December Nights, Bright Lights
December Nights is a holiday event in Balboa Park. This event includes food, entertainment, and free admission to the major museums seen at the park. Balboa Park is transformed into a winter wonderland and is divided into various parts of different cultural winter traditions.
Decorative lights fill the halls of the park, Christmas trees are heavily decorated in different uniforms and a massive one is placed in the amphitheater used as a background decoration for the performers. San Diegans fill the streets of Balboa Park and shoulder to shoulder with people. There are shuttling services provided to the people who can’t find parking near the park. December Nights is only open from Friday Dec. 1 from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. through Sunday Dec. 3 with Saturday and Sunday opening at noon and closing at 11 p.m. The times and dates for the event changes annually.
CJ Manla, an avid December Nights attendee event has visited the event with his wife for five years in a row.
“The parking and the crowd are the worst parts of December Nights, it took me an hour just to find parking.” CJ explained.
“If you don’t mind the overcrowding and the parking, I’d say going to the event is worth it and you’ll have a lot of fun, but eat before going because the food there is really overpriced.”
“The decorations change every year at December Nights which is the best part so it’s a whole new experience every time you come and visit.” CJ added.
“ The best part of December Nights are the museums that offer free admission, the performers that sing and dance at the amphitheater, and the overall holiday vibe that December Nights brings and it excites me for holiday season..”
Students at Otay Ranch also came to visit Balboa Park during December Nights.
Neo Fernandez, a senior at Otay, attended the event with his family this past Saturday. “Since I’m a photographer I enjoyed the decorations and Balboa in general.”
“I really didn’t enjoy spending $30 on a plate of Filipino food with rice and a drink, and the overcrowding was dangerous because my family lost our little nephew and we spent half the night looking for him.”
“If you want to go next year I’d say go with a group of older people not kids because everyone didn’t have fun because of the panic attack we all had searching for my nephew, also eat before going to save a lot of money it’ll be worth it because the food there isn’t worth the high prices.”