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Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies in San Diego (2023)

(updated 11/15/23)

O Christmas Tree is right! Just look at all of these Tree Lighting Ceremonies happening all around San Diego this year!

Not only are there lighting ceremonies, but most of these have other fun events happening before or after; like parades, "snowfall", fire truck Santa arrival, free hot cocoa and caroling. There's literally too much to even include in each event so you'll have to click the "Event Info" for all the details!



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🎄🌟 Sun Nov. 12: THE OLD GLOBE, Balboa Park

at 6pm

1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego, CA 92101



*FREE but Reservations are REQUIRED! 

The 18th annual Globe Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place on Sunday, November 12 at 6:00 p.m. on the Globe’s Copley Plaza, part of the Conrad Prebys Theatre Center. The ceremony will kick off the holiday season in conjunction with the presentation of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Designed by Grinch scenic designer John Lee Beatty, the unique tree will be located in the center of the Plaza and will remain for the run of the show. This fun family event will feature a special live performance by members of the Grinch cast and a delightful holiday snowfall on the Globe Plaza. Although the event is free, reservations are required. Reservations can also be made by contacting the Box Office at (619) 23-GLOBE. The Grinch production performance that day will be at 4:30 p.m. more info

There will be a standby line that forms at 5:00 p.m., an hour before the Tree Lighting. Based on space availability after all ticket-holders have entered the plaza, standby line patrons may be given access to the Globe’s plaza starting at 6:00 p.m.


🎄🌟 Tue Nov. 21: OTAY MESA

from 4-7pm

2015 Birch Rd., Chula Vista, CA 91915


A grand Santa arrival and the lighting of a Christmas tree with over 17,000 lights will be the centerpiece of an annual evening filled with fun holiday-themed activities, entertainment and a magical snowfall.


🎄🌟 Fri Nov. 24: LIBERTY STATION, Point Loma

from 5-9, lights on approx. 6:15

2640 Historic Decatur Rd., Pt. Loma


Liberty Station invites the community to celebrate the season at its 2023 Salute the Season main event, the Liberty Station Tree Lighting & Holiday Festivities, taking place in the North Promenade on Friday, Nov. 24, from 5 to 9 p.m.

Gather your loved ones and enjoy a magical evening of the iconic 88-foot Norfolk pine tree lighting as well as live entertainment, festive firetruck rides, free photos with Santa, and The Grinch movie showing.

Parking: Free parking is available in any of the lots within Liberty Station in addition to street parking

Weather: The Tree Lighting and all activities will take place rain or shine. Guests are asked to dress warmly and bring rain gear.


🎄🌟 Sat Nov. 25: GROSSMONT CENTER, La Mesa

at 3-6, lights on approx. 6pm

5500 Grossmont Center Dr., La Mesa


We’ll be wrapping up the Holiday Fest Market on November 25th with our annual holiday performances and tree lighting: Light Up the Holidays! Join us as we partner with The Salvation Army for their Red Kettle Kickoff and enjoy shows by a dazzling lineup of musicians, dancers, gymnasts and more!

  • 3:00pm – 7 Celtic Nations Pipe Band

  • 3:30pm – San Diego Gymnastics

  • 3:45pm – The Salvation Army Brass Band

  • 4:15pm – Dance Dayz

  • 4:30pm – The Magi

  • 5:00pm – The Well Community for Women children’s performances

  • 6:00pm – Countdown to the Tree Lighting!


Plus, get your photos with Santa, donate a new and unwrapped toy to the toy drive, and enjoy complimentary refreshments. This free, family-friendly event has become a beloved tradition for the La Mesa community and there’s no better place to get in the holiday spirit!


🎄🌟 Sat Nov. 25: EL CAJON

from 2-8pm, lights on at 6pm

Main St. + Magnolia Ave.


Holiday Lights on Main Street is an annual tradition in Downtown El Cajon. Join us for family fun and live entertainment, ice skating on the Promenade, and so much more.



from 12-8, lights on 6-ish

2811 Washington St., Julian


Kick off the holiday season in Julian with a Christmas holiday shopping market, *ice-skating, tree lighting and of course famous apple pie!

Holiday Market will be at the Julian Town Square: 2712 Washington Street, Corner of Main and Washington.

Ice Skating will be at the Julian Farm & Orchard; transformed into a Winter Wonderland with the first-ever ice rink. This skating arena is a synthetic and water-free ice substitute that aligns with Julian Farm and Orchard's commitment to sustainability. We use traditional ice skates and you can either bring your own or rent from us. While it might not be frozen water, it's just as fun and sure to be a seasonal favorite for the whole family! Ice skating will run from November 10th and will be open 10 am - 4 pm, Fri-Sat-Sun through December. You can reserve your spot online by clicking the link.


🎄🌟 Sat Nov. 25: ONE PASEO, Del Mar

from 5-8, lights on at 5pm

3725 Paseo Pl., Del Mar

858-523-2298 @onepaseo


One Paseo will be aglow with firefly lights shimmering in the trees and festive décor throughout the center beginning on Saturday, November 25th. The lighting of the 30-foot tall tree will feature live musical performances, snow cascading from the rooftops, Santa and special guests! Tree lighting ceremony kicks off at 5pm.


🎄🌟 Sat & Sun / Nov. 25 & 26: PELTZER WINERY & FARM, Temecula

from 12-8, lights on at 5:30pm

40275 Calle Contento, Temecula


Join us for TWO DAYS of our Annual Tree Lighting! 🎄 Bring the whole family to enjoy this ALL DAY, ALL AGES event featuring ice skating, local food trucks, live music, a holiday market, delicious Peltzer beverages, our tree lighting ceremony, and a visit from good ol’ St. Nick himself. See link above for all the details.

🎅 Santa Claus 12-4pm

🎄 Tree Lighting will begin at 5:30pm

🚂 Peltzer Express | 2-8pm | $6

⛸️ Ice Skating 10:30am, 12pm, 1:30pm, 3pm, 4:30pm, 6pm, 7:30pm

 🎶 Live Music 1-9:30pm

 🥘Food Truck Alley from 11-9:30pm: mac & cheese, pizza, BBQ, treats, more

🍷Wine | Sangria | Frozeezies | Craft Beer

🛍️#shopsmall at the Peltzer Trading Post from 11am-8pm


🎄🌟 Thur Nov. 30: LA VALENCIA HOTEL, La Jolla

at 5:45pm

1132 Prospect St., La Jolla


Enjoy holiday beverages, homemade treats, live music, carolers, and children's crafts while counting down to La Valencia's annual tree lighting at 5:45pm. No reservations required for entry.



from 6-9

1923 Calle Barcelona, Carlsbad


Join The Forum Carlsbad for our 21st Annual Tree Lighting Celebration on Friday, December 1 from 6:00 to 9:00 pm!

The evening will be filled with festive activities including a live performance by Crown City Bombers, holiday characters and entertainers, Santa’s arrival, the official lighting of the Christmas Tree and an incredible light show and magical snowfall. Families will also have an opportunity to visit and take photos with Santa, so don't forget your camera!


*2022 INFO*


at 6:30 Event info

340 N. Escondido Blvd., Escondido



🎄🌟 Fri Dec. 1: CORONADO

from 6-7, lights on at 6

at Orange Ave. + 10th St., Coronado


Coronado Holiday Parade & Tree Lighting Ceremony - Friday Dec. 1 at 6pm



from 4-6pm, lights on promptly at 6pm!  

409 4th St., Encinitas

(upper parking lot)


Free. Experience Santa & Mrs. Claus arriving in style! Friday Dec. 1 from 4-6pm, tree lighting promptly at 6pm. Live music, food & drinks. Shuttle serice from Cottonwood Park about 3 blocks away (near Leucadia Pizza!) ;)



from 5-8

1775 East Mission Bay Dr., Mission Bay


Come to our winter wonderland for our annual Christmas Tree Lighting on December 1st from 5:00 - 8:00 pm. Enjoy Christmas carols, festive food and drinks and more.

Experience the magic of the holiday season at our annual Christmas tree lighting event on December 1st from 5:00 - 8:00 pm. Join us for a joy-filled evening of caroling, cookie decorating, delicious hot chocolate and photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus. With live music, themed arts and crafts, delicious food and delightful drinks, it's the perfect way to kick off your holiday festivities to get you and your family into the Christmas spirit.



at 2-5, lights on approx. 5pm

4500 Ocean Blvd., Pacific Beach


Keep the cheer right here in PB! Join us for a delightful day of holiday festivities and capture the magic of the season on Crystal Pier. We hope you’ll join us in celebrating the holidays on Crystal Pier. It’s a wonderful opportunity to share the joy of the season with friends and neighbors, old and new. Let’s make unforgettable memories and create a sense of community that truly embodies the spirit of the holidays. Mark your calendars and invite your loved ones for a heartwarming day by the beach. Don’t forget your holiday spirit and your cameras to capture the magic of Christmas on Crystal Pier!

Pictures with Santa Claus:  Don’t miss your chance to meet Santa at the end of Crystal Pier! Capture timeless holiday memories with Santa from 2:00 PM until 5:00 PM. Pictures are just $10, and the experience is priceless.

Tree Lighting at Sunset: As the sun sets over the beautiful Pacific Beach coastline, we’ll illuminate our magnificent holiday tree, casting a warm glow over the festivities.

Festive Wreaths:  Admire the beautiful wreaths on display, lovingly decorated by local community groups and businesses. Each wreath is a testament to the spirit of togetherness and creativity that defines our community.

Please Note: To ensure you secure your picture with Santa, make sure to arrive by 3:45 PM at the latest. The last picture of the day will be taken at 5:00 PM.


🎄🌟 Sat Dec. 2: ENCINITAS

lights on at 5pm

S. Coast Highway 101, Encinitas


Nearly 100 parade entries will roll, march, cycle, scoot and cruise down the Coast Highway on the most magical night of the year. At this truly special community celebration of the holiday season, thousands of people will be on floats and in bands with tens of thousands more cheering them on Encinitas Holiday Parade rolls along Coast Highway 101 on the first Saturday in December. The parade begins at 5:30 PM. It is preceded by a 5:00 PM tree lighting ceremony with a brief appearance by Santa at the Lumberyard Shops courtyard.



from 5-8, lights on 5:45

6200 Flying Leo Carillo Lane, Carlsbad


Experience a classic holiday setting at the City of Carlsbad’s Holiday at the Rancho.

Explore Leo Carrillo Ranch lit up with holiday lights, decorations, and a backdrop of classic holiday musical performance. Watch the holiday tree lighting at 5:45 p.m. on the sand near the pool. Decorate holiday cookies, create crafts, participate in the ‘plush’ snowball fight, and enjoy festive entertainment. Face painting, train rides, an outdoor movie and a special visit by Santa are also included. A holiday film will be featured on the outdoor movie screen starting at 6 p.m.

  • All activities and entertainment are included with admission. 

  • Food, beverages, and souvenir photos are available for an additional charge. 

  • Tickets are available for purchase for presale until 5 p.m. the Friday before the event or at the event, if it is not sold out.


🎄🌟 Sat Dec. 2: CARMEL VALLEY

from 5-7:30pm

13490- Pacific Highlands Ranch Pkwy, Carmel Valley


Complimentary Photos with Santa, Live Music, Hot Chocolate & Cookies. Holiday train rides 10am-8pm.


🎄🌟 Sat Dec. 2: SAN MARCOS

at 2-7pm, lights on at 5:30pm

1 Civic Center Dr., San Marcos


The City of San Marcos Parks & Recreation Department offers a variety of special events throughout the year for the community to enjoy. Below is a comprehensive list of events; events are periodically updated with more information as we get closer to the date. Click on the event name to view more information or call us at (760) 744-9000.

FREE Photo with Santa, 2-5pm

Craft & Food Vendors, 2-7pm

Free Children's Crafts, 2-7pm

Tree Lighting, 5:30pm


🎄🌟 Sat Dec. 2: RAMONA

from 5-9, lights on 7pm

645 Main St., Ramona


The Ramona Chamber of Commerce organizes the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting.  Enjoy the holiday decorations, late shopping and dining, classic cars, live music, vendors, kids crafts, dancing, carolers, photos with Santa, and much more!


🎄🌟 Sun Dec. 3: LITTLE ITALY

from 4-8, lights on approx. 6:30

523 W Date St., Little Italy

619-233-3898  @littleitalysd


The festivities start at 4:00pm, with the Tree Lighting Ceremony taking place in the Piazza della Famiglia at 6:30pm. more info

Ho Ho Ho… Can you hear those jingle bells? This year SANTA IS BACK for our annual Little Italy Tree Lighting and Christmas Village on Saturday, December 3rd from 4:00pm-8:00pm! Transforming into a winter wonderland with Christmas twinkle lights down all the streets, our beautiful urban neighborhood will be adorned with 10-foot tall nutcrackers and kinetic tree holiday displays on street corners, Christmas songs and more. Family, friends, and neighbors are invited to come together to experience true holiday joy at this family-friendly event and enjoy the neighborhood’s festive décor—including two Christmas trees, Joshua Hubert’s Aurora tree at Piazza Basilone and the permanent 25-foot tree at Piazza della Famiglia, seasonal vendors, live music and entertainment, holiday treats, a traditional Italian tree lighting ceremony, and this year SANTA IS BACK to grant everyone’s Christmas wishes!

You can also enjoy our Christmas Village, located on India Street between W. Cedar and W. Grape Streets, where you’ll find one-of-a-kind stocking stuffers and other holiday gift and artisan vendors and select Little Italy Mercato vendors.



at 4:30-7, lights on approx. 5pm

111 S Sierra Ave., Solana Beach



The City of Solana Beach and the City’s Parks and Recreation Commission are hosting the annual Holiday Tree Lighting event at Fletcher Cove. This family-friendly event is free and open to the public.

The City and Commission invite you to join your friends and neighbors to celebrate the start of the holiday season. There will be plenty of sweets, treats, hot cocoa & cider to go along with all the fun. Festivities begin at 4:30 PM so don’t be late, or you might miss Santa’s arrival!

Once the tree lights switch is flipped on by Mayor Lesa Heebner and City Council, all eyes will be watching for Santa’s arrival by a fire-truck escort, scheduled for 5:20pm. Children will have the chance to ask Santa for that most important gift and to remind him just how good they’ve been all year. Happy holidays! For more information, contact the Parks & Recreation Department at (858) 720-2453.


🎄🌟 Sun Dec. 3: DEL MAR PLAZA

from 1-5pm

Jim Watkins Amphitheater 1540 Camino Del Mar Del Mar, CA 92014



Sunday, December 3, 2023, 1:00 to 5:00 pm

Enjoy family-friendly festivities throughout the village, including professional photos with Santa (bring the kids or dogs!), and letters to Santa at the Del Mar Plaza, visits by the Grinch, Cindy Lou Who, and the Mayor of Whoville,  live music, plus the annual holiday tree lighting at 5 pm at the Jim Watkins Amphitheater with hot chocolate and adult beverages for sale.



from 2-4:30pm

306 Carlsbad Village Dr, Carlsbad, CA 92008


Join us for celebration with our family, friends & neighbors as we gather for the lighting of the tree in Village Faire. Community fun, music, cider, cookies, magic and photos with Santa!

Take part in Stars for Students to support our local Carlsbad students in need. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of stars will benefit students in need in Carlsbad during this holiday season. Contact our resident artist Gale Tweedy for more information and to find out how you can have her lend her talents to decorate a star in your name that will be hung on a Christmas tree at Village Faire for the season! 


🎄🌟 Sun Dec. 3: SCRIPPS RANCH

at 3-5pm

Hoyt Park: 10711 Canyon Lake Drive, CA 92131



You’re invited to be part of this special holiday event on Sunday, December 3rd, 2023 at 3:00 pm at Hoyt Park. This is our 41st Annual Tree Lighting ceremony. The Eileen Rodriguez Holiday Tree is decorated by volunteers from the city contractor employees as a gift to the community.

3 pm to 4:15 pm Kid crafts, bake sale, Toys for Tots, and visit with Santa4:15 pm to 5:00 pm Girl Scout and SRCA program begins with the tree lighting and sing along, so pull out those cozy winter coats, grab your family and friends, and come down to Hoyt Park and enjoy what makes Scripps Ranch so special. Wishing you and yours the happiest of holidays!


🎄🌟 Thur Dec. 7: OLD TOWN

at 7-8:30pm

at the Whaley House Complex

2476 San Diego Ave., Old Town, CA



Join us for an evening of sparkling lights and melodious harmony on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm at the historic Whaley House complex: 2476 San Diego Ave. more info

Old Town San Diego Chamber of Commerce and Old Town Trolley Tours are thrilled to usher in our historic community’s holiday season with the annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. 

In a cherished tradition of community and celebration, we proudly present an evening featuring an amazing lineup of two distinguished choral groups—enthusiastic students from San Diego Academy in National City and local-favorite, the Mormon Battalion Historic Site ensemble. 

Don’t miss Pastor Alex Achacoso from Old Town Community Church as our special guest speaker for the evening. A revered figure in our community, Pastor Alex will share inspiring words of hope and the true essence of the festive season.

Prepare to be enthralled as the evening air is filled with joyous renditions of holiday classics. Savor hot cocoa and fresh holiday treats as you and your family countdown to the spectacular moment when we officially welcome the holiday season. 

Enjoy history, culture, and old-fashioned cheer at this year’s Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in Old Town San Diego!


🎄🌟 Thur Dec. 7: PARADISE POINT RESORT, Mission Bay

at 5-7pm

Paradise Point Resort

1404 Vacation Rd., San Diego, CA 92109



Join us on the bay as we welcome the holidays island style! Bring your family and friends over to Paradise Point for a festive tree lighting ceremony where you can roast s’mores over the bonfire, enjoy caroling, The Churro Addict food truck, holiday cocktails and activities for kids of all ages. There will also be a special visit from Santa! The event will take place on Thursday, December 7th on Paradise Terrace. Additional food & beverage will be available to purchase.


🎄🌟 Sat Dec. 9: QUARTYARD, downtown East Village

at 3-7pm

1301 Market St., San Diego, CA 92101


Join the East Village Association in welcoming the festive season with the return of the East Village Tree Lighting & Holiday Market! Bring your friends, family, and holiday spirit to Quartyard and 13th Street on Saturday, December 9 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. for a night of holiday galore.

The magical evening will feature a curated holiday market by San Diego Markets, live music, delicious foods, fun activities for the kids, a tree lighting ceremony and above all, photos with Santa Claus himself! East Village will be lighting up the streets with stunning décor and bright smiles, so you won’t want to miss out.

Taking place at 5:45 p.m., the East Village Association and San Diego’s elected officials invite friends and family as they mark the start of the holiday season with the special tradition of the Christmas tree lighting. Throughout the evening, guests will be able to check out the East Village Holiday Market which will showcase a delightful selection of wonderful hand-crafted gifts, giving holiday shoppers the chance to check off their holiday gifting lists while enjoying live music and the festive spirit.


🎄🌟 Sat Dec. 9: SOLANA BEACH / La Colonia

at 5-7

La Colonia 715 Valley Ave, Solana Beach, CA 92075



The City and La Colonia Community Foundation invite you to the La Colonia Holiday Tree Lighting event on Saturday, December 9th, from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM. Join your friends and neighbors at historic La Colonia Park to celebrate the Holiday season. There will be plenty of sweets, treats, and Mexican hot cocoa to go along with all the fun, including traditional Holiday aguinaldos treat bags for the children, and delicious pan dulce (Mexican sweet bread). Santa will make another appearance and children will have the chance to ask him for that most important gift and to remind him just how good they’ve been all year!


🎄🌟 Sat Dec. 9: NATIONAL CITY

from 2-9, lights on approx. 6pm

Kimball Park E. 12th St., National City



Community performances, live DJ & LED Dance floor, Tree Lighting at 6pm, Who-Ville & Santa Village, Vendor court, Snow Hill, Car Show. Free! more info


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