Holiday Events

Dine In, Dip Out, or Dazzle a Crowd, Have it Your Way This Thanksgiving

Let’s take a quick tThanksgving Cabin Dinnerrip back in time, to the epic year of 1620. Picture this, a small ship, 102 Europeans, an Abenaki Native American, and then eventually an entire feast which has since resulted in one of America’s favorite holidays – Thanksgiving.

We can all “thank” the bond that developed between the Native Americans and the Pilgrims for both the fledgling beginning of one great nation, and the fledgling beginning of one incredible holiday.

From its origins to now, Thanksgiving is simply about giving thanks for all of our blessings, and spending time with loved ones.

Cheer Twice as Nice Surrounded by Loved Ones

family thanksNo matter where you’re hosting this year’s Thanksgiving meal, there are so many wonderful ways to enhance any celebration, and impress your guests. Whet your palette for a dinner to remember with a few of these ideas:

-Spice up the kids table and make them feel as special as adults by placing hand crafted name cards.

– Make some lovely, and easy, DIY pinecone decorations.

– Save yourself some fridge space by providing adorable leftover boxes for all of your guests!

Stay tuned as the holiday approaches for more ideas to come! For those with enormous families, or those who want to host a work banquet, or even a neighborhood get together, you’ll likely need a bigger space. There’s no better place to host an elegant Thanksgiving event than at the iconic and historic Horton Grand Hotel.

Put Your Party Pants On (The Ones With Elastic)

A holiday as delicious as Thanksgiving deserves to be celebrated more than once a year! Thankfully, San Diego has enough delectable and entertaining events on the horizon to keep you celebrating all month long! Here’s a quick sneak peek of the adventure to come:

photo credit:

photo credit:

-Ice skating, literally, next to the sea.

– Run your heart out and make space to eat more Thanksgiving dinners at the Del Mar Thanksgiving Family Mile Fun Run.

– Cruise around San Diego on a gorgeous ship while devouring a buffet.

America’s Finest City sure knows how to celebrate with the best of them. There’s an endless supply of events, parties, shopping, eating, and all around joy. Best of all, during all of the celebrations the weather stays sunny and bright, with warm temperatures and zero snow. For a luxurious stay throughout this holiday season, consider one of San Diego’s Historic Hotels, the elegant Horton Grand Hotel. Situated in the iconic Gaslamp District, the Horton Grand is serving up holiday cheer, and you’re due for an extra helping.


Ghosts, Ghouls and The Gaslamp This Halloween Season

davis-horton houseThe spookiest time of the year is rapidly approaching, and the Gaslamp Quarter is making ample preparations. One of the most historical areas of San Diego, chilling tales, haunted buildings, and eerie folklore are not too difficult to come by in the Gaslamp.

It just so happens that the oldest building in the entire Gaslamp, the Davis-Horton house, located on Island Avenue, is known to be a ghost-hunter’s dream come true. Convinced there’s been paranormal activity, paranormal research teams flock to the house each halloween to try and prove it to brave witnesses.

horton halloween collageLooking For a Fright….?

Enough about that, don’t want to frighten you out of the Gaslamp… or do we? Whatever your level of fright may be, there’s a Gaslamp halloween event for you. For the partiers, the Monster Bash will make dreams come true. For those who love fake frights, the Haunted Hotel never disappoints. For those who get a thrill from potentially, very real, frights, you must go on a paranormal investigation tour with none other than the San Diego ghost hunters.

Stay Close Together, Or Risk Being Alone When the Ghosts Arrive

Celebrating the spooky season is always tons of fun, no matter what the activities are. Being spooked in real, or fictitious, haunted houses is great for some, and for others, carving pumpkins and eating candy corn is the preferred method of celebrating. This year, we recommend throwing your very own ghastly ghoul extravaganza… or whatever you’d like to call it! What better way to incorporate your friends and family’s favorite halloween activities than providing it all in one space!

Horton Grand HotelThe Gaslamp is teeming with historical spaces ripe for the most spectacular halloween bash. There’s quite the plethora of San Diego Historic buildings, but the Horton Grand Hotel, a San Diego Historic Hotel, takes the cake for the classiest venue. Just in time for the spooktacular season, the elegant hotel is offering… package deal??? 

Let’s Play! Horton Grand Hotel Guide to the Most Fun Events in the Gaslamp!

With the onset of the new year, and perpetual Spring and Summer like weather, there’s no better time to come out and play in the Gaslamp! Between fun holiday events, athletic events, intellectual events, and more, there’s never a shortage of entertainment and excitement in America’s Finest City. In case you’re in need of one, we’ve provided a guide to the Gaslamp’s most exciting happenings over the next few months.

San Diego Bay

Holiday Excitement in the Gaslamp

We may be laid back, relaxed, San Diego, but we are not without crazy celebrations! Each holiday seems to get celebrated bigger and better each year, so get ready to have a blast!

Mardi Gras at House of Blues – Tuesday, Feb. 17th The House of Blues will be featuring Mardi Gras music, food, and drinks. If you’re looking for a mid-week pick-me-up, this is the event for you! For more information visit here.


Mardi Gras Parade and Celebration – Tuesday, Feb. 17th. This is one of the biggest events of the year in the Gaslamp! Block after block downtown is transformed into a giant party, full of exciting floats, music, dancing, costumes and more! Buy your tickets in advance for a better deal! For more information visit here.


ShamROCK 2015 – If St. Patrick’s Day is one of your favorite days to celebrate, then the best event for you is the ShamROCK 2015 in the Gaslamp. You can expect green streets, pots of gold to be found, and lots of spirit. The event will be held on Saturday, March 14th. For more information visit here.


Intellectual Stimulation

Parties and celebrations are fun and exciting, but if you’re looking for something more focused on ideas and creativity, give Ignite a try. 


Ignite San Diego – Imagine trying to present an entire idea in only…five minutes! That’s the challenge each of the 18 presenters has to face in this year’s upcoming Ignite event. It’s basically San Diego’s local version of a Ted Talk. Each person has an idea, program, strategy, etc. that they are working on within the San Diego area and they have exactly five minutes to explain it to the audience. To learn more, or to purchase tickets visit here.


marathon runner legs running on streetPhysical Fun

Eating, drinking, learning, exploring, are all fun pastimes. Combine those with physical stimulation and you’ve got a recipe for success and fun!


Dash and Dine Gaslamp 5K – Grab your running shoes and sense of adventure and hit the pavement in the magnificent Gaslamp this July. As a reward for your hard-running-work, you’ll receive special offers and dining deals post-race. Not only will you be having a blast, but you’ll also be giving back. A portion of the proceeds go towards the Armed Services YMCA programs. To learn more visit here.


For Sports Fanatics

With the close of football season, and the beginnings of Spring, not that San Diego hasn’t already been experiencing perfect weather, sports fans everywhere will be excited for the onset of baseball season! What better city to gaze upon athletes than sunny San Diego?!

San Diego's Petco Park, Coronado Bridge in the background.

Padres 2015 Season Kickoff – The actual kickoff game isn’t being held in San Diego, it’ll be in Los Angeles against the Dodgers on April 6th. Don’t worry, though, the home opener will be worth the wait – April 9th against the San Francisco Giants! Talk about a rivalry! For the full schedule and to purchase tickets visit here.


There’s truly something for everyone is America’s Finest City. With perpetual good weather there’s no limit to the amount of events, celebrations, and activities that take place! The above list highlighted some of the most exciting events happening, but there are always many more! If you’re interested in seeing absolutely everything there is to do in the Gaslamp, we recommend visiting here and here. Of course, the best way to enjoy all of these events is to stay within walking distance of all the activity! We can help you out with that.


Douse Yourselves in Romance at The Horton Grand Hotel This Valentine’s Season

Vintage style couple with suitcases on train station platformElegant buildings, delicious restaurants, and the Padres are just a few of the things that come to mind when thinking of the Gaslamp Quarter. Today the Gaslamp Quarter is a bustling San Diego neighborhood perfect for a girls night out, family gatherings, business meetings and more. Above all else, though, the Gaslamp Quarter oozes romance.


Cities have long been the stage for passions to burst into life and weave their stories. The Horton Grand Hotel, one of the oldest establishments in the Gaslamp Quarter, has existed throughout the many chapters of San Diego history, bearing witness to the comings and goings of love affairs and adventure.


Romantic date in historical residenceThe Horton is a lavish hotel that was built to host important people, such as diplomats, celebrities, and even kings. The hotel was constructed right before San Diego debuted it’s first ever transcontinental railroad in 1885. A railroad that brought with it thousands of new tourists excited to venture into the “land of the sundown sea.” As far as modes of transportation go, none are as drenched in the way railways are.


Bustling city, new railroad, combined with an exquisite hotel built for kings, makes the Horton Grand Hotel a romantic getaway destination. This Valentine’s season, come sit in the Horton’s gorgeous lobby and absorb all the love affairs that may have taken place in the very same space. Imagine the coming and going of people past, and embody the romantic nostalgia, the kind that only comes from dreaming of history and what may have taken place.

 man hold his girlfriend up above the city

No amount of fluffy teddy bear’s and boxes of chocolates can elicit romance the way a historical experience can. Be unique this holiday season and surprise your loved one with a historical getaway, steps from the finest dining, drinking, and shopping San Diego has to offer.

Let The Champagne Corks Fly! Here’s Your New Year’s Eve Events Calendar.

Champagne And FireworksRinging in the very first moment of the New Year is an exciting and important moment! You don’t want to be just anywhere for the big night, this moment deserves a premeditated, calculated, decision. First let’s narrow it down to a city… ok, San Diego for sure. Great weather, no need for coats, scarves and the like, a chic, happening downtown area – The Gaslamp, and the beach. Where to begin though? The Gaslamp has MANY awesome events happening for NYE, so check out the comprehensive list below to discover which celebration suits you this year. Oh, and this list includes pre-party and after-party events as well.


Pajama Jam: New Year’s Family Night Out – Have a night out on the town with the family… in your pajamas! There will be fun events for both the kids and the parents! This event will take place at the New Children’s Museum on Saturday December 27th. For more information visit KPBS!

Big Night Events

I’m on a Boat

Few things are more exciting than partying on a boat. Luckily San Diego happens to be situated next to water, how convenient, so there are plenty of boat celebrations to go around. Whether you’re interested in a nice relaxing dinner-with-a-view, unlimited champagne, or unlimited craziness in general, there is a boat celebration for you!


smiling friends with glasses of champagne on yachtNew Year’s Eve Crystal Dinner Cruise – for those folks who appreciate dinner with a view, alongside a poppin’ dance floor!

Pop on over for more info here.

New Year’s Eve VIP Celebration Dinner Cruise – for those folks who are interested in free-flowing champagne…

Celebrate VIP style here.


New Year’s Eve Dinner Cruise – dinner and dancing all night long!

Dance your way to more info here.

3rd Annual Moonlight NYE Cruise – for the luxurious partiers.

Cruise on over for more info here.


New Year’s Eve Yacht Party 2015 – absolutely everything is included, get ready.

All inclusive yacht party here.

Concierto de musica. Publico y escenarioMusical Events

Other than eating, and maybe drinking, what else really is there to do to ring in the new year? Listen to music of course! For those of you who are passionate about music, one of these events might be perfect for you.

House of Blues New Year’s Eve 2015 Block Party.

Get to know your neighbors at the block party right here.

Straight No Chaser Happy Hour Tour.

If you don’t need training wheels slide over here for more info.

Happy Endings Guaranteed NYE 2015 at the Shout House – if dueling pianos and live music are your thing, then this is the event for you!

If you’re in the mood to duel find out more here!

“Turnt Up” Events

“Turnt up” is a phrase used to describe those who’ve taken partying to the next level. So for those folks who enjoy such levels of celebrating, we recommend the following NYE activities: 

San Diego New Year’s Eve Pub Crawl – because you might not be able to simply walk.

Crawl your way over here for more info.

Parq NYE 2015 with Mario Lopez – Parq is San Diego’s newest club, and it’s definitely turning up this holiday season with Mario Lopez hosting the young partyparty.

Party with Mario Lopez here!

New Years Eve at Fluxx – hit-up one of San Diego’s most popular clubs to dance the night away to the beats of the one and only TJR, who will be headlining.

We have your most popular club events here.

New Year’s Eve at Sevilla Nightclub – Spanish themed venue with beats by DJ Kaos.

Enjoy beats by DJ Kaos here!

Diamond’s Are Forever New Year’s Eve at Sidebar – dance crazy like you would in a club, without being in a stuffy club.

Shine all night at Sidebar here!  

Tritonal at Bassmnt New Year’s Eve Party – if you’re into a dimly lit, exciting ambiance, check out this venue.

Get down low here!

For Those Who Can Still Function on New Year’s Day

If you don’t plan on being on a boat on NYE but would enjoy brunch on a boat on New Year’s Day…

Check out the these lovely brunch cruises:

Flagship Cruises New Year’s Day brunch info available here.

Hornblower Cruises & Events free-flowing champagne brunch info is available here. 

As you can see, it doesn’t matter what age you are, what your interests are, there’s a celebration for everyone and anyone! The Gaslamp is a great place to be all the time, but especially on New Year’s Eve! As always, if you’re in need of a comfortable and luxurious place to stay, we’ve got you covered (link to site.)



Holidays in the Gaslamp: A Celebration of Historic Proportions

The simple word “Gaslamp” already brings to mind a picturesque city setting, with beautiful old brick buildings, cobblestone roads, and the hustle and bustle of people, vendors, tourists and, of course, the holidays! Every great city in America has an urban center, where holiday lovers can visit to bask in the holiday spirit and engage in celebratory activities. San Diego, being America’s Finest City, is no different. Don’t let the warm temperatures and palm trees fool you, the Gaslamp’s holiday spirit and festivities are forces to be reckoned with!

If Holiday spirit is what you’re looking for this season, then an excursion through the Gaslamp quarter is just what the Doctor ordered. Block after block is lined with splendid old brick buildings, many of which are decked from head to toe in holiday gear. The icon the Gaslamp Quarter is so famously named after – the Gaslamps – can be found donning lovely red bows and other holiday decor. Holiday atmosphere runs high within the Gaslamp, but there’s much more than just looking, there’s much to do in the name of holiday spirits as well!

Cuteness Overload Christmas Dog.
Pet Parade – Cute animals dressed up in holiday ensembles, what could be more fun and festive? On Sunday December 7th, the 7th annual Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade returns! This year the parade is presented by Downtown Ace Hardware and Market Street Veterinary Clinic. The parade starts and ends at the Hilton Gaslamp Park. For more information about this event visit Gaslamp Pet Parade.

Jingle All the Way
The 2014 Poinsettia Bowl Gaslamp March – Marching bands and spirit squads from the Poinsettia Bowl’s competing teams will parade along Fifth Avenue in the Gaslamp Quarter, performing holiday classics. The event will take place on Sunday, December 21st. The event will culminate in an exciting battle of the bands on 5th and Market. For more information about this event visit Gaslamp March.

little  girl with Christmas present

Get Your Craft On
Handmade Holiday at the San Diego Central Library – Give the gift of sincerity this holiday season! Saturday December 13th, enjoy live music, local handmade goods, and crafting with the kids at the brand new Central Library. Oh and watch out – there’s rumors the Grinch might be lurking around. For more information visit San Diego Central Library Handmade Holiday.

Take Me Out to the Ballpark
Holiday Wonderland at Petco Park – For 12 different nights throughout December, Petco Park will be transformed into a winter wonderland. Venture to the ballpark where you’ll be able to take a ride of the Polar Express, walk through magical lighting displays, feed live reindeer, explore Candyland, take pictures with Santa and more! Visit San Diego Padres Tickets for more information.

No Snow? No Problem! We’ve Got Ice
family ice skatingOutdoor Rink at Horton Square – San Diego may not get typical “winter weather,” but that doesn’t mean we can’t partake in any of the fun cold weather activities! From now through January 1st, swing by Horton Square and try out your ice skating skills! The best part is that all of the fun had at the rink goes towards a great cause – Peckham Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Rady’s Children’s Hospital San Diego. For more information about the ice rink visit San Diego Ice.

As you can see, there’s no lack of Holiday spirit and entertainment in the Gaslamp! Of course, if you’re coming to the Gaslamp for the Holidays and are looking for a historic, relaxing, and picturesque place to stay we’d be happy to accommodate you! (link here to website/rates/booking). We’ve discussed many of the main Holiday events happening, but you can find a full list of everything that’s happening in the Gaslamp here at San Diego Events.

Labor Day 2014 in San Diego; Stay at the Horton Grand Hotel

Labor Day 2014 in San Diego; Stay at the Horton Grand Hotel
This San Diego Labor Day weekend in San Diego is almost here! Labor Day marks the official end of the San Diego summer and there is so much to do and see or do nothing at all and soak up some of the Southern California Sun.
See why San Diego has been named the top draw for travel this holiday weekend. Heading to San Diego?
Make plans to stay at the Horton Grand Hotel in the heart of the Gaslamp just minutes to all of the top San Diego attractions and events. Here are a few of our favorites:
Sand Sculpting Contest August 29-September 1, 2014
1140 North Harbor Drive
For more information & ticket information please visit:
It’s a 4-day extravaganza for the whole family! At the San Sculpting Contest Event they are building a beach high above the water, bringing 300 tons of sand to the ‘B’ Street cruise ship terminal pier, with the bay on the West and downtown’s castles in the sky on the East. It’s been called the most creative atmosphere in the world. There’s nothing else like it anywhere.
World Master Sand Sculptors come from Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands and Canada, from exotic places like Latvia and Singapore, to challenge the best in the U.S. Their 3-dimensional art is astounding and the sculptures weigh over 10 tons each.
There’s live entertainment (big bands, singers and more), a sand box and rides for kids, a dozen gourmet food trucks, a great view of the bay, tall ships and cannon battles.

Festival of Sail August 29th-September 1, 2014
1492 North Harbor Drive
For more information and for ticket’s please visit:
The waters of San Diego Bay will be filled with tall ships this holiday weekend as the annual Festival of Sail cruises into the North Embarcadero area. The largest tall ship fest on the West Coast – hosted by the Maritime Museum of San Diego – sets sail beginning Friday at 9 a.m. and runs through Labor Day.
The nautical action begins with a tall ship parade Thursday that includes cannon fire salutes as the ships dock. Throughout the weekend, the agenda includes visits aboard the ships, a petting zoo and activities for kids, hundreds of arts and crafts vendors, a beer garden, food vendors and photo opportunities with pirates.

San Diego Padres August 29-August 31, 2014
Petco Park-100 Park Blvd
Take me out to the ballpark and cheer on the Padres as they take on the Los Angeles Dodgers this upcoming Labor Day Weekend. Special promotions include a Padres mesh hat giveaway and Trevor Hoffman Padres Hall of Fame Ceremony on Saturday and Kids Fest and U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard Appreciation Day on Sunday.
For tickets and more information please visit
San Diego Summer Pops August 29-August 31
Marina Park South on the Embarcadero
Bid farewell to another year of great music with The San Diego Symphony as the Summer Pops series comes to a close. Spend an evening under the stars during the final weekend featuring 1812 Tchaikovsky Spectacular with booming cannons and fireworks over San Diego Bay.
For tickets and more information please visit:
Summer Nights at the San Diego through September 1, 2014
2920 Zoo Drive
The Australian Outback meets the California shore for this year’s “Koalafornia” theme of the San Diego Zoo’s annual Nighttime Zoo festivities. The night features a sunset Skyfari ride, live music, acrobatic performances, up-close animal presentations and the rare chance to peek at nocturnal animal activity.
Labor Day weekend marks the end of another summer season at the San Diego Zoo.
For tickets and information please visit:
Make San Diego your travel destination this Labor Day weekend and make plans to stay at the Horton Grand Hotel in the Heart of the Gaslamp minutes to all of San Diego’s destinations and attractions.
Call 800-542-1886 for reservations or book on line at
800) 542-1886

Historical Overview of San Diego – From Then to Now

Many San Diegans and Visitors a like do not know the history of the city of San Diego and where the name “Horton” came from. San Diego is full of fascinating history and stories that makes it the beautiful city it has become today.
San Diego was originally constructed in the 1850’s around the old Spanish fortress at the foot of Presidio Hill, inland along the San Diego River. In 1867 a man by the name of Alonzo Horton moved to San Diego with the vision of building up the city a few miles south along the bay where the ships were docked. Horton believed if the town was built and developed along the waterfront, this would improve trade. Within a month, Horton bought over 800 acres of land for 33 cents an acre and built a wharf along the end of 5th Avenue. The city quickly grew into what was known as the “New Town” or “Horton Addition”. Word spread of the warm climate and prosperous, emerging city which attracted gamblers and prostitutes in the 1880’s including the famous Wyatt Earp, who ran three gambling halls. This wild and dangerous area of San Diego became known as the Stingaree District, after the fierce stingrays that dwelt at that time in San Diego’s Bay. This area today is known as The Gaslamp District, where the Horton Grand Hotel resides.

Horton played a huge role in the history of San Diego, establishing the Chamber of Commerce, and creating the city’s first park, Balboa Park. Alonzo Horton died at age 95. On his birthday he is said to have told newspapers, “San Diego is the most beautiful place in the world to me and I would rather have the affection and friendly greeting of the People of San Diego, than all the rulers in the world.”

Today San Diego is known as California’s second largest city famous for its warm, sunny climate, beautiful coastlines, and friendly locals. San Diego is unique for its vast diversity of people, geology, activities and attractions. With over 10 regions, each distinctive in their own way, there is no end to what San Diego has to offer its locals and visitors.

Making plans to visit San Diego? Please visit to make your reservation to stay in a historical San Diego hotel.