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 5 – 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 5 – 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!

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

County of San Diego

Gold Sponsors of the Garden of Lights.

The Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians

The Rincon Band of
Luiseno Indians
 Shea Homes

Shea Homes

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

Adult members $10; Adult non-members $15
All seniors, active military and students $10; All children ages 3-12, $5. Children 2 and under, free. 
There will be additional fees for some activities.

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.

Watch the GOL video – click here

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 area

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 Jitterbean 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

Party Venue Available for the Holidays

Our intimate Lawn House and patio area is available for daytime or evening rental during the month of December for your holiday wedding, special celebration or employee party. An evening party becomes your party inside Garden of Lights!

Book your holiday event today by calling 760/ 436–3036 x205 or emailing Lita Dantes at Rental includes tables and chairs for up to 70 guests.

Garden of Lights

Banner Photos by John John Bryant and Rachel Cobb