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Holiday Happenings: Magical Holiday Lights, Festive Decorations, & Delicious Dining

Holiday Happenings: Magical Holiday Lights, Festive Decorations, & Delicious Dining

As we are embracing the spirit of the season (the best we can), we’ve gathered a list of the best and brightest dining, entertainment & fun to be enjoyed through December in and around my hometown of Rancho Santa Fe. Put on your Santa hat and explore these festive and socially distanced events that will add some fun to your calendars:

Forget the Spatula and Support Local Restaurants During the Holiday Season


Dolce: 16081 San Dieguito Rd, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067

Dolce is where we feel like family and the food, cocktails and wine lists never cease to impress. Their made-from-scratch menu is prepared daily supporting local farms. A local tip: order a mix of charcuterie & cheese, wagyu beef sliders, flatbreads and brussels sprouts to create a delicious mix for your home dinner parties.  Dolce’s culinary team is committed to delivering the ultimate California farm-to-table cuisine. You can call them directly to order take-out & swing by for convenient pick-up. See the full menu here.


Red Tracton’s: 550 Via De La Valle, Solana Beach, CA 92075

Large portions and flowing wine can only mean you’re ordering from Red Tracton’s – our favorite family-owned steak house. They are now offering curbside pickup Thursday to Sunday from 4-8pm and are also taking pre-orders for Christmas Eve meals, such as their famous Family Style Roast Turkey and signature Prime Rib Dinners.  See the full menu here.


Rancho Valencia’s Pony Room: 5921 Valencia Cir, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067

Rancho Valencia is here to make the 2020 holiday season brighter. Simply driving through the gates of this incredible property brings a cheerful feeling. For a holiday date night, check out “Pony To Go” dining, featuring sumptuous selections from their Pony Room dining, cocktail, and wine menus. See the full to-go menu here. Their to-go menu is available from 11:00am to 7:30pm daily.

Experience holiday wonderlands & cross everyone off your shopping list


Where: Del Mar Village 1555 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014

Visit the Del Mar Village for its local boutiques, art galleries, and holiday charm. This year, the village’s streets are draped with festive lights, garlands, holiday banners, and a 35-foot Christmas tree; transporting you to a European village for the holidays, seaside.  

Where:  Del Mar Highlands Town Center, 12925 El Camino Real suite j-28, San Diego, CA 92130

Experience ’Tis the Sea Sun-themed holiday decorations at Del Mar Highlands Town Center, including a 36-foot Christmas tree made of 44 surfboards with inlaid LED lights and music, along with a 15-foot surfing Santa pulled by four reindeer on top of their Sky Deck roof. Meet “Delmer”, the talking penguin, tour a gigantic igloo, snap a selfie with huge starfish, send letters to Santa and drive through a lighted candy cane forest with sparkling stars. They also have over 70 shops and restaurants to choose from while you’re there.

Must see holiday events for the whole family, just this month

Where: Now through December 30 at San Diego Botanic Garden 300 Quail Gardens Dr, Encinitas, CA 92024

The Botanic Wonderland is happening now at the San Diego Botanic Garden. Enjoy an outdoor holiday lighting experience where visitors can safely stroll amidst festive holiday lights throughout various areas within San Diego Botanic Garden’s 37 acres. This family-friendly event includes festive displays of lighted animals, laser lighting, fire pits, and illuminated plant collections. Live music is offered nightly, with musicians roaming throughout the Garden.

Where: Now through January 2 at Del Mar Racetrack 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd, Del Mar, CA 92014

Holidays in Your Car invites you and your family to buckle up and make lasting memories from the comfort and safety of your own vehicle. Turn off your headlights and turn on your FM radio as you drive through an enchanting mile-and-a-half display of over one million dazzling LED lights, accompanied by your favorite holiday tunes. Tip: Bring snacks to eat and drink in your car to create a little date night or family fun picnic experience.

I know we all can’t wait to welcome 2021 with open arms. As we wrap up the year, I hope these special offerings bring joy to you and your families this holiday season.


Garret Milligan

A lifelong resident of Rancho Santa Fe, Garret was raised in a family deeply integrated in the historic and vibrant community. Garret developed an affinity for the real estate industry at a young age by observing his mother—one of the community’s most successful real estate agents for more than 30 years—and learning the secrets to becoming a personable, yet results-oriented Realtor. He became the youngest partner in an elite luxury real estate legacy in ‘the Ranch’ in 2012 and quickly honed his skills, developed a vast network of industry resources, and built an impressive list of satisfied clients.

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