December Nights Kicks Off

December Nights 2009 kicks off Friday for its 32nd year

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    December Nights in Balboa Park is about to get underway.

    Crews and volunteers put the final touches on light displays early Friday morning in preparation for the hundreds of thousands of people expected to enjoy December Nights in Balboa Park.

    This weekend the park will transform into a holiday wonderland - complete with music, decorations, hot cocoa and free admission to museums.

    December Nights 2009 kicks off  Friday at 5 p.m. for its 32nd year.

    "Most people consider Balboa Park's December Night the unofficial kickoff of the holiday season in San Diego," said park ranger Kim Duclo. 

    Tips for December Nights

    [DGO] Tips for December Nights
    A park ranger in the know offers tips on how to avoid headaches for December Nights 2009.

    For those who haven't participated in years past, the event is a San Diego tradition bringing together residents and visitors alike for a night of free entertainment in the heart of the city.

    "There's so many things going on it's a wonderful family event," said Duclo. 

    From the activities map posted online, you can chart out your strategy before even getting there. There's also an entertainment schedule with not only the Spreckels Organ Pavilion lineup but other types of entertainment planned for other stages including dancers and puppets.

    New this year: the San Diego Zoo will allow visitors to take their tram for $4 so they can see the lights throughout the park from the air. There's also a spirits lounge offering drinks for the over-21 crowd.

    To avoid headaches, come early, dress appropriately and park offsite Duclo suggests.

    Parking is an art form so be sure to check the map offered by the event organizers to find the available lots before you go.

    Park for $3 at Petco Park and take a free shuttle or park at the county administation building for free and take a free shuttle.

    If you can't make the event Friday 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., there's another evening of it scheduled for Saturday Noon to 10 p.m.

    NBC San Diego pulled together a number of "insider tips" to help make the night more fun. Share your tip. Comment below, send us your thoughts via Twitter @nbcsandiego or add your comment to our Facebook page.