Free events, things to do through Thanksgiving holiday weekend

Posted at 1:16 PM, Nov 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-21 16:55:23-05

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:

San Diego County "Green Friday"
Nov. 24, times/locations vary
-- If you don't want to deal with the hectic pace of Black Friday shopping, you can take part in San Diego County's "Green Friday"! On Nov. 24, day-use fees and parking fees will be waived at all county-managed parks and preserves so everyone has a chance to enjoy the outdoors – or work off some of those Thanksgiving dinner calories. Additionally, some special events will be held at select parks that day.

Bates Nut Farm
Nov. 24-26, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. (15954 Woods Valley Road, Valley Center)
-- Visit the famous Bates Nut Farm over Thanksgiving weekend for their free Christmas Arts, Crafts & Vintage Market. In addition to arts and crafts, enjoy live music and free hayrides.

12th annual Surfin' Santa's Arrival at Seaport Village
Nov. 25, 1 p.m.-5 p.m. (849 West Harbor Dr., San Diego)
-- Santa Claus surfing San Diego waters in shorts and a T-shirt is so Southern California, but it's also so much fun! The annual holiday kick-off event at Seaport Village includes Santa's appearance, free photos, live music and a holiday parade. This year, the event falls on Small Business Saturday at Seaport Village, where shoppers can visit dozens of locally owned businesses.

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Country Christmas Tree Lighting in Julian
Nov. 25, 1 p.m.-7 p.m. (2811 Washington St., Julian)
-- The Christmas season kicks off in Julian with the annual lighting of the town's Christmas tree at the Julian Pioneer Museum.

Christmas on the Prado
Nov. 25, 2 p.m.-9 p.m. (2125 Pan American Rd. E., San Diego)
-- The 4th annual Christmas on the Prado event at the Spreckles Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park benefits Toys for Tots and local families. Visitors can enjoy Christmas music, holiday decorations, pictures with Santa Claus and other fun and free activities. Visitors can also donate an unwrapped toy at the event.

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:

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.

RELATED: Southern California theme parks celebrate the holidays with festive events

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.

Gaslamp Quarter
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.