Photography Provided By: Westfield UTC
Photography Provided By: Westfield UTC

14 Fun and Festive Ways to Celebrate the Holidays in San Diego

San Diego Is All Things Merry and Bright This Holiday Season! 

San Diego might miss out on seasonal snow, but the city’s events remain best in show. This season’s forecast: festivities, festivities, festivities! We’ve got the 411 on finding all of the fa-la-la you could dream of this year, and we couldn’t keep it a secret if we tried. We’ve got the what, when, where and why on all of the best holiday-themed events in townwe’ll leave it to you to bring along your favorite who. San Diego Holiday Events


What: Holiday Events at Park Hyatt Aviara

When: Events from Nov. 26-Dec. 26

Photography Provided By: Park Hyatt Aviara

Where: Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club & Spa, Carlsbad

Why: Pick your own present with a wide variety of family-friendly holiday events at Carlsbad’s Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club & Spa! In addition to special holiday menus featured at each of their restaurants, this premier oceanfront resort is hosting Teddy Bear Teas and Holiday High Teas to get the whole family in the spirit. Bring a teddy bear to donate at the Teddy Bear Tea with accompaniment by the Peppermint Princess herself or keep it just in the family at a holiday-themed traditional tea service. Finish off your day with a gourmet buffet or family-style feast at select restaurants, which are serving up special menus on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!

San Diego Holiday Events

What: Holidays at Westfield UTC

When: Nov. 19-Dec. 26 (holiday hours vary)

Where: Westfield UTC, La Jolla

Why: The North Pole has headed west to Westfield UTC! This La Jolla center has transformed into a modern-day winter wonderland, and there’s no shortage of joy here. Take a break from your gift-gathering to visit Grinch’s Grotto or Santa’s Workshop for that extra touch of holiday cheer you just can’t find the rest of the year. 

What: Holidays at the Catamaran Resort Hotel

When: Events from Nov. 27-Dec. 31

Where: Catamaran Resort Hotel, Mission Bay

Why: Keep things merry and bright right on the bay with an array of holiday happenings at the Catamaran Resort Hotel. Make it a true SoCal Christmas on the Bahia Belle for a Jingle Belle Family Cruise, or join an ugly sweater happy hour to add some mingle to your holiday jingle.

San Diego Holiday Events

What: Miracle on 30th Street

@localemag#miracleon30th #politeprovisions #northpark #sandiego #miraclebar #popup #localemagazine 🎥: by Locale Social Contributor @laurenisverde♬ Jingle Bell Rock – Glee

When: Until 2022

Where: Polite Provisions

Exp 12/30


What: Skating by the Sea at Hotel del Coronado

When: Nov. 22-Jan. 2 (holiday hours vary)

Where: Hotel del Coronado, Coronado

Why: Skate into the season the San Diego way at the world-famous Hotel del Coronado! Skip the snowflakes and skate on an oceanfront ice rink that celebrates the perfect combination of your city and the season. We guarantee you’ll be falling in more ways than one.

San Diego Holiday Events


@localemag##holidaymarket at @Petco park in ##sandiego @Padres ##localemagazine ##padres ##petcopark 🎥: @miketoddsmith01

♬ Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee

When: Nov. 29-Dec 24 from 4-9:30pm

Where: Gallagher Square at Petco Park


What: Snow N Glow Holiday Festival 

When: Dec. 4-Jan. 2 from 4-10 p.m. (select nights by reservation)

Where: Del Mar Fairgrounds, Del Mar

Why: There’s snow better place to get your ice-made fun in this season! Reserve your private, furnished igloo for up to six people (complete with a fire pit) for the best seat in the house. Shake out of your snowglobe and snow-tube through the freshly made snow or gawk in wonder at the drive-by and walk-through light displays.


What: Annual Hanukkah and Menorah Lighting

When: Nov. 28 at 5 p.m.

Where: Liberty Station

Why: Light up the night and celebrate the first night of Hanukkah at the annual Hanukkah and Menorah Lighting at Liberty Station! Menorahs, music and many family-friendly festivities work to illuminate the night as much as the giant menorah itself for an evening full of traditional celebration.

San Diego Holiday Events

What: Little Italy Tree Lighting & Christmas Village

When: Dec. 4 from 4-8 p.m.

Photography Provided By: the Little Italy Association

Where: Piazza della Famiglia, Little Italy

Why: Symbolize the start of the season at the highly anticipated annual tree-lighting tradition in Little Italy! The Piazza della Famiglia hosts a lighting ceremony for the 25-foot Christmas tree that remains on display all season long. Take in the cheer of the urban area that’s lined with lighted palm trees and garnished with red and green galore! 


What: Holidays by the Bay at Seaport Village

When: Multiple events from Nov. 14-Dec. 25

Where: Seaport Village, Downtown San Diego

Why: Your typical ship harbor transforms into a seasonal holiday headquarters, harboring everything from sightseeing tours to photos with Santa. Seaport Village, the well-known leisurely downtown destination, will be hosting live entertainment, breakfast with surfin’ Santa and serve as a hot-spot viewpoint for the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights!

San Diego Holiday Events

What: San Diego Bay Parade of Lights

When: Dec. 12 and Dec. 19 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Where: San Diego Bay

Why: Looking for a Christmas event guaranteed to blow the others out of the water? Get in line! Or just watch the line at the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights! Grab a blanket and pick a spot along the boat route from Shelter Island to The Ferry Landing in Coronado for a spectacular at-sea light experience.


What: A Black Family Christmas

When: Nov. 19-Dec. 26  

Where: Carlsbad Village, Carlsbad

Why: Get ready for a festive evening of family fun at Carlsbad Village! This traditional Black Family Christmas is hosted by Dorothy Black. Find Italian food among lots of singing and skits at a traditional event made to make everyone feel at home. Oh, and prepare for a side of drama with the dancing—this is a family affair, after all.

San Diego Holiday Events

What: Botanic Wonderland

When: Dec. 4-5, 10-23, 26-30 from 5-9 p.m.

Where: San Diego Botanic Garden, Encinitas

Why: There’s magic in botanics, and what better way to kick off the holiday season than in an 8,000-square-foot glass conservatory on a 37-acre campus filled with nature’s beauty, holiday lights, live music, food trucks and Santa himself! It’s where nature meets nativity, and it’s only natural that we love it.


What: Sippin’ Santa

When: Nov. 23-Dec. 31

@localemagThe Grass Skirt ##speakeasy in ##pacificbeach ##sandiego is now a ##sippinsanta ##localemagazine 🎥: By Locale Social Contributor @trendyspotsofsocal♬ Mele Kalikimaka – Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters

Where: The Grass Skirt, Pacific Beach

Why: Pop goes the Santa at this pop-up holiday drink oasis’ second year of operation, featuring an exclusive take on holiday cocktails. Grab an old pal and cozy up along the dashing decor as you sip eccentric-named spirits. Ask for a Yule Log Grog and a Mistletoe-to-Toe if you’ve been nice. 

About the author

Jaclyn is a sunshine chasing San Diego native with an extensive writing background. When she isn’t word-smithing, you can find her playing beach volleyball, skating the boardwalk, or on a rooftop enjoying a drink in the sunshine with her pals.


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