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Must-See Attractions in San Diego this Holiday Season

The tree lighting at December Nights in Balboa Park is spectacular.

The tree lighting at December Nights in Balboa Park is spectacular.

Kate Wiggins

Kate Wiggins

The tree lighting at December Nights in Balboa Park is spectacular.

Luke Minnick, Staff Writer

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San Diego is arguably one of the best and most entertaining cities in California, especially during the holidays. Attractions can range anywhere from ice skating near the beach on Coronado Island to  driving through winding streets full of Christmas lights in the mountains of Poway. SD locals, and often tourists from around the globe, have their own holiday traditions, but check out a few favorites you may want to visit this holiday season in sunny San Diego .

   According to USA Today, “Hotel Del Coronado’s Skating by the Sea is something that can’t be experienced in many other places around the world” ( The skating that Hotel Del Coronado offers is one of the best attractions in Cali, because not only can you  skate your little heart out,  but you can also manage to  enjoy the nice San Diego weather and go for a polar bear plunge in the ice cold ocean if you so choose. People from all over enjoy this attraction, and it is one of the most popular places to be during this festive season.

  Another fun and jolly idea is to hit up SeaWorld, the Zoo, or the Safari Park while they have their cute holiday festivities going on. Sophomore Amanda Martin said, “My family and I go to SeaWorld over the holidays.” There is a Santa’s Village and even snow days during December. The San Diego Zoo has their Jungle Bells celebration with extended hours. You can see animals while at the same time truly immersing yourself in the holiday spirit.

   These three parks all have Christmas events and entertaining shows that include the animals and decorations throughout the parks Sophomore Jacob Figueroa explained, “The zoo is the best place to be because of all the different events during the day and night.” You will be be surrounded by Christmas lights and the oh-so-festive holiday atmosphere which is Santa-sacks full of fun.

   Junior Colin Ruthenberg stated, “My family and friends go to a Christmas tree farm.” There are a variety of farms near San Diego that offer a variety of trees and wreaths. If you want to spend some quality time with your family, you can buy some hot chocolate and go cut yourself your dream tree at one of the many farms in San Diego. The three biggest “cut-it yourself” tree farms are the Family Christmas Tree Farm (El Cajon), The Highland Valley Christmas Tree Farm (Temecula), and The Rancho Noel Christmas Tree Farm (45 minutes east of San Diego).

   Ruthenburg continued, “We also go to a few of the streets full of house lights in Clairemont.” People line up around the block for the chance to view these amazing streets, decked out in Christmas lights. Three of the biggest include the Candy Cane Lanes in Chula Vista, Poway, and Santee. Smaller and lesser-known Christmas light neighborhood gems run up and down the whole county from Clairemont to Point Loma and beyond.

  “My family likes to go to December Nights in Balboa Park every year,” stated Sophomore Brian Munoz. December Nights in Balboa Park brings a variety of holiday events into one place. It features colorful lights strung up and down the historical park, plays at the Old Globe Theater, and even events in the museums.

   San Diego is the place to be during the holidays, not only for the natives, but also for  people visiting from around the globe. After all, where else would you get to experience all of the joys of the holidays, while still staying comfortable  in our pleasant San Diego weather?

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Must-See Attractions in San Diego this Holiday Season