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About December Nights

Balboa Park December Nights, the nation’s premier holiday festival, will take place for the 39th consecutive year on Friday, December 2 from 3-11pm and Saturday, December, 3 from noon-11pm. Friends, families and the community are invited to come together for festive fun, food and attractions throughout the park, including complimentary admission to Balboa Park museums from 5-9pm. The largest free community festival in San Diego, December Nights is expected to attract more than 350,000 visitors to the park over two days to revel and enjoy the season.

As in years past, the event will offer seasonal entertainment for the whole family as well as festive holiday lighting throughout the Park – from the Plaza de Panama canopy – to the Botanical Building – to the landmark Moreton Bay Fig Tree. Delicious cuisine and holiday cheer are also all part of the long-standing San Diego celebration.

Other time-honored traditions will include:

  • Food: Food from around the globe at the International Christmas Festival at the House of  Pacific Relations Cottages;
  • Shopping: Unique gift shopping at the museum stores, Spanish Village and the Balboa Park Visitors Center;
  • Entertainment: Musical and dance presentations from the San Diego Junior Theatre, San Diego Civic Youth Ballet, Del Cerro Baptist’s Christmas Story Tree and more; and


2016 Festival Areas

Cascades Holiday Marketplace

Botanical Lawn, El Prado, Moreton Bay Fig Tree

Palisades Midway

Museums & Cultural Organizations

Spreckels Organ Pavilion Stage