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Del Mar Holiday Lights
In San Diego County, the Del Mar Fairgrounds' "Holiday of Lights" is an annual Christmas tradition!
In the slide show above, you're viewing pictures of beautiful Christmas decorations at the Del Mar Holiday of Lights! As you can see, this festival features cute scenes depicting Santa Claus, reindeer, holiday traditions and other interesting themes. On this page, you'll discover what this festive event is all about, and get the details you need to plan your family outing.
Del Mar Holiday of Lights is CLOSED in 2013
Widening of the race track is being doneThe Del Mar Holiday of Lights is a huge decorative display of over 400 scenes, made entirely of Christmas lights. It is held annually at San Diego County's Del Mar Fairgrounds during the Christmas/New Year's season. This annual holiday event has become a tradition in many households...and with good reason. Del Mar's holiday lights are beautiful, and the price to enter is reasonable. Visiting the Del Mar Holiday Light display is a fun way to usher in the holidays in Southern California!
HOWEVER, IN 2013, THIS ATTRACTION WILL BE CLOSED FOR THE ENTIRE HOLIDAY SEASON. This is going to be heart-breaking news for the many families that make the Del Mar lights an annual tradition.
Both SeaWorld San Diego and Legoland--Carlsbad will have major Christmas celebrations. However, they're much more expensive than the Del Mar Lights. If you do visit one of the San Diego theme parks, you'll surely have a memorable visit that will looked-back upon by your family for years to come.
On the rest of this page, you can see pictures of the Del Mar Holiday of Lights...and plan for your visit in 2014.
Del Mar Holiday of Lights pictures
Traditional Christmas themes comprise part of the displaysThe first thing you'll probably want to know about the Del Mar Holiday of Lights is "how many lights are there?"
The Del Mar Fairgrounds displays over 400 separate figures, and each one is made up of dozens of colorful bulbs. That's a lot of Christmas lights!
Imagine the huge size of a horse racing track. Then picture the inside of the race track completely ringed with various holiday displays. And then, when you've driven slowly around the entire track, that's STILL not all of the lights! As you leave the racetrack area, you'll see still another lane filled with holiday displays!
Some of the lights form single figures...like the snowman you see in the picture to your right.
Some of the lights are part of a larger scene, like you see in the image of a deer jumping over a Christmas tree, accompanied by stars and a large blue circle of lights.
Some lighted Christmas displays stand still...while others are "animated" (in motion.)
And in the scene just below, you see Santa Claus and his whole team of reindeer out delivering toys by means of an old-fashioned sleigh. They fly so high up in the sky that you can see the moon. And, in a nod to the strong military presence in San Diego, they also fly over a mighty ship, which has been decorated with red bows for the holidays.
Patriotic themes can also be seen in the vignettesPatriotic themes are not a major focus of the Del Mar Holiday of Lights, but there are some important scenes that add a special touch.
One of these is the giant US flag made out of Christmas lights which hangs high on the Del Mar Fairgrounds grandstand for all to see.
The United States flag is one of the animated displays at this holiday event. Instead of 50 stars being displayed on the background of deep blue, you'll see a twinkling and ever-changing pattern of stars...as if you were looking at the reflection of the nighttime sky in a rippling or wave-tossed pond.
Another touching patriotic holiday light display portrays the raising of the flag at Iwo Jima in WWII.
As you can see in the picture to your right, the Iwo Jima scene faithfully represents the most important points of the famous photograph of this event...even though only Christmas lights are used to re-create the image.
Del Mar Holiday of Lights pictures--Sports themes
Since the Del Mar Fairgrounds houses a racetrack, sports themes are another common element of the Christmas lights displayIt's not unusual for displays of holiday lights to reflect the "personality" of the facility showing them. For example, zoos with Christmas light events often show displays depicting various animals. Another example is the Griffith Park holiday lights display in Los Angeles---many scenes depict features of Griffith Park itself (like the famous Griffith Park Observatory) or of famous sights around the city of LA (like the Los Angeles City Hall building.)
The Del Mar Fairgrounds does a similar thing in its own Christmas lights show. Since the setting is a horse racing track...a sporting event...you can see a number of Christmas lighting displays at the Del Mar Holiday of Lights which picture various types of sports.
In the photo above, you can see a whimsical lighting display depicting a polar bear playing golf! This is one of the park's many animated displays; as you look, you see Mr. Polar Bear making his putt. What we don't know is if he managed to sink it!
In the Del Mar Holiday Lights pictures to your right and below, you see 2 different displays depicting a sport very near & dear to the Del Mar Fairgrounds: horse riding!
As you can see, this volleyball game pits the skills of the green-clad elf team against the elves who are dressed in red. This is one of the attractions's animated displays...and as you drive along slowly beside this scene, you can see the ball being tossed backwards and forwards from one side of the net to the other.
The skills of Santa's elves seem evenly matched---no matter how long you watch, you'll never see one of them drop the ball!
Del Mar Holiday Lights -- Other themesAfter the many Christmas, sports and patriotic scenes have passed, you'll still see MORE settings made of holiday lights. These depict a variety of themes.
To your left, you see the picture of a dinosaur marching by a palm tree. His ferocious teeth are the most obvious part of the display...and it looks like he's out to hunt his next meal!
To your right, you see a picture of a coloful carnival, including a hot air balloon, carousel, and Ferris wheel.
Actually, this scene represents one of the other "faces" of the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Not only a home to horse racing and the Christmas-time light displays, the Del Mar Fairgrounds is also host to the San Diego County Fair every summer! (For a link to SD County Fair information, see the bottom of this page.)
In this large lighted display, you see multiple elements forming the whole vignette. A waterfront house has its own lakeside dock (and, yes, a REAL mini-lake is part of the display!) A large Christmas tree topped by a shining star decorates the home's yard. And, this house must be the dwelling of a boat-lover, as two lighted anchors form a part of the scene.
Del Mar Holiday Lights--Directions, Map, Contact information
Directions to the Del Mar Fairgrounds & Del Mar Holiday of Lights: From Interstate 5, take the Via de la Valle exit and head west one block to Jimmy Durante Blvd. Turn left onto Jimmy Durante Blvd until you reach the entrance to the attraction, which will be marked by signs. Since this family Christmas event is held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds and Race Track, it's very hard to get lost. You can see the large grandstand seating area for the race track as you approach it.
Map to the Del Mar Fairgrounds/Del Mar Holiday of Lights: You may use the following link to view a Google map to the Del Mar Fairgrounds/Del Mar Holiday of Lights if you would like to view the layout of this area.
Del Mar Holiday of Lights contact information: You may use the following link to view the Holiday of Lights website.
Del Mar Fairgrounds phone number is (858) 755-1161. You may use this telephone number if you need to ask a question. Or, you may prefer to use another Del Mar Fairgrounds telephone number, (858) 793-5555, which is the phone number to use for
24-hour recorded information about current and upcoming events at the park.