One of our favorite San Diego luxury hotels, Fairmont Grand Del Mar, celebrates the holiday season in grand style with a Winter Wonderland and special dining events.

Here are some of the many things you can do here whether you’re a local resident or hotel guest.

Visit Winter Wonderland at The Grand

Two toy soldiers on stilts stand near the Ferris wheel at Winter Wonderland.
Photo Credit Paul Barnett Photography

Many of these festive activities happen at the second annual Winter Wonderland at The Grand which runs from Saturday, November 30 to Wednesday, January 1, 2020.

Costs: Parking is $20 per car (cash preferred). Food and libations are available for purchase.

Skate on an Outdoor Ice Skating Rink

For the first time, Winter Wonderland at The Grand will feature an outdoor ice skating rink with over 5000 square feet of ice. Outside of some special ice shows on select dates, it will be open skating. $30 online, $35 at the rink.

Ride a Ferris Wheel

The Ferris wheel lit up with colored lights after dark.
Photo Credit Paul Barnett Photography

Ride a Ferris wheel for views of the resort by day or night during Winter Wonderland.

A young child rides a horse on the carousel with her mother holding her in place.
Photo credit: Dustin Becker

There’s nothing like old-fashioned fun for kids than choosing an animal to ride on a carousel.

Spend Sunday’s with Santa

Every Sunday at Winter Wonderland through December 22, Santa will be taking photos and wish lists from 3 – 7 p.m.

Snack on S’mores

Two small children roast s'mores at a table.
Photo Credit Paul Barnett Photography

Roast s’mores around a rinkside fire pit that you can book with skating passes and a s’mores kit.

Drink Bubbles

Photo Credit Paul Barnett Photography

Adults will want to pop into the Moet & Chandon champagne garden at Winter Wonderland. (This is my kind of holiday tree.)

Book Nutcracker Holiday Tea

Two seatings for Nutcracker Holiday Tea are available each day on December 22 – 23 at 10:45 a.m. and 1:45 p.m.

You and your sugarplums will enjoy an abridged performance of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker,” performed by the Scripps Performing Arts Youth Academy. Afternoon tea delights include scrumptious tea sandwiches and French pastries.

$72 per adult, $45 per child (ages 4 – 12). Reservations: 858-314-1996.

Dine at Addison or Amaya on Christmas Eve

Addison, our first and only Michelin-star restaurant, will offer a holiday-inspired eight-course menu from 5 – 8:30 p.m. $275/person.

Or, spend Christmas Eve dinner at Amaya where this fantastic Fairmont Grand Del Mar restaurant will offer either a three- or five-course holiday-inspired tasting menu. $115/adult, $55/child.

Make reservations for either fabulous dining experience at 858-314-1996.

Enjoy a Grand Christmas Brunch

After opening gifts from Santa, head over to Fairmont Grand Del Mar for The Grand Christmas Brunch between 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. on December 25. Live music accompanies a lavish buffet and décor. $129/adult and $55/child ages 4 – 12.

Stay Overnight

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Fairmont Grand Del Mar's Christmas tree in the lobby.
Photo Credit Paul Barnett Photography

Fairmont Grand Del Mar is one of the hotels that I recommend when people ask me where to stay in San Diego.

The best way to enjoy their holiday activities is to check in as an overnight guest. You can choose between their Stay. Play. Be Merry. package which includes a luxury guest room or suite accommodations, 2 ice skating rink tickets per day, 1 s’mores kit and complimentary valet. 

Or, I can book you in as a Virtuoso guest. Value-added amenities at no cost to you include:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability (excluding suites)
  • Daily continental breakfast for up to two in-room guests, served in Amaya or in-room dining (up to $70 per room, per day)
  • $100 USD Activity credit per stay, valid for golf play, golf instruction, the Spa services, and/or Explorer’s Club fees to be utilized during stay (cannot be combined, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full – not valid toward retail or Haim Salon Services)
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

*If viewing on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Full Site” to access rates and booking. When searching rates on Virtuoso, do not input your children as it will price them as adults. Mention how many kids you’re traveling with (and ages) in the special requests section and I’ll add them when I double-check your reservation.

It may be San Diego, but remember it does get chilly in the evenings especially for those on the outdoor ice skating rink. Remember, to dress accordingly!

Katie Dillon headshot

Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).

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