Christmas Activities

Activities for Christmas in San Diego

Join in these fun 2023 Christmas Activities and Christmas Holiday Events in San Diego, CA. Visit with Santa and see the spectacular holiday tree lights in San Diego. Enjoy this special time of year with your family in beautiful San Diego.

I love our Mediterranean climate in San Diego. Our winters are mild, so you can go ice skating on the beach, enjoy a sunny day in Balboa Park, or enjoy more traditional holiday activities.

Updated June 6, 2023 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

Balboa Park December Nights - Friday and Saturday dates TBD December 2023 at Balboa Park. Fun, food and lights. Don't miss out on one of the best San Diego events. For more information see

Snow n Glow Festival - December dates TBD 2023 select nights only Thursdays-Sundays from 4 PM- 9 PM. Enjoy the holiday lights and go snow tubing at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd, Del Mar, CA 92014

Lightscape Show San Diego Botanic Garden

Lightscape at San Diego Botanic Garden

Botanic Garden Lightscape - mid November 2023 - early January 2024 from 5:30 – 10 PM at San Diego Botanic Garden (formerly Quail Botanic Gardens) in Encinitas. Just extended to January 8 due to popular demand. This year the Garden of Lights will be more spectacular featuring the international Lightscape exhibition. Enjoy a one mile evening walk through the lighted garden filled with beautiful displays of light, including the "cathedral" of lights, a laser garden, neon trees, lantern trees and more. This is a special ticketed event with entry times every 15 minutes. Reservations required. For more information see

Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! - date TBD Nov. to Dec 2023 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

A Very Furry Christmas - tentative mid Nov to Dec 31 2023 at the new Sesame Place San Diego theme park in Chula Vista. A family-friendly celebration with your favorite Sesame Street characters. Sesame Place San Diego

Visit with Santa
Encinitas Holiday Parade - Tentative date TBD for 2023 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 TBD 2023. 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 - mid November 2023 - early January 2024. Disneyland Christmas holiday time at the happiest place on earth. Take your loved ones on a Disneyland Christmas holiday vacation. Disneyland Christmas

Legoland Holiday - mid November 2023 to early January 2024. Enjoy a trip to Legoland and see a holiday tree and some snow. Legoland California

Christmas Activities
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

Julian Christmas Tree Lighting - Saturday after Thanksgiving (Nov. 25 2023) 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

Gaslamp Quarter Holiday Pet Parade - date TBD December 2023. Dress up your pet (and you!) in a holiday costume and join the parade. See Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade details at

Big Bay Balloon Parade - December TBD 2023 starting at 3 PM 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

San Diego Christmas Ideas

San Diego Bay Parade of Lights - Sunday December dated TBD 2023 from 5 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.

The Del New Year’s Eve Gala - New Years Eve San Diego party at The Del, Hotel del Coronado. Ring in 2024 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.

To search for hotels and resorts for your stay in San Diego area, see aRes Travel.

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