Holiday events kick off around county

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SAN DIEGO – There are plenty of ways to get your family in the holiday spirit in San Diego County.

At Legoland California, Holiday Snow Days and Winter Nights events are underway at the theme park. Thursday night actress Elizabeth Banks from “The Hunger Games” and “The Lego Movie” helped light the “world’s largest Lego Christmas tree” at the Carlsbad theme park.

December-Nights-Prado“It was just really fun to get the holiday spirit going here in Southern California,” Banks told Fox 5.

At Balboa Park the 35th annual December Nights will run Friday and Saturday. The event features live entertainment, free entrance to museums, food from around the world and beautiful lights throughout the park.

“When it’s all lit up it just reminds me that it’s Christmas,”said San Diego residentAngie Giovannini. “It’s the way to start the season off and get excited, and I just can’t wait for it every year.”

More than 350,000 visitors are expected this year, so parking can be difficult. Organizers recommend arriving early and considering alternate modes of transportation such as trolley, bus or the free shuttle service. Parking and transportation information is available on the Balboa Park website.

The Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade will take place this Sunday December 8. The Parade begins at 3pm from Gaslamp Hilton Park. Details are available here.

The 42nd annual San Diego Bay Parade of Lights is scheduled for the evenings of December 8 and 15. More than 100 private boat owners decorate their boats with holiday lights. The show begins at 5:30pm from Shelter Island.

The Mission Bay Christmas Boat Parade of Lights will take place December 14. It begins at 7:00pm from Quivira Basin. Best viewing is from Crown Point, the east side of Vacation Island or the west side of Fiesta Island, according to

Jungle Bells at the San Diego Zoo will run from December 14 through January 5. The zoo is transformed at night with lights and children can visit with Santa.

SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration is running now through January 4, featuring SnowWorld, Shamu’s Christmas show and Clyde and Seamore Christmas Special sea lion and otter show.

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