Old Town may be the heart of San Diego’s past, but this little community wants to help your family share in new holiday traditions. Enjoy a towering Christmas tree, special bonfires, carolers and eclectic one-of-a -kind shops offering extended shopping hours and refreshments for all. It’s also a great place to bring out of town guests who want a taste of real Mexican food with atmosphere. Here’s how we suggest you celebrate the season in Old Town.
Photo: Harsha G. via Yelp
An Artistic Holiday
Each Saturday during December, Old Town decks its halls for Holiday in the Park. In the main grassy plaza, a tree lighting ceremony will dazzle sleepy revelers at dusk, and choirs and carolers will bring the holiday season to life.
A new event comes to Old Town on Sat., Dec 12. Holiday Open House brings the season into full bloom with holiday crafts for kids, carolers in period costumes, tree lighting at dusk and a bonfire in the plaza with s’mores. Shops in Fiesta del Reyes will keep shoppers warm with cookies, coffee, cocoa and the convenience of extended hours; shops will remain open until 9 p.m.
Photo: M. Houch via TripAdvisor
On Dec 13., starting at 4:45, Old Town presents a Mexican holiday tradition, Las Posadas, a procession that reenacts the Christmas story with live animals, and actors portraying Mary and Joseph’s search for lodging. Participants follow the 45 minute procession along the plaza carrying candles and singing holiday songs in Spanish and English. The procession concludes at Casa de Estudillo with a live nativity scene.
Photo: Jo S. via Yelp
Shopping at the Old Town Market
Old Town is a fun place to hunt down the perfect treasure for every grandma and kiddo on your list, and it’s a great way to shop local. Old Town Market with more than 40 outdoor shops has something for everyone- think Mexican tiles and patio decor, clothing, jewelry, and unique gifts. We love Captain Fitch’s Mercantile for its treasure trove of kids’ books, especially if your kiddo is obsessed with a certain topic — from science to pirates, mermaids, history and geography, there are many fun books to choose from, including coloring and sticker books, and vintage paper dolls.
Photo: Worldly Wise W. via Yelp
The beautiful handmade items at Tin Smith are a sight to behold. Even if you’re just window shopping, check out their gorgeous tin punched stars and holiday decor. You may just find a tree topper or patio ornament you can’t pass up. If you miss grandma’s homemade fudge at holiday time, don’t miss Cousin’s Candy Shop. They make their own salt water taffy and fudge daily. It’s the perfect place to pick up some nostalgic treats to bring home for stockings.
2415 San Diego Ave.
San Diego, Ca 92110
Have you celebrated the holidays in Old Town? What do you like to do?
— Cherie Gough