OK, I know it’s only a few days after Halloween and Thanksgiving is still a few weeks away, but the winter holidays will be here before you know it!
So gather up the family, grab your gift list, Santa hat and mittens (yep, there’s a 55 degree chill her in the air at night – brrrr! 😉 ) and join me on a jolly jaunt to San Diego’s charming East County communities. They really know how to make some merry.
Following are 5 to Try East County Holiday Delights:
1. 66th Annual Mother Goose Parade
The colorful Mother Goose Parade in El Cajon is San Diego’s traditional holiday kick-off, featuring thousands of spectators, colorful floats, marching bands, equestrians and celebrity appearances – fun for the whole family!
Location: Begin at Magnolia and Main, head down Main St. to N. Second Street, turn North then end at Madison.
Date: November 18, 2012
Time: 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, Parade starts at 10:00 AM
> Find out more about the 66th Annual Mother Goose Parade
2. Julian’s Country Christmas Celebration & Tree Lighting
The historic, Norman Rockwell-esque mountain town of Julian kicks off the holidays with a Country Christmas celebration & Tree Lighting, complete with costumed carolers, Santa Claus and, of course, their famous apple pies and piping hot apple cider!
Location: Julian’s Pioneer Park (map)
Date: November 24, 2012
Time: Starts at 4:00 PM. Lighting around 6:00 PM
> Find out more about Julian’s Country Christmas Celebration & Tree Lighting
All aboard the Santa Train North Pole Limited, a Christmas vintage train ride through our rustic backcountry, departing from the Campo Depot. The adventure features Santa and his elves, cookies and hot cocoa, plus a reading of the famous holiday story, The Polar Express. Reserve seats now for this sell-out holiday favorite!
Location: State Highway 94 & Forrest Gate Road, Campo, CA (map)
Dates: Fridays and Saturdays, November 23 – December 22
Times: Trains at 5:00 PM and 7:00 PM (depending on the date)
Cost: $20-$50, Toddlers under 2 are free
> Find out more about Santa Train North Pole Limited
4. Ice Skating at the Viejas Outlet Center
The Peanuts Christmas special always comes to mind at the Viejas Outlet Center, home of the largest outdoor ice skating rink in Southern California!
Location: 5005 Willows Rd Suite 229, Alpine, CA 91901 (map)
Dates: November 16 – January 6, 2012
> Find out more about Ice Skating at the Viejas Outlet Center
5. Alpine Village Christmas Parade of Lights & Snow Festival
The quaint town of Alpine kicks off the season with its Alpine Village Christmas Parade of Lights & Snow Festival, featuring a parade, Santa and his elves, caroling and a big snow mountain for sledding. Snow in San Diego… who knew?!
Location: 1347 Tavern Road, Alpine, CA (map)
Date: December 7, 2012
Time: Starts at 6:30 PM
> Find out more about the Alpine Village Christmas Parade of Lights & Festival
A hearty happy (early) “Ho ho ho” from San Diego! 🙂 Know of any other great East County Holiday events? Let us and other’s know in the comments below.