2020 Ultimate Socially Distanced Holiday Events for Kids in San Diego
UPDATED 12/6/20 - San Diego has been placed on the new CA Stay At Home Orders
Some of these holiday events remain OPEN as places for Passive Recreation, so the following places are STILL OPEN!
Face masks, social distancing and only gather with members of your own household rules are required. Best practices are to wash or sanitize hands BEFORE and after visiting any public place.
Public Disclosure: An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. Changes and Closures happen frequently so check directly with each site before you head out to know if it's open or not and what their policies are.
Believe it or not, there is still plenty of magical holiday fun to be had this year. All of these listed events have been modified to allow for social distancing, one-way paths, timed tickets, capacity limitations and some even have temperature checks before entry.
Face masks are required at all of these events, as is 6' social distancing from other households, and you should stay home if you have a fever, cough, or other related symptoms so as not to unknowingly spread anything to others who may have a compromised immune system.
Thank you for doing your part to help keep yourselves and people you don't know safe and healthy while still being able to enjoy the holiday spirit this year.
I think by now you should all know things can change anytime so be sure to check with each place directly before you head out. You may want to bring some extra cash as some locations will have food, drinks and gifts available for purchase.
Ok, now onto the list! Here you gooo.....Ho Ho Ho....Happy Holidays!
as of 12/6/20: ALL OF THE FOLLOWING REMAIN OPEN
scroll down for all of the details, dates, cost, links, etc.
1. DRIVE-IN Live-Stage Christmas SHOWS & MOVIES - OPEN
DRIVE-THRU HOLIDAY LIGHTS - Del Mar Fairgrounds
Live Stage Show - SANTA SAVES CHRISTMAS - Del Mar Fairgrounds
Live Stage Show - NUTCRACKER - Del Mar Fairgrounds
DRIVE-IN HOLIDAY MOVIES - Del Mar Fairgrounds
DRIVE-IN HOLIDAY MOVIES - California Center for the Arts
2. DRIVE-THRU Christmas Events - OPEN
ENCHANTED VILLAGE - Spring Valley
LANTERN CREST HOLIDAY LIGHTS - Santee
NEIGHBORHOOD HOLIDAY LIGHTS
HOLIDAYS IN YOUR CAR - Del Mar Fairgrounds
HOT WHEELS DRIVE-THRU EXPERIENCE - Ontario
ELECTRIC NOEL CHRISTMAS LIGHTS - Norco
3. WALK-Thru Christmas Events - OPEN
NORTHERN LIGHTS - California Center for the Arts in Escondido
HOLIDAYS BY THE BAY - Seaport Village
CHRISTMAS DISPLAY WALKING TOUR - Del Mar Highlands
HOLIDAY PHOTO WONDERLAND - The Village at Eastlake
HOLIDAY MARKET & TRAIL - Petco Park
SALUTE THE SEASON ARTWALK - Liberty Station
WINTER WONDERLAND - Hotel Del
WINTER WONDER - Belmont Park
LIFE-SIZE GINGERBREAD HOUSE - Rancho Bernardo Inn
CANDY LAND HOUSE - Clairemont
GRINCH'S GROTTO - UTC Mall
CHRISTMAS CITY, USA - Mission Valley
4. NATURE Parks & Animals - some are OPEN
SLEIGH RIDES - Temecula Carriage Co.
GARDEN OF LIGHTS - San Diego Botanic Garden
GARDEN NIGHTS, HOLIDAY LIGHTS - Water Conservation Garden
5. Santa PHOTOS - some are OPEN (click here)
In case you're wondering WHAT'S CLOSED...
BEACHSIDE MOVIES - Hotel Del
HOLIDAY LIGHTS & SIGHTS TOUR - Old Town Trolley
TASTE OF DECEMBER - Balboa Park
BREAKFAST WITH SURFIN' SANTA - Seaport Village
HOLIDAY IN THE VILLAGE - La Mesa Village
DRIVE-THRU HOME IN CORONADO - Coronado
OMA'S CHRISTMAS TREE FARM & FUN - Oma's in Lakeside
SEAS 'N' GREETINGS - Birch Aquarium
WILD WINTER - Helen Woodward Animal Center
JUNGLE BELLS - San Diego Zoo
WILD HOLIDAYS - San Diego Safari Park
CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION - SeaWorld
HOLIDAYS - Legoland
1. DRIVE-IN LIVE-STAGE SHOWS & MOVIES
-- THESE REMAIN OPEN --
Drive-Thru Holiday Lights - Del Mar Fairgrounds
Live Stage Show - Santa Saves Christmas - Del Mar Fairgrounds
Live Stage Show - Nutcracker - Del Mar Fairgrounds
Drive-In Holiday Movies - Del Mar Fairgrounds
Drive-In Holiday Movies - California Center for the Arts
Drive-In Holiday Movies - South Bay & Santee Drive-ins
Live Stage Show - Nutcracker - Liberty Station (SOLD OUT)
DEL MAR FAIRGROUNDS - DRIVE-IN MOVIES & LIVE STAGE SHOWS! (Del Mar)
You have four options to choose from, or do them all! Details listed below.
- Drive-thru Holiday Light Show
- Drive-In Movies
- Live Stage Show: Santa Saves Christmas
- Live Stage Show: Nutcracker Ballet by the City Ballet of San Diego
Drive-thru Holiday LIGHT SHOW: Holidays in Your Car at Del Mar
(Add-on to a Drive-In Holiday Movie listed below)
Drive-thru the sights and sounds of SoCal's largest drive-thru Holiday Light Shows! Stay in your car as you marvel at over one million lights, holograms, and projections featuring animated displays and sing along with your radio tuned in to their Holiday Classic tunes.
Dec. 5th – Jan. 2nd
5:30-9pm Mon-Thur; 4:30-10pm Fri-Sun
$49/car with 4 people; $64/car with 5+ people
Kids 2 and under in a rear-facing car seat don’t count towards the total number.
*No buses, limos, RVs or Sprinters Vans are allowed
advance purchase required
Drive-In Holiday MOVIES In Your Car
(Add-on to a Holiday Drive-Thru Light Show listed above)
Get into the holiday spirit with a festive Christmas Drive-In Movie! The website is different than the "Holidays In Your Car" website and the direct link for the movie tickets is hard to find online, but follow this link for more details and to buy tickets: Drive-In Holiday Movies
Dr. Seuss' The Grinch - Thur 12/3 at 6:30pm
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - Fri 12/4 at 7pm
Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas (with Jim Carrey) - Sun 12/13 at 6:30pm
Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey - Wed 12/16 at 6:30pm
elf - Thur 12/17 at 6:30pm
The Polar Express (with Tom Hanks) - Sun 12/20 at 6:30pm
Disney's The Santa Clause (with Tim Allen) - Tue 12/22 at 6:30pm
A Christmas Story - Wed 12/23 at 6:30pm
$29 per car
advance purchase required
*All tickets are General Admission - first come, first parked
*Gates open 1 hour before showtime, movies start promptly
*Portable restrooms available, masks required when getting out of your vehicle
*For vehicles over 6.5' tall, will be parked in the 4th row or further to avoid blocking other smaller vehicles
*No buses, limos or RVs allowed
*Each ticket is valid for ONE car for however many seatbelts are legally in your car
*No in/out privileges
*Outside food/non-alcoholic drinks ARE allowed
*No outside alcohol allowed, per CA state laws
*Tickets are NOT transferrable to another showtime
*Rain or shine, all sales are final, no refunds
*Read more details below, and read ALL of the details, rules & regulations at their website
Drive-In LIVE STAGE Show: Santa Saves Christmas
Catch a fun new live stage drive-in show called Santa Saves Christmas! Santa & the gang has to fill up his empty gas tank with holiday cheer. There'll be a light show, large video screens on each side, perhaps some snow falling and holiday sing-a-longs inside your car.
Dec. 12th & 13th
4:30pm or 7:30pm show times
$49-$229 per car (depends on how close you want to park)
advanced purchase required
Drive-In LIVE STAGE Show: Nutcracker Ballet by City Ballet of San Diego
Watch the award-winning production of the classic holiday ballet from inside your car at this drive-in live stage show.
Sat Dec. 19th only
5pm or 8pm show times
$99-$279 per car (depends on how close you want to park)
advanced purchase required