Holiday Activities to Do in San Diego

The holiday season is here! Find lights, treats and cheer at these fun holiday activities in San Diego. 

Get Your Picture Taken with a San Diego Santa

Ho ho ho! December means the chance to see a jolly old fellow, but don’t just head to the local mall to get a picture with Santa. Find him at a location that doesn’t just capture the holiday charm, but also adds in some San Diego flair. Seaport Village hosts Santa Claus each year in a charmingly decorated booth that is right next to the glistening harbor.
For more sea views, head to the aptly named Santa by the Sea photo op at L’Auberge Del Mar. You’ll find a holiday wonderland right next to the ocean complete with Santa and Mrs. Claus, Christmas trees, music and holiday treats. For some extra time with Santa, head to Julian for Breakfast with Santa at Pine Hills Lodge on December 13; you'll also get to enjoy the cooler weather Julian often has which makes it feel a bit more like the holiday season for those who grew up in colder climates.

Jungle Bells at the Zoo

San Diego Zoo Jungle Bells is back again this year, providing a fun way to spend a holiday evening surrounded by animals. The famous San Diego Zoo is decorated in lights and provides holiday activities for visitors such as a 4-D Polar Express experience and live holiday music. Jungle Bells is the same price as general admission to the zoo – though if you’re a resident, you may want to give yourself an early holiday present and get a zoo membership!

San Diego Botanic Garden Holiday Lights

For more natural elements alit in holiday lights, head to the San Diego Botanic Garden. Enjoy an evening of twinkling ambiance while you walk along the manicured trails and enjoy the flora and fauna decorated with some holiday pizazz.
You’ll also find holiday crafts, horse-drawn carriage rides, marshmallow roasting and other holiday treats and drinks, carolers and puppet shows.

Balboa Park December Nights

A San Diego holiday staple is visiting Balboa Park for December Nights, when the park becomes a glowing array of colorful lights and the musuems open for free from 5 p.m.

to 9 p.m. each night. This event is only two nights and gets crazily busy, but it’s worth braving the crowds for global cuisine and holiday performances happening in the park. This year, December Nights is December 4 from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. and December 5 from 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Holiday Fun at Coronado

The Hotel del Coronado has a variety of holiday activities this time of year. The most visible one is Skating by the Sea, a memorable ice skating rink that is set up each year on the grounds of the hotel. Rent a pair of skates and glide around the rink as you take in views of the sandy beach and ocean plus the holiday lights of the hotel.
The Hotel del also does a lovely holiday Victorian tea. Enjoy a selection of tea, tiered plates of treats and champagne in one of the Del’s impressive dining rooms. Afterward head to the lobby for a picture in front of the two-story tall Christmas tree.


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Travel Magazine: Holiday Activities to Do in San Diego
Holiday Activities to Do in San Diego
Travel Magazine
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