Holiday Celebrations in San Diego | San Diego, California

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Visit San Diego this winter! America’s finest city has plenty of events that will get you into the holiday spirit. Stay in one of the city’s most historic hotels and take part in fun holiday activities throughout La Jolla, Point Loma, Liberty Station, and the San Diego bayfront. It’ll be an unforgettable holiday getaway.

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La Valencia

The pink, Spanish-style exterior of La Valencia has become an iconic San Diego image. The luxury hotel is located in the midst of La Jolla’s upscale shops and restaurants, near La Jolla Cove and the area’s beautiful cliffs. Nicknamed “The Pink Lady,” La Valencia opened in December 1926 and is celebrating her 90th birthday this month with a glamorous Gatsby-style bash on December 15th. To celebrate, the hotel is offering a Hot Pink at 90 Celebration Experience package. Stay for two nights and receive a commemorative hot pink gift, a bottle of pink sparkling wine, two 90th birthday craft cocktails, and free parking.

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Birch Aquarium

See more than 5,000 fish at La Jolla’s Birch Aquarium. Throughout December they present “Seas ‘n’ Greetings,” transforming the aquarium into a winter wonderland with live holiday music, face painting, and Scuba Santa making appearances in the fish tanks. At night, “Holiday Night Lights” shows off bioluminescent fish and features living touch pools of glowing animals. The aquarium also offers Tidepooling Adventures during the winter. Join a naturalist on a trip to a nearby tide pool, where you’ll learn about tide pools and the creatures that call them home.

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Liberty Station

Point Loma’s Liberty Station is one of San Diego’s fastest growing neighborhoods. It’s home to restaurants, art studios, and the new Liberty Public Market, a permanent marketplace selling delicious foods, beer and wine, fresh flowers, and more. Saturday, December 10th is Liberty Station’s Holiday Block Party. Restaurants will be giving away samples, art studios will be displaying work and doing demonstrations, and Liberty Public Market will have a DIY terrarium bar and cookie decorating station. The free event lasts from 4:30 to 7:30 pm.

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Outdoor Ice Skating

New to Liberty Station this year is outdoor ice rink Fantasy on Ice. Dress warmly, dig out your scarves and mittens, and hit the ice for an afternoon of skating. The rink has kid-friendly Family Sessions during the day as well as Night Sessions featuring upbeat music for adults. Proceeds from the ice rink benefit Rady Children’s Hospital.

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San Diego Bay Parade of Lights

The San Diego Bay Parade of Lights has been a local tradition for 45 years. On December 11th and 18th, the bay is lit up by a procession of about 80 boats decorated with impressive displays of holiday lights. This year’s theme is “It Began with a Roar,” a celebration of the San Diego Zoo’s 2016 Centennial. The parade starts at Shelter Island and passes Harbor Island, the Embarcadero, Seaport Village, the Pier at Cesar Chavez Park, and the Coronado Ferry Landing. For advice on parking and the best spots to watch the parade, visit their website.