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December Events in San Diego 2021

ICE SKATING ON THE BEACH

November 22, 2021 – January 2, 2022

Among the San Diego Christmas activities, what’s more memorable than ice skating? It’s also at the Hotel Del Coronado from November 22nd to January 2nd. The times it’s open varies depending on the upcoming holiday. However, on average, it is open at least 6 hours on a normal day and around 2 plus hours on some holidays.

Visitors can skate by the sea and, if they so choose, reserve a lounge spot just outside the arena to relax and maybe sip on cocktails or munch of snacks by the fireside. Tickets cost $30/person online and $35/person at the rink. If you have a military discount then you can get a discount! You can reserve and Frostbite spot in the lounge online and bask in the luxury.

BALBOA PARK DECEMBER NIGHTS

December 4-6, 2021

This is possibly one of my favorite activities during the holidays. December Nights is a two-night event, December 6th, and 7th, where you get to go down to Balboa Park and explore the museums for free and enjoy Christmas in San Diego.

Museum tours and entrance are available from 5 pm to 9 pm on both nights. The festival lasts from 3 pm to 11 pm on the 6th and noon to 11 pm on the 7th. You can walk around and enjoy multicultural cuisines and a lot of Christmas activities. It puts me in the spirit every year.

Snow flakes projected on Tower and dome of the Museum of US during San Diego December Nights in Balboa Park

SAN DIEGO BAY PARADE OF LIGHTS

December 12, 2021 & December 19, 2021

This is a great San Diego Holidays tradition. Head down and watch the San Diego Parade of Lights go by along the Bay. The event lasts about 1-1.5 hours and is a great holiday event for the whole family. This year’s dates are Sunday, December 12, 2021 and December 19, 2021. The route goes as follows:

Shelter Island (5 PM)
Harbor Island (5:30 PM)
Embarcadero (6 PM)
Seaport Village (6:30 PM)
Cesar Chavez Park Pier (6:45 PM)
Coronado Ferry Landing (7 PM)

Less crowded spots are usually Coronado Centennial Park and South Embarcadero. Parking is limited, so get there early or take a shared ride.

Sail boat with christmas lights and decoration

 

DEL MAR DRIVE-THROUGH HOLIDAY LIGHTS

December 4, 2021-January 2, 2022

This is the perfect Holiday event for the whole family. Right on the Del Mar Fair Grounds, you can drive through a Holiday Wonderland. Beautiful decorations, lights, and Christmas Carols will put you in the Holiday spirit.

 

LIBERTY STATION TREE LIGHTING AND OTHER HOLIDAY EVENTS

Liberty Station has quite a few Christmas events going on this year. Their Salute the Seasons event schedule is fun for kids and adults alike. Here is what you can enjoy:

Liberty Station Tree Lighting – November 26, 2021: While the tree lighting event itself has been canceled this year, you can still go and admire the 88 ft tall Christmas tree at Liberty station starting after Thanksgiving Day. This is the perfect Photo opportunity for your Holiday cards!

Hanukkah & Menora Lighting – November 28, 2021: On the first day of Hanukkah, you can watch the lighting of the Menora at Liberty Station at 5 PM.

Nutcracker Ballet – December 11, 2021: This family-friendly event is a Holiday classic, so put it on your calendar!

Salute the Season Art Walk: This art installation can be visited between November 17, 2021 to January 10 and features local artists sharing their interpretation of the 12 Days of Christmas. Read more here>>

Rady Children’s Ice Rink: The famous outdoor fundraising ice rink is a San Diego institution and a favorite for skaters of all ages. This year, the proceeds go to the Thriving after Cancer Program. The Ice Rink is open daily (except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day) between 10 AM – 10 PM from November 18, 2021 to January 9, 2022.

 

FIRESIDE STORYTIME WITH SANTA – CARLSBAD SHERATON RESORT & SPA

December 9 & 16, 2021

This free event at the Carlsbad Sheraton Resort & Spa is such a cozy Christmas experience for the little ones. Santa will be taking a break from checking his lists in the North Pole to read holiday tales to the littles who can listen in while enjoying candy canes, fireside roasted s’mores, and hot cocoa. There will also be a letter-writing station where one can write a wish list to share with Santa. Parents can enjoy the festive fun and toast to the season with homemade boozy marshmallows for adult s’mores and spiked hot cocoa

 

ANNUAL GASLAMP HOLIDAY PET PARADE

December 13, 2021

What better way to celebrate the holiday season than to see a bunch of adorable animals dressed up and parading around town? Every year in the beautiful Gaslamp District, people create homemade floats and cute vehicles to parade their pets around in.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Cheerful dog labrador is sitting in Santa Claus hat. Golden retriever is waiting for the holiday at home.

JUNGLE BELLS AT THE SAN DIEGO ZOO

December 10, 2021 – January 2, 2022

For my zoo lovers out there, the #1 zoo in the world, the San Diego Zoo, holds their annual Jungle Bells fest from December 10th to January 2nd. Lights and decorations are everywhere and the air around the park feels so holly jolly.