Exploring San Diego


Things to do Dec. 5 - 8: December Nights, Parade of Lights, Chula Vista Starlight Parade

Where to watch San Diego Bay Parade of Lights
escondido winter wonderland.jpg
Posted at 12:20 PM, Dec 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-05 13:56:49-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Several holiday festivities will brighten the weekend for San Diegans.

December Nights returns for two nights at Balboa Park, bringing a lineup of bands and performances, delicious foods, shopping, and decorations to San Diego's crown jewel. Escondido will also enjoy a winter wonderland as the North Pole brings snow, entertainment, and fun to the California Center for the Arts.

Several holiday parades step off as well, from Chula Vista's Starlight Parade — and children's fair — to La Jolla's Christmas Parade to North Park's Toyland Parade to the first weekend of the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights. There's plenty to catch this weekend. More parades this weekend


Outside of the holiday fun, the Liberty Station Arts District hosts First Friday, a free art show with exhibits, delicious foods, and live music. Liberty Station will also host the San Diego Street Food, BBQ & Beer Festival, with dozens of delicious vendors and craft beer on tap.


Seas 'n' Greetings
Where: Birch Aquarium; Cost: $12 - $16.50
(Thursday - Sunday) The holidays meet the seas at Birch Aquarium, where visitors can visit the Deck the Hall (of Fishes) and see special appearances by Scuba Santa. The event also invites guests to participate in a scavenger hunt and fun photo opportunities.

Winter Wonderland at the Grand
Where: Fairmont Grand Del Mar; Cost: Free to attend, some attractions cost money
(Thursday - Sunday) The Fairmont Grand Del Mar hosts a free winter wonderland of fun, with a Ferris wheel, carousel, 25-foot tree, photos with Santa, ice skating, or lounging by a fire for some s'mores.


December Nights
Where: Balboa Park; Cost: Free
(Friday - Saturday) December Nights will cover Balboa Park in holiday cheer with light displays, bands and performances, attractions, shopping, and delicious foods from the park's International Cottages to Spanish Village.

First Friday Arts District
Where: Liberty Station; Cost: Free
Head over to Liberty Station for a festive art celebration. The monthly First Friday arts event gets amplified this month with the Rady Children's Ice Rink, holiday lights, and a visit from Santa. Stick around for a free concert featuring San Diegan Whitney Shay and enjoy a holiday pop-up market.


Chula Vista Starlight Parade and Children's Faire
Where: Third Avenue, Chula Vista; Cost: Free
Chula Vista's Starlight Parade begins at 5 p.m., as Third Avenue hosts vintage cars, marching bands, dancers, and more to kick off the holiday season in the South Bay. The Children's Faire will also entertain kids with a snow hill, sledding, games and prizes, and photos with Santa before the parade.

Winter Wonderland Festival
Where: California Center for the Arts, Escondido; Cost: Free
The North Pole comes to Escondido as visitors enjoy real snow, winter-themed arts and crafts, holiday entertainment, reindeer, and a visit from Santa during the Winter Wonderland Festival.

San Diego Street Food BBQ & Beer Festival
Where: Liberty Station; Cost: $35 - $60
Taste your way through a day filled with delicious barbecue, craft beer, and street food from local vendors and food trucks at Liberty Station. Ticket holders will enjoy music and games, unlimited craft beer samples, and access to dozens of food vendors. Original art will be available to buy.


San Diego Bay Parade of Lights
Where: San Diego Bay; Cost: Free
Boats dressed in lights and colorful decorations will glide along the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights before thousands of onlookers beginning at 5 p.m. each night. This year’s theme will be Comic-Con on the Bay.

La Jolla Christmas Parade
Where: La Jolla; Cost: Free
La Jolla celebrates the magic of Christmas starting at 11 a.m. during the city's annual Christmas Parade, this year under the theme "Christmas on the Moon." The parade will travel down Girard Ave. and Prospect St.

North Park Toyland Parade
Where: North Park; Cost: Free
Holiday magic comes alive at 11 a.m. in North Park as their annual Toyland Parade brings a display of festival bands, floats, and cars down University Ave., between Utah and Iowa Streets.