Nothing says Christmas like trees decorated in festive lights! San Diego has plenty of these events also include visits with Santa, parades and lots more holiday cheer. ‘Tis the season!
Sea World Nightly Tree Lighting: If you can’t make it to one San Diego tree lightning event, head to the Sea World Christmas every night through Jan. 4. Not only is the park full of holiday cheer with Shamu, Santa Claus and SnowWorld, you’ll also enjoy the nightly lighting of Southern California’s largest Christmas tree, SeaWorld’s breathtaking 320-foot Christmas Tree of Lights. Nov. 15 – Jan. 4. Park hours vary by day, Sea World, 500 Sea World Dr.
Santee Holiday Lighting Celebration: Join in the holiday fun at Santee’s 12th Annual Holiday Lighting Celebration. The evening includes live entertainment provided by the Bayou Brothers – Cajun Zydeco music with a holiday twist. The highlight of the event is the ceremonial lighting of a 20-foot artificial tree that takes place at 6:15 p.m. This is a free event, however some activities do require a minimal fee. Free activities include real snow sledding provided by Rise City Church, cookie decorating, marshmallow snowman craft, create your own elf hats, holiday ornament decorating, letters to Santa, holiday tattoos, Chick-fil-A bounce house, HS Salon (crazy hair design), and various games. Nov. 21, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. (tree lighting at 6:30 p.m.). Santee Trolley Square, 9884 Mission Gorge Rd.
Tree Lighting at Fashion Valley Mall: Fashion Valley mall will host its annual Tree Lighting ceremony to kick off the season in Prada Court. The event will feature kid’s crafts, refreshments, and a festive show by the Salvation Army brass band as they perform popular holiday carols. Nov. 29, 6 – 7:30 p.m. Fashion Valley Mall – Prada Court, 7007 Friars Rd.
Chula Vista Tree Lighting and Santa Parade: Otay Ranch Town Center’s annual Tree Lighting and Santa Parade is back for its seventh year and promises to once again get local families in the holiday spirit. The parade features local school bands, performing groups, balloons, community organizations and of course the big man himself — Santa Claus. Kicking off the night’s celebrations is a festive ceremony lighting the 30-foot tree draped in dazzling lights at the start of Main Street, featuring a countdown and the official opening of the mall’s Santa House. Nov. 29, 6 – 9 p.m. Otay Ranch Town Center, Eastlake Parkway and Olympic Parkway, Chula Vista.
Downtown San Diego Tree Lighting: This festive evening includes music, ice skating and the famous faces from Disneyland. Right after the tree is lighted, you can skate beneath the stars at the “Fantasy on Ice” rink from 8 to 10 p.m. Proceeds from Fantasy on Ice benefit the Peckham Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Rady Children’s Hospital. Dec. 3, 7:30 p.m., Horton Square, 324 Horton Plaza.
Little Italy Tree Lighting and Christmas Village: The Little Italy Association presents the kick-off to its annual holiday shopping, dining and pampering season with the annual Little Italy Tree Lighting & Christmas Village held at the Piazza Natale. Come one and all; family, friends and pets are welcome. Jolly Ole Saint Nick will be arriving at 4:30 p.m. on Little Italy Fire Engine 3, to add that additional holiday cheer; while attendees are serenaded to the musical talents of the various musical and dancing groups. The Association will be giving out free Italian cookies, cider and coffee; and don’t forget the Little Italy Mercato vendors will be selling holiday gifts, to get the season started off right. Dec. 6, 4 – 8 p.m., Piazza Natale, India and W. Date Streets, Little Italy.