About December Nights
Balboa Park December Nights is the largest free community festival in San Diego, attracting more than 300,000 visitors over two days. In the spirit of the holidays, participating Balboa Park museums open their doors free of charge from 5-9pm both evenings.
Entertainment, wonderful food and holiday cheer are all part of this classic and elaborate San Diego celebration. Long-standing traditions include food from around the globe at the International Christmas Festival at the House of Pacific Relations Cottages; the charming Santa Lucia Procession at the San Diego Museum of Man; unique gift shopping at the museum stores and with the artisans of Spanish Village; and musical and dance presentations from the San Diego Junior Theatre, San Diego Civic Youth Ballet, Del Cerro Baptist’s Christmas Story Tree, and more.
In addition, the varied museums open for free from 5-9pm both nights feature a wide variety of exhibitions and entertainment, from the Timken Museum’s annual Christmas Tree displaying the exquisite Schlappi Collection of Hord and Schlappi Christmas ornaments, to the Reuben H. Fleet’s kid-friendly and interactive exhibits, to the San Diego Natural History Museum’s Fossil Mysteries set to holiday music in the atrium.
Information booths are located in the Plaza de Panama, Cascades Holiday Marketplace, Spreckels Organ Pavilion Stage, and Palisades Midway and are staffed by cheerful volunteers from the Balboa Park Visitors Center and the Friends of Balboa Park.
2012 Festival Areas