Dreaming of December Nights At Balboa Park

Balboa Park December Nights

December Nights at Balboa Park return Friday, December 4 (3 – 11pm) and Saturday 5 (noon-11pm) in a grand holiday tradition for San Diego! The community festival is in its 38th year and just keeps getting better, expanding its already diverse program of free events and attractions.

If you’ve never been to this event, know that several Balboa Park museums will have free admission 5 – 9pm both nights! You should also know that December Nights usually draws in about 350,000 participants, so plan for (friendly and festive) crowds. While the museums will have all their normal attractions, several offer additional activities. Don’t miss your chance to participate in the communal Peace Tree at the Museum of Man and watch the Naka Shin intertribal organization perform traditional singing and dancing (Fri. 5-8pm; Sat. 4-8pm)! If you’re wanting something to remember the holiday season by, catch a photo with an Allosaurus in a Santa hat at theNAT, or the big man himself at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion (Gingerbread Cottage), Auto Museum, Reuben Fleet Science Center, Spanish Village, Civic Dance Arts, or Model Railroad Museum.

Santa Lucia Procession Balboa Park December Nights[Image: Flickr // Christopher Keach]

The December Nights schedule of performances includes several traditional hits including a Santa Lucia procession in front of the Quadrangle and tons of performances throughout the rest of the park, particularly at the cultural houses. Each nation’s house will have special performances taking place at cultural houses with beautiful dancing and music, as well as incredible food. Keep an eye our for the beergarden featuring beers from around the world and gift shopping from local artisans!

December Nights at Balboa Park Quick Tips

This is a great opportunity to experience the park at night and grab some tasty multicultural holiday treats! Here’s a few ideas to keep things simple and fun:

  • Concerned about parking and transportation? Join December Nights in “dreaming of a green Christmas” by taking public transportation and carpooling to evade traffic and cut parking costs.
  • Bring cash. While many vendors take cards, some may not and ATMs can be difficult to find when there’s a lot of people.
  • Be prepped for crowds! This is an event intended to bring the San Diego community together over the holidays, and it’s certainly successful.
  • Consider dressing your children in reflective or distinctive clothing (light up Santa hat, anyone?) to make them easy to keep an eye on.

Happy Holidays from La Jolla Blue Book, and stay tuned for more holiday events!

[Cover Image: Flickr // kellinahandbasket]

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