Now that the turkey’s been served and the leftovers are put away, it’s time to get out of the house and have some holiday fun! You can enjoy several events throughout San Diego to get you into the season. Get some holiday shopping done at the Bates Nut Farm Arts and Crafts Fair. Check out the amazing IlluminOcean light display in Dana Point. Or visit with Santa Claus at one of my Christmas events around town. Enjoy the holiday weekend!

surfin santa

San Diego

Surfin’ Santa at Seaport Village
Take the kiddos to see Santa in his board shorts and flip-flops, take photos with him on his giant surfboard and 6-foot wave, make crafts, shop for unique gifts and enjoy live sidewalk entertainment. Sat., 1 – 5 p.m., Seaport Village, Free. All ages. Event details.

Tree Lighting at Fashion Valley Mall
Fashion Valley mall will host its annual Tree Lighting ceremony to kick off the season in Prada Court. The event will feature kid’s crafts, refreshments, and a festive show by the Salvation Army brass band as they perform popular holiday carols. Sat., 6 – 7:30 p.m., Fashion Valley Mall, Free. All ages. Event details.

North County

Santa’s Coming Arts and Crafts Fair
Bates Nut Farm will host its annual “Santa’s Coming!” Arts ‘n Craft Fair over Thanksgiving weekend. Over 80 artisans will be selling a variety of handmade crafts and fine art. Lots of activities and fun for kiddos too! Fri. – Sun., 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Bates Nut Farm, Free. All ages. Event details.

East County

Julian Christmas Train Express
Visit Julian and enjoy a visit to an 1870 gold rush mine and have lots of festive fun. Fri. – Sun., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., Smith Ranch, $12-$15/person (kids 2 and under free). All ages. Event details.

Julian Country Christmas and Tree Lighting
Julian kicks off its old-fashioned celebration with Christmas carols, a tree lightning and lots more. Sat., 1 – 5 p.m., Pioneer Park, Free. All ages. Event details.

South Bay

Tree Lighting and Santa Parade
Otay Ranch Town Center’s annual Tree Lighting and Santa Parade is back for its seventh year and promises to once again get local families in the holiday spirit. The parade features local school bands, performing groups, balloons, community organizations and of course the big man himself — Santa Claus. Kicking off the night’s celebrations is a festive ceremony lighting the 30-foot tree draped in dazzling lights at the start of Main Street, featuring a countdown and the official opening of the mall’s Santa House. Sat., 6 – 9 p.m., Otay Ranch Town Center, Free. All ages. Event details.

Orange County

IlluminOcean Lights Display
Dana Point IlluminOcean will electrify the Southern California shoreline with 40 nights of holiday lights. This wonderland by the sea—created and funded by The Resorts of Dana Point—features a brilliant spectacle of 22 oversized lighting sculptures with over 500,000 LED lights, and is free to the public for nightly viewing. Fri. – Sun., evenings. Dana Point Harbor, Free. All ages. Event details

What are you doing this weekend? Tell us in the comments!


– Leah R. Singer

Photo courtesy of Seaport Village Facebook page