What to do in San Diego to Get in the Christmas Spirit


When you think of the city of San Diego, what kind of scenery comes to mind? Beaches, palm trees, surfers, maybe The OC? (For the record, that last one is wayyy off).

Regardless, none of those images exactly go hand-in-hand with traditional Christmas activities, and year-round seasonally warm temperatures (again, not complaining!) don’t exact help you get into the “Santa Spirit,” as Mike likes to say.

So, sandy beaches and balmy breezes aside, what is there to do in San Diego to help you get in the Christmas spirit? Lucky for you, fellow San Diegans and future visitors, I’ve compiled a whole list!

1. Check out December Nights at Balboa Park
*Time sensitive: This huge festival only runs for two days, December 4th (today!) and 5th (tomorrow!)


My bestie, Cassie, and I at December Nights circa 2013

2. Head south to Chula Vista for the annual Starlight Parade on Saturday December 5

3. See a Christmas tree made entirely of poinsettias in Little Italy

We need your help filling up our beautiful Poinsettia Christmas Tree this year! To sponsor a poinsettia ($10 each) and get your name, family name, or company name on a donor sign, just call Chris Gomez at 619-233-3898. The deadline is Tuesday, December 1st. Buon Natale, amici! #LittleItalySD #BuonNataleSD
A photo posted by Little Italy San Diego (@littleitalysd) on

4. Listen to Christmas music, take in the decor, and maybe even do some shopping at Fashion Valley Mall

5. Bring a blanket and park yourself on the bay to watch the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights on Sunday, December 13

6. For 12 nights in December, enjoy Holiday Wonderland at Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres

We want candy! #SDHolidayWonderland
A photo posted by San Diego Magazine (@sandiegomag) on

7. Go ice-skating on the beach at the iconic Hotel Del Mar in Coronado with their annual Skating by the Sea tradition

Mike and I skating by the sea last December

8. Or, go ice-skating in Liberty Station with their first annual Fantasy on Ice event

And when all else fails, cuddle up with some wine and a fuzzy blanket, light a festive candle, and tune into ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas (check out the full schedule here!)

What are some of your favorite Christmas activities in your local hood?

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