Holiday Happenings in San Diego

The holidays are a special time everywhere, but we like to think they’re particularly so in Southern California. Sure, a lot of folks are of the opinion that it doesn’t really “count” as the holidays unless there’s snow on the ground, but we beg to differ. Sunlight and mild temperatures are always a gift, especially this time of year. 

If you plan to celebrate the season in San Diego, here’s just some of what you can look forward to. 

Sippin’ Santa (7 miles away)

Conceived as a sister concept to Miracle, Sippin’ Santa proposes an alternate-reality take on everyone’s favorite jolly old elf, recasting him as a purveyor of pop-up Polynesian potables. The Sippin’ Santa concept is presented again by Jeff Boehm in association with tiki guru Jeff “Beachbum” Berry and serves holiday-themed drinks of a slightly more island-inspired persuasion. Expect aloha shirts, hula music, and potent beverages like the “Kris Kringle Colada” and “Parrot in a Pear Tree” infused with rum, fruit, and lots of beachy fun. You’ll find Sippin’ Santa at The Grass Skirt through the end of the month.

910 Grand Ave, San Diego, CA 92109 

Taste Of December Nights (5 miles away, December 4 through 6)

The annual time honored tradition, December Nights, looks a little different this year due to the pandemic. The park is hosting a drive thru event that allows visitors to purchase food from over 20 vendors that would normally be serving during December Nights. A safe spin on a local classic!

Holidays In Your Car (20 miles away, December 5 through January 2nd)

Enjoy over 100,000 festive holiday lights from the safety and comfort of your vehicle this holiday season! December 19th yields a special live holiday show for families as well. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

Enchanted Village (21 miles away)

Celebrate the spirit of the season — safely. Noah HomesEnchanted Village is back for 2020 and has become a safe and socially distanced drive-through event. This year’s merry and magical display features more than 100,000 brilliant holiday lights, attractions, music, and interactive exhibits, all of which can be enjoyed from the safety of your vehicle. Proceeds from tickets to the event will benefit the developmentally disabled, so it’s also a great way to give back. 

12526 Campo Rd, Spring Valley, CA 91978

San Diego Bay Parade of Lights (Viewable from Humphreys, December 13 and 20) CANCELLED

The season’s most unique celebration is back for its 49th go-’round in 2020. San Diegans look forward to the Bay Parade of Lights every year, when boats of all shapes and sizes get decked out in illuminated displays of festive brilliance and sail past appreciative onlookers. This year’s theme is the “Twelve Days of Christmas,” so spectators can no doubt look forward to lords a-leaping, ladies dancing, golden rings, partridges, and pear trees galore. The best part? You can watch right from Humphreys!

Cesar Chavez Park, 1449 Cesar E. Chavez Pkwy, San Diego, CA 92101

Holiday at SeaWorld (4.5 miles away, December 13 through January 4) CANCELLED

San Diego’s SeaWorld has long been a cherished family destination, and the park celebrates the holidays in spectacular fashion. Twinkling holiday lighting, live shows, and all the sea life you know and love will be on full display. Plus, kids of all ages will enjoy seasonal attractions like Rudolph’s Christmastown, Winter Wonderland on Ice, and the new Sesame Street Christmas Village. Events run from mid-December through New Year’s weekend. 

500 Sea World Dr, San Diego, CA 92109

LEGOLAND Holiday Celebration (33 miles away, December 15 through 31) CANCELLED

LEGOLAND has built a spectacular seasonal celebration brick by brick to delight the whole family this year. Holiday-themed characters, events, live shows, and decor will bring the cheer all month long. Make sure to get a family picture in front of the two-story-plus LEGO Christmas tree, complete with lights and more than 400 hand-built LEGO ornaments. Word has it Santa will also be putting in an appearance, so be sure to keep a lookout! 

One Legoland Dr, Carlsbad, CA 92008