The Ultimate Guide to the Holidays in San Diego


Our Ultimate Guide to the Holidays in San Diego has you covered this holiday season!

From family-friendly Holiday Events, where to see the best Christmas Lights with thanks to San Diego Family Magazine, Santa Photos and so much more! And don’t forget about our Holiday Gift Guide!

Tag us in your instagram pics this holiday season. #SDMoms

Use the buttons below to navigate to that section of the guide.

Holiday Festivals (Multi-Day Experiences)

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All aboard for the Jingle Belle Family Cruise – a San Diego holiday tradition on Mission Bay! This family-friendly one-hour sightseeing cruise celebrates the merriest time of year with songs from spirited carolers, photos with Santa Claus, and exciting activities for the whole family. Kids of all ages can look forward to visiting the cookie decorating station, balloon artist, and face painter. Sip on hot cocoa, an espresso drink, or a libation from the cash bar and simply enjoy time w […]
Bring your family together for the eye-catching spectacles, 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 dazzling new Christmas shows or meet Santa and Rudolph. Feel the snow falling and watch a Christmas parade. Find photo-perfect moments across acres of beautiful decorations, […]
Hundreds of years ago, Santa Claus crash-landed in the NorthWoods when his magic key was stolen by the trickster Jack Frost. Fortunately, Santa was found by Arrow, the guardian of the NorthWoods, and together they recovered the lost key. Santa was so enchanted by the NorthWoods and its inhabitants that he decided to establish a permanent residence there called Santa’s Village. Now, visitors come from all over the world to visit Santa, Arrow, and all the creatures who call the NorthWo […]
Camp Christmas is lighting the campfire for its third annual holiday festival with 20 nights of holiday joy. Tickets go on sale October 16 for this season, which opens Friday, Nov. 17 for back-to-back weekends, Friday through Sunday, then December 1-3, 8-10, 15-17 and 19-23; each evening 5:30 to 9:00 p.m. With all the lights and sounds of the holidays, Camp Christmas is an explosion of the holiday season all in one place! From a colorful dancing water show to holiday photo opps, wint […]
Welcome to Coastal Christmas Holiday Light Spectacular – where the holiday spirit meets the coast! Get ready to embark on a festive journey like no other, as we transform this iconic venue into a winter wonderland by the sea. With twinkling lights, holiday cheer, and delicious snacks and drinks, Coastal Christmas promises to be your new favorite holiday tradition. Join us for the warmth of the season, the joy of community, and the beauty of the coast, all wrapped up in one enchanting […]
Make spirits bright this holiday season in sunny San Diego amid twinkling palms and a dazzling 25-foot tree! Celebrate the holidays in true San Diego style – gather with loved ones enjoying various activities throughout our coastal canyon, enjoy holiday dining, visits from Santa, Glice skating and toast to a merry season for all. GLICE SKATING AT GRAND SOCIAL Embrace the joy of the season with friends and family at Fairmont Grand Del Mar’s exceptional Glice skating rink, designed fo […]
Where Traditions and Memories are Made! San Diego's largest choose and cut Christmas tree farm.  Since 1972, our small 10 acre farm has been serving the community by bringing the Christmas spirit to San Diego each and every year. When it comes to the holidays, we’re committed to providing the freshest and best of quality, from our pumpkins to our trees! Most important of all, we are committed to providing family, friends, and loved ones with unforgettable memories to be cherished f […]
Christmas at Oma’s offers a holiday farm experience! Each weekend while open, we will have a different themed event. You could be decorating cookies with Mrs. Clause or taking pictures with Santa! No matter the weekend, we will have trees for sale. If you are just coming to buy a tree, admission tickets are not required. We look forward to celebrating the Christmas season with you on the farm. 🎄 Nov 24 – 25: Homestead Holidays 🎄 🤶🏼 Nov 30 – Dec 2: Cookies with Mrs. Clause 🤶🏼 🎅🏽 Dec 7 […]

Holiday Photographers

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Tree Lighting Ceremonies

tree lighting

Liberty Station Tree Lighting & Holiday Festivities

Friday, November 24, 2023
5pm to 9pm
Liberty Station North Promenade, 2880 N Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101

Liberty Station invites the community to celebrate the season at its 2023 Salute the Season main event, the Liberty Station Tree Lighting & Holiday Festivities. 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.

One Paseo Tree Lighting

Saturday, November 25, 2023
5pm to 8pm
One Paseo, 3725 Paseo Place, San Diego, CA 92130

One Paseo will be aglow with firefly lights and festive décor for the tree lighting ceremony, which will feature live musical performances, snow cascading from the rooftops, and a visit from Santa and special guests.

La Valencia Hotel Annual Tree Lighting 

Thursday, November 30, 2023
4:30pm – 8pm
La Valencia Hotel, 1132 Prospect St La-Jolla, California, 92037

Guests will enjoy holiday beverages, homemade treats, live music, carolers, and children’s crafts while counting down to the tree lighting at 5:45 p.m. Festivities begin at 4:30 p.m. For those looking to make the evening even more special, dining reservations are strongly encouraged through OpenTable for seating in Mediterranean Room and the Ocean View Terrace.

Country Christmas Tree Lighting

Saturday, November 25, 2023
Julian Town Square, Main and Washington Julian, CA

Market will open around noon with holiday gift idea vendors and crafts. Music will begin around 2pm and go on until the tree lights at 5:30(ish)pm. Followed thereafter by Santa Claus arriving to meet and greet the kids. It is a wholesome, fun, family friend way to kick off the holiday season.

Coronado Ferry Landing, 1201 First St, Coronado, CA 92118

Coronado’s annual tree lighting ceremony features live music, performances, and a visit from Santa. The ceremony is held in the heart of the Coronado Ferry Landing shopping district.

A Night of Lights and Harmony: The Old Town Christmas Tree Lighting

Thursday, December 7, 2023
7pm to 8:30pm
Whaley House Complex, 2476 San Diego Ave, San Diego, CA 92110

Usher in the holiday season at Old Town San Diego’s annual tree lighting ceremony, which will feature live music, performances, and a visit from Santa.

Holiday Special Events

There are no upcoming events.

Photos with Santa

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Photo with Santa Description
Take a free photo daily with the Big Guy himself to capture the best holiday memory every day they are open at the North Pole! Other Photo Opp Experiences: On December 12th & 14th from 5:30-7:30pm get ready for a jolly good time! Santa and Peppermint Polly are lacing up their skates for the sweetest holiday skate party. Join us for a night of frosty fun and sparkling lights. December 12th & 21st from 5:30-7:30pm: Princesses, it's your time to shine! Join us for a magical ev […]
Photo with Santa Description
Santa will be at Grand Social every weekend to meet with kids and learn their Christmas wishes. On Christmas Eve, Santa will read “The Night Before Christmas” at 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm by the holiday tree at Grand Social. Dates November 24 – 26 December 1 – 4 December 8 – 10 December 15 – 17 December 22 – 24 Friday and Saturdays | 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm Sundays | 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Christmas Trees

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Join the Family Christmas Tree Farm as they transform into a fun, family-friendly pumpkin patch! Their pumpkin patch is complete with farm animals, hay rides, fresh Julian apple cider, and a 1700 hay bale maze that includes a scavenger hunt! Parking, admission, farm animals and tractor rides are all free! Hay Maze is $7 per person and tickets can be purchased on-site at the venue.
The pumpkin patch at Oma’s Family Farm offers a fall experience in San Diego unlike any other. Being a family-owned business and located in East County, there is a personal touch to everything within the patch. From wagon rides that take you around the farm to see cows and a variety of other animals, to an interactive petting zoo, to our seasonal market full of local goods, there is a little something for everyone to enjoy. Beyond the pumpkins, haybales are around every corner and ch […]

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