San Diego, California

San Diego, California

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San Diego 2022 Holiday Guide: Events, Festivals, Attractions and Parades

EVENTS and FESTIVALS:

  • November 18 | Santee Holiday Lighting Celebration

The 18th annual Holiday Lighting Celebration will have numerous free kids’ activities, along with live music, photos with Santa, snow sledding, and a tree lighting ceremony. More details HERE.

  • November 20 | Encinitas Holiday Street Fair

The 26th annual Holiday Street Fair returns to downtown Encinitas with more than 450 booths to visit, plus dozens of unique downtown Encinitas retailers, the street fair is a perfect opportunity for holiday shopping, and fair-goers can also enjoy live music and dance performances on three stages, including local favorite 2 Tone Sounds on the Beer Garden Stage. As a way of honoring the city’s roots, Encinitas 101 MainStreet Association will sell Poinsettias at its booth as examples of the rich farming history from 1920’s Encinitas and the Ecke Family. Animal lovers of all kinds are welcome to bring their beloved companions to receive a “Blessing of the Animals” in The Lumberyard. More details HERE.

  • November 22 | Otay Ranch Town Center Tree Lighting Ceremony and Santa’s Arrival

The Center will celebrate the arrival of Santa Clause and light its 50-foot-tall Christmas tree, which boasts 17,000 lights! The event also features free holiday crafts for kids, free cookies and hot chocolate (while supplies last, 5-6:30 pm), a magic snowfall at Santa's House, roaming carolers, music, and more.

  • November 23 | iHeartRadio Holiday Special

Celebrate the start of the holiday season with our Holiday Special featuring exclusive performances by Alicia Keys, Backstreet Boys, Dan + Shay, John Legend, and Megan Trainor. Listen starting at 7pm on Holiday Season Radio on our FREE iHeartRadio App.

  • November 25 | Liberty Station Tree Lighting and Festivities

Salute the Season’s main event, the Liberty Station Tree Lighting & Holiday Festivities will take place from 5-9pm. Gather your loved ones in Liberty Station’s North Promenade for live entertainment, then gaze upon the 88-foot Norfolk Pine Tree as it is lit up by a patient family of Rady Children’s Hospital at 6:15pm. More details HERE.

  • November 26 | Julian’s County Christmas and Tree Lighting

Gather your loved ones and enjoy a magical evening of the iconic 88-foot Norfolk pine tree lighting as well as live entertainment, festive firetruck rides, free photos with Santa, and The Grinch movie showing. More details HERE.

  • November 26 | Surfin’ Santa Arrival at Seaport Village

Head over to Seaport Village for the festive Surfin' Santa Arrival. Hang-ten with Santa and enjoy a lively parade along the Seaport Village boardwalk, live music, street performers and photo opportunities of your family and friends surfing with Santa.

  • December 2-3 | December Nights in Balboa Park

Join the festivities during Balboa Park December Nights, a two-day holiday celebration of food, entertainment and fun. The sights, sounds and smells of the holiday season fill the air as the museums and cultural institutions in Balboa Park, the nation's largest urban cultural park, open their doors free of charge. Festivities include carolers, live music, light displays, theater and dance performances, and delicious foods from around the world.

  • December 3 | Little Italy Tree Lighting and Christmas Village

Little Italy transforms into a winter wonderland with Christmas twinkle lights down all the streets adorned with 10-foot tall nutcrackers and kinetic tree holiday displays on street corners, Christmas songs and more.

  • December 3 | La Mesa Holiday in the Village

La Mesa Village friends and family will have the chance to take part in FREE festive fun with live music, cozy fires, craft vendors, food, holiday 360 photo booth, the grand return of “selfies with Santa”, and a kids’ area bigger than Santa’s Toy Shop! This year’s locally loved La Mesa Holiday in the Village is going back to its roots to bring guests more entertainment, more vendors, and an inclusive holiday experience for ALL AGES to enjoy! Get in the holiday spirit while playing carnival games, listening to carolers, and enjoying delicious food and drinks from La Mesa local favorites. More details HERE.

  • December 4 | Sono Fest & Chili Cook-Off

The festive and fiery SoNo Fest & Chili Cook-Off is a fundraiser for McKinley Elementary with local chili, live music, arts & crafts, indie goods and lots of good vibes.

  • December 4 | Starlight Nights in Downtown Chula Vista

Enjoy a holly, jolly holiday celebration and ring in the holidays in style this year as you hop on Santa’s Holiday Train and ride through Downtown Chula Vista, shop from unique local businesses at the Holiday Market curated by Las Jefas Market, enjoy live music from the main stage at Memorial Park, and take your official holiday family photo with Santa himself for free! More details HERE.

  • December 9 – 11 | San Diego Symphony’s Noel Noel

Experience an all-new holiday story and script, full of cozy holiday moments, favorite tunes, and jolly spirit at the San Diego Symphony's Noel Noel, San Diego's favorite annual holiday music tradition. All are invited to come to The Rady Shell early for holiday activations throughout the park, including themed food and beverage delights. More details HERE.

  • December 10 | Poway’s Christmas in the Park

Join us at Old Poway Park for an old-fashioned holiday tradition that will take you back in time with caroling, live music, a visit with Santa, free children’s crafts, model train displays, and so much more! Purchase tasty holiday treats, finish your Christmas shopping at the craft boutique, or board the Poway Midland Railroad for a night-time ride around the park. More details HERE.

  • December 10 & 11 | San Diego Railroad Museum’s Winter Express Experience

This ticketed before-hours event will immerse children with special holiday activities around the museum, running Christmas trains (including one YOU help make!), and storytime with St. Nick himself. After Santa goes back to the North Pole, enjoy a day of museum admission. More details HERE.

  • December 18 | Hanukkah and Menorah Lighting at Liberty Station

Liberty Station in partnership with The Chabads of Downtown San Diego and Pacific Beach will host a public menorah lighting at Liberty Station's Central Promenade to commemorate the first night of Hanukkah. More details HERE.

  • December 28 | SDCCU Holiday Bowl and KGB Sky Show at Petco Park

What is San Diego’s Biggest Holiday Party? Three words: festivities, football, and fireworks! It all starts Tuesday December 27th at the Snapdragon Bowl Bash (a FREE event in the Gaslamp) featuring a battle of the marching bands playing in the SDCCU Holiday Bowl. Then enjoy FREE street side viewing of the Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade presented by Kaiser Permanente at 10AM on Wednesday December 28th. That evening, Petco Park hosts two iconic San Diego events for one legendary game day lineup. The 2022 SDCCU Holiday Bowl kicks off at 5PM with a matchup between the Pac-12 and the ACC. When the game ends, the 101.5 KGB Sky Show will light up the San Diego skyline with its famous fireworks show. Join us for San Diego’s Biggest Holiday Party, and get details at holidaybowl.com

ICE SKATING:

  • Rady Children’s Ice Rick at Liberty Station |  November 17, 2022 - January 8, 2023

Rady Children’s Hospital Auxiliary presents holiday outdoor ice skating at the Rady Children’s Hospital Ice Rink at Liberty Station. The Ice Rink benefits the Thriving After Cancer Program at the Peckham Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Rady Children’s Hospital. More details HERE.

  • Hotel Del Coronado Skating By The Sea  |  November 17, 2022 – January 1, 2023

The historic Hotel del Coronado offers a unique Southern California experience with Skating by the Sea, an outdoor ice-skating rink adjacent to Coronado Beach and overlooking the Pacific Ocean. During the holidays, the resort's famous Windsor Lawn is transformed into a seaside skating rink offering skating sessions daily.

  • Viejas Outlet Center Ice Skating Rink  | November 4 through the holidays

Enjoy the festive surroundings, get some of your holiday shopping done, and take a spin on the Viejas Ice Rink!

PARADES:

  • Coronado Holiday Parade | December 2, 2022

Join Coronado in holiday cheer from the Ferry Landing, down Orange Avenue, all the way to the Hotel del Coronado for live music, local business open houses, sing-alongs, a parade and a grand tree lighting at Rotary Park. More details HERE.

  • Ocean Beach Holiday Parade | December 3, 2022

For over 40 years, the quaint little surfing village of Ocean Beach has hosted one of the best Holiday Parades in SoCal. More details HERE.

  • Encinitas Holiday Parade | December 3, 2022

The 2022 parade theme is “Classic Encinitas”. From cars to fashion to music, and Encinitas legends, lore and tradition, at the 2022 parade we'll see our parade entries go all out representing what "Classic Encinitas" means to them. Look forward to a blast from the past and a holiday celebration for ages! See loats, bands and more rolling along Coast Highway 101. More details HERE.

  • La Jolla Christmas Parade | December 4, 2022

Spread some holiday cheer at the La Jolla Christmas Parade and Holiday Festival in December in downtown La Jolla. The event includes marching bands, community groups, drill teams, vintage vehicles, horses, and yes ~ a camel. Church bells peal with a fly-over. There is also a Holiday Festival and Tree Lighting Ceremony. More details HERE.

  • Mission Bay Christmas Boat Parade of Lights | December 10, 2022

It’s back and bigger than ever! This festive family fun boat parade on beautiful Mission Bay will take place on Saturday, December 10th at 5:30pm. Kick off this holiday tradition with SeaWorld’s spectacular fireworks, enjoy the festive holiday boats parade on the bay from a designated spectator viewing area and cast your vote for the People’s Choice best decorated boat. More details HERE.

  • Oceanside Harbor Parade of Lights | December 10, 2022

Watch the season sail by at the Oceanside Harbor Parade of Lights. The popular parade circles the harbor and features a wide variety of boats, brightly decorated for the holiday season.

  • Port of San Diego Bay Parade of Lights | December 11 & 18, 2022

The parade brings more than 100,000 San Diego residents and visitors together on the San Diego Bay waterfront each year. The procession of about 80 lavishly decorated boats has become one of our region’s most iconic holiday events and has brought the community together for over half a decade now. The parade route starts at Shelter Island and travels west past Harbor Island, then south along the Embarcadero, Seaport Village, and Cesar Chavez Park before turning parallel with the Coronado Bridge to the west side of the bay. The parade then proceeds past the Coronado Ferry Landing to the finish line. It takes about two hours to complete the procession and there are many comfortable waterfront viewpoints along the route. More details HERE.

  • Gaslamp Pet Parade | December 17, 2022

This holiday parade presents cute dogs and their amazing owners parading in colorful fashion as they proudly promenade through the heart and soul of the Gaslamp for all the onlookers to see!

  • Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade | December 28, 2022

Did you know America’s biggest balloon parade happens right here in San Diego? The Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade presented by Kaiser Permanente kicks off game day of the 2022 SDCCU Holiday Bowl on Wednesday, December 28th. Enjoy FREE street-side viewing of world-class marching bands, magnificent floats, entertaining drill teams and a procession of enormous balloons-more than any other parade! Visit holidaybowl.com for more information. More details HERE.

THEME PARKS and ATTRACTIONS:

  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas at the Old Globe Theatre | November 9 – December 31

Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is a wonderful, whimsical musical based upon the classic Dr. Seuss book. Back for another incredible year, the family favorite features the songs “Santa for a Day,” “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” and “Welcome, Christmas (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 Who-ville, right down to the last can of Who-hash. More details HERE.

  • A Very Furry Christmas at Sesame Place |  November 12, 2022 – January 8, 2023

A Very Furry Christmas at Sesame Place® is a festive, family-friendly celebration with everyone’s favorite Sesame Street friends, (starting November 12th through January 8th). The park is transformed into a festive winter wonderland filled with holiday magic and surprises. Guests will enjoy Sesame Street Christmas shows, the Sesame Street Christmas Parade, the Furry Friends Christmas Dance Party, and exciting rides. There will be games, special merchandise, and one-of-a-kind photos with your Sesame Street friends dressed up in their holiday best! More details HERE.

  • Winter Wonder Beachside at Belmont Park  | November 11, 2022 – January 1, 2023

Enjoy festive rides and attractions including the iconic Giant Dipper Roller Coaster, your favorite oversized sculptures or sip on holiday-inspired drinks while you stroll through the Midway under a million lights!

  • SeaWorld Christmas Celebration | November 14, 2022 - January 8, 2023

Bring your family together for the eye-catching spectacle, priceless traditions, and fun-filled surprises of SeaWorld San Diego’s Christmas Celebration. The holidays are meant to be merry and bright, and that’s exactly what you’ll find as this beloved event returns with more wondrous moments than ever. See a dazzling new Christmas cirque show or meet Santa, Rudolph and your favorite Sesame Street friends. Feel the snow falling and watch the sky light up with holiday fireworks. Find photo-perfect moments across acres of beautiful decorations, including a towering 30 foot, twinkling Christmas tree and a music-activated tunnel of lights. All the while, savor delicious candy-topped hot chocolate and other treats for all ages. More details HERE.

  • Lightscape at the San Diego Botanical Gardens |  November 18 – January 1

A unique immersive experience at the San Diego Botanic Garden will guide visitors through a festive world of wonder with over one million twinkling lights in various attractions that come alive at night with color, imagination and sound.

  • Holidays at LEGOLAND | November 19, 2022 - January 8, 2023

Experience LEGOLAND® Holidays, presented by Hallmark Channel, where the entire Resort is bursting with holiday cheer and LEGO® Santa is ready for hugs, pictures, and selfies. In Fun Town, there’s a 30-foot LEGO® Christmas tree that twinkles to holiday tunes and a Very Merry Mix Up show featuring Mrs. Claus and the Gingerbread Man. In Castle Hill, find out if a magical wizard can bring snow to Southern California! Along with the shows, food and live music, the holidays are even more memorable with a stay at one of the two LEGOLAND Hotels. Holidays at LEGOLAND are November 19 – January 8. Visit LEGOLAND dot com slash California (legoland.com/California) for details. More details HERE.

  • Wild Holidays at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park | November 26, 2022 - January 2, 2023 (select days)

Experience Wild Holidays at the Safari Park! Go on a holiday expedition of light and travel through places that glow and twinkle with holiday cheer. Season treats will tempt you throughout your journey in the Park. More details HERE.

  • Holiday Market and Trail at Petco Park  | December 1 – 22, 2022

The Holiday Market in Gallagher Square is a fun December event for the whole family, for couples on date night, for delighting kids, entertaining out-of-town guests, and for anyone looking for a little Christmas spirit. For the event, Petco Park turns into a winter wonderland, featuring local and European artisan shops, magical lighting displays, seasonal food and beverage, Santa, the Grinch and other holiday characters! After the success of the inaugural Holiday Market & Trail in 2020, organizers put together a bigger event for 2021 with even more food, beverage and vendors. The event is now back for a third year in 2022, fast becoming a must-do San Diego holiday tradition. This year’s 18-night festival will feature more vendors, brighter lights and an extra dose of holiday spirit. Enjoy safe and festive holiday fun for the whole family. More details HERE.

  • Snow and Glow at the Del Mar Fairgrounds  | December 8 – January 1 (select nights)

Enjoy holiday displays featuring a million lights, go snow tubing and rent a private igloo!

  • Jungle Bells at the San Diego Zoo | December 9, 2022 – January 1, 2023

The magic and the spirit of the holiday season return! The Zoo lights up the night until 8 p.m. (*except December 24) with amazing entertainment featuring the spectacular show, Aurora. Bring the family and enjoy some tasty treats and the warmth of the holidays. More details HERE.

  • Holidays at the Disneyland Resort | November 11, 2022 - January 8, 2023

Experience the holiday joy you’ve been dreaming about. Magic is that first glimpse of Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle covered in festive lights. Magic is festive foods and traditional celebrations. It’s Disney Festival of Holidays and the Disney ¡Viva Navidad! street party. Magic is Holidays at the Disneyland® Resort! More details HERE.

WALKS and RUNS:

  • Red Nose Run  | December 3, 2022

Walk or run on beautiful Del Mar Beach and help raise funds for San Diego non-profits Semper Fi & America's Fund, and San Dieguito River Park. Participants are encouraged to wear costumes and they have the option of participating in a 3K or 5K walk or run. Sign up HERE.

  • San Diego Santa Run  | December 10, 2023

The 10th Annual San Diego Santa Run is a holiday experience like none other in San Diego! The event will consist of a series of runs that will take place on Garnet Ave. featuring a 5K run for everyone from the competitive runner to the family of walkers! Come out in your finest (or ugliest) Christmas attire as you take part in this one-of-a-kind holiday experience. Then stick around to watch the annual Pacific Beach Holiday Parade! Sign up HERE.

  • San Diego Holiday Half Marathon  |  December 10, 2022

The San Diego Holiday Half Marathon is a fast 13.1 mile course that starts on Penasquitos Drive in front of the Hotel Karlan (formerly, theDoubletree Golf Resort) then travels SW along Carmel Mountain Rd (your only ‘real’ hill at mile 1.5), along the 56 bike path and finishes atthe beautiful Torrey Pines State Beach. Sign up HERE.

  • SDCCU Holiday Bowl 5K  |  December 28, 2022

The 27th annual SDCCU Holiday Bowl 5K Run/Walk at the Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade presented by Kaiser Permanente will take place on Wednesday, December 28 along downtown San Diego’s scenic bay front. This race is part of the festivities surrounding the San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl. Sign up HERE.

HOLIDAY MUSIC CHANNELS - listen free on iHeartRadio!


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