SeaWorld San Diego’s Christmas Celebration is underway and included with park admission! Guests will be treated to some much-needed holiday cheer complete with sparkling lights, decorations, and holiday festivities. The theme park is open on select dates as an accredited zoo and enhanced health and safety measures. Here are 14 things to look forward to when you go between now and January 4, 2021.

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NEW SeaWorld San Diego Christmas Activities

Rides are closed but during the holiday season there is still plenty of fun to be had throughout this popular theme park.

1. Cookies and Photos with Santa

Santa will tell a Christmas story while guests enjoy cookies and activity sheets at single-party tables outside. It’s an upgraded experience, but you’ll also receive a physically-distanced photo with Santa.

2. Santa Presents: Christmas Animals Around the World

Join Santa at Nautilus Amphitheater as he shares his favorite holiday-centric animals and holiday traditions from around the globe.

3. Rudolph’s Movie Experience

Watch a shortened version of the classic tale on the park’s 150-foot outdoor screen and keep an eye out for a live appearance by Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

4. Kwanzaa Festivities

If you can visit SeaWorld San Diego between December 26 and January 1, you’ll be treated to nightly lighting of the kinara and Kwanzaa festivities that celebrate African heritage.

5. Stocking Stuffer Christmas Trail

SeaWorld San Diego’s Christmas Celebration would not be complete without fun treats. Bring the kids under age 12 to explore various areas of the park to collect sweets, small toys, and other fun trinkets that will drop into their bags (available for purchase in retail shops) through a chute.

6. Christmas Treasure Hunt

Santa has gifts for all of his eight reindeer, and you’ll need to search the park to find them. Grab a map and mark each location once you find each present. Then, take your completed treasure map (available for purchase) to the SeaWorld Store for a special gift!

Returning Favorites From Prior Years

Guests of last year’s SeaWorld San Diego Christmas Celebration will be treated to some of the same events, which have been modified to fit today’s environment.

7. Sesame Street Christmas Village

Elmo and friends hold gifts and pose in front of a Christmas tree.
Take photos with Elmo and friends (Photo credit: SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment)

Take physically-distanced photos with your favorite Sesame Street characters decked out in holiday attire while enjoying the

8. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Rudolph and friends in front of holiday decor at SeaWorld San Diego's Christmas Celebration.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer © & ® or ™ The Rudolph Co., L.P. All elements under license to Character Arts, LLC. All rights reserved

Included with park admission is the chance to take a physically-distanced photo with Rudolph and his friends Bumble, Yukon, and Clarice with your smartphone or camera. If you’d like a digital print or photo file, these are available for an additional cost.

9. Holly Jolly Marketplace

It wouldn’t be a Christmas celebration without a little bit of shopping. Stock up on some gifts and decor as the seasonal boutique will feature plenty of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer merchandise.

10. Hanukkah Celebration

Between December 10 and 18, guests will be able to view the traditional lighting of the menorah throughout Hanukkah

11. Photo Backdrops

Fill your Instagram feed or perhaps snap the perfect holiday card photo in front of the various greeting card backdrops throughout the park ranging from Santa’s sleigh to a menorah display at the Manta roller coaster, one of SeaWorld San Diego’s best rides (which sadly are not operational at this time).

12. The Tunnel of Lights

Walk through the more than 5,000 colorful lights as they shimmer to holiday music in the Tunnel of Lights.

13. Fan Favorite Live Animal Presentations and Outdoor Exhibits

Two dolphins swim underwater at Dolphin Point.
Say hello to the dolphins at Dolphin Point (Photo credit: SeaWorld San Diego)

These outdoor activities and attractions are available and what guests have been enjoying successfully since the park reopening. The world-famous Dolphin, Sea Lion, and Orca Encounter live educational presentations that occur throughout the day with physical distancing in place.

You’ll also be able to see outdoor animal attractions showcasing dolphins, bat rays, Magellanic penguins, bamboo sharks, flamingoes, sea otters, seals, sea lions, turtles, and more.

14. Holiday-Inspired Food

You will definitely eat, drink, and be merry at SeaWorld San Diego this season with treats like peppermint cheesecake, SeaWorld San Diego’s famous hot chocolate with toppings like peppermint crumbles, winter cocktails, limited-release holiday craft beer, glazed ham sliders, and more.

Plan a day to visit SeaWorld San Diego’s Christmas Celebration this year because there really will be plenty to do. And, don’t forget to shop their Black Friday sale on tickets, Fun Cards, and Annual Passes.

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