San Diego, California

San Diego, California

All things San Diego, from the people, neighborhoods, trends and local news, to photographs, lists, concerts and events. You'll also find interesting stories about California.


Thanksgiving Week In San Diego: Holiday Activities and Festivities

From the weekend before Thanksgiving to the one that follows, there is so much to do and see in San Diego. Check out our list of holiday parades, turkey trots and runs, outdoor ice skating rinks, holiday lights and street fairs, plus Santa's arrival!

>> Scroll down to see when local theme parks begin their holiday festivities.

  • Now – January 9, 2022 | Rady Children’s Hospital Ice Rink at Liberty Station

Skate outdoors at Liberty Station to help raise fun for the Peckham Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Rady Children’s Hospital. The rink is open daily from 10am – 10pm, but is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas day. More details HERE.

  • Now – January 2, 2022 | Viejas Holiday Skating Rink

Southern California’s largest outdoor ice rink is open daily (weather permitting) from 3-10pm at the Viejas Out Center which is filled with the sights and sounds of the holidays! More details HERE.

  • Friday, November 19 at 11am | Santa Arrives at Parkway Plaza in El Cajon

Santa will be sitting in his sleigh in Center Court waiting to hear your child’s wish list and pose for photos. Santa will be welcoming guest to sit on his lap again this year! However, for those who wish, his setup will allow for physical distancing, and he will wear a mask upon request. Santa and his crew are all vaccinated, tested regularly. Mask are required for unvaccinated guest throughout their entire Santa experience and time in the mall.

  • Friday, November 19 from 5:30 – 8:30pm | Holiday Tree Lighting with Santa in Santee

The big guy will appear at Santee Trolley Square with free kid’s activities including real snow sledding, crafts, games, live entertainment, horse drawn wagon and trolley rides. More details HERE.

  • Saturday, November 20-21 from 9am – 4pm | Holiday Street Fair in Encinitas

Come shop for the holidays and support local artist and makers. Enjoy over 450 unique food, arts and crafts vendors plus four entertainment stages, children’s rides, Bike Valets, the kid/dog-friendly beer garden! Take advantage of free family fun, entertainment, a National Award Winning Main Street and a traditional So-Cal beach town. More details HERE.

  • Sunday, November 21 starting at 1pm | The Mother Goose Parade in El Cajon

Since 1947, El Cajon's Mother Goose Parade has been a staple in San Diego County. This year, the parade will be BOTH live along Main Street in El Cajon and virtual via LIVE STREAM, visit the Mother Goose Parade website for more details.

  • Monday, November 22 – January 2, 2022 | ‘Skating by the Sea’ Ice Rink at Hotel Del Coronado

This spectacular beachfront ice rink features stunning views of the Pacific and benefits Make-A-Wish® San Diego. The entire resort will be filled with festivities with their Home for the Holidays theme. The rink will be open specific hours and days, and advanced reservations are recommended. More details HERE.

  • Thursday, November 25 at 6:30am | Father Joe’s Villages 20th Annual Thanksgiving Day 5K

San Diego’s longest-standing Thanksgiving Day turkey trot returns to Balboa Park. You can help provide life-changing meals to feed hungry neighbors in need by participating in this event.You can also pre-order a delicious homemade pumpkin or Dutch apple pie by students of the Culinary Artist Program, which you will be able to pick up at the event. More details HERE.

  • Thursday, November 25 at 8am | Rady Children’s Hospital Auxiliary Annual 5K Turkey Trot

“Move your feet before the feast” at this 5k Turkey Trot that begins at 8:00 am at Tidelands Park in Coronado. You must sign up in advance for this event – no on-site registration. More details HERE.

  • Thursday, November 25 at 7am | Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot in Encinitas

The course starts and finishes under the famous “Encinitas” sign on the historic Coast Hwy 101 in Encinitas. The 10K starts at 7:30am, the Kids K starts at 7:40am and the 5K starts at 8am. There will be a costume contest with cash prizes and the whole event supports the Veterans Association of North County. More details HERE.

  • Thursday, November 25 at 8am | Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot in Fallbrook

Participants can walk, run or trot in this annual Fallbrook Village Rotary fundraiser that takes place at Grand Traditions Estate & Gardens. The event raises funds for the Fallbrook Land Conservancy, Fallbrook Animal Sanctuary and the Fallbrook Community(s). More details HERE.

  • Thursday, November 25 at 7:30am | Thank You Run & Kids 1K at 4S Ranch, San Diego

The 12th Annual Thanksgiving Day Thank You Run 5K and Kids 1K is coming back in-person to 4S Ranch Sports Park. The event raises funds for the ALS Association – Great San Diego Chapter and will start on Dove Creek Road, weave it’s way around the 4S Ranch Master’s Association trails and finish at the beautiful 4S Ranch Sports Park. More details HERE.

  • Friday, November 26 at 5:30pm | Jingle Terrace Park Drive-Thru Lights in Vista

Vista will kick off its annual drive-thru event featuring holiday-themed light displays along the driving loop in Brengle Terrace Park on Friday, November 26. Guests can experience the festive light displays every night from 5:30 – 9pm through Thursday, December 23. It’s free to drive through and guests are encouraged to bring food donations for the San Diego Food Bank. More details HERE.

  • Friday, November 26 from 9am – 4pm | Christmas on the Farm at Bates Nut Farm in Valley Center

Star your holiday shopping early for American handmade arts and crafts at the 'Christmas on the Farm' Arts, Crafts & Vintage Market. You’ll find up-cycled, recycled, restored, vintage, antique, and handmade wares will be offered with a large variety of jewelry, woodworking, candles, soaps, fine art, and more. Family activities include Snows Pony Rides & Petting Corral, Kids ‘n Paint, and face-painting. The event runs all weekend (11/26 – 28). More details HERE.

  • Saturday, November 27 from 6 – 9pm | Santa Arrival and Holiday Lighting of The Forum in Carlsbad

The holiday season officially kicks off with “The Lighting of The Forum” where family and friends can gather to enjoy a live Holiday Musical Stage Show, Santa’s grand arrival, the lighting of the Christmas tree followed by an incredible light show and magical snowfall. More details HERE.


  • SeaWorld Christmas Celebration | Now through January 2, 2022

Bring your family together for the eye-catching spectacle, priceless traditions, and fun-filled surprises of SeaWorld San Diego’s Christmas Celebration. The holidays are meant to be merry and bright, and that’s exactly what you’ll find as this beloved event returns with more wondrous moments than ever.See a dazzling new Christmas cirque show or meet Santa, Rudolph and your favorite Sesame Street friends. Feel the snow falling and watch the sky light up with holiday fireworks. Find photo-perfect moments across acres of beautiful decorations, including a towering 30 foot, twinkling Christmas tree and a music-activated tunnel of lights. All the while, savor delicious candy-topped hot chocolate and other treats for all ages. More details HERE.

  • Holidays at LEGOLAND | November 20, 2021 through January 2, 2022

Enjoy festive cheer with a 30-foot LEGO® Christmas tree, LEGO costume character meet-n-greets, festive shows & 'snow,' food, live music, and more. Your favorite holiday characters Santa and the Toy Solider are back along with The Gingerbread Man! They’re ready for holiday hugs, pictures and selfies. Then head over to Fun Town where there’s a 30-foot, fully decorated LEGO® Christmas tree with over 400 LEGO ornaments. And as the day winds down, the tree gets a-twinklin’ to holiday tunes at the Holiday Light Show and enjoy falling 'snow.' More details HERE.

  • Wild Holidays at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park | November 26 through January 2, 2022 (select days)

Experience Wild Holidays at the Safari Park!Go on a holiday expedition of light and travel through places that glow and twinkle with holiday cheer. Season treats will tempt you throughout your journey in the Park. More details HERE.

  • Jungle Bells at the San Diego Zoo | December 10, 2021 – January 2, 2022 (select days)

Tis the season to celebrate at Jungle Bells featuring the return of Aurora – a magical and spectacular experience with lights, projections, and music. You can also enjoy traditional lighting displays, musical performances and entertainment, visits with Santa (through 12/25), tasty holiday treats and music more. More details HERE.

  • Holidays at the Disneyland Resort | Now through January 9, 2022

Magic is Holidays at the Disneyland® Resort. Experience the festive joy you’ve been dreaming about like Sleeping Beauty’s Castle covered in festive lights, Disney Festival of the Holidays and Disney ¡Viva Navidad! More details HERE.

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