150 Christmas Events in Orange County 2019


(updated 2019)
I officially declare it holiday season here in Orange County. Believe it or not, Christmas events are already popping up around Southern California!  So, here’s a list of over 150 Christmas Events in Orange County, including Christmas things to do in Orange County, winter celebrations and tree lightings.

It’s a tradition to make this guide to Christmas in OC as a gift to all of my readers! Hope you enjoy it. All of the events on this list are family-friendly Christmas Events in the OC and Southern California. So mark your calendars with your top choices, and get ready to make this holiday season, one that your family will always remember!

( Check back! More events will be added as they’re announced. Have an event you would like to include? Please email jillparkin {at} gmail.com)

 

Orange County Tree Lighting Ceremonies
Outlets of San Clemente Tree Lighting Ceremony
November 16, 2019  |  4:00 – 6:30 p.m.  |  Outlets of San Clemente
Celebrate the arrival of the holiday season at Outlets at San Clemente’s Annual Tree Lighting Celebration. Hosted by Santa and his reindeer, the event features a live reindeer meet-and-greet, roaming Christmas carolers, hot cocoa, photo booth, crafts, face-painting, balloon animals and the Grand Finale – the lighting of the 115′ tall (actually the world’s tallest tree) as fresh-cut tree as “snow” falls over San Clemente. FREE

Fashion Island Holiday Tree Lighting
November 22 & 23, 2019  |  6:00pm  | Fashion Island Newport Beach
Join us for Fashion Island’s Tree Lighting Ceremony in the Neiman Marcus / Bloomingdale’s Courtyard. Enjoy a 25-minute live musical show by The Young Americans, a visit from Santa, a magical snowfall, and, of course, the highly-anticipated lighting of the tree!  FREE

Nightly Holiday Tree Lighting at Fashion Island
November 22, 2019 – January 5, 2019  |  5:00pm

Irvine Spectrum Nightly Tree Lighting
November 29 – December 24, 2019  |  Every 30 minutes starting at 5:00 p.m.  | Irvine Spectrum
The beautiful 75-foot tree will come to life every night with a choreographed light show every 30 minutes in Giant Wheel Court. FREE

Holiday Tree Lighting at Kaleidoscope
December 7, 2019  | 5:00 – 8:00 pm  | Kaleidoscope, Mission Viejo
Kaleidoscope in Mission Viejo will ring in the holidays with a festive tree lighting. The free evening of family fun will include a performance by the bright and talented students of Orange County School of the Arts, along with Frosty and Rudolph who will join Santa in a countdown to light the 20-foot Noble Fir in Kaleidoscope’s courtyard. Visitors will also enjoy free face painting, balloon art, a caricature artist, a festive photo booth, a holiday ornament craft, and some of your favorite Frozen-inspired characters, along with carolers sharing seasonal cheer. After the tree lighting, Santa Claus will be available for photos inside Union Market on the upper level. Select Kaleidoscope restaurants and shops will also have sampling and special offers. FREE

Nutcracker Christmas Tree Lighting & Holiday Village
December 7, 2019  |  10:00am – 7:00pm  | Downtown Anaheim
Tree lighting, Nutcracker Ballet, snow play area, International food frenzy, rock climbing, Christmas crafts, train rides, pictures with Santa and more!  FREE

Newport Dunes Lighting of the Bay 
November 30, 2019  |  3:00 – 8:00pm  |  Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort
Gather at the shores for the countdown to the Lighting of the Bay featuring Santa Claus, who will flip the giant switch to illuminate the bay and arrive by wave-runner. Selfies with Santa will follow right after so pull out your phones!  Kids’ love the special activities and rides on a small holiday train offered at the event. This is a Newport Beach holiday tradition not to be missed. FREE

Crystal Cove Tree Lighting & Holiday Bazaar
December 7, 2019  |  10:00am –  5:30pm | Crystal Cove State Park
Every year, just after Thanksgiving, Crystal Cove is transformed into a holiday wonderland with vintage ornaments, twinkling lights, and a beautiful, majestic tree on the beach. The first Saturday in December is the Annual Tree Lighting & Holiday Bazaar complete with Santa arriving via a lifeguard vehicle to greet the crowd. As Santa and strolling carolers join the event, complimentary hot chocolate, apple cider and home- baked goodies will be provided by The Beachcomber Café. The tree lighting ceremony begins at dusk. FREE

Balboa Bay Club Tree Lighting Ceremony
December 18, 2019  |  4:00pm  | Marine Ave, Balboa Island
One of the most special times of the year when we get together for the tree lighting on Balboa Island. The tree lighting takes place in front the the fire station on Marine Avenue. The snow hill and pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus take place on Marine ave between the fire station and The Village Inn. Come on down for this fun, family event and enjoy the music and festivities! FREE

Balboa Island Holiday Tree Lighting and Snow
December 1, 2019  |  6:00pm  |  Balboa Bay Club & Resort
Kick off the holiday season with our Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. Enjoy a performance from Orange County School of the Arts’ MONTAGE! — a high-energy performance featuring Santa, Frosty, Rudolph and friends. The lighting of the gorgeous 20-foot Christmas tree and complimentary treats and beverages complete the festivities. FREE

Bella Terra Tree Lighting
November 16, 2019  |  6 – 8:00pm  |  Bella Terra, Huntington Beach
Bella Terra’s Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony is a magical holiday celebration that brings the season to life! Featuring a holiday sing-along with the Snow Queen & her Sister, Santa & Mrs. Claus and a special performance by Hip Hop Violinist Josh Vietti & Friends. Plus, enjoy special treats including hot chocolate from Peet’s Coffee and complimentary Jingle Bells and Santa hats (while supplies last). And don’t miss the arrival of Santa to light the tree amidst a magical snowfall and photos ops with Santa to follow.

Tree Lighting at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort
December 1, 2019 |  4:00pm  |  St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point
Celebrate the season and support our schools at Monarch Beach Resort.  Enjoy a variety of musical performances by our students, cocoa and cookies, visits with Santa Claus and the official lighting of the holiday tree, hosted by KOST radio’s lively Ellen K!

Holiday Tree Lighting at the Ritz-Carlton
November 24, 2019 |  4:00pm  |  Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel
Gather for the annual tree lighting and enjoy holiday music and a special appearance from Santa Claus. Donations of toys, books, and canned goods will be collected for donation to local organizations.

Dana Point Winter Festival and Tree Lighting
December 7, 2019  |  12:00 – 5:30pm  |  La Plaza, Dana Point
This annual event features Santa, entertainment, an artisan craft fair, carnival games, rides, crafts for kids, cookie decorating and more! The tree lighting takes place at 5:15 pm with free hot chocolate and cookies.

Pines Park Tree Lighting
December 9, 2019  |  3:00 – 5:00pm  | Pines Park, Dana Point
Santa visits, carolers, dog costume parade, carnival games for the kids, free cookies and hot chocolate for the tree lighting at 5 pm.

Brea Tree Lighting
December 5, 2019  |  6:30pm  |  Brea Civic & Cultural Center
Light up the holiday at the City of Brea’s annual tree lighting celebration. Live music and entertainment will put everyone in the holiday spirit. Watch the holiday tree light up the evening and see children’s eyes sparkle when Mr. and Mrs.Claus drop in for a visit. Pictures with Santa are available for a fee. Cookies and hot chocolate will be served. FREE

Buena Park Tree Lighting
December 7, 2019  |  6:00pm  |  Buena Park City Hall
Gather around the tree at this free event to enjoy the sights and sounds of holiday cheer in the company of family, friends and community. The festivities kick off with the lighting of the tree by City Council followed by special performances and entertainment from  carolers, storytellers, vocalists and musicians! Santa will make his grand entrance on an Orange County Fire Authority truck. In honor of this season of giving, the event is also host to a Toy Drive benefiting local charities. We encourage attendees to bring a new, unwrapped gift for children. FREE

Orange Tree Lighting Ceremony and Candlelight Procession
December 8, 2019  |  3:30 – 7:00pm  |  Old Town Orange Plaza
Join the City of Orange for an evening of holiday cheer and family fun as we sing traditional carols of the season with the Orange Community Master Chorale led by musical director Michael Short. FREE

La Palma Tree Lighting
December 4, 2019  |  4:00 – 5:30pm  | Central Park Amphitheater
Join your friends and family for this annual holiday favorite. Every year this event brings the La Palma community together to ring in the holiday season! Enjoy the musical talents from our local schools and join in during the Community Carol Sing Along. Take a picture with Santa and his elves in the activities area before the event. This area will feature crafts, an opportunity to write a letter to Santa, and of course, the young and young-at-heart won’t want to miss an early visit from Santa Claus! ! FREE

Ladera Ranch Tree Lighting
December TBD  |  5:00 – 8:30 p.m.  |  Town Green, Ladera Ranch
Christmas Tree Lighting & Santa at the Town Green, corner of Sienna Parkway & Mercantile Way (details to be announced closer to the event). FREE

Irvine Winter Wonderland & Tree Lighting
December 7, 2019  |  4:00 – 6:30pm  | Irvine Civic Center
Celebrate the season as “snow” falls over the Irvine Civic Center and the community gathers for the holiday tree lighting ceremony on Saturday, December 7, 4–6:30 p.m. Join us for an evening of holiday cheer. The free event will include visits with Santa Claus, live holiday music, games, crafts, and winter-themed train route. FREE

Laguna Niguel Christmas Tree Lighting
December 7, 2019  |  5 – 7:00pm  |  Laguna Niguel City Hall
A Hawaiian Holiday! Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say on a bright Hawaiian Christmas day! Join us for a Hawaiian Holiday celebration at this year’s Christmas Tree Lighting event. An evening full of island-inspired crafts and sweet aloha treats will be available for the little “keiki” in everyone. Santa will be there, so don’t forget your camera! Bring your loved ones, neighbors, family members, and friends; please leave your furry friends at home. FREE

A Cool Yule Celebration and Tree Lighting at Pacific City
November 29, 2019  | 2 – 6:00pm  | Pacific City
Multiple children’s activities throughout the day with holiday crafts, Portola hot cocoa station and Santa photos on the Ocean Deck. Enjoy a special performance by the Grinch and join in on the holiday cheer with caroling throughout the center as we make our way over for the Paséa Hotel + Spa Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony! FREE

Capistrano Night Tree Lighting Ceremony
December 7, 2019  |  5:30 – 9:00pm  |  San Juan Capistrano Mission
Celebrate the holidays with Mission San Juan Capistrano and join us for Capistrano Lights Opening Night. Enjoy a unique opportunity to experience the Mission at night where history meets holiday.  Bring the family and enjoy this fun, festive and memorable evening together at the beautiful Mission!

South Coast Plaza Tree Lighting Ceremony & Santa Arrival
November 21, 2019  | 6:30pm  |  Town Center, Costa Mesa
South Coast Plaza’s annual tree-lighting ceremony includes a performance by Orange County School of the Arts. Enjoy a celebration of the holidays with snow, refreshments and a special visit from Santa.Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Free parking is available at South Coast Plaza parking lots. FREE

Stanton Tree Lighting Ceremony
December 5, 2019 | 6:00 – 8:00pm | Stanton Civic Center
Join your family and friends for this wonderful Christmas event! Enjoy the musical talents of the Rancho Alamitos High School Choir and the lighting of the Stanton Christmas tree. Of course the young-at-heart will not want to miss an early visit from Santa Claus! This special evening will conclude with tasty refreshments and an opportunity to meet your friends and neighbors. FREE

Tustin Tree Lighting
December 6, 2019  |  6:00pm  |  Tustin Library Courtyard
This holiday event includes music, entertainment, activities for kids, an appearance by Santa Claus and of course, the lighting of the Christmas tree. FREE

Tree Lighting Ceremony at The Ritz-Carlton
November 24, 2019  |  4:00 p.m. | The Ritz-Carlton Dana Point
Gather for the annual tree lighting and enjoy holiday music and a special appearance from Santa Claus. Donations of toys, books, and canned goods will be collected for donation to local organizations. FREE

Fountain Valley Tree Lighting
December 7, 2019  |  4:30 – 8:00pm  | Fountain Valley Recreation Center and Sports Park
This special holiday event will feature guests from the North Pole as well as performances by various community groups, delicious food available for purchase from local non-profit organizations, games, a spectacular fireworks show, and much more! FREE

Winter in the Grove
December 7, 2019  |  4:00 – 8:00pm  | Village Green Park, Garden Grove
Returning this year, the best of Winterfest and Christmas Tree Lighting holiday celebrations are coming together into one exciting new event – Winter in the Grove! Enjoy free seasonal refreshments, crafts, letters to Santa, an exotic car show, holiday craft boutique, 12 real snow slides, a visit by Santa and Mrs. Claus, and an unforgettable tree lighting ceremony. Unlimited snow slide rides are $5. Food will be available for purchase. FREE

Special Christmas Events in Orange County
Winter Fest OC at the OC Fair 
December 19, 2019 – January 5, 2020 |   OC Fair & Event Center
Spectacular family fun and date night charm! Featuring ice tubing, a two million light walk-through show, ice skating, snow play with real snow blown in daily, nightly Christmas tree lighting ceremony, carnival rides, festive entertainment, seasonal eateries, visits with Santa and so much more.

Heritage Hill Annual Candlelight Walk
December 13, 14 & 15, 2019  |  5:30 – 8:30pm  |  Heritage Hill Historical Park
Experience the historic park in a unique, once-a-year opportunity during Heritage Hill’s Candlelight Tours.  More than 1,000 luminaries will light the park’s pathways as strolling carolers and musicians fill the air with music.  More information to come.

Holiday Snowland
December 14, 2019 | 9:00 – noon | Balearic Community Center, Costa Mesa
Turning our local park into a winter wonderland with over 40 tons of snow has become a Costa Mesa tradition. Three generations of families have enjoyed this Torelli sponsored event for over 25 years. A time honored tradition that is attended by over 1,000 people annually. FREE

Santa’s Village By the Sea
December 7, 2019  |  5:00 – 10:00pm  |  San Clemente Community Center
The Holidays will be here before you know it! Save the date and prepare for a day full of holiday cheer! Santa and his reindeer are getting ready for their ride up Del Mar with the Mayor and friends to light the community tree. Continue the night with live music at the Del Mar Glitz, Christmas at the Casa, and snow sledding at the Community Center.

Ugly Christmas Sweater Skate Night
December 14, 2019 | 6:00pm – midnight |  Laguna Niguel Skate Park
Join us this winter for an Ugly Sweater Late Night Skate Night. Come to the Skate Park and skate until midnight in your favorite ugly sweaters! The best ugly sweater will win a prize. We will be throwing down some tasty winter favorites, free gear, and keeping the lights on late. Food will be available for a nominal fee. All participants require a valid waiver on file signed by their parent or guardian.

Holiday Movie Night
November 27 – December 18, 2019  |  6:00 p.m.  | Pacific City, Huntington Beach
Enjoy a holiday movie at the Surf Theater every Thursday! Movies will start at 6:00pm at the Surf Theater located on Level 2 near Saint Marc. Come early to grab a seat and a bite to eat, and a special treat from Paséa Hotel & Spa while you enjoy these holiday classics! There is no entrance fee, just bring yourself and your loved ones, chairs & blankets and get cozy! Please no outside food or drink.

Nightmare Before Christmas | November 27 
PLUS a special meet and greet with Jack and Sally from 5 – 6pm before the movie starts!

A Christmas Story | December 4

Elf | December 11
Plus meet and greet with Buddy the Elf before the movie from 5 – 6pm.

The New Grinch Cartoon | December 18 
Plus meet and greet with Grinch before the movie from 5 – 6pm.

Jingle Jam
December 5, 2019 | 5:00 – 8:00pm | Eastgate Park, Garden Grove
The 6th Annual West Grove Jingle Jam is coming!!! We are closing down a street for train rides, Santa will be there for pictures, performances, vendor booths, food trucks, toy drive, and so much more!! We hope to see everyone there!! FREE

Holiday Pajama Movie Nights
December TBD, 2019  | 6:00 pm  | Kaleidoscope, Mission Viejo
On Wednesday at 6pm, our free HOLIDAY PAJAMA MOVIE NIGHT continues here inside Union Market Mission Viejo! 🎄 Bring a beach chair or blanket and enjoy free popcorn during the movie! Visitors can also enjoy $1 hot kids chocolate from @portolacoffee with every adult purchase and Kids Eat Free (with the purchase of an adult entree) at Solagave and more discounted treats from our restaurants!⁣⁣⁣⁣

Corona Del Mar Christmas Walk
December 8, 2019 | 11:00am – 4:00pm  |   Corona Del Mar
The Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce is proud to present the community’s most popular event of the year! This special event is filled with holiday festivities for family, friends, residents and visitors looking for a spectacular way to ring in the holiday season. Each year “The Walk” brings together thousands of fun-loving people into the Village of Corona del Mar for live entertainment, food, prizes and games in true holiday spirit! FREE

Santa’s Wonderland
November 16 – December 24, 2019  |  5:00 – 8:00pm | Bass Pro Shops, Rancho Cucamonga
Stop by Bass Pro Rancho for tons of fun during Santa’s Wonderland! We’ll have free photos with Santa (One free 4×6 per family), crafts, giveaways, fun & games for the kids, and much more! Show up early to get a Bass Pass, which allows you to come back during your allotted time frame to take your photo with Santa! Each Bass Pass is redeemable for one free photo with Santa during the time listed on your Bass Pass! We hope to see you soon & look forward to making your Holiday dreams come true here at Bass Pro Shops! FREE

Holiday Extravaganza
December 7, 2019  | 10:30 – noon  | Shops at Mission Viejo
Join us for crafts, entertainment, goodie bags, and a visit from Santa and more. Hosted in the Center Court.

Ho Ho Night Hike
December 7, 2019  |  5:30 – 8:00pm  |  Carbon Canyon Regional Park
Come see Carbon Canyon Regional Park in a completely different setting – in the dark! Our annual fall/winter night hikes are here again. Park Rangers will lead a hike to the Redwood Grove showcasing the natural wonders that can only be seen at night. The Ho Ho Night Hike will feature many fun activities, including a visit to the Nature Center, hot coca and cookies, a live animal presentation, a hike through the wilderness area. FREE

Holidays in Who-ville
December 16, 2019  |  10:30 – 11:30am  |  Bella Terra, Huntington Beach
Use Your Imagination! Enjoy the classic tale of what happens to the Whos in Whoville during the holidays. Be Crafty! Create a cute Grinch inspired ornament. Be Entertained by The Grinch & Cindy Lou Who. Make sure to register. FREE

“LET IT SNOW” with the Snow Queen & Princess
November 29 – December 22, 2019  |  6:00 & 7:00pm  |  Bella Terra, Huntington Beach
The Snow Queen and Princess will be performing and making it snow on the Green with their friends. Gather around the Green to enjoy a 30 minute show filled with wondrous delight.

Special Guest Appearances:
Sat, Nov 30 – Grinch & Cindy Loo Hoo
Sun, Dec 1
– Grinch & Cindy Loo Hoo
Sat, Dec 7 – Holiday Superheros
Sun, Dec 8
– Holiday Superheros
Sat, Dec 14 – Jack Skellington & Sally
Sun, Dec 15
– Jack Skellington & Sally
Sat, Dec 21 – Snowy Elves & Gingerbread Man
Sun, Dec 22
– Snowy Elves & Gingerbread Man 

Magical Snowfall on the Green
Every Friday, November 29 – December 22, 2019  |  10:30 – 11:30am  |  Bella Terra, Huntington Beach
Join us for holiday music while it snows on the Green. Gather around the Green at 6 & 7 PM to enjoy a 30 min musical performance. FREE

Fri, Nov 29 – Audrey Gelb Duo
Fri, Dec 6 – Jaime Van Der Sluys
Fri, Dec 13 – Audrey Gelb Duo
Fri, Dec 20 – Jaime Van Der Sluys. 

 

Santa Events in Orange County

Skydiving Santa and Cool Yule Holiday Kickoff Celebration!
November 23, 2019  |  noon – 3:00 p.m.  | Pacific City, Huntington Beach
You’re invited to witness Santa’s official arrival in Surf City USA! Straight from the North Pole, Santa and two of his elves will appear in the sky and land on the beach in front of Pacific City! Special surprises are in store as Santa is escorted from his landing spot on the beach to Pacific City. The hall-decking happiness will commence with photo ops with Santa and your little ones as Pacific City celebrates the start of the holiday season. Expect holiday songs, Santa hats and candy canes while supplies last and so much more! Free

Santa’s Arrival
November 15, 2019  | 6 – 8:00pm  | MainPlace Mall
The entire community is invited to join us as we welcome Santa Claus to his new “A Christmas Story” home. Following Santa’s arrival, children and their families will be able to meet some of Santa’s favorite elves, enjoy face painting and balloon twisting, and sip hot cocoa while listening to a DJ play festive holiday music. There will also be exciting giveaways available to the first 300 children to attend. Level 1 in Center Court.

Kris Kringle Story Time Mingle
November 29 – December 22, 2019  • Friday – Sunday  | 3 – 6:00pm  | Pelican Hill Resort
Santa’s parking his sleigh and setting up shop in the Main Estate Lobby, where he’ll be reading stories, taking photos and delighting kids of all ages. Gather ‘round the gingerbread display for three story times at 3 p.m., 4 p.m. and 5 p.m., and be sure to stick around during intermission to take photos and visit with jolly old St. Nick.

Harley-Davidson CHOC Toy Drive Pick-Up
December 13, 2019  |  12:00 – 1:00 p.m.  |  Pretend City Children’s Museum
Santa traded in his sleigh for a Harley! Stop by the museum today and watch the fleet of Harleys, including Santa, pick up new toys from Pretend City Children’s Museum! All the toys we collect in our toy drive will be taken to CHOC by Santa and the Harley crew! Help us collect toys through December 23rd! Durable, cleanable toys are best for a hospital setting

Santa’s Arrival
November 16 – December 24, 2019  |  5:00 – 8:00pm | Bass Pro Shops, Rancho Cucamonga
Stop by Bass Pro Rancho for tons of fun during Santa’s Wonderland! We’ll have free photos with Santa (One free 4×6 per family), crafts, giveaways, fun & games for the kids, and much more! Show up early to get a Bass Pass, which allows you to come back during your allotted time frame to take your photo with Santa! Each Bass Pass is redeemable for one free photo with Santa during the time listed on your Bass Pass! We hope to see you soon & look forward to making your Holiday dreams come true here at Bass Pro Shops! FREE

PC Grommets Holiday Party
December 17, 2019  | 10 – 11:00am  | Pacific City
Join us for a super fun Kids Club on December 17th! Enjoy a special showing of How The Grinch Stole Christmas (Cartoon) plus cookies & hot cocoa, fun books and even a special appearance by Santa & Mrs. Claus! Don’t miss your chance to snap a photo with the big man himself! FREE

Santa Stroll
December 8, 2019  |  5:00 – 7:00pm  |  Santa Margarita Catholic School
Join us for this year’s Annual Santa Stroll, a fun tradition where everyone and anyone is invited to support and encourage kids fighting cancer to NEGU – Never Ever Give Up! If you live in Orange County, CA, or live close enough to make the journey, create a team and stroll with us on December 8th at Santa Margarita Catholic High School! If you aren’t local to the Orange County area, or can’t attend on December 8th, you can still join in the holiday cheer and help raise funds needed to encourage kids fighting cancer this holiday season. Together, we can help spread JOY, create SMILES and encourage Courageous Kids to NEGU.

Santa Claus Classic & Custom Car Show for Kids
December 7, 2019  | 11:00am – 2:00pm  | El Centro / Lions Park La Habra
La Habra Host Lions 2019 Santa Cause invites you to show for the kids! Pajamas, Board games and Sport balls will be donated to underserved children during the holiday season. Live Entertainment, Antique Engine Displays, 50/50 & Opportunity Drawings, Lions Club Famous Tri Tip BBQ, 20 Best in Show awards, Vendors and LOTS OF FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY!

 

Where to Get Santa Photos in Orange County

Visit & Photos with Santa
December 9, 12, 18 & 20, 2019  |  9:30am  |  Pretend City Children’s Museum
You better watch out, you better not cry…Santa Claus is coming to Pretend City! Join us as we meet jolly ‘ol Saint Nick, tell him our holiday wishes, and sit on his lap for a photo! You don’t want to miss out on this exclusive merry visit! Don’t forget to bring a camera!

Selfies with Santa
December 14, 2019  |  4:00 – 7:00 p.m.  |  Anaheim Packing House
Grab your camera phone and get ready to share your holiday wishes with the man in the red suit!

All for a Good Claus!
December 14, 2019  | 2 – 4:00pm  | Pacific City
Come take a photo with Santa at the Fire Engine as he hangs out with the Huntington Beach Fire Department! Get in the holiday spirit by bringing an unwrapped toy for the spark of love toy drive. Located on surface lot behind Pacific City.

Santa Photos at Dana Wharf
December 6, 7, 13 & 14, 2019  | 4:30 – 7:30pm | Dana Point Harbor Restaurants & Shops Area
Bring your cameras and snap a selfie with Santa – FREE!

• Fashion Island Santa Hours.
• MainPlace Mall Santa Hours
• Brea Mall Santa Hours
• The Shops at Mission Viejo Santa Hours
• Irvine Spectrum Santa Hours
Outlets of San Clemente Santa Hours
Pacific City in Huntington Beach Santa Hours

 

Pet Photos with Santa in Orange County

Pet Photos with Santa
December 1, 8, 15 & 22, 2019  | 4:00 – 6:00pm  | Irvine Spectrum Center
Don’t miss special ‘Santa Paws’ photos – bring your best furry friend to enjoy doggie photos with Santa himself!

Pet Photos with Santa
December 14, 2019  | 9:00am – noon  | Pacific City, Huntington Beach
Bring your pet to pose with Santa. Find Santa in Center Court.

Yappy Howl-iday 2019
December 15, 2019  |  11:00am – 2:00pm  |  Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel
The Yappy Howl-iday Celebration is a festive gathering of canines and their companions Guests are asked to bring unopened canned or dry dog food, treats and toys to be donated to canines in need. FREE

Pet Photos with Santa
November 24 & December 1, 2019  | 7:00 – 8:30pm  | Brea Mall
Bring your pet to pose with Santa. Find Santa in Center Court.

Pet Photos with Santa
December 8, 2019  | 7:00 – 8:00pm  | Shops at Mission Viejo
Bring your pet to pose with Santa. Find Santa on the Lower Level near Nordstrom.

Santa Paws Photos
December 1, 2019  | 9:00am – 2:30pm | Dana Point Harbor at the El Torito Courtyard
Bring your favorite furry friend to Dana Point Harbor and have his picture taken with Santa. The cost is $15 per picture!  Start a family tradition with these keepsake photos of your beloved pets. All proceeds benefit the homeless animals at the San Clemente.

Pet Photos with Santa
November 24 & December 1, 2019  |  7:00 – 8:30pm  |  MainPlace Mall
Families are invited to bring their four legged friends to pose with Santa. Please be sure to have your pet on a leash or in a pet carrier.

Home For the Holidays Pet Adoption Event
December 1, 2019  |  10:00am – 2:00pm  | Irvine Animal Care Center
The City of Irvine Animal Care Center is hosting its 13th annual Home for the Holidays Pet Adoption Fair!. More than 30 pet rescue groups and animal shelters will bring about 500 homeless dogs, cats, rabbits, and small animals for adoption. The annual event features dozens of pet-related vendors, gourmet food trucks, a silent auction, low-cost microchipping, and an opportunity drawing. Each animal available for adoption is spayed or neutered, microchipped, and evaluated by a veterinarian. Cats and dogs are vaccinated appropriate to age. Suggested donation for the event is $2 per person or $5 per family. Parking is free.

Santa Paws Photos
November 16, 2019  |  10:00am – 2:00 p.m.  |  Outlets of San Clemente
Bring your favorite furry friend to Outlets at San Clemente and have his or her picture taken with Santa. The cost is only $15 for a picture and you’ll receive the photo immediately!  Start a family tradition with these keepsake photos of your beloved pets. All proceeds benefit the homeless animals at the San Clemente – Dana Point Animal Shelter.

Holiday Light Displays in the OC
60+ Christmas Light Displays
• Nellie Gail Road in Laguna Hills
• Candy Cane Lane | El Corzo Street in Rancho Santa Margarita
• Birch Street in Brea
• Belquest Drive in Lake Forest

Capistrano Lights
December 8, 2019 – January 6, 2020 |  5:30 – 9:00pm  |  San Juan Capistrano Mission
Celebrate the holidays at Orange County’s only Mission with 30 days of festive programming and a nightly tree lighting. Create lasting memories with family photos under our 10′ wreath, selfies with Santa on select weekends in December, photo opportunity with our 30′ Christmas tree and make your prayer for peace and goodwill by placing a candle in the Ruins of the Great Stone Church. Additionally, on weekends throughout December, families will have the opportunity to meet and take “Selfies with Santa” in the historic Sala building and Holiday Crafts with AR Workshop in the Soldiers Barracks. These event will be offered from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm on December 14, 15, 21 and 22. 

For more fun, join us for Winter Break: Crafts and Activities for Kids. This event will be offered daily starting Saturday, December 21, 2019 to Sunday, January 5, 2020, nominal fee in addition to paid admission. Mission Members receive a discounted rate. Crafts and activities are offered including Adobe Brick Making, Arrowhead Necklace and an Alternate Craft.

Balboa Island Holiday Home Walking Tour
December 8, 2019  |  11:00am – 4:00pm  |  Balboa Island Homes
The winter holidays are always a festive time on Balboa Island. Many people visit the Island to enjoy not only the Newport Beach Boat Parade but to view the multitude of Island homes decorated for the holidays. Eight home owners open their homes to display the unique character of island living during the holiday season. Each home is decorated for the holidays.

Amusement Park Christmas Events in Orange County
Knott’s Merry Farm
November 22, 2019 – January 5, 2020

Holidays at the Disneyland Resort
November 8, 2019 – January 6, 2020

Holidays at Legoland
November 23 – December 31, 2019

Grinchmas at Universal Studios Hollywood
November 23 – December 29, 2019

 

Christmas Hotel Fun in Orange County
Snowland at Great Wolf Lodge
November 30, 2019 – January 5, 2030 | Great Wolf Lodge, Garden Grove
Enjoy the magic of the season at Great Wolf Lodge with snow themed activities, Santa and a life sized gingerbread house – all included in your stay.

 

Christmas Train Events in Orange County

Irvine Park Railroad Christmas Train to Santa
November 29 – December 23, 2019  | Irvine Park Railroad
Take this enchanting night ride through historic Irvine Regional Park to meet Santa Claus. Christmas train will depart from the twinkling train station and drop passengers off at the North Pole. Children can share their wishlist with Santa and have a photo taken with him. TICKETS SELL OUT FAST, PURCHASE NOW.

The Polar Express in Southern California
November 29 – December 29, 2019  | Orange Empire Railroad Museum, Perris
Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, passengers will relive the magic of the classic story as they are whisked away on THE POLAR EXPRESS™ for a magical one-hour trip to meet Santa. Once on board, your car hosts will work their way through the coach and punch your golden ticket before hot chocolate and a delicious cookie are served by dancing chefs. Passengers then read along with the classic children’s book, The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg. Santa and his helpers board the train to greet passengers and each guest is given the first gift of Christmas. During the trip, characters on each car immerse passengers in theatrical onboard entertainment – just like in the film! Each guest will take home a keepsake sleigh bell in addition to the wonderful memories made on this magical trip.

Muzeo Express
November 30, 2019 – January 26, 2020 |  Muzeo
Come celebrate the holiday season with model trains and miniature scenes. Complete with historical relics showcasing the history of trains in Southern California,  Muzeo Express is sure to be a holiday favorite for children and enthusiasts alike.

 

Christmas Zoo & Aquarium Events
Holiday Zoobilation at the Santa Ana Zoo
December 1 – 31, 2019  |  Santa Ana Zoo
The Zoo is transformed into a winter wonderland called “Winter Zoobilation” with snow, lights, music and special festive decorations for all to enjoy.

Snow Days with the Critters
December 14 & 15, 2019  | 11:00am – 2:00pm  |  Santa Ana Zoo
Zoo celebration featuring stations focusing on winter and snow. Watch animals receive icy treats, listen to festive music, enjoy the winter decorations, play educational games, create cool crafts and listen to delightful winter stories. | General Public – free with price of admission; FOSAZ Members are FREE and Santa Ana Residents are FREE on December 15.

Holiday Treats with the Animals
December 7 & 8, 2019  |  Aquarium of the Pacific
In celebration of the holiday season, Santa Diver will be delivering an ocean of gifts to the Aquarium of the Pacific for its animals, including penguins, sea otters, seals, sea lions, lorikeets, and fish. Features festive décor, a display of gingerbread houses, daily Penguin Walks, holiday music and shopping, “snowfall” in the Great Hall, a special holiday menu in Café Scuba, and daily appearances by Aquarium characters in their holiday outfits.

Christmas with the Critters
December 9, 2019   |  11:00am – 3:00pm  |   Ranchos Las Lomas
Join us for our 10th annual Christmas with the Critters for a fun festive day! The children will enjoy crafts, holiday music, bounce house, Santa, watching the animals opening their Christmas presents and listening to keeper talks, while the parents can enjoy holiday shopping, silent auction, lunch and beverages.

Seaworld Snowland
November 23, 2019 – January 5, 2020  |  Seaworld San Diego

Jungle Bells
December 13, 2019 – January 5, 2020  |  San Diego Zoo

 

Orange County Christmas Boat Parades and more!

Newport Beach Boat Parade
December 18 – 22, 2019  |  6:30pm  | Newport Harbor
The 111th Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade moves its way through the Newport Harbor this December. Parade participants will start from the east end of Lido Island with the first public viewing destination at Marina Park. Residents and visitors will have optimal viewing of the beautifully decorated yachts, boats, kayaks and canoes sail in the parade from the Dine & Watch waterfront and Dine & Walk dining options within walking distance of the many public viewing spots. FREE

Huntington Harbour Boat Parade
December 14 & 15, 2019  |  Huntington Harbour
It is that time of year when we get excited about the upcoming boat parade, where we have the opportunity to view our traditional favorites, while adding new and unique entries. The 2019 theme is ‘Rock and Roll Fantasy’.  There are certainly many different forms and traditions of music from different cultures. FREE

Stand Up Paddleboarding and Surfing Santa Competition
November 23 & 14, 2019   |  8:00am – 4:00pm | The Ritz-Carlton Dana Point
A fun, two-day surf competition where men, women and children dress like Santa or other holiday-inspired characters and surf or stand up paddle board to benefit Surfers Healing. FREE

Dana Point Harbor Boat Parade & Festive Family Activities
December 6, 7, 13 & 14, 2019  |  Dana Point Harbor
Get ready for a Tiki Holiday takeover at Dana Point Harbor during the 45th Annual Boat Parade of Lights! You can view the parade FREE from anywhere in the Harbor, or make reservations at one of our restaurants to view it from a cozy and warm spot. Come on down and enjoy the sights and sounds of the season. FREE

Boat Rides with Santa
December 7 & 8, 2019  | 10:00am – 2:00pm |  Dana Wharf
Join Santa and Dana Wharf Sportfishing on a twenty-minute cruise around Dana Point Harbor to take pictures with Santa and his holiday helpers! During your holiday adventure at sea, a $3 donation benefiting the El Camino Real Junior Woman’s Club is welcome and appreciated.

Christmas on the Queen Mary
November 29, 2019 – January 1, 2020 |  Queen Mary, Long Beach
Discover new traditions mingled with good old-fashioned Christmas cheer as you stroll the beautiful decks of the legendary ship, experiencing thousands of twinkling lights, carolers and musical performances, our outdoor skating rink atop the Sports Deck, meet and greets with Santa, and more!

 

Orange County Christmas Parades

Miracle On Main Street
November 24, 2019  |  2:00 – 7:00pm  |  Main Street, Huntington Beach
It’s the most wonderful time of the year when HB Downtown fills the 2nd block of Main Street with entertainment, holiday craft vendors, kid’s activities, and refreshments. A special tree lighting ceremony with entertainment. FREE

Laguna Niguel Holiday Parade
December 14, 2019  |  10:00am  |  Crown Valley Parkway
Experience the unique sights and sounds of the annual Laguna Niguel Holiday Parade! View over 100 exciting entries including marching bands, floats, special guests, youth groups, equestrian units, exotic cars, military members, local heroes, and fun attractions! No hometown holiday parade is complete without a dazzling entrance by Santa Claus! Parade watchers are encouraged to bring chairs and take advantage of the free shuttle, available from the Federal Building parking lot off of Dorine/El Lazo. The event will go rain or shine, unless conditions are determined unsafe. FREE

Huntington Beach Light a Light of Love Parade
December 8, 2019  |  3:30 – 7:00pm  |  Huntington Beach Pier & Main 
Community holiday celebration benefiting Waymakers Huntington Beach Youth Shelter. Join us for a day of holiday cheer featuring a children’s holiday parade, visits at the beach from Surf City Santa, pier plaza entertainment and pier and Main Street snowflake lighting ceremony. You can help shed a light on Orange County’s children with your support of sponsoring a snowflake!

 

Breakfast with Santa Events in Orange County
Breakfast with Santa
December 7, 2019  |  8:30 – 12:30pm  | The Children’s Museum at La Habra
A time honored classic for Christmas! Includes a continental breakfast of yummy treats, a colorful craft for each child, a classic photo with Santa Claus and free admission into the Museum! Reservations are required for this event.

Breakfast with Santa at Downtown Disney
December 7 – 24, 2019 | 8:00am – noon | Catal Restaurant in Downtown Disney
Join Saint Nick and his elves throughout the holiday season at Catal Restaurant’s classic Breakfast with Santa experience. Guests are invited to feast on a family-style spread of menu offerings of buttermilk pancakes, crispy bacon, and farm fresh eggs while Charles Dickens carolers serenade them with festive tunes. Adults can sip on bottomless mimosas while little ones are treated to a cookies and milk station and cups of hot chocolate. After they share their Christmas wishes with Santa, he will gift every child with a stuffed animal and a personalized stocking. Make your reservation today as this event sells out.

Brunch with Santa
December 14 & 21, 2019 | Back Bay Bistro
Back Bay Bistro welcomes guests to celebrate the holidays with family, friends, great food and Mr. Santa Claus himself. Take photos with Santa in between trips to the sprawling brunch buffet highlighting food stations like cooked-to-order omelets and pancakes, bottomless champagne and mimosas, and a dessert display featuring white and milk chocolate fountains

Yuletide Tea with Santa
November 29 – December 22, 2019 • Fri – Sun  | 2 – 5:00pm  | Pelican Hill Resort
The holidays are Santa’s cup of tea, and Pellican Hill would like you to join them in the Great Room Social Lounge for a modern twist on the time-honored tradition of gathering for afternoon tea. Sip contemporary blends featuring classic selections while you nosh on savory and sweet small bites. Tea-based cocktails and sparkling wines available à la carte.

 

Gingerbread House Making Events in Orange County

Children’s Gingerbread House Decorating
December 7 & 15, 2019  | 10:00am  |  Pelican Hill Resort
Pelican Hill’s Pastry Chef highlights a favorite holiday tradition in this culinary class. Children ages 5 and older will enjoy lunch and create a masterpiece to take home.

Gingerbread House Decorating
December 15, 2019  |  2:00pm  |  Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel
Decorate your own large scale Gingerbread House and holiday cookies with the pastry team. Children enjoy hot chocolate, other beverages are available for purchase. For reservations call (949) 240-2000.

Gingerbread Academy at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort
December TBD, 2019 |  St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point
Join the Monarch Beach Resort Pastry Team in the sweet tradition of decorating gourmet gingerbread houses.  Be on the lookout for Santa who will stop by during every academy session.  Families are welcome to take their own photos with Santa.

Get Ready For Santa Cookie Decorating Party
December 23, 2019  | 3 – 5:00pm  | Pacific City
Join us inside of LOT 579 for a cookie decorating party as we prep for Santa’s arrival. Kids will enjoy a cookie decorating station and write letters to Santa, he might even stop by! FREE

Holiday Cookie Crawl
December 20, 2019  | 5:00 – 7:00 pm  | Pacific City, Huntington Beach
Head upstairs to the Surf Theater to meet up for the start of a festive evening! Children meander through the City stopping at participating merchants to enjoy holiday cookies. We will end the Cookie Crawl at the 2nd level Surf Theater to enjoy a holiday favorite, Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer at 6pm so don’t forget your beach chairs and blankets.

Storytime and Cookie Decorating with Santa and Mrs. Claus
December 23, 2019  |  10:30 – 11:30am  |  Bella Terra, Huntington Beach
Use Your Imagination! Enjoy a story time with Mrs. Claus. Be Crafty! Decorate a holiday cookie & decorate your cookie box. Get Glittered. Get a fun holiday glitter tattoo. Say Cheese! Get your picture package with Santa just in time for the holidays. Make sure to register. FREE

Candy Cane Making Demonstrations
Logan’s Candies in Ontario
Visit this old fashion candy store and see candy canes made right in front of you. Also get a chance to shape one yourself! Check website or Facebook page for events and time.

 

Gingerbread House Displays in Orange County

Gingerbread Extravaganza
November 24, 2019 – January 2, 2020  | All Day  | Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel
The pastry team presents the annual Gingerbread Extravaganza made of of gingerbread, candy, and other sweet confections. This year’s theme is inspired by one of Dr. Seuss’s children’s books.

Holiday Luminaria Stroll
December 13 & 14, 2019  |  5:00pm  |  Fullerton Arboretum
Enjoy a family-friendly evening in the garden and stroll our luminaria lined pathways. Live music, vintage holiday decorations at Heritage House, make an ornament and see the beauty of the garden at night. All proceeds from this fundraising event support our education programs and our conservation and propagation programs which protect rare and endangered plants from around the world. The Arboretum will host a small winter market with vendors selling handmade items.We will have beverages available for purchase.

 

Museum & Library Fun
Candlelight Evening Tour & Train Exhibit
December 3, 12 & 19 |  Nixon Library
In the spirit of White House Christmas traditions past and present, the Nixon Library is opening its doors after hours for special Candlelight Evenings for three nights this December. Included with admission, guests will explore the special Christmas display, All-Aboard America! featuring three spectacular layouts of model trains whistling over bridges, through snow-capped mountains and stopping in miniature towns and cities. Live musical entertainment, take photos with Santa Claus in President Nixon’s Oval Office, delight in live music featuring Christmas classic in the magnificent White House East Room, take photographs with the beautiful Pat Nixon White House Gingerbread House — custom-baked to look like President Nixon’s birthplace! Sponsored by the Cookie Element of Yorba Linda, write letters and sign holiday cards for military members serving overseas, create festive Christmas ornaments to hang on your Christmas tree and decorate sugar cookies and enjoy complimentary hot cocoa.

The Science of Gingerbread
November 29, 2019 – January 5, 2020 | Discovery Science Center
The sweetest season at the Cube returns this winter. The Science of Gingerbread is the Discovery Cube’s annual holiday tradition that runs from November 29th to January 5th, 2020. Join us for Southern California’s largest Gingerbread Competition and Display. We’re accepting gingerbread structures November 23rd through December 8th

Christmas Countdown
December 12 – 23, 2019 |  11:00am – 4:00pm |  Pretend City Children’s Museum
On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…holiday fun at Pretend City! Join us for our exciting 12 Days of Christmas Countdown! Each day leading up to Christmas, we will “unwrap” a new holiday activity at the museum! Get in the holiday spirit as we gear up for Christmas and countdown the days!

Baby Steps Through Pretend City Christmas Fun
December 9, 2019  |  2:00 – 3:30pm  |  Pretend City
Happy Holidays, Little Elf!  We’re celebrating the holiday season for this month’s Baby Steps! Babies will enjoy holiday activities like decorating ornaments for the Christmas tree! Your little one will bounce with joy when they get to meet and take pictures with Santa himself! Specifically for: Infant (0-18 months), grownups. For the comfort of our infant guests, no older siblings, please. 

Celebrate Winter Solstice
December 21, 2019 |  10:00am – 4:00pm  |  Pretend City Children’s Museum
It’s officially winter! Join us as we learn all about winter solstice and the changing of seasons! We will have winter themed art and activities for little ones to join in the winter wonderland fun!

 

Christmas Arts, Music & Theater Events in Orange County

Holidays Around the World
December 14 – 15, 2019  |  Times vary  | Julianne and George Argyros Plaza at the Segerstrom
Watch the Julianne and George Argyros Plaza transform into a winter wonderland! Enjoy live performances that showcase traditions from around the world, including Mexican ballet folklorico, Indian Bollywood dance, German holiday folk dances, Chinese lion dance, and more. The festive family fun doesn’t stop there—take a ride on our Holiday Express train, create your own seasonal craft, and experience our special snowfall on the plaza!

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas
December 1, 2019 |  Segerstrom Center for the Arts 
Do you remember the first time you heard “Mannheim Steamroller Christmas”? Join the celebration as Mannheim Steamroller makes history again – Celebrating 35 years of holiday magic as they bring their annual holiday tour to fans throughout the country. Experience the performance of the #1 Christmas music artist in history and for the first time ever, hear the entire album that started it all, LIVE – “Mannheim Steamroller Christmas!”

Tis the Season!
December 22 & 23, 2019 |  Segerstrom Center for the Arts 
Join Pacific Chorale, Pacific Symphony, and the Southern California Children’s Chorus for a joyous musical celebration of the holiday spirit!

Christmas with Marie Osmond
December 21 & 22, 2019 |  Segerstrom Center for the Arts 
Celebrate Christmas with Marie Osmond backed by the spectacular Hollywood sound of Pacific Symphony. Experience her captivating talent with an unforgettable holiday concert featuring festive favorites as well as hit singles such as “Paper Roses,” “Meet Me in Montana” and “Read My Lips.”

Holiday Organ Spectacular
December 17, 2019 |  Segerstrom Center for the Arts 
Celebrate the season with the king of instruments! Enjoy a magnitude of musical splendors with world-class organist Todd Wilson and members of Pacific Symphony performing a delightful mix of sacred and holiday music. Favorite Christmas carols share the bill with traditional organ works that highlight the 4,322-pipe, $3.1 million William J. Gillespie Concert Organ.

A Southern California Christmas
December 14 & 15, 2019 | Musco Center for the Arts
More than 150 performers from across Orange County – musicians, singers, dancers – bring you a dazzling holiday spectacular packed full of your favorite carols and tunes. From the triumphal tones of a brass fanfare to the full-throated sound of a chorus in full voice, from the sugarplum dreams woven by dancers’ feet to the heartwarming songs of children, there’s something for all ages in this merry delight.

Christmas at the Cathedral
December 13, 2019 | 7:30pm  | 12141 S. Lewis Street
Celebrate the season with the choirs of Christ Cathedral: The Diocesan Choir, The Diocesan Children’s Choir, and the Christ Cathedral Choirs in English, Vietnamese and Spanish! You will help usher in this Christmas season with splendid carols both new and old. This will be the first Christmas at the Cathedral performance in the new Cathedral building!

The Littlest Fir Tree Holiday Program
December 21, 2019 | 2:30pm  | Garden Grove Main Library 
Join us for a special holiday program with Literature Comes To Life featuring a presentation of The Littlest Fir Tree! Program will be followed by snack time featuring cookies and hot chocolate! For all ages.

Salvation Army Entertainment
November 26, 2019  |  5:30 – 8:00pm  | Fashion Island Newport Beach
Ring in the holiday spirit with performances by OCSA’s Montage, TSA Band and Voices of Hope Choir.  FREE

Musical Celebration Around the Pacific City Christmas Tree
December 7, 2019  |  1 – 5:00pm  | Pacific City, Huntington Beach
RYou’re invited to a cheerful holiday family performance by two local Orange County children’s groups. Performance featuring – OC Song & Dance Company Kids & OC Children’s Theater. FREE

 

Nutcracker Performances in Orange County

Nutcracker for Kids
December 7, 2019  |  10:00 & 11:30am  | Segerstrom Center for the Arts 
Visions of sugarplums and beautiful ballerinas will dance in your head after seeing Tchaikovsky’s delightful Christmas ballet, performed in a condensed 45-minute version created just for kids. This annual favorite finishes with a grand finale sing-along and a jolly visit from Santa himself!  Enjoy FREE interactive activities in the lobby inspired by each concert’s theme! Featuring family-friendly arts and crafts, an instrument petting zoo, and opportunities to meet Symphony musicians, local performing groups, and more!

The American Ballet’s Nutcracker
December 13 – 22, 2019  | Reneé and Henry Segerstrom Hall
“This Nutcracker is cracking good!” raved the New York Post when American Ballet Theatre premiered this delectable holiday favorite. As the lights dim and Tchaikovsky’s beautiful score fills the air, young Clara enters a dreamlike journey amid magical toy soldiers, mischievous mice, sparkling snowflakes and a glittering Christmas tree

Maple Youth Ballet’s The Nutcracker
December 21 – 22, 2019  | Northwood Performing Arts Center in Irvine
With sold-out performances since its debut in 2008, the Maple Youth Ballet’s The Nutcracker features more than 90 classically trained dancers and Guest Artist, Steven Morse from the San Francisco Ballet! Mr. Morse Soloist with San Francisco Ballet will be performing the role of Nutcracker Prince

Anaheim Ballet’s the Nutcracker
December 22, 2019  | City National Grove of Anaheim
The holiday season comes to life in Anaheim Ballet’s Nutcracker, the heartwarming tale of Clara and her Nutcracker Doll who changes her woeful winter into a fanciful feast in Candyland. The Nutcracker ballet is a cornerstone of seasonal family entertainment and tradition. Anaheim Ballet’s full-length Nutcracker with Symphony Irvine is the production you and your family must see.

The Nutcracker Ballet
December 7 – 24, 2019  | Goldenwest College
Enjoy Ballet Repertory Theatre’s cherished tradition of bringing beloved holiday music to life with nearly 300 performers in dazzling costumes.  Travel with young Clara through a magical world of life-size dolls, toy soldiers, colossal mice, and delicate snowflakes to the fabulous Land of Sweets, home of the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier.  Orange County’s longest-running Nutcracker!

Nutcracker Performance
November 26, 2019  |  11:00am  | Pretend City
Festival Ballet Theatre is Orange County’s premier ballet company will be performing a special sneak peek of their upcoming show, The Nutcracker at Pretend City Children’s Museum. The special performance is included in Museum admission. No RSVP required.

The Festival Theater: The Nutcracker
December 7 – 24, 2019  |  Irvine Barclay Theatre
Festival Ballet Theatre’s family-friendly, breathtaking production features superb, colorful scenery and dazzling costumes, which make this age-old tradition sparkle like new. Be swept away by Tchaikovsky’s iconic score as the Sugar Plum Fairy, our heroine Clara, and a cast of hundreds take you on a magical journey to mystical lands.

Nutcracker Tea Pre-Party – (Limited number of tickets available) On select show dates, guests can purchase tickets to a special Nutcracker Tea. Enjoy tea, lemonade, finger sandwiches and sweet treats with Clara herself… champagne for the grown-ups as well. Clara will join in as the story of the Nutcracker ballet and the magical adventure is told. Expect a special appearance by the Nutcracker Prince and his archenemy, the Mouse King, too! Photo opportunities and a party favor for each guest included.

Ballet Etudes Nutcracker Performance
November 30, 2019  |  11 – noon  |  Bella Terra, Huntington Beach
Ballet Etudes Holiday Performance, featuring “THE NUTCRACKER”. Come see Clara, the Nutcracker, Rat King, Sugar Plum Fairy and Snow Queen perform as Ballet Etudes presents excerpts from The Nutcracker. Children from Huntington Academy of Dance will also perform their holiday dances. FREE

 

Christmas Boutiques in Orange County

Sawdust Art Festival’s Annual Winter Fantasy
Weekends, November 23 – December 22, 2019 | All day | Laguna Beach Sawdust
Featuring 180 artists and makers, 3 stages of live music, holiday-themed festival classes and ceramics, art demonstrations, daily visits with Santa, carolers, a petting zoo, marionette shows, falling snow, thousands of lights and decorations for your perfect festive photo ops, outdoor cafes and saloon, and so much more!

Winter Market
December TBD, 2019 |  12:00pm  |   Fullerton Downtown Plaza
The Market will feature holiday Entertainment, free pictures with Santa from noon to 4:00p.m., food booths, holiday shopping, face painting, bounce house, beer and wine garden, and “Spark of Love” toy drive with Fullerton Firefighters. FREE

Nutcracker Craft Boutique
November 15 & 16, 2019  |  9:00am – 6:00pm  | Brea Community Center
Shop from over 280 vendors that display one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted holiday gifts, decorations, food, and collectibles. Shoppers can also pick up a quick snack or beverage in Food Alley. Sorry, no strollers are allowed inside the Boutique. Kidwatch baby sitting services will be available for $2.50 per hour per child.

Enchanted Christmas Boutique
October 4 – December 22, 2019 | Rogers Gardens
Celebrate the most magical time of the year at Roger’s Gardens.  Escape to an enchanted forest filled with sparkling toadstools, as the scent of pine lingers in the air. Enjoy the thrill of discovery at every turn.  Twinkling lights mingle with seasonal greens and delicate hand-blown glass baubles shimmer in a joyful palette of colors.

Crystal Cove Tree Lighting & Holiday Bazaar
December 7, 2019  |  10:00am –  5:30pm | Crystal Cove State Park
Every year, just after Thanksgiving, Crystal Cove is transformed into a holiday wonderland with vintage ornaments, twinkling lights, and a beautiful, majestic tree on the beach. The first Saturday in December is the Annual Tree Lighting & Holiday Bazaar complete with Santa arriving via a lifeguard vehicle to greet the crowd. As Santa and strolling carolers join the event, complimentary hot chocolate, apple cider and home- baked goodies will be provided by The Beachcomber Café. The tree lighting ceremony begins at dusk. FREE

Candy Caneland & Craft Festival
December 7, 2019  |  10:00 am – 4:00pm | Ehlers Community Center, Buena Park
Join us for this winter holiday celebration featuring wonderful activities for the whole family! This year’s event will once again feature snow slides, live entertainment, a petting zoo, and over 100 artisan craft booths.. FREE

 

Christmas Carolers in Orange County
Lil’ Dickens Carolers
Select Dates November 29 – December 22, 2019 | Rogers Gardens
Enjoy shopping this holiday season by listening to a quartet of Strolling Christmas Carolers as they perform throughout Roger’s Gardens and the Farmhouse. FREE

The Goode Time Carolers
November 29, 2019  | 6:00 – 9:00pm  | Irvine Spectrum Center
Enjoy musical entertainment from The Goode Time Carolers, live throughout The Center.

Classic Holiday Carolers
Every Sunday in December  |  1 – 4:00pm  |  Bella Terra, Huntington Beach
Classic Christmas Carolers will be roaming throughout Bella Terra and spreading holiday cheer.

 

Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks in Orange County
• Irvine Spectrum Ice Skating Rink
• Queen Mary Christmas

Themed Thursdays at the Ice Rink
Thursdays, November 7, 2019 – January 2, 2020 | Irvine Spectrum Ice Skating Rink
Join us for Themed Thursdays on the Ice Rink! Every Thursday from 6pm – 8:30pm, enjoy entertainment and giveaways sponsored by One West Bank. Plus, come dressed in the weekly theme and receive $5 off your Ice Rink ticket!

 

Indoor Ice Skating Rinks in Orange County
• Anaheim ICE
• Aliso Viejo Ice Palace
• Yorba Linda ICE

 

Special Needs Friendly Christmas Events in Orange County
Sensitive Santa Visit & Sensory Holiday Celebration
December 16, 2019  |  5:00 – 7:30pm  |  Pretend City Children’s Museum
Santa is coming to Pretend City Children’s Museum for Autism Night! Their “Sensitive Santa” visit and photo opportunity provides a sensory sensitive experience with low Christmas carols, dim lights, and a trained Santa to ease some of the anxieties that may come with visiting Santa. This is a wonderful opportunity for grown-ups to capture photos of their child with Santa that might not be possible at a busy mall or crowded event. Don’t forget to bring a camera! Pre-register online.

OC Autism Breakfast with Santa
December 14, 2019  |  10:00am – 2:00pm  | 13630 Atlantis Way, Garden Grove
Will feature a Family Resource Fair, Caring Santa, continental breakfast, healthy snacks, refreshing beverages, and live entertainments in a safe and inviting atmosphere for children with Autism and other disabilities and their families and caregivers.

Caring Santa
December 8, 2019  |  9:00 – 10:30am  |  Shops at Mission Viejo
Children will have the opportunity to visit with Santa and have their photo taken with him. We will make the necessary adjustments to the environment to support the sensory, physical and other developmental needs of children of all abilities for this special event.

Caring Santa
December 8, 2019  |  9:00 – 10:30am  |  Brea Mall
Children will have the opportunity to visit with Santa and have their photo taken with him. We will make the necessary adjustments to the environment to support the sensory, physical and other developmental needs of children of all abilities for this special event.

Hispanic Heritage Christmas Events in Orange County

Los Posada Celebration December 16, 2019  |  11:30am  |  Pretend City Children’s Museum Felicidad! It’s time to celebrate Las Posadas! This colorful Mexican holiday celebrates the 9 days leading up to Christmas! Join us for some festive activities, art, and events at Pretend City!

Los Posada Celebration December 8, 2019  |  1:00 – 5:00pm  |  La Habra Children’s Museum Celebrate the Mexican tradition of Las Posadas with music & dance performances, storytelling, and candy-filled piñatas. The Read Conmigo team will be here as well giving out free copies of their bilingual children’s book, “Yely’s Holiday Traditions.” Free to CMLH Members and visitors with paid admission.

Tamale Festival December 1, 2019  |  9:00am – 6:00pm  | Intersection of Euclid St. & La Habra Blvd, La Habra Event includes tamale vendors, general vendors, tamale contests, and live music. The City’s Christmas Tree Lighting will take place as part of the event at 5:30 pm.

Tamale Festival December 11, 2019  |  4:00am – 8:00pm  |  Old Town Placentia 2019 marks the 25th year of Orange County’s original tamale festival: the Placentia Tamale Festival & Las Posadas. To celebrate the near-quarter-century life of this community event we’re expanding it to be out biggest and best Tamale Festival yet!

Fiesta Navidad December 19, 2019  |  8:00pm  |  Segerstrom Center for the Arts Orange County’s most beloved annual holiday traditions. Grammy Award®-winning Mariachi Los Camperos returns to Segerstrom Center with Fiesta Navidad. Filled with music and dance, this colorful celebration of Mexican holiday traditions is perfect for the whole family. Disney ¡Viva Navidad! November 8, 2019 – January 6, 2020  |  Disney California Adventure Park Join The Three Caballeros for a colorful street party with musicians, dancers and giant mojiganga puppets

Three Kings Day at Disneyland January 3 – 6, 2020  |  Disney California Adventure Park Honoring 3 Wise Kings Bearing Gifts. The Epiphany—or twelfth day of Christmas—is celebrated around the world in many ways. In Mexico, Central and South America the holiday is known as El Día de los Reyes Magos. At the Disney Festival of the Holidays, we’ll mark this festive occasion with enchanting Latin American traditions the whole family will enjoy.

January 3 – 6, 2020  |  Disney California Adventure Park Honoring 3 Wise Kings Bearing Gifts. The Epiphany—or twelfth day of Christmas—is celebrated around the world in many ways. In Mexico, Central and South America the holiday is known as El Día de los Reyes Magos. At the Disney Festival of the Holidays, we’ll mark this festive occasion with enchanting Latin American traditions the whole family will enjoy.

Posada Navideña December 8, 2019  |  12:00 – 4:00pm  |  Anaheim Marketplace Celebrate Las Posadas at the Anaheim Marketplace. Kwanzaa Events in Orange County
Festival of Kwanzaa Celebration
December 26, 2019  |  10:00am – 4:00pm  |  Pretend City Children’s Museum
Join us as we celebrate Kwanzaa at Pretend City! We’re bringing out our Kinara and learn about some of the principle and traditions behind this lively celebration that honors African-American culture and heritage.

More Christmas Things to Do In Orange County

Want to see the Best Christmas Lights in Orange County?!!!

Check it out here:

Best Christmas Light Displays in Orange County

Comments

  1. FYI- some of the events say Friday, December 1st, but December 1st isn’t a Friday ( Cookies with Santa & Irvine Spectrum). Does it start Saturday or the following Friday?

  2. Wow such a comprehensive list, thanks for sharing. Here are some more Holiday Events in the OC you may have missed!

  3. Jennifer says

    Thank you for sharing this. I check your list every year 🙂

  4. Amanda Deno says

    Wonderful round up! Thank you!!

  5. So much fun stuff!!

  6. Does anyone know if there is an exhibit featuring mangers from all over the world. I’ve been to this display before at a latter day saints church and wanted to know if there is one this year and where and when???

    • elise says

      Fri, Dec 1, 5:00 PM – Sun, Dec 3, 9:00 PM
      17500 Bushard St
      17500 Bushard Street, Fountain Valley, CA
      Nativities from around the world.
      Live Nativity every 30 minutes
      Music by local artists
      Free Refreshments

      17500 Bushard st. Fountain Valley – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
      (next door to Fountain Valley High School)
      Open house for the public. Great family event for the Christmas Season. Walk through and enjoy the Christmas feeling.

  7. Christina Wilmer says

    Thank so for this. So many options!

  8. Patricia Villagomez says

    Holiday Puppet Extravaganza: Professional puppeteers will perform a show about Eli the energetic elf at Yorba Linda Public Library. 6:30-7:30 p.m. Dec. 17. Free. 18181 Imperial Highway. 714-777-2837 or http://www.ylpl.net

  9. Kathy Grubbs says

    Just wanted to mention East Lake Shores as one of the most beautiful holiday areas I’ve seen. 191 homes along the lake are decorated so that reflections off the water double the visual experience. (Yorba Linda Blvd to Village Center Drive to Vista Laguna). Walk around the lake – one mile. Walk or drive up and down each canal – two miles. View the lake from the Club House deck – magnificent. In addition, there is a boat parade the second Saturday and Sunday of each December. Sit along the banks and enjoy the parade. East Lake is lit from Thanksgiving till Jan 10. Come by and check it out. 5325 Village Center Drive. Yorba Linda 92886

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  5. […] 100 Christmas and Holiday Family Events in Orange County … – now that the Halloween season is over, i officially declare it holiday season here in Orange County. believe it or not, Christmas events are already beginning to pop … […]

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