Holiday Parades, Tree Lighting Ceremonies, Photos With Santa and More: Nov 30 – Dec 2!!

Little Italy Holiday celebration
Santa Claus will arrive promptly at 4:30 p.m. aboard Little Italy Fire Engine #3 on Saturday, Dec. 1.
Photo: Little Italy Association.

Brought to you by SoCal Kids San Diego.  Check out these family-friendly events and activities happening this weekend in San Diego! To find more kid-friendly fun, head on over to SoCal Kids San Diego, a website dedicated to keeping parents in-the-know about family-friendly events and activities in San Diego. You can also subscribe to a free monthly e-newsletter that highlights local people, places, and events.This Saturday, December 1st is one of the busiest days of the month with an abundance of holiday fun for the whole family. Parades, tree lighting ceremonies, photos with Santa, and a bounty of holiday merriment await you in places like Del Mar, Chula Vista, San Marcos, Little Italy, Vista, Escondido, Encinitas, Carlsbad, and North Park.

Little Italy is kicking off the holiday season with their 13th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony & Christmas Village this Saturday, Dec. 1 from 4-8 p.m. Little Italy’s Christmas Village includes a visit from Santa, a tree lighting ceremony, Little Italy Mercato shopping vendors, Italian food and more! A stage will be located at the Piazza Natale, on the corner of India and W. Date Street, and will be visited by Marine Band San Diego’s Jazz Band, as well as by honorary local leadership participating during the tree lighting ceremony.

The Christmas Parade in Vista on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 1 p.m. will feature marching bands, horses,WWII Fighter Plane Fly-Over, Military Honor Guard, and Santa. In conjunction with the parade, the Krikorian Winter Wonderland will feature 5 tons of snow from 1-5 p.m. Free pictures with Santa will be available after 3 p.m.

The Holiday Tree Lighting & Winter Wonderland at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido on Saturday, Dec. 1 takes place from 3-8 p.m. It features Victorian Carolers, special art activities for kids, a mini-mountain of snow for youngsters to play on, performances by the Center Chorale and three Children’s Choirs, visits with Santa, and more.


City Mouse/Country Mouse and The Monkey and the Crocodile: The clever monkey outwits the deceitful crocodile. Effie, the country mouse learns a valuable lesson, “There is no place like home!” Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theatre. 10 & 11:30 a.m. Price: $4/$5.

Mac’s Kids Corner: For children interested in listening to train stories, playing games, and creating various railroad crafts. San Diego Model Railroad Museum. 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Price: $4-$8; children 14 and under are free when accompanied by an adult.

Holiday of Lights: An animated drive-through light show featuring more than 400 twinkling, lively displays. Del Mar Fairgrounds. 5:30-10 p.m. Price: $15/$20.


Santa Breakfast: Enjoy a pancake breakfast, face painting, and a visit and photograph with Santa with no waiting in line. Mount Soledad Presbyterian Church. 9-11 a.m. Price: $6/person; under 2 are free.

Home Depot’s Kids Workshops: Fun projects for kids that teach children do-it-yourself skills and tool safety. At your local Home Depot. 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Price: Free.

Photo: stock.xchng

North Park Toyland Parade & Festival: Enjoy a parade down University Avenue featuring marching bands, vintage cars, and more. Following the parade, the festival will provide activities for the family. North Park. 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Price: Free.Holiday in the Village: The event will feature costumed carolers, holiday karaoke, handcrafted gifts, local art, strolling musicians, classic cars, costumed characters from “Ice Age” and more. Downtown Chula Vista. 12-5 p.m. Price: Free admission.

Del Mar’s Holiday Wonderland & Tree Lighting: Featuring photos with Santa, real snow, fun zone for kids, live music and performances, crafts, and more. Village of Del Mar. 2-5 p.m. Price: $20/pack of 20 tickets.

Holiday Tree Lighting & Winter Wonderland: Featuring Victorian carolers, art activities for kids, a mini-mountain of snow, performances by the Center Chorale and three Children’s Choirs, cookies and cocoa, and more. Plus a visit with Santa. California Center for the Arts, Escondido. 3-8 p.m. Price: Free.

Little Italy Tree Lighting & Christmas Village: Featuring live music, vendors, Italian food, a visit from Santa, and the tree lighting ceremony. Little Italy. 4-8 p.m. Price: Free.

Holiday at the Rancho: Enjoy holiday themed activities, face painting, photos with Santa, crafts, holiday shopping, food, tree lighting ceremony, pony rides, and more. Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park. 5-8 p.m. Price: $5/advance thru Nov. 29; $8/person at the door; Free for children ages 3 and under.

Encinitas Holiday Parade: Tree Lighting Ceremony will get going at 5 p.m. in the Lumberyard Shops courtyard and the Parade will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Coast Highway 101 from D to J Street. Downtown Encinitas. 5-7 p.m. Price: Free.

San Marcos Holiday Tree Lighting: Musical entertainment starts the celebration followed by the tree lighting. Santa will be there too! San Marcos City Hall. 5:30-7 p.m. Price: Free.


Photo: Helen Woodward Animal Center

Santa’s Magical Village: Children will have the opportunity to create ornaments, decorate cookies, and make holiday decorations while parents shop at arts and crafts booths. San Marcos Community Center. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Price: Free admission.Sunny and Angel Save Christmas: Featuring a holiday story time, a special tour of the Center, interactive time with barn animals, holiday treats and goodies, play with “faux” snow, Santa pictures, and more. Helen Woodward Animal Center. 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Price: $22/child; $9/adult.

Kringle Mingle: Featuring musical performances including Devine School for Guitar, Ada Harris Wildcat Band, Bucket Ruckus, and Hullabaloo. There will be yummy treats and photos with Santa. Cardiff Town Center. 1-5 p.m. Price: Free admission.

La Jolla Christmas Parade & Holiday Festival: The theme for this year’s Parade is “Christmas in the Village.” Following the parade, Santa will be available for photos at 3:30 p.m. with the lighting of the Christmas tree at 4:30 p.m. La Jolla Recreation Center. 2-5 p.m. Price: Free admission.

Solana Beach Holiday Tree Lighting: Enjoy cookies, live music, and a visit from Santa. Fletcher Cove Park. 5-7 p.m. Price: Free.

*It’s always a good idea to check with the venue before heading out as cancellations, postponements, and date/time changes do occur on occasion.

About SoCal Kids San Diego
SoCal Kids San Diego was founded by Kathie Zaccaria, an East County Mom dedicated to providing families all over San Diego with events and activities that are kid-friendly. From science to festivals, concerts to crafts – SoCal Kids San Diego aims to be your one-stop-shop for family fun!

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