San Diego's Finest Holiday Parades
How many holiday parades would you guess are going on around town this year? I was able to find 14! The first one kicks of the Parade Season this weekend on Nov. 24th with the 73rd Annual Mother Goose Parade.
You have so many parades to choose from that include Mother Goose, Surfin' Santa, Toyland, marching bands, drill teams, floats, clowns, Roller Derby Dolls, vintage cars, boat parades, a pet parade, and most of them will have Santa Claus too. Take special note of the Starlight Parade because it will have SNOW to play in and so much more! 🎅🏼 🌨
Most of the other parades occur the first weekend of December and the biggest Balloon Parade 🎈in America wraps it up after Christmas on Dec. 28th with the Holiday Bowl Parade. This is one of my favorites because my kids love to gook and gawk over all of the balloons! You can buy grandstand tickets to reserve your seats ahead of time! This will save you time from having to stake out your turf an hour before it starts; which in the world of toddlers can seem like eons. My favorite part is after the parade is over...if you stick around you'll be treated to a super cool Battle of the Bands! And yes, I am a total band-geek, coming from a former flutist. 🤓 The marching bands from each of the colleges playing in the Holiday Bowl will battle it out for who can belt out the best tunes. 🎷🎵
How to make the most of your parading? View my Tips for Parade Viewing with Kids!
[Disclaimer: I make a good faith effort to ensure dates, times and descriptions are correct, but I encourage you to double check directly with the venue to make sure the information is correct or if it has changed since my research. I gather my information from multiple sources, both in person and online. If your venue is featured here and you would like for me to change anything or to be removed, please contact me right away.]
Here's the big list! Happy Parading! 👯
(click on each title to link)
73rd Annual Mother Goose Parade (El Cajon)
Sunday November 24, 2019 (always the Sunday before Thanksgiving)
parade starts at 1pm
Gorgeous floats, helium balloons, marching bands, clowns, horses and more, followed by Santa Claus at the end! You'll find the parade route online.
Surfin' Santa's Arrival at Seaport Village (Point Loma)
Saturday November 30, 2019
1-5pm (Santa arrives at 1pm)
Named one of the 10 best Santa sightings by USA Today. Santa will be wearing his board shorts and Aloha shirt as he arrives by boat. Take FREE pictures with Santa on his surfboard riding a 6' wave!
55th Annual Toyland Parade (North Park)
NOTE: The 2018 Parade almost didn't happen and then came together at the last minute. To
date, there are no updates to last year's website so it's likely to be cancelled
completely. Check the website to stay updated if you're really hoping for this one to
2019 PENDING!! [December 1, 2018]
All day parking available at the North Park Parking Garage for $1.
Balloon characters, marching bands, dance groups, cool vintage cars, beauty queens and Santa Claus will be riding atop his merry red fire engine. You'll find parking info and the parade route online. *There's a festival that normally happens after the parade every year is cancelled this year, but the parade is still happening.
ROUTE: On University Ave. between Utah & Iowa Streets
Coronado Holiday Parade (Coronado)
Friday December 6, 2019
3:20 Santa's Arrival; 6pm Parade; 7pm Tree Lighting (times are from 2018; not yet updated)
(2019 details haven't been updated yet, so this is from last year) Santa arrives by Fire Truck at the Ferry Landing with carolers and SNOW! He'll parade down Orange Ave. with a live band. Bring a stuffed animal for the Coronado Police Department's Annual Teddy Bear Drive.
Friday December 6, 2019
6:30pm parade starts
Festivities start at 6pm with vendors, food, music and fun for the entire family. Shining holiday lights will decorate every entry in this hometown parade. Anyone with a lighted entry can be in the as long as they register in advance. Almost 100 entries, including decorated pets, children, floats, and big trucks, have registered so far. Presented every year by the Alpine Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce, the parade ends at the FREE SNOW FESTIVAL --- with real snow and sledding--- in the Alpine Creek Town Center at 1347 Tavern Road.
ROUTE: Starts at the corners of Alpine Blvd. and W. Victoria Dr. and ends at Tavern Rd.
Starlight Parade (Chula Vista)
Saturday December 7, 2019
2-6pm Children's Faire; parade starts at 5pm
the historic Third Avenue Village
Visit the FREE Children's Faire (at Memorial Park: 373 Park Way) to see Frosty’s Snow Hill, Santa Pictures, Children's Train and other free fun!
ROUTE: On western side of Third Avenue and travels North from H to E Streets