Our Favorite Holiday Happenings in San Diego

If palm trees and sunshine sound like your ideas of a fun holiday getaway, we’ve got good news for you! America’s Finest City knows how to have a good time. We’re upping the fun factor by sharing our favorite holiday activities to try out this winter in San Diego!


decnights_festivaloverlay_0Balboa Park December NightsBalboa Park December Nights, the nation’s premier holiday festival, will take place for the 38th consecutive year on Friday, Dec. 4, 3-11pm, and Saturday, Dec. 5, noon-11pm. As always, the event brings families and friends together to spread holiday joy, learn more about the cultural value of Balboa Park and kick-off the “most wonderful time of the year.

liberrtystationrinkFantasy on IceIce skating? Outside? In San Diego? Yes! Sycuan and Rady Children’s Hospital Auxiliary are teaming up to present Fantasy on Ice. The festivities begin in November, when the NEW ice rink at Liberty Station, opens for the first skating season, from November 2015 until January 2016. Expect special holiday events and activities throughout the season.

Tree-LightingLittle Italy Tree Lighting & Christmas VillageThe Little Italy Association kicks-off to its annual holiday shopping, dining and pampering season with the annual Little Italy Tree Lighting & Christmas Village held on W. Fir between India and Kettner from 4:00pm to 8:00pm on the first Saturday in December (December 5). Come one and all; family, friends and pets are welcome. Also Jolly Ole Saint Nick will be arriving at 4:30pm on Little Italy Fire Engine 3, to add that additional holiday cheer; while attendees are serenaded to the musical talents of  the various musical and dancing groups. The Association will be giving out free Italian cookies, cider and coffee; and don’t forget the Little Italy Mercato vendors will be selling holiday gifts, to get the season started off right.

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!America’s favorite holiday fable returns for its 18th joyous year! Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is a wonderful, whimsical musical based upon the classic Dr. Seuss book. Back for its 18th incredible year, the family favorite features the songs “This Time of Year,” “Santa for a Day” and “Fah Who Doraze,” the delightful carol from the popular animated version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Celebrate the holidays as the Old Globe Theatre is once again transformed into the snow-covered Whoville, right down to the last can of Who-hash.

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 11.41.43 AMThe 44th Annual San Diego Bay Parade of Lights!The San Diego Bay Parade of Lights is a time-honored holiday tradition brought to San Diego by the boating community. Happening on Sunday, December 13 and Sunday, December 20,  the annual Parade on San Diego Bay will feature more than 80 boats lavishly decorated according to this year’s theme: Christmas Around the World. The Parade proceeds from Shelter Island past Harbor Island, the Embarcadero, Seaport Village, and Ferry Landing in Coronado. Lots of great places to view just steps from our Little Italy hotel!

BigBalloon-371-e1443203909370Port of San Diego Big Bay Balloon ParadeAmerica’s Largest Balloon Parade happens on December 30, 2015 at 10 AM. The scenic, bayside streets of downtown San Diego will come alive with the 2015 Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade – a San Diego Bowl Games Production. As always, this exciting family event brings together world-class marching bands, magnificent floats, entertaining drill teams, and a procession of enormous balloons-more than any other parade! Over 100,000 street-side spectators will enjoy the parade along with a nationwide television audience.