Balboa Park December Nights Unwraps 40th Year of Holiday Cheer

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Balboa Park December Nights Unwraps 40th Year of Holiday Cheer
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Date(s) - 12/01/2017 - 12/02/2017
3:00 pm - 11:00 pm

Balboa Park


The treasured holiday event returns more festive than ever and is set to make history December 1 & 2

The heart of the holidays in San Diego, Balboa Park December Nights will celebrate its 40th year in grand fashion on Friday, December 1, from 3-11 p.m. and Saturday, December 2, from noon-11 p.m. The nation’s premier holiday extravaganza promises to sparkle with even more food, fun, and festivities in its milestone year.

It’s just not the holidays without it.

This great gathering is not only the largest free community event in San Diego — it’s also the start of the holiday season for over 350,000 people. A real gift to the community, December Nights brings friends, families, and neighbors together for a celebration of the season with arts and culture; dazzling lights; delicious delights; original gifts; and amazing attractions throughout Balboa Park.

Wander the wonders of the Balboa Park museums with complimentary admission from 5-9 p.m. each night. Give your taste buds something to talk about with foods from around the globe, and put smiles on overdrive with a tour of the spectacular lights, sights, and sounds throughout the park. Visitors will leave in the holiday spirit, ready to return next year.

See what’s up Santa’s sleeve for 2017:

  • Spotlight San Diego. Park Boulevard South at President’s Way showcases the active San Diego lifestyle in a fun, holiday style environment. Food trucks, fitness challenges, skills competitions, active games, an unsupervised bicycle parking area, and health related sponsor activations are strategically placed at the southern entrance of the event to encourage greater pedestrian and bicycle access from the downtown area. To round out this uniquely San Diego style zone, a performance stage will accentuate the high-energy environment in the Holiday Park at President’s Way.
  • Sip and shop under the stars. The all new Starlight Winter Marketplace is located on the Federal Lawn to the east of the Hall of Champions. The marketplace features a newly expanded community stage, themed retail and food offerings.

Additional Ways to Eat, Drink and Be Merry:

  • Highlight Lights. They’re here! Don’t miss the sparkling sights at the California Tower, El Prado, the Botanical Building, the Plaza de Panama canopy, and the spellbinding Moreton Bay Fig Tree.
  • Non-stop Stages. Some of San Diego’s best community dancers, musicians, and performers stir up holiday magic on over 15 stages and venues with practically non-stop performances throughout the park, including the San Diego Junior Theatre, San Diego Civic Youth Ballet, Del Cerro Baptist’s Christmas Story Tree, and much more.
  • Flavors for All. Holiday memories begin with unforgettable foods, so be sure to visit the wide-ranging food vendors representing cuisines from around the globe. Don’t miss the International Cottages’ Christmas Festival plus restaurant favorites Prado Pub on the Square and Panama 66.
  • Museum Magic. If free admission from 5-9 p.m. weren’t enough, the Balboa Park museums model the giving spirit with special exhibitions and entertainment including the Timken Museum’s exquisite, annual Christmas tree display of the Schlappi Collection of Christmas ornaments and the interactive, kid-friendly exhibits at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center.
  • Gifting Gets Done. The secret to stress-free gifting is right here. Stop by our fabulous retailers and the newly expanded Artisan Marketplace, featuring local handcrafted goods. Head into the Spanish Village Art Center or the many museum stores for gifts that stand out — then cross holiday shopping off your list!

Start a holiday tradition and mark your calendar now. Balboa Park December Nights rings in 40 years on December 1st and 2nd, but all the details are available now at