Have fun with these San Diego Events in December. Enjoy these family activities, holiday and Christmas activities in San Diego, California. This is one of my favorite times of year - a great time to spend with family and December in San Diego offers a variety of indoor and outdoor fun.
Updated March 26, 2023 by San Diego Beaches and Adventures
Snow n Glow Festival - tentative early December 2023 - January 1 2024 select nights only Thursdays-Sundays from 4 PM- 9 PM. Enjoy the holiday lights and snow (snow tubing anyone) at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd, Del Mar, CA 92014 www.snownglow.com
Balboa Park December Nights - Friday and Saturday December 1 and 2 2023 at Balboa Park. Enjoy the lights, food and fun. Don't miss out on one of the best San Diego events. www.sandiego.gov/december-nights
La Jolla Christmas Parade Christmas and Holiday Festival - Sunday Dec. date TBD 2023 with parade starting at 1:30 pm. Join in the outdoor fun in downtown la Jolla at Kline & Gerard. After the parade is a festival with crafts, games, fun and food, and of course photos with Santa at the Rec Center. The tree lighting begins at 5:30. One of the traditional San Diego events December. For details see www.ljparade.com
Massage - Treat yourself this holiday season to a relaxing spa treatment, such as a massage, facial or couple's massage. Or give a gift certificate to a loved one.
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 gaslamp.org
Encinitas Holiday Parade - date TBD for 2023 on Coast Highway 101 between D street to J street in downtown Encinitas. Holiday parade and tree lighting ceremony. Tree Lighting Ceremony at 5:00pm 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.
Christmas at Disneyland - mid November 2023 to early January 2024. Spend the winter holidays at California Disneyland Resort. Disneyland celebrates Christmas and New Years with special fireworks, decorations, holiday parade with Santa and more for your Christmas at Disneyland.
Things to do at Home - Sometimes it is fun to just stay at home. See our ideas for Things to do at Home.
Hollywood - Drive up to Hollywood for the day or weekend. Take a movie studio tour (reservations recommended), find your favorite movie stars on the Hollywood walk of fame, go shopping on Rodeo drive, hike to the Hollywood sign, explore Griffith Park, and much more. Check out the best the Hollywood Attractions.
Knott's Berry Farm - Why not visit Knott's Berry Farm amusement park for the day? You can get some great deals on discount tickets, and free tickets on some days for military, fire and law enforcement. Check out the fun at a great price. Knott's Berry Farm Discount Tickets
Sunset at low tideWeekend Beach Walks - Saturday and Sunday Dec. 23 and 24 2023 from noon to about 4:00 PM will be a nice time to walk some of the local beaches at low tide. Best San Diego Beaches for Walking
Balboa Park Free Museum Tuesday for Residents and Military - Some museums are open by reservation only. Some Balboa Park museums are free on 1st - 4th Tuesdays of each month to locals (San Diego Cal. City & county residents), and active military and their families. The free admission is on a rotating basis. Check out the Free Tuesday Balboa Park museum schedule.
San Diego Harbor Waterfront – For a fun day in San Diego activity, enjoy a stroll along the San Diego waterfront and admire all the historic ships. Walk down to Seaport Village and visit the unique shops. For the young kids, reward them with an ice cream cone and a ride on the merry-go-round.
La Jolla Coast Walk - Enjoy this pretty walk along the beautiful La Jolla coast, especially nice during the holiday season. Bring your camera for some spectacular shots. See the famous La Jolla Children's Pool, which is usually occupied by a colony of harbor seals. Snap some photos of La Jolla Cove, Scripps Park, and the La Jolla Sea Caves. One of the best free San Diego outdoor activities. La Jolla Coast Walk
Explore Tidepools - December 11 to 15 and 23 to 29, 2023, at various times at low minus tides. Fall and winter are the best times to explore the San Diego tide pools. It's free and a great weekend kids activity. Here is a list of best times to visit and more information about the San Diego Tide Pools.
San Diego Dog Beaches - Take your dog to the beach! Choose your favorite San Diego Dog Beach from all the ones we have listed. One of the best San Diego activities for dogs and dog lovers. San Diego Dog Beaches.
Holidays at Bates Nut Farm - December dates TBD 2023. Celebrate Christmas in the Valley. Christmas and holiday festivities at Bates Nut Farm in Valley Center. Candy, Christmas crafts, rides and more. Open daily 9 AM - 5 PM. Group reservations are suggested. One of the great family San Diego Christmas activities. See the Bates Nut Farm website for details. www.batesnutfarm.biz
Ice Skating by the Sea - mid Nov 17 2023 to Jan 1 2024 at The Del, Hotel del Coronado. Enjoy outdoor ice skating at Coronado beach, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. This is ice skating San Diego style. Daily sessions hours vary. www.hoteldel.com.
Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! - early November to December 31 2023 at the Old Globe Theater in San Diego Balboa Park. A favorite holiday event tradition with the Grinch. What better way to spend a Christmas in San Diego than with the Grinch. Show time varies. Buy Grinch Tickets at www.theoldglobe.org
Whale Watching in San Diego - California Gray Whales undergo their annual migration from Alaska through San Diego and onto Baja California. During December - April, whale watching is at its best, as the whales migrate close to shore and can be seen from land or see. For more information see San Diego Whale Watching.
The Nutcracker - various dates at local venues. No Christmas season would be complete without the Nutcracker ballet.
Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade - December date TBD 2023 in downtown San Diego CA. The Port of San Diego brings this 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 about the San Diego Big Bay Balloon Parade, or to pre-order your Grandstand tickets for preferred seating, see www.holidaybowl.com
San Diego Bay Parade of Lights - Sunday December dates TBD 2023 from 5:30 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. Don't miss this San Diego events December. For details on the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights see www.sdparadeoflights.org.
The Del New Year’s Eve Gala - tentative New Years Eve San Diego party at The Del, Hotel del Coronado. Ring in the new year at a San Diego New Years party, The Del’s New Year’s Eve Gala. The evening will begin with a champagne reception in the magnificent Crown Room, followed by a lavish dinner in the oceanfront Ballroom, dancing to the contemporary sounds of local favorites. Ages 21 and up. Tickets are expensive. Additional parties for children and teenagers including dinner, beach games and bonfire. For more information and schedule see www.hoteldel.com.
Big Night San Diego tentative 9 PM - 2:30 AM - Get your tickets for the Big Night San Diego, the hottest New Year’s Eve party in Southern California to bring in the new year, located at the new Hilton San Diego Bayfront hotel. Twelve themed party areas, six dance floors, hot bands and DJ’s, fireworks and more. Buy tickets early for best price. Main event or VIP tickets. Save more for 10 or more tickets. These prices will go up soon. This San Diego New Years Eve party is for ages 21+ only. One of the best San Diego Events December. For details on the Big Night San Diego event see www.bignightsandiego.com.
Other Holiday Events and Christmas Activities in San Diego - For other fun family Christmas activities and winter holiday events, see Christmas Activities in San Diego.
Looking for more events? See our January Event Calendar featuring events in San Diego and the beach towns of Oceanside, Carlsbad, Leucadia, Encinitas, Cardiff, Solana Beach, Del Mar, La Jolla, Coronado, Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach, Mission Beach and Imperial Beach California.
Things to Do in San Diego - For more San Diego events , check out these Things to do in San Diego.
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