Best Bets for the Break: A quick guide to online entertainment and virtual experiences

Richard Baird stars in North Coast Repertory Theatre's “An Iliad,” streaming now through Jan. 3.
(Courtesy )

This is a continuing series of online activities to undertake on your computer or tablet during your quarantine quandary.

Lectures & learning

• Lajollacooks4u, a team building and cooking events company, will hold “Hanukkah Cooking with Hillel,” a virtual cooking event benefiting Hillel of San Diego, at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 13. Chef Jodi Abel will prepare Hanukkah cuisine as registered participants follow along via Zoom with recipes and shopping lists provided in advance. Free. Register at

• Warwick’s bookstore presents author Richard Snow at 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 14, via Facebook Live. Snow will discuss his new book, “Disney’s Land: Walt Disney and the Invention of the Amusement Park That Changed the World,” in conversation with James Jensen. Free.

• The Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute presents “The Biology of Aging: Unraveling the Secrets of Healthy Aging” online at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 15. Researchers Peter Adams and Malene Hanson will present information about the genes and biology that contribute to age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and diabetes. Q&A will follow. Free.

• The La Jolla Community Center presents an Upbeat Holiday Seasonal Songfest at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 15, online, featuring Christmas-, Hanukkah- and winter-themed songs. Free. Registration is required at

• The La Jolla Community Center offers “Makeup Essentials for Zoom” at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 16, online as part of its Wednesday Connect series. The second of two classes, featuring Meagan Brown, will focus on makeup application, product recommendations and instruction on creating specific looks for all occasions. $12 for Community Center members; $15 for non-members. ljcommunitycenter-wednesday-connect

Susana Valente will speak on "Silencing the HIV Reservoir: The ‘Block and Lock’ Approach" via Scripps Research on Dec. 16.
Susana Valente will speak on “Silencing the HIV Reservoir: The ‘Block and Lock’ Approach” via Scripps Research online Wednesday, Dec. 16.

Scripps Research presents the next session in its online Front Row Lecture Series at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 16, titled “Silencing the HIV Reservoir: The ‘Block and Lock’ Approach.” Susana Valente will share her research that suggests it’s possible to block HIV’s ability to re-emerge — or wake up — by locking it in a long-term dormant state. Free.

• The Athenaeum Music & Arts Library presents “A Beethoven Birthday Extravaganza” at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 16, online. The lecture, led by Victoria Martino, will celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday with a synchronization of musical and visual material and dramatic readings from the composer’s correspondence. $17 for Athenaeum members; $22 for non-members.

• The San Diego Model Railroad Museum presents the next part in its “Modeler Citizens” series at 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 17, online. Lynne Thompson will speak about the history behind the “Jewels of the Season,” handcrafted ornaments created by San Diego artisans Florence Hord and Elizabeth Schlappi that have been displayed at the Timken Museum of Art for more than 20 years. Register at

• The La Jolla Community Center presents a holiday wine tasting event called “Raising Expectations” at 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 17, online. Certified wine specialist Stefano Poggi will instruct participants in pairing holiday meals with one or both of the Italian wines featured. $45 for both bottles of wine to be picked up at the Community Center or delivered free within the 92037 ZIP code. Register under “Virtual classes” at

Family & children

• La Jolla-based Quail & Ivy presents an etiquette workshop at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, online. The interactive 30-minute workshop for children ages 5-11 will include games and activities with lessons on everyday manners, polite communication and kind consideration. $15.

• The La Jolla Recreation Center presents virtual gingerbread house decorating at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 16, online for children ages 5-12. After registration, staff will coordinate a time for participants to pick up their gingerbread kits. Free. Register with activity code 8267 at

Art & culture

The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego will stream a reading of Gloria Evangelina Anzaldúa’s book “Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza” starting at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 12. Anzaldúa, who was an American scholar of Chicana cultural theory, feminist theory and queer theory, loosely based the book on her life growing up on the Mexico–Texas border. The reading will feature artists, academics, curators and students from around the country and is timed for the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

• City Ballet of San Diego presents “Behind the Mask” at 5:45 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, online. The livestreamed behind-the-scenes look at “The Nutcracker” will be hosted by Kim and Eric Roberts and will include previews of City Ballet’s upcoming “A Masquerade Nutcracker.” Free.

Lisa Bryson's "Homage IV" is part of the Mission Fed ArtWalk online through Dec. 31.
Lisa Bryson’s “Homage IV” is part of the Mission Fed ArtWalk online through Dec. 31.

• The 36th annual Mission Fed ArtWalk is virtual this year through Dec. 31. The festival showcases every medium of art, including painting, sculpture, glasswork, photography and fine jewelry. Free.

• North Coast Repertory Theatre is streaming “An Iliad” online through Jan. 3. The adaptation of Homer’s classic poem about the Trojan War stars Richard Baird and is directed by David Ellenstein. $35.

• La Jolla Playhouse presents Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” streaming online through Jan. 3. The filmed one-man version stars Tony Award winner and UC San Diego graduate Jefferson Mays. $50.

Virtual galas & events

• The La Jolla Community Center presents its 2020 Virtual Holiday and Benefit Concert at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10. The event will feature jazz musicians Peter Sprague, Leonard Patton and Tripp Sprague, along with raffles and a silent auction. Free, with contributions welcome.

What have you found for entertainment and other activity from a (social) distance? Email your leads to