San Diego Symphony’s beautiful Christmas tree!

The San Diego Symphony has put up their beautiful (and very unique) Christmas tree!

I saw it this evening as I walked home through downtown. It stands in a corner of the front lobby inside Symphony Towers.

Not only are the branches decked with traditional Christmas ornaments, but one can find bright musical notes and instruments!

If you’d like to help the San Diego Symphony out financially during the pandemic, you can make a donation to their Stabilization Fund. If you do, an anonymous donor will match it! Learn more by clicking here!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

A bit of holiday magic in Balboa Park!

A bit of familiar holiday magic has returned to Balboa Park!

On Sunday the Old Globe had a virtual online event for the annual lighting of their Christmas Tree. Tonight, shortly after sunset, I walked from Bankers Hill into Balboa Park to see if the “Grinchmas Tree” was lit.

It was!

Fewer people than usual were walking about the park in the early evening. It’s the year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Later in the night the recently enacted curfew would begin.

As I continued walking down El Prado I saw no other holiday lights in the park, but I’m sure that will change during this year’s “drive-through” December Nights event.

Balboa Park might seem strangely quiet this holiday season, but in front of the Old Globe bright magic has reappeared!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Holiday decorations appear early downtown!

It’s not even Thanksgiving, and holiday decorations are springing up all over downtown San Diego!

Yes, many of us express dismay when wreaths, ribbons and Christmas trees appear in shops, windows and everywhere you turn well before December. It happens every year.

But 2020 has been more chaotic and stressful than usual. Perhaps starting early with holiday cheerfulness and a message of hope is a good thing.

I took these photos in both the morning and the evening after dark. I’m sure many more holiday decorations will be materializing throughout the city in the days ahead!

The following three photos were taken at The Westgate Hotel, one of the city’s most elegant hotels.

I was walking down the sidewalk, taking photos of the hotel’s bright new outdoor holiday decorations, when a friendly lady who works there offered to show me the grand Christmas tree inside their lobby.

If you love French elegance, The Westgate Hotel is where you want to be!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Lots of big, exciting news in Balboa Park!

New structures are finally rising on the southwest end of the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages.
New structures are finally rising on the southwest end of the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages.

The decade is off to an exciting start in Balboa Park! I discovered lots of big news during my afternoon walk!

After years of delay, new structures on the southwest side of the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages are finally rising! Three structures on this side and two on the International Cottage’s northeast side will provide future homes for nine nations or cultural units: Mexico, India, Colombia, Lebanon, Palestine, Peru, Panama, Turkey and the Philippines.

If you want to see photos of the big groundbreaking event that took place over three years ago, click here!

A new Community Christmas Tree was recently planted! It replaced the diseased, old, misshapen tree that Balboa Park stopped decorating many years ago.

I learned from a friendly lady who works for the Balboa Park Conservancy that the new tree was planted around Christmas. It will be allowed to grow and become established before being decked with lights and ornaments. Look for it during future Holiday Seasons!

Balboa Park has a healthy new Community Christmas Tree!
Balboa Park has a healthy new Community Christmas Tree!

Here’s an old photo of that misshapen tree, which was finally removed:

Finally, the scaffolding has been removed from the California Tower! The iconic building’s Seismic Retrofitting Project is almost complete!

I was informed by two Museum of Man employees that the tower will reopen to the public on February 15!

The scaffolding is now off the California Tower. It soon will reopen to the public!
The scaffolding is now off the California Tower. It soon will reopen to the public!

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Little Italy gets ready for Christmas!

Golden nutcracker stands guard at west end of Piazza della Famiglia in Little Italy one early morning in December.
Golden nutcracker stands guard at west end of Piazza della Famiglia in Little Italy.

Looks to me like Little Italy is just about ready for Christmas!

Enjoy a few photos from early this morning!

A silvery Christmas tree and white snowflakes near the piazza's many outdoor tables and chairs.
A silvery Christmas tree and white snowflakes near Piazza della Famiglia’s many outdoor tables and chairs.

Felice 2020! painted on a restaurant window.
Felice 2020! Festive words and wreaths painted on a restaurant window.

A colorful nutcracker on India Street near the Little Italy landmark sign.
A colorful nutcracker on India Street near the Little Italy landmark sign.

Green garlands and red ribbons, colors of Christmas.
Green garlands and red ribbons, colors of Christmas.

Buon Natale. Buon Capodanno.
Buon Natale. Buon Capodanno.

Santa's elves are painting a huge candy cane.
Santa’s elves are painting a huge candy cane on this window.

A shining crystalline Christmas tree at Piazza Basilone in Little Italy.
A shining crystalline Christmas tree at Piazza Basilone in Little Italy. Have I arrived at the North Pole?

It promises to be another beautiful holiday season in San Diego's Little Italy!
It promises to be another beautiful holiday season in San Diego’s Little Italy!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Christmas Around the World at Balboa Park.

Carnival mask with Christmas ornaments at the House of Italy.
Carnival mask with Christmas ornaments at the House of Italy.

Christmas on the Prado is being held today in Balboa Park. The event, while not nearly as large as December Nights, is special to many in San Diego because it is primarily religious, celebrating the birth of Christ.

This afternoon I wandered randomly about the International Cottages, seeing what I might see. Most of the cottages were open for the event and many contained Christmas trees and unique decorations.

I photographed a variety of crafts and beautiful displays, which are said to represent Christmas Around the World.

People roam about the International Cottages to get a taste of Christmas Around the World.
People roam about the International Cottages to get a taste of Christmas Around the World.

Making paper Christmas tree ornaments at the House of Norway.
Making paper Christmas ornaments at the House of Norway.

A folksy Christmas tablecloth at the House of Norway.
A folksy Christmas tablecloth at the House of Norway.

A craft bedecked Christmas tree at the House of Denmark.
A craft bedecked Christmas tree at the House of Denmark.

Entertainment at the International Cottages during 2019 Christmas on the Prado.
Entertainment at the International Cottages during 2019 Christmas on the Prado.

Beautiful holiday season decorations at the House of Finland.
Beautiful holiday season decorations at the House of Finland.

A golden Black Madonna with Christ child at the House of Poland.
A golden Black Madonna with Christ child at the House of Poland.

Season Greeting and Jingle Bells seat covers at the House of England.
Season Greeting and Jingle Bells seat covers at the House of England.

A bright little Christmas tree at the House of England.
A bright little Christmas tree at the House of England.

Kids could make holiday crafts in the patio at the House of Ireland.
Kids could make holiday crafts in the patio at the House of Ireland.

Painting pine cones in Christmas colors!
Painting pine cones in Christmas colors!

A traditional Christmas tree at the House of Germany.
A traditional Christmas tree at the House of Germany.

Father Christmas and children in a winter wonderland. Happy needlework at the House of Germany.
Father Christmas and children in a winter wonderland. Joyful needlework at the House of Germany.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

The holiday season is coming downtown!

Holiday season decorations now line the streets of Little Italy.
Many festive holiday season decorations now line the streets of Little Italy.

It’s the week of Thanksgiving. Winter is coming.

I enjoyed a long walk this morning, knowing that a big storm is headed our way. The next couple days will be wet!

What did I see?

Signs of the coming holiday season are popping up all around downtown San Diego!

The City Ballet will perform The Nutcracker at the Spreckels Theatre.
The City Ballet will perform The Nutcracker this year at the Spreckels Theatre.

A nutcracker guards the lobby of the Westgate Hotel.
A nutcracker guards the lobby of the Westgate Hotel.

Beautiful holiday gifts are beginning to appear in some downtown shop windows.
Beautiful holiday gifts are beginning to appear in some downtown shop windows.

One of several elegant Christmas trees in the lobby of The Sofia Hotel.
One of several elegant Christmas trees now in the lobby of The Sofia Hotel.

The Salvation Army will be serving Thanksgiving dinner to the less fortunate again at Golden Hall.
The Salvation Army will be serving Thanksgiving dinner to the less fortunate again at Golden Hall.

Buon Natale!
Buon Natale!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

A nautical Christmas in the Model Shop!

Step inside the Steam Ferry Berkeley of the Maritime Museum of San Diego and you’ll see nautical Christmas decorations in the Model Shop!

A bright Christmas tree is ornamented with ships, boats, signal flags and lighthouses. It even appears that Santa Claus has been repairing and cleaning one model ship in the small workshop. I guess his elf helpers are busy making toys up at the North Pole!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Art, crafts and fun at December Nights!

I spotted a Santa Claus with a beard made of white yarn at 2018 December Nights!
I spotted a Santa Claus with a beard made of white yarn at 2018 December Nights!

Another year, another wonderful December Nights in Balboa Park!

I headed across the Cabrillo Bridge at noon today, just as the second day of San Diego’s big annual holiday event got underway.

I prefer to wander through December Nights in the early afternoon. The sun is out, the air is warm, and the feeling is unhurried and carefree. I miss the magical Christmas lights after dark, but I also avoid the hectic press of huge crowds.

I’ve blogged December Nights for so many years now, I thought I’d try for a new angle in 2018 and focus on all the holiday art and crafts one can see while walking around. As usual, however, I ended up taking photos of anything fun that happened to catch my eye.

Many fun holiday crafts and decorations can be enjoyed throughout Balboa Park during December Nights.
Many fun holiday crafts and decorations can be enjoyed throughout Balboa Park during December Nights.

Jeff, the super cool Spanish Village Art Center historian, holds a drum and greets visitors with a huge smile!
Jeff, the super cool Spanish Village Art Center historian, holds a drum and greets visitors with a huge smile!

I was taking a photo of glass Christmas ornaments in Spanish Village when I got photobombed!
I was taking a photo of glass Christmas ornaments in Spanish Village when I got photobombed!

A happy elf was lurking near one of the Spanish Village artist studios.
A happy elf was lurking near one of the Spanish Village artist studios.

Some of the carved wooden animals of the Balboa Park Carousel were wearing elf and Santa hats.
Some of the carved wooden animals of the historic Balboa Park Carousel were wearing elf and Santa hats.

I learned Santa Claus would be hanging out in front of the Starlight Bowl.
I learned Santa Claus would be hanging out in front of the Starlight Bowl.

I noticed The Old Globe Theatre's gift shop was well stocked with nasty green Grinches, and his adorable dog Max, too!
I noticed The Old Globe Theatre’s gift shop was well stocked with vile, nasty Grinches, and his adorable dog Max, too!

People take a break during December Nights by sitting near cheerful red poinsettias in the Botanical Building.
People take a break during December Nights by sitting near cheerful red poinsettias in the Botanical Building.

A big Santa hangs from the Point Loma Garden Club's colorful tree, one of many fantastic Christmas trees inside the Casa del Prado.
A big Santa hangs from the Point Loma Garden Club’s candy and cookie bedecked tree, one of many fantastic Christmas trees inside the Casa del Prado.

Another Christmas tree at the Festival of Trees was decorated by the Friends of Balboa Park with many happy dreams.
Another Christmas tree at the annual Festival of Trees was decorated by the Friends of Balboa Park with many happy dreams.

The San Diego Womens Chorus sings holiday music at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion during 2018 December Nights.
The San Diego Womens Chorus sings holiday music at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion during 2018 December Nights.

A group of children called Let's Dance for Fun! performs at the small December Nights stage near the Botanical Building.
A group of children called Let’s Dance for Fun! performs at the small December Nights stage near the Botanical Building.

Santa, a guest of the House of Finland, was checking to see if children have been good at Balboa Park's International Cottages.
Santa, a guest of the House of Finland, was checking his list to see if children have been naughty or nice at Balboa Park’s International Cottages.

Holiday traditions and music from around the world are celebrated at the International Cottages during December Nights.
Holiday traditions and music from around the world are celebrated at the International Cottages during December Nights.

The House of Sweden always has lots of Christmas crafts and fun holiday stuff on display.
The House of Sweden always has lots of Christmas crafts and fun holiday stuff on display.

I headed over to the Starlight Bowl and spotted a happy snowman atop the outdoor amphitheater's roof.
I headed over to the Starlight Bowl and spotted a happy snowman atop the outdoor amphitheater’s box office roof.

These friendly folks with Save Starlight are looking for people to help support the restoration of a cherished San Diego performance venue, Balboa Park's Starlight Bowl.
These friendly folks with Save Starlight are looking for people to help support the restoration of a cherished San Diego performance venue, Balboa Park’s Starlight Bowl.

If you love Balboa Park, and would like to help restore the beloved Starlight Bowl, please take a moment to visit the Save Starlight website here!

I poked my nose inside the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater and noticed there's going to be a fun Merry Christmas Show coming up!
I poked my nose inside the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater and noticed there’s going to be a fun Merry Christmas Show coming up!

I discovered lots of holiday art, crafts and fun at another wonderful December Nights!
I discovered lots of holiday art, crafts and fun at another wonderful December Nights!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Fun holiday decorations appear in Old Town!

Many creative holiday wreaths have appeared throughout Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.
Lots of fun holiday wreaths have appeared throughout Old Town!

A period of rainy weather is coming to San Diego, so I left home this morning earlier than usual, to enjoy a nice, long walk before the first storm arrives.

After I got off the trolley at the Old Town station, crossed Congress Street, and entered Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, my eyes began searching for holiday decorations.

My eyes were not disappointed!

More colorful wreaths with a little bit of Mexican culture added, at the entrance to Fiesta de Reyes.
More wreaths, made colorful with bits of Mexican culture, at the entrance to Fiesta de Reyes.

A simple but delightful little Christmas tree near the entrance of Seeley Stable.
A simple but delightful little Christmas tree near the entrance of Seeley Stable.

I discovered green and red wreaths at every turn as I walked about Old Town.
I discovered traditional green and red wreaths at every turn as I walked about Old Town.

Looks like three Christmas carolers up on the balcony of La Paloma!
Looks like three Christmas carolers up on the balcony of La Paloma!

Old Town Trolley Tours wishes everyone Joy with their bright banners.
Old Town Trolley Tours wishes everyone Joy with their bright banners.

Looks like Frosty the Snowman has a friend outside the Specialty Shops of Old Town Market.
Looks like Frosty the Snowman is hanging out with a happy friend at the Specialty Shops of Old Town Market.

Poinsettias on an old-fashioned cart, and a window wreath decorate one corner of Toby's Candle and Soap Shop.
Poinsettias on an old-fashioned cart, and a window decorated with a wreath. A beautiful holiday display at Toby’s Candle and Soap Shop.

The annual Christmas tree has appeared near the flagpole at the center of Old Town's historic plaza.
The annual Christmas tree has appeared near the flagpole at the center of Old Town’s historic plaza.

Celebrating the holiday season with a little Mexican flavor in Old Town!
Celebrating the holiday season with a little Mexican flavor in Old Town!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!