Hello December! We are so ready for you and all the festivities that come with the end of the year. There are plenty of holiday related events from parades to tree lighting ceremonies to craft fairs and more! Check out the list of things to do to keep your calendar hustling & bustling throughout the holiday season. Cheers!
San Diego Jazz Fest and Swing Extravaganza Nov. 27-Dec. 1
Jazz bands and musicians from across the U.S. will perform. Festival presentations include great variety: trad, swing, boogie-woogie, ragtime, dixieland, gospel, rockabilly.
Town and Country Resort & Convention Center
619-297-5277 / www.sdjazzfest.org
SoNo Fest & Chili Cook-Off Dec. 1
SoNo Fest is an all volunteer run, locally-focused street festival featuring a 40-restaurant chili cook-off; 24 craft beer, wine and spirits makers in a huge beer garden; 30 local handmade vendors, a food truck court, live music on three stages and a kid’s fest! All proceeds from this event, in its 10th year, benefit McKinley Elementary.
11am-5pm / 32nd and Thorn, North Park www.sonofestchilicookoff.com
La Valencia Hotel Tree Lighting Dec. 5
5:30-8pm / 1132 Prospect Street, La Jolla
855-476-6870 / www.lavalencia.com
Coronado Christmas Parade & Open House Dec. 6
Festivities kick off with Santa Claus’ arrival by ferryboat at 3:20pm, followed by frosty fun on Snow Mountain until 7pm and carolers at the Coronado Ferry Landing. Other highlights include a popular Holiday Parade at 6pm and Merchants Open House 5-9pm down Orange Ave., a traditional Christmas tree lighting at 7pm and community band concert in Rotary Park.
619-435-9260 / www.coronadochamber.com
Alpine Parade of Lights & Snow Festival Dec. 6
There will be a visit from Santa and lots of snow! Enjoy various vendors, food, music and fun for the entire family!
6-9pm / Alpine Community Center www.visitalpine.org
Balboa Park December Nights Dec. 6-7
Festive fun, food and attractions throughout the park, including complimentary admission to Balboa Park museums from 5-9pm.
Fri 3-11pm, Sat 12-11pm / Balboa Park www.balboapark.org
US Beach Soccer National Championships Dec. 6-8
All Pro-Am Beach Soccer events are open to everyone to be part of the growing sport. We want all players, teams, clubs to enjoy the beach and treasure the benefits of playing on the sand.
Mission Beach: N Jetty Road
415-308-0603 / www.usbeachsoccerchampionships.com
he Arthritis Foundation’s original Jingle Bell Run is a fun way to get decked out and be festive, while racing to raise funds and awareness to cure America’s #1 cause of disability. Put on your favorite holiday costume. Tie jingle bells to your shoelaces.
6:30-11am / Liberty Station NTC Park https://events.arthritis.org
A holiday 5K that benefits Fresh Start Surgical Gifts and Semper Fi Fund. Your choice of a 3k or 5k run along the beautiful Del Mar beach. Participants are encouraged to dress in their best Holiday apparel and a prize will be awarded for best costume.
12:30-4pm / Powerhouse Park, Del Mar www.therednoserun.com
Artisans Alley Craft Fair Dec. 7
More than 160 vendors selling homemade crafts and unique holiday gifts. All proceeds from the fair support the Coronado Band & Choir in the elementary, middle and high schools.
9am-3pm / Village Elementary School Coronado
Winter Wonderland Festival Dec. 7
Children will have the chance to frolic in real snow, create winter-themed arts and crafts, and even rendezvous with live reindeer! Food and drink will be available.
3-7pm / California Center for the Arts, Escondido
Fallbrook Christmas Parade Dec. 7
“A Storybook Christmas” A special day in early December when Fallbrook residents and visitors alike come to enjoy this gift to the community from the Fallbrook Chamber of Commerce.
5pm / Main Avenue: Ammunition to Ivy
Chula Vista Starlight Parade & Children’s Faire Dec. 7
Gather the gang and enjoy FREE Pictures with Santa, fun holiday games, story time, FREE Snow Hill train rides, bounce houses, festive ornament making, and “Elf Yourself” station! Fair take place at Memorial Park from 1-5pm. Parade starts at 6pm.
1-8pm / Third Avenue Village www.starlightparade.com
Little Italy Tree Lighting & Christmas Village Dec. 7
Enjoy the community’s festive décor, seasonal vendors, live music and entertainment, horse carriage rides, holiday treats, a tree lighting, a visit from Santa and more!
4-8pm / Piazza della Famiglia www.littleitalysd.com
Encinitas Holiday Parade Dec. 7
Thousands of people will be on floats and in bands with tens of thousands more cheering them on. 5pm tree lighting ceremony with a brief appearance by Santa at the Lumberyard.
5-7:30pm / Coast Highway 101 www.encinitasca.gov
1-3pm / Historic Downtown Vista Village
760-726-1122 / www.vistachamber.org
Point Loma Marching Band, VW Beetle Club and classic Woodies, motorcycles, floats, live music and more. Santa Claus, will be making his appearance.
5:05-7pm / Sunset Cliffs Blvd & Newport Ave
Makers Arcade Holiday Fair Dec. 7-8
Local and regional artists, designers, and makers. Guests enjoy a fun and festive opportunity to mix and mingle throughout the day, buy local, and shop small for the holidays while enjoying delicious food, handcrafted cocktails, live music, a photo booth, crafts for all ages, and more.
10am-5pm / Port Pavilion at Broadway Pier
La Jolla Christmas Parade & Holiday Festival Dec. 8
You’ll see floats, marching bands, community groups, drill teams, vintage vehicles, horses, and yes ~ a camel. Church bells peal with a fly-over. There is also a Holiday Festival and Tree Lighting Ceremony.
1:30-5pm / Girard Avenue & Prospect Street
858-922-4046 / www.ljparade.com
Live Entertainment & Music, Tree Lighting, Holiday Movies, Roaming Mariachi, Ugly Sweater Contest, Downtown Merchant Storefront Decorations Contest, Homemade Tamales Contest, Holiday Gift Market, Santa, Kids Activities, Arts & Crafts, Local Food & Beer!
2-7pm / 25 Main Street www.cityofvista.com
Santa Claus, snow sledding, carnival rides, smores, food, face painting, arts, crafts and so much more!
10am-3pm / Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve
619-596-3141 / www.santeelakes.com
North Park Toyland Parade & Festival Dec. 8
Vintage cars, marching bands, dance groups, beauty queens, city officials and Santa Claus. After the parade festivities, make sure to stop by the North Park Christmas Tree Lot at The Observatory North Park parking lot.
10am-3pm / University Avenue
619-294-2501 / www.northparkmainstreet.com
Del Dios Trail Half Marathon, 10K and 5K Dec. 8
All courses feature dirt service roads or single track trails, with elevation gains between 100’-500’. When hills are present, they are short but steep.
6-11am / Lake Hodges Visitors Center, Escondido
720-835-9141 / www.enduranceraceseries.com
Free pictures with Santa, treats, games and entertainment, plus a holiday tree lighting!
3-5pm / L’Auberge Amphitheater, Del Mar
858-735-3650 / www.visitdelmarvillage.com
San Diego Bay Parade of Lights Dec. 8 & 15
A time-honored holiday tradition with more than 80 boats lavishly decorated sailing by the shores for all to see.
5-7pm / San Diego Bay www.sdparadeoflights.org
Rawhide Country Christmas Dec. 12-15
Hay rides, Petting zoo, Photos with Santa, Christmas lights, BBQ dinner, Holiday snacks and refreshments, Rodeo riding and equestrian vaulting exhibitions, Carolers, Live bands, S’mores, Christmas carols around a campfire, Arts and crafts fair, Country Christmas gift shop.
3-8pm / Rawhide Ranch, Bonsall
760-758-0083 / www.rawhidechristmas.com
La Mesa’s Holiday in the Village Dec. 13-14
Walk the streets of La Mesa’s historic downtown and enjoy live music and dance, cozy fires, craft vendors, food, and a kids’ area with holiday movies and activities.
5-9pm / La Mesa Village
619-343-2460 / www.lamesavillageassociation.org
Poway’s Christmas in the Park Dec. 14
Christmas tree lighting at 5:15pm, followed by the arrival of Santa at 5:30pm. Horse-drawn hay and pony rides, petting zoo, and face painting. Steam locomotive train rides, model trains, and live entertainment. Holiday sweets and warm dinner foods.
3:30-8:30pm / Old Poway Park www.poway.org
Santa’s Holiday Festival Dec. 14
Take pictures with Santa and whisper your holiday wishes in his ear. Each family will have the opportunity to make a memorable holiday ornament.
10am-3pm / Rancho Buena Vista Adobe, Vista
760-726-1340 / www.cityofvista.com
Lions Tigers & Bears Holiday Open House Dec. 14
Come watch the animals open their Christmas presents, spend the afternoon at the sanctuary with the man in red – Santa Claus – local food trucks, festive music, and lots of fun!
12-4pm / 24402 Martin Way, Alpine
619-659-8078 / www.lionstigersandbears.org
Fiesta de Reyes invites you to enjoy the holiday spirit with festive decorations throughout the park, entertainment, and holiday experiences for the whole family.
12-8pm / Old Town San Diego
Oceanside Harbor Parade of Lights Dec. 14
Fishing boats, sail boats, yachts, kayaks and dingys dressed up in holiday swag. Many of the boats feature people dressed up like Santa waving to the crowd.
7-9pm / Oceanside Harbor www.oceansideyc.net
Mission Bay Christmas Boat Parade of Lights Dec. 14
This free, distinctly California celebration features boats decorated for the annual holiday season that will sail around Mission Bay. A highly anticipated event in the San Diego community, dozens of vessels take to the water for the parade.
6-9pm / Mission Bay www.mbyc.org
Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade & Expo Dec. 15
Pet owners and their furry, feathered, and scaled companions are invited to don their favorite costumes for this jolly promenade and Holiday Pet Market.
12-5pm / Gaslamp Hilton Park: 401 K St. www.gaslamp.org
San Diego Holiday Half Marathon Dec. 21
A fast 13.1 mile course that starts in Rancho Penasquitos and finishes at the beautiful Torrey Pines State Beach.
5am-12pm / Hotel Karlan: 14455 Penasquitos Drive
Holiday Bowl 5K Run/Walk Dec. 26
Athletes will run past 100,000 cheering spectators. Runners, families and spectators can watch the remainder of the parade that features floats, bands and huge inflatable characters.
9:45am / San Diego Harbor Front www.holidaybowl.com
Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade Dec. 26
America’s Largest Balloon Parade! Marching bands, floats, drill teams and giant balloons parade down San Diego’s beautiful waterfront.
10am-12pm / Waterfront Park www.holidaybowl.com