Best Places to See Christmas Lights in San Diego – 2021 (Provided by San Diego Family)


Thanks to San Diego Family for putting this amazing list together for 2021. Click Here for the FULL list or use the links below for each area. Click on the name or address links to go to Google Maps for directions. 

For even more fun on your Christmas lights tour, print out San Diego Family’s free Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt!

   start here

Downtown San Diego Christmas Lights

Downtown San Diego / Gaslamp

Special Events Featured on San Diego Family

The Forward House in Bankers Hill. 24th annual holiday lighting display at The Forward House, built for San Diego Mayor John Forward, Sr. in 1905. Santa makes a pre-Christmas stop upon the roof in his sleigh on Dec. 18 between 6–8 pm. All visitors receive a wrapped candy cane. 108 Ivy St. (1st & Ivy). Nov. 25–Dec. 31, 5–10 pm.

The Holiday Market at Petco Park. Candyland, Winter Wonderland and Classic Christmas walkthrough light displays. Nov. 29–Dec. 24, 4–9:30 pm. $10–$14. Gallagher Square, 100 Park Blvd.

San Diego Coastal Christmas Lights

Mission Bay  |  San Diego Bay  |  La Jolla-UTC  |  Point Loma 

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San Diego Bay Parade of Lights. 50th Anniversary. “The Twelve Days of Christmas” theme. Dec. 12 & 19, 5:30 pm. Starts off Shelter Island, goes through the harbor and ends at the Coronado Ferry Landing.

SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration. Over 100 acres of beautifully decorated park, including a towering sea-themed Christmas tree and a holiday music-activated tunnel of lights. Nov. 12–Jan 2. Interstate 5, exit SeaWorld Dr.

Sights and Sounds of Christmas. Walk the San Diego Temple grounds and enjoy more than 130,000 lights and nativity scenes. Free. Nov. 27–Jan. 1, 5–11 pm. San Diego Temple, 7474 Charmant Dr., UTC. 

Winter Wonder at Belmont Park. Holiday sculptures, movie nights, “Illuminated Winter Nights” and more. Weekends in Dec. 3146 Mission Blvd.

Old Town Trolley’s Holiday Lights and Sights Tour. Join in sing-a-long caroling with the elf conductors as they share fun holiday facts and traditions and see the festive lights of Old Town, Embarcadero, Seaport Village, Balboa Park and more. Dec. 6–24 & 26–30. $25–$30; 3 & under free. 4010 Twiggs St.

San Diego Central Christmas Lights

Clairemont  |  Mira Mesa  |  Scripps Ranch  |  Sera Mesa-Mission Valley  |  Tierrasanta

Special Events Featured on San Diego Family

Jungle Bells at the Zoo beckons with “Aurora,” an evening spectacular filled with light, sound and 3D projections. Dec. 10–23 & Dec. 25–Jan. 2.

East County Christmas Lights

Campo  |  El Cajon  |  Lakeside  |  La Mesa  |  Lemon Grove and Lomita  |  Santee  |  Spring Valley


South Bay Christmas Lights

Coronado  |  Chula Vista  |  Paradise Hills

Special Events Featured on San Diego Family

Hotel del Coronado. The iconic resort shimmers and shines as its signature red turrets are draped in thousands of sparkling lights with magical Christmas trees, snowy surprises and garlands galore. Nov. 22–Jan. 2. 1500 Orange Ave., Coronado.

“At First Light” Lightshow Spectacular. The grove of towering Norfolk Island Pines on the Founders Lawn is the scene of a dynamic light show orchestrated to music, a brilliant ethereal experience that captivates guests with a finale of snow flurries. Showcased is the Norfolk Pine originally made famous in 1904 as the world’s first electrically lit outdoor Christmas tree. The complimentary 11-minute show takes place every 30 minutes from 5–9 pm nightly from Nov. 22–Jan. 2. Hotel Del Coronado, 1500 Orange Ave.

North County Inland Christmas Lights

Carmel Mountain Ranch  |  Escondido  |  Poway  |  Ramona  |  Rancho Peñasquitos  |  San Marcos


North County Coastal Christmas Lights

Encinitas  | Carlsbad  |  Oceanside 

Special Events Featured on San Diego Family

Holidays at LEGOLAND. Live entertainment, twinkling lights and festive cheer await. Nightly tree lightings of the Park’s LEGO Christmas tree decked with spectacular lights and LEGO ornaments. Nov. 20–Jan. 2. Activities included with admission. One LEGOLAND Dr., Carlsbad.

Botanic Wonderland. Festive lights, music, kids’ activities, crafts and more. Dec. 4–5, 10–23, 26–30, 5–9 pm. $10–$18. San Diego Botanic Garden, 230 Quail Gardens Dr., Encinitas.

Snow N Glow Holiday Festival. “Holidays in Your Car” 1.5 mile drive-thru light spectacular or stroll through Winter Wonderland with over 1 million glowing lights. Select nights, Dec. 4-Jan. 2. $12.99–$45. Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar.

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