‘Tis the Season for Holiday Pop-Ups in San Diego

Everybody loves a good pop-up. These fleeting experiences are a great way for creative entrepreneurs to bring immediate experiences to adventurous fun-seekers. A good pop-up is like cotton candy — it spins up quickly, only lasts for a moment, and leaves a sweet memory when it’s gone. The fact that pop-ups aren’t meant to last only makes being a part of them even more special. 

Here are some of the more interesting pop-ups happening in and around San Diego this holiday season. Check them out before they close up shop!

Camp Cucina (2.5 miles from the hotel)

The Beloved Cucina Urbana restaurant in Bankers Hill was hit hard by a COVID-19 closing in spring of this year, and unlike many of its sister restaurants, wasn’t able to reopen when restrictions eased. All is not lost, however. The eatery’s owners have opened on a limited basis as the Camp Cucina pop-up, offering classic dishes from Friday-Sunday. They’ve also partnered with Snake Oil Cocktail Co. to offer a curated beverage program. Due to limited seating, reservations are essential. 

1735 Hancock St. San Diego, CA 92101

SoCal Etsy Guild (3 miles away)

San Diego’s crafting community will be convening to offer this magical maker pop-up at Westfield Mission Valley on December 5th. Akin to an artisans’ bazaar, this temporary shopping opportunity will be offering handmade gifts, art, vintage items, and wearables, all made by gifted local creators. Anyone looking for something special and completely unique won’t want to miss it. Click here for more information.   

1640 Camino Del Rio N, San Diego, CA 92108

Miracle (3.5 miles away)

Like most good pop-ups, the here-today/gone-tomorrow magic of Miracle is wholly unique. The concept was born in 2014 when proprietor Greg Boehm took his mother’s advice to pump the brakes on construction of a more rooted cocktail lounge in favor of creating something with a less-permanent focus. Every year since, Miracle emerges like a jack-in-the-box to great fanfare, serving festive drinks and décor in a setting that’s been likened to a slightly off-kilter holiday office party. This year you can catch Miracle at Polite Provisions. Check the Miracle website for more info and reservations.    

4696 30th St, San Diego, CA 92116

Lane Field Park Market (5.3 miles away)

We’ve certainly missed good old-fashioned street fairs lately. That’s what makes this event such a special one. Some of San Diego’s best street-food vendors will be on hand to serve classic grab-and-go fare in a convivial festival-feel environment at the Lane Field Park Market. Nibble your way along one of the most beautiful stretches of oceanfront in a city filled with little but, play a few outdoor lawn games, enjoy some live music, and celebrate the spirit of SoCal.

1009 N Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101

Sippin’ Santa (7.8 miles away)

Conceived as a sister concept to Miracle, Sippin’ Santa proposes an alternate-reality take on everyone’s favorite jolly old elf, recasting him as a purveyor of pop-up Polynesian potables. The Sippin’ Santa concept is presented again by Jeff Boehm in association with tiki guru Jeff “Beachbum” Berry and serves holiday-themed drinks of a slightly more island-inspired persuasion. Expect aloha shirts, hula music, and potent beverages like the “Kris Kringle Colada” and “Parrot in a Pear Tree” infused with rum, fruit, and lots of beachy fun. You’ll find Sippin’ Santa at The Grass Skirt through the end of the month.

910 Grand Ave, San Diego, CA 92109 

Tokyo Hot Chicken (16.3 miles away)

Noted chef Michael Mina (of International Smoke) is taking his talents to the pop-up arena. His latest venture is a delivery-only enterprise called Tokyo Hot Chicken, a fusion concept that blends the (literal) hottest trend in takeaway — Nashville-style hot chicken — with a decidedly Japanese twist. Offering several varieties of the delicious delicacy (along with inspired sides like furikake fries and wasabi mashed potatoes), Tokyo Hot Chicken will no doubt have happy diners relishing a little warmth this winter. 

3387 Del Mar Heights Rd Suite 100, San Diego, CA 92130

Enchanted Village (19 miles away)

Celebrate the spirit of the season — safely. Noah HomesEnchanted Village is back for 2020 and has become a safe and socially distanced drive-through event. This year’s merry and magical display features more than 100,000 brilliant holiday lights, attractions, music, and interactive exhibits, all of which can be enjoyed from the safety of your vehicle. Proceeds from tickets to the event will benefit the developmentally disabled, so it’s also a great way to give back. 

12526 Campo Rd, Spring Valley, CA 91978