Fun events for a San Diego Christmas

Every year, neighborhoods across the city of San Diego celebrate the holiday season with fun and festive events. They show a fantastic Christmas spirit, one that never fades or melts with the sun. Residents and visitors alike look forward to the events, eager to capture their love of the season in every joyful moment.

The Grinch at the Old Globe

The Old Globe Theatre, located in Balboa Park, pays tribute to Dr. Seuss with a yearly performance of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Running from Thursday, Nov. 21 to Sunday, Dec. 28, talented actors and actresses bring the beloved book to life. After 16 years on the stage, each performance still opens to a full house. On Saturday, Dec. 14, a special 10:30 a.m. performance welcomes autistic audience members.

December Nights

Held annually in Balboa Park, December Nights attract both visitors and local residents. Featuring live music and entertainment, holiday shopping, mouthwatering international cuisine, free museum exhibits and creative displays, this is an ideal setting for family-friendly fun. December Nights occur Friday, Dec. 6 from 3-11 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 7 from noon-11 p.m. The free museum exhibits are available from 5-9 p.m. Since parking is restricted to certain areas, remember to plan ahead.

Little Italy Tree Lighting & Christmas Village

An annual event, Little Italy Tree Lighting & Christmas Village welcomes the holiday season with local charm. Saturday, Dec. 7 from 4-8 p.m., stop by the corner of W. Date St and India St in the Piazza Natale. Music, shopping, dancing, free cookies and cider are just some of the fun activities in store. Santa arrives at 4:30 p.m. on Fire Engine 3.

San Diego Bay Parade of Lights

Join the fun at the 42nd annual San Diego Bay Parade of Lights. Over 80 boats tour the bay with a holiday theme of the “Big Bay Toy Parade.” Festivities begin at 5:30 p.m. on both Sunday, Dec. 8 and Sunday, Dec. 15. With a starting location at Shelter Island, the parade moves through the water by Harbor Island, Seaport Village and the Coronado ferry landing. Be prepared for road traffic to the event, so arrive early for this memorable night.

Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade

Six years strong, the Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade is the perfect place for pet appreciation. On Sunday, Dec. 8, residents and visitors are invited to attend the Pet Expo and Parade in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter. The Pet Parade, featuring fun costume contests and prizes, starts promptly at 3 p.m. from the Gaslamp Hilton Park located at Fourth Ave and K St. The Pet Expo runs from 1-5 p.m. Goodie bags are available while supplies last.

La Jolla Christmas Parade and Holiday Festival

Held annually, this year’s La Jolla Christmas Parade and Holiday Festival occurs Sunday, Dec. 8. Featuring the theme “Christmas in the Surf and Sand,” parade fun begins at 2 p.m. Stay for the festival from 3:30-5 p.m., and watch for Santa’s early arrival. The parade winds from Girard Ave to Prospect St. The La Jolla Recreation Center hosts the festival, featuring food, crafts, entertainment and much more.

Santa at the Lakes

Santee Lakes hosts Santa at the Lakes on Sunday, Dec. 8 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Featuring winter carnival rides, boat rides, sledding, food and crafts, the popular event is fun for all. Be on the look out for Santa as well. Tickets for activities and rides are 50 cents each. Santa at the Lakes is held at 9310 Fanita Pkwy. Come early for the best parking.

Mission Bay Holiday Party and Parade of Lights

Mark the calendar for the Mission Bay Yacht Club’s annual Holiday Party and Parade of Lights. Beginning at noon on Dec. 14, lunch will be served in the galley. Planned activities keep children entertained until the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus at 3:15 p.m. The party also features dinner and movies. At 6 p.m. more than 100 boats parade around Mission Bay decked out in holiday style. The parade starts from Quivira Basin, winding around Vacation Island, Fiesta Island and Crown Point. Arrive early, and stay for the firework display at 9 p.m.

Throughout the holiday season, San Diego hosts many spectacular and festive events. Many neighborhoods throughout the city take part by adding in their local Christmas spirit. From performances, contests and music to food, boats and fun-filled shopping, San Diego knows how to bring out the season in memorable style.