Balboa Park December Nights, San Diego’s favorite kick-off to the holiday season, will take place for the 28th consecutive year on Friday, December 2, 5:00-10:00 p.m. and Saturday, December 3, noon-10:00 p.m. In the spirit of the holidays, participating Balboa Park museums open their doors free of charge from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. both evenings.
The beloved San Diego event features sparkling lights, traditional celebrations, food, food and more food, and theatrical and musical entertainment throughout the Park.
Balboa Park celebrates the season with wonder and excitement at every turn. Strolling in Balboa Park, full of music and aglow for the holidays, is a special treat for families and friends.
The San Diego Museum of Man’s beautiful Santa Lucia procession takes place again this year at 6:00 and 8:00 p.m. each evening. Balboa Park museums and cultural attractions are open free of charge both nights from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. Entertainment, wonderful food and holiday cheer are all part of this classic San Diego celebration.
The Del Cerro Baptist Church’s dazzling Christmas Story Tree entertainment spectacle is featured on the Spreckels Organ Pavilion Stage each evening at 8:40 p.m., along with other theatrical and musical performances. At the Casa de Balboa, there are performances by the San Diego Civic Dance Association, excerpts from San Diego Civic Youth Ballet’s Nutcracker at 6:00, 7:00 and 8:00 p.m. on the Casa del Prado stage and holiday musical numbers performed by students of the San Diego Junior Theatre. The Palisades Stage presents a variety of musical and dance performance groups throughout the festival. The Fern Street Circus offers interactive workshops for kids, as well as demonstrations and performances. There is entertainment on the International Cottages stage, strolling musicians on the El Prado walkway and music at Spanish Village and in many of the museums.
Fun for Children
The Palisades Midway harkens back to the 1915-16 Pana-ma-California Exposition and the 1935-36 California-Pacific International Exposition the celebrations to which Balboa Park owes its rich historywith carnival rides, Navidad de Colores Children’s Art Contest, and more fun for children. The San Diego Zoo operates “Santa’s Express” at the Balboa Park Miniature Railroad, taking a 3-minute, ½ mile journey through 4 acres of Balboa Park and, nearby, the historic Carousel will also be in operation ($1.75 per ride). Photos with a very busy Santa are available throughout the Park, including Spanish Village (on a surfboard throne), the San Diego Automotive Museum (in a vintage auto), at the Organ Pavilion near the Gingerbread House, and at the Zoo Zone. There are even photos with a Grinch character at The Old Globe.