The holiday season is upon us, and it's that time of year when you're winding down and looking to spend quality time with your family and friends. While winter in San Diego means average temperatures in the 60s and palm trees instead of snow-covered pines, you can still find many winter-themed experiences right here at home. Whether it's oceanfront ice skating, tubing, snowman building, catching a live performance of a holiday classic, or trying a holiday-inspired cocktail at the newest pop-up bar, there is something for everyone on this list.
Experiences & Activities
Experience Hotel del Coronado’s beachfront ice rink with views of the Pacific now through January 1st. Special reservations for the rink-side or ocean-side Frostbite Lounge with plush seating up to 6 people, fire pits, and holiday-themed food and drink start at $100. Click here to make a reservation.
Snow tubing for all ages, millions of holiday lights, snowman building and private igloo rentals make the Del Mar Snow N Glow Holiday Festival a wonderful experience for the whole family. The festival opens on December 8th, Thursdays-Sundays and other select dates (including Christmas Day) from 4-9 p.m. Click here to make a reservation.
The Del Mar Social Club offers 3 Chalet Cabana rental packages, starting at $100. The 2-hour experiences include a variety of options, including ice skating, fireside s'more making, caroling, live music, shopping at the holiday market, and more. A full holiday cocktail and food menu featuring your favorite festive flavors are available, and best of all, it's dog friendly! Click here to make a reservation.
Join one of Baja's most-renowned chefs, Roberto Alcocer, at the fine-dining Mexican restaurant Valle for a culinary adventure celebrating the holiday season. Valle will invite 12 guest chefs for a collaborative evening of food and fun for two nights. The event will feature a cocktail reception, live music, and a distinguished guest list of food, wine, and travel connoisseurs.
December 14 through December 15, $250. Proceeds will benefit El Sauzal Casa Hogar Home for Children and Autism Society San Diego.
Holiday Cocktail Hot Spots
Explore San Diego’s vibrant cocktail scene with these holiday-inspired pop-ups!
Miracle on 30th Street
With funky holiday décor, creative cocktails, and good time cheer, this pop-up concept by "Miracle" has spread to over 50 locations worldwide since starting up in 2014. This season, they have transformed the Adams Ave bar, Polite Provisions. Just one shot of "naughty" (bourbon, cinnamon) or "nice" (rum, peppermint, chocolate), is sure to get even the grumpiest grinch into the holiday spirit!
Open Monday-Thurs 3pm-2am / Friday & Saturdays 11:30am - 2am. Click here to learn more.
The Grass Skirt
Sippin' Santa is the tropical companion to Miracle (mentioned above). The holiday pop-up has officially taken over The Grass Skirt in Pacific Beach, now through December 31st.
Open Monday-Wed 5pm-11pm / Thurs-Sat 5pm-12am / Sunday 5pm-12am. Click here for reservations.
Your Favorite Hotel Bar
The Lodge at Torrey Pines, Rancho Valencia, The Hotel Del Coronado, The Grand Del Mar... all of these are special places any time of year, but they take on a magical feel when decorated with the sites, smells, and flavors of the holidays.
Celebrate the holidays as the Old Globe Theatre is once again transformed into the snow-covered Who-ville for Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Shows run through December 31. Click here to purchase tickets.
Don't miss the San Diego Symphony's all-new holiday story and script, full of cozy holiday moments, favorite tunes, and jolly spirit in Noel Noel, San Diego's favorite annual holiday music tradition at The Rady Shell on December 9. Click here to purchase tickets.
Enjoy an abridged Nutcracker performance by Scripps Performing Arts Academy with tea service on December 23 at Fairmont Grand Del Mar. Click here to purchase tickets.
The Best Holiday Lights
These neighborhoods feature must-see light displays. Hop in the car and venture out for a night of lights, music and fun!
The Garden of Lights at the San Diego Botanic Garden will be even more spectacular this year thanks to the International Lightscape Exhibition. Enjoy a one-mile evening walk through the lighted garden filled with more than one million twinkling lights, as well as a "cathedral" of lights, a laser garden, lantern trees and more. Reservations are required, and the exhibit runs through January 1st. Click here to learn more.
Wishing you happy holidays, San Diego!
Photo Credits: Hotel del Coronado, CBF Productions, Fairmont Grand Del Mar, San Diego Botanic Garden, Polite Provisions, SanDiegoWithKids (Instagram)