Christmas Lights Adventure at Christmas Card Lane – San Diego

When I was a child, going on a drive looking at Christmas lights was something I looked forward to. There is something refreshing, relaxing and joyful when gazing at those sparkly Christmas displays. The lights make me smile. The displays bring back happy family memories. And now that I have my own family, I like to do the same for them.

There is one neighborhood in San Diego county that goes all out. And I mean all out. While it may be up to an hour drive from some parts of Camp Pendleton, you will not be disappointed in this light display. In fact, the name, “Christmas Card Lane,” is the quintessential display of creativity through holiday lights and displays.

Getting There

The aptly named “Christmas Card Lane” can be found on Google Maps if you enter it in. Located in Rancho Penasquitos in San Diego, what once started as one “lane” of decorated homes has now poured over several streets.

The drive is about 30 minutes from the southern part of Camp Pendleton and 50 minutes from the northern part and mostly on I-5. While visiting it is an outing in itself, if you are down in San Diego for an event or exploration, consider adding a visit to Christmas Card Lane in the evening.

Parking (if not driving through)

If you can, drive down Black Mountain Rd and turn right, instead of left onto Oviedo St. Park along the street here or at Sunset Hills Elementary School and walk back to Oviedo St. Then walk along the streets Ellingham, Renato and Oviedo and Twin Trails Dr. On Fridays and Saturdays, many homes are abound with offerings of hot cocoa and cookies. When we recently drove through there were choirs and bands as well. Friday and Saturday evenings are the busiest, so give yourself two hours to see it all.


You can drive through the streets as mentioned above. Be patient. Be kind. There are pedestrians and small children. It should go without saying to drive slowly and be careful.

A Little History

Make sure to look for oval plaques on some of the displays. This denotes that this is a “Founding Family” meaning one of the initial 15 families to put up displays on Ellingham St in 1982. The reason for the name “Christmas Card” comes from the over-sized wooden greeting cards out on each lawn as part of the display. The displays are varied from cartoon characters to religious themes. My personal favorite was “The Double Dog Dare” home – the picture does not do it justice, but such is life when out and about with two active kiddos. We had a great time listening to the sounds of the

Bring a thermos of hot cocoa and pop in a Christmas CD to check out this SoCal holiday spot. This is so unique, and should be enjoyed at least once by military families who currently call SoCal their home. If you do drive, consider rolling down your windows so you can enjoy the sounds of each home. Enjoy the free fun and light displays! Happy Holidays from the MilMomAdventures team!

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