5 Holiday Events in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter That Will Spread Some Major Cheer

Christmas Trees, Santa Claus and Tons of Holly Jolly Music

Written By: Charlotte Farrell Gaslamp Quarter Holiday Events

If you’re like me, you started playing Christmas music and broke out the tinsel on Nov. 1st. If you’re less jazzed about the holidays but celebrate during a more appropriate time frame—to each their own—then so be it. The point is, no matter what or when you celebrate this holiday season, getting outside in the frosty air is so much more than a bright time. It’s the right time. Get it? Terrible jokes aside, taking part in all the fun is what makes this time of year so unique, and why not do it in one of San Diego’s most buzzing, thriving areas? The Gaslamp Quarter Association is putting on a bunch of events to get you in the mood, so don’t be a Grinch and join in on the fun!

Gaslamp Quarter Holiday Events

Holiday Kick Off

When: Saturday, Nov. 24 from 2-9 p.m.


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Start your holidays off on the right foot post-Thanksgiving on Small Business Saturday with a holiday shopping extravaganza of sorts, taking place on Fifth Avenue. The fun includes carolers and 80 artisan vendors to explore and discover. Next, shoppers and families can duck into one of many award-winning bars, restaurants, retailers and hotels to fill up on food or bevvies perfect for the festive occasion—PSL like there’s no tomorrow! Revelers can also look at the holiday décor around the neighborhood or take your photo with Santa Claus in his sleigh from 4-8 p.m. And don’t miss the moment at 6:30 p.m. when he’ll flip the switch to illuminate the buildings of the historic heart of SD with festive holiday scenes that will get everyone into the spirit of the season! The decor and light show will happen every evening until New Year’s Eve. Guests can bustle throughout the district buying gifts for loved ones, celebrate the season, look for the gingerbread houses sprinkled throughout the businesses in the neighborhood and enjoy the activities that only the Gaslamp Quarter uniquely provides.

Gaslamp Quarter Holiday Events

Toast of Gaslamp

When: Saturday, Dec. 8 from 1-5 p.m.


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Raise your glass because it’s time to toast the holidays with 20 delicious cocktail samples, 20 bites from local restaurants and discounts at over 10 downtown shops—talk about having 20/20 vision! Take advantage of the opportunity to sample some of the most delish sips and appetizing nibbles that the Gaslamp Quarter has to offer. Be sure to don you most festive attire (Santa suits and penguin onesies encouraged), round up your crew and live it up for an event that has become a holiday tradition for many San Diegans. Yule have a blast! 

Native Knowledge: You must be 21 or older and bring a valid ID to attend!  

Gaslamp Quarter Holiday Events

Vet + Pet West Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade

When: Sunday, Dec. 16 from 12-5 p.m.

Deck those paws with bells so jolly and that jingle all the way through the Gaslamp Quarter for the 11th Annual Vet + Pet West Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade. Pet owners and their furry, feathered and scaled companions are invited to show off their favorite costumes for this cheerful promenade. As a special “treat,” check out the Holiday Pet Market on that same day at MLK Promenade Park, adjacent to the Hilton San Diego Gaslamp Quarter. Register your pet via this link ASAP!

MLK Promenade Park
401 K St
San Diego, CA 92101

Gingerbread House Contest

When: Nov. 24-Dec. 31

Restaurants, bars, hotels and multiple retail locations will be creating gingerbread structures, buildings and houses topped with delectable treats—look, but don’t touch! To download a map where you can find all of the luscious creations visit www.gaslamp.org or the GQA’s social media. Vote for your favorite cookie creation and you’ll be entered to win a holiday gift package filled with gift cards from Gaslamp Quarter businesses and parking vouchers! It’s a great excuse for you and your fam to take your own holiday self-guided tour around the historic heart of San Diego! Make sure to stop and enjoy all the grub, sip on some amazing craft cocktails, or tackle your Christmas shopping list and purchase gifts at one of the Gaslamp’s great businesses!


Holiday Lights in the Gaslamp Quarter

When: Nov. 24-Dec. 31


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Starting at dusk, watch the Gaslamp Quarter’s historic buildings light up in amazing ways as you stroll along Fifth Avenue. We won’t judge if you break into singing Christmas carols. The festive light show begins on Saturday, Nov. 24 and continues every night until New Year’s Eve.  

Visit www.gaslamp.org for more details! And remember, there are over 1700 spots to park at the 6th and K parkade or Park it on Market (corner of 6th and Market). Park for as little as one dollar an hour, and no more than $15 a day!

Gaslamp Quarter Association
614 Fifth Ave, Ste E
San Diego, CA 92101

Website | + posts

Charlotte is a fan of all things beauty, health, food, wellness, travel and a touch of nerdy fandom. She graduated with honors from the University of California, San Diego in Communications and English Literature and enjoys writing, looking at puppies on Instagram and drinking all the tea.


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