San Diego

‘Tis the Season for Holiday Lightings in San Diego

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and, from Coronado to Julian, these lighting celebrations are guaranteed to make you feel merry and bright

Put on your most festive sweater, grab some hot cocoa and look no further for holiday lightning events to get you into the ho-ho-holiday spirit.

Here's where you can find Christmas tree and Menorah lightings in San Diego county this year.

Nov. 26: Liberty Station Tree Lighting

This may be one of the tallest trees on this list! Head to Liberty Station on Friday, Nov. 26 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. to watch an 88-foot-tall Norfolk pine tree come to life. The tree will be lit between 6:15 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. The rest of the evening will include festive firetruck rides, free (yes, free) photos with Santa and a showing of a fan-favorite Christmas movie. While you’re there, the Rady Children’s Ice Rink is open to skaters from Nov. 18 to Jan. 9, with the exception of Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

Nov. 27: Julian’s Country Christmas Tree Lighting

If you’re looking for a more rustic tree lighting experience, Julian’s Country Christmas is the place to be. The small mountain town, with crisp air and the smell of freshly baked pies, is guaranteed to put you in the spirit. There will be entertainment all afternoon at Pioneer Park, along with a tree lighting between 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Nov. 28: Liberty Station Hanukkah and Menorah Lighting

Visit Liberty Station’s Central Promenade for a public menorah lighting to kick off the first night of Hanukkah on Sunday, Nov. 28 at 5 p.m. The Chabad of Downtown San Diego and the Chabad of Pacific Beach will be holding the lighting ceremony, along with family-friendly activities and music, as part of Liberty Station’s Salute the Season.

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Nov. 30: Seaport Village Menorah Lighting

Celebrate Hanukkah by the water with a menorah lighting at Seaport Village. There will be music, as well as a traditional lighting of the menorah. It’s being held Tuesday, Nov. 30 at 5:30 p.m. through a partnership between the Chabad of Downtown San Diego and Seaport Village. If you are left wanting more holiday fun, Seaport Village is also offering photos with Santa and carolers throughout the month of December.

Dec. 3: Coronado Holiday Parade 2021 Tree and Menorah Lighting

Coronado is beginning to look a lot like Christmas -- or it will soon, anyway. The Coronado Chamber of Commerce will have a variety of cars, floats, groups and bands strolling down Orange Avenue to celebrate the holidays on Friday, Dec. 3. If you want to catch the tree and menorah lighting, head to Rotary Park at 7 p.m. There will also be carol singing while the lights come on at the park.

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Dec. 4: Little Italy Christmas Tree Lighting and Christmas Village

Not one, but two trees will be shining brightly this year thanks to the Little Italy Association. Festivities at Little Italy’s Christmas Village will be going on from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and will include vendors, live music and more. If you want to catch the traditional Italian countdown tree lighting, it will be happening at Piazza della Famiglia at 6:30 p.m.

Dec. 4: 2021 Encinitas Holiday Parade, Encinitas Rocks!, and Tree Lighting

The City of Encinitas is rocking out this year for their holiday parade, which will highlight music across generations. Before their parade begins, they will have a tree lighting at 5 p.m. at The Lumberyard. Santa is also expected to be there to help ring in the season. If you plan to stick around for Encinitas Rocks!, the city is asking that all parade participants and spectators wear face coverings.

Dec. 4: 29th Annual Ramona Christmas Tree Lighting

For nearly three decades, the Ramona Chamber of Commerce has been holding a tree lighting event-- and this year is no different. This year's event will take place from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and include vendors, kids crafts, photos with Santa, live performers and more. The tree lighting itself will happen at 6 p.m. If you are not able to make it, don’t worry. You can enjoy the festive event through Facebook live.

Dec. 4: San Marcos Tree Lighting

The City of San Marcos is decking the halls from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. A special guest from the North Pole is available for photos until 4:30 p.m. There will also be vendors selling various goods and snacks, along with crafts and activities. The annual tree lighting will happen at 5:35 p.m. Hint: the city urges you to not miss the ‘snow’ after the tree is lit!

Dec. 5: Del Mar Village North Pole by the Sea Tree Lighting

You can write your letter to Santa this year while you wait for the tree lighting at North Pole by the Sea in Del Mar Village. The holiday festivities will be going on from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and include hot chocolate for kids during the tree lighting at 5 p.m., with a visit from Santa himself. It will take place at the Jim Watkins Amphitheater at L’Auberge Del Mar, where they will also have drink specials for adult visitors.

Dec. 11: Poway Christmas in the Park 2021 Tree Lighting

The City of Poway is holding its old-fashioned holiday celebration this year on Saturday, Dec. 11. The event is free and will include carolers, horse-drawn hayrides, treats, crafts and a visit from Santa-- among other things. The annual lighting of the Christmas tree will be at 5:15 p.m. Free shuttles are available to and from the event from Poway City Hall and the Poway Adult School. Look here for details on how to catch a ride.

No Lighting For Balboa Park

As for the annual tree lighting hosted by The Old Globe in Balboa Park, a spokesperson said they will not be holding an event this year. Instead, visitors are welcome to visit the tree from now through the end of the year. They will also be rebroadcasting last year’s virtual tree lighting on The Old Globe’s YouTube channel, rather than gathering a large crowd in-person, the spokesperson added.

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