If you are a visitor to San Diego, names like ‘Christmas Card Lane’ or ‘Candy Cane Courts’ might not mean much to you. For San Diegans, these are the names that inspire feelings of winter joy and holiday cheer. Every year, neighborhoods throughout the city embrace the sand, sea, and sun while hunkering down to bring holiday cheer to Southern California. Back when President Franklin Pierce put the first Christmas tree up in the White House, no one could have known how the tree would be the foundation for holiday decorations for years to come. For a long time, trees were adorned with candles. String lights were introduced to calm fire risks. It was only a matter of time before the lights migrated off of the trees and onto buildings. Nowadays, when the lights go up, it is a clear sign that the holidays have officially arrived. Here is a list of the best tree lightings and kickoff events in Carlsbad to get into the spirit this holiday season.
The Annual Lighting of the Forum is one of the earliest lighting events in Carlsbad. On November 30th, the holidays will arrive in full force at the Forum with a live Holiday Musical Stage Show. Everyone’s favorite jingles will be filling the air as the countdown for Santa leads to his grand arrival. After Santa arrives on the scene, the Lighting of the Holiday Tree will take place. Children and families will be treated to a professional Light Show and get to experience a Magical Snowfall right in the midst of sunny skies.
On the first Saturday of December, the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa will be swinging into the holiday season with their Annual Carols of Carlsbad and Tree Lighting. The Carlsbad Educational Foundation will be treating guests to a full chorus of carols. Hot chocolate and cider will be on tap, encouraging visitors to embrace the coming winter and gather closer to friends and family. There will be crafts for the whole family and a holiday market with hand crafted gifts from local vendors. The annual event will culminate in a festive tree lighting and a surprise visit from the Omni’s very own skydiving Santa. After the event, guests can come back every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night in December to enjoy a magical snowfall in the Plaza. The magic snow turns the Plaza into a winter wonderland through New Year’s Eve.
The Carlsbad Premium Outlets are one of the best spots to get everything checked off of your holiday shopping list. This year, the holidays are arriving earlier than ever. On November 15th from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. the Outlets will be hosting an exciting evening of holiday performances. Santa will be at the event, giving kids their first shot at letting him know what they hope to find under the tree. There will be complimentary coffee and cocoa. At the end of the night, the festivities will conclude with the grand lighting of the tree.
The Westin Carlsbad Resort & Spa and Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa are bringing the holiday cheer this year! Join for three family friendly nights of holiday events! This includes snow sledding with REAL SNOW, Letters to Santa, S’mores Roasting, Cookie Decorating, Holly Trolley Rides, Live Entertainment, and more. This event has three dates including December 5, 12 & 19, 2019. Learn more, click here.
When December rolls in, Cape Rey will be poised and ready to kickoff the holidays. On December 5th from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Cape Rey will be pulling out all the stops with live music, hot cocoa, and cookie decorating. There will be an Open House for local artisans. Guests can get a jump start on holiday shopping by supporting local craftsmen. Santa will be making an appearance for family photos. To support the season of giving, Cape Rey will also be hosting a silent auction to benefit Give Kids the World. Register and receive complimentary tickets here.
The Carlsbad Village is the epicenter of holiday hustle and bustle in Carlsbad. This year, the Village is hosting a full evening of holiday cheer on November 30th from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The Carlsbad High School Jazz Ensemble will be onsite to perform a dynamic program of jazz, a preview from Around the World in 80 days, strolling carolers, and soloists.
Guests are encouraged to bring a chair and a blanket. With free hot chocolate and cookies being offered on the corner of State Street and Grand Avenue, visitors can revel in the twinkling decorations of storefronts while listening to the talented performers from Carlsbad Highschool.
The LEGOLAND resort is a year-round escape of bright colors, favorite characters, and thematic celebrations. During winter, the entire resort is transformed into a winter wonderland. Santa, Toy Soldier, and Gingerbread Man all onsite to give hugs, pose for pictures, and delight. A 30-foot LEGO Christmas tree bursting with hundreds of LEGO ornaments is positioned front and center in Fun Town. Each night, a Holiday Lights Show brightens the sky and Santa’s elves fill the air with Yuletide cheer.
Get a ticket to the park now for a first hand look at the joy and jubilation that LEGOLAND brings to this holiday season.
The holidays are for families and pets are a big part of many families in Carlsbad. On December 7th, the Village Faire Shopping Center is hosting its annual Pets on Parade Event. This event is a shining light in the midst of the holiday bustle. Proceeds from the event benefit the Wagging Dog Rescue. Bring your favorite furry family member to the parade to show off a holiday costume or pose for a picture. There isn’t a better way for pets to kickoff the holidays this winter than at Pets on Parade.
With Thanksgiving just days away, planning for the holidays can be stressful. Start the season in style with any of these fun events and you’ll be on your way to a very happy New Year.