9 San Diego Family Holiday Adventures and December TraditionsSan Diego is beautiful all year round, but somehow the blue, blue skies and crisp breezes are even sweeter in December, as we watch blizzards, ice, and freezing temps blanket the rest of the country. Sure, we’ll never have a White Christmas, but December isn’t all about snow. This Christmastime, caregivers, loved ones and San Diego homecare companions can show visiting family and friends the best of San Diego in December. Here are 9 holiday adventures only possible in San Diego, plus some favorite winter traditions you look forward to all year long! (Yes, we have winter, you just have to look for it!)

  1. December 17, 6pm: The Jingle Bell Kroc Toy Drive & Ice Show. A new unwrapped toy ($5+) opens the door to a visit with Santa, a 140-skater ice skating show, and the joy of giving to The Salvation Army Kroc Center’s Toy N Joy Workshop.
  2. December 18 – 23: Holiday Wonderland at Petco Park. Magical lighting displays, the Polar Express, photo ops with Santa and more.
  3. December 18 – 20: “Holiday Pops Featuring Cirque Musica” at Copley Symphony Hall, for the culture vultures in your group.
  4. December 19 – 20: Helen Woodward Animal Center’s Frosty Farm, featuring photo ops with Santa and his “polar dog,” friendly animals, live music, crafts, games and more. You must make reservations online!
  5. December 20: Port of San Diego Bay Parade of Lights. Boats! With lights! A party on the bay, and alongside it!
  6. December 21, 2015: the Poinsettia Bowl Gaslamp March, where the bands from the schools playing in the Poinsettia Bowl literally face off on Fifth Ave downtown, and bring the noise AND the funk, marching-band-style!
  7. December 23: The SDCCU Poinsettia Bowl. The Boise State Broncos v. the Northern Illinois Huskies face off on the saddest real estate in town, lately, Qualcomm. And after the game, “Stadium Spectacular”, fireworks with never-before-seen pyrotechnics!
  8. December 30: the Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade and Holiday Bowl. Did you know this is America’s Largest Balloon Parade? Start the day with the Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals at 9:30, the Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade at 10AM, and more marching band bombast at 11:45 on Broadway Pier., Oh, and then the game at 7:30PM at Qualcomm.
  9. December 31: For the kids, or people who have to get up really early on January 1, there’s Kids’ New Year’s Eve Celebration at LEGOLAND. Celebrate LEGO-style with live music, entertainers, a countdown into 2016 – they drop a giant LEGO brick, natch – and a massive fireworks display at 6 pm. Who needs Times Square?!

San Diego December Traditions:

All month long, you can enjoy these classic San Diego traditions:

  1. Jungle Bells at San Diego Zoo: Animal-shaped light sculptures, Santa in an igloo, holiday treats, animal encounters and family fun. Through January 3.
  2. Holiday Snow Days & Winter Nights at LEGOLAND: Do you miss snow? Get thee to Carlsbad! Legoland has real snow, and wants you and the family to play in it! Throw snowballs, build a snowman, enjoy holiday goodies and fun, and admire the nightly tree lighting. The tree lighting goes through December 25th, and the snow days go through January 3rd.
  3. The Hotel Del Coronado – San Diego’s iconic beach resort decorates the inside and outside of the hotel spectacularly for Christmas, and offers decadent Christmas hospitality.
  4. Ice skating in San Diego?!? Yup!

    1. Skating By The Sea at the Hotel Del through January 7th
    2. Viejas Outlets Ice Rink through January 10th
    3. Fantasy On Ice at Liberty Station – new this year! – through January 3rd

Whether you’re all about Christmas, you have a houseful of visiting family and you want some alone time, or you are celebrating the holidays solo, these San Diego adventures will fill your heart with Christmas spirit.

And for those of you partiers already thinking about New Year’s Eve? The San Diego Visitor’s Bureau tells you where you can bring in the New Year on New Year’s Eve in downtown San Diego.