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Christmas Guide: 14 Things To Do In San Diego

Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade at Hilton Park

Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade at Hilton Park

  • Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade at Hilton Park
  • Holly Jolly Holidays at LEGOLAND California
  • Desert Holidays at Miramonte Resort and Spa
  • Holiday Open House and Toys for Tots by West Inn & Suites Village
  • Gary Hoey – Ho Ho Hoey Holiday Show at House of Blues
  • Del Mar Fairgrounds presents Holiday of Lights
  • Mistletoe, Music and Mayhem! at North Coast Repertory Theatre
  • An UnScripted Carol at North County Repertory Theatre
  • Sister's Christmas Catechism at North County Repertory Theatre
  • Make your Holiday Party a FIESTA at Café Coyote
  • Breakfast with Santa at San Diego Zoo Safari Park
  • Jungle Bells at the San Diego Zoo
  • A Christmas Tabernacle at NTC Liberty Station
  • Christmas Eve Candlelight Dinner Cruise
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America's Finest City may be closely tied to a beach lifestyle, but that doesnt mean that winter is completely ignored! San Diego has plenty of holiday events going into the New Year - here's our top picks for a great time:

Del Mar Fairgrounds presents Holiday of Lights (November 24 - January 1)
The Holiday of Lights at the Del Mar Fairgrounds and Racetrack has become a favorite holiday tradition for Southern California families.  Visitors view the lighted and animated holiday creations from the comfort of their vehicle as they drive along a 1.5 mile route through the Fairgrounds, all while enjoying festive holiday music. 

Activities abound for children, as well as for couples seeking a romantic holiday getaway. Enjoy incredible dining options daily at the restaurant Grove Artisan Kitchen as Chef Nyerick presents ‘Holiday Dining Around The World' featuring traditional dining from countries around the globe.
 
The theme park transforms into a holiday wonderland during Holly Jolly Holidays, which features festive entertainment every weekend including nightly fireworks Dec. 26 through 30 and an enchanting holiday musical. All Holly Jolly Holidays activities are included in the price of LEGOLAND California admission.
 
Festive holiday activities will include carolers, horse-drawn carriage rides, crafts and a photo opportunity with Santa. New this year is a hand-writing analyst to help determine your Christmas card personality style. Seasonal treats and spirits created by Chef Eugenio Martignago will be available for tastings at Bistro West and West Steak and Seafood.
 
Jungle Bells at the San Diego Zoo (December 10 - January 1)
Wintertime brings something special to the San Diego Zoo - a Jungle Bells celebration! During December, lighted sculptures of animals and storybook characters fill the grounds while guests are treated to holiday music and foods, crafts, games, and special presentations. It's the a great family outing to join in the spirit of the season while also learning about animals.
 
Once a year, San Diego pets and owners are invited to dress up in their favorite costumes for a special promenade throughout the Gaslamp Quarter to celebrate the holiday season.  You can only imagine as downtown became filled with costumed pets & their handlers all vying for prizes and bragging rights including Best Costumed Duo, Cutest Critter, Best Pet Costume & Best of Show! The Parade originates and concludes at the Hilton Park adjacent to the Hilton San Diego Gaslamp Quarter at 4th Avenue and K Street. The Parade steps-off promptly at 3pm.
 
Enjoy a buffet breakfast with views of the wildlife, an animal presentation, and a visit with Santa Claus, all at at the scenic Kilima Point in San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
 
Set on 350,000 square foot station, A Christmas Tabernacle features a wide range of activities and entertainment for family members of all ages, including 100+ specialty-goods vendors, a food court, Christmas concerts and performances, a living nativity scene, interactive workshops, Santa’s Village, a themed Christmas tree area, and a fun zone complete with a real snow play area, games and attractions.
 
This is the second year that Gary has brought his brand of electric guitar holiday show to the House of Blues San Diego.  Gary Hoey is well known for being one of the best guitarists in the business.
 
Five performers are the key to this  musical comedy adventure. A line-up of original comedy scenarios mixed with a bevy of holiday inspired songs that will melt your heart and tickle your funny bone. 
 
An UnScripted Carol at North County Repertory Theatre (December 19 & 20)
This show is where keen imaginations steeped in Dickens and Christmas work feverishly to create theatre on the spot. The pace is swift, and the performers are pushed to the peak of their abilities as they attempt to juggle character, plot and staging all at once. An UnScripted Carol is a holiday treat that is never, ever the same story twice and gives fans of A Christmas Carol a whole new way to celebrate the season.
 
It's going to be one ho-ho-holy night as Sister tackles the question that's been puzzling historians through the ages: Whatever happened to the Magi's gold? CSI-goes-to-Bethlehem-in-Solana Beach as Sister delivers a sleigh load of side-splitting holiday laughs. Bring your camera to capture all the action.
 
Bring your loved ones together for a rare view of San Diego from the harbor, as the town sparkles with twinkling lights strung in the spirit of the holidays. Complimentary champagne will be served upon boarding and talented chefs will cook up a buffet feast fit for kings. On the menu will be colorful salads, seasonal farm-fresh vegetables, red potatoes with turkey gravy, oven roasted turkey roulades filled with traditional bread stuffing, hand-carved New York strip and a variety of decadent desserts. Passengers will enjoy live entertainment and breathtaking views of the harbor as they cruise along in the luxury and comfort of a signature Flagship luxury yacht.
 
Café Coyote was recognized in September 2007 as the 2nd Certified Tequila House in the entire United States. Café Coyote achieved the honor by its commitment to Tequila Culture and by developing a highly educated, knowledgeable staff & Tequila Ambassador.