Enjoy family time this month by checking out the neighborhoods that are showing off their seasonal light displays. We’ve found the most spectacular Christmas lights the San Diego community has to offer this year. So, pile in the car, roll the windows down, crank up the Christmas music – and don’t forget the hot cocoa!


Pico Drive – El Cajon
Now in its 53rd year, this installation wins for longest running annual display. Features include a 20-foot star and 55-foot long automated train.

Belardo Lights – Tierrasanta (5306 N. Belardo Dr.)
This one-home light display is worth the drive for the heartwarming backstory (visit as well as the impressive array of computerized lights that plays in sync with music from 106.1 FM.

Candy Cane Lane – Poway (Hickory Street)This neighborhood adds peppermint panache to its holiday displays (see a preview on their Facebook page, Be prepared to drive slowly, or park and walk.

Christmas Card Lane – Rancho Peñasquitos (Ovieto Street off Black Mountain Road)
For over 25 years, residents of this community have decorated their yards with giant cartoon and Christmas-themed cards. There are now over 200 cards to peruse! Find your favorite – and maybe some free hot chocolate!

Garden of Lights – San Diego Botanic Garden (230 Quail Gardens Dr., Encinitas)
The foliage of the botanic garden turns into a twinkling winter wonderland with more than 125,000 Christmas lights. Check out the event page at for pricing and a complete list of activities and entertainment, including snow sledding and horse-drawn wagon rides.

Garrison Street Lights – Point Loma (3616 Garrison Street) Take in the extensive view as well as the dazzling lights from these hilltop residences.

Holiday Magic – Carmel Mountain Ranch (Fairway Village at Stoney Gate Place) More than 100 homes participate in a cheery holiday display of lights, along with warm drinks, snacks, and music – and even the man in the red suit on occasion. Visit the website for more information on this annual favorite.

Knob Hill – San Marcos (1639 Knob Hill Rd.)From grass to gables, thousands of lights deck out this neighborhood that has drawn visitors from around the world. As he has done for the past 30 years, resident Bill Gilfillen – dubbed “Mr. Christmas” by his neighbors – has spent three months bedazzling his home with more than 100,000 lights. You can also Mr. Claus himself here during the week of Christmas handing out candy canes to little ones.

San Diego Bay Parade of Lights
For the ultimate, go-big display, check out this free event now in its 46th year. Twinkling lights float through the harbor on more than 80 vessels. Visit to find out more.

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