A study commissioned recently by the Family Research Council showed that gay men have far sweeter singing voices than straight men. OK, we just made that up. But we do know that the San Diego Gay Men's Chorus is fantastic. Conduct your own study by heading to the Balboa Theatre (868 Fourth Ave., Downtown) on Saturday, Dec. 15, or Sunday, Dec. 16, for the chorus' holiday concert, Ice & Spice. The show, which promises to blend chilly winter with a tropical getaway, will feature unique arrangements of classic Christmas tunes, plus medleys and the West Coast premiere of a song called "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" by arranger Ken Clifton. Tickets for the 8 p.m. Saturday show are $25 to $43; tickets for the 3 p.m. Sunday performance are $21 to $38. sdgmc.org
Hillcrest is a mecca of great restaurants and shops. If you ever wished you could eat your way through the neighborhood, sampling the fine fare from 36 of the area's best eateries, you got your wish, you chunky monkey. Back again is Taste 'N' Tinis, a self-guided walking tour of Hillcrest's gastronomic offerings happening Thursday, Dec. 13, from 5 to 9 p.m. Restaurants covering the "taste" part of this event include The Tractor Room, India Palace, Crest Café, Snooze and Osteria Origano. As for the holiday-inspired "Tinis" that will be served, those will be handed out at various shops, like Urban Outfitters, Cathedral (pictured above) and Twirl, to attendees 21 and over. Many of those stores will also be offering discounts, so you can also get some holiday shopping done. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 day of.
The green thumbs at City Farmers Nursery (4832 Home Ave., City Heights) are getting in the holiday spirit with a hands-on edible gifts class. Starting at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 16, the cooking class will cover how to turn homegrown goods into DIY-style gifts using a few basic ingredients and a jar. The cost for two hours of instruction and supplies is $3, and attendees must bring their own canning jars. The key to proper canning is having a jar with a strong seal, so for those who are unsure, there's a selection for sale at the nursery. If sweets seem like more suitable gifts for the fam than jarred fruits and veggies, there's also an edible ornaments and holiday cookie segment of the class.
If you're old enough, you remember slide projectors-maybe your parents had one and brought it out every now and then to show relatives photos from that awesome summer trip to Yellowstone. In garages and attics nationwide, those slides sit gathering dust and Charles Phoenix would love to get his paws on them, especially the Christmas ones. Each year, Phoenix-a fan of vintage Americana- takes to the road for his Retro Holiday Show where he shares the best of his slide collection, offering witty commentary on the quirks and trends of mid-century America. He'll also chat about some of his fave San Diego landmarks and share what he's been working on in his test kitchen-a place where he creates strange dishes that either were, or surely should have been, popular in the 1950s and '60s, like the Cherpumple, an unholy marriage of a cherry pie, pumpkin pie, white cake and applesauce cake. Catch Phoenix at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, at the Scottish Rite Temple (1895 Camino del Rio South, Mission Valley). Tickets are $25.