Christmas Guide: Top Winter Holiday Activities In San Diego
December 9th, 2013|SofiaBlog


San Diego Bay Boat Parade of Lights

Is San Diego too balmy for a true Christmastime experience? Of course not! Celebrate the holiday season in style at the Sofia Hotel, and take in these festive events while you’re at it!

Mission Bay Christmas Boat Parade of Lights

Watch holiday cheer light up over tidewater during the Mission Bay Christmas Boat Parade of Lights, where better than a hundred richly decorated boats cruise around one of San Diego’s great inlets. The light show begins about 6 p.m. on December 14, and you can set up shop at a variety of good perches, from the western shore of Fiesta Island to Crown Point.

San Diego Bay of Lights

The Mission Bay event isn’t the only chance you have to see holiday-festooned watercraft promenade on the water. The San Diego Bay of Lights parade sees scores of lavishly outfitted boats celebrate the season on a lazy route between Shelter Island and the Ferry Landing on Coronado. Catch the extravaganza on two consecutive Sundays, December 8 and 15, beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Breakfast with Santa at Safari Park

Nothing rings in the yuletide season like a little quality time with the jolly red-suited elf himself. Head over to Safari Park in Escondido on Saturday, December 14 between 9 and 11 a.m. to touch base with Santa and clue him in to all your wished-for holiday treasures. You’ll have the added pleasure of a breakfast buffet at Kilima Point surrounded by the park’s exotic critters.

Poinsettia Bowl Gaslamp March

Head down to the history-drenched Gaslamp Quarter—an easy jog from the Sofia—and land yourself a curbside seat to enjoy a memorable sight: dueling marching bands and spirit squads, pulling out all the stops and strutting their stuff in one of San Diego’s liveliest neighborhoods. Watch the baton-twirling, drumstick-pounding showcase as it proceeds along Fifth Avenue to a flashy showdown at Market Street. Everything goes down on December 26 between 6 and 7 p.m.

Holiday Bowl

Feel like a little end-of-the-year gridiron action? Check out the legendary Holiday Bowl on December 30 at Qualcomm Stadium. This year the Arizona State Sun Devils will be squaring off against the Texas Tech Red Raiders in the 36th iteration of San Diego’s frenzied bowl game. Among the associated festivities will be the nation’s biggest balloon parade.

Image: Port of San Diego