San Diego Events for December 2012

Here’s what’s happening in December throughout San Diego County

December 1
49th Annual North Park Toyland Parade & Festival
This is a large-scale parade with marching bands, upbeat dance groups, cool vintage cars, beauty queens, city officials, and Santa Claus riding atop his merry red sleigh.
Time: 11:00 am – 4:30 pm
Location: North Park, San Diego – Refer to website for map

December 1 – 2
San Marcos Santa’s Magical Village 
There will be handcrafted holiday gifts for sale while dancers, elves, and carolers perform. A child-size magical village will offer free activities for children.
Time: Sat: 3:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Location: San Marcos Community Center, 3 Civic Center Dr., San Marcos

December 2
55th Annual La Jolla Christmas Parade & Holiday Festival
This holiday festival will have musical performances, tasty food, and an antique plane fly-over. The parade consists of marching bands, equestrians, floats, vintage vehicles, flags & banners.
Time: 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Location: La Jolla Recreation Center, 615 Prospect St., La Jolla

December 7
Coronado Christmas Parade – Open House – Snow Mountain
Santa arrives by ferry and a festive parade along Orange Avenue follows, while merchants keep their doors open late for shopping. There will be a snow mountain and tree lighting by Santa himself. This is a free event.
Time: 3:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Location: Ferry Landing Marketplace – Coronado
For more information

December 7 – 8
Balboa Park December Nights
Balboa Park holiday extravaganza features two days of light displays, musical and dance presentations, plus shopping, holiday food, and spirits. This is a free event.
Time: Fri: 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, Sat: 12:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Location: Balboa Park, San Diego – Refer to website for map

December 8
Mission Bay Christmas Boat Parade of Lights 
A decorated and lighted boat procession will parade in single file on Mission Bay, some boats broadcasting holiday music. The parade ends with a firework display and the lighting of the SeaWorld Skytower Tree of Lights.
Time: 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Location: Mission Bay, San Diego – Refer to website for specific locations
For more information visit

December 9
5th Annual Gaslamp Quarter Holiday Pet Parade 
A pet parade where pets and people can dress up in costume and march in a parade through the Gaslamp Quarter with the hope to win a prize.
Time: 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, Parade: 3:00 pm
Location: Gaslamp Hilton Park, 4th Ave. & K St., San Diego

December 9
Santa at the Lakes 
Snow comes to Santee! Enjoy a day in sunny Santee with Santa, sledding, pony rides, craft booths and more for a fun-filled day.
Time: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Location: Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve, 9310 Fanita Parkway, Santee

December 9 & 16
41st Annual San Diego Bay Parade of Lights
This event features a large fleet of private craft decorated and illuminated for the holidays. The boat parade will travel a 7-mile route from Shelter Island to Coronado. This is a free event.
Time: 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Location: San Diego Bay, San Diego – Refer to website for map

December 14 – 15
Christmas in the Village 
There will be a holiday parade, strolling minstrels, carolers and street entertainers, food & commercial vendors, Santa, carnival rides, ponies, puppet shows, horse-drawn carriages and even bonfires along the Boulevard.
Time: 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Location: La Mesa Blvd., La Mesa

December 15
Pacific Beach Holiday Parade
This event features a holiday parade in Pacific Beach with floats, marching bands, children marching groups, community groups, color guards, clowns, and Santa Claus.
Time: 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Location: Garnet Ave., Pacific Beach

December 15 – 31
Jungle Bells 
Starting December 15th, the San Diego Zoo is transformed into a magical winter wonderland. You’ll find a nightly tree-lighting ceremony, bell ringers filling the air with music, and lighted animal figures dotting the grounds. Free with zoo admission.
Time: Refer to website for specific times and dates
Location: San Diego Zoo, 2920 Zoo Dr., San Diego

December 16
Hot Buttered Rum 10K & Kids Kandy Kane Race
An athletic event with a holiday theme! The race chute is lined with decorated Christmas Trees, and festivities at the finish that include hot buttered rum and hot chocolate, music, awards, a Kids Zone, Santa Claus, and gift shopping.
Time: 8:00 am – 1:00 pm
Location: Paradise Point, 1404 Vacation Rd., San Diego

December 18
5th Annual Poinsettia Bowl Gaslamp March
The marching bands from each of the competing schools in the Poinsettia Bowl will parade in the Gaslamp Quarter, beginning at opposite locations and meeting mid-way on their route where they play their music together (Battle of the Bands) and then continue onward, separately. This is a free event.
Time: 6:00 pm
Location: Gaslamp Quarter, Downtown San Diego

December 20
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl 2012
San Diego State University Aztecs play the Brigham Young University Cougars in the eighth annual San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl.
Time: 5:00 pm
Location: San Diego Qualcomm Stadium, 9449 Friars Rd., San Diego

December 21 – 22
2nd Annual Holiday Wine & Food + Pet Festival
This festival is the largest holiday celebration for pets and children in the southwest. There will be one-of-a-kind gifts, Santa Claus, and holiday pet tricks and costumes.
Time: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Location: San Diego Childrens Park, Martin Luther King Promenade, San Diego –
Refer to website for map

December 26 – 30
Garden of Lights – San Diego Botanic Garden
Over 100,000 lights will illuminate the Gardens! Festivities include horse-drawn-wagon rides, holiday crafts, marshmallow roasting, visits with Santa, live music, and refreshments.
Time: 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Location: San Diego Botanic Garden, 230 Quail Gardens Dr., Encinitas

December 27
Port of San Diego Big Bay Balloon Parade
America’s Largest Balloon Parade! Massive inflatables, numbering more than any other parade in the nation, colorful floats, unique drill teams, and marching bands, the Budweiser Clydesdale horses, and the Wienermobile!!!
Time: 10:00 am
Location: Downtown San Diego – Refer to website for map

December 27 – 30
San Diego International Auto Show
Big cars, little cars, old cars, new cars, special cars, and more cars!
See website for ticket information.
Time: Thurs – Sat: 10:00 am – 9:00 pm, Sun: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
Location: San Diego Convention Center, 111 West Harbor Dr., San Diego

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About Daniel Di Matteo

Realtor at CENTURY 21 Award, Daniel was Voted U-T San Diego’s Best Real Estate Agent in 2014. A Husband, Father, and most recently, accomplished Blog writer, which explains your visit today.