Festival of Lights San Diego


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Festival highlights

San Diego is a well-known place due to its ambiance and as a successful city. Its streets are filled with towering buildings and busy people who are doing their works effectively to reach success.

However, there are also things aside from the economic statuses offered by San Diego to everyone. Have you heard of those? Well, it is the Festival of Lights San Diego.
This festival showcases thousands of lights symbolizing hope and new beginnings for the people. So, to know more about this festival, here are the following things to know about it!

Festival of Lights San Diego

About the Festival

The Festival of Lights San Diego is an anticipated celebration since it showcases an area filled with thousands of twinkle lights since it is a light festival. It is annually celebrated every year by the month of December to make the holidays feel and look even better.

Another thing, this festival has been a part of the city’s culture, and refusal to celebrate it is impossible to happen. As the people started to grow up having this festival being celebrated yearly, it deserves to be continued until the end. Moving forward, below are more facts about the festival that you need to know, especially if you are planning to visit.

Festival dates

The Festival of Lights San Diego is annually celebrated in the month of December. This is to extend the ambiance and serene feeling being brought by the festival with the holiday celebration – making visitors both local and international happier.

Moreover, for this year’s celebration, the Festival of Lights San Diego is scheduled to be celebrated on the December 2023. This celebration will last for a month as an extension and addition to the holiday season. So, if you are looking forward to attending this celebration, then as early as now, pack your things and prepare so that there will be no more trouble when the day has arrived.

Festival Address

The annual Festival of Lights San Diego is celebrated within the lands of San Diego. However, there are two most common places wherein this festival is mostly held: the Balboa Park and Bankers Hill.
In Balboa Park, you only need to ask for a grab rider to drop you off at the said location. This isn’t a hard place to find since it is well-known and everybody anticipates it. If not, you can rely on your mobile map applications and software to lead you to the direction. Besides, mobile map apps show accurate directions so you won’t get lost.

The same thing with Bankers Hill. You can take a grab, or have your own ride, and you can rely on mobile application maps. These two locations are the most favorite since it provides a different kind of view and ambiance that anyone can enjoy.

Here, you can witness an amazing sunset with a view of the city and ocean. These places are also perfect for picture taking if you are into updating your social media accounts.
Moving on, let’s proceed to the operation time of the Festival of Lights San Diego.

Other enchanting lights festivals in California are:

Mission Inn Festival of Lights

Paso Robles Lights

Festival hours

The celebration of the Festival of Lights San Diego usually starts at exactly 5 PM and ends at 11 PM. These are the most recommended time since the sun is about to set down. Also, it gives the visitors an amazing sunset view and the thousands of blinking Christmas lights. In short, it is a Christmas light show after the sunset, so every dollar, time, and effort will be worth it.

How much it costs to visit the fest

Attending and enjoying the place within the celebration of Festival of Lights San Diego will not cost you that much. However, at the end of the day, the cost still depends on the way you spend and the number of your accompany.

This festival of lights offers free admission to every visitor. However, there is a VIP ticket that costs $50. This VIP ticket will allow the visitors to enjoy the enticing view and lights without any hassle and exposure to too much crowd.

For the kids, the VIP ticket is sold for only $35 as a discounted price. If you’re not into having a VIP ticket, then you can try the “reserved seat” that costs only $10. This seat is offered to those visitors who are on a tight budget.

Another thing, it’s still better to prepare more budget aside from the ticket since there are surrounding restaurants, hotels, and other stalls that you can visit within the vicinity of the festival. Besides, if it’s your first time visiting this celebration, better prepare to make the most out of it. Also, there are a Christmas light show and a light exhibition that you might look forward to.

Take note, however, that ticket prices may vary, so it is best to stay tuned for the latest updates or visit the festival’s official website.

What to Wear to the lights festival

This festival of lights is an anticipated one, and it is celebrated every month of December. Also, it is located either at Bankers Hill or Balboa Park.

Given these dates and places, it is expected that the weather will be humid both in the daytime and nighttime. The humidity level can reach up to 800, so wearing thin and breathable clothes is recommended. Thin shirts, pants, comfortable shoes, and light accessories are necessary to fully enjoy the festival.

Top 3 Nearby Hotels

Of course, the festival will not be complete without staying in a world-class and worth it hotel. So, these are the top 3 nearby hotels that you can consider:

Marriot Marquis San Diego
This hotel became first on the list since it offers the best services of a hotel. With its high recommendation ratings from its previous customers, this hotel came as one of the best picks. Here, you will be served with the best and high-quality services along with security. In this way, you’ll feel the best safety and serenity during your stay.

Beach Village
Next on the list, we have the Beach Village, which is perfect if you are extending your stay to enjoy the beach. Since San Diego has one of the best beach lines, then this hotel can be the perfect match for you. Also, this hotel offers top-tier services and menus that you can’t find in other hotels. So, if you are looking forward to experiencing only the best, then this is the best choice.

Bay Club Hotel and Marina
Garnering the third spot, we have the Bay Club Hotel and Marina, which is well-known for its ambiance and landscape. If you are looking for a hotel that can make you feel like you’re in a tropical and much beach vibe, then this is the best choice. This hotel offers the best menus, especially its alcoholic beverages that are served with class.

Top 3 nearby Restaurants

Next, food won’t be missed out every time you take a break in this kind of Christmas light festival filled with fairy lights and hundreds of twinkle light trees. So, here are the best three restaurants nearby said festival that you need to try!

Panorama Bar and Grill
First, we have the Panorama Bar and Grill, which is well-known for its grilled menus. If you are looking for steak and protein-filled dining, then this is the best choice. Aside from that, this restaurant also offers the best alcohol and other beverages to spice up your dining.
Above all, this restaurant is the best place if you are looking forward to romance with your partner!

Tom Hams Lighthouse
Next, we have the Tom Hams Lighthouse, which is known for its authentic cuisines. The food varies depending on the theme, which is the best thing here. Also, since it is a lighthouse, this restaurant will provide you with a different kind of vibe and view to enjoy with yourself or friends and families.

Bali Hai Restaurant
Lastly, if you are a fan of Bali cuisines, then the Bali Hai Restaurant is the one perfect for you. Here, you’ll be able to taste and feel the richness of every Thai cuisine that you’ve been craving all the time. The spiciness, sweetness, and other flavors will make the best out of your taste buds, making you crave more dishes.

More Things to Do in the Area

Regarding the other things to do in this area, you can choose the following:

Mutt Strut

If you are a pet lover, then this activity is for you. Here, you can bring your pet dog to join the strut and showcase the best outfits and stuff of your pet. This is held on the first day of the festival from 12 PM to 4 PM at Hendry Street or Bay Street.

Crafts on the River

Another thing, you can join the Crafts on the River, which is an activity for crafters and national artisans to showcase their creativity in doing different products. This is held on the last two days of the festival from 10 AM to 5 PM at Lee County Second Street Lot.


1. Where Can I Park?

Parking options can vary depending on the venue for the Festival of Lights. Generally, there are dedicated parking lots and on-street parking available, but spaces fill up quickly due to the event’s popularity. Arrive early or consider public transportation as an alternative.

2. Is Smoking Allowed?

Smoking is typically not permitted in the festival area, including both indoor and outdoor venues. Designated smoking zones may be provided, so look for signs or ask staff for guidance.

3. Can I Bring My Pets?

Pets are generally not encouraged due to the crowds and loud noises. However, service animals are permitted as required by law. If you do bring a pet, they must be leashed at all times.

4. What Are the Restroom Facilities?

Public restrooms and portable toilets are usually available throughout the festival area. ADA-compliant restrooms are also provided for those with special needs.

5. Are Food and Drinks Available?

Yes, various food vendors and food trucks are usually on-site offering a range of options, from local delicacies to traditional festival foods.

6. What About Seating?

Seating is often first-come, first-serve and may be limited. You’re welcome to bring your own portable chairs, but make sure they don’t obstruct walkways or viewing areas.

7. Can I Take Photos or Videos?

Photography and videography are generally allowed, but do be respectful of performers and other attendees. Some areas or performances may have restrictions, so always check for signs or ask event staff.

8. Is There a Lost and Found?

Yes, a lost and found service is usually provided at or near the event’s main entrance. If you lose something or find someone else’s lost item, that’s the place to go.




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