Hotel del Coronado is an iconic landmark in San Diego. We’ve visited the beach a few times and always loved photographing the historic Victorian building against the clear blue skies.
Since 1888, the hotel has been celebrating the holidays in a grand way. Did you know that America’s first electrically lit outdoor Christmas tree was presented here in 1904? This year, they are celebrating with the new DELights experience in the Garden Patio, beachfront ice skating, festive décor, and thousands of white lights covering the building and grounds.
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Last Updated: October 27, 2020
Ice Skating by the Sea at Hotel Del Coronado
Skating by the Sea is a really unique experience. The ice rink is set up right by the ocean so you get a great view and can watch the sunset. As much as we love the mild weather in San Diego, sometimes we feel like we’re missing out on the seasons.
Being able to ice skate right on the beach was magical and brought us a little more Christmas spirit. While skating, we also got to watch what turned out to be one of the most epic sunsets we’ve seen since moving to San Diego. I can’t imagine any better way to be spending a winter evening not just in San Diego.. but anywhere!
What You Need to Know
Unfortunately the 2020 Skating by the Sea season is cancelled. Instead, they will have the following for the holidays:
- Photos with Santa: Kids can take a socially-distanced picture with Santa on his sleigh. Make a reservation for $20 per person. Photo ops are available from 4-7 pm on:
- November 28, 2020
- December 5, 2020
- December 12, 2020
- December 19, 2020
- December 23-24, 2020
- Jingle Roast: This is a private beach bonfire with warm santa hats, specialty holiday s’mores and an a la carte menu of fireside treats. Jingle Roast firepits accomodate up to 8 people and costs $250 for a one-hour experience at 5:30 pm or 7:00 pm. It will be offered daily December 11 – December 27, 2020.
- Frostbite: The Frostbite bar trailer will pull up on the South Paseo Lawn to spread holiday cheer with seasonal treats and your favorite festive libations.
- Holiday Crafts: Specialty to-go holiday crafts will be available for sale including gingerbread houses, cookie and ornament decorating kits, snow globes, and Santa hats so families can bring the magic of the holidays at The Del home.
To help you plan for next year, continue reading about our experience with Skating by the Sea.
Unfortunately the 2020 Skating by the Sea season is cancelled. Typically, their day to day schedule changes throughout the season, but generally they close between 8-10pm each night.
Tickets cost $30 per person in advance online, or $35 per person at the rink. Everything is first-come, first served, and depending on the current capacity, they may limit your skate time to 90 minutes.
This year, they also have a rink-side lounge (Frostbite – A Place to Chill) where you can reserve a seating area for 4-6 people around a fire pit. They have food and beverage service too.
When we arrived, we got fitted for skates then spent time enjoying the views from the rink until the sun set.
After skating for a little over an hour, we decided to grab dinner at ENO Pizzeria & Wine Bar. It had good food, great atmosphere, and was the perfect way to end the evening. Try the fig & pancetta pizza! :)
We loved that each of the outside tables shared a fire pit, and there were plenty of heaters to keep you warm. Yes, we’re weak sauce, but contrary to popular belief, it is not 70 degrees every day of the year! Brr. We’re hurting at 50 deg.
- Self Parking is available for $20 for the first 2 hours and $10 each additional hour. You can also look for metered street parking to save money.
- If you get cold easily, pick up this rechargeable hand warmer. It comes with us on any cold adventures!
- Wear thick socks. We find that they make the ice skates more comfortable.
- Dress in layers. It can get warm when you’re moving around but once you sit down to hang out, it can get chilly.
- Arrive a couple hours before sunset if you want to enjoy the views at the best time of day.
What’s your favorite place to visit or thing to do during the holiday season?
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Esther + Jacob
Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, which is one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found both near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in Las Vegas.