San Diego Holiday Events & Festivals – Christmas Lights & December Nights for 2012

[important]San Diego Holiday Events 2012[/important]



What: December Nights 

Where: Balboa Park

When: Friday, Dec. 7, 5-10pm-Saturday, Dec. 8, noon-10pm

Description: Participating Balboa Park museums open their doors free of charge from 5-10 pm Friday and Noon-10pm on Saturday. Come early since more than 300,000 visitors are expected to experience the joy of San Diego’s largest free community festival.

Come visit the International Cottages at Balboa Park and participate in a truly multicultural experience, enjoying food, music and entertainment from around the world.

Instead of spending money traveling the world this Holiday season, come to Balboa Park and visit from 32 International Cottages. Step inside to learn the cuisine, culture and arts from each unique country. No passport required!

  • House of Argentina
  • House of Austria
  • House of China
  • House of Columbia
  • House of Czech-and Slovak Republics
  • House of Denmark
  •  House of England
  • House of Finland
  • House of France
  • House of Germany
  • House of Hungary
  • House of India
  • House of Iran
  • House of Ireland
  • House of Israel
  • House of Italy
  • House of Lebanon
  • House of Lithuania
  • House of Mexico
  • House of Norway
  • House of Palestine
  • House of Panama
  • House of Peru
  • House of the Philippines
  • House of Poland
  • House of Puerto Rico
  • House of Scotland
  • House of Spain
  • House of Sweden
  • House of Turkey
  • House of Ukraine
  • House of USA

Check it out at: December Nights

Watch a sneak peek of what can be found! [vsw id=”vUGsSfNSfz4″ source=”youtube” width=”425″ height=”344″ autoplay=”no”]


[important]COST: FREE[/important]




What: Toyland Parade

Where: North Park

When: Saturday, December 01, 2012 at 11am

Description: Let Toyland come to you this year as you and your loved ones take in the 49th Annual North Park Toyland Parade & Holiday Fair. This magical march includes marching bands, upbeat dance groups, cool vintage cars, beauty queens and city officials and many more.

Interested? Click to ind out more at North Park’s site



What: Jungle Bells



Where: San Diego Zoo

When: Wednesday, December 14, 2012-Monday, December 31, 2012

Description: For a wild twist to holiday festivities, take in the Zoo’s annual Jungle Bells celebration. Families can put a wild-animal twist on familiar holiday traditions during the Zoo’s 2012 Jungle Bells celebration.

The Zoo will stay open until 8 p.m. each night except Dec. 24 – when it will close at 5 p.m.

Guests can expect jungle themed holiday decorations and take part in activities including performances by the acrobatic Jumpin’, Jammin’ Elves and musical trio, Angels with Strings. The festivities start nightly with a tree-lighting ceremony at the Zoo’s living conservation tree.

Find more information at:  San Diego Zoo 



What: Outdoor Skate Rink



Where: Horton Square

When: November 15, 2012 – January 6, 2013

Description: Come to Horton Plaza and join us in a benefit for the Peckham Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego. Come by and stay warm by skating the night away in the open ice rink.

Check out all the magic on ice!




What: Parade of Lights



Where: San Diego Bay

When: Sunday, December 9, 2012- Sunday, December 16, 2012 5:30 PM until 9:00 PM

Description: See over 100 boats, decorated to a theme chosen every year. This year’s theme is the USS Santa Clause. Cruise a 7.5 mile route on San Diego Bay. The best vantage points are from the shore are along the Embarcadero, Seaport Village, Harbor Island and Coronado.

Check out more at the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights




What: Port of San Diego Big Bay Balloon Parade 2012

Where: San Diego Big Bay

When: December 27, 2012 at 10am

Description: Giant balloons glide gracefully down a marked pathway as they show off and parade down the streets of downtown San Diego and embarcadero. Celebrate the 2012 Port of San Diego Big Bay Balloon Parade, presented by San Diego County Credit Union – a Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl Production.

Learn more about the Big Bay Balloon Parade






What: Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl

Where: Qualcomm Stadium

When:Thursday, December 27th, 2012

Description: Come root for your favorite team, enjoy some grade-A stadium food, or just enjoying being packed into a stadium to cheer your team of choice to victory. The Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl kicks off at 6:45 p.m., Thursday, December 27th at Qualcomm Stadium. The game matches teams from the Pac-12 and Big 12 Conferences. The 2011 game featured a 21-10 victory by the Texas Longhorns over the California Golden Bears.  Buy tickets early, since they do sell out.

[important]Cost:$65+ Holiday Bowl Tickets [/important]


What: Holiday Parade & Christmas Tree Festival



Where: Ocean Beach

When: December 1, 2012 5:00pm-8:00pm

Description: Come down to see the colorful array of Ocean Beach residents perform in the parade down Newport Ave. Their costumes and performances are sure to light up the darkened streets and warm up anybody enjoying the parade. From flexible yoga moves, to roller derby girls to nostalgic VW bugs driving down the street, the Ocean Beach Parade offers something for everybody.

Check out the official site for more information: Ocean Beach Holiday Parade

FREE Event



What: Holiday Parade

Where: Pacific Beach

When: December 2012 TBA



Description: The parade brings a lot of happiness to many people, and although it will be going on this year, the dates have yet to be determined. In the past, there was a threat of the parade being gone forever due to funding. The funds, however, were raised and it will be making an appearance again.

Take part in the magic of the holidays on the beach. Come enjoy floats, marching bands, color guards, children’s marching groups, clowns and Santa Claus. The holiday parade will take over Garnet Ave. while there will be Arts & Crafts vendors at ‘Santa’s Village’ on Cass St.

For more information check out their site: Pacific Beach Webpage


Stay tuned as more parties and events become available!


Join our VIPs Community for FREE!
Stay tuned for the latest visitor guide and things to do in San Diego