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San Diego Holiday Events You Can’t Miss This December


San Diego routinely makes U.S. World and News Report’s list of top American cities to live in, and it’s easy to see why. A mild year-round climate, diverse neighborhoods, and variety of cultural attractions draw residents and visitors alike.

Even though it doesn’t receive snow, San Diego also offers plenty to see and do during the holiday season. The city really begins to ramp up for the holiday season after its Halloween festivities are over.

Whether you’re vacationing or planning on relocating to the area, here are several San Diego holiday events you need to check out!

Balboa Park December Nights

For over 40 years Balboa Park has been the setting of the city’s largest free holiday event. The two-day event is full of entertainment, holiday lights, music, and merriment. More than 350,000 visitors come to Balboa Park December Nights to enjoy specialty shops, carolers, dance performances, and food from all over the world.

Best of all, this event is free and family-friendly. Plenty of free parking is also available.

San Diego Bay Parade of Lights

Who says a holiday parade has to take place on the street? Each year nearly 80 boats decked out in their brightest holiday trimmings glide past spectators during a favorite city tradition that has been going strong for almost a half century.

Each year the parade focuses on a new theme. The San Diego Bay Parade of Lights is a free event that never fails to delight the crowds.


Hilton San Diego’s Holiday by the Bay

Who says you need snow in order to go tubing? Hilton’s Holiday by the Bay seasonal adventure park features a two-story ice tubing slide, iceberg bumpers ride, bucking reindeer challenge ride, and much more.

Families can also take in the animated holiday light show, decorate their own Christmas stockings, visit a life-sized gingerbread house, and nibble and sip on holiday treats.

A ticket purchase for this event is required in advance for the day and time of your choice.

Little Italy Tree Lighting and Christmas Village

You don’t have to be Italian to enjoy the annual tree lighting and Christmas festivities that take place annually in San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood. A pop-up market selling Italian wares, horse-drawn carriage rides, and Santa are just some of the reasons to attend this event.

But the biggest draw is perhaps the lighting of a 20-foot tall live tree that towers over the Piazza Della Famiglia. This is a free event organized by the Little Italy Association.

Jungle Bells at the San Diego Zoo

Celebrate the holidays where the wild things are at the San Diego Zoo’s Jungle Bells tradition. You and the kids can hop aboard The Polar Express for a ride to the North Pole, take in an elf trampoline performance, and see the lights on display at the zoo’s Northern Frontier Holiday Forest.

Advance tickets are required for this event.

What San Diego Holiday Events Will You See?

San Diego holiday events get decked out for the holidays and no matter which events you decide to see, you’ll be in the holiday spirit in no time. Perhaps you’ll enjoy yourself so much you may decide to make San Diego your new home.

If you found this blog helpful, you might also want to read, Everything You Need to Know About the San Diego Housing Market in 2018.”

Want to learn more about what San Diego has to offer? Sonja Huter is a premier specialist of luxury real estate in greater San Diego. If you’re in the market for properties in La Jolla, Del Mar, Rancho Santa Fe and other elite coastal communities in North San Diego County contact Sonja Huter Real Estate today!