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Photo: Rachel Cobb

San Diego Botanic Garden’s Garden of Lights Opens December 1

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 – Southern California Style! More than 125,000 sparkling lights illuminate the flora of this fantastic 37-acre urban oasis each evening from 5 – 8:30 pm for a magical holiday experience.

Bring the family and experience the magic as you wander down the illuminated paths of 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 1 – 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 hot coffee and treats from the Feel Good Coffee Cart, will be available. Numerous family-friendly activities are also part of the festivities including:

  • Visits with Santa (Dec. 1 – 23)
  • Hot Mulled Wine & Beer – every night!
  • Snow for sledding – every night!
  • Horse-drawn Wagon Rides (on selected evenings)
  • Food Trucks – every night!
  • Live entertainment – every night!
  • Holiday Crafts
  • Spin Art
  • Marshmallow Roasting
  • 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!


(Closed December 24 & 25)

Regular Nights 

  • December 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
  • December 10, 11, 12, 13
  • December 17, 18, 19, 20
  • December 27, 28, 29, 30

Adult Non- Member- $18

Adult Members- $10

Seniors (60+) Members & Non-Members- $10

Active Duty U.S. Military Members & Non-Members- $10

Youth (3-17) Members & Non-Members- $5

Premium Nights

  • December 8, 9
  • December 14, 15, 16
  • December 21, 22, 23, 26

Adult Non- Member –  $25

Adult Members – $15

Seniors (60+) Members & Non-Members- $10

Active Duty U.S. Military Members & Non-Members -$10

Youth (3-17) Members & Non-Members- $5

**Coupons will not be accepted for Garden of Lights

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.

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