San Diego's Finest Holiday Parades

Mother Goose Parade


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

come together.

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