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Top December Events

Discover a Not-So-Wintery Wonderland

This December, get out and enjoy San Diego's festive good vibes with plenty of space to celebrate, play and just getaway.

Featured December Events

Make the Season Merry and Bright

When: December 1-31, 2021
Holiday cheer, good vibes and sunshine are calling you back! So warm up and chill out this holiday season in San Diego.

Balboa Park December Nights

When: December 3-5, 2021
Featuring some of your favorite food vendors, food trucks, and entertainment from past December Nights in a festive drive-through setting at the Inspiration Point parking lot near Balboa Park.

San Diego Bay Parade of Lights

When: December 12 & 19, 2021
The San Diego Bay Parade of Lights is a time-honored holiday tradition with more than 80 boats lavishly decorated sailing by the shores for all to see.

Jungle Bells at the San Diego Zoo

When: December 10, 2021 - January 2, 2022
The Zoo will be aglow with holiday cheer and decorations, with music filling the air, joyful roaming entertainers, and special food items and sweets available.

San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl

When: December 28, 2022
This signature San Diego event annually showcases a thrilling game between some of college football's most competitive conferences, the ACC and the Pac-12.

New Year's Eve

When: December 31, 2021
From grand and glamorous to intimate and romantic to family-friendly, there is a New Year's Eve event just for you. The possibilities are endless. Make this the best year yet by starting your year off with a trip to San Diego.

SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration

When: Thru January 2, 2022
SeaWorld San Diego’s Christmas Celebration is the fan-favorite experience that brings families together with priceless traditions and fun-filled surprises.

Holidays at LEGOLAND

When: Thru January 9, 2022
It’s time for Holidays at LEGOLAND®, where the Resort is bursting with holiday cheer and festive décor!

Wild Holidays at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

When: Thru January 2, 2022
Seasonal decorations, special wildlife experiences and a festive atmosphere will greet visitors at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park as the Park spreads its own version of holiday cheer.

Winter Wonder at Belmont Park

When: Thru January 2, 2022
Belmont Park is bringing families and friends together for the holiday season with its second annual Winter Wonder holiday spectacular.

Winter & Spring Gray Whale Watching

When: Mid-December - April
Each year, more than 20,000 gray whales make a 10,000 mile round-trip journey from Alaska to the lagoons of Baja California, where the females give birth to their calves. After spending time in warm Baja California waters so their young can grow strong, they make the journey north again in spring. The longest known distance any mammal migrates on an annual basis, it is truly an extraordinary spectacle to observe. With 70 miles of coastline directly in the migration path, San Diego is an ideal destination to see this impressive parade of gentle giants.

More Great December Events

Seas 'n' Greetings Holiday Celebration

When: December 1-31, 2021
Experience the magic of the holidays in the underwater world at Birch Aquarium during our month-long holiday celebration featuring SEAsonal decor, music, and activities for the whole family.

Coronado Holiday Parade

When: December 3, 2021
Every year the Coronado Chamber of Commerce hosts a festive Holiday Parade - a twinkling collection of community groups, floats, marching bands and snow-sprinkled cars cruise down Orange Avenue

Botanic Wonderland

When: December 4-30, 2021
Enjoy live entertainment at the Conservatory's outdoor amphitheater, a spectacular poinsettia display, a holiday musical lightshow (with an extra surprise!), a snow mound, kids' crafts, face painting, mulled wine and beer, food trucks, a holiday market place and, of course, pictures with Santa.

COASTER Holiday Express

When: December 4-12, 2021
Hop on the train for a magical, in-person experience as we travel the coastline on the COASTER Holiday Express! Santa Claus and his merry carolers will be onboard for an hour of fun with songs, gifts and Santa wish list reading!

Queen Bee Market

When: December 4-5, 2021
Queen Bee Market, San Diego's original urban-style, artisan market, features over local and national vendors specializing in handmade and vintage accessories, clothing, home décor, furniture, paper arts and more.

Little Italy Tree Lighting & Christmas Village

When: December 4, 2021
Families, friends and neighbors will experience Little Italy's Christmas magic and will be able to enjoy the community’s festive décor, seasonal vendors, live music and entertainment, horse carriage rides, holiday treats, a tree lighting, a visit from Santa and more!

Encinitas Holiday Parade

When: December 4, 2021
Thousands of people will be on floats and in bands with tens of thousands more cheering them on as the Encinitas Holiday Parade rolls along Coast Highway 101.

La Mesa's Holiday in the Village

When: December 4, 2021
Take part in free festive fun with live music, cozy fires, craft vendors, food, holiday photo opportunities, and a kids' area bigger than Santa's Toy Shop!

Snow n Glow

When: December 4, 2021 - January 2, 2022
The Beautiful Del Mar Fairgrounds will be transformed into San Diego's Holiday Headquarters. Featuring THREE Major attractions designed to make your Holiday Spirit Bright!

SoNo Fest & Chili Cook-Off

When: December 5, 2021
The festive and fiery SoNo Fest & Chili Cook-Off promises everything a person could want in a fun day including craft beer, wine, shopping music and chili!

La Jolla Christmas Parade & Holiday Festival

When: December 5, 2021
Spread some holiday cheer at the La Jolla Christmas Parade & Holiday Festival with marching bands, floats, vintage automobiles and Santa Claus.

Noel Noel

When: December 10-12, 2021
Join the San Diego Symphony, San Diego Master Chorale and San Diego Children’s Choir for three performances of holiday classics and stories that embody the spirit of Christmas in San Diego.

Makers Arcade

When: December 10-11, 2021
This exciting holiday event will feature more than 100 makers, craft cocktails, beer, gourmet food trucks, live music, photo trailers, styled lounges, door favors and more!

San Diego Santa Run 5K and 1 Mile Race

When: December 11, 2021
Come out in your finest (or ugliest) Christmas attire as you take part in the annual San Diego Santa Run, a one-of-a-kind holiday experience.

Jingle Bell Run

When: December 11, 2021
The Arthritis Foundation's original Jingle Bell Run is a fun way to get decked out and be festive, while racing to raise funds and awareness to cure America&'s #1 cause of disability.

Poway's Christmas in the Park

When: December 11, 2021
Poway's Christmas in the Park is a unique way to bring holiday delights to your family this holiday season with the magic of an old-fashioned tradition.

Mission Bay Christmas Boat Parade of Lights

When: December 11, 2021
The Mission Bay Christmas Boat Parade of Lights, a distinctly California celebration, features boats decorated for the holidays that will sail around the Bay.

Oceanside Harbor Parade of Lights

When: December 11, 2021
Fishing boats, sail boats, yachts, kayaks and dingys dressed up in holiday swag and circle the Oceanside Harbor to enchant onlookers at the harbor, restaurants and beach.

Enchanted Village

When: December 17-22, 2021
Be surrounded by 8-acres of brilliantly lit trees, magical cottages, light tunnels, live entertainers, hundreds of giant candy canes, over 200,000 lights, interactive displays and other festive decorations.

Dirty December Poker Fun Run Half Marathon & 10K

When: December 18, 2021
Join in holiday cheer and run the trails during the Dirty December Poker Fun Run Half Marathon & 10K. In addition to a costume contest and holiday theme, this run will involve a poker element – your poker hand could give you bonus time!

San Diego Holiday Half Marathon

When: December 18, 2021
The San Diego Holiday Half Marathon is a fast 13.1 mile course that starts in Rancho Penasquitos and finishes at the beautiful Torrey Pines State Beach.

Winter Wonderland Festival

When: December 18, 2021
Play in real snow, enjoy holiday-themed drinks and treats at Santa's Corner Café, holiday crafting activities led by professional teaching artists and browse for gifts from local artisans.

Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade

When: December 19, 2021
San Diego's furriest festive family-friendly parade returns to Downtown as the annual Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade takes over the streets of the Gaslamp Quarter.

Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade

When: December 28, 2021
America's Largest Balloon Parade! Marching bands, floats, drill teams and giant balloons parade down San Diego's beautiful waterfront in celebration of the Holiday Bowl.

San Diego International Auto Show

When: December 30, 2021 - January 1, 2022
Where the cars are the stars! The San Diego International Auto Show features the widest variety of new vehicles under one roof.

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