As we deck the halls, jingle the bells, and dream of a white Christmas (or maybe a beach Christmas instead) here in San Diego, we must not miss the many opportunities to celebrate the best the season has to offer in North San Diego County.
North County is so festive that you will have a Santa Claus sighting and a Christmas Tree lighting aplenty as December in San Diego offers up activities from Carlsbad down to La Jolla.
Encinitas Parade and Tree Lighting Ceremony
This is an event you won’t want to miss as thousands of people will be adorning floats and entertaining us in bands as the Encinitas Holiday Parade rolls along Coast Highway 101. This year the parade theme is “Celebrating the Arts” as we all appreciate the thriving art scene in Encinitas.
The Heritage Tree Lighting will be held at Moonlight Beach and feature an 86-foot Norfolk Island pine tree.
Don’t miss Santa as he will be making an appearance at Lumberyard near Starbucks Coffee.
Saturday, December 2nd
5:00 tree lighting
5:30 parade begins
Free parking shuttles are running from Scripps Memorial Hospital in Encinitas off of Santa Fe Drive and from YMCA/Ecke Sports Park parking lot on Saxony Road. Both shuttles start running at 4pm and go until 8:30 PM.
60th Annual La Jolla Christmas Parade & Holiday Festival
You know you need some marching bands playing holiday tunes in your life! Join in the festivities at the annual La Jolla Christmas Parade & Holiday Festival in downtown La Jolla, which will showcase marching bands, floats, equestrian units, vintage automobiles and an appearance by Santa Claus. The theme for this year's parade is "Christmas Jewels." Photos with Santa will be available for the kids.
Sunday, December 3rd
Parade begins at 1:30 on Girard Avenue, La Jolla
Holiday festival 2:30 to 5pm.
Del Mar Tree Lighting
The Del Mar Tree Lighting ceremony offers a unique spin. Along with a dazzling tree lighting ceremony and pictures with Santa, Executive Chef Nathan Lingle will be serving hot cocoa, savory bites and holiday cookies. Spa L’Auberge will have a table set up for writing letters to Santa. L’Auberge Del Mar invites the community to donate an unwrapped toy to Rady’s Children’s Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House of San Diego. There will be live music by the Original Dickens Carolers.
Sunday, December 3
3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.; tree lighting happens at 5:00 p.m.
Holiday at the Rancho
This is a fun afternoon to spend with the kids decorating cookies, participating in arts and crafts, face painting and taking a ride on the holiday train at the Holiday at the Rancho. The park will be a festive sight to see with lights and decorations and even a visit from Santa. The evening will wind down with the classic holiday film Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause on the outdoor movie screen starting at 6 p.m. Food and beverages will be available for an additional cost.
Saturday, December 2
5 - 8 p.m.
Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park in Carlsbad,
6200 Flying LC Lane
Olde’ Fashioned Christmas at The Inn
The festivities begin at 5pm on December 1st with the ice rink ribbon cutting ceremony at the 3rd annual Olde Fashioned Christmas at The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe. Shortly after, skate under the stars in the outdoor, synthetic ice-skating rink.
Friday, December 1st
5:00 – 9:00pm – Ice skating and roasting s’mores
5:00 – 7:30pm – Soup challenge; taste soups and vote on your favorite
6:00pm – Lighting of 20-foot Christmas tree
6:30pm – Santa will arrive and be available for pictures with kids.
The ice-skating rink will be open from December 1 to January 1 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday & Sunday and from 3:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday through Friday.
Omni La Costa Resort & Spa
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s a skydiving Santa! If the weather cooperates, the Omni La Costa Resort will be flying Santa in to greet the children. There will also be a festive tree lighting ceremony. Guests will sip on delicious hot chocolate and cider while listening to carolers sing the holiday favorites.
Saturday, December 2nd
3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Teddy Bear Tea at Lobby Lounge
Every Saturday and Sunday in December, Park Hyatt Aviara hosts a tea experience for the whole family with storytelling by the “Peppermint Princess.” Each child is asked to bring a teddy bear to be donated to the Ronald McDonald House.
Every Saturday and Sunday in December
Price per adult is $45 and $30 for children 12 and under (taxes and gratuity not included).