Christmas Activities

Activities for Christmas in San Diego

Join in these fun Christmas Activities and Christmas Holiday Events in San Diego, CA. Visit with Santa and see the spectacular holiday tree lights in San Diego.

Last updated July 29 2014

For other San Diego, Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Solana Beach, Del Mar, La Jolla, and Coronado events and activities in Southern California during November and December, see
San Diego Events November and San Diego Events December.

Holiday Events and Christmas Events

Kids Christmas Activities

Christmas Gifts - Personalized 2015 Tide Calendar - Now is a great time to order personalized photo calendars for 2014. You can order calendars with the graphical tides, so you can tell when it is a great time to go the your favorite beach. Great Christmas gifts and happy memories. To order your 2014 Personalized Calendars see www.calendarlink.biz.

Holiday Festival…A Family Celebration - December 4 2013 from 4pm - 7pm at Hotel del Coronado. Enjoy outdoor ice skating at Coronado beach, and a visit with St. St. Nick and his elves at Santa’s Village at The Del. Sip hot cocoa, libations, and enjoy the festive entertainment and fireworks. The resort’s 100,000 twinkling white lights will provide a magical backdrop for the evening’s festivities. For more information and schedule see www.hoteldel.com.


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Mission Bay Christmas Parade of Lights - Saturday December 14 2013 7 PM at San Diego Mission Bay Park. Free SD holiday parade at 7 PM followed by fantastic firework display at 9:00 PM. More than 60,000 people are expected. The best viewing is from Riviera Shores, Crown Point, Santa Clara Point, the east side of Vacation Island the west side of Fiesta Island.

Encinitas Holiday Parade - free event December 7 2013 starting at 5 PM in downtown Encinitas Cal. Holiday parade and tree lighting ceremony in historic Encinitas. Tree Lighting Ceremony at 5:00 pm in the Lumberyard shopping center courtyard on Coast Highway 101. The Parade begins at 5:30, heading south along Coast Highway 101 from D Street to J Street. encinitasparksandrec.com

La Jolla Christmas Parade and Holiday Festival - Sunday December 8 2013. Join in the holiday fun with horses, floats and antique planes fly over earlier in the day, with the La Jolla San Diego parade starting at 2 pm in downtown La Jolla at Kline & Gerard. After the parade at 3:30 is a festival with crafts, games, fun and food, and Santa. The tree lighting begins at 4:30. www.ljparade.com

Disneyland Christmas 2013 - November 12 2013 - January 6 2014. Disneyland Christmas holiday time at the happiest place on earth. Take your loved ones on a Disneyland Christmas holiday vacation. Disneyland Christmas 2013

Legoland Holiday Snow Days - November 29 - December 31 2013. Enjoy some fun snow play at Legoland. Special discount rates apply only $59. Legoland California

Photo credit Rancho Noel Trees, Potrero

Cut Your Christmas Tree - No list of Christmas activities would be complete without the holiday tradition of cutting your own Christmas tree from a local farm in San Diego. For a list of farms or lots see www.cachristmas.com

Holiday Wonderland in Del Mar - Saturday December 7 2013 from 2 - 6 PM. Horse and carriage rides, Santa, cake walk, live music from 4 – 5 pm, and 5 pm tree lighting and more in downtown Del Mar. Highway 101 from 15th street to 11th street. More fun Christmas activities for this holiday season. www.delmarmainstreet.com

Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! - Nov. 16 - Dec. 28 2013 at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego Balboa Park. Christmas activities wouldn't be the same without the Grinch. Shows at 11 AM, 2 PM and 5 PM. Kids under 3 allowed at 11 AM shows only. Get your San Diego Grinch Tickets at www.theoldglobe.org

Julian Christmas Tree Lighting - Saturday after Thanksgiving (Dec. 1 2013) at Julian’s Pioneer Park. Festivities to open the Christmas season begin at 4 PM, and the tree lighting at 6 PM in the charming historic town of Julian. Christmas carols, Santa. Free admission for this Christmas event. For more information about the Julian Living Christmas Tree see www.julianca.com

Gaslamp Quarter Holiday Pet Parade - Sunday, December 8 2013 at 3 PM. Wear you holiday costume and join the parade. Prizes for Best Costumed Duo, Cutest Critter, Best Pet Costume & Best of Show. Enjoy the pet expo from 1-5 PM, parties, and more. $10 to register and free to watch. www.gaslamp.org

Garden of Lights - December 7 – 23, 26 – 30 2013 from 5 – 9 PM at San Diego Botanic Gardens (formerly Quail Botanic Gardens) in Encinitas. Dazzling light display, holiday crafts, horse drawn wagon rides and more. Tickets $4 to $12 per person. For more information see www.sdbgarden.org

2013 Del Mar Holiday of Lights - Note: This event will not be held in 2013 due to efforts to widen the turf at the Del Mar Race Track. So check back in 2014 for this fun San Diego tradition. Every night 5:30 – 10:00 except closed some Mondays) (10:30 pm on Fri. and Sat. This fun family event is the largest animated drive-through light show on the West Coast. 400 lively displays. $15.00 - $20.00 per car. Hayrides $10 (buy tickets in advance) No motorcycles or two-wheel vehicles allowed. Driving directions: Exit Interstate 5 at Via de la Valle and enter the fairgrounds on Jimmy Durante Blvd. (Buy discount tickets for $12.00 at San Diego County Albertsons|Sav-on stores starting in mid-November) One of the local favorite San Diego events in December. Holiday of Lights

Grinchmas at Universal Studios Hollywood - Grinchmas returns to Universal Studios in late December through the holidays. Get in the holiday spirit with the Grinch, at Universal Studios Hollywood, and get 2014 admission free.

The Nutcracker - Dec 13-22 2013. No Christmas season would be complete without the The Nutcracker ballet one of the best San Diego Christmas activities. Buy tickets at www.cityballet.org.

Jingle Bell Run/Walk 2013 - December 14 2013 8 AM at Balboa Park San Diego (Park Blvd. and Presidents Way). Put on your reindeer antlers and running shoes in the fun San Diego event to support the Arthritis Foundation.

San Diego Bay Parade of Lights - Sunday December 8 and Sunday Dec. 15 2013 from 5:30 – 7:30 PM. The parade of decorated boats starts at southwest end of Shelter Island, and travels past Harbor Island, the Embarcadero, Seaport Village, Coronado Ferry Landing Marketplace before ending at the navy carrier turning basin. This years theme at San Diego Bay Parade of Lights is “The Sounds of Christmas”. www.sdparadeoflights.org.

Big Bay Balloon Parade 2013 - Monday December 30 2013 in downtown San Diego CA. The Port of San Diego brings this televised exciting family event full of marching bands, magnificent floats, drill teams and enormous balloons. Family Festival activities afterwards at the Broadway Pier. For more information, or to pre-order your Grandstand tickets for preferred seating at the San Diego Big Bay Balloon Parade, see www.holidaybowl.com

The Del New Year’s Eve Gala - 2013 New Years Eve San Diego party at The Del, Hotel del Coronado. Ring in 2014 at a San Diego New Years party, and expensive but delightful evening. Champagne reception in the magnificent Crown Room, followed by a lavish dinner and dancing in the oceanfront Ballroom. Ages 21 and older only. Tickets cost ~ approximately $275. Additional parties for children and teenagers including dinner, beach games and bonfire. For additional information about the Hotel Del New Years Eve Party see www.hoteldel.com.

Other Fun Things to Do in San Diego - For other fun events and activities in December, see San Diego Events December.

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