Kick off the holiday season this year with three free celebrations: 

Annual Holiday Tree Lighting & Winter Wonderland

Saturday, December 3, 2016

3-8 p.m. California Center for the Arts, Escondido

This annual community event brings the North Pole to the heart of Escondido. Children will have the chance to frolic in real snow, decorate their very own Christmas cookies, and even rendezvous with live reindeer!

The highlight for kids is, of course, Santa Claus himself, but there will also be a number of holiday-themed entertainers—from carolers, to stilt walkers, to hula dancers—for all ages to enjoy. Food and drink will be available to warm your hands and hearts, and a number of local businesses will be displaying their wares for your holiday shopping needs. At dusk, a Winter Wonderland Forest will come alive with twinkling lights, and no one will be able to resist the holiday spirit! There are always a few extra surprises in store, so don’t miss your chance to celebrate the holidays at the Center! For more information visit www.artcenter.org 

Escondido Jaycees 66th Annual Christmas Parade

Saturday, December 10, 2016

9:30 a.m. Broadway (Between Escondido High and Grape Day Park) 

This beloved Escondido tradition attracts tens of thousands of spectators each year from everywhere in San Diego County. This year’s theme is “Christmas on Route 66.”  For more information, visit http://www.escondidojaycees.com 

Christmas on Maple

Saturday, December 10, 2016

10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Maple Plaza and South Maple 

This event follows the 66th Annual Jaycees Christmas Parade with lots of fun FREE activities for your family. There will be performances, carolers, musicians, cookie decorating, kids crafting by Home Depot, food trucks and pictures with Santa Claus and much more. For more information visit www.christmasonmaple.com