Events & Entertainment at Liberty Station
Arts District at Liberty Station
The Arts District Liberty Station encompasses not only the visual arts but the performing arts as well. There are several dance companies that make their home here, including Malashock Dance and the San Diego Ballet. The National Comedy Theater offers improv comedy shows four nights a week in the style of the popular program "Whose Line Is It Anyway?"
The Art District's First Friday is the biggest innovative arts event in San Diego. It takes place on the first Friday of every month from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public and includes live theatrical, dance, and amplified music performances, as well as the opportunity to meet local working artists.
Statue at Arts District in Liberty Station
Installations at the Station is a rotating program during which the sometimes forbidding grounds of the former Naval Training Center play host to a diverse array of site-specific outdoor art. The installations will remain in place for up to one year, after which time new temporary art projects will be chosen to go on display.
ArtWalk San Diego is an annual fine arts festival that takes place citywide. ArtWalk @ Liberty Station takes place in the Arts District during August and allows visitors to experience art al fresco, that is, outdoors under natural light. ArtWalk activities include live music, a wine-and-beer pavilion, street food options, and interactive art opportunities for all ages.
Festival of Books
The Festival of Books is another annual event that takes place at Liberty Station in the summer. This event is a celebration of the literary arts. Every year 15,000 attendees of all ages can visit Author Alley, where over 60 writers and artists showcase their work; see panel discussions featuring local and national speakers; and enjoy family-friendly activities at the Children's Pavilion where authors of children's books are present.
Salute the Season
However, not all special events at Liberty Station take place in the summer. Salute the Season is a series of seasonal activities that take place in November and December to celebrate winter holidays, including Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukkah.
Salute the Season kicks off with the opening of the Rady Children's Ice Rink in mid-November. The ice rink remains open seven days a week until the culmination of the event in December, and the proceeds go to the Thriving After Cancer program at Rady Children's Hospital. The Rady Children's Ice Rink is actually part of our Holiday Season Guide to San Diego Christmas Activities.
The Nutcracker Tea Party with the San Diego Ballet is a family-friendly event that takes place as part of Salute the Season festivities. Cookies and hot drinks are served, and Santa Claus makes a visit, but the main event is an interactive performance of The Nutcracker Suite.
Another family-friendly event during Salute the Season is the lighting of the tree. In addition to the tree lighting, this hours-long event includes other activities that may include live entertainment, pictures with Santa, outdoor movies, and fire truck rides.
Salute the Season concludes with a special Hanukkah celebration to light the menorah. This family-friendly evening includes music and other holiday surprises. After the ceremony concludes, the ice rink will remain open until 10:00 p.m. that evening before closing down for another year.