Holiday Events for the Whole Family This December

‘Tis the season! Whether you’re young, or young at heart, there’s plenty of opportunities to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year!

  • Kids and adults can “hang-ten” with Santa during Surfin’ Santa Arrival along San Diego Bay. Dressed in board shorts, Santa arrives to this bay front shopping complex by watercraft; following his arrival, a lively parade takes place on the Seaport Village boardwalk, along with festive entertainment, live holiday tunes, stilt walkers, an eco-friendly tree lighting ceremony and more. Guests can also take photos with Santa and enjoy holiday crafts.
  • Cultural delights abound during the annual Balboa Park December Nights. This popular holiday event is the largest free community festival in San Diego and includes carolers, live entertainment, dance performances, children’s rides, free admission to the Park’s museums and cultural institutions (from 5:00 to 9:00 PM) and delicious foods from around the world.
  • During the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights, more than 100 private boat owners decorate their boats with holiday lights and sail along the waters of San Diego Bay, followed by an extravagant fireworks show over the water. Great views are available on dry land from Shelter Island, Harbor Island, the Embarcadero, Seaport Village, Marina Park and Coronado’s Ferry Landing.
  • The annual Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade takes place in downtown’s Gaslamp Quarter, where dressed-up pets and their owners march down the historic neighborhood’s decorated streets. Awards are presented for the best-dressed pups, and the event ends with a free public Pet Expo offering complimentary goodie bags filled with pet keepsakes and samples, toys and special discounts to some of the Gaslamp Quarter’s pet-friendly restaurants and shops.
  • Unwrap some magic this holiday season and partake in the festive fun, at the North Park Toyland Parade & Holiday Fair. Gliding down University Avenue between Utah and Iowa Streets, this cheerful pageant will feel like a Winter Wonderland, as melodious marching bands, upbeat dance groups, cool vintage cars, beauty queens and city officials (and more!) warm your spirits.
  • Holiday Wonderland at Petco Park provides a spectacular holiday destination for all. For 12 nights in December, there will be fun for people of all ages. Get in the spirit and walk through the magical lighting displays, ride Polar Express trains, explore Candyland, feed live reindeer, take a photo with Santa near a 40′-tall Christmas Tree, enjoy the festive fare and so much more!
  • Children and adults alike can enjoy the Hotel del Coronado’s seasonal kick-off, Holiday Festival…A Family Celebration, featuring a beachfront ice skating rink, holiday booths with games and prizes, a special appearance by St. Nick and his elves at Santa’s Village, hot cocoa and other libations. A festive fireworks show provides an unforgettable ending for the day’s events.
  • Guests can get in the holiday spirit during the Annual Coronado Christmas Parade and Open House. Children can play in real snow on Snow Mountain at the Coronado Ferry Landing and greet Santa Claus as he arrives to Coronado by ferryboat. Other highlights include a popular Holiday Parade and Merchants Open House along Orange Avenue (closed to cars), followed by the traditional lighting of a 50-foot Christmas tree and free community concert in Rotary Park.

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