Jungle Bells at the San Diego Zoo is just one of the many holiday events now or soon-to-be open for business. Photo credit: sandiegozoo.org

Have your decorations up yet? Heck, we’ve been home SO much this year. Go ahead. Make it really festive. Tinsel every-dang-where! Or get out of the house, (but safely!) as more San Diego attractions add holiday celebrations this week, either via drive-ins or with social distancing in mind.

In fact, fair warning, we’re going all-holiday this week. It’s that time of year, folks, 2020 or no. Fair warning II – anything outdoors now is subject to last-minute changes due to COVID stay-at-home orders.

A signature weekend event for Christmas, Hannukah, et al, Balboa Park’s December Nights, downsizes this year to Taste of December Nights. Drive through for good eats, chances at prizes and giveaways for the first 500 cars through each day. Santa makes his appearance between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Take part from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday through Sunday at the Inspiration Point lot off Presidents Way. And no sneaking – no bikes, scooters or walkers allowed.

Make it a Balboa Park two-fer. The San Diego Zoo joins its Safari Park brethren in holiday festing with Jungle Bells, beginning Friday. Go late in the day for lighting displays, DJs and singers offering up Christmas faves, and animals like polar bears and reindeer that prefer the cold. Adult passes start at $60 and reservations are required.

The traditional Happy OB Holidays sign on Newport Avenue. OB hosts an untraditional version of its annual parade this weekend. Photo by Chris Stone

With the Padres hibernating for the winter, Petco Park opens up the Holiday Market and Trail. Enjoy themed displays such as “Winter Wonderland” and “Candyland,” treats and vendors to shop for ornaments or gifts. The event continues through Dec. 24, but some dates are already sold out. Admission costs $14 – book online for an assigned time. In addition, only credit card payments will be accepted at the park.

We’ve had some chilly nights lately so bundle up for Belmont Park’s Holiday Movie nights at Beach House, beginning three Fridays this month. Up this week: Elf.  On Dec. 11, there’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas, then The Santa Clause on Dec. 18. Tickets cost $12 a person. Meanwhile, the main park has Winter Wonder Beachside Saturdays and Sundays through December. Admission is free – you also may bring a gift for the toy drive or gift a pet with a home at the Winter Wonder adoption drive.

The Del Mar Fairgrounds has become the go-to for drive-in events this year. Heck, some of their traditional events transitioned really well, a la The Best Drive-Thru Holiday Light Show, opening Saturday. There’s multiple entries for the show nightly through Jan. 2. Prices start at $49 per car, for four people, rising to $64 with additional passengers.

What’s a reverse parade? It seems so very OB, but it’s simple really – parade-goers will do the driving, past the popular floats, which will be parked in the Dog Beach lot. Ocean Beach hosts the OB Reverse Parade at 5 p.m. Saturday. Admission starts at $15 for residents, and $25 for those outside of 92107, with reservations required online.

Botanic Wonderland at the San Diego Botanic Garden continues on select dates through Dec. 30. The event includes displays of lighted animals, laser shows, fire pits and more. Musicians roam the garden, and hot beverages and food will be available to warm you up. Admission starts at $18, with discounts for seniors, military and children.

– Staff reports

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