Top places to see Christmas lights in San Diego

Posted by Dennis DeSouza on Wednesday, December 12th, 2018 at 10:16am.

The holidays are right around the corner, and people and places all around San Diego have started putting up Christmas lights to bring some wholesome warmth to the cold season. Being a large city, there are a lot of places to go see Christmas lights and some that still haven’t been turned on yet!

Don’t miss out on a chance to see some of the most diverse and dazzling displays of Christmas cheer in San Diego. Here are a few suggestions on the top places to see Christmas lights, and some suggestions for special events you can take your whole family to celebrate Christmas.

North County Inland Christmas Lights

In the inland parts of the north county, Fairway Village, Twin Peaks Road, and Knob Hill are all great places to see locals coming out to celebrate and decorate their neighborhoods.

There are a variety of local homes in Fairway Village all decorated under the theme, “Holiday Magic.” There is no admission fee to enter, and it’s open from 5pm to 10pm each day from December 15th to January 1st.

The San Diego Botanical Garden will be putting up more than 100,000 lights to decorate the expansive garden, as well as offering crafting, hugs with Santa, and horse-drawn wagon rides around the garden. Admission is $10 to $20 from December 2nd to December 23rd. While the park is closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, residents of San Diego can still enjoy the Garden of Lights up until December 30th.

LEGOLAND California has a huge array of Christmas-themed events going on, such as the world’s largest LEGO Christmas tree, a gigantic model of a holiday-themed town, and Santa’s elves and reindeer rendered in brick form as well as a variety of other Christmas events for the whole family. Discount rates can be found on the website!

A home on Knob Hill is celebrating its 30th year of putting up more than a hundred thousand lights, themed displays, and Santa visits. There are a huge number of homes here all with their own take on holiday lights, but the main display is available from December 16th to the 23rd from 6:30pm to 8pm. Load up your SUV and take the whole family on a drive through Christmas wonderlands.

East County Christmas Lights

On Cypress Drive, there is an annual tradition of setting up dozens of inflatables and yard decorations, providing live music and decorating the garden with thousands of lights. The home is open from 6pm to 10 pm from November 24th to December 31st.

If you want to see a display that shows a fusion of Halloween and Christmas, check out the Nightmare Before Christmas display in El Cajon. Jack Skellington, Sally, their faithful pup Zero and Oogie Boogie are regular attendants, but Santa may show up as well! Visit from December 1st to January 1st from 6pm to 9pm.

Also in El Cajon, there are thousands of lights set up to be synchronized to music set to a local radio station, as well as Santa himself delivering presents to the event. Visit from November 25th to January 2nd at Cajon Greens Place, from dusk to 10 pm each day.

Downtown San Diego Coastal Christmas Lights

The Mission Bay Boat Parade of Lights is location at Quivira Basin. Over 100 boats are expected to take part, all decorated to the holiday theme to light up the ocean with Christmas cheer. It’s surely a sight to see.

SeaWorld boasts literally millions of lights strewn around the theme park, as well as a gigantic tree, animated light show, and a fully-explorable town for children to meet Santa, meet Rudolph, and see themed animal shows. These special events will be happening from November 18th to January 6th.

The San Diego Bay Parade of Lights celebrates its 46th anniversary this year, going with a pirate themed Christmas for 2018. The parade will happen twice, on December 10th and 17th, at 5pm both days. Be sure to get a good view of Shelter Island to see them take off and try to get to Ferry Landing for the end of the parade! This is a popular event, so to avoid traffic and ensure you find a pace to park your car, it’s best to find a spot early!


Whether you’re looking for a glittering neighborhood or lights on the shiny sea, San Diego has some of the top places to see Christmas lights! Contact our experts today to learn more about San Diego Neighborhoods!

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