Balboa Park December Nights Returns For 39th Year On December 2 & 3

November 13, 2016

San Diego’s favorite kick-off to the holiday season, Balboa Park December Nights will take place for the 39th year on Friday, December 2 and Saturday, December 3. The beloved holiday event features sparkling lights, multi-cultural music and dance performances, carolers, bell-ringers, choirs, bands and food throughout the historic park. In the spirit of the holidays, participating Balboa Park museums open their doors free of charge from 5-9pm both evenings. During December Nights, Balboa Park is transformed into a holiday wonderland with historic Park promenades, plantings and structures adorned with seasonal decorations and lights. More than 350,000 attendees are expected, making this the largest free community festival in San Diego.

At December Nights, there will be stages galore with live performances from a variety of entertainers. There is also an eclectic offering of various world foods at December Nights, including specialties from around the world like empanadas, egg rolls, fried plantains, pierogi, baklava, paella and pie. There are also many other food options throughout the Park, including the Prado Pub on the Square in the Plaza de Panama, and Panama 66 restaurant.

There is also enhanced lighting throughout the Park, including a magnificent lightshow on Botanical Building and the Lily Pond and the lighting of the Moreton Bay Fig Tree. There are plenty of opportunities for distinct holiday photos throughout the Park including pictures with Santa and The Grinch. New this year is an Artisan Marketplace, where guests can find local and unique handcrafted gift items, as well as the opportunity to take home a cherished keepsake just in time for the holidays.

Visitors to December Nights can help keep Balboa Park “green” by taking the free shuttles. Free shuttle locations include

· PETCO Park and lots around Park Blvd. and Imperial Ave There are more than 2,000 parking spaces in this area. Shuttle drops off at 6th and Laurel Streets

· City College Lots between 16th and "B" Street. Parking is free. Shuttle drops off at 6th and Laurel.

· Free disabled parking at the Fleet Science Center lot and the Federal lot near the Hall of Champions.

· Shuttle service runs from 3:00- midnight on Friday and 11:30 a.m.-midnight on Saturday.

· The last shuttle leaves all sites at 8:00pm for the Park. Plan to arrive at locations before 7:00pm.

In addition, there will be optional preferred parking for $25/vehicle at the Natural History Museum parking lot and the South Carousel lot (both accessible from Park Blvd. and Village Place). Paid parking will also be available at the Inspiration Point parking lot for $20/vehicle (accessible from Park Blvd and Presidents Way). There is limited free parking at the San Diego Zoo lot.

Visitors can also take public transportation for an easy ride to Balboa Park December Nights. To create your personal trip plan visit or call 511 to speak to one of the Transit Information Operators.

For more information on December Nights, visit