Things to Do at the Hotel Del Coronado During the Holidays

Where else can you ice skate steps from the ocean?

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One of the best places in San Diego to celebrate the holidays is at the iconic Hotel Del Coronado. The luxury hotel will offer a full lineup of holiday activities including Skating by the Sea, the renowned ice-skating rink overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and so much more festive fun for 2018.

See also: 15 Things to Do at the Hotel Del Coronado

Skating by the Sea

Daily from November 22 — January 1

Skating by the Sea is truly a Southern California experience and a great thing to do in San Diego with kids during the holiday season. This spectacular rink is located on the Windsor Lawn and features stunning views of the ocean and Coronado beach.

Skating sessions will be offered daily from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of San Diego. Note that opening times vary by day.

View their detailed schedule of opening hours online. Guests may also reserve their own rink-side lounge at Frostbite: A Place to Chill, featuring seating for 4-6 around a fire pit and food and beverage service.

Skating is $30 per person and includes skate rentals. Buy tickets in advance though reservations to skate are not required.

Thanksgiving Day Buffet

Thursday, November 22

The resort’s holiday programs will kick off Thanksgiving weekend, beginning with a lavish buffet in the oceanfront Ballroom and in the iconic Crown Room on November 22, from 12:00—6:30 p.m. View the menu and make reservations online. The cost is $145 for adults and $50 for children ages 6—10. Children ages 5 and under are free.

Holiday Festival

Wednesday, November 28 

On Wednesday, November 28, from 4:00—7 p.m., The Del will host its annual Holiday Festival for the entire family. In addition to the outdoor ice rink, there will be a private fireworks display, performances by Coronado school children, photo opportunities with Santa and his elves, and holiday booths with games and prizes.

Sunday Brunch with Santa

Sundays; December 2, 9, 16 & 23

During The Del’s festive Sunday Brunch, kids of all ages can visit jolly ol’ St. Nick in the Crown Room. Reservations are available between 9 a.m. — 1 p.m. The cost is $105 for adults, and $40 for children ages 6-10. Children ages 5 and under are free. Make reservations and read further detail online.

Chanukah Menorah Lighting

December 2-9

Join The Del as they light the menorah in the lobby to celebrate each night of Chanukah. Most nights it is held at 4:45 p.m. Check the detailed nightly schedule.

Hanukkah On Ice

December 5

Celebrate Hanukkah on December 5, from 5:00 — 7 p.m. at the Del’s Skating By The Sea (see above). Chabad of San Diego hosts a special skating session, Menorah lighting and Chanukah treats at Chanukah on Ice.

Holiday Surrey Sleigh Rides Around Coronado

December 14 — January 6

Take a festive, guided surrey “sleigh” tour of Coronado nightly between December 14 — January 6 from 6:00 — 7 p.m. Participating riders receive wireless headsets enabling knowledgeable guides to take them on a pedal-powered tour of Coronado’s festively decorated neighborhoods. Adults (15+) are $30. Children ages 6-14 are $15. Children ages 1-5 are $15. Kids under 1-year-old are free.

Santa Spin

December 15

Wear your most festive Santa hat to this special spin class on December 15, 8:30 a.m. — 9:30 a.m. and compete to win a Jingle Roast private beach bonfire for four. Price is $25 ($15 for local residents with photo ID; $10 for Members). Reserve your spot at least a day in advance.

A Christmas Legend Painting By The Sea

December 15

On December 15, from 3:00 — 4:30 p.m., join artist Jeff Granito as he guides you through the process of creating holiday themed artwork while you enjoy wine or beer and music. The class cost is $85 per person and includes an 11″ x 14″ canvas.

Skating With Tara Lipinski

December 15

On December 15, from 4:00 — 5 p.m., up to 50 children (of varying skill levels) are invited to join Olympic Gold Medalist Tata Lipinski for a skate session at Skating By The Sea. Tickets include hot chocolate and cookies and a photo opportunity with Tara Lipinski. The cost is $150/child.

Holiday Movies At the Beach

December 15 and 22

Watch favorite holiday-themed films (The Santa Clause on December 15 and Elf on December 22) in a “theater under the stars” on Del Beach. Lounge in a beach daybed or in a sand chair, enjoying s’mores as well. Tickets are $20 per person or $300 for the special VIP Family Movie Package. Reserve online.

Victorian Tea

December 17-21 

Victorian Tea at The Del returns for the holidays between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. This charming tradition features dozens of traditional tea varieties served with finger sandwiches, classic tea cookies, and tarts. The cost is $65 for adults, and $35 for children ages 6-10. Children ages 5 and under are free. Make reservations onlinee.

Stockings and Stories

December 18-24

From December 18-24, from 3:00 — 4 p.m., children may join the Del’s elves for stockings & stories. Children ages 12 and under are $35 each. Children ages 4 and under must be accompanied by an adult.

Jingle Roasts

December 18-24

From December 18-24, from 6:00 — 9:30 p.m., gather friends and family around the fire on the beach at sunset for a Jingle Roast at the Hotel Del Coronado. Colorful Santa hats and holiday s’mores are included but you can also opt for a full menu of fireside franks and other roasted favorites. Fire pits are $125 for 1 hour with optional add-on extras also available. 

Polar Bear Tea

December 22

On December 22, from 11 a.m. — 4 p.m., families are invited to Polar Bear Tea for a classic tea experience with a family twist. A special children’s spread will include activities, book readings with Mrs. Claus and more. Bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to Toys for Tots and receive a plush polar bear keepsake gift from Coca-Cola. The cost is $65 for adults and $35 for children ages 6-10. Children ages 5 and under are free.

Painting By The Sea

December 15, 22, 29

On December 15, 22, and 29, from 3:00 — 4:30 p.m., channel your inner artist as a professional guides you, through the process of creating holiday-themed artwork while you sip wine or beer and listen to music at Painting by the Sea. Cost is $85 per person and includes a 11″ x 14″ canvas.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Dining

December 24 and December 25

Celebrate Christmas Eve with a lavish four-course dinner from 4:00 — 8 p.m. in the magnificent Crown Room. The cost is $140 for adults, $55 for children ages 6-10, and children ages 5 and under are free.

On Christmas Day, from 11 a.m. — 5 p.m., enjoy a holiday feast in the oceanfront Ballroom or the historic Crown Room. The cost is $140 for adults, $50 for children ages 6-10, and children ages 5 and under are free.

New Year’s Eve Gala

December 31

The Del is the perfect place to ring in the New Year. The annual New Year’s Eve Gala begins with a cocktail hour in the historic Crown Room from 7:00 — 8 p.m. From 8:00 p.m. — 1 a.m., the oceanfront ballroom at Hotel del Coronado will be transformed into a lavish Big Top titled The World’s Greatest Legend. Guests will enjoy a 5-course dinner, grand open bar, and music from The Mighty Untouchables. This event is for ages 21 and over only and priced at $375/person ($425 for VIP Ringside seating).

Kids and Teens New Year’s Eve Party

December 31

From 7 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., kids and teens ages 4-17 may enjoy their own New Year’s Eve party and dinner. Segregated by age groups. Kids 4-7 will celebrate together, as will those ages 8-12 and 13-17. The cost is $125/child ($100 for 2nd and more kids).

New Year’s Resolution Spin Class

January 1

On January 1, from 7:30 a.m. — 8:30 a.m. enjoy a New Year’s Resolution Spin Class and compete to win a New Year’s Day brunch for 2. Same day reservations are not available. Price is $25 ($15 for local residents with photo ID; $10 for Members). .

New Year’s Day Brunch

Monday, January 1

Recover from a fun night out at The Del’s annual New Year’s Day Champagne Brunch. Served in the historic Crown Room guests enjoy a chilled seafood bar, carving stations, gourmet Bloody Mary bar, made-to-order mimosas, and a spectacular candy and desert bar. The cost is $140 for adults, $50 for children ages 6-10 and children ages 5 and under are free.

Holiday Shopping and The Annual Christmas Ornament

This year’s Annual Collector’s Ornament celebrates 130 years of The Del and comes in a beautiful, padded gift box, ready for both travel and gift-giving. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Coronado Schools Foundation. You can view it on their website and order it online.

And, let’s not forget holiday shopping the various stores on-site like Babcock & Story Emporium and Spreckels Sweets & Treats.

A Special Holiday Room Package

Would you like to stay overnight during the holidays? The Skating by the Sea package includes overnight accommodations and two Skating by the Sea passes daily. Book this directly through Hilton.

Book the Skating by the Sea Package

If you won’t be skating or are considering a longer stay, it might be more beneficial to book with Virtuoso benefits that can include complimentary breakfast for two, a $100 spa credit, room upgrade (subject to availability). Please do note that this is an extremely busy hotel during the holiday season.

Book the Virtuoso Rate*

*If on mobile, scroll down to the footer and click “Full Site” to access online rates and booking.

See also: The Most Luxurious San Diego Beach Vacation: Beach Village at the Del

Other Tips

The Hotel Del Coronado is a popular place to spend the holiday season. Reservations for any dining, spa, and special events are highly encouraged and can be made online via the Hotel Del Coronado’s event page.

Also, please note that as of October 24, 2018, the entire hotel is valet parking only.

What is your favorite thing to do at the Hotel Del Coronado during the holidays?

*Photo used courtesy of Hotel Del Coronado

The Hotel Del Coronado offers some of the best holiday events in San Diego from Skating by the Sea to Victorian tea.
Where else can you ice skate steps from the ocean other than San Diego's Hotel Del Coronado?
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2 Comments

  1. December 15, 2015 at 9:05 pm — Reply

    Great post! Though we’ve live in Coronado, The Del has continues to be a Christmas destination for us for over 24 years. I also collect the ornaments (but don’t have 24 because I don’t always like the design), and part of the proceeds benefit the Coronado Schools Foundation. Fab place all around!

  2. December 12, 2015 at 6:34 pm — Reply

    I love this hotel they’re so fun

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