San Diego's Best Events in December

What's happening this month around San Diego


Jokulsarlon Sunset by Steve Gould

Jokulsarlon Sunset from Steve Gould's photo exhibit 65° NORTH/65° SOUTH: Images from the Ends of the Earth

December 1:

“It’s the holidays, Charlie Brown!” The Chuck Jones Gallery presents its Holiday Peanuts Show, featuring classic Peanuts artwork and an animated demonstration.

Enjoy family-friendly fun in a hipster ’hood at the North Park Toyland Parade and Festival.

Commemorate World AIDS Day and benefit Mama's Kitchen at the Tree of Life Tree Lighting Ceremony in Hillcrest.

December 2:

If chili, beer, and music are on your wish list this holiday season, stop by the SoNo Park Holidayfest and Chilipalooza for a taste of all three.

Spin the dreidel at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center’s annual Hanukkah Happening.  

December 4:

Wacky filmmaker John Waters “puts the X in Xmas” in his eponymous one-man show A John Waters Christmas at the Belly Up.

December 5:

Steve Gould's photo exhibit, 65° NORTH/65° SOUTH: Images from the Ends of the Earth, at Balboa Park's Spanish Village, December 5-17.

The former Black Crowes front man rocks the house in a solo Evening with Chris Robinson at the Belly Up.

December Nights at Balboa Park

December Nights

December 7:

More than 100,000 attendees descend on Balboa Park for international food and holiday performances at December Nights.

The California Center for the Arts in Escondido welcomes pop and country crooners for Carols by Candlelight.

December 8:

Decks get decked in their holiday finest as the Mission Bay Christmas Boat Parade of Lights sets the water aglow.

December 9:

Your four-legged friend gets in on the holiday festivities during the Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade at the Gaslamp Hilton Park.

December 11:

Leroy’s Kitchen and Lounge in Coronado pairs holiday brews at the Winter Beer Dinner featuring Crow’s Pass Farms.

San Diego Opera gives foodies a Taste of Opera with a Middle Eastern flair and a discussion on Samson and Delilah at Aladdin Restaurant.

December 13:

Sip, sup, and shop your way through Hillcrest at the self-guided Taste ‘n’ Tinis neighborhood walking tour.  

December 14:

Downtown La Mesa turns Victorian at the annual two-day Christmas in the Village celebration.

December 15:

Old Town gets in the Christmas spirit with its Holiday in the Park celebration on Saturday, followed by Sunday’s centuries-old tradition of Las Posadas, the reenactment of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem.


The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker

December 16:

City Ballet of San Diego is just one of several companies presenting The Nutcracker on stages throughout the county. This Sugar Plum Fairy takes the stage at Spreckels Theatre for a week of performances.

December 17:

Irving Berlin’s classic White Christmas comes to life courtesy of San Diego Musical Theatre at Birch North Park Theatre.

Poinsettia Bowl March

Poinsettia Bowl March

December 18:

Marching bands and spirit squads parade through the streets in the Poinsettia Bowl March through the Gaslamp, preceding the big game on December 20.  

December 24:

Lamb’s Players Theatre takes over the ballroom at the Hotel Del Coronado, transporting revelers back to 1912 for a four-course feast and celebration at An American Christmas.

December 26:

Experience ancient Chinese civilization at the Shen Yun performing arts production at the Civic Theatre.

December 27:

Larger-than-life balloons, floats, bands, and performers wow the crowd at the Big Bay Balloon Parade.

American Idol season nine winner Lee Dewyze woos fans with his raspy rock vocals at Anthology.

December 28:

Jam to the “dirty reggae” sounds of The Aggrolites on stage at the Belly Up.

December 29:

If Santa somehow forgot to leave your sports car under the tree, find it at the Convention Center during this year’s San Diego International Auto Show.

December 30:

Go Bolts! Show those Raiders who’s in charge at the Q when the Chargers take on the boys from the Bay.  

December 31

Ring in 2013 with the biggest bash of the year, the all-inclusive Big Night San Diego, at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront.

More »Related Stories

ArtWalk returns to Liberty Station

More than 175 artists will showcase their work August 16 & 17

Opening Day Soiree at Westfield UTC

Find your perfect look for Opening Day and support Voices for Children

Summer Guide: Main Events

Super-sized parties

Most Popular

  1. Secret San Diego
    Psst! You didn’t hear it from us, but this town has all kinds of "hidden gems" (yes, we said it). And we’re not talking ghost stories at the Hotel Del.
  2. FIRST LOOK: Bottega Americano
    With Bottega Americano opening this weekend, Downtown gets its first gourmet food hall
  3. FIRST LOOK: Fairweather
    Anthony Schmidt tackles "sunny" vacation drinks at Downtown's new patio bar
  4. INCOMING: Duke's
    Iconic Top of the Cove restaurant location gets new life
  5. Wake Up And Smell the Coffee
    As American coffee culture moves past the nonfat vanilla lattes toward a more elevated brew, San Diego is right on trend
  6. The Ivy League
    Under star chef Richard Blais, Juniper & Ivy is in an elite class


Best of Ensenada 2013

Where to eat, drink, sleep & play

Hawaii: Island Fresh

A handy guide to Hawaii's farmers markets

Connect With Us: