The holidays are officially in full swing, which means that while your kiddos are enjoying the leisure of winter break and making their holiday wish list, you’re in frantic planning, shopping, and baking mode. We know saying “relax” is easier said than done when you’re prepping for a week of in-law time (collective groan!), but why not take a load off and enjoy the season with your kids. To make things easy for you, we’ve come up with 10 great holiday activities that will entertain, delight, and hopefully, tucker out your energetic rugrats.

1. Ice Skating Rinks in San Diego. Where else can you go ice skating with a beachfront view, or skate under the stars while wearing shorts? This ice isn’t going to last all year, so get out the local rinks and lace up your skates.

2. Holiday Shopping at Balboa Park. Sure you’ve been to the museums countless times, but did you know that Balboa Park turns its museum gift shops into havens for holiday shopping this time of year. Perfect for those hard-to-shop-for people on your list.

3. Holiday Light Displays. It wouldn’t feel like the holidays without the obligatory drive (or stroll) through the neighborhood to check out the holiday light displays. Many of these neighborhoods start their setup the weekend of Thanksgiving, so you know they’re over the top!

4. Holiday Photos with Santa. Another must-do during the holidays is tracking down that jolly man in red and snapping a photo with your little elves. There’s still time before the big guy heads back to the North Pole, so get those cameras ready.

5. Holiday Gift GuideDid you get something for everyone on your list? If you’re stressing over what’s hot and what’s not for holiday gifts, look no further than our handy gift guide. You’ll thank us later.

6. Christmas Tree Farms. Few things give dad satisfaction like chopping down the perfect tree for your home, but picking one out is definitely a family affair. Head to a local farm and cut your own tree just in time to decorate for Santa’s impending arrival.

7. Ways to Give Back. While the holidays are a joyous occasion, it’s important to remember that there are many people who need help this time of year. But giving back doesn’t need to be a burden–we’ve found some ways to volunteer your time and energy that will make you feel great.

8. Local Spots for a White Winter. Living in perpetual sunshine all year long is one of the great things about where we live, but for those who want to experience a more traditional, snowy Christmas, you don’t have to venture too far to enjoy fresh powder.

9. Christmas Lights Train. As if your train-obsessed kiddo needed another reason to be crazy about trains, this elaborately decorated holiday train is making stops all throughout Southern California and is bringing a whole bunch of holiday cheer with it.

10. Go Green This Holiday. Green is the theme of this year’s holiday season, with ideas on everything from saving electricity to sending electronic greeting cards, there are plenty of easy (and fun) ways you can have an eco-friendly holiday.

How will your family will be keeping busy for the next few weeks?

Photo credit: Janet Daniel