If a white Christmas sounds nice, but in the end really isn’t your thing, then why not opt for a temperate Christmas in a lovely city like San Diego?
San Diego has plenty of wonderful activities and seasonal events to enjoy, no matter who you’re spending the holidays with.
If you’re traveling to Southern California this holiday season, check out our list of the top things to do for Christmas in San Diego.
Save on Attraction Admission for the Holidays
Regular admission to a number of these attractions is included on the Go San Diego® Card.
Choose as you go from dozens of top attractions and save up to 55% on combined admission vs. paying at the gate.
Please note, some of these special Christmas events may be separately ticketed and not included on the Go San Diego® Card.
Jungle Bells at the San Diego Zoo
When: December 8, 2017 – January 1, 2018
Come to the San Diego Zoo to celebrate all things cold weather and Christmas-y, including the animals!
The Northern Frontier’s forest will be converted to a Holiday Forest, complete with exquisitely decorated and lit trees alongside critters who love the cold weather.
In addition to festive animal feedings and talks, you’ll also get to enjoy musicians, dance performances, and a recitation of “Twas the Night Before Christmas.”
Getting In: San Diego Zoo tickets are included with the Go San Diego Card.
Polar Express Day at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum
When: December 9, 2017, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm.
Bring the kids to the San Diego Model Railroad Museum to enjoy a large-scale screening of everyone’s favorite Christmas Classic – the Polar Express.
Feel free to bring a blanket and pillow for the kids, as you’ll all be encouraged to sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.
Bonus: for adults, they also host a fun “Ales and Rails” event on December 15 which combines beer tasting with an ugly Christmas sweater competition.
Getting In: San Diego Model Railroad Museum tickets are included with the Go San Diego Card. Tickets to Polar Express Day & Ales and Rails are separately priced.
LEGOLAND Snow Days
Come to LEGOLAND to celebrate your favorite holiday with your favorite toys. Marvel at a 30-foot-tall LEGO Christmas tree (including LEGO ornaments, of course!).
Then, the kids can sit on the lap of a fully-LEGO Santa, who may not be able to grant Christmas wishes but sure makes for a great photo!
Snag some holiday presents at a German-themed Christmas shop, enjoy caroling characters, and more.
Getting In: LEGOLAND California tickets are included with the Go San Diego Card. Holiday events are included with park admission.
SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration
When: November 18, 2017 – January 6, 2018
For something that will make your kids’ holiday experiences truly special, head to SeaWorld San Diego.
Their Christmas Celebration is among the best and brightest in the region, offering seasonal food and drink, festive shopping, live performances, and much more!
This year, you can enjoy a brand new Nativity Show, “O Wondrous Night.” Then, meet Rudolph and friends, soak up the beauty of illuminated trees, and find that perfect gift for a loved one.
Getting In: SeaWorld San Diego tickets are included with the 3-, 5-, and 7-Day Go San Diego Cards. Holiday events are included with park admission.
Drink Play Create: Ugly Sweater Party at the New Children’s Museum
When: December 8, 2017, 7:00 pm – 11: pm
While it’s being held at a children’s museum, Drink Play Create is a 21+ event that locals love.
Show up decked out in your ugliest Christmas Sweater and get ready to party surrounded by festive art.
Enjoy plenty of food and drink, music, and access to galleries.
If you’d prefer to involve your kids in your holiday fun, then bring them back to the museum for the Pajama Jam on December 30, 2017.
Getting In: New Children’s Museum tickets are included with the Go San Diego Card. Ugly Sweater Party is separately ticketed and is not included with the pass.
Polar Bear Tea at the Hotel Del
When: December 21, 2017, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm.
This is a unique experience the kids will never forget. Hop aboard the ferry out to Coronado and enjoy a charming Polar Bear Tea at the historic Hotel Del.
Evoking Christmas traditions with specialty food and décor, the Polar Bear Tea is also geared specifically towards kids with festive activities and readings with Mrs. Claus.
Plus, if you bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to a child in need, you’ll be able to go home with a polar bear plush!
Getting In: Polar Bear Tea is separately ticketed and is not included with the pass.
Remember to Save on Attraction Admission
So there’s our brief list of the top things to do in San Diego during Christmastime and the holidays.
Remember, many of these options are included on the Go San Diego® Card, which can save you up to 55% on combined admission vs. paying at the gate.
Please note, the Christmas events taking place at some of these attractions may be separately ticketed and not included with the Go San Diego Card.
We hope you’ll consider adding an idea or two from this list to your holiday itinerary!