6 Festive, Fun & Free Things to Do This Weekend!

Are you starting to feel the frenzy of the holidays? Don’t let this season of peace and love make you crazy. We have some simply sweet things that you can do with your littles to catch the holiday spirit without getting caught up in crowds and cost.


Polar Express Holiday Party at the Santee Library 

Friday, December 13th from 6 – 7:30 p.m.  

Santee Library, 9225 Carlton Hills Blvd. 

Bring your kiddos in your pajamas and settle in for some sweet Polar Express-themed fun at the Santee Library. They will crafts, games, holiday music, snacks, storytime and a visit from Santa.

La Mesa Holiday in the Village

Friday, December 13th from 4 – 9 p.m. & Saturday, December 14th from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. 

Downtown La Mesa, La Mesa Boulevard

Winter Nights @ Westfield UTC

Saturday, December 14th from 5 – 8 p.m.

Westfield UTC in La Jolla

Enjoy storytime with the Winter Fairy, a holiday ice skating show, live Nutcracker performances, face painting, ornament-making and more. Get into the holiday spirit for FREE at UTC Mall during their Winter Nights event.

8th Annual Ornament Making Party 

Saturday, December 14th from 3 – 5 p.m.

Mira Mesa Library 

Celebrate the season with the kids by making three ornaments together at the Mira Mesa library. Craft materials and refreshments provided.

Christmas City USA

Saturday and Sunday, December 14th & 15th from 6 – 9 p.m. 

The Legacy International Center, 875 Hotel Circle South in Mission Valley

Enjoy a FREE evening filled with carolers, food, vendors, festive decor and a giant tree lighting ceremony. The Legacy International Center in Mission Valley is where tradition meets technology. “The Plaza” of the newly built facility will house a 50 foot Christmas tree with digital LED lights and synchronized music show, music from local choirs and community groups, activities for children, food, drinks and a few surprises throughout the night.


Mission Bay Christmas Parade of Lights 

Saturday, December 14th from 6-9 p.m. 

Mission Beach/Pacific Beach

There are actually two boat parades happening this weekend, with the simplest one being the Mission Bay Parade of Lights. We love to throw our blankets down at Fanuel Park in PB and wave as the festive boats pass by. The free boat parade travels past Bahia Point, the Mission Bay Yacht Club, Santa Clara Point, Crown Point and under the Ingraham Street Bridge.

The San Diego Bay Parade of Lights is much bigger and amazing to see. (also harder to find a viewing spot!)  For details of their Sunday, December 15th event, visit sdparadeoflights.org.

We hope your season has been very merry so far!







Fave 5 ~ Week of December 2nd

So it begins! We hit December 1st, and San Diego is off with a bang on the holiday happenings and as usual, there is no shortage of festive fun to be had! This week we are highlighting some of our favorite Christmas family traditions, all which happen to be FREE. These traditions also tend to be traditions for thousands of other San Diegans, so yes, you can expect traffic delays and overcrowded sidewalks. However, there is a reason that they are so popular, so as long as you go early, pack wisely, and bring your patience, your family is sure to have a jolly good time!

Thursday, December 5th,

Hullabaloo for the Holidays

OK so this might be a “1st annual tradition” event, but let me tell you…Del Mar Highlands is insanely festive this time of year, and when you add a holiday Hullabaloo jam sesh in the mix, oh boy oh boy! If you have littles 5 and under, bring them down for a free, fun sing along jam session at the pop jet fountain (located in the heart of the center on the main floor) to get into the holiday spirit. There might even be a special appearance by SANTA, and if you pair your outing with a frozen yogurt treat and a movie date to see Disney’s new Frozen II, you’re sure to become the coolest mom in town!


Friday, December 6th

Coronado Holiday Parade 

Photo cred to the Coronado Chamber of Commerce

Truly one of our favorite holiday parades! Pro-tip…arrive early and head over to the Rotary Plaza at 5pm for Christmas carols and the tree lighting before the parade kicks off at 6pm. This hometown parade is a true holiday tradition and thousands line the street each year to kick off the holiday season in style!


Friday, December 6th & Saturday, December 7th 

Balboa Park’s December Nights

Chelsea & her mom tribe at December Nights in 2015!

Alright, we admit that you don’t need us to tell you about December Nights. It’s easily one of the nation’s most popular holiday festivals. But in case you decide to brave the chaos this year, here is what you should know…

The event runs for 2 days, December 6 (3pm – 11pm) and 7 (12pm – 11pm). You can expect food from all over the world, musical performances and dance, holiday festivities and spirits, plus fun-filled activities and attractions throughout the entire park. You can also expect minimal parking opportunities, so ride sharing or using the shuttle will be your best bet. Both sides of Sixth Ave. near the Laurel Street Bridge are dedicated drop-off and pick-up locations if you choose to ride share. Free shuttles are also provided to help you avoid the traffic going to and from the event.

Saturday, December 7th

Little Italy Tree Lighting & Christmas Village

Photo cred to Gates Photography & Little Italy SD

Families, friends and neighbors are invited to kick off the holiday season with festive fun in San Diego’s Little Italy at the 21st Annual Little Italy Tree Lighting and Christmas Village on Saturday, December 7 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. This year, the Little Italy neighborhood will make exciting enhancements to the event with the reveal of a new custom Christmas tree, located in the center of Piazza Basilone. Guests will experience a magical evening filled with festive decor, seasonal vendors, a tree lighting ceremony in the Piazza della Famiglia with a live Christmas tree over 25-feet tall, live music and entertainment, horse-drawn carriage rides, holiday treats, a surprise visit from Santa and more!

Sunday, December 8th –

San Diego Bay Parade of Lights

Photo cred to San Diego Bay Parade of Lights FB Page

The San Diego Bay Parade of Lights is a time-honored holiday tradition with more than 80 boats lavishly decorated sailing by the shores for all to see. This dazzling parade takes place on two weekends (beginning at 5pm on December 8th & 15th), and will start at Shelter Island and proceed past Harbor Island, the Embarcadero, Seaport Village, the Pier at Cesar Chavez Park, and finally end at the Ferry Landing in Coronado. The parade takes about an hour to pass any given point and there are many comfortable waterfront viewpoints along the route. In its 48th year, this annual tradition has become a popular event, bringing in about 100,000 spectators, but if you pair the event with an early family dinner, or perhaps a festive pedicab ride to your viewpoint, you’ll be sure to love this iconic event just as much as everyone else does!

Make Sure This Is on Your List When Family Visits This Season!

‘Tis the season for family travel, and we are beyond lucky to call San Diego, a place where many only dream to visit, our home! California conjures up images of brilliant sunshine, pristine beaches and cultural diversity, which is why it’s at the top of the list of the most visited states. Chances are, you’ll have friends or family visiting you this holiday season, and we want you to be prepared to show them a good time in America’s Finest City. In San Diego County, it’s even possible to start your day skiing before finishing it with a session of surfing at sunset! With so many options for families, it can be difficult to narrow down a list of things to do with your out-of-town-guests. But one thing that should be at the top of your list, is to experience California’s great grey whale migration aboard the world famous America!  This San Diego Sightseeing Tour is the perfect blend of excitement, relaxation, education, and adventure that your whole family will love! 


Photo by @dolphindromedom

Every year, thousands of Pacific gray whales make the journey from Alaska down to Mexico to birth calves in their ancestral breeding grounds. The round-trip distance of 12,000 miles makes it the longest regular migration on the planet, and California has a front-row seat to the voyage. If you’re interested in getting up close to the action, you’re in luck because the best time for whale watching in San Diego is coming up!


Sailing aboard the America is the best hands-on experience where you can see whales first hand and learn why we should preserve the oceans, our planet, and all the magnificent animals that call Earth home.




Next Level Sailing operates whale watching tours on the America, which without exaggeration, “is the world’s most famous racing yacht. It is also one of the most beautiful yachts in the world. The reason is simple: The original America put yachting on the map. It is why the most famous trophy in sailing is called The America’s Cup.” The original ship was destroyed during World War II, but this near-perfect replica of the 139 foot yacht spares no prestige.






Good to Know: The team at Next Level Sailing is so confident in their ability to provide the best whale watching in San Diego that they offer the only “no sickness guarantee” in the world! In the off-chance that you do get sick, they will even compensate you with a gift card! Their new location on Shelter Island offers ample FREE parking, so you wont rack up a bunch of extra charges during your voyage. The crew will offer complimentary water, soda, chips, and granola bars, but you are also allowed to bring your own food and beverages (alcohol included! Just no red wine). Comfortable shoes and layers will be your best friend, and don’t forget your sunscreen and binos!

**Also be sure to check their Sunday specials, where most dates offer a free child ticket with Adult ticket purchase (a $48 savings!!).



This is a sponsored post by Next Level Sailing. Although we were paid to share this information, all opinions are our own.