San Diego is a destination made for families. With only a 2 hour drive from Los Angeles, pleasant year-round weather, dozens of public parks, family friendly museums, San Diego Zoo, Safari Park, and SeaWorld, San Diego is a perfect destination for your winter holiday vacation.
At our last visit to San Diego, we stayed at Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa, and we absolutely loved it. We think it is a perfect way to spend the holidays, and if you keep reading, we will tell you exactly why.
As low as $119 per night (depending on the date of your travel), you can reserve a room in the stunning Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa, which is only a few miles away from SeaWorld, San Diego Zoo, Safari Park, and many more attractions.
The hotel is absolutely gorgeous and family friendly (see photos here), and the rooms are specious and beautifully decorated. You will love the amenities and services available all year round at this hotel including a marina with rentals, heated adult pool, kiddie pool, private cabanas, tennis court, spa, kids club, a modern fitness center, and a super friendly staff.
There’s lots of family fun to be had while at the resort during the holiday:
Holiday Movie Nights
Unwind from your busy day with family friendly holiday movies. Popcorn and hot chocolate will be served for all to enjoy. Movies start at 7pm on 12/23, 12/26, 12/29, and 12/30.
Beach S'mores Nights
Enjoy a night on the bay making s’mores with the family. All goodies are provided by the resort. The fun starts at 6pm at one of the beach fire pits on 12/16, 12/22, and 12/28.
Letters to Santa
Take your kid(s) to the lobby to write letters to Santa Claus and his helpers between December 1st through December 24th. Stationary will be provided, along with a mailbox to send your letters off to the North Pole once they’re finished.
Family Fun Activities
On December 22nd and 23rd, enjoy a welcome reception in the lobby with the entire family. There is a Holiday Bingo at the lobby on December 27th at 6pm.
Hanukkah Menorah Lighting
Celebrate the lighting of the Menorah nightly from December 12th to December 20th at sunset in the main lobby.
Breakfast with Santa
Santa Claus will be joining you for breakfast at Acqua California Bistro at 10am on December 24th. Take your family and your camera for a great photo opportunity.
Christmas Eve Dinner
Celebrate Christmas Eve at Acqua California Bistro. Enjoy a 3-course prix fixe menu with Mission Bay views from 5:30pm to 10pm. $59 for adults, $30 for children. Reserve your table in advance here.
Enjoy hours of family fun in the game room located in one of the Conference Center ballrooms. The game room will be open daily from 8am to 8pm from December 22nd through December 31st.
You and your children are invited to get crafty this holiday season at the holiday workshops at 2pm on 12/22, 12/23, 12/24 (at 12pm), 12/26, 12/27, 12/28, 12/29, 12/30. Craft projects and pricing will vary.
New Year's Eve Celebration
Ring in 2018 with a special evening at Acqua California Bistro. Enjoy live music from 9pm to 1am as well as a 5-course prix fixe menu prepared by Executive Chef Hermann Schaefer. $90 per person. View the full Christmas Eve menu and reserve your table here.
ACTIVITIES AND ATTRACTIONS NEARBY:
SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration is a holiday waiting to be made, with seasonal shopping, festive food and drinks, and stunning live shows. As holiday music fills the air, a sea of lighted trees sparkles, transforming the park into a wintery, watery wonderland.
Celebrate the season during the mesmerizing new nativity show, O Wondrous Night, inspired by the original story of Christmas. Visit Santa's Christmas Village to see Santa himself, meet Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and friends.
Leave your car at the Hotel and ride a shuttle with the kids. Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa offers a complimentary shuttle to and from SeaWorld for resort guests. They also offer SeaWorld Packages. Select the best package for your family here.
There is plenty of good cheer at the San Diego Zoo this winter holiday! Twinkling lights, festive foods, and merry performances transform the Zoo into a wild, glowing wonderland. The whole family will enjoy an exciting array of animal light sculptures, jingly, jazzy carols, acrobatic trampoline elves, and much more. You can choose different activities and entertainment to add to your day at the Zoo.
San Diego Zoo Safari Park features special interactive activities, and experiences to connect with wildlife and nature in fun ways. Entertainment and activities include Frequent Flyer show, Robert the Zebra, Cheetah Run, Animal Tales, Animal Presentations, Kids Activity Station, Keeper Talks, Animal Moments, and much more.
Old Town is the historic heart of San Diego. Wander through lush gardens or browse at one of the many specialty shops for treasures from around the world. Indulge in authentic Mexican food at one of the many restaurants or dance to the strolling mariachis. Take a tour of a haunted building and spend a day at one of the many museums.
From now through December 24th, Cygnet Theater welcomes the return of the holiday classic adapted from Charles Dickens' timeless tale of hope and redemption. Featuring original music, creative stagecraft and puppetry, and live sound effects. Step into a Victorian Christmas card for a unique storytelling experience that is sure to delight the entire family! Purchase tickets here.
Balboa Park is where culture and nature meet. There are so many different adventures for families with children. With wide variety of attractions, and 1,200 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds, Balboa Park is a special place for families to have fun.
Try the Kids Itinerary to get some ideas for kid-friendly locations around the Park.
You can purchase a one day pass for $46 for adults and $27 for kids (ages 3-12) for entry and admission to 5 museums at Balboa Park. Children under 3 are free.
See Dr. Seuss’s "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" at The Old Globe while you're there through December 24th. This family favorite features the songs “This Time of Year,” “Santa for a Day,” and “Fah Who Doraze,” the delightful carol from the popular animated version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Purchase tickets here.
You can also Take a fascinating audio tour of Balboa Park. There is an adult and child version of the tour, which covers Park history, architecture, horticulture, and cultural attractions--all created by experts in the field. Tour takes approximately 1 1/2 hours.
Once home to San Diego's flourishing tuna fishing industry and generations of Italian families who made their living on the sea, Little Italy is a quaint and lively neighborhood filled with patio cafés, restaurants, pubs, art galleries, shops and the beautiful Amici Park.
Join visitors from around the world at the Little Italy Mercato Farmers' Market on 12/16, 12/23 or 12/30 (8am-2pm) scooping up just-caught sea urchin, pastries and jams, bread and bone broth, and unique gifts.
The Gaslamp Quarter offers more than 200 restaurants, nightclubs and music venues in addition to various popular shops and local boutiques. Hard Rock Cafe San Diego is the coolest dining experience for you and your little ones. With a fun Roxtar kid’s menu, great music and memorabilia, this place is the “go to” place for every family in the Gaslamp Quarter.
See the event calendar for things to do at The Gaslamp Quarter.
Click here to book your room at Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa and plan your holiday getaway today. For more information, you can contact the hotel at (877) 313-6645.