Did you know that San Diego Botanic Garden was named one of North America’s Top 10 Gardens Worth Traveling For? Lucky for us, this gem is right here in Encinitas. Start new family traditions at their upcoming holiday events or visit any day of the year to introduce your ‘buds’ to their sprawling children’s gardens for water play, climbing nets, story time, arts and crafts, festivals and so much more. Scroll through our slideshow to learn about the dazzling Garden of Lights event, a towering treehouse your kids will want to move in to and join us in eagerly anticipating the opening of the 8,232 sq. ft. Dickinson Family Education Conservatory that’s currently being built!

Garden of Lights

San Diego winters are 'snow' much fun when you head out to the Garden of Lights to celebrate the holidays. Little reindeer will love toasting marshmallows by the open fire, creating a holiday craft, meeting old St. Nick (photo-op time) and our favorite, sledding down the real snow hill. You'll get into the holiday spirit admiring the 100,000 lights majestically threaded throughout the garden, grabbing a warm cup of coffee (or hot chocolate) and taking a horse carriage ride.

Festival Dates: Dec. 2-23 & Dec. 26-30
Time: 5-9 p.m.
Cost: Sun.-Thurs., $14/adult, $5/child; Fri. & Sat., $20/adult, $5/child
Children 2 and under free; plus small fee for some activities.

photo: Rachel Cobb

Regular Hours: Daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Admission: $14/adult; $8/child; children 2 and under free; parking $2

230 Quail Gardens Dr.
Encinitas, Ca
Online: sdbgarden.org

Has your family enjoyed this magical garden? Tell us about in the comments.

—Nikki Walsh