Garden of Lights

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

Garden of Lights 2016

December 3 – 23 and 26 – 30
5 – 9 pm

Garden of Lights

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.

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 Jitter Bean, 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
  • Marshmallow Roasting
  • Visits with Santa (December 3 – 23)
  • Hot Mulled Wine
  • Snow for sledding (on selected evenings)
  • Puppet Shows (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!

(Sunday – Thursday):
Members $10; seniors, active military, and students $10; non-members $15.
Children ages 3–12, $6.

There will be additional fees for some activities.

Admission on Premium Nights
(Friday and Saturday):
Members, Seniors, Military $10, Non-Members $20, Youth $5

Watch the GOL video – click here


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

County of San Diego

Gold Sponsors of the Garden of Lights.

Garden of Light sponsorship opportunities are now available!
Please contact Carolyn Zollars
at or 760/ 436-3036 x216.

Garden of Lights

2016 Activities Calendar

DATE % Chance
of Snow*
Entertainment Horse &
  Garden of Lights Garden of Lights Garden of Lights Garden of Lights

*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.

Children’s Crafts – Crafts are available each night in the Ecke Building

Visits with Santa – Available each night through December 23

Marshmallow Roasting –
Available each night in the Lawn House Patio

Food by Red Oven Artisanal Pizza –
Delicious, hot fresh personal pizzas made in Red Oven’s mobile kitchen available near the Larabee House. Red Oven specializes in authentic ‘la vera pizza Napoleana’ – true wood-fired culinary artistry!

Refreshments, Coffee & More at The Coffee Cart – Hot craft coffee, refreshing drinks and energizing snacks will be available at The Jitter Bean Coffee Cart, located next to the Gift Shops.

All Activities Are Subject To Change Without Notice


Garden of Lights

Banner Photos by John John Bryant and Rachel Cobb