It’s starting to look a lot like Christmas in San Diego.
From food trucks in Balboa Park to dogs dressed as reindeer in the Gaslamp district, America’s Finest City has everything you need for a happy and bright vacation.
November 20 to January 9
The Legoland Resort is full of festive settings and joie de vivre for builders of all ages.
Holiday Lego characters like Santa Claus, a tin soldier, and a gingerbread man return this season for socially distant encounters.
Looking for more family photo opportunities? You can ride a sleigh with a life-size LEGO Santa, pulled by his trusted Lego reindeer.
Fun Town also features a 30ft Lego Christmas tree fully decorated with over 400 Lego ornaments. At night, the tree lights up to holiday tunes at the Holiday Light Show. Visitors can also enjoy falling “snow” during the show.
Winter fun at Belmont Park
November 26 to January 2
Belmont Park is celebrating its third annual Winter Wonder Holiday Show.
The park offers both day and night experiences, including 15-foot-high holiday-themed sculptures, a Christmas tree farm, seasonal character appearances, holiday movie nights, face painting and face painting. balloon art.
Park tickets are available for purchase in line.
SeaWorld Christmas Celebration
Dec 1 to Jan. 2
SeaWorld’s annual Christmas celebration is back with a special circus performance and twinkling lights to make visitors’ eyes twinkle. The little ones can enjoy a Sesame Street show full of songs and dances with its popular characters.
The park also has a 30-foot Christmas tree adorned with lights synchronized with eight holiday songs for visitors to observe.
SeaWorld will also celebrate Hanukkah through December 6 with the nightly lighting of a menorah.
Tickets are available for purchase in line.
Several seasonal festivities are held at SeaWorld San Diego for a limited time during the holidays. NBC 7’s Audra Stafford took over Santa’s Village at the Park.
December nights at Balboa Park
3 to 5 Dec. from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Celebrate the holiday season with one of San Diego’s biggest community festivals. Annual December nights at Balboa Park will again be a driving event this year due to COVID-19.
The three-day event’s festivities include singers, live music and theatrical performances, light shows, and food from around the world.
Little Italy Tree Lighting Ceremony and Christmas Village
December 4 of 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Little Italy transforms into a winter wonderland with twinkling lights, 10-foot-tall nutcrackers, and kinetic holiday trees lining the streets. The Carolers will gather around street corners to sing your favorite vacation tunes.
The Christmas Village, located on India Street between W. Cedar and W. Grape Streets, sells stockings and other Christmas gifts from seasonal vendors.
The 25 foot tree in Piazza della Famiglia will light up the night sky at 6.30 p.m.
Botanical Wonderland at San Diego Botanical Garden
Dec 4 to 5, Dec 10 to 23 and 26-30 Dec.
The San Diego Botanical Garden is transformed into a sparkling vacation oasis with the return of Botanic Wonderland.
Take the family on a mile-long stroll illuminated with Christmas lights and meander through the Garden Waterfall, Gazebo Lawn, Kindergarten, and other specially lit areas.
Professional singers will perform live throughout the garden and photos with Santa Claus will be available throughout the evening. Treat yourself to a seasonal dish and drink on the gazebo lawn of the various food vendors presented each evening.
SDBG will be open to visitors from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., with the last admission at 8 p.m.
Tickets are available for purchase in line.
SoNo Fest & Chili Cook-Off
Dec 5 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
SoNo Fest & Chili Cook-Off is back in person this year, featuring a chili cuisine restaurant, craft beer and drink garden, local crafts, and food trucks.
The locally-driven, volunteer-run street festival has something for everyone with live music on three stages throughout the day and fun activities for the kids.
Organizers say 100% of the money raised at the event goes directly to McKinley Elementary School. The school uses the proceeds to fund creative learning, art programs, teacher support and more.
You can attend the party at the intersection of 32nd and Thorn streets in North Park.
Beat the crowds on the day of; chili tasting tickets are available in line.
Jungle Bells at the San Diego Zoo
Dec 10 to Jan. 2
The San Diego Zoo will light up the night sky with Christmas lights, decor, and joy.
This year, the zoo welcomes the return of Aurora, a magical light experience with 3D projections and accompanying music.
Live music and touring artists will add even more entertainment to your zoo experience. Special foods and sweets will also be available for visitors of all ages.
A full list of shows and activities is available on the San Diego Zoo website.
During the Jungle Bells festivities, the Zoo will close at 8 p.m.
NBC 7’s Audra Stafford gets a behind-the-scenes look at the Jungle Bells at the San Diego Zoo.
Poway’s Christmas in the park
Dec 11, 2019 from 3.30 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.
Travel back in time to Poway’s old-fashioned holiday tradition: Christmas in the Park. The free event features Christmas carols, live music, horse-drawn hay rides and more.
You can shop for holiday treats and even finish your holiday shopping at local boutiques. Children of all ages can take a trip aboard the Poway Midland Railroad for a nighttime ride in the park.
The annual community Christmas tree lighting will take place at 5:15 p.m., followed by the arrival of Santa Claus in town.
San Diego Bay Parade of Lights
December 12 and 19; Beginning of the procession at 5.30 p.m.
The San Diego Parade of Lights is a centuries-old holiday tradition, celebrating its 50th anniversary.
Over 100 participants in this year’s highly anticipated Holiday Boat Parade will decorate their boats with holiday lights matching the theme of Twelve Days of Christmas.
You can view the parade from Coronado Ferry Landing, Seaport Village, and the Embarcadero. Make sure you get there early for the perfect spot!
NBC 7’s Erika Cervantes met a family getting their boat ready for their 14th parade.
Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade
December 19 at 1 p.m.
It’s time to adorn your paws with holly branches … well maybe no holly, but definitely a holiday outfit.
Dress your puppy in his best holiday outfits and head to the Gaslamp District for the annual Pet Parade. The parade features colorfully dressed San Diego pets and their owners as they stroll through the heart of the Gaslamp for spectators.
Don’t want to take part in the parade? You can look at one of the neighborhood shops and restaurants from the outside.
After the parade, you can head to the very first Pups at Pub Paw-ty. Enjoy craft beer tastings, live music, and a holiday costume contest. The party will take place from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on 4th Avenue and the island.
Holiday Bowls Parade
December 28 To 10:00 a.m.
The Holiday Bowl Parade is an annual family event bringing together world-class marching bands, floats, exercise teams and a procession of huge balloons. It’s considered America’s greatest balloon parade … located right here in San Diego!
The parade will begin in the grandstand area near the Maritime Museum and descend the San Diego waterfront to Ruocco Park. Viewing of the parade on the street side is free.
Be sure to grab a seat along the parade route if you plan to attend in person. You can also watch the parade on TV with a national TV audience.
The parade kicks off the âHoliday Bowlâ game day celebration. This year’s college football game will take place at Petco Park with a kick-off scheduled for 5 p.m. on December 28.
NBC 7’s Alex Presha spoke to visitors excited to enjoy the festivities despite the threat of rain.