The heart of the holiday season is just around the corner. Don’t forget to take a break from cookie trays and gift wrap to enjoy top December events in So Cal.
From extravagant light parades to top local performers belting out your favorite wintertime tunes, this is the time of year to celebrate with friends, family and fun!
Find exciting happenings in your neighborhood and across beautiful Southern California.
Sol y Mar in Rancho Palos Verdes
Take selfie shots with Surfer Santa at Redondo Beach at the Pier!
Mark December 10th into your calendar for an afternoon of festive music and fun. The Redondo Pier Association’s 6th Annual Holiday Concert at 100 Fisherman’s Wharf asks guests to bring a new unwrapped toy to assist in their Love in the Mirror Toy Drive.
Magnolia at West Covina
It’s a pancake feed with a twist! Breakfast with Santa at the Cameron Community Center on December 17th includes delicious morning grub, crafts, games and free photos with Kris Kringle himself.
Don’t miss out on the LA Zoo’s Golden Anniversary Celebration all month long. Buy discounted early bird tickets online and visit with Santa on select dates. Be sure to stop by and see the baby reindeer.
Camden Square in Lake Forest
Set your alarm clocks for Breakfast & Brunch with Santa on December 3rd at the Lake Forest Recreation Center. Please note: Registration must be made in advance for this limited seating event.
The 31st Annual Candlelight Walk is the ultimate Christmas experience. Join hundreds of luminarias on December 10th & 11th at Heritage Hill Park for an evening of glowing lights, holiday entertainment, storytellers, refreshments, Santa and plenty of cheer.
Capella, Saviero, & Welton in Irvine
Choo! Choo! All aboard the Irvine Christmas Train!
Ride the famous train December 1-23 for an enchanting night jaunt through historic Irvine Regional Park. Meet Santa, visit the North Pole and travel through the captivating Tunnel of Lights to Santa’s Village for fun winter-themed activities.
And bring a new family member Home for the Holidays at Irvine Animal Care Center’s annual adoption drive on December 4th. Find your furry friend and give him or her a forever home this Christmas.
>> Explore Capella
>> Discover Saviero
>> Welton at Beacon Park
Echo 56 in Newport Beach
Christmas Bells are chiming in Newport Beach.
Join thousands of fun-loving people in the Village of Corona del Mar on December 4th for the annual Christmas Walk. Following the walk, enjoy delicious Fireman’s Grill BBQ, restaurant tastings, beer & wine garden, kids’ entertainment and fabulous opportunity drawing prizes.
And in the spirit of Newport Beach’s nautical roots, purchase tickets for the Christmas Boat Parade, one of the largest such events in the country. 1,000,000+ twinkling lights and hundreds of boats and bayside estates competing for awards in the Ring of Lights. It’s an illumination spectacle like no other.
>> Discover Echo 56 in Newport Beach
Lighthouse & Superior Pointe in Costa Mesa
The American Ballet Theatre brings a Christmas tradition to the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Treat your family to the holiday classic, The Nutcracker, from December 9-18.
Take part in So Cal’s Ultimate Winter Experience at Winterfest. The OC Event & Fair Grounds is your destination to enjoy chilly holiday fun not usually found in sunny California. Try your hand at tubing or ice skating and play with real snow blown in daily.
Carnival rides, food, live entertainment and jolly laughs with Mr. Claus from December 16th – January 1st.
>> Discover Superior Pointe
>> Learn More – Lighthouse
Pacifica San Juan in San Juan Capistrano
Revel in an unforgettable evening of holiday joy at Christmas at the Mission. The annual tree lighting ceremony takes place on December 3rd and includes snow sledding (with real snow), cookie decorating, visits with Father Christmas and much, much more.
Also on the third, Carols Ancient – Carols New will treat audiences with traditional carols and modern reinterpretations of Medieval and Renaissance gems at the Mission Basilica San Juan Capistrano at 2pm.
Sea Summit in San Clemente
Dana Wharf will host a bevy of holiday events to include free boat rides with Santa and their 42nd Annual Boat Parade of Lights.
Make plans to be in downtown San Clemente December 3rd for Puttin’ on the Glitz. One of the year’s most popular festivals, this holiday event showcases the community’s true “village” feel by bringing people together for cheerful carolers, roasted chestnuts and a flock of holiday treats.
>> Visit Sea Summit in San Clemente
SAN DIEGO COUNTY
Cottages at St. Cloud in Oceanside
Jumpstart your festive season with the San Luis Rey Chorale at the Old Mission. Sing along to your favorite carols at the historic church and stick around for a dessert reception in the Sacred Garden after Friday night’s performance. Dec 2nd & 3rd.
Take a nostalgic trip back to your childhood at the Oceanside Theatre with Miracle on 34th St. Introduce your children to the magic of this Christmas classic December 16-18.
>> Explore Cottages at St. Cloud
Elms in San Diego
Imagine “Christmas in the Future” at La Jolla’s Christmas Parade on December 4th. Kids Zone, live entertainment, photo ops with Santa and more.
The 45th Annual San Diego Bay Parade of Lights attracts more than 100,000 visitors to the shore every single year. 80+ boats, yachts and cruisers sail the bay in lavishly adorned holiday lights to create a truly iconic San Diego holiday event.
Parades take place December 11th & 18th.
Estancia at Cielo in Rancho Santa Fe
Lace up your sneakers for the Red Nose Run on December 2nd at Powerhouse Park. Register the day of the event for 3k & 5k beach runs and don’t forget to wear your Santa hat!
Double your holiday spirit the same evening with a 2-for-1 musical special at the Village Church Community Theatre. Enjoy the heartwarming Gift of the Magi and the hilarious Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Tickets to both performances just $10-15.
Seagrove in Carlsbad
A Carlsbad tradition. Pets on Parade at the Village Faire gives your best friend a chance to strut their stuff dressed in Christmas duds and line up for a picture with Santa.
Bring your pooch by on December 11th or come dogless to soak up the holiday cuteness. Entrance is free of charge.
For a family friendly New Year’s Eve, plan for an evening of space-age fun at the Futuristic Bash at the Sheraton. Prizes will be given to the best dressed couple and family so unleash your inner Jetson and create a visionary costume to dress like tomorrow, today.
andy orin | DSC_5988a | flickr.com | cc2.0
S Pakhrin | Zoolights DC 2014 | flickr.com | cc2.0
Tony Webster | San Diego Bay Parade of Lights 2014 | flickr.com | cc2.0
American Ballet Theater | Segerstrom Center for the Arts