thanksgiving. There is an ice rink, Christmas-themed miniature golf and many colorful lights.

During my walk this evening I noticed that Holiday by the Bay has opened. It’s Thanksgiving Day.

Cheerful lights surround a small ice rink and a fun Christmas-themed miniature golf course in front of the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. While just one person was skating as I walked by, it looks like a wonderful place to spend some time!

Holiday by the Bay is open until New Year’s Day. With every ticket purchased, Hilton will give $1 to USO San Diego. According to the Hilton website, one can eat breakfast outside here with Santa!

Best of all, it’s a place of innocent joy and peace. On beautiful San Diego Bay.

It's early evening. Someone enjoys the ice rink on San Diego's beautiful waterfront.
It’s early evening. Someone enjoys the ice rink on San Diego’s beautiful waterfront.
It's almost sunset on Thanksgiving. Some cheerful Christmas trees are lit.
It’s almost sunset on Thanksgiving Day. Some cheerful Christmas trees are lit.
Lights, fun and good cheer await visitors to Holiday by the Bay!
Lights, fun and good cheer await visitors to Holiday by the Bay!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Volunteers restore habitat in San Dieguito River Valley!

Hard-working volunteers remove non-native vegetation in a small part of the San Dieguito River Valley.
Hard-working volunteers remove invasive vegetation in a small area of the San Dieguito River Valley.

Today I happened upon a bunch of energetic volunteers working to restore habitat in the San Dieguito River Valley! They were removing non-native vegetation near the Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead!

Lots of invasive, rapidly growing wild mustard appeared to be the main problem. I also learned from a friendly San Dieguito River Park ranger that mustard is highly flammable, much more so than California coastal sage and chaparral plants that are native to our arid region.

Today’s work, coinciding with Family Volunteer Day, was an effort of several organizations, including the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy. Their mission is to implement the vision of the San Dieguito River Park, a greenway that stretches all the way from Volcan Mountain near Julian to Dog Beach in Del Mar! Their conservation and educational programs, along with their purchases of land in the River Park planning area, will ensure that the beautiful San Dieguito River Valley will be a rich and healthy natural treasure for many lifetimes to come!

Want to learn more? Or maybe get involved? Here’s their website!

This Saturday event was part of Family Volunteer Day, a worldwide day of service promoted by generationOn.
This Saturday event was part of Family Volunteer Day, a worldwide day of service promoted by generationOn.
Youth have fun while they work to make the Earth a healthier place.
Youth have fun while they work to make the Earth a healthier place.
A San Dieguito River Park ranger had brought many pots of native lemonade berry to plant.
A San Dieguito River Park ranger had brought many pots of native lemonade berry to plant.
Another perfect day to work outdoors and help the environment!
Another perfect day to work outdoors and help the environment!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Are you a blogger? Do you want to help make the world a better place? You might want to join Bloggers Lifting Others Generously.

Holiday food drive in Hillcrest to help special kids.

Aseltine School's 2017 Holiday Food Drive takes place Wednesday, December 6, 530 pm to 730 pm, at Uptown Tavern in Hillcrest.
Aseltine School’s 2017 Holiday Food Drive takes place Wednesday, December 6, 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm, at Uptown Tavern in Hillcrest.

If you’re in San Diego, please consider participating in the Aseltine School’s 4th Annual Holiday Food Drive. It will be taking place on Wednesday, December 6, 2017, from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm at the Uptown Tavern in Hillcrest, which is located at 1236 University Avenue.

Bring non-perishable food items such as peanut butter, canned chicken and tuna, cereal, canned fruit and vegetables, soup and pasta. The food you bring will support students and families in need.

Aseltine School is a supportive, positive place where K-12 students are helped to overcome a variety of difficulties. Their innovative program transforms young lives. Learn more at Aseltine’s website.

Your generosity will be greeted with lots of big smiles!

Are you a blogger? Do you want to help make the world a better place? You might want to join Bloggers Lifting Others Generously.

Halloween fun and creativity in Balboa Park!

Kids at Halloween Family Day in Balboa Park color Dia de los Muertos skulls.
Kids at Halloween Family Day in Balboa Park color Dia de los Muertos skulls.

Today was Halloween Family Day in Balboa Park!

A lively crowd filled the park, roaming about in fun costumes, trick-or-treating, eating yummy food truck offerings, and enjoying all sorts of entertainment. But the coolest part of the event, in my opinion, was the opportunity to create all sorts of colorful Halloween art!

Many families filled El Prado during Balboa Park's fun Halloween Family Day.
Many families filled El Prado during Balboa Park’s annual Halloween Family Day.
The Timken Museum of Art had a table that helped kids learn how to make some cool Halloween artwork.
The Timken Museum of Art had a table that helped kids learn how to make some cool Halloween artwork.
A scary hand print and nearby smiling pumpkin treat.
A scary hand print and nearby smiling pumpkin treat.
A panda and his pals were providing music in the Plaza de Panama. People in Halloween costumes look on.
A panda and his pals were providing music in the Plaza de Panama. Young and old in Halloween costumes look on.
Decals were being applied to trick-or-treat bags in Spanish Village Art Center.
Decals were being applied to trick-or-treat bags in Spanish Village Art Center.
Anyone at the Japanese Friendship Garden could make a cool spider sucker holder using craftily bent black pipe cleaners.
Anyone at the Japanese Friendship Garden could make a cool spider sucker holder using craftily bent black pipe cleaners.
More fun Halloween coloring at the International Cottages table on El Prado.
More fun Halloween coloring at the International Cottages table on El Prado.
Flesh-eating plants displayed by the San Diego Carnivorous Plant Society appeared even scarier than usual!
Flesh-eating plants displayed by the San Diego Carnivorous Plant Society appeared even scarier than usual!
The San Diego Public Library was at the annual event promoting reading. Something a bit spooky might be perfect today.
The San Diego Public Library was at the annual event promoting reading. Something a bit spooky might be perfect today.
Even the Balboa Park electriquettes were dressed up for the occasion!
Even the Balboa Park electriquettes were dressed up for the occasion!
Making bats at the San Diego Natural History Museum table.
Making bats at the San Diego Natural History Museum table.
A beautiful glass pumpkin, that was made by the glassblowers of Spanish Village.
A beautiful glass pumpkin, that was made by the glassblowers of Spanish Village.
Kids learn how to sculpt in Spanish Village during Halloween Family Day.
Kids learn how to sculpt in Spanish Village during Halloween Family Day.
Yikes! That's really creepy!
Yikes! That’s really creepy!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Colorful photos of the Old Town Fall Festival!

A covered wagon in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park is decorated with fall colors in October.
A covered wagon in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park is decorated with autumn colors.

After walking a bit downtown, I took the trolley up to Old Town to enjoy the colorful Fall Festival!

I never tire of the wonderful events that can be found almost every weekend at Old Town San Diego State Historic Park!

Kids at the Old Town Fall Festival learn to make art with colored beans!
Kids at the Old Town Fall Festival learn to make art with colored beans!
Later in the day folks at this table would demonstrate how to make applesauce.
Later in the day folks at this table would demonstrate how to make applesauce.
Making environmentally friendly bird feeders using corn cobs, peanut butter and seeds.
Making environmentally friendly bird feeders using corn cobs, peanut butter and seeds.
Folks young and old were trying their hand at making corn husk dolls.
Folks young and old were trying their hand at making corn husk dolls.
Lady with old-fashioned parasol walks through Old Town San Diego State Historic Park's Plaza de las Armas.
Lady with old-fashioned parasol walks through Old Town San Diego State Historic Park’s central Plaza de las Armas.
Colorful leaves and a bountiful harvest frame the Welcome in an Old Town shop window.
Colorful leaves and a bountiful harvest frame the Welcome in an Old Town shop window.
A smiling señorita walks near some pumpkins.
A smiling señorita walks near some pumpkins.
An elaborate Día de los Muertos decoration standing beside the Fiesta de Reyes stage is bright with autumn colors.
An elaborate Día de los Muertos decoration standing beside the Fiesta de Reyes stage is bright with fall colors.
A flower-filled wheelbarrow in front of Seeley Stable.
A flower-filled wheelbarrow in front of Seeley Stable.
Ceramic pumpkins line shelves at an outdoor Old Town marketplace.
Ceramic pumpkins line shelves at an outdoor Old Town marketplace.
Ladies work on a quilt inside the Threads of the Past Living History Activity Center.
Ladies work on a quilt inside the Threads of the Past Living History Activity Center.
Kid learns how to plant seeds in front of the Wells Fargo History Museum.
Kid learns how to plant seeds in front of the Wells Fargo History Museum.
A Wells Fargo chest full of golden treasure!
A Wells Fargo chest full of golden treasure!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

Cool robots invade Maker Faire San Diego!

Flames rise from the fingertips of Robot Resurrection at 2017 Maker Faire San Diego in Balboa Park.
Flames rise from the fingertips of Robot Resurrection at 2017 Maker Faire San Diego in Balboa Park.

Balboa Park has been invaded! Cool robots of every size and description are roving throughout the park during 2017 Maker Faire San Diego!

Maker Faire San Diego seems to grow bigger every year. During this amazing event, eye-popping inventions and marvels of technology take over the heart of Balboa Park and many of its museums.

This morning I walked around feasting my mind on all sorts of creative stuff. Students, inventors, hobbyists and local clubs were proudly showing off their unique ideas and feats of engineering. Examples of 3D printing and robotics were everywhere.

Maker Faire San Diego continues in Balboa Park through Sunday. If you can, check it out for yourself!

Here are a few of the cool robots you might see!

2017 Maker Faire San Diego features lots of very cool robots, including 28 foot tall Robot Resurrection.
2017 Maker Faire San Diego features lots of very cool robots, including 28 foot tall Robot Resurrection.
A human operator emerges from the chest of the gigantic flame-throwing robot!
A human operator emerges from the chest of the gigantic flame-throwing robot! If this thing could walk it would be a formidable battle robot!
Human and robot fingers meet.
Human and robot fingers meet.
Robot Resurrection has a couple of tiny pals. Here's one.
Robot Resurrection has a couple of tiny pals. Here’s one.
Here's the other!
Here’s the other!
The very cool Electric Giraffe has returned again to Maker Faire San Diego.
The very cool Electric Giraffe has returned to the annual Maker Faire San Diego.
The Electric Giraffe can move about while using an array of sensors in its head. When the neck is raised, this crowd-pleasing robot is 17 feet tall.
The Electric Giraffe can move about while using an array of sensors in its head. When the neck is raised, this crowd-pleasing robot is 17 feet tall!
This cute cow robot is named Milky White. It can move its eyeballs, eyelids, ears, tail and jaws!
This cute cow robot is named Milky White. It can move its eyeballs, eyelids, ears, tail and jaws!
People at San Diego's annual Maker Faire in Balboa Park check out a very creative robot designed by a friendly young man.
People at San Diego’s annual Maker Faire in Balboa Park check out a very creative robot designed by a friendly young man.
Many schools from around San Diego are demonstrating their robot and other engineering projects during Maker Faire.
Many schools from around San Diego demonstrate robots and other engineering projects during Maker Faire.
The Robotics Society of Southern California has a sophisticated humanoid robot that moves realistically.
The Robotics Society of Southern California has a sophisticated humanoid robot that moves realistically.
The Glendale Robotics Academy had their Party Rover on display in the Japanese Friendship Garden.
The Glendale Robotics Academy had their Party Rover on display in the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Kids check out another robot in the garden.
Kids check out another robot in the garden.
A performance artist becomes a fun robot. People walking down El Prado posed for photos!
A performance artist becomes a fun robot. People walking down El Prado posed for photos!
This robot named Darth Zamboni was created by the Top Hat Technicians of High Tech High North County. It launches balls!
This robot named Darth Zamboni was created by the Top Hat Technicians of High Tech High North County. It launches balls!
Small autonomous cars on a track inside the San Diego History Center. They were being controlled remotely in order to gather navigational data.
Small autonomous cars on a track inside the San Diego History Center. They were being controlled remotely in order to gather navigational data.
Autonomous car technology being developed today utilizes deep computer learning.
Autonomous car technology being developed today utilizes deep computer learning.
A student participating in the First Robotics Competition demonstrates a small vehicle that they built. Many robots can be seen up close in the San Diego History Center.
A student participating in the First Robotics Competition demonstrates a small vehicle that their team built. Many robots can be seen up close in the San Diego History Center.
This competitive robot corrals balls and then launches them.
This competitive robot corrals balls and then launches them.
Cool robots of every size and description are on display throughout Balboa Park during 2017 Maker Faire San Diego!
Cool robots of every size and description are on display throughout Balboa Park during 2017 Maker Faire San Diego!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of fun photos for you to share and enjoy!