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November 23, 2011

25 Free Things to Do in San Diego, CA This Winter

From traditional holiday parades and festivals to the migration of California gray whales along the Pacific coast, a visit to San Diego during the winter offers a wealth of free, fun and festive experiences. Visitors to the region can escape overcast skies and the wintry cold for San Diego's brilliant sunshine and temperate climate and enjoy diverse wintertime experiences.

The following suggestions for free activities and events are sure to capture the imagination and lift the spirits of visitors to San Diego during the upcoming winter months.

  1. Join the festivities during Balboa Park December Nights, a two-day holiday celebration of food, entertainment and fun on December 2 - 3. The numerous museums and cultural institutions in Balboa Park, the nation's largest urban cultural park, open their doors free of charge, and festivities include carolers, live music, holiday light displays, theater and dance performances and delicious foods from around the world.

  2. Witness a tradition that began as a gift to the children of San Diego in 1947 - the Annual Mother Goose Parade on November 20 in the East County city of El Cajon. One of the biggest parades of its kind in the country and the largest single-day event in San Diego County, the parade features floats, clowns, Santa Claus, marching bands, equestrian teams and celebrity appearances.

  3. Whale watch from the shores and cliffs of Point Loma, as California gray whales migrate south to the warm water breeding grounds off the coast of Baja, California. Spectators can catch a spectacular show during December through April when these majestic mammals pass through the waters off San Diego's coastline.

  4. Be part of a grand Holiday Celebration on December 2 in Coronado with a festive parade along Orange Avenue, the lighting of a 75-foot Christmas tree, holiday music and a firework show over Glorietta Bay.

  5. Enjoy free organ concerts at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park beginning at 2 p.m. each Sunday. The Organ Pavilion features the world's largest outdoor pipe organ, where organists resound holiday favorites, waltzes and show tunes from the organ's monstrous 32-foot lead alloy pipes. [See all 25 events]


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