Things to do in San Diego – December 2021

Looking for Fun Things to do in San Diego this December?

Check out all the great things that are going on in San Diego, America’s finest city.  From the coast to Julian, there’s fun for everyone.

Jingle Terrace Park Nov. 26-Dec. 23

The City’s annual drive-thru event features holiday-themed light displays
along the driving loop in Brengle Terrace Park. Visitors will be captivated by
the displays of holiday lights depicting many of Vista’s special and unique
amenities. Bring a Food Donation in Support of the San Diego Food Bank.
5:30-9pm / Brengle Terrace Park, Vista

La Valencia Tree Lighting Dec. 2

Holiday tree lighting with warm holiday beverages, homemade sweets, live
music, carolers and children’s crafts.
4:30-9pm / La Valencia Hotel, La Jolla
855-476-6870 /

Coronado Holiday Parade Dec. 3

A twinkling collection of community groups, floats, marching bands and
snow-sprinkled cars cruise down Orange Avenue between 6-7pm. This
special tradition culminates with carol singing and a Tree & Menorah
Lighting Ceremony at Rotary Park at 7pm.
619-435-9260 /

Taste of December Nights Dec. 3-5

Will feature 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. Customers
must remain in their cars. We hope you’ll join us and come hungry!
11am-10pm / Balboa Park

Fallbrook Christmas Parade Dec. 4

“Miracle on Main” Grand Marshal: Vince Ross. Lighted floats, music,
dancers, marching bands, classic & specialty vehicles, and Santa Claus.
5-7pm / Main Street Downtown

Little Italy Tree Lighting & Christmas Village Dec. 4

Transforming into a winter wonderland with Christmas twinkle lights down
all the streets, our beautiful urban neighborhood will be adorned with 10-
foot tall nutcrackers and kinetic tree holiday displays on street corners,
Christmas songs and more. You can also enjoy our Christmas Village,
located on India Street between W. Cedar and W. Grape Streets.
4-8pm / India St & W Fir St
619-233-3898 /

La Mesa’s Holiday in the Village Dec. 4

Friends and family will have the chance to 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! Get in the holiday spirit while
playing carnival games, listening to carolers, and enjoying delicious food
and drinks from La Mesa local favorites.
12-9pm / La Mesa Village
619-343-2460 /

Encinitas Holiday Parade Dec. 4

Participants be on floats, on foot, in cars, and marching in bands while
spectators cheer them along the Parade route along Coast Highway 101.
The 2021 parade theme is “Encinitas Rocks!”.
5:30-7:30pm / Coast Highway 101
760-633-2760 /

San Marcos Tree Lighting & Festival Dec. 4

Join us at our annual Tree Lighting event complete with free festive
crafts and activities, as well as vendors selling their wares and snacks.
Entertainment will be featured in the courtyard. Don’t miss the ‘snow’ right
after the tree lighting!
1-7pm / San Marcos Civic Center

Snow N Glow Holiday Festival Dec. 4-Jan. 2

You can snow tube down our giant Snow Hill made with real snow! There
will also be an open area to play in the snow. Sip on hot cocoa while you
stroll through a million festive lights! Our Winter Wonderland glowing lights
are here to make your holidays bright. Holidays in Your Car: This twinkling
event is back! Experience a separate holiday light display from the comfort
and safety of your vehicle! Igloo private party rentals are available to create
your perfect Holiday experience. Space is limited!
4-10pm / Del Mar Fairgrounds
805-585-7811 /

Solana Beach Holiday Tree Lighting Dec. 5

Once the switch is flipped by the Mayor and the City Council, the tree lights
come on, and all eyes watch for Santa’s arrival by fire-truck escort. Children
will have the chance to ask Santa for that most important gift and to remind
him just how good they’ve been all year.
Fletcher Cove Park

Scripps Ranch Holiday Tree Lighting Dec. 5

Kid crafts, bake sale, Toys for Tots, and visit with Santa. Girl Scout and SRCA
program begins with the tree lighting and sing along.
3-5pm / Jerabek Park: 10150 Avenida Magnifica
858-397-5747 /

SoNo Fest & Chili Cook-Off Dec. 5

40 local restaurants competing in a chili smackdown and serving chili
tastings. 30 local handmade vendors with the perfect holiday gifts for
shoppers. Local craft beer and wine garden with 20+ breweries and
wineries. Kids Fun Fest area with bounce houses, carnival games, face
painting, balloon artists, hair-dos and more. 2 live stages featuring 11
local bands plus kids entertainment. Food trucks and vendors to keep the
culinary options varied.
11am-5pm / Thorn & 32nd Streets in North Park

La Jolla Christmas Parade/Holiday Festival Dec. 5

You’ll see floats, marching bands, community groups, drill teams, vintage
vehicles, horses, and yes ~ a camel. Church bells peal with a fly-over.
There is also a Holiday Festival and Tree Lighting Ceremony. Arts & Crafts,
Entertainment, Educational Exhibits, Photos with Santa.
11:30-4pm / Girard Avenue & Prospect Street

Jingle Bell Run Dec. 11

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.
6:30-11am / Liberty Station NTC Park

Oceanside Harbor Parade of Lights Dec. 11

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. Many of the boats feature people dressed up like
Santa waving to the crowd. One of the best viewing spots is along the side
of the Oceanside Harbor near the fishing dock and police station.
8am-5pm / Oceanside Harbor
760-722-5751 /

San Diego Santa Run 5K and 1 Mile Race Dec. 11

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. Over
20,000 Santas have participated in previous years but we are preparing to
make this year our LARGEST Santa Run yet!
9am / Garnet Ave. and Bayard St.

Poway’s Christmas in the Park Dec. 11

An old-fashioned holiday tradition that will take you back in time with
caroling, live music, a visit with Santa, free children’s crafts, model train
displays, and so much more! Purchase tasty holiday treats, finish your
Christmas shopping at the craft boutique, or board the Poway Midland
Railroad for a night-time ride around the park.
3:30-8:30pm / Old Poway Park

Star Walk XIV Dec. 12

Learn beginner astronomy concepts, about specific stars, constellations
and simple astronomy facts and principles. Tonight’s features: The Winter
Solstice, the Moon, and the Planets; Winter constellations; Geminid and
Ursid Meteor Showers. Recommended Equipment: LED flashlight with red
filter, or red lens cover. Binoculars. Warm clothes. Blanket or ground cloth.
5-6:30pm / Double Peak Park, San Marcos

San Diego Bay Parade of Lights Dec. 12 & 19

The procession of approximately 80 lavishly decorated boats has become
one of the most iconic events in the region. The parade will proceed to
the pier at Cesar Chavez Park before making the turn to Coronado, giving
spectators another area to view the parade.
5:30pm / San Diego Bay

Salsa Under the Stars Dec. 17

Dust off those dancing shoes and join Manny Cepeda & Orchestra for a
night of salsa dancing under the stars in the Headquarters courtyard! No
partner or experience necessary.
6-9pm / The Headquarters at Seaport
760-476-1111 /

Country Christmas Light Parade Dec. 18

Join us on Main Street Julian for a small town celebration of holiday lights
on cars, trucks and any other street legal vehicle you can imagine. The
street will not be closed for this parade. Participants will drive down Main
St with the flow of traffic.
5:30 / Main Street Julian

Dixon Lake 10 Mile and 10K Dec. 18

The race will start in El Cabello Park, and take runners up the mountain
near Stanley Peak and the surrounding area allowing runners a beautiful
360 degree view from the top. Elevation gains will be 900 to 1300′ based
on course distance.
7:30-11am / Daley Ranch, Escondido

San Diego Holiday Half Marathon Dec. 18

A fast 13.1 mile course that starts in Rancho Penasquitos and finishes at the
beautiful Torrey Pines State Beach. Starts on Penasquitos Drive then travels
SW along Carmel Mountain Rd (your only ‘real’ hill at mile 1.5), along the 56
bike path and finishes at the beautiful Torrey Pines State Beach. The race
includes a 711-foot net elevation drop along the rolling downhill bike path,
which also makes it a personal best candidate.
5am / Hotel Karlan: 14455 Penasquitos Dr

Boarded! A New Pirate Adventure Dec. 26

This hilarious interactive show puts visitors right in the middle of the pirate
action. Participants will be sworn in as part of the ship crew, trained how to
navigate, sword fight, bail water from a sinking ship, escape from the King’s
Jail, swab the deck and other pirate skills. Performances are 90 minutes.
10:30am-2:15pm / Maritime Museum of San Diego

SDCCU Holiday Bowl Dec. 28

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. Fans can enjoy the ultimate pregame party inside
of Petco Park at Gallagher Square. Featuring interactive college football
experiences, craft beers and food trucks, get in on one of San Diego’s
signature sporting events!
5pm / Petco Park

San Diego International Auto Show Dec. 30-Jan. 2

Features an incredible variety of new vehicles under one roof from top
global manufacturers. Be among the first in the U.S. to see San Diego
debuts of newly unveiled vehicles not yet in showrooms that are expected
to be on display at the show. When not captivated by the cars, show visitors
can participate in exciting, fun new features, family entertainment, and
interactive activities.
San Diego Convention Center