Just north of San Diego in Encinitas sits a hidden gem, the San Diego Botanic Garden (not to be confused with the Botanical Garden in Balboa Park). For almost the entire month of December, thousands of twinkling bulbs brighten up the gardens with holiday cheer and during the Garden of Lights!

Bring the whole family or that special someone to the Garden of Lights for a night of holiday festivities including the ever important meet-and-greet with Santa in the beautifully decorated gazebo, live music and entertainment, food, warm drinks, and a warm fire complete with smores. As an added bonus, snow mountain and horse-drawn wagon rides are offered on select nights.

I took the family on a “cold” San Diego winter night and we had a blast. With hot apple cider to warm our hands and live holiday tunes (sung with Scottish accents) to accompany us, we walked around the gardens marveling at the lights wrapped around the amazing flora. Even with the crowds, the wife and I were able enjoy a sit and steal a mistletoe kiss or two on a secluded bench with the lights as a romantic backdrop. Just don’t tell our son who napped in the warm embrace of his Moby Wrap. đŸ™‚

So whether you go with that special someone or bring the kids, please don’t forget the camera! You can see why in the photos below.

Garden of Lights Information

Where: San Diego Botanic Gardens – 230 Quail Gardens Dr, Encinitas, CA 92024
When: During the month of December
Time: 5:00 to 9:00 PM
Cost: $6-$14 (2013 prices)
> Find out more about the San Diego Botanic Gardens’ Garden of Lights

Photos of the Garden of Lights