San Diego Events That Spark the Holiday Spirit

snowman of sand

San Diego offers a plethora of free, fun and festive events during the holiday season — all of which are sure to spread the holiday cheer and put a smile on your face. Events are held in all areas of San Diego county, so you’re bound to find something to enjoy near you. The following festivities are just some of the options available over the next 6 weeks to fill yourself up with holiday spirit:

  1. Julian’s Country Christmas and Tree LightingNovember 26th
    • Gather at Pioneer Park in Julian to watch the tree lighting and meet with Santa Claus. The free event starts at 2pm and ends at 5pm.
  2. Coronado Christmas Parade and Open HouseDecember 2nd
    • This free event takes place at the Coronado Ferry Landing, 1202 1st Street, Coronado, CA 92118. Santa will arrive on the Ferry and travel down Orange Avenue until the Rotary Plaza is reached where he’ll light the Coronado Christmas Tree.
  3. Holiday Tree Lighting and Winter Wonderland Festival – December 3rd
    • The North County neighborhood of Escondido hosts this event starting at dusk. The California Center for Arts of Escondido brings the North Pole to life right here in San Diego — there will be Christmas Cookie decorating, handmade gifts, real snow and twinkling lights.  
  4. La Jolla Christmas Parade and Holiday FestivalDecember 4th
    • This parade takes place from 1:30 pm to 5pm; it’s free and starts at the intersection of Girard Avenue & Prospect Street in the La Jolla area. You’ll see marching bands, floats, vintage automobiles, equestrian units and more.
  5. La Mesa’s Christmas in the VillageDecember 10th
    • La Mesa’s Village is transformed into a Winter Wonderland of the Victorian era featuring carolers, snow, a 15’ Christmas tree and Santa himself.
  6. Oceanside Harbor Parade of LightsDecember 10th
    • This boat parade circles the Oceanside Harbor and features boats decorated for the Holiday Season. Festivities start at 7pm and go until 9pm — free to view.
  7. Gaslamp Holiday Pet ParadeDecember 11th
    • Meet at Hilton Park in the Gaslamp District of Downtown San Diego. This parade is free to view but $15-20 to register and participate, depending on the pet. The event ends at a Pet Expo where the best-dressed pups will be featured in an awards ceremony.
  8. Port of San Diego Bay Parade of LightsDecember 13th & 18th
    • A longstanding event here in San Diego, this parade features more than 80 boats decked out in their holiday best for all to see! It’s free to view and runs twice during the month of December from 5pm to 7pm.

*All information courtesy of SanDiego.Org

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