Moonlight Beach Holiday Surprise

What better way to kick off the holiday season than watching the annual Moonlight Beach Holiday Surprise? For over 65 years, this Encinitas tradition has delighted both locals and visitors as they watch the switch flip on over 100,000 twinkling holiday lights. The lighting ceremony takes place on the first Saturday of December every year. The free event starts in the late afternoon, giving your group time to explore the beach scene beforehand. Grab tacos at one of the nearby stands or browse the fittingly nautical-themed gift shops. Then head over to Moonlight Beach to secure your spot an hour before the 5:30 PM lighting ceremony. Holiday music and live performances entertain the crowd as anticipation builds. Finally, as the sky darkens, Moonlight Beach suddenly illuminates and the holidays officially begin. After the lighting ceremony finishes, stick around to enjoy the dazzling lights, festive music, visits with Santa, and holiday treats for sale. Or, have your party bus pick you up directly from Sea Cliff Street next to Moonlight Beach so your group can easily head home or to your next destination.

Moonlight Beach 400 B Street Encinitas, CA 92024 (760) 633-2740

Heritage Ranch

For a glimpse into Christmas past, pay a visit to the Heritage Ranch in Encinitas. This living history museum located inside the San Dieguito Heritage Park transports visitors back to the 1880s through its historic ranch buildings, antique furnishings, and costumed interpreters. From late November through mid-December, the ranch hosts its annual Old California Christmas event. You can visit with Father Christmas himself, listen to carolers in period attire, and even take a horse-drawn wagon ride. Historic homes like the Harmony Grove cottage are decked out in full holiday splendor with traditional decorations and candles. Kids will love making old-fashioned crafts like cornhusk dolls and hand-dipped candles to take home. With so much to see and do, your group could easily spend a whole afternoon here. Just make sure to arrive early, as this beloved event fills up fast. Have your party bus drop you off right at the entrance of the Heritage Ranch before parking nearby. That way, your group won’t need to walk far or wait long for transportation after soaking up some old-fashioned holiday spirit.

Heritage Ranch 450 Quail Gardens Dr. Encinitas, CA 92024 (760) 632-9711

Holiday of Lights at Del Mar Fairgrounds

Bask in the glow of a million dazzling lights at the Del Mar Fairgrounds’ annual Holiday of Lights event. This drive-through light show takes place select nights from late November through early January, giving your group over a month to experience the magic. Tracks of colorful displays, twinkling tunnels, and larger-than-life holiday scenes will have you ooh-ing and ahh-ing around every turn. Pair your visit with some classic fair fare like corn dogs, funnel cake, and hot chocolate to make it a evening out. Your party bus can drop your group right at the fairgrounds’ Solana Gate entrance on Jimmy Durante Blvd. The event runs from 5:30 to 10 PM most evenings, so you’ll have plenty of time to soak up the lights before boarding your bus again for the ride back.

Holiday of Lights Del Mar Fairgrounds 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd Del Mar, CA 92014 (858) 755-1161

Holiday Nights in the Garden

For a dose of natural beauty this holiday season, your group can’t miss Holiday Nights in the Garden at the San Diego Botanic Garden. This annual event sees the gardens transformed into a twinkling winter wonderland. Gentle snow falls, holiday music fills the air, and thousands of lights adorn the trees and plants. You can wander through the luminous gardens on your own or join a guided walking tour. Festive treats from gourmet food trucks and holiday shops stocked with locally made gifts add to the merry experience. Your party bus can drop you right at the entrance to the gardens, located just off Quail Gardens Drive. Holiday Nights takes place on various evenings from late November through the end of December. Tickets often sell out up to a week in advance, so book yours early.

San Diego Botanic Garden 230 Quail Gardens Dr. Encinitas, CA 92024 (760) 436-3036

Encinitas Holiday Parade

What holiday season would be complete without a parade? The Encinitas Holiday Parade takes place every December, with the route running right along Coast Highway 101 through the heart of downtown. Your group will love waving to jolly floats decked out in shimmering lights, balloons, and festive decor. Marching bands, dance troupes, and local dignitaries also join the procession, which draws thousands of spectators each year. Arrive at least an hour early to claim your prime viewing spot before the 5:30 PM start time. Have your party bus drop you near the intersection of F Street and Coast Hwy 101 downtown. That will put you in the center of the action to see the parade go by. Once it concludes, your bus can be waiting nearby to whisk your group off to a holiday dinner or your next adventure.

Encinitas Holiday Parade Coast Hwy 101 & F St. Encinitas, CA 92024

Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

While the Moonlight Beach lighting ceremony officially kicks off the holiday season in Encinitas, the city hosts another special tree lighting tradition in late November. Head to the lawn in front of Encinitas City Hall the day after Thanksgiving for the annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. Starting in the late afternoon, festive tunes and free cookies, cocoa, and crafts will get your group in the holiday spirit. Then as darkness descends, the towering tree before City Hall illuminates with thousands of twinkling lights. Enjoy carols from local choirs and a visit from Santa himself immediately following the ceremonial lighting. Have your party bus drop your group near City Hall ahead of time so you can claim the best viewing spot.

Encinitas City Hall 505 S. Vulcan Ave. Encinitas, CA 92024

Holiday Boat Parade

For an unforgettable holiday experience, your group can see Encinitas from a whole new perspective aboard a party bus during the San Diego Holiday Boat Parade. On two nights in mid-December, elaborately decorated boats of all sizes light up San Diego’s harbor and coastline. Pack up your party bus and head to Coast Hwy 101 along Swami’s Beach for a front-row view as the parade passes by. Your group can munch on holiday treats while waving at the festive boats gliding across the moonlit waves. If you want an even closer look, book a two-hour Holiday Boat Parade cruise. Catch glimpses of stunning waterfront homes decked out for the holidays between sips of hot cider and cocoa as you sail alongside the parade.

San Diego Holiday Boat Parade Coast Hwy 101 at Swami’s Beach Encinitas, CA 92024

Surfing Santa & Elves

Only in Southern California can Santa catch waves in board shorts! For a completely unique holiday experience, bring your group to the annual Surfing Santa & Elves event at Moonlight Beach. Held on the Sunday before Christmas each year, you’ll see Old Saint Nick and his trusty elves hit the waves on surfboards and stand-up paddleboards. It’s quite the sight watching Santa hang ten on Christmas Eve eve! After watching Santa and friends shred some waves, your group can pose for festive beach photos and grab shave ice or tacos from nearby food stands. Arrive early at Moonlight Beach to claim front-row seating along the boardwalk before the surf show begins. Have your party bus drop you right off on B Street, then settle in for a morning of holiday beach fun unlike anywhere else.

Surfing Santa & Elves Moonlight Beach 400 B Street Encinitas, CA 92024

Rent a Party Bus For Your Holiday Adventures

However you choose to celebrate this season, a party bus rental from Encinitas Party Bus Company can make getting there easy. Our comfortable, convenient coaches allow your whole group to travel together in style. No need to fight traffic or hunt for parking – our professional team handling it all. From company celebrations to nights out with friends, we’ll get your group in the holiday spirit. And our team is standing by 24/7 to help you plan the perfect holiday transportation. Just give us a call today at 442-232-4465 when you’re ready to reserve your party bus. Happy holidays from your friends at Encinitas Party Bus Company!