San Diego Holiday Activities and Christmas Guide
Hotel Del Coronado
This is my absolute favorite hotel in San Diego and it’s even 100 times better during the holidays (minus the crowds). I do love how they go all out and decorate their front lawn with Christmas decorations, fire pits, igloos and an ice skating rink all with the backdrop of my favorite beach. You can grab a hot cocoa, walk around and enjoy the views! They also have a beautiful, giant Christmas tree inside the hotel and a large gorgeous poinsettia tree on the backside of the hotel which is always a great photo spot. Catch the rink and decor from Nov 17 – January 1.
Petco Park Holiday Market:
This is a super fun one in the heart of downtown San Diego. They set up the whole backside of Petco park into a winter wonderland with fun displays, local beverage and food vendors. You can catch this from Dec 1-31st. Its a cute spot to take pics, go on a date night, grab a drink with friends and especially great for taking kids and the whole fam. Tickets are $10 for kids $16 for adults and you need to book your time slot in advance online!
Craft Cocktails at Polite Provisions
My absolute favorite Bar in San Diego mostly because of the beautiful interior and insanely good cocktails. During the Holidays they decorate the whole inside and outside with lights and fun decorations. They go pretty overboard which is nice for a city that doesn’t get much snow or Christmas weather. It does get packed during the holidays so I suggest to go as early as possible and during the week to try and beat crowds.
Balboa Park is always beautiful, but it’s definitely fun during the holidays. There’s a lot to see. Stop by the Old Globe to see “The Grinch” show and their ‘Whoville’ inspired Tree. (make sure to Purchase Grinch tickets ahead of time). If you go during “December Nights Light Festival” there will be lights, sounds, attractions and food (on the 2nd and 3rd of Dec: 3-11 pm ) and you can even check out the museums for free.
Westfield UTC La Jolla
As far as shopping goes, shopping at the UTC mall is my favorite place to go during Christmas. The holiday decor is beautiful. They have a large Christmas tree as you enter the mall that is gorgeous for family pics. I love to walk around and check out the beautiful window displays (always love to see what Anthropologie is up to). I suggest also stopping by Raised by Wolves for a craft cocktail (book ahead of time) to warm up if you get cold!
A few more spots:
Christmas Circle in Chula Vista – For the past 60 years it’s been tradition for these homes from Whitney street and Mankato Circle to display their Christmas spirit. Make sure to go before 10pm as well as most houses will turn their lights off around this time.
Candy Cane Lane (Poway) – This one is one of the more famous lit-up neighborhoods in San Diego as the houses go all out by putting thousands of lights up to illuminate the neighborhood. I kind of want to just go drive through here with a hot cup of cocoa and take in all the holiday cheer. Location: Hickory Court, Hickory Street, off Twin Peaks Road and Silverset St. Also Includes Butterwood Ct. and Rockrose Ct.
Garrison Street Lights in Point Loma – This neighborhood lights up their homes every day in Dec until 10 pm. If you go, go at night and maybe take a flash so you can capture yourself in front of the lit up homes or (if you find the right angle) you can use the Christmas lights to help light up your face! I went recently just to drive by and check it out and it was quite a small section lit up, but it was still super pretty!
Liberty Station in Point Loma: I skate here often so I have seen the cute decor they have up! There are trees all lit up and a Christmas tree right before the skating rink across the street from The Lot theater.
Mission beach– If you head to Mission Beach (Belmont park to be exact) there are cute decorations. Its a great place for a fun date night or to take any kids. You can ride the roller coaster or check out the carousel.