We’re not holding our breath for a white Christmas in San Diego this year. You have to trek to the mountains if you’re after that. But that doesn’t mean we can’t get into the holiday spirit.
Too often, we find ourselves mired in stress and perpetual motion this time of year. After all, we have shopping to do, festivities to arrange, and the kids being out of school for two weeks complicates things further. But it’s also important to step back and appreciate the positives of the holiday season.
This is the time to gather with friends, family, and loved ones. And in that spirit, here are some of our favorite San Diego holiday activities. These are, of course, just a few of the things going on around town. Let us know in the comments if we missed any of your favorites. We’re always looking for new things to do next year!
Hit the Ice
You may have to venture to the mountains to find snow, but you can still find plenty of winter fun in San Diego. Hotel del Coronado’s 13th annual Skating by the Sea offers an ice rink right on the beach. It’s the best of both worlds, runs through January 1st, and benefits the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Wins all around. At the Viejas Casino and Resort, you’ll find the biggest outdoor skating rink in the region. And Liberty Station once again plays host to the Rady Children’s Ice Rink. You can strap on the skates and help raise money for the Peckham Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at the hospital.
One of our all-time favorite family-friendly San Diego attractions, Legoland kicks it up a notch this time of year. Holidays at Legoland runs through the first of the year and offers delights for kids big and small. You’ll find Christmas lights, the world’s largest Lego Christmas tree, and, of course, meet Lego Santa. In addition, there’s a variety of entertainment options, tasty holiday goodies, the winter holiday market, and much more to discover.
A Wild Holiday
If the majestic animals aren’t enough of a draw on their own, both the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld plan elaborate holiday festivities to wow the whole family. Jungle Bells offers the chance to visit Santa in an igloo, check out Gingerbread Landing, and play some literal reindeer games. You’ll find music and shows and the Holiday Forest full of lights and the more winter-loving residents! SeaWorld transforms into a winter wonderland complete with shimmering light displays; shows that feature seals, dolphins, and more animals; and many other attractions to explore.
Christmas Card Lane
Rancho Penasquitos started their annual Christmas Card Lane back in 1982, and it’s been a holiday must-see ever since. Hundreds of homes deck out their property with intricate, extravagant displays. There are, of course, Christmas lights, but it’s the oversized Christmas cards that truly make this pop. You have to check this out, but remember, people live there. Consider carpooling, as traffic often becomes an issue, especially on weekends and as Christmas approaches. It’s great to celebrate, but it’s even better when you’re courteous!
So Many Parades!
We’re fortunate to live in a place where the weather generally cooperates this time of year. And that manifests itself in parades, parades, and more parades! If that’s your thing, you’re in luck, because there are a bunch this month. Streets and even waterways are full to bursting with holiday cheer. In conjunction with the Holiday Bowl, you can check out “America’s Largest Balloon Parade.” The San Diego Bay Parade of Lights decks out over 80 boats. La Jolla, Encinitas, and others all stage their own holiday parades and festivals. And the Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade proves that the four-legged members of our families can get in on the act, too!
There’s so much to do in San Diego year-round, but the City in Motion really take it to another level during the holidays. If you can’t find something fun to do with the whole family, you probably aren’t looking hard enough.
Most importantly, we’d like to wish you and yours a safe, happy holiday season. Merry Christmas from the Goldberg Jones family to yours!