San Diego's Parade of Lights

Only in San Diego can you watch a parade of lights sail past you while enjoying dinner and drink on an historic ferryboat.

Holiday Parade of Lights: Get ready for this year’s Parade of Lights on San Diego Bay. The annual event is held on two weekends in December. Dozens of boats deck themselves out with lights and sail past the shoreline lined with San Diegans. This year it will be held on December 11 and December 18 beginning at 5 p.m. on Shelter Island. Follow the parade route to decide where you’ll set up your party. Boats will sail past Harbor Island, The Embarcadero, Seaport Village, Cesar Chavez Park and the Ferry Landing on Coronado.

It Began With a Roar: Participants can expect to see a "wilder side" of San Diego in the holiday light displays this year as the parade theme is a nod to the centennial celebration of the San Diego Zoo. The captain and crew that best displays the theme "It Began with a Roar – San Diego Zoo Celebrates 100 Years” will win the coveted "Best of Parade" award.

Special Seats: The Maritime Museum of San Diego makes a unique opportunity for families by offering a seat on an historic ferryboat. For a price, you can be near where parade judges are stationed (aboard the steam yacht Medea) so you’ll have a great vantage point to watch the captains do all they can to get top prize. A holiday buffet and a no-host bar will be offered from 5:00 p.m. –8:00 p.m. Tickets are $50 for adults and $25 for children ages 3-12 and can be purchased online through the museum’s website at or by calling 619-234-9153 ext 101. Children under 3 are free. As an added bonus, the ticket includes museum admission so you can go early and take a look around. There’s also the option just to watch the parade with a $10 museum admission after 6 p.m. Attendees are asked to bring a new, unwrapped toy for the Toys for Tots program.

San Diego Bay Lights Up for the Holidays

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