SAN DIEGO — The most wonderful time of the year has finally arrived again in San Diego County.

Since the weather outside is not likely to get frightful, there are plenty of places to go to experience some holiday fun with the whole family. From extravaganzas of lights to winter festivals, there is no shortage of festivities happening across the county.

Here is a guide of holiday happenings this year in San Diego County:

Events on this list are organized by location in the county and date.

San Diego

SeaWorld Christmas Celebration

  • Enjoy merry and bright holiday festivities at SeaWorld San Diego, including dazzling shows and picture-perfect moments.
    • When: Nov. 17 to Jan. 7
    • Where: 500 Sea World Dr., San Diego, CA 92109
    • Admission: Included with park admission

‘All that Jazz’ Lightshow Spectacular

  • Experience the holiday magic as the Hotel del Coronado’s historic pine trees are draped in a spectacular light show with festive holiday music and snow flurries.
    • When: Nov. 17 to Jan. 7; Every 30 minutes from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
    • Where: 500 Orange Ave., Coronado, CA 92118
    • Admission: Free

Jingle Jets on the USS Midway

  • Experience the USS Midway in an awesome new way as over 1,000 lights will illuminate the deck of the aircraft carrier in an inaugural holiday celebration.
    • When: Select nights from Nov. 24 to Dec. 23
    • Where: 910 N Harbor Dr., San Diego, CA 92101
    • Admission: Adult tickets start at $25

Surfin’ Santa at Seaport Village

  • Santa will be breaking out his boardshorts and favorite Hawaiian shirt to spread holiday cheer in true SoCal fashion.
    • When: Nov. 25 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
    • Where: 849 W Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101
    • Admission: Free

December Nights in Balboa Park

  • Head to the City of San Diego’s largest holiday festival full of lights, sounds and amazing food.
    • When: Dec. 1 and Dec. 2 from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.
    • Where: Balboa Park
    • Admission: Free

Jungle Bells at the San Diego Zoo

  • Experience the magic of holidays at the San Diego Zoo, with spectacular lights and entertainment for the whole family.
    • When: Dec. 9, 2023 through Jan. 1, 2024
    • Where: 2920 Zoo Dr., San Diego, CA 92101
    • Admission: Included with park admission

La Jolla Christmas Parade and Holiday Festival

  • Enjoy the 67th annual La Jolla Christmas Parade and Holiday Festival celebrating “Christmas on the Sand.”
    • When: Dec. 3; Festival opens at 11:30 a.m. with the parade kicking off at 1:30 p.m.
    • Where: Wall Street between Girard and the alley by the Athenaeum
    • Admission: Free

Gaslamp Holiday Market

  • Step into a world of wonder at the annual Gaslamp Holiday Market, a festive artisan event offering handcrafted gifts and other holiday treasures.
    • When: Dec. 9 to Dec. 24 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
    • Where: Gallagher Square in Petco Park
    • Admission: Free, but tickets need to be secured in advanced

San Diego Santa Run

  • The 11th annual Santa Run will fill the streets of Pacific Beach for what organizers say is its largest event yet.
    • When: Dec. 9 from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
    • Where: Start line is at 912 Garnet Ave., San Diego, CA 92109
    • Admission: Register for the run online

San Diego Bay Parade of Lights

  • Continuing its long-standing San Diego tradition, the 53rd annual San Diego Bay Parade of Lights promises to dazzle and entertain Bayfront crowds with nearly 80 lavishly decorated boats.
    • When: Dec. 10 and Dec. 17 starting at 5:30 p.m.
    • Where: San Diego Bay waterfront
    • Admission: Free

Taste ‘N’ Tinis

  • Embark on a self-guided tour of Hillcrest filled with delicious holiday drinks, captivating eats and fabulous local shopping.
    • When: Dec. 14 from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
    • Where: Hillcrest
    • Admission: Tickets start at $30

‘Noel Noel’ at Rady Shell

  • The San Diego Symphony will present its “Noel Noel” concert series at the waterfront Rady Shell.
    • When: Dec. 15 to Dec. 17 at 7:30 p.m.
    • Where: 222 Marina Park Way, San Diego, CA 92101
    • Admission: Tickets start at $22

Gaslamp Pet Parade

  • ‘Tis the season for jingling and barking with the annual Gaslamp Quarter Holiday Pet Parade and Pups in the Pub Party.
    • When: Dec. 16 starting at 1 p.m.
    • Where: Starts at the Gaslamp Quarter archway
    • Admission: Free

South County

Starlight Parade and Festival

  • The annual Starlight Parade will return to Chula Vista this year with more than 100 entrants — everything from festive floats and dance teams to classic cars and Santa Claus.
    • When: Dec. 3; Festival to begin at 3:30 p.m., Parade will begin at 6 p.m.
    • Where: Third Avenue between H and E Streets
    • Admission: Free

East County

Lights at the Lake

  • Enjoy a special holiday light show from the comfort of your car as you drive near the water in the Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve.
    • When: Select nights from Dec. 1 to Dec. 28 from 5:45 p.m. to 8 p.m.
    • Where: 9310 Fanita Parkway, Santee CA 92071
    • Admission: Starting at $19.99 per vehicle; Must buy tickets in advance

Holiday in the Village

  • Enjoy the 8th annual Holiday in the Village at La Mesa with live music, cozy fires, craft vendors, food, holiday 360 photo booth and more.
    • When: Dec. 2 from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.
    • Where: La Mesa Boulevard between Spring Street and 4th Street
    • Admission: Free

North County

Lightscape at the San Diego Botanic Garden

  • Visit an enchanting world of festive wonder at the annual San Diego Botanic Garden’s Lightscape event, featuring strings of lights, a California poppy-inspired display and more.
    • When: Nov. 17, 2023 to Jan. 1, 2024
    • Where: 300 Quail Gardens Dr., Encinitas, CA 92024
    • Admission: Adult tickets start at $26

Wild Holidays at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

  • Celebrate the season in “wild style” at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s annual Wild Holidays event.
    • When: Select nights from Nov. 24 to Dec. 31
    • Where: 15500 San Pasqual Valley Rd., Escondido, CA 92027
    • Admission: Included with park admission

Merry Makers Fair

  • Discover an array of handcrafted and artisanal goods at this holiday pop-up market in downtown Oceanside.
    • When: Nov. 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    • Where: 311 N Tremont St., Oceanside, CA 92054
    • Admission: Free

Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum Holiday Lights

  • Experience the wonder of the holidays at this enchanting Holiday Lights Event in Vista. Enjoy wagon rides, visit with Santa and more.
    • When: First three Fridays and Saturdays in December
    • Where: 2040 N Santa Fe Ave, Vista, CA 92083
    • Admission: $10 for adults, $5 for kids

California Center for the Arts’ Winter Wonderland

  • The annual Winter Wonderland at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido Foundation will return, bringing the magic of the North Pole to North County.
    • When: Dec. 2 and Dec. 3 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
    • Where: 340 N Escondido Blvd., Escondido, CA 92025
    • Admission: Free

16th annual Kringle Mingle

  • Enjoy a festive afternoon with Santa, including holiday activities like crafts, treats and local music.
    • When: Dec. 3 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    • Where: Aberdeen Drive Encinitas, CA 92007
    • Admission: Free