To get in a festive holiday mood, we take an annual trip down to Coronado Island. It's a magical time of year next to the Pacific Ocean. Our kid's smile while walking into the historic Hotel del Coronado's lobby admiring the tallest Christmas tree on the island. Vintage Santas and over 100,000 lights enchant guests and visitors. The gift shop sells holiday keepsake ornaments to purchase so guests have a delightful little memory of the Hotel del Coronado in their home.

We usually stay in the historic Victorian Building with rooms ranging between 200- and 289-square-feet. They have one queen bed or two full size beds. Some offer ocean views. Each are distinct in size and shape.

In the Ocean Towers and California Cabana buildings are larger rooms that are ideal for family vacations. Many are situated near the resort's Olympic-size pool. The adult pool at Ocean Towers is open during summer.

ACTIVITIES

S'MORES ON THE BEACH: Sit around a crackling fire pit under the stars, toes in the sand, and snack on the classic combination of marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate. All equipment is provided.

THE WINDSOR LAWN is transformed into a seaside ice rink until Jan. 3, 2013. Imagine the delight on your children's faces as they ice skate next to the beach. A two-hour matinee session including skates is $20 for adults and $15 for children under 10.Three hour sessions are $25 for adults and $20 for children under 10. A portion of the skating proceeds goes to the Make A Wish Foundation of San Diego.

If you arrive on Dec.7 you will get to see the 37th annual Coronado Christmas Parade and Open House. Santa arrives at the Coronado Ferry Landing before 3:30 p.m. A 50 ft. decorated Christmas Tree will glimmer with lights by 7 p.m.

On Dec. 9 and 16 over 100 private boat owners decorate their boats for the holidays and sail around San Diego Bay. The parade starts at 5:30 p.m. Fireworks dazzle the sky around 9 p.m.

Dining

The ocean ballroom and magnificent Crown Room are offering elegant Thanksgiving buffet meals from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. The Executive Chef Robert Hohmann at 1500 Ocean is preparing a special autumn menu. He is one of the top chefs in Southern California and enjoys picking herbs from one of the largest on-site herb gardens, to spice up his dishes.

Celebrate Christmas Eve with a Victorian buffet dinner in the historic Crown Room from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. On Christmas Day all of the resorts restaurants are offering special holiday menus.

New Year's Eve

Bring the kids to the Hotel del Coronado for a party. Kids 4-12 will enjoy a festive evening in Kidtopia for $100 from 7 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. while couples welcome 2013 with a champagne reception in the Crown Room, followed by a decadent dinner in the oceanfront ballroom. Guests can dance to the live music from The Mar Dels, before toasting the New Year with another glass of champagne before midnight. This one-of-a-kind end of the year party is $285 per person.

Packages

The Sea & Skate package offers accommodations and an ice skating session for four people starting at $199 during the week and $249 on the weekends from Nov. 22 to Jan. 1, 2012

The Holiday Escape package offers accommodations and a commemorative 2012 ornament. It starts at $309 at the Del and $610 for a Beach Village Villa. Valid Nov. 18 to Jan. 1, 2013.