San Diego Holiday and Christmas Light Displays

One of our favorite holiday activities is San Diego Botanic Garden’s Annual Gift to the San Diego Community: Garden of Lights 2015

Garden of Lights

After the sun goes down in December, the San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas is transformed into a dazzling winter wonderland! More than 125,000 sparkling lights illuminate the flora of this fantastic 37-acre urban oasis each evening from 5 – 9 pm for a magical holiday experience.

Garden of Lights, from December 5 – 23 & 26 – 30, is the San Diego Botanic Garden’s annual gift to the San Diego Community. Garden of Lights has events and activities that everyone in your family will enjoy. Nightly entertainment, including local blues and jazz bands, as well as delicious food from Red Oven Artisanal Pizza and Pasta, and hot coffee and treats from the Jitter Bean, will be available. Numerous family-friendly activities are also part of the festivities including:

  • Horse-drawn wagon rides (on selected evenings)
  • Holiday Crafts
  • Spin Art
  • Marshmallow Roasting
  • Visits with Santa (December 5 – 23)
  • Hot Mulled Wine
  • Snow for sledding (on selected evenings)
  • Puppet Shows (on selected evenings)
  • Holiday Carolers (on selected evenings)
  • Nutcracker display

Unique plant-related gift items will be on sale at our Gift Shops for the plant lovers in your life. Cork purses, garden-themed jewelry, hats, aprons, candles, and garden art are all available. As well as winter plants, ready to enhance your holiday garden.

Come out and experience the holidays ‘Southern California Style’ at San Diego Botanic Garden’s Garden of Lights!
December 5 – 23 and 26 – 30
5 – 9 pm

See 2015 Activities Calendar Click Here


Also, below is a listing of Christmas light displays around San Diego

NOTE - Though the listings are of neighborhoods that traditionally "light up," dates and displays are subject to change.

Nothing brings smiles to entire families than Christmas light displays. And when entire neighborhoods get into the holiday spirit, it brings whole communities together, with people driving from all points of the county just to get a glimpse of someone else's neighborhood display.

Sure, commercial displays might be more grand in some cases, but nothing says Christmas better than a heartfelt lighted residence.

The following is a partial list of some of the more well-known (and annual) holiday light displays. Since these are private residence displays, listings are subject to change.

Listings in BOLD are displays that are sure bets to get you to say, "Ooohhh...Aaaaah."


7048 Hillsboro St.,Off Waring and Princess View. Dec. 10 - 24, dusk-10 pm. Map


Fairway Village, west side of Stoney Gate Pl. 85+ homes decorated. Dec. 1 to Jan. 1, 5:30-10:30 pm. Neighborhood Block Party on Dec. 17, with food, entertainment, Santa, musicians, carolers and more, from 6-10 p.m. Map


Whitney St./Mankato - Christmas Circle between First and Second Ave., off H St. & 1st Ave., Dec. 11 through Dec.26, 5 to 10 pm. Over 55 homes decorated.MapEastlake Neighborhood - off Otay Lakes Rd. and Eastlake Pkwy. Evenings, Dec. 15 to 31. Homes for the Holidays contest will be held Dec.

15. Map


Lana Dr. & Jamar - off Mt. Abernathy Ave., Dec. 10 through Dec. 25. Over 40 homes decorated on this circular street. Map4760 Norwalk Ave. - off Clairemont Mesa Blvd./Moraga Ave. Dec.1 through Jan.1, 6 to 10 pm. (11 pm weekends) Map


1523 48th Street - off Federal Blvd. & 48th St. Arron Christmas Lane. Dec. 1 through Dec. 30, 5 to 10 pm. Map


Jingle Bell Hill (aka Pepper Drive Lights) - Solomon Ave./Pageen Pl. and surrounding area. Off 67 and Bradley.Map11456 Pegeen Pl. - Nightmare Before Christmas theme, complete with Jack, Sally, Zero, the Mayor & Oogie Boogie. Dec. 5-26, Mon-Th 6-9 pm, Fri-Sun 6-10 pm. Map

1838 El Pico Drive. - off Hacienda Drive Dec. 10 through Jan. 1, dusk to 10 pm. 41st year of decorating the 20-foot star over 100 ft. in the air, overlooking El Cajon Valley. Also see a 55-foot long train. Map


Reche Road just West of Green Canyon. Over 100,000 lights that are cooreographed to music. There even are snow machines to add to the effect. Lights are on thru New Years night, 6pm - 9pm Tues-Sun, with display staying on longer the week of Christmas. Just enter U-turn driveway from the West and tune your car radio to 90.5FM. Also includes a food-drive, please bring canned or non-perishable food items (a collection bin is on site) that directly benefits the Fallbrook Food Pantry. MapCurtis Mueller's spectacular Christmas light show featuring concert lighting effects, lasers, and fog. Visit for show schedule and address.


Stadler Street - Fairchild residence as featured in the Union-Tribune. Map5475 Heidi Street - off Lake Murray Blvd. and Marengo, Dec. 10 through Jan.1, 6 to 10 pm. - Map

6761 Jackson Drive - off Cowles Mtn. Blvd. Decorations remain lit until Jan.1. 5 to 9 pm. - Map


689 Meadowbrook Dr. - off Jamacha Rd., south of Lemon Grove. Dec. 6 through Jan.1, dusk to 10 pm. Many lights on home and occasionally, Santa and Mrs. Santa may be out to greet visitors. Map


2150 Sunset Blvd. 50,000 lights synced to music. The soundtrack was recorded by radio personalities, Jeff and Jer. The home is a 1925 English Tudor in historic Mission Hills and owned by Wayne Brubaker. Map


4729 Newport Ave, Ocean Beach. The Olson family's gift to the community, their home's lights are synchronizedmsMusic (FM 89.7) and operate Monday - Thursday, and Sunday from 6 to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 6 to 11 p.m. Map


12631 Stoutwood Street - off Twin Peaks Road & Deerwood Street. Through Jan. 4, 5:30 to 10 pm. Nicknamed "The Griswolds". MapHickory Court, Hickory Street - off Twin Peaks Road and Silverset St. Also Includes Butterwood Ct. and Rockrose Ct. Named "Candy Cane Lane", the entire cul-de-sac is lit up Dec. 3 through Jan.1, 6 to 9 pm . Map


Oviedo Street - off Black Mtn. Rd. "Christmas Card Lane": includes Twin Trails, Carmel Mtn. Rd.,Ellingham St., Renato St., Oviedo St., Twin Trails Dr., Barrymore St., Totherham Ave., Talca Ave., Talca Ct., Allenbrook Way, Davenport Ave., Amber Sky Ln. Dec. 10 through Dec. 31, 6 to 10 pm.Map


Block of 7900 and 8000 Hillandale Dr. - off Mission Gorge and Deerfield. Dec. 1 through Dec. 31, 5 to 9 pm. Many lights and a tree on top of the home. Map


1639 Knob Hill - off Nordahl Rd. between Tam O'Shanter Dr. and Augusta Dr. Nov. 26 through Dec. 31, 5 to 9 pm. Disney characters and more. Santa will be out from 6 to 8 every evening Dec. 11 through Dec. 23, except Wednesdays. Map


9230 Wethersfield Rd., Sunwoodie Rd. - Nov. 27 through Jan. 1, 5 to 10 pm. Very colorful nativity scene, Noah's Ark and many lights. Map9239 Lake Country Drive - off Mast Blvd. Dec. 9 through 30, 7 to 10 pm. Many lights, plus Santa sleigh rides on Dec. 16 & 17. Map

Starlight Circle (Sunburst Santee area), Tomel Court - off Magnolia. Dec. 3 through 31, 6 to 11 pm. On Dec. 17, the neighborhood is holding a Food Drive for the San Diego Food Bank. Bring a non-perishable food item and drop it in the barrels to help feed the hungry in San Diego County. Map


28th Street - Matthias residence featured in the Union Tribune. Map


Belardo Lights in Tierrasanta - 5306 Belardo Drive, through Dec. 28. This home light display is a labor of love for Randy Schimka, whose sons both are Autistic. The impressive Christmas lights are a way to connect with his son Brandon, who responds to the lights. What's even more impressive is Randy has synchronized the displays with music, and you can listen on FM 89.7 while you are admiring his work. Map


746 Bonita Drive - off Olive Ave. Dec. 1 through Dec. 31, 6 to 9 pm. Large display of lights with an elf's house. Large manger scene. Santa may be there on weekends! MapVia Vastago - off Olive, Bonita Dr., and N. Melrose Dr. Dec. 10 through 31, 5:30 to 9:30 pm. Little town of Bethlehem in lights, with a possible visit from Santa Claus! Map

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