Peeks and Previews: December

It’s finally December and the holiday festivities are upon us! Take a look at what San Diego has in store for this winter season. 

Kick-off your holiday season with the 42nd annual December Nights! This festival on Dec. 6 and 7 turns Balboa Park into a holiday wonderland, complete with light displays, live music and dance performances, great food, and lots of shopping. For two nights only, many museums, like the Fleet Science Center, the Museum of Art, and the Museum of Man, have free admission from 5 p.m.-9 p.m. You don’t want to miss this San Diego classic! 

Nothing brings the community together like a tree lighting ceremony. Head to Little Italy on Dec. 7 for the Tree Lighting and Christmas Village! While the permanent tree in Piazza della Famiglia is always the main event, this year, Little Italy will also be unveiling a new multicolored tree designed by artist Joshua Hubert in Piazza Basilone. Visitors can also stroll through the Christmas Village, where local vendors will be selling the perfect gifts for family and friends. 

Santa is making a stop in our very own city for the La Jolla Christmas Parade and Holiday Festival on Dec. 8 from 1:30 p.m. to 5 pm. The parade will feature floats, marching bands, community groups, drill teams, vintage vehicles, horses, and — apparently — a camel. This year’s theme is “Christmas On The Moon” to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, and a NASA astronaut, Robert Shane Kimbrough, will be in attendance! 

The 47th annual San Diego Bay Parade of Lights will take place on Dec. 8 and Dec. 15! More than 80 boats will parade across the Embarcadero to Coronado, showing off their festive decorations. The rumored best viewing locations are the north and south ends of the Embarcadero, the pathway along Coronado, the park behind Seaport Village, Harbor Island, Shelter Island and the pier at Cesar Chavez Park. 

What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more? Watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas at the Old Globe, a show based on the popular Dr. Seuss story. It runs until Dec. 29 and tickets start at $39. On Dec. 14, there will also be a sensory-friendly performance for children with special needs. 

Skating by the Sea is back! Until Jan. 5, Hotel Del Coronado will feature their signature beachfront ice rink that is the epitome of winter in San Diego. New this year is “Frostbite,” where visitors are able to reserve rink side lounges around a fire pit and can enjoy snacks and drinks. Tickets are a bit pricey at $30 per person online or $35 per person at the rink, but part of the benefits will go to Make-A-Wish San Diego. 

Experience the Christmas spirit from the comfort of your own car by driving around the neighborhood to see some brightly decorated houses. Here are a few locations that are well-known: Candy Cane Lane in Poway (Hickory Court), Christmas Card Lane in Rancho Penasquitos (Ellingham Street and Oviedo Street), and Garrison Street in Point Loma. For a truly special show, visit Belardo Lights in Tierrasanta at 5306 Belardo Drive, tune your radio to FM 106.1, and enjoy the light display by the Schimka family! Both sons were diagnosed with autism when they were young, and the lights began in 2006 after the older son, Brandon, became interested in holiday lights and decorations. Belardo Lights has now become a way to raise money for the Stein Education Center, which helps families and children with autism and other disabilities.