While the seasons seemingly never change in sunny San Diego, you can still feel the holiday spirit in the air. Take a break from crowded Christmas shopping and tedious present wrapping to experience the best holiday events that America’s Finest City has to offer:
Balboa Park – December Nights
When: Friday, December 1st – Saturday, December 2nd | 12:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Where: Balboa Park
For the 40th year in a row, San Diego will kick off the winter season with one of the country’s best holiday events. Historic Balboa Park will be the site of the action, featuring cuisine from around the world, unique gift shopping, exhibitions at the various museums, and entertainment from a number of local dance groups and musicians.
Encinitas Holiday Parade
When: Saturday, December 2nd | 5:00 PM – 7:30 PM
Where: Coast Highway 101, Encinitas
Another longstanding holiday tradition returns to the immaculate beach city of Encinitas as the 31st annual Holiday Parade will once again make its way down Highway 101 in the city’s famous downtown district. Thousands of people will line the streets to catch a glimpse of impressively decorated floats, exciting live performances, and a grand appearance by Santa himself.
Holiday Celebration and Laser Light Show
When: Wednesday, December 6th | 5:00 PM – 7:30 PM
Where: Del Mar Highlands Town Center
Although the always popular Del Mar Holiday of Lights is no longer, the Laser Light Show is here to fill the void. Taking place at the impressive Del Mar Highlands Town Center, this family-friendly celebration will include caroling, hot chocolate, cookies, and two fascinating light shows, both highlighted by a visit from Santa. Don’t miss out on this unique event!
Poway Christmas in the Park
When: Saturday, December 9th | 3:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Where: Old Poway Park
For a free event that guests of all ages can enjoy, look no further than Poway Christmas in the Park. The annual celebration includes all of the holiday classics, from a tree-lighting to caroling to a visit from Santa. Bring family and friends for what is sure to be a night to remember!
Mission Bay Christmas Boat Parade of Lights
When: Saturday, December 9th | 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Where: Various Locations
You won’t find any holiday events quite as quintessentially “San Diego” as the Mission Bay Parade of Lights. More than 60,000 spectators are expected for this one of a kind celebration that will feature over 100 uniquely decorated boats and other aquatic vessels making their way around beautiful Mission Bay. The parade will begin at 6:00 PM near the Belmont Park roller coaster. Grab a blanket and a warm beverage and make your way to any of the premier viewing locations around the bay (Crown Point, Santa Clara Point, Vacation Island, or Fiesta Island.)