How to Have a Fun and Festive San Diego Holiday

”America’s Finest City” is a fantastic place to visit any time of year, but there’s just no beating the magic of the yuletide season. Longer nights, lots of lights and endlessly festive fun are around every corner. So if you’re looking for great ways to spend your San Diego holiday, here are our picks for some of our favorite upcoming activities.

SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration (Nov 14 – Jan. 8)

(Photo: @seaworldsandiego)

The SeaWorld Christmas Celebration features a host of holiday-themed shows, events, gifts, souvenirs and other surprises, all just a few moments from our front door. Guests are invited to sip cozy cups of hot cocoa as they visit all of their favorite animals throughout the seasonally decorated grounds. Holiday themed live shows will also offer endless entertainment for the whole family. As a guest at The Dana, you’re welcome to head to SeaWorld’s celebration on our shuttle!   

500 SeaWorld Dr, San Diego, CA 92109 


LEGOLand Holiday Celebration (Nov. 19 – Jan 8)

(Photo: @legolandcalifornia)

LEGOLand California is pulling out all the stops this season to build a holiday-themed party for the ages. Special characters, events, live shows, and décor will ramp up the “merry and bright” levels all season long. The two-story-plus LEGO Christmas tree (complete with lights and more than 400 hand-built LEGO ornaments) makes a great greeting card photo-op, too! Rumor has it Santa will also be putting in an appearance. 

One Legoland Dr, Carlsbad, CA 92008


”Salute the Season” at Liberty Station (Beginning Nov. 25)

(Photo: @libertystation)

Liberty Station’s annual holiday event has become a treasured San Diego tradition. Stop by for the annual tree lighting, enjoy a Nutcracker Tea Service with the San Diego Ballet, or revel in the Hanukkah celebration — here’s no wrong way to celebrate here! And don’t forget: if you still have a little shopping to do, Liberty Station’s selection of specialty shops is guaranteed to have something for everyone. So bring your list, and finish it off in style!  

2820 Historic Decatur Rd, San Diego CA, 92106


December Nights at Balboa Park (Dec. 2 – 3)

(Photo: @thespotfood)

The city’s largest free holiday festival is back. Join the celebration at beautiful Balboa Park, and take in this cherished celebration for yourself! Guests are invited to enjoy the beauty of a decidedly decked-out park space cheerfully decorated with holiday finery, complete with food, a vendor park, live entertainment, and more. It’s yuletide fun for all.

1549 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101


Jungle Bells at San Diego Zoo (Dec. 9 – Jan. 1)

(Photo: @juliegayle24)

The renowned San Diego Zoo has consistently been named one of the best in the world, and it’s not difficult to see why. Sprawling across 100 acres within gorgeous Balboa Park, the Zoo is home to 3,700 endangered animals and 700,000-plus plants. The annual Jungle Bells holiday celebration brings extra dimensions of magic to the grounds, with holiday shows, characters, and special musical performances being added to the schedule. 

2920 Zoo Dr, San Diego, CA 92101


10th Annual San Diego Santa Run (Dec. 10)

10th Annual San Diego Santa Run

(Photo: @sdrunningco)

Don’t miss your chance to participate (or be a spectator) in the city’s most festive 5K! The annual Santa Run is a decade-deep fun run in Pacific Beach, and it’s one of the most unique holiday events in the area. Scores of runners put on their best St. Nick getups, and take over the streets of the city in seasonal style. As a bonus, the event benefits the Pacific Beach Holiday Parade, so the revenue raised ensures that another great local celebration can hit the streets.

912 Garnet Ave. San Diego, CA 92109  


San Diego Bay Parade of Lights (Dec. 11 & 18) Mission Bay Parade of Lights (Dec. 10)

These twin celebrations are uniquely San Diego traditions. The Bay Parade of Lights is returning for its 52nd year in 2022. Area boating enthusiasts deck out their dinghies and give their yachts a yuletide makeover, then cruise past the shore in a brilliantly beautiful show of seasonal splendor. More than 80 lavishly decorated boats are expected to participate this year, following the theme: “FantaSEA on the Bay.” Its sister celebration The Mission Bay Parade of Lights is no less aseasonal spectacle, offering a brilliant display on our own Mission Bay. The Dana is a great vantage point from which to see it! Our team certainly enjoys waving from the beach every year. Why not stop by Firefly Eatery & Bar to grab a to-go drink and join us? 


Your San Diego Holiday Starts at The Dana

Planning a San Diego holiday escape? We’d love to be your choice for accommodations. The Dana on Mission Bay is a fantastic Mission Bay getaway with a tropical flair, excellent amenities, and stellar service. Feel free to take a look at our Special Offers page, select the travel deal that’s right for you, and let us be your holiday home away from home!