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SD Botanic Garden’s Annual Garden of Lights Begins December 3

San Diego Botanic Garden’s Annual Gift to the San Diego Community

Encinitas CA— After the sun goes down in December, the San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas is transformed into a dazzling winter wonderland! More than 125,000 sparkling lights illuminate the flora of this fantastic 37-acre urban oasis each evening from 5 – 9 pm for a magical holiday experience.

Bring the family and experience the magic as 100,000 sparkling lights illuminate several spectacular Garden areas, including the iconic Lawn Garden, Tropical Rainforest, Waterfall Deck, Undersea Succulent Garden, Eucalyptus Grove, Seeds of Wonder (children’s area) and Bamboo Garden, containing the nation’s largest collection of bamboo.

Garden of Lights, from December 3 – 23 & 26 – 30, is the San Diego Botanic Garden’s annual gift to the San Diego Community. Garden of Lights has events and activities that everyone in your family will enjoy. Nightly entertainment, including local blues and jazz bands, as well as delicious food from Red Oven Artisanal Pizza and Pasta, and hot coffee and treats from the Feel Good Coffee Cart, will be available. Numerous family-friendly activities are also part of the festivities including:

  • Horse-drawn wagon rides (on selected evenings)
  • Holiday Crafts
  • Spin Art
  • Entertainment – Every Night
  • Visits with Santa (December 3 – 23)
  • Hot Mulled Wine (on selected evenings)
  • Snow for sledding (on selected evenings)
  • Holiday Carolers (on selected evenings)
  • Nutcracker display

Unique plant-related gift items will be on sale at our Gift Shops for the plant lovers in your life. Cork purses, garden-themed jewelry, hats, aprons, candles, and garden art are all available. As well as winter plants, ready to enhance your holiday garden.

Come out and experience the holidays ‘Southern California Style’ at San Diego Botanic Garden’s Garden of Lights!

  • Admission (Sunday – Thursday): Members $10; seniors, active military, and students $10; non-members $15. Children ages 3–12, $5. Children 2 and under free. There will be additional fees for some activities.
  •  Admission on Premium Nights (Friday and Saturday):  Members, Seniors, Military $10, Non-Members $20, Children ages 3-12 $5. Children 2 and under free. There will be additional fees for some activities.
  • Tickets for Garden of Lights are available at the Welcome Center at the SD Botanic Garden on the evening of visitation. There are no advance ticket sales available at the Garden or on the website.

2016 Activities Calendar

DATE % Chance
of Snow*
Entertainment Horse &
Dec 3
100% YES Silver Wood – duo NO
Dec 4
50% YES Joe Rathburn – An Eclectic Accoustic Holiday NO
Dec 5
100% YES The guitar & vocal sounds of ‘JJ’ Jenkins NO
Dec 6
50% YES The Jolly Holidays –
a traditional Holiday Celebration
Wed, Dec 7 100% YES Ecke YMCA dance group NO
Thur, Dec 8 50% YES Moonlight Youth
Holiday Stars
Dec 9
50% YES Latin Holidays with
The Ray Briz Trio
Dec 10
100% YES Sacha Boutros wishes you a Merry Christmas! YES
Dec 11
50% YES Peace on Earth Carolers –
A Victorian Christmas
Mon, Dec 12 100% YES The Decembers – A 1950s Christmas celebration YES
Dec 13
50% YES Carlsbad Community Theatre YES
Wed, Dec 14 25% YES Janet Hammer ‘Sweathearts’ trio YES
Thur, Dec 15 N/A YES Highland Way X-Mas Show YES
Dec 16
N/A YES Rhythm Express
(Janet Hammer trio)
Dec 17
N/A YES Leonard Patton singing in the Holidays YES
Dec 18
N/A YES Mariachi imperial de
san diego
Mon, Dec 19 N/A YES Double Take YES
Dec 20
N/A YES Holiday Hipsters Quartet YES
Dec 21
N/A YES Tripp Sprague & the Ray Briz Trio wishing you
Happy Holidays
Dec 22
N/A YES Jimmer Bolden Quartet wishing you Jazzy Holidays YES
Sun, Dec 23 N/A YES Jimmer Bolden Quartet wishing you Jazzy Holidays YES
Mon, Dec 26 100% YES The guitar & vocal sounds
of ‘JJ’ Jenkins
Dec 27
50% YES Joe Rathburn – An Eclectic Accoustic Holiday YES
Dec 28
100% YES Joe Rathburn- An Eclectic Accoustic Holiday YES
Dec 29
50% YES Con Alma wishing you Happy Holidays YES
Dec 30
25% YES Len Rainey & the Midnight Players- Bluesy Holidays YES
*The snow forecast is a “Best Guess” prediction based on information available at the time of posting. All snow activity days are dependent upon the current weather conditions and subject to change.

The Garden of Lights is presented by the County of San Diego.

Shea Homes are Gold Sponsors of Garden of Lights.

About San Diego Botanic Garden

The San Diego Botanic Garden is a beautiful urban retreat nestled on 37-acres in the midst of Encinitas. Visitors enjoy restful vistas, flowering trees, majestic palms, and the nation’s largest bamboo collection. Thanks to our mild Southern California climate, plants from all over the world thrive here. Our diverse topography provides a wide variety of microclimates giving visitors the sensation of strolling through a tropical rainforest to hiking in the desert. Four miles of trails wind through 29 uniquely themed gardens including the acclaimed Hamilton Children’s Garden. In addition, the Garden regularly offers classes covering many topics including water conservation, fire-safe landscaping, hands-on flower and plant arranging, art in various media, and healthy cooking. Visitors and members also participate in frequent special weekend events and Docent-led tours.