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Balboa Park December Nights

Date & Time: Friday, 12/1, from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday, 12/2, from noon to 11 p.m.
Location: Balboa Park
Cost: Free for everyone
Age Restrictions: This is an all-ages event

This year marks the 40th Annual Balboa Park December Nights event, which is free and features attractions for people of all ages. The whole point of this event, put on by the Balboa Park Conservancy, is to kick off the Christmas season with lights, fun, food and lots to do. This is a family-friendly event, so pack up the kids and plan to head down to Balboa Park to get into the holiday spirit.

As if holiday-themed fun, including impressive displays of holiday lights throughout the Park wouldn’t be enough of a reason to stop in, you can receive free admission to the Balboa Park museums from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. both days. You won’t be the only one doing so. This event is the largest free community festival in the San Diego area, boasting an anticipated attendance of more than 350,000 visitors over the two days of December Nights.

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Holiday Fun for People of All Ages

There is something for everyone at the incredible December Nights festival. You can bring your friends or family to wander through the park, looking for all of the impressive lighting displays. Many of the most popular locations within the park will be lit up, and some of the most famous features will be decorated. The Moreton Bay Fig Tree, the Plaza de Panama canopy and the Botanical Building will all be dressed in their festive best.

There will also be music and live dance presentations from groups including the San Diego Civic Youth Ballet and the San Diego Junior Theatre. There will be a total of more than 150 family-friendly music, dance and theatre performances over the two days of the festival.

Food and Festivities Abound at December Lights

If you need to get some names off of your holiday shopping list, stop into the Spanish Village, where artisans will have unique gifts for sale. In total, you can expect to encounter about 90 vendors, some of whom are selling gifts, and others who are selling food.

If you’re feeling a bit peckish after your walk through the massive park, you should stop into the House of Pacific Relations Cottages, where there will be food from all over the planet as part of the International Christmas Festival. If you’d like to get away from the crowds for a bite, you might consider stopping into one of the great nearby eateries. Several neighborhoods are within a reasonable drive to Balboa Park, including Hillcrest.

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