Getting decked out for the holidays has become a full-on extravaganza at San Diego’s world-class zoo, in Balboa Park. Get into the spirit with a ride on the Polar Express, using 4-D special effects to make you feel as if you’re riding to Santa’s North Pole home. Twinkle Light Trolley lets you tour the grounds after dark to take in lighted displays, such as the Northern Frontiers Holiday Forest, with specially designed, lighted trees and displays of winter-loving animals. Also enjoy carolers, musicians, storytellers, elves flipping around in their trampoline workshop, and—of course—a huge decorated tree.
Balboa Park gets dolled up during the holidays too. Visit during the annual December Nights event for special music and dance performances, special activities and crafts, holiday foods from around the world, and spectacular displays in the Botanical Building.