Celebrating the holidays this year may be different in a lot of ways. But your favorite park is still here to serve up some extra helpings of seasonal joy. Eating, strolling, shopping, and outdoor adventures are decked with all the holiday trimmings you’ve come to know and love.

1. Are You On Santa’s Good List?

Santa’s sleigh and reindeer are once again ready to take flight as the centerpiece of the Plaza de Panama and El Prado holiday lights and decorations. Twilight hours and evenings are the best time to take in Balboa Park under the lights.

2. Retail Therapy

More than a dozen gift stores, including our own Visitors Center, continue to offer one-of-a-kind culturally inspired treasures you won’t find anywhere else—all within easy walking distance amid historic architecture.

3. Fuel For Foodies

Whether you’re wrapping or working, this time of year can be stressful. Take a respite from the race, and grab great takeout from the park’s Prado Restaurant, Panama 66, or Japanese Tea Pavilion. Take it one step further and eat al fresco—Balboa Park still offers the most beautiful range of scenery for outdoor eating in San Diego. Why not pack a picnic blanket or check out the new seating area in the renovated Palisades Plaza?

4. Walk It Off

Burning off those extra holiday treats doesn’t need to feel like a chore. Balboa Park’s miles of marked trails and wide-open landscapes provide ample spaces to stay physically distanced while being physically active within your pod.

5. #NoFilter Needed

Among the millions of Instagram worthy photo ops in Balboa Park, the gardens continue to deliver drop dead gorgeous backdrops for selfies and family photos alike. Now is the perfect time to take advantage of the recently restored Alcazar Garden, Old Cactus Garden, and Casa del Prado Courtyard for inspired images. Don’t forget to tag your photos with #LoveBalboaPark.