Exploring San Diego


Things to do Dec. 12 - 15: San Diego Santa Run, Oceanside boat parade, La Mesa holidays

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Posted at 2:05 PM, Dec 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-12 19:23:58-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — There's plenty of holiday magic to go around San Diego this month.

Locals can head to Poway, La Mesa, Eastlake, or Oceanside this week for fun holiday events like Christmas in Poway, La Mesa Holidays in the Village, nightly snowfall in Eastlake, or Oceanside' Parade of Lights on the harbor.

In Pacific Beach, hundreds of Santas will work off their milk and cookies as they dash down Garnet Avenue for the San Diego Santa Run. And in the Gaslamp District, pets will don their best ugly sweaters for their very own pet parade.


If you haven't been to Liberty Station for some holiday ice skating, you're missing out. Tickets get guests in for the entire day, so they can skate to their heart's content, grab something to eat or visit a local museum, and return for more fun the same day.


Jungle Bells
Where: San Diego Zoo; Cost: $48 - $64
(Thursday - Sunday) The San Diego Zoo's holidays are sure to be wild with Jungle Bells, with daily light shows, live entertainment, and an all new "aurora" light experience blends 3-D projections with music and lights into a dazzling show.

Nightly snowfall at Village Walk
Where: Village Walk at Eastlake; Cost: Free
(Thursday - Sunday) Village Walk at Eastlake turns into a winter wonderland this month with daily snowfall at 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m., then again at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. from Dec. 7 - 24. From 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. everyday, kids can grab a photo with Santa and get a free coloring book.


La Mesa Holidays in the Village
Where: La Mesa Village; Cost: Free
(Friday - Saturday) Head to La Mesa Village where families can enjoy festive holiday food and drinks, children's activities, shopping, and more. Kids can grab a photo with Santa and families can see live holiday-themed performances from bands and dancers.

Rady Children's Ice Rink
Where: Liberty Station; Cost: $10-$15
Lace up your ice skates and hit Liberty Station for a night of ice skating at the Rady Children's outdoor rink to start the holiday season. Proceeds from skaters will benefit the Thriving After Cancer program at Rady Children's.


Oceanside Harbor Parade of Lights
Where: Oceanside Harbor; Cost: Free
Oceanside Harbor will host its own unique holiday celebration on the water with colorfully decorated boats. Fishing boats, sail boats, yachts, kayaks, and dingys will join in the parade throughout the harbor, inviting locals to watch from shore with hot cocoa and blankets.

San Diego Santa Run
Where: Garnet Ave., Pacific Beach; Cost: $20 - $50
The streets of PB will be clad in red and white as the San Diego Santa Run returns for a 5K and mile-long dash of Kris Kringles along Garnet Avenue.

Poway Christmas in the Park
Where: Old Poway Park; Cost: Free; Activities may cost a small fee
Enjoy an old fashion Christmas celebration in Poway with caroling, live music, horse-drawn hay rides, and more. Kids can jump on the Poway Midland Railroad for a night-time ride around the park or craft their own gifts with a free craft station.


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.

Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade
Where: Gaslamp District; Cost: Free
Pooches and felines will deck the paws in the Gaslamp District, as the annual Holiday Pet Parade makes its way down Fifth Ave. under the Gaslamp archway starting at 2 p.m.

Winter Wonder: Beachside at Belmont Park
Where: Belmont Park; Cost: Free
San Diego's 94-year-old theme park by the sea comes alive this month with Winter Wonder at Belmont Park. The event features a holiday toy drive, holiday sculptures, free photos with Santa, and other winter-themed activities and entertainment.