As the holidays roll around, Balboa Park’s December Nights marks the beginning of the winter festivities! Join San Diego in celebrating culture and community this December 2 & 3 with free Balboa museum admission from 5 pm – 9 pm, performances, and food. Stroll around the park glowing with thousands of lights, drink hot cider from a stand, and enjoy seasonal music live.
Planning your Night
Balboa Park offers a variety of transit options, including free parking for cars and access via regular and special SDMTS routes. Find more details at the Balboa Park parking page here (parking does get very crowded during December Nights). It’s a good idea to have a plan of attack for all the museums, performances, and food places you want to hit. There’s a whole lot to jam into 4 hours, so if you’re planning on going both Friday and Saturday, you might want to focus one night on museums and one on entertainment.
From 8:40 – 9:10 pm at the Palisades Stage, this charming Japanese dance group will dance to Christmas songs from Japan! Stop by the Mochi Cafe performance Friday night for a fun, festive time.
Each of the country cottages will have cultural events, crafts and food throughout Friday and Saturday! Stop by for Irish Step dancing or Bibimbop. Guide to the cottages here.
Swing Dance Lesson
Get some swing in your step with a free swing dance lesson from 6:30 – 7:30 pm at the Bon Temps Social Club Friday.
Civic Dance Group
Fill up on Christmas spirit with a stunning Rockettes-style performance from Civic Dance Group from 9:15 – 10:15 pm, Friday and Saturday.
SWEA hosts a traditional procession from Scandinavian countries that honors Saint Lucy and her festival of light! Stop by from 8 – 9 pm Friday and Saturday.
Family Friendly Events (Without Late Bedtimes!)
Ballet Folklorico Nanahuatzin
Saturday from 12 – 12:30pm, catch the Ballet Folklorico Nanhuatzin at the Palisades Stage!
Friday afternoon, watch a rousing performance of Flamenco with Roots at the Botanical Garden Stage from 3:00 – 3:30pm.Don’t forget to hit up the free admission at museums: several of these museums will even host themed attractions, such as the Timken Museum’s annual Christmas Tree displaying the Collection of Hord and Schlappi Christmas ornaments (top)! There will also be craft booths and across the park.
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