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.

Updated May 26 2016 by San Diego Beaches and Adventures

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

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 2016 admission free.

The Nutcracker - December 11 to 23 2015. No Christmas season would be complete without the The Nutcracker ballet one of the best San Diego Christmas activities. Buy tickets at

Jingle Bell Run/Walk - December 12 2015 starting at 8 AM at Balboa Park San Diego (Park Blvd. and Presidents Way). Put on your reindeer antlers or other holiday costume and running shoes in the fun San Diego event to support the Arthritis Foundation.

Christmas Gifts - Personalized 2016 Tide Calendar - Now is a great time to order personalized photo calendars. 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 Personalized Calendars see

Holiday Festival…A Family Celebration - Wednesday December 2 2015 from 4pm - 9pm 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

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Mission Bay Christmas Parade of Lights - Saturday December 12 2015 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 5 2015 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.

La Jolla Christmas Parade and Holiday Festival - Sunday December 6 2015. 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 1:30 pm in downtown La Jolla at Kline & Gerard. After the parade is a festival with crafts, games, fun and food, and Santa. The tree lighting begins around 4:30.

Disneyland Christmas - November 13 2015 - January 6 2016. Disneyland Christmas holiday time at the happiest place on earth. Take your loved ones on a Disneyland Christmas holiday vacation. Disneyland Christmas 2014

Legoland Holiday Snow Days - November 21 2015 to January 32016. Enjoy some fun snow play at Legoland. Try snow tubing, ice skating or make a snow ball. Special discount rates apply. Fireworks Dec. 26 - 30. 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

Del Mar Santa by the Sea - Sunday December 6 2015 from 3 - 6 PM. Horse and carriage rides, Santa, cake walk, live music, tree lighting and more in downtown Del Mar. More fun Christmas activities for this holiday season.

Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! - Nov. 7 - Dec. 26 2015 at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego Balboa Park. Christmas activities wouldn't be the same without the Grinch. Shows at various times, and some shows may be adults only. Get your San Diego Grinch Tickets at

Julian Christmas Tree Lighting - Saturday after Thanksgiving (Nov. 28 2015) 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

Gaslamp Quarter Holiday Pet Parade - Sunday, December 13 2015 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. $15 to $20 to register and free to watch.

Garden of Lights - December 5 to 23 and 26 to 30 2015 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. For more information see

San Diego Bay Parade of Lights - Sunday December 13 and Sunday Dec. 20 2015 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.

Big Bay Balloon Parade - December 30 2015 10 AM 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

The Del New Year’s Eve Gala - New Years Eve San Diego party at The Del, Hotel del Coronado. Ring in 2016 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. Additional parties for children and teenagers including dinner, beach games and bonfire. For additional information about the Hotel Del New Years Eve Party see

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

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