Free events, things to do in San Diego this holiday season
It's the holiday season, and with friends and family visiting, you'd love to show them a good time in San Diego without breaking the bank.
Fear not, here are some things to do and holiday events you can check out around San Diego for FREE:
La Valencia Hotel Tree Lighting Ceremony
Nov. 28, 5 p.m.-7 p.m. (1132 Prospect St., La Jolla)
-- Enjoy holiday food & drink, live entertainment and arts & crafts at the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at the La Valencia Hotel.
December Nights at Balboa Park
Dec. 1, 3 p.m.-11 p.m.; Dec. 2, 12 p.m.-11 p.m.
-- The annual December Nights kicks off the holiday season in San Diego with two nights of fun, food, and festivities at Balboa Park. The popular event includes free admission to Balboa Park museums.
38th annual OB Holiday Parade
Dec. 2, 5 p.m.-7 p.m. (4864 Newport Ave., San Diego)
-- This year's theme for the annual parade in Ocean Beach is "California Dreamin' in the Season of Love," and it will include marching bands, floats, cars & motorcycles and Santa Claus!
Chula Vista Starlight Parade/Children's Faire
Dec. 2, Parade is 6 p.m.-8 p.m. (Third Ave., between E and H streets); Faire is 2 p.m.-5 p.m. (373 Park Way)
-- Chula Vista's popular Starlight Parade hits its famous Third Avenue again, and it will feature marching bands, drum corps, first responders and more. The free Children's Faire will be held prior to the parade, and it will feature holiday arts and crafts, an appearance by Santa and Mrs. Clause and other fun activities for kids.
Old Town Holiday in the Park
Dec. 2-17, 6 p.m.-9 p.m. (2415 San Diego Ave., San Diego)
-- Old Town merchants get into the holiday spirit with decorations and songs to greet shoppers.
La Jolla Christmas Parade & Holiday Festival
Dec. 3, 1:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. (parade starts on Girard Ave., festival held off Prospect St.)
-- The spirit of the holiday season is alive and well at the La Jolla Christmas Parade and Holiday Festival in downtown La Jolla. Visitors can take in a parade that features bands, floats and (of course, Santa Claus! After the parade, head over to the Holiday Festival for entertainment, arts & crafts and photos with Santa!
Santa by the Sea at Del Mar Village
Dec. 3, 3 p.m.-5 p.m. (1500 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar)
-- Enjoy tree lighting, live music, holiday treats at the Santa by the Sea event at the Del Mar Village. Visitors can also take free photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, attend a Santa letter-writing workshop and create their own holiday hats!
Hotel Del Coronado Holiday Festival
Dec. 6, event begins at 4 p.m. (1500 Orange Ave., Coronado)
-- See fireworks, visit with Santa Claus, watch an ice skating demonstration and take in a holiday performance by some Coronado schools at the Hotel Del's annual Holiday Festival.
PB Holiday Parade
Dec. 9, 1 p.m.-2 p.m. (Garnet Ave., San Diego)
-- Following the San Diego Santa Run 5K, Pacific Beach's Holiday Parade kicks off with floats, bands and Santa Claus on Garnet Avenue.
Las Posadas in Old Town
Dec. 9, 4:45 p.m. (2415 San Diego Ave., San Diego)
-- The 67th annual Las Posadas reenacts the story of Mary and Joseph looking for a place to stay and, ultimately, give birth of Jesus. The event includes a candlelight procession in which holiday songs are performed, with the procession ending with a nativity display with choir performance.
Free entry at select Balboa Park museums
-- Balboa Park museums offer free admission each month to San Diego city and County residents, as well as active-duty military and their dependents. The free entry is on a rotation basis, and Balboa Park has a list of dates in which museums are offering free admission: https://www.balboapark.org/residents-free.
La Jolla Shores
8300 Camino Del Oro, La Jolla
-- There are plenty of spots to sight-see at beautiful La Jolla Shores, including La Jolla Cove, The Children's Pool (for seal watching) and, of course, the popular beaches.
Mission Beach Boardwalk
1710 W Mission Bay Dr., San Diego
-- It's San Diego, so chances are the weather will be awesome to walk/jog/bike/skate along the beach, play games or go on a ride at nearby Belmont Park, or simply stop and admire the view at this popular destination.
Downtown San Diego
-- Take a walk through the historic (and very busy) Gaslamp Quarter, the heart of downtown San Diego. With restaurants, bars and lounges on just about every street, there is most likely something for everyone in your group or family.
Tuna Harbor Park
700 N. Harbor Dr., San Diego
-- Get a great view of the San Diego Bay, USS Midway Museum and the Embracing Peace statue (also known as the "kissing statue" or "Unconditional Surrender" statue).
Plaza de Panama at Balboa Park
1450 El Prado, San Diego (Located across San Diego Museum of Art)
-- The Plaza de Panama fountain is at the center of the famed Balboa Park, giving visitors quick access to museums and other places of interest.
Coronado Tidelands Park
2000 Mullinex Dr., Coronado
-- Get a great view of the San Diego Bay and Coronado Bridge from this popular Coronado destination.