Here come the holidays sneaking up on us, once again! It’s that time of the year for celebrating Christmas traditions and San Diego is the perfect place to do it. Here at Bite San Diego, we put together a list of our Top 7 favorite things to do this December. Each one is family friendly and something you don’t want to miss out on. Don’t forget to add Bite San Diego to the list and join us on one of our food tours in December! Learn some history, enjoy food and drink, celebrate the holiday season and most importantly, HAVE FUN!
Ice Rink at Hotel Del Coronado
Have you ever been “Skating by the Sea”? If not, you have to experience it this year at Hotel Del Coronado. From now up until January 1st, 2016 Hotel del Coronado will be transformed into a Winter Wonderland. The Del’s iconic Victorian Building, festooned with thousands of lights, provides a magical environment as holiday music plays and guests enjoy music, smores and hot chocolate. This year is the 11th anniversary of the event and you can come celebrate by renting a pair of skates and zipping around on the ice rink. The cost is 25$ and a part of this money benefits the Wish Kids through Make-A-Wish San Diego.
Tree Lighting in Little Italy
On December 5 from 4:00PM-8:00PM, come “deck the halls” in Little Italy as the neighborhood lights up during the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Fir Street. This is the 15th anniversary of the event and each year, it gets better and better! It will be the closest you can get to the North Pole this winter. Go and enjoy the traditional Little Italy Christmas Tree, a 25-foot tower of over 1,000 poinsettas and don’t forget to snap a picture with Santa Claus! There will also be vendors for gifts, food and drink.
December Nights in Balboa Park
As we all know Christmas is “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”, and what other way to celebrate than joining friends and family for the 38th year of Balboa Park’s Winter Nights on December 4th and 5th. Starting at 3:00PM on Friday December 4th, the Balboa Park Museums open their doors, for no cost, and San Diego begins their largest free multicultural experience with food and music from all over the world. There is shopping, food, dances, singing, crafts, games, a giant-sized coloring book and a new community mural on display. There is absolutely no better way to kick off this holiday season.
Holiday Wonderland at Petco Park
Join us for the 12 Nights in December as Jerome’s Furniture hosts Holiday Wonderland at Petco Park, for the second year in a row. This year is bigger and better than last! Walk through magical light displays, catch a ride on the Polar Express, take a picture with Santa Claus or sing a song around a 40-foot tree. Adult tickets are 20$ each, children are $10 each and children under the age of 3 are free! Check out their website to book a date!
SoNo Fest and Chili Cook-Off
You do not want to miss out on the 6th year of this “spicy” event. Chili, beer and shopping, what more can you ask for? On December 6th, from 11:00 AM-5:00 PM, there will be 40 local restaurants competing in an all out chili cook-off. There will be craft beer, wine, vendors, live bands and food vendors. For those of you with kids, don’t worry; they can enjoy bouncy houses, crafts, prizes, games and more! The event, itself, is free, but you can pay 20$ for a handmade ceramic tasting bowl and enjoy some chili from the competing restaurants. If you want to save 5$ you can BYOB (Bring your own bowl) and get 5 tastings for 15$.
Coronado Christmas Parade
“Here comes Santa Claus, Here comes Santa Claus”, right down 1st street at the Coronado Ferry Landing! Join us at 3:20PM on December 4th with carolers and fun in the snow at the snow mountain! Watch the holiday parade, get some treats, go shopping and bring the kids to enjoy this fun event. At 7:00 PM make your way to the Rotary Plaza (next to the Visitor Center at 1100 Orange Ave) where the Christmas Tree will be lit and the holiday season will, officially, begin! The community band will also be there!
San Diego Santa Run 5K and 1 Mile Race
Are you looking to burn off all of those holiday calories? On December 12, experience this holiday experience unlike any other one in San Diego. The Santa Run, in Pacific Beach, consists of a 5K fun run and a 1-mile run. The coolest part is, during the one-mile race, you can run as “Santa’s little helper” with your dog, as “Santa’s elves” with your kids or in the “Speedy Santa Wave” as a competitor to see how fast you can run one mile. Wear your ugliest Christmas sweater and engage in a tradition you won’t forget. After the event, hang around and watch the annual Pacific Beach Holiday Parade! Each person who signs up will receive a “Sunny Santa Suit”, a pair of sunglasses, a Santa hat and one drink ticket for after the race.