The Coast News Group

Start the holidays at the Rancho

CARLSBAD — Start your holiday celebration with Holiday at the Rancho from 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 1 at Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic State Park, 6200 Flying L.C. Lane.Santa will arrive for the tree-lighting ceremony at 5:15 p.m. The evening will also include cookie decorating, face-painting and pony rides. Visitors can write their own letter to Santa or create wooden gift tags, ornaments and more.

Parents can get some holiday shopping done at the craft boutique or tour the Hacienda. Bring a warm blanket and a chair and finish the evening gathered around the giant outdoor movie screen for the classic holiday film, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

The Carlsbad teen program, L.I.T.E. will sell hot dogs, bratwurst, nachos, chips and popcorn for the movie. Presale tickets are $5 per person and available at all Carlsbad community centers through Nov. 29. Tickets are $8 at the door. Children 3 and under are free. To purchase tickets, call (760) 602-7510 or visit