‘Tis the Beach Vibe Sea-Sun This San Diego Holiday

Many people enjoy a cold, snowy holiday season — one where Jack Frost nips at your nose, and the frost gathers in the corners of the window panes. Then there are those of us who prefer warmer days, milder nights, and reserving our shoveling for the sandcastles we build on the beach. For the second kind of person, a San Diego holiday season puts a little more emphasis on sea and sun. Want to enjoy your yuletide like a local? Here’s how we do the holidays in Pacific Beach.     

SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration (Nov 14 – Jan. 8)

(Photo: @aaasocal_westways)

The SeaWorld Christmas Celebration features a host of holiday-themed shows, events, gifts, souvenirs and other surprises. Guests are invited to sip cozy cups of hot cocoa as they visit all of their favorite animals throughout the seasonally decorated grounds. Holiday themed live shows will also offer endless entertainment for the whole family. 

500 SeaWorld Dr, San Diego, CA 92109   


LEGOLand Holiday Celebration (Nov. 19 – Jan 8)

(Photo: @cleverlycathryn)

LEGOLand California is pulling out all the stops this season to build a holiday-themed party for the ages. Special characters, events, live shows, and décor will ramp up the “merry and bright” levels all season long. The two-story-plus LEGO Christmas tree (complete with lights and more than 400 hand-built LEGO ornaments) makes a great greeting card photo-op, too! Rumor has it Santa will also be putting in an appearance. 

One Legoland Dr, Carlsbad, CA 92008


”Salute the Season” at Liberty Station (Beginning Nov. 25)

(Photo: @libertystation)

Liberty Station’s annual holiday event has become a treasured San Diego tradition. Stop by for the annual tree lighting, enjoy a Nutcracker Tea Service with the San Diego Ballet, or revel in the Hanukkah celebration — here’s no wrong way to celebrate here! And don’t forget: if you still have a little shopping to do, Liberty Station’s selection of specialty shops is guaranteed to have something for everyone. So bring your list, and finish it off in style!  

2820 Historic Decatur Rd, San Diego CA, 92106


December Nights at Balboa Park (Dec. 2 – 3)

(Photo: @alfredodeleonjr)

The city’s largest free holiday festival is back. Join the celebration at beautiful Balboa Park, and take in this cherished celebration for yourself. Hundreds of thousands of guests visit over a 2 day period to enjoy the beauty of a decidedly decked-out park space. During the event, Balboa is cheerfully decorated with holiday finery, complete with food from around the globe, rides, a festive vendor park, live entertainment, and more. 

1549 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101


Holidays on Crystal Pier (Dec. 3)

(Photo: @crystalpiersandiego)

Holidays on Crystal Pier is an annual charity event that offers visitors and residents alike a fantastic way to enjoy the season while supporting a worthy cause. Participants are asked to donate student supplies to the Pacific Beach school system in exchange for a seaside photo with Santa himself. Then, everyone enjoys the beautiful sunset tree lighting and festive wreaths hung along the pier. It’s a fantastic way to give back!

4500 Ocean Blvd, San Diego, CA 92109


Jungle Bells at San Diego Zoo (Dec. 9 – Jan. 1)

(Photo: @socalwithkids)

The renowned San Diego Zoo has consistently been named one of the best in the world, and it’s not difficult to see why. Sprawling across 100 acres within gorgeous Balboa Park, the Zoo is home to 3,700 endangered animals and 700,000-plus plants. The annual Jungle Bells holiday celebration brings extra dimensions of magic to the grounds, with holiday shows, characters, and special musical performances being added to the schedule. 

2920 Zoo Dr, San Diego, CA 92101


10th Annual San Diego Santa Run (Dec. 10)

(Photo: @pbshoreclub)

Don’t miss your chance to participate in the city’s most festive 5K! The annual Santa Run is a decade-deep fun run in Pacific Beach, and it’s one of the most talked-about events all year. Scores of runners put on their best St. Nick getups, and take over the streets of the city in seasonal style. As a bonus, the event benefits the Pacific Beach Holiday Parade, so the revenue raised ensures that another great local celebration can hit the streets.

912 Garnet Ave. San Diego, CA 92109  


San Diego Bay Parade of Lights (Dec. 11 & 18) Mission Bay Parade of Lights (Dec. 10)

(Photo: @sdparadeoflights)

These twin celebrations are uniquely San Diego traditions. The Bay Parade of Lights is returning for its 52nd year in 2022. Area boating enthusiasts deck out their dinghies and give their yachts a yuletide makeover, then cruise past the shore in a brilliantly beautiful show of seasonal splendor. More than 80 lavishly decorated boats are expected to participate this year, following the theme: “FantaSEA on the Bay.” Its sister celebration The Mission Bay Parade of Lights is no less aseasonal spectacle, offering a brilliant display on our own Mission Bay. Our sister property The Dana on Mission Bay is a great vantage point from which to see it! Why not stop by Firefly Eatery & Bar to grab a happy hour drink to go, and check it out from the beach? 


Plan a Holiday Celebration Tour at Pacific Terrace 

Interested in a holiday tour of “America’s Finest City” this season? Our centrally located beachfront hotel is the ideal home base for checking out all of these festive fêtes! As our guest, you’ll enjoy competitive rates, exceptional service, and a level of amenity that’s second to none. Explore the special offers on our official website, and plan your visit!