Christmas Events in San Diego

There’s so much to do in San Diego during the holiday season. With parades, light displays, plays and even seeing Santa himself, there’s surely something for everyone to enjoy! Here is a list of some of the top Christmas events happening in San Diego!

Balboa Park December Nights

December Nights is San Diego’s largest free festival with more than 350,000 attendees each year! This free, two-day holiday celebration consists of food from around the world, carolers, live music, holiday light displays, and dancing performances, what could be better than that?! Numerous museums will also be opening their doors free of charge from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

The festivities kick off on Friday, December 7 from 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. and run through Saturday, December 8 from noon to 11:00 p.m.

Be sure to visit for tips and tricks on transportation/parking for the event!

Skating by the Sea at Hotel Del Coronado

There is never a shortage of things to do during the holiday season at San Diego’s most famous hotel. Events include Sunday Brunch with Santa, Holiday Ornament and Artwork, and the beachside Jingle Roast, but by far the most popular activity the hotel boasts is Skating by the Sea.

Skating by the Sea is the ultimate Southern California experience and a great activity for the whole family! The rink is located on the Windsor Lawn and features stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and Coronado Beach. Skating sessions will be offered daily and will run through New Year’s Day. Tickets are $30 per person and guests are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance.

Jungle Bells at The San Diego Zoo

During Jungle Bells, the famous San Diego Zoo is transformed into a winter wonderland! Twinkling lights, special performances, and festive food fill the zoo. Santa will also be making appearances before Christmas to hang with the kiddos, with the help of his elves. Other Santa-themed adventures include 4-D experiences and Dr. Zoolittle’s Animal themed version of “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” The grounds will also be filled with colorful lights in the form of sculptures of animals!

The fun kicks off on Dec. 8 and concludes on Jan. 1, with the park open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Neighborhood Christmas Lights- Candy Cane Lane, Garrison Street, Christmas Card Lane, Belardo Lights

Each year, neighborhoods in San Diego work to create magical displays that are sure to make everyone’s eyes sparkle. Here are a few of our favorite neighborhoods to visit if you’re looking for some holiday magic!

Candy Cane Lane (Poway)- This cul-de-sac is themed like the North Pole and each house is estimated to have over 50,000 lights! Decorating typically begins the day after Thanksgiving and the official opening is usually the second week in December. Be sure to check out their Facebook page for more updates throughout the season!

Location: Hickory Court, Hickory Street, off Twin Peaks Road and Silverset St.

Garrison Street (Point Loma)– These high-end homes go all out during the holiday season! You can either drive throughout the neighborhood or walk around to get an up-close experience. People usually make their way over to see the lights around 5:00 p.m. and the streets are filled until 10 p.m. when the lights are shut off.

Location: 3616 Garrison St.

Christmas Card Lane (Rancho Penasquitos)– This neighborhood specializes in creating larger than life Christmas themed cards as well as homes covered in lights. The best time to go is between 7-8 p.m. to ensure that all of the lights are turned on. Most displays are up and finished by the second week in December.

Location: Ellingham Street and Oviedo Street, just off Black Mountain Road.

Belardo Lights (Tierrasanta)– Although Belardo Lights is just a single house; it does not disappoint! It is San Diego’s most famous computerized holiday lighting display and was started in 2006 by Randy and Brandon Schimka as a gift to their sons. Make sure to turn on your radio to FM 106.1 to hear holiday music in sync with the lights. Feel free to visit anytime before New Year’s Day! For more information, visit

Location: 5306 Belardo Drive.

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