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Holiday Events | La Mesa and San Diego

 La Mesa’s Holiday in the VillageHoliday Events

The La Mesa Village Association’s 2nd annual event follows the long tradition of Christmas in the Village. There will be fire pits, caroling, pony rides, puppet shows, face painting, movies, and Santa to get everyone in the holiday spirit.

They are collecting toys with Toys for Tots and food for the local community families in need. They accept new, unwrapped toys for children ages infant to 12 years old. All donations raised in San Diego stays in San Diego. Donate non-perishable food items anytime during the course of this two-day event.

Support their effort to provide holiday cards to the troops by bringing signed cards to “Holiday in the Village,” a long-standing La Mesa tradition or plan to stop by their booth to sign or make a card to contribute.

Contact the La Mesa Village Association and arrange to drop off toys, make non-perishable food donations or contribute cards prior to the Holiday in the Village.

Walk the streets of La Mesa’s historic downtown and enjoy live music, food and gift ideas for the whole family. This is a great Holiday Event!

Location: Downtown La Mesa

Date/Time: Saturday, December 9th: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Sunday, December 10th: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Gaslamp Holiday Pet ParadeHoliday Events

San Diego’s furriest festive family-friendly parade returns to Downtown as The San Diego Union-Tribune Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade presented by Blue Buffalo takes over the streets of the Gaslamp Quarter. A fun furry Holiday Event.

Deck those paws with bells so jolly and jingle all the way through the Gaslamp Quarter for The San Diego Union-Tribune Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade. Pet owners and their furry, feathered, and scaled companions are invited to don their favorite costumes for this jolly promenade and pet expo! Registration for dogs and other pet participants starts at $15.

Sunday, December 10, 2017, 1:00pm to 5:00pm 

Location: 4th Ave./K St. – 4th Ave. – E St. – 5th Ave. – MLK Promenade

San Diego Bay Parade of LightsHoliday Events

San Diego’s annual boat parade is a holiday tradition. With more than 80,000 spectators expected, the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights features boats decorated for the holiday season.  The 2017 theme is a Pirate’s Christmas…Arrrgh!

The San Diego Bay Parade of Lights will judge boats of all kind for creative lighting, decorations, and crowd-engaging fun. More than 80 vessels will take to the water.  The San Diego Bay Parade of Lights is held two consecutive Sundays at 5:00 PM.

  • Sunday, December 10, 2017
  • Sunday, December 17, 2017

Approximate Times at Locations Around the Bay

The parade takes approximately one hour to one and a half hours to pass any given point along the parade route. The approximate arrival time of the parade at various locations are:

  • Shelter Island (start of parade): 5:00 PM
  • Harbor Island: 5:30 PM
  • The Embarcadero: 6:00 PM
  • Seaport Village: 6:30 PM
  • The Pier at Cesar Chavez Park: 6:45 PM
  • Ferry Landing on Coronado: 7:00 PM

Best Viewing Locations

For those viewing the parade from the water, the best vantage point for viewing is where the parade turns west to Coronado, near the 10th Street Terminal. For those on land, try the north and south ends of the Embarcadero, as well as the pathway along Coronado, as these areas tend to be less crowded. Other excellent viewing points are the park behind Seaport Village, Harbor Island, Shelter Island and the new pier at Cesar Chavez Park. If you plan on viewing the parade from Harbor Island, get there early as available parking spaces fill up quickly.

Global Winter WonderlandHoliday Events

Global Winter Wonderland will make its first appearance in San Diego. It features the largest display of traditional Chinese lanterns outside of China, along with Cirque du Soleil-style Chinese acrobatics, over 35 carnival rides, games, international food and shopping. The event is held at SDCCU Stadium in Mission Valley (formerly Qualcomm Stadium). General admission is $22 for adults and $19 for children, with rides and other attractions extra. Some special ticket packages are also available at their website.

November 19–January 7, daily from 4:30 p.m–10:00 p.m.

The Nutcracker Ballet At Balboa ParkHoliday Events

The San Diego Civic Youth Ballet take guests on an extraordinary journey to the magical Land of the Sweets with Clara and her Nutcracker Prince. Performances take place at the Casa del Prado Theater in Balboa Park. Come enjoy this holiday event with friends and family.

Select dates and times between December 6–17 |

Winter Wonderland At The Maritime Museum Of San DiegoHoliday Events

The Maritime Museum of San Diego will host Winter Wonderland, featuring a synthetic ice rink, a Pirate Ship Bounce House & Slide and Photos with Santa. Skating on the synthetic ice rink is $12 for Adults and $10 for children age 3-12. The Bounce House is $3 for children age 3-12. A photo with Santa is $12.

Saturdays, December 10 and 17 from 4:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.

Jungle Bells At The San Diego ZooHoliday Events

For a wild twist to holiday festivities, take in the San Diego Zoo’s annual Jungle Bells celebration. The zoo typically stays open until 8 p.m. each night except Dec. 24—when it will close at 5 p.m.—during the celebration. You’ll get to see the San Diego Zoo transformed into a winter wonderland complete with nightly tree-lighting ceremonies, bell ringers, lighted figurines, special shows, holiday treats, photos with Santa and much more.

The cost to enter is included with zoo admission.

Thursday, December 8–Monday, January 1.

SeaWorld’s Christmas CelebrationHoliday Events

This year SeaWorld – San Diego’s Christmas Celebration features an all-new Live Nativity Musical, “O Wondrous Night.”  Visit Santa’s Christmas Village filled with Christmas décor, bright lights, and meet Santa himself, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Seaworld has a lot of fun holiday events to enjoy with friends and family.

In addition to the special holiday-themed animal shows, the park will be brimming with yuletide cheer, as Christmas characters meet and mingle with guests, and Mrs. Claus brings a little holiday magic to everyone in Santa’s Christmas Village. You can also have Breakfast with Orcas and Santa. All the festivities can be enjoyed amongst more than one million low-energy holiday lights throughout the park. Cost is included with admission.

Saturday, November 18 – Friday, January 6 during park opening hours.

The Hotel del Coronado offers ice skating by-the-sea with an outdoor ice rink overlooking the ocean from the end of November through the beginning of January. It’s decorated with lights and has a festive holiday ambiance.

Skating is $30 per person and ice skate rentals are included. Reservations are not required and skating sessions are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Tickets are available for purchase at the rink on the day of the event or online. Online tickets act as vouchers for the day. After purchasing online tickets, you may redeem these at any time during rink hours. Skate times may be limited to 90-minutes based on capacity.

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