Take some time away this Christmas and enjoy yourself with loved ones and plenty of sand, sun, water, and fun. The beach towns of San Diego County have something for everyone during a Christmas respite. Relax and unwind with year-round activities and special San Diego Christmas events, on-shore and off-shore.

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Christmas Dinner

Part of vacation is taking a vacation from your everyday tasks. While our vacation rentals boast fully equipped kitchens for all your home-cooked meals, you may want to skip the production of the big holiday meal. There are a number of restaurants in San Diego County providing the meal. Select restaurants will be hosting the meal on Christmas Eve, others Christmas Day, and others even provide the meal to-go, so you can heat it up at home for a private celebration.

Christmas dinner table

Christmas Services

If you celebrate with church services, there are churches of every denomination around San Diego County. Each will have its own schedule of service times, so make sure to get in contact with your preferred place of worship before making plans.

Skating by the Sea

When you think of ice skating, you may think of blistering cold, wrapping yourself in warm clothing, and skating in circles until you need a break from some hot cocoa and a snack inside the warming house. On your San Diego this Christmas, you can get the skating experience in the warm beach weather! The historic Hotel Del on Coronado has been offering the experience on their beachfront skating rink for nearly 20 years. Skating by the Sea is available November 17-January 7. The rink is open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

San Diego Bay Parade of Lights

If you get here before Christmas, make the event a part of your itinerary. The theme for the 53rd annual event is Christmas Traditions Around the World. Participating boats decorate their vessels according to the theme, then cruise the parade route, which starts at Shelter Island and ends at the Coronado Ferry Landing. The parade takes place December 10 and December 17, with the first vessel leading the way each night at 5:30 p.m.


Kids and kids-at-heart on a Christmas vacation to the area will want to make sure to include a stop at LEGOLAND in Carlsbad. Based on the building blocks of the same name, the park features a number of rides, shows, and more. The water park is closed during the winter months, but the main park offers a fun, family-friendly holiday experience: starting November 18 and taking place on various dates through January 7, is their “The Jolliest Time of the Year” event. Experience the resort in its holiday best, meet holiday characters, and check out the 30-foot, fully decorated LEGO Christmas tree with over 400 LEGO ornaments or a seasonal show. December dates include December 2 & 3, 9 & 10, and 16-30. Park hours are posted on the LEGOLAND website.

Whale Watching

Both people and animals flock to warmer climates in the winter. Starting in mid-December, the gray whales that have called Alaskan waters home during the summer months begin their migration toward Baja in Mexico. The trip is one of the longest taken by any mammal anywhere in the world. From their arrival until about April, you can spot the majestic animals about 20 miles off the coast. Charter a whale watching experience, and you may see them up close, along with other ocean inhabitants.


If you’re not planning on braving the cooler water this Christmas, you can still lay out and sunbathe or build sandcastles with the kids. Change up your exercise routine with a run or walk on the beach, or plant your beach umbrella, spread your towel or blanket, and kick back with a good book. If you do brave the water, try something unique like paddling your way through the water on a stand-up paddleboard, kayak, or canoe. Up the adrenaline and the speed and take off on a jet ski or fly up to 500 feet above the water on a parasailing adventure!

Getting Around San Diego

Witch Creek Winery

The Carlsbad winery doesn’t grow its own grapes, but it’s still a maker of delicious and award-winning wines. The winery is the place to be this Christmas, offering live music, open mic comedy nights, and other entertainment. There’s also a wine tasting room where adults of the group can taste by the one- or two-ounce taste. Choose from an array of white, rose, red, or a variety of other specialty wines to pair with a meal cooked right at your rental.

Christmas San Diego County Style

When you start planning all the fun activities and adventures for your Christmas San Diego County retreat this year, make booking comfortable and fun accommodations a priority. Kick off the Christmas planning by booking a vacation rental with Vacation Rentals by Kimberly. We have accommodations as small as 1-bedroom for a solo or sweetheart Christmas retreat, all the way up to a 7-bedroom home so you and all your loved ones can enjoy a beach escape full of Christmas fun.

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