Dec. 28 2011 12:27 PM

Our top three picks of San Diego events this week

Jamuel Saxon will be at Luce Loft, will you?
Photo by Anthony Levas

The final countdown 

We at CityBeat worked tirelessly for weeks compiling the coolest places to eat, drink, rage and even explore your gay side on Saturday, Dec. 31, for our annual New Year’s Eve Guide. Some of you may have already gone through the handy list and picked your countdown destination, but we’re sure a few of you lazy bastards are still twiddling your thumbs. Because it’s the season of generosity, here’s a roundup of our four favorite New Year’s Eve events (and you can find more New Year’s Eve options here):

The Lafayette Hotel (2223 El Cajon Blvd. in North Park) will host some of San Diego’s best rock bands to ring in 2012—Transfer, The Silent Comedy, The Creepy Creeps, Low Volts and The Heavy Guilt. Tickets are $35 in advance, $45 day-of. Get your tickets ASAP because this will likely sell out.

Arts nonprofit Sezio will have the hipsters going wild at Luce Loft (1037 J St. in East Village) for a black-tie dance party featuring a DJ set by Jamuel Saxon. There’ll also be projections from Charles Bergquist and a photo-booth installation by Tommy McAdams. Entry to this shindig is $20.

If sweaty, shirtless dudes and body glitter is your thing, you can’t go wrong with the New Year’s Massive going down at Rich’s (1051 University Ave. in Hillcrest). DJ Nikno and Kiki will spin top-40 jams until 4 a.m. There’ll also be a $1,000 cash balloon drop at midnight. A $20 ticket gets you into Rich’s for parties all weekend long.

Feel like going retro? The Griffin (1310 Morena Blvd. in Bay Park) has you covered with a speakeasy-themed party featuring live jazz, soul singers, burlesque performances, belly dancers, casino games and more. There’ll be a hosted bar and champagne toast, too, and you get it all for $40.

Airing of grievances

Grandma’s bedazzled sweaters. Watching your sister make mashed potatoes from a box mix. Finding out your dad put your expensive bottle of red wine in the fridge. Nothing’s quite as cathartic as sharing all the funny-bad things your family subjected you to during the holidays. Even better is hearing other folks’ holiday horror stories. Show up to Whistle Stop Bar (2236 fern St. in South Park) at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 28, when So Say We All presents Home for the Holidays, as part of the ongoing VAMP (visual art, music, performance) multimedia storytelling series. The event is in its third year; previous years’ lineups have included witty titles like “The Hipster’s Hanukkah,” “Gay for Christmas” and “Should’ve Gone Skiing with the Jews.” For a prelude to the tales, get there by 8 p.m. for a performance by Weezer cover band Geezer.

Their own two hands 

If you’re looking for a way to entertain the kids before they head back to school after the holiday break, check out the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park—this week, the folks there brought back the Tinkering Studio, which was last available in 2009 and will now be permanent. It’s a hands-on workshop where visitors (not just kids, mind you), with the help of staff and volunteers, can tap into their inner inventor by creating toys, tools and other objects using all sorts of materials. The goal is to spark inspiration and creativity—and it’s so much better than letting the kids sit around in front of their screens playing the video games they got for Christmas. Just tell them they’re one step ahead of Thomas Edison or Leonardo Da Vinci—they never had anything like this.

Does your event deserve to be in our top three? Email our events editor, Alex Zaragoza. You can also bug her on Twitter.