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December Nights Holiday Extravaganza Returns to Balboa Park

More than 350,000 people are expected to visit the park between 3 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Friday and from noon to 11 p.m. on Saturday.

Christmas Story Tree with Del Cerro Baptist Church on the Spreckels organ pavilion stage. Photo courtesy Balboa Park Online Collaborative.
Christmas Story Tree with Del Cerro Baptist Church on the Spreckels organ pavilion stage. Photo courtesy Balboa Park Online Collaborative.
December Nights at Balboa Park, one of Southern California's biggest holiday celebrations, returns Friday and Saturday night for its 35th year.

More than 350,000 people are expected to visit the park between 3 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6, and from noon to 11 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7.

There will be food and entertainment from around the world at multiple venues throughout the park. Most museums will open free from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. both evenings.

Long-standing traditions include the charming Santa Lucia Procession at the San Diego Museum of Man, musical and dance presentations from the San Diego Junior Theatre and San Diego Civic Youth Ballet, and Del Cerro Baptist’s Christmas Story Tree.

Santa can be found at the Spreckels organ Pavilion, the Auto Museum, Fleet Science Center, Spanish Village, Civic Dance Arts and the Hall of Champions. The Grinch will hold court at The Old Globe.

It's best to avoid the southbound 163 and take public transportation. There is remote parking at Petco Park and City College with shuttle buses running until 11:45 p.m. both nights.

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