Entertainment & Events

San Diego’s Holiday Lights Celebrations

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It is holiday time in San Diego, and although we won’t be having a white Christmas, San Diegans have come out in full force to see the holiday spectacles around the city. Some of the most memorable and most highly anticipated holiday events include the December Nights celebration at Balboa Park, the Holiday Festival at the Hotel Del Coronado, the Del Mar Holiday of Lights, the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights, as well as community parades in Encinitas, La Jolla and North Park.

While many celebrations including December Nights in Balboa Park, and many holiday parades happened this last weekend, there are still some great memories to be made.

Get your family and friends together, brew up some hot chocolate, a peppermint mocha, or hot glass of egg nog and enjoy these two great celebrations now. There’s time for shopping later.

Del Mar Holiday of Lights

Spending cold evenings bundled up in a warm car while mom and dad drive around local neighborhoods looking for Christmas Lights is a family tradition for many San Diegans. If you want to skip the guessing game and see how the professionals do it, stop by Holiday of Lights where you’ll see the best holiday displays around.

The Holiday of Lights at the Del Mar Fairgrounds is the largest animated drive-through light on the West Coast boasting more than 400 displays. Themed displays include Candy Cane Lane, Toyland, San Diego County Fair, Treasures by the Lake, Del Mar Racetrack, the Twelve Days of Christmas and Elves at Play.

You can either drive through in your own car, or enjoy the Holiday of Lights the old-fashioned way in the Holiday Hayride. Hayrides leave every half hour from 5:30 pm-8:30 pm on Friday, Dec. 10 and 17. The added benefit is that guests will enjoy live holiday music and fire pits for roasting marshmallows before and after your festive ride.

Hotel Del Coronado Holiday Festival

The Hotel Del is a wonderful attraction any time of year, but the historic hotel transforms into a winter wonderland during the holidays every year.

This year’s theme is “The Sweetest Season”, which incorporates decadent décor such as sugar plums, peppermint swirls and lollipops in addition to 100,000 lights that illuminate the hotel’s grounds.

The whole family will enjoy visiting Santa in Santa’s Village. There will be games and prizes as well as hot cocoa and fireworks to enjoy.

Photos from nicblockley and Jim Epler via Flickr

San Diego resident for over 10 years, I now call this beautiful city home. Originally from the Bay Area, I'm a California girl at heart. I love the outdoors, fitness, food, and a good craft beer (from San Diego of course).

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