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Hello everyone! This is a friendly reminder that any of these fun places we may visit, we are a guest at. Please treat both businesses and trails with the utmost respect. We here at Hidden San Diego follow the 'Leave no Trace' mantra, meaning whatever you bring with you comes back with you. If you see trash on a trail, please do your part to help remove it. Remember, we are not picking up trash from another person but instead cleaning up for Mother Nature. Happy adventures!

San Diego pops OFF with Christmas lights every year!  I thought I would share a list of the best spots to enjoy this celebration throughout the city!  Here are our top picks of Christmas Light Displays for 2020!

1. BALBOA PARK

 Jungle Bells at the San Diego Zoo. **Not happening this year because of Covid**Celebration of Lights and Carol of the Jungle Bells light experiences, Twinkle Light Trolley and live entertainment. Dec. 4-6, 11-23, 25-31; 9 am-8 pm (until 5 pm Dec. 24).. 619-231-1515. www.sandiegozoo.org

2. BANKERS HILL

Luminaria: Trees, lamp posts, roofs and courtyards all decorated with lights. Along 30th St. and Fern St. from Juniper to Grape to Beech. Nov.27-Jan. www.SouthParkScene.com

The Forward House in Bankers Hill: Experience the sight and sounds of the season at 108 Ivy St. (1st & Ivy). Built in 1905 for Mayor John Forward Sr, adorned with lights every season since 1998. 5-10 pm. 619-533-7904. www.amsecmortgage.net

3. CARLSBAD

 7607 Romeria St. Nicknamed “The Carlsbad Christmas House”. Walk up to see the animated window display, swimming penguins, surfing Santa, Snoopy skating and three snow machines. Food drive donations accepted. Dec. 4-31, 5-9 pm.

6646 Elegant Tern Pl. Real Santa’s mailbox for the kids and treats nightly. Santa writes back a free personalized letter to each child. Free community event Dec. 15 with cotton candy, crafts, bubbles and a special guest. Dec. 3-25, 5-10 pm.

2329 Snead Dr. Lights, lights, lights, Santa arrives by hot air balloon, nativity scene, animated elves and Santa village light display. Walk up to see a Christmas scene in the garage. Dec. 5-31, 5:30-9 pm.

4. CARMEL MOUNTAIN RANCH

 Fairway Village: east and west sides of Stoney Gate Pl. 80 homes decorated in “Holiday Magic”. Dec. 10-Jan.1, 5:30-10:30 pm.

5. CHULA VISTA

 Whitney St./Mankato. ** Update: Due to Covid 2020 many homes will not be decorating this year** Circle between First and Second Ave. off H St. & 1st Ave. “Christmas Circle.” 61st year of decorating 55+ homes. Dec. 10-26, 5-10 pm.

Chula Vista Christmas Circle Lights

Chula Vista Christmas Circle Lights

6. CLAIREMONT

Lana Dr. & Jamar. Off Mt. Abernathy Ave. Circular street. “Clairemont Christmas Park”. 40+ homes decorated. Dec. 1-24.

7. CORONADO

 Hotel del Coronado. Hotel del Coronado Celebrate the magic of the holidays as America’s beachfront legend transforms into a winter wonderland of ice and lights, sparkles and snowflakes. With its magnificent outdoor ice skating rink and DELights, The Del is celebrating all things shiny and bright. Join friends and family for lavish feasts, Victorian teas, festive parties and holiday traditions. 1500 Orange Ave. 619-522-8490. www.hoteldel.com

8. EL CAJON

Jingle Bell Hill (also known as Pepper Dr. Lights). Solomon Ave./Pegeen Pl. and surrounding area. Off 67 & Bradley. Dec. 7-26, Mon-Th, 6-9 pm, Fri-Sun, 6-10 pm.

 11456 Pegeen Pl. “Nightmare Before Christmas” theme, complete with Jack, Sally, Zero, the Mayor & Oogie Boogie. Santa may make a surprise visit. Dec. 5-Jan. 1, Mon-Th, 6-9 pm and Fri-Sun, 6-10 pm.

1838 El Pico Dr. Off Hacienda Dr. 53rd year decorating the 20-ft. star that’s 100 ft. up. Nov. 29-Dec. 31. Also see a 55-ft. train. Dec. 8-31, dusk-10 pm.

9777 Valley Ranch Rd. Cul-de-sac of lights programmed to 89.1 FM/87.9 FM. Giant dazzling trees, twinkling stars and a Winter Wonderland of computerized light and music shows. Nov. 28-Dec. 31, 5-10:30 pm.

9. ENCINITAS

Botanic Wonderland: If you've never visited the Botanic Garden in the day, first off, make a plan to do so!! They have over 4 miles of pathways BRIMMING with plantlife, with similar vibes to the amazing gardens at the San Diego Zoo or Safari Park, including the nation’s largest bamboo collection!

Their holiday event is filled with lit pathways which navigate you through the gardens and plenty of festive surprises along the way. It was truly a magical evening! You can find their hours and make a reservation to attend here: http://sdbgarden.org/botanicwonderland.htm

san diego botanic garden holiday wonderland

10. ESCONDIDO

Center for the Arts- 340 N Escondido Blvd, Escondido, CA 92025 Northern Lights display. Beginning November 30th, their 12-acre campus will be transformed into a spectacle of light, hope, and joy after sunset each evening. Guests are invited to wander along our walkways, taking in the holiday sights and sounds.

The young and young-at-heart will enjoy tunnels of twinkling lights, giant LED Christmas trees, and blow-up figurines of favorite holiday characters. Marvel as lights move to music in a display curated by local Escondido family The Peace’s featured on ABC’s The Great Christmas Light Fight. On view daily from 4:30 - 9:00 PM. This self-guided holiday experience is completely FREE and open to all.

Harmony Grove Village-  Starting Point: Trail Ridge Dr, Escondido, CA 92029 This neighborhood is also known for their elaborate Halloween decorations. This is not just one block that is brimming with decorations, but block after block after block!

Spence Family Light House-  1835 Sunny Slope Terrace The Spence Family has been creating a holiday light show at their home in Escondido since 2010. Over the years it has evolved and grown. Bring your family and friends to enjoy the show each holiday season from 5pm until 10pm.

101-1197 Suburban Hills Dr. Escondido, CA 92027- One block that is filled with lights, including a soap snow machine!

11. FALLBROOK

2031 Reche Rd. Fallbrook- Christmas/Disneyland House: Owner, Mack, has been adding to this magnificent display for over 25 years!  Be prepared to enter a wonderland of lights and minature displays inspired by his hometown, friends and family!

12. LAKESIDE

 10248 Paseo Palmas Dr. 20+ houses nicknamed “Tinsel Town.” Dec. 5-25, 5:30-9 pm.

13. LEMON GROVE/LOMITA

 2618 Sheri Lane. Cul-de-sac turns into Santa Claus Lane. Light show at 6:30 pm and every 30 minutes on 89.9 FM. Dec. 1-31, 5:30-9:30 pm.

14. OCEANSIDE

1562 Peacock Blvd. Rudolph, Christmas trees and lights. Dec. 10-Jan. 5. 5:30-10 pm.

Oceanside Harbor Parade of Lights. **Update: Cancelled 2020 due to Covid** Boats decorated in holiday lights circle Oceanside Harbor.  760-722-5751. www.oceansideyc.net

15. POINT LOMA

Mission Bay Christmas Boat Parade of Lights. **Update: Cancelled 2020 due to Covid** Over 100 vessels. Begins on Quivira Basin. Dec. 10, starts at 7 pm. 858-488-0501. www.mbyc.org

16. POWAY

12631 Stoutwood St. Off Twin Peaks Rd. & Deerwood St. Nicknamed “The Griswolds.” Dec. 1-Jan. 1, 5:30-10 pm weekdays, 11 pm weekends.

 Hickory Ct./Hickory St., 12659 Butterwood Ct. and Rockrose Ct. All off Twin Peaks Rd. & Silverset St. named “Candy Cane Courts.” Entire cul-de-sacs are lit up. Dec. 10-24, 6-9 pm.

17. PARADISE HILLS

 2160 Reo Dr. 14th year of decorating. Nov. 21-Dec. 31, 7pm-midnight.

18. RAMONA

 23542 Bassett Way. “Happy Lights Ramona” with 30,000+ lights animated to music on 106.9 FM using 996 computer channels to control the lights. Nov. 24-Jan. 1; Sun-Th, 5:30-10 pm; and Fri & Sat, 5:30-11 pm.

19. RANCHO PEÑASQUITOS

 Oviedo St. Off Black Mountain Rd. “Christmas Card Lane.” Also enter off Twin Trails Dr. & Carmel Mountain Rd. Dec. 9-31, dusk-10 pm.

20.  SAN MARCOS

 1639 Knob Hill.  **UPDATE: They are not decorating 2020 due to Covid** Off Nordahl Rd. Between Tam O’ Shanter Dr. & Augusta Dr.; 29th year of decorating. 100,000+ lights plus themed displays. Nov. 24-Dec. 30, 5-9 pm. See Santa Dec. 14-23, 6:30-8 pm. www.ChristmasOnKnobHill.com

1849 Rees Rd. San Marcos- This is one of the most amazing Christmas trees I have ever seen!  The family rents a crane each year to light up their humungous tree!

21. SANTEE

Starlight Circle/Sunburst Santee. Tomel Court, off Magnolia. Many homes lit up. Dec. 17-26, dusk-10 pm.

9325 Pebble Beach Dr. Displays on house and yard set to music. Dec. 1-31, dusk-10 pm.

9435 Saint Andrews Dr. Santee’s gingerbread house with over 12,000 lights. Nov. 28-Jan. 1, dusk-10pm.

22. SCRIPPS RANCH

Stonebridge Parkway and Merritage Ct. Nicknamed “Merry-tage Court”, entire street lit up with fun themes. Dec. 1-31, 5:30-9:30 pm.

Merry-tage Court (Scripps Ranch)

23. TIERRASANTA

5306 Belardo Dr. Off Via Valarta at Via Playa De Cortes. 100,000 lights and decorations all sequenced and animated to music at 106.1 FM. Nov. 26-Dec. 26, 6-10 pm. www.belardolights.com

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11 Reviews

Comments

  • Anonymous
    Rating Overall Rating Difficulty Finding

    boy this love is so freaking scary i got chills right now

    January 20, 2017

  • Anonymous
    Rating Overall Rating Difficulty Finding

    @Anonymous, oh i guess this one is in San Marcos! sorry!

    December 17, 2018

  • Anonymous
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    You guys are missing out on a really great house in Carlsbad 3920 Rockfoeld Court 92010 it is a house synchronize with music and lights and plays about 12 different songs definitely not to be missed!! you guys are missing out on a really great house in Carlsbad 3920 Rockfield Court 92010 it is a house synchronize with music and lights and plays about 12 different songs definitely not to be missed!!!! Also the peace family light show in Escondido is another great one synchronized with music and lights!

    December 7, 2019

  • Anonymous
    Rating Overall Rating Difficulty Finding

    The house in IB is missing its on Coronado Ave.

    December 8, 2019

  • Anonymous
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    South Park is labeled under Bankers Hill, oops!! I’d also suggest checking out Burlingame while you are in the neighborhood. Lights lining the palm trees and lots of lovely historic homes all lit up starting just a block East of 30th and one block north of Juniper

    December 13, 2019

  • Anonymous
    Rating Overall Rating Difficulty Finding

    The San Diego Botanic Garden is listed in Oceanside. As the “details” state, it’s in Encinitas, not O’side. It’s beautiful.

    December 17, 2019

  • Jocelyn
    Rating Overall Rating Difficulty Finding

    Facebook post by DB Lights dated Nov 13 2019: “Hello Everyone, it with great sadness I must report that DB Lights will no longer have lightshows in San Diego. We have moved to Kansas. The show will be live in Kansas and a new person has moved into the house in Santee,CA. I ask that you please be respectful to the new tenant and not bother them. We at DB Lights appreciate everything San Diego has done for us. In our 8 seasons in San Diego we raised over $10000 for Cancer Reasearch, 223 lbs of food for the the santee food bank and 306 lbs of toys for Santee Santas. None of it would have been possible without your support. Dont forget there are amazing lightshows still in San Diego. Belardo Lights in Tierrasanta and Starlight Circle are my favorite. Thanks for 8 amazing seasons and from my family to yours Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.”

    December 3, 2020

  • ELIZABETH G GALA
    Rating Overall Rating Difficulty Finding

    6646 Elegant Tern Place Carlsbad (North County Coastal) this year the party is on the 19th and has turned into a Covid safe drive thru! 5-9PM on the 19th.

    December 9, 2020

  • Jerry Warneke
    Rating Overall Rating Difficulty Finding

    Best lights in Vista and surrounding area

    December 11, 2020

  • Anon
    Rating Overall Rating Difficulty Finding

    I went to the Burnham st in Clairemont. It was not on.

    December 17, 2020

  • Santa C.
    Rating Overall Rating Difficulty Finding

    Thank you! Such festive holiday displays all over the county! To all who share their holiday cheer, “Bravo!! It is greatly appreciated! We love you!!” Best holiday wishes to everyone!!

    December 20, 2020

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