So San Diego might not have White Christmases, but there’s plenty of holiday cheer to be found. Here’s a few ideas for making your Christmas in San Diego merry and bright…
This aquatic theme park takes the holidays seriously. Check out these Christmas-themed attractions:
SeaWorld’s Christmas Tree of Lights: Enjoy nightly lighting of Southern California’s largest Christmas tree at 320 feet—a Christmas in San Diego tradition since 1969.
Breakfast With Shamu and Santa: Advance reservations are recommended as some seatings do sell out quickly. Reserve here
Santa’s Reindeer: Two reindeer hang out at the park for the holidays, adjacent to Animal Connections and the Reindeer Games.
The Christmas Village: Snap a pic with Santa and his elves at Santa’s cottage, enjoy culinary delights and Christmas merchandise, caroling groups and other Christmas performances, and The Happiest Christmas Tree.
Sunday Dec. 13 and Sunday Dec. 20, 5:30pm
The San Diego Bay Parade of Lights is a time-honored holiday tradition adding to the cheer during Christmas in San Diego by the boating community. More than 80 boats are lavishly decorated according to a new theme each year. The Parade proceeds from Shelter Island past Harbor Island, the Embarcadero, Seaport Village, and Ferry Landing in Coronado.
Yep, you can even have fun on the ice! Christmas in San Diego wouldn’t be complete without a little skating fun.
If you’re not a savvy skater, you can get a free lesson at UTC Ice. Their introductory skating class helps students to grasp the basics of ice skating (i.e. balance, movements, and terminology). Space is limited and skaters are taken on a first come, first serve basis, so arriving 30 minutes early is a good idea. Check the website for times.
At SD Ice, you can enjoy the Skate Hero Program: (Friendly young staff helping skaters, on-ice games and dances, DJ Booth at center ice with live DJ, disco lights and a visit from SDIA’s mascot “The Ice Qub”. Please check the schedule to see which sessions include Skate Hero.
There’s fun to be had all day on Holiday Bowl Day, just after Christmas in San Diego, on December 30. Here’s the timeline:
9:30am Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals
9:45am Bumble Bee Seafoods 5K
10am Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade
11:45am Battle of the Bands – Broadway Pier
7:30pm Holiday Bowl
The Holiday Bowl Parade is no small thing—in fact, it’s America’s Largest Balloon Parade. This exciting family event brings together world-class marching bands, magnificent floats, entertaining drill teams, and a procession of enormous balloons – more than any other parade! Over 100,000 street-side spectators will enjoy the parade along with a nationwide television audience.
*NOTE* – Tickets may be purchased at the grandstands on the day of the parade for $20, cash only. Grandstands are located at the intersection of Harbor Drive & Ash Street.
Saturday, November 7 – Saturday, December 26
The Old Globe Theatre
Back for its 18th year, the family favorite features the songs “This Time of Year,” “Santa for a Day” and “Fah Who Doraze,” the delightful carol from the popular animated version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Celebrate the holidays as the Old Globe Theatre is once again transformed into the snow-covered Whoville, right down to the last can of Who-hash.
The Globe’s also offers a Sensory-Friendly performance on December 12 at 10:30am.
11am matinee performances are open to ALL AGES. At the 11am performances only, children under the age of two are free, but must occupy the same seat and sit on the lap of a parent or guardian in attendance. Children under 3 will be admitted only to the 11am performances.
The most important part of your trip to San Diego is where you’ll stay. Whether it’s a luxury Mission Beach Boardwalk oceanfront house, a quiet La Jolla cottage, or access to the nightlife in Pacific Beach, we’ve got you covered.