The holiday season in San Diego gets into swing with December Nights in Balboa Park on December 1 & 2. This is the largest community gathering in San Diego at an estimated 350,000 attendees over two days, and no wonder! Balboa Park is full of things to do at any time of year with museums, gardens, the zoo, a carousel, and more, and December Nights adds even more entertainment to the mix.
You don't have to wait until after dark to start enjoying the December Nights fun. Friday's festivities run from 3pm until 11, and Saturday's start even earlier, at noon, and also go to 11.
There'll be a holiday marketplace filled with unique shopping options, plus great food from food trucks and at the International Houses. Performances will take place on 15 stages, so you're always sure to find a show you'll enjoy. The performers will include the San Diego Civic Youth Ballet and the San Diego Junior Theatre, among others.
Even if you get to the park early, stay late to admire the buildings lit up in lights. The park's museums will offer free admission from 5pm to 9pm, so don't miss the Timken Museum's Christmas tree showing off the elaborately hand-jeweled, beaded, and sequined Schlappi ornaments. At the Natural History Museum, the fossil mysteries can be explored with a holiday music soundtrack.
Balboa Park is one of the treasures of San Diego, so visiting it should be part of your travel plans any time of year. It's just a few miles from Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel & Marina, so you can spend more of your time enjoying the park. We're near all of San Diego's other attractions, too, including Sea World, Old Town, and the Gaslamp Quarter. Plus we're right on the water, meaning you have immediate access to one of the best views in San Diego. Click here to make your reservation.