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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.


Best Top Holiday Christmas events activities list guide for families kids are still happening in San Diego December 2020 what to do this year
Grinch Tree at The Old Globe in Balboa Park

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 Holidays In Your Car Drive thru through live stage shows christmas lights Best Top Holiday Christmas events activities list guide for families kids are still happening in San Diego December 2020 what to do this year
Del Mar - Holidays in Your Car

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



Holidays In your Car Drive-Thru Del Mar Christmas Lights Show Best Top Holiday Christmas events activities list guide for families kids are still happening in San Diego December 2020 what to do this year

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.


DATES:

Dec. 5th – Jan. 2nd


HOURS:

5:30-9pm Mon-Thur; 4:30-10pm Fri-Sun


COST:

$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


TICKETS:

advance purchase required


WEB:

holidaysinyourcar.com



Holidays In your Car Drive-In Del Mar Christmas Movies Best Top Holiday Christmas events activities list guide for families kids are still happening in San Diego December 2020 what to do this year

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


SCHEDULE:

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


COST:

$29 per car


TICKETS:

advance purchase required


WEB:

concertsinyourcar.com/sandiego


DETAILS:

*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



Holidays In Your Car Drive-In Del Mar Live Stage Show santa saves Christmas Best Top Holiday Christmas events activities list guide for families kids are still happening in San Diego December 2020 what to do this year

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.


DATES:

Dec. 12th & 13th


HOURS:

4:30pm or 7:30pm show times


COST:

$49-$229 per car (depends on how close you want to park)


TICKETS:

advanced purchase required


WEB:

holidaysinyourcar.com



Holidays In Your Car Drive-In Del Mar Live Stage Show The Nutcracker Best Top Holiday Christmas events activities list guide for families kids are still happening in San Diego December 2020 what to do this year

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.


DATES:

Sat Dec. 19th only


HOURS:

5pm or 8pm show times


COST:

$99-$279 per car (depends on how close you want to park)


TICKETS:

advanced purchase required


WEB:

holidaysinyourcar.com


WHERE:

Holidays In Your Car Events

Del Mar Fairgrounds

2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar

858-755-1161

holidaysinyourcar.com

@concertsinyourcar_


DETAILS:

*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 ALL of the details, rules & regulations at their website




The Center for the Arts Escondido Drive-In Christmas Holiday Movies Best Top Holiday Christmas events activities list guide for families kids are still happening in San Diego December 2020 what to do this year

DRIVE-IN MOVIES at Cal State San Marcos

hosted by California Center for the Arts (Escondido)

Movies will be held at CSSM (not at the CCAE) and shown on large LED screens using a designated FM radio station that you'll tune your car's radio to hear. Snack Packs are available for $20 (online pre-purchase only) and are filled with favorite movie munchies: pretzels, white cheddar popcorn, peanut M&Ms, trail mix, red vines, Whoppers, Nutella & Ritz crackers, 2 bottles Dasani water. Portable restrooms will be available, masks & social distancing are required when leaving your designated parking space.


SCHEDULE:

A Christmas Story - Sun 12/6 at 7pm

elf - Thur 12/17 at 7pm


COST:

$25 per car w/ 2 people, $35 per car w/ 3 people, $45 per car w/ 5+ people


TICKETS:

advance tickets only, online or by phone


HOURS:

parking lot will open 2 hours prior to show time


WEB:

artcenter.org


PHONE:

800-988-4253


TICKET OFFICE HOURS:

Tue-Sat, 12-6pm, Sun 12-5pm


Drive-In Movie LOCATION:

Cal State San Marcos - parking lot F

Enter on Palm Canyon Dr. from Craven Rd. off of Twin Oaks


HOSTED by:

California Center for the Arts

340 N. Escondido Blvd., Escondido

760-839-4138

artcenter.org

@theccae


DETAILS:

*First come, first parked

*Large vehicles over 6.5' will be parked in designated spots

*No RVs, campers, limos or buses allowed

*Guests are asked to remain in their vehicles or you may sit outside of your car without a mask, but remain seated within your designated parking space.

*If you're standing or moving outside of your parking space, a face mask is required.

*Outside food/drinks are permitted, but please consider supporting the food trucks on-site or local restaurants nearby. *This is an alcohol free event.

*No in/out privileges.

*Read ALL of the details, rules & regulations at their website


"What Your Ticket Purchase Means To Us: As the non-profit community & cultural heartbeat of North County San Diego, we depend on the generosity of arts-lovers like you to keep our organization vibrant and thriving. Our members and patrons know that art & artists have the tools, talents, and gifts to heal our hearts and revive our community, even in the most difficult of times. With your ticket purchase, you will join us in ensuring the cultural and artistic longevity of our beloved home community."





SOUTH BAY DRIVE-IN

At this time there are no holiday movies scheduled

Check website for details

southbaydrivein.com



SANTEE DRIVE-IN

At this time there are no holiday movies scheduled

Check website for details

santeedriveintheatre.com



Liberty Station Drive in nutcracker live stage show ballet Pt. Loma Point Loma Best Top Holiday Christmas events activities list guide for families kids are still happening in San Diego December 2020 what to do this year
Liberty Station - Drive-In Nutcracker

DRIVE-IN LIVE-STAGE SHOW - NUTCRACKER BALLET - LIBERTY STATION (Pt. Loma)

(SOLD OUT)

Drive-in for a live-stage Nutcracker performance at Liberty Station. The famous sugarplum fairies will leap across the stage as you watch from your car. You're encouraged to bring portable chairs, blankets and other cozy necessities to tailgate in comfort in front of your car. They'll only have 30 parking spaces per show and only 5 shows total. Grab dinner to support a nearby restaurant and bring it in with you to dine while you watch.


DATES:

Nov. 27-29, Dec. 5-6 at 3pm


COST:

$99/general admission, $129/VIP admission


TICKETS:

available here


WHERE:

Liberty Station

2850 Womble Rd.

619-756-7992

libertystation.com/events/salute-the-season

@libertystation




2. DRIVE-THRU CHRISTMAS EVENTS

-- THESE REMAIN 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





Enchanted Village by Noah Home in Spring Valley Best Top Holiday Christmas events activities list guide for families kids are still happening in San Diego December 2020 what to do this year

ENCHANTED VILLAGE - Spring Valley

Drive-thru a magical holiday light tunnel with over 100,000 holiday lights, Christmas displays, a musical Christmas tree and socially distanced photos with Santa. The best part is that you'll be helping Noah Homes programs support people with developmental disabilities. The drive-thru starts at Steel Canyon High School and ends at Noah Homes 8+ acres.


DATES:

Dec. 18-23


HOURS:

5-8pm


COST:

$65/vehicle (no motorcycles, buses, limos or RVs)


TICKETS:

advance purchase required


START HERE:

Steel Canyon High School

12440 Campo Rd., Spring Valley


END HERE:

Noah Homes

12526 Campo Rd., Spring Valley

enchantedvillage.org

@noah_homes



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LANTERN CREST DRIVE-THRU HOLIDAY LIGHTS - Santee

Not just another holiday lights drive-thru...THE BEST Holiday Lights Drive-Thru in all of San Diego! Surprisingly it's at a senior living complex in Santee and it's F-R-E-E-!!!!! This senior living residence is brand new and hasn't even opened yet for residents, but they have the PERFECT DRIVE-THRU set up that loops all around this complex with fun light displays. At the end there's a cute little snack stand with hot apple cider, hot cocoa & more (cash only). There's a $5 donation photo booth there too.


COST: FREE!


DATES:

Thurs-Sun all December long


HOURS:

Only from 6-8pm


WHERE:

Lantern Crest Senior Living

800 Lantern Crest Way, Santee

facebook.com/lanterncrest

@lanterncrestseniorliving



Clairemont Neighborhoods To Drive By Thru See Christmas Lights Best Top Holiday Christmas events activities list guide for families kids are still happening in San Diego December 2020 what to do this year
Clairemont "Christmas Park"

DRIVE-BY NEIGHBORHOOD HOLIDAY LIGHTS

Make some hot cocoa, buckle up, crank up some holiday tunes in the car and go for a drive to enjoy dazzling Christmas light displays around various neighborhoods. There are lots of well-known neighborhoods that really go all out with their holiday decorating.


These neighborhoods are usually worth the drive, but this year reports have come in that not as many are participating like they normally do. I've updated which ones still are on my other post linked below:


13 Christmas Light Neighborhoods Worth The Drive for Kids in San Diego



Drive-thru Holiday LIGHT SHOW: Holidays in Your Car at Del Mar

Details are listd above in the first section




(slideshow - tap side of photos to see more)


HOT WHEELS DRIVE-THRU EXPERIENCE - Ontario

This is the ultimate drive-thru experience...drive thru to see all the Hot Wheels cars 🏎 right in front of your little Hot Wheels loving child’s eyes! You’ll drive thru a one-way roped off lane that features 50 favorite legendary cars, Monster Trucks, specialty Monster Trucks, Garage of Legends vehicles & robots. If you know your Hot Wheels...some of them will be Bone Shaker®, The Original Monster Truck, BIGFOOT®, BIGFOOT® #5, the World’s Tallest & Heaviest Monster Truck, Tiger Shark™, 4- Story MEGASAURAS and more!


DATES:

Dec. 3 - Jan. 2


HOURS:

Mon-Thur 4-9pm

Fri 4-10pm

Sat 10am-10pm

Sun 12-8pm


COST:

Mon-Thur $45/online or $55/gate

Fri-Sun $50/online or $60/gate


TICKETS:

advance purchase required


WHERE:

Toyota Arena

4000 Ontario Center, Ontario

(approx 1.5 hrs north of San Diego)

hotwheelsmonstertruckslive.com/hotwheelsultimatedrivethru


WHAT’S NEARBY:

10 min away is: Logan’s Candy Cane Shop since 1933!! All of their candy cane making demos are full, but you can stop by to pick up some of their famous candy canes or try their new peppermint ice cream. Store Hours: M-F 10-6; Sat 10-5:30, closed Sun. 🍭


On your way back home 30 min south in NorCo: grab some pizza from Scratch (call your order in so it’s ready for you) and then drive thru the holiday lights display at Electric Noel in NorCo (see below!).




ELECTRIC NOEL CHRISTMAS LIGHTS DRIVE-THRU - Norco

As long as you’re going to see the drive-thru Hot Wheels show (above), stop by this Electric Noel afterward for another holiday adventure. It’s only 30 min away as you’re heading back to San Diego. Frozen ❄️ fans will love the soundtrack that you’ll tune your car radio 🎶 to as you drive through this mesmerizing neon glow of lights.✨ ☃️ ✨


TIP: When you leave the Hot Wheels show call your order in to Scratch Pizza @scratchpizza 📞🍕 in Norco because it’ll take 20-25 min so it’ll be ready when you get there.👌 Drive-thru Starbucks is here too. ☕️ 😉 The Electric Noel is just down the street so you can eat fresh hot pizza 🍕 or sip hot apple cider 🍎 as you cruise through the lights.🌟


DATES:

Now-Jan 3rd


HOURS:

5-10pm


COST:

$39-$49 per car sold in 30 min time slots but same day drive-ups are welcome too. $25 on Mondays


TICKETS:

advance purchase required


BATHROOMS:

Just before the lights entrance there’s a very clean park bathroom available. 🚻


WHERE:

Silver Lakes Sports Fieldhouse

5555 Hamner Ave., Norco

electricnoel.com

@electric_noel




3. WALK-THRU CHRISTMAS EVENTS

-- THESE REMAIN 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 IN THE PARK - Poway



California Center for the Arts CACAE Walk Through Christmas Light Display Escondido Best Top Holiday Christmas events activities list guide for families kids are still happening in San Diego December 2020 what to do this year
California Center for the Arts - Northern Lights

NORTHERN LIGHTS - California Center for the Arts in Escondido

Walk through a self-guided tour of a brilliant displays of holiday sights and sounds and enjoy tunnels of twinkling lights, giant Christmas trees and favorite holiday characters. You'll wander along the walkways and be amazed of the lights moving to the music. Don't miss the fun light show every 30 minutes that's curated by local Escondido family The Peace’s as featured on ABC’s The Great Christmas Light Fight.


DATES:

Nov. 30th – Jan. 3rd, daily


HOURS:

4:30-9pm


COST:

Free


TICKETS: n/a


WHERE:

California Center for the Arts

340 N. Escondido Blvd., Escondido

760-839-4138

artcenter.org/northern-lights-2020

@theccae




Seaport Village Holidays By the Bay Walk Thru Christmas Best Top Holiday Christmas events activities list guide for families kids are still happening in San Diego December 2020 what to do this year
Seaport Village - Holidays By The Bay

HOLIDAYS BY THE BAY - Seaport Village

The perfect place to get into the holiday spirit as you #ShopSmall and #ShopLocal amongst the lighted holiday displays, stage bands playing holiday tunes and masked roaming carolers. Grab tickets early for the socially distanced breakfast with Santa on Dec. 13th (details below) and even sign up for socially distanced Santa photos. Instead of the famous Surfin’ Santa you'll find a wall mural photo op if you want to keep your traditions alive this year.


DATES:

Nov. 28 – Jan. 1


HOURS:

daily 11am-7pm


COST:

Free to walk around

Santa photos cost varies

Tickets: advanced purchase required for Santa photos


WHERE:

Seaport Village

849 W Harbor Dr., Seaport Village

619-530-0704

seaportvillage.com/holidays

@seaport_village




CHRISTMAS DISPLAY WALKING TOUR - Del Mar Highlands

Take a fun walking tour to see elaborate holiday displays set up all throughout the Del Mar Highlands shopping center. Some include a fun walk-thru igloo scene with penguins, a large "cool" snowman next to Santa's sleight that you can hop inside, a surfboard Christmas tree, Santa and his reindeer on the rooftop and others. Catch the Christmas Tree LIGHT SHOW every 15 minutes after dark (near Jimbo's).


DATES:

December


COST:

Free


WHERE:

12925 El Camino Real, Del Mar Highlands

website




Holiday Wonderland The Village at Eastlake Best Top Holiday Christmas events activities list guide for families kids are still happening in San Diego December 2020 what to do this year

HOLIDAY PHOTO WONDERLAND - The Village at Eastlake

Life-size Insta-worth photo props will be spread throughout the Village Walk so you can use for your holiday photos or as a fun way to share your holiday spirit. You can snap photos of cute props with Santa, Snowman, Santa’s Workshop, Elsa, Olaf and more. Time your visit for a magical nightly (bubble) snowfall near the koi point on Thursdays-Sundays at 5pm, 6pm & 7pm!


DATES:

Dec. 3-20


HOURS:

11am-8pm


COST:

Free


WHERE:

The Village Walk at Eastlake

2275 Otay Lakes Rd., Chula Vista, 91915

shopvillagewalk.com/special-events




Petco Park Events Holiday Market Trail Best Top Holiday Christmas events activities list guide for families kids are still happening in San Diego December 2020 what to do this year


HOLIDAY MARKET & TRAIL - Petco Park

Stroll through the Holiday Market Trail at Petco Park where you’ll find a socially distanced, one-way trail featuring European artisan shops, lighting displays, foods and drinks, unique crafts and gifts. You’ll be able to fill the stockings up with ornaments, wooden figurines, oils and soaps, and many more trinkets. Enjoy cider or wine, delicious bratwurst, shortbread, and other tasty treats along the way. Lighting displays will feature Candyland, Winter Wonderland, Home for the Holidays, and more to bring you that cozy holiday spirit.


DATES:

Dec. 3-6, 9-23


HOURS:

4pm-9:30pm


COST:

$10/kids 1-14, $14/adults 14+, kids under 1 are free


TICKETS:

advance purchase required


WHERE:

Gallagher Square at Petco Park (former "Park at the Park")

Enter through East Village Gate at K St. & 10th Ave.

619-795-5000

mlb.com/padres/tickets/events/holiday-market-and-trail

@petcoparkevents


PAY PARKING:

Padres Parkade at 10th Avenue & J Street.

Presale parking is $15 online in advance




Liberty Station Salute The Season Art Walk Pt. Loma Point Loma Best Top Holiday Christmas events activities list guide for families kids are still happening in San Diego December 2020 what to do this year
"Thrown Into The Clay" by @milkoolongstudio

SALUTE THE SEASON ARTWALK - Liberty Station

"Liberty Station is tapping into the roster of the Arts District artists to create festive artworks displayed throughout the neighborhood. Inspired by the “Twelve Days of Christmas” chorale, the 12 installations will knit themes of unity and hope, a universal homage to a year defined by communal resiliency. Liberty Station visitors are invited to embark on a self-guided tour to see each expressive relic. Plus, anyone who snaps a photo with their favorite installation and posts to social media using #SaluteTheSeason will be automatically entered into a raffle, scoring a chance to win gift cards from Liberty Station eateries and shops, as well as a Zoom with Santa himself!"


DATES:

Nov. 26 - Jan. 10


COST:

Free


WHERE:

North and South Promenade

Liberty Station

2850 Womble Rd.

619-756-7992

libertystation.com/events/salute-the-season/art-walk

@libertystation





Hotel Del Coronado Winter Wonderland Santa Photos Best Top Holiday Christmas events activities list guide for families kids are still happening in San Diego December 2020 what to do this year
Hotel Del - Winter Wonderland

WINTER WONDERLAND - Hotel Del

The Hotel Del always has a way to transport you to a winter wonderland even in San Diego. The 2 story Christmas tree will be on the Windsor Lawn with other snowy surprises.


(The following events have been cancelled: Sign up for socially distanced photos with Santa in his sleigh, holiday treats & drinks and take away holiday crafts. Plan ahead for a holiday movie on the beach and add on a Jingle S’mores for a night you won't soon forget!)


DATES:

Nov. 26 – Dec. 31


HOURS:

5-9pm


COST:

free to walk around, other costs vary per event


TICKETS:

advance purchase required for events


WHERE:

Hotel Del

1500 Orange Ave., Coronado

619-435-6611

hoteldel.com

@delcoronado




WINTER WONDER - Belmont Park

2nd annual Winter Wonder holiday spectacular every weekend in December. You'll find a day & night night experience featuring a holiday toy drive, 15' tall holiday sculptures, other winter activities & entertainment; plus Illuminated Winter Nights when the sun goes down. Get Photos & Visit with Santa, or get cozy at the Beach House with Holiday Movies & Dinner by the beach. And…since it’s the season for giving and gifting, make sure to explore all the unique Gift Shopping.


Photos with Santa:

Saturdays & Sundays 2-5pm, next to the Sweet Shoppe

Toy Drive:

Bring a new, unwrapped toy to Draft, Plunge Pool or Mission Beach Rentals between December 1st-11th. For each donated toy, you can receive an awesome reward, like a day pass to the Plunge, discount on your next visit to Draft, or Rent One Get One at Mission Beach Rentals. Benefitting Toys for Tots. Organized by Mission Beach Town Council.


DATES:

Sat & Sun all December


HOURS:

12-7pm


COST:

free to walk around, other costs vary per event


TICKETS:

none needed


WHERE:

Belmont Park

3146 Mission Blvd, Mission Beach

belmontpark.com

@belmontparksd



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LIFE-SIZE GINGERBREAD HOUSE - Rancho Bernardo Inn

Get up close and personal with this LIFE-SIZE Gingerbread House! You'll find it in the lobby of the Rancho Bernardo Inn. The hotel lobby is open to come in and see this masterpiece. Bring your Santa Letters to drop off in Santa's Mailbox in front of the hotel lobby. The hotel grounds are stunning and fun to walk around. Grab a bite to eat from their restaurant and enjoy it outside on the patio overlooking the golf course. Sometimes they have holiday movies on the patio too!


DATES:

approx. Nov. 26 – Dec. 31


HOURS:

hotel hours


COST:

free to walk around

buy a gingerbread house kit for $15 from the cafe


TICKETS:

n/a just walk in


WHERE:

Rancho Bernardo Inn

17550 Bernardo Oaks Dr., Rancho Bernardo

888-976-4417

ranchobernardoinn.com

@ranchobernardoinn




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CANDY LAND HOUSE - Clairemont

Play in a real life version of Candy Land at this private residence in Clairemont. This is worth the drive since my boys played here for at least 20 minutes. There's a home-made spinner (with hand sanitizer) and chalk colored squares lining the sidewalk, complete with jump-ahead spaces to the gumdrops & lolipops! All Candy Land decorations are hand-made and are truly amazing. Drop off your letters to Santa in a Santa's mailbox and even grab a free little library book from 1 of 3 little free libraries based on age.


WHAT'S NEARBY:

This is about 2 blocks away from the shopping at Clairemont Mesa East (Balboa Ave. + Genesee Ave.) where you can get so many errands done at once! You'll find Kohl's, Vons, CVS, UPS Store, See's Candies, Baskin Robbins, Panera, Pieology Pizza, Habit Burgers, Boudin Bakery, Target, Starbucks, Home Depot (pick up your free kids wood craft project!) and many more.


DATES:

approx. Nov. 26 – Dec. 31


HOURS:

daylight


COST:

free to walk around


WHERE:

Private Residence in Clairemont

4005 Mount Albertine Avenue, San Diego




Grinch's Grotto Photos at UTC Mall La Jolla Best Top Holiday Christmas events activities list guide for families kids are still happening in San Diego December 2020 what to do this year

GRINCH'S GROTTO - UTC Mall

"Let’s face it, 2020 has been a Mean One. So this holiday season, there’s nothing more fitting than a unique meet-and-greet experience with The Grinch himself – complete with a visit to his cave. Your group will meet The Grinch and interact with him right in his cave, as well as pose for a socially distanced photo and receive some surprise gifts." Your admission includes a 6x8" photo and a collectible Grinch ornament! Each ticket allows 5 people per group to meet the Grinch.


DATES:

Dec. 2-24


HOURS:

vary by day


WHERE:

UTC Mall

4545 La Jolla Village Dr., UTC Mall

858-546-8858

showclix.com/event/grinch-s-grotto

@westfieldutc



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CHRISTMAS CITY, USA - Mission Valley

Each evening will feature carolers, holiday-inspired foods, unique vendors, and festive decorations to bring you an amazing Christmas experience. Don’t miss the exquisite Christmas tree with digital LED lights synchronized to music and a water fountain light show experience that you'll have to see to believe. Christmas City USA will feature music from local choirs and community groups, activities for children, food, drinks and a few surprises throughout the night; including a visit with Santa & Mrs. Claus where you can take your own Santa photos.


This is at the (somewhat controversial) brand new Legacy International Center in Mission Valley. It's a luxury resort hotel & spa, "designed to celebrate the nations and cultures of the world". It has "over 18 acres of exhibits, attractions & beautiful grounds to explore" and is open to the public year-round. We didn't feel any pressure whatsoever to "join" and there was no talk about religious affiliations. (We're not sharing about religious affiliations - just sharing a fun place that we enjoyed as a family.)


COST:

COST: $5 parking, otherwise the event is FREE


DATES:

Dec. 4-6, 11-13 & 18-20


HOURS:

6-9pm


WHERE:

The Legacy International Center

875 Hotel Circle South, San Diego 92108


https://legacysandiego.com/christmas-city-usa/

@legacycentersd




Christmas In The Park at Old Poway Park Santa Photos Mailbox Letters Best Top Holiday Christmas events activities list guide for families kids are still happening in San Diego December 2020 what to do this year

-- I'm not sure if this event is still happening? --


CHRISTMAS IN THE PARK - Poway

Head over to Old Poway Park for a re-imagined old-fashioned holiday event. Drop off your letters to Santa, sign up for a socially distanced photo with Santa, pick up some holiday crafts and enjoy the holiday decor. There will only be 3 select dates to sign up for in advance, but you can walk through the park anytime to enjoy the holiday lights. The annual tree lighting will be on Dec. 12th at 5:15pm.


DATES:

Dec. 5, 12 & 19


HOURS:

8am-1pm


COST:

free to walk around, cost varies for events chosen


WHERE:

Old Poway Park

14134 Midland Rd., Poway

858-668-4576

poway.org/890/Christmas-in-the-Park




4. NATURE PARKS & ANIMALS

-- THESE REMAIN OPEN --


SLEIGH RIDES - Temecula Carriage Co.

GARDEN OF LIGHTS - San Diego Botanic Garden

GARDEN NIGHTS, HOLIDAY LIGHTS - Water Conservation Garden



Temecula Carriage Company Horse Drawn Sleigh Rides Best Top Holiday Christmas events activities list guide for families kids are still happening in San Diego December 2020 what to do this year
Temecula Carriage Co. - Sleigh Rides

SLEIGH RIDES - Temecula Carriage Co.

There's no better way to bring in the holidays than with a sleigh ride through Santa's workshop! They have 2 sleigh ride options and you can't go wrong with either one. We've personally done these sleigh rides at Temecula Carriage Co. and trust me when I say they're pure magic! The owner are so sweet and have a little girl so they're very family friendly and will do everything they can to make sure you and your kiddos have the best time.


OPTION 1: Jingle Bell Sleigh Ride

"You'll be ushered through more than 100,000 twinkly lights and holiday decor. Bring a warm blanket and snuggle with your family as you listen to the jingle bells and clip clop of the horse's hooves."


25 minute sleigh ride for up to 4 people, $65 per carriage ride (not per person)



OPTION 2: Santa's Wine Country Workshop Sleigh Ride

"On a private carriage drawn by elegant horses, your family will visit Santa at his Wine Country Workshop. Santa will be inside his open-air gingerbread house building toys in his workshop. You'll remain inside the carriage the whole time, but you'll get to talk to Santa from a distance and tell him what you'd like for Christmas this year."


12-15 minute sleigh ride for up to 6 people, $65 per carriage ride (not per person)


DATES:

Nov. 27 - Jan. 3


HOURS:

between 3-9pm


TICKETS:

advance reservation and purchase required - Call or book online


WHERE:

Temecula Carriage Company

pick up location will be given at time of booking

Temecula Wine Country

844-369-1852

temeculacarriageco.com/jingle-bell

@temeculacarriages




San Diego Botanic Gardens Garden of Lights Best Top Holiday Christmas events activities list guide for families kids are still happening in San Diego December 2020 what to do this year
San Diego Botanic Gardens - Garden of Lights

GARDEN OF LIGHTS - San Diego Botanic Garden (Encinitas)

The Garden is transformed into a dazzling holiday light show with over 125,000 sparkling lights illuminating the Garden for a magical holiday experience! Safely stroll amidst festive holiday lights throughout the Garden’s 37 acres to see displays of lighted animals, laser lighting and fire pits. You'll find most notable the Conservatory, Toni’s Treehouse, the Rainforest & Waterfall, the Lawn Garden, Canary Islands/Cork Oak Grove and Seeds of Wonder Children’s Garden. This is always a beautiful, walk-through experience. Nightly live music, roaming musicians, hot drinks & food will be available.


DATES:

select dates

Dec. 2-6, 9-13, 16-17, 26-30, 2020


HOURS:

5-8:30pm


COST:

$7-$20, varies see below; Members $7/child, $10/adult; Non-members $12/child, $18/adult, $15/seniors & military; Peak Pricing is Dec. 18-23


TICKETS:

advance purchase required


WEBSITE:

San Diego Botanic Garden

300 Quail Gardens Dr., Encinitas

760-436-3036

sdbgarden.org/botanicwonderland

@sandiegobotanicgarden





GARDEN NIGHTS, HOLIDAY LIGHTS - Water Conservation Garden (El Cajon)

Walk through Holiday Lights in the Garden at one of our favorite places! There's a one-way path to follow that loops you all throughout this beautifully decorated, gorgeously landscaped garden.


DATES:

select dates

Nov. 19-20; 26-27

Thursday 12/3, 12/10, 12/17 from 5-7pm

Friday 12/4, 12/11. 12/18 from 5-9pm

Saturday 12/5, 12/12, 12/19 from 5-9pm


HOURS:

5-9pm varies depending on the date

Generally weekdays 5-7pm, Fri & Sat 5-8pm but check before you go

You can visit during the daytime Tues-Sun from 9am-2pm (last entry 1pm)


COST:

$8 Adults

$5 Seniors 55+/Students/Military

$4 Kids ages 3-17

FREE for kids 2 and under and garden members


TICKETS:

available at the gate


WHERE:

The Water Conservation Garden 12122 Cuyamaca College Dr. West, El Cajon

619-660-0614

thegarden.org

@thewaterconservationgarden





-- All of The Following Have CLOSED Effective 12/6/20 --

due to the recent CA Stay At Home Orders

or their event dates have ended


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



Hotel Del Coronado Beachside Holiday Christmas Movies Best Top Holiday Christmas events activities list guide for families kids are still happening in San Diego December 2020 what to do this year

BEACHSIDE MOVIES at Hotel Del (Coronado)

Snuggle up under the stars with a beachside movie at the Hotel Del. Come prepared to stay warm so BYO blankets, limited number of blankets will be for sale on site. Seating starts at 6pm, movies start promptly at 6:30 pm. General tickets include a comfy Del Beach sand chair, but you may want to consider adding-on a Jingle S'mores bonfire or a beach daybed to make your holiday movie viewing more memorable. You might be able to add on food from their roasting menu, be sure to pre-order ahead of time.


SCHEDULE:

A Christmas Story - Sat 12/12 at 6:30pm

elf - Sat 12/19 at 6:30pm

The Goonies - Sat 12/26 at 6:30pm

Back to the Future - Thur 12/31 6:30pm ON New Year's Eve! at (includes 9pm NY Times Square ball drop + fireworks!)


COST:

$20 per chair

$300 VIP Family Movie Package includes a private bonfire with s'mores for 4, 2 Del Beach chairs + daybed


TICKETS:

advance purchase required by phone, 619-522-8490


WHERE:

Hotel Del

1500 Orange Ave., Coronado

619-435-6611

hoteldel.com/holidays

@delcoronado


DETAILS:

*No outside food/drinks are allowed

*Dogs on leash are welcome

*Face masks are required, unless seated and consuming food/drinks

*Social distancing is required of at least 6' apart from other households



Old Town Trolley Tours Lights and Sights Christmas Lights Tour Balboa Park Seaport Village Best Top Holiday Christmas events activities list guide for families kids are still happening in San Diego December 2020 what to do this year

HOLIDAY LIGHTS & SIGHTS TOUR - Old Town Trolley

The Old Town Trolley will take you on a holiday light tour to see your favorite San Diego sights! The elf conductors will share fun holiday facts and get some sing-a-longs going for a ride that's festive and bright! Face masks are required, the trolley is running at a 50% occupancy seats and it's a 75 minute outdoor trolley tour so dress warmly and bundle up!


DATES:

Dec. 3-24, 26-30


HOURS:

6-8:30pm


COST:

$25 for ages 4+, free for kids 3 and under


TICKETS:

advance purchase required


WHERE:

Old Town Trolley

4010 Twiggs St., Old Town

866-754-0966

trolleytours.com/san-diego/christmas-holiday-tour

@oldtowntrolley




Balboa Park Taste of December Nights Best Top Holiday Christmas events activities list guide for families kids are still happening in San Diego December 2020 what to do this year

TASTE OF DECEMBER NIGHTS & GIVEAWAYS - Balboa Park

Come Hungry! The annual December Nights has been reimagined into a drive-thru Tasting Event. They've arranged for over 20 of your favorite food vendors and food trucks from past December Nights to line up along Inspiration Point in Balboa Park for you to drive-thru and grab some of your favorite foods. No walk-ups allowed, you must remain inside your car. No public bathrooms will be available.


Plan ahead by looking at the MENU OFFERINGS HERE so you'll know exactly what you want to order and what to look forward to!


There will be lots of GIVEAWAYS! The first 500 cars to arrive each day will receive a Santa card, Taste of December Nights tote bag FILLED WITH fun & festive items. They'll also be giving away prizes to lucky guests throughout the day like: Balboa Park Explorer Passes, Tickets to Balboa Park Museums, Tickets to the Zoo & Safari Park, Concert Vouchers from CalCoast Credit Union, San Diego Padres gear, Soapy Joe's annual car wash passes, and more!


DATES:

Dec. 4-6


HOURS:

11am-10pm


COST:

varies based on your food purchases


WHERE:

Inspiration Point Parking Lot at Balboa Park

sandiego.gov/taste-of-december-nights

@balboapark



Home In Coronado for the Holidays Drive-Thru Holiday Event Free Best Top Holiday Christmas events activities list guide for families kids are still happening in San Diego December 2020 what to do this year

"HOME IN CORONADO FOR THE HOLIDAYS" - Coronado