2021 HolidayGuide: 115+ Winter Events for Kids in SoCal

The most wonderful time of year, just got a lot more wonderful.

Our HolidayGuide is here!

And this year, all of your favorites are back: outdoor ice rinks, Nutcracker performances, city parades, tree lightings, Polar Express train rides, plus 100 more joyful jaunts, guaranteed to get your family overflowing with the holiday spirit.

Consider this guide your advent calendar of outings! Open it daily to find newly added events (we’re posting daily), contests and giveaways, along with a few extra surprises.

As always, we recommend checking websites, social media or calling to confirm event details and last-minute changes. Don’t forget to stay safe by following Covid-19 protocols at all venues.

Most of all, we wish you and your family the most joyful and love-filled holiday season. – The Kidsguide Team

Quick Jump:

“Celebration of Christmas” Christmas Boutique at Roger’s Gardens
Corona del Mar | Now – Dec 31
The seasonal Christmas Boutique at Roger’s Gardens is now open. Discover new treasures of festive decór, whimsical ornaments, and gifts for all ages.

Circus Vargas
Lakewood | Now – Nov 29

Run away with the circus, for two unforgettable hours of nonstop action, thrills, excitement and adventure. Use code: 20EB21 for a 20% discount!

Winter Frolic at Kidspace Children’s Museum
Pasadena | Now – Jan 9
Kidspace transforms into a land wonder and delight at its first annual Winter Frolic. Enjoy the no-ice Sock Skating Rink, “ice fishing” in the stream, building winter sculptures using special “ice blocks”, and decorate a snowflake.

Lightscape at the LA Arboretum
Arcadia | Now – Jan 16
Wander through the magnificent Winter Cathedral and experience the breathtaking Fire Garden and more. Lightscape transforms the Arboretum into a night of wonder and light for an unforgettable holiday event for family and friends. Tickets: $18-30.

Yuletide Cinemaland at Heritage Square Museum
Los Angeles | Nov 20 – Dec 26
Enjoy a holiday movie, Victorian home tours, piano sing-alongs, food trucks, holiday treats, shopping, twinkling light tunnel and more. Movies: 8-Bit Christmas (11/20), Elf (12/4), Santa Clause (12/11), Home Alone 2 (12/18), It’s a Wonderful Life (12/19), A Christmas Story (12/20), Home Alone (12/21), Grinch (12/22), Elf (12/23), When Harry Met Sally (12/26).

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Science of Gingerbread at Discovery Cube OC & LA
Santa Ana & Sylmar | Now – Jan 2
Check out hundreds of creative gingerbread entries and all new holiday fun! Walk through the gingerbread village, meet and snap a photo with Santa (weekends), decorate a holiday cookie at the cookie decorating station, build with LEGO blocks, and so much more.

Holidayz at the Park – OC Great Park
Irvine | Now – Jan 2
The park will be transformed into a winterscape featuring holiday-themed events, displays, and lights. See “Air Santa,” a larger-than-life airplane paying homage to Saint Nick’s travels and the park’s military roots. Irvine residents can also enjoy Pajama Party Drive-In Movie on December 18.

Winter Fantasy at the Sawdust Festival
Laguna Beach | Weekends, Now – Dec 19
Shop handcrafted art by 150 artists and makers in an enchanting winter wonderland with thousands of lights and decorations, falling snow, three stages of live music, community performances, carolers, puppeteers, festival holiday classes, and daily visits with Santa Claus.

Cool Yule Celebration at Pacific City
Huntington Beach | Friday, Nov 26
Take photos with Santa on the Ocean Deck and selfies in front of a retro-themed backdrop. Throughout the event, enjoy holiday-themed kids crafts, face painting, hot cocoa station, performances, and more.

Pomegranate Days at Oasis Camel Dairy
Ramona | Nov 26-28
Enjoy an open farm tour, feed the camels and mini sheep, and see a fun live show featuring talking parrots, pardoned racing turkeys, and more. Camel rides available for purchase.

“Let It Snow” with the Snow Queen & Princess at Bella Terra
Huntington Beach | Fridays & Saturdays, Nov 26 – Dec 18
The Snow Queen and Princess will be performing and making it snow. Special guest appearances include Grinch & Cindy Loo Hoo, Jack Skellington & Sally, Buddy the Elf & Jovie, Spiderman, and Black Panther.

Lighting of the Bay – Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort
Newport Beach | Nov 26 – Jan 1
Stroll the bay and enjoy the sights and sounds of the holidays. The serene, waveless bay will transform each evening into a vibrant winter wonderland featuring more than fifty lighted Christmas trees and holiday decorations.

Solvang Julefest
Solvang | Nov 27 – Jan 1
Held in one of the “Most Christmassy Towns in America” (Time Magazine), Julefest is a month of lights, celebration, and holiday cheer. Visit Santa’s Village for free photos and activities, join the city-wide hunt for gnomes, enjoy the Tree Lighting Ceremony (12/3), and watch the Julefest Parade (12/4).

Shul by the Shore Grand Chanukah Extravaganza
Long Beach | Sunday, Nov 28
Commemorate the first night of Chanukah. Lighting of the menorah will take place and the mayor will speak afterwards. Entertainment includes live music, stilt walker, and crafts for children. Refreshments and chocolate gelt will be served.

Hollywood Christmas Parade
Hollywood | Sunday, Nov 28
The 89th annual parade will feature celebrities and movie cars, award-wining bands, dazzling equestrians, larger-than-life character balloons, colorful floats and humorous specialty acts. The parade culminates with the appearance of the Jolly Old Elf himself, Santa Claus and his reindeer, ushering in the holiday season!

Annual Tree Lighting at 2ND & PCH
Long Beach | Friday, Dec 3
Gather family and friends for an evening of live music, seasonal characters and more. Festivities include photos with our custom backdrop featuring Buddy the Elf and Jovi, meet & greets, balloons, face painting, and a movie screening of Elf.

Lakewood Tree Lighting
Lakewood | Friday, Dec 3
Enjoy food trucks, carnival games, pictures with Santa, photo ops, and lots of falling snow!

Holiday Open House at Rancho Los Alamitos
Long Beach | Dec 3-5
In the early 1900s, the Bixby family hosted the ranch’s community of workers, families, and friends for a big Christmas party. And now you’re invited! Tour the decorated Ranch House, get creative with crafts for kids, and enjoy music and light refreshments.

Newport Beach Holiday Lights Cruise
Newport Beach | Dec 3 – Jan 2
Experience Newport Harbor in full holiday décor aboard one of our decorated vessels on a 75 minute holiday lights cruise. View multi million dollar estates and vessels all decked out with thousands of lights. Get a chance to be in the boat parade when you book a cruise on parade dates and times.

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Holiday Events at The Children’s Museum at La Habra

Saturday, Dec 4
Photos with Santa at La Habra Tamale Festival
Take photos with Santa and free Christmas crafts at La Habra’s Annual Tamale Festival! Cost is $5 for your printed photo with Santa. The museum will be closed. Crafts and photo op will be outside across the street from the museum.

Saturday, Dec 11
Santa’s Elves Workshop
Join Santa’s cheeky elves for crafts, cookie decorating, and story time. Price: $10 per child ages two and older (adults are free). Event not included with museum admission.

Tuesday, Dec 21
Stories and Cookies with Mrs. Claus
Join Mrs. Claus for story time and yummy cookies! Included with museum admission.

Friday Dec 31
New Years at Noon
Come ring in the Noon Year with the Children’s Museum at La Habra! Enjoy music, dancing, crafts, and help us countdown to our noon year balloon drop. Included with museum admission.

Cruise-In with the Clauses at The Zimmerman
El Segundo | Saturday, Dec 4
This Cruise-In will feature Victorian Christmas Carolers, a Hot Wheels Raffle, and photo opportunities with Santa & Mrs. Claus. Donate unopened toys, savor $3 sundaes, and enjoy all the vintage, classic, and custom automobiles!

Holiday on Main Street
Yorba Linda | Saturday, Dec 4
Gather on Main Street to celebrate the holidays! Enjoy kids crafts, local talent show and entertainment, artisan shopping, pictures with Santa, a holiday drinks lounge, live music and more! Free to attend, open to the public.

Santa’s Jolly Trolley & Tree Lighting
Dana Point | Saturday, Dec 4
Come see Santa as he rides on the Jolly Trolley with his elves from the City of Dana Point Recreation Division! Santa and his elves will be distributing pre-packaged treats for ages up to 12 years and collecting letters. The Jolly Trolley will be at Sunset Park (1:30pm), Dana Woods Park (2:30pm), Sea Canyon Park (3:30pm), and La Plaza Park (4:30pm). At the last stop, La Plaza Park, the tree lighting ceremony will be held with carolers, hot chocolate, and cookies.

La Habra Tamale Festival
La Habra | Saturday, Dec 4
Tamales, live entertainment, tamale contests, vendors, community performances, holiday tree lighting tamale lessons, kids activities, Santa pictures, and more!

Victorian Christmas at The Banning Museum
Wilmington | Saturday, Dec 4
Walk through of the first floor of the beautifully decorated mansion, a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, carriage rides, a blacksmith demonstration and free family crafts and cookies!

City of Los Alamitos Winter Wonderland
Los Alamitos | Saturday, Dec 4
Activities include free snow play, snow sledding, Santa’s Village, tree lighting, and musical entertainment.

Santa’s Village by the Sea
San Clemente | Saturday, Dec 4
One holiday event that brings the Holly Jolly Hoopla and the Glitz on Del Mar together for a night of music, food, hot chocolate, popcorn, games, and snow to San Clemente.

City of La Mirada Chili Holiday
La Mirada | Saturday, Dec 4
Celebrate the holiday season with family and friends at the annual Chili Holiday at Splash! La Mirada Regional Aquatics Center. Festivities include live entertainment, holiday crafts, coffee and hot chocolate, cookies, and of course, chili! Enjoy snow sledding, take a photo with Santa, and ride the holiday train through a winter wonderland.

Boat Rides with Santa
Dana Point | Dec 4 & 5
Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching will host boat rides with Santa. Take photos with Santa and his holiday helpers on this adventure at sea. $5 donation. Reservations required.

Long Beach International Tamales Festival
Sunday, Dec 5
This all-day holiday inspired fair features a diverse selection of Latin American cuisine, from regional tamales, Latin-inspired dishes, drinks, homemade tamales contest, and a full line-up of entertainment, activities, vendors, and family-friendly art making activities.

Chanukah in the Air
Huntington Beach | Sunday, Dec 5
Bring the family to enjoy Chanukah in the Air at Get Air Trampoline Park. Enjoy trampoline jumping with a special area for younger kids, light the giant candy menorah, plus donuts and chocolate coins!

Holiday Open House at Homestead Museum
City of Industry | Sunday, Dec 5
La Casa Nueva (1920s mansion), is all dressed up for the season! Explore Christmas in the 1920s as you wander the first floor of this beautiful home. Take photos, hear holiday music, visit with Santa, sit-in for a story, or make a craft during your visit to enjoy these beautiful historic decorations.

Long Beach Trolley Waterfront Tour of Lights
Long Beach | Dec 5-28
Board a classic cable-car trolley for a waterfront tour that will showcase the best light displays around. The tour includes the famous floating Christmas trees of Alamitos Bay, and beautiful Naples Island! Get a souvenir Santa hat and candy cane, sing along to holiday music, and listen to light narration of the waterfront.

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Disney on Ice: Dream Big
Dec 8 – Jan 2
See your favorite Disney friends such as Mickey, Minnie, Miguel, Moana, Elsa, Belle, Genie, and more highlighting all the magic and adventure of Disney’s tales through world-class figure skating. Audiences will be transported to exciting worlds where heroes of every kind seek to fulfill their dreams at a live experience families will never forget!

Tree Lighting & Laser Light Show
Long Beach Towne Center | Friday, Dec 10
A Christmas tree lighting extravaganza featuring a dramatic laser light show with falling snow, a musical performance by Long Beach’s very own Jazz Angels, and a selfie-worthy meet-and-greet with Santa, Mrs. Claus, Frosty, festive stilt walkers, and a life-size holiday Teddy Bear.

Luminaria Nights at California Botanic Garden
Claremont | Dec 10-11 and 17-18
Be enchanted at this Claremont tradition where the Garden glows with light for the holidays. Special holiday installations, live music and beverages/snacks for sale!

Candlelight Walk at Heritage Hill Historical Park
Lake Forest | Dec 10-12
Stroll the festive grounds as you enjoy an evening filled with musical performances, activities for children, historical buildings adorned in period décor and a chance to meet with Santa! Light refreshments will be available for cash purchase.

Annual Boat Parade of Lights
Dana Point Harbor | Dec 10-19
The Harbor’s much anticipated annual Boat Parade of Lights will take place December 10-12 with a “Fiesta Holiday” theme.

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YMCA of Greater Long Beach Preschools
With five locations in Greater Long Beach, the YMCA provides state subsidized, year-round childcare for qualifying families. Their preschools reflect the communities that they serve and they work with families to tailor opportunities for children to learn, grow and thrive. New preschool campus opening early 2022.

Holiday Spectacular
Seal Beach | Saturday, Dec 11
Santa is coming to The Shops at Rossmoor on Saturday, December 11th, from 11 am to 1 pm. Celebrate the season with holiday cookie decorating, take-home photos with Santa, train rides, face painting, balloon art and much more!

Holiday Kraft Day at The International Printing Museum
Carson | Saturday, Dec 11
Come down to the Museum for a day of family friendly holiday crafts! Activities will include letterpress printing, paper making, calligraphy, bookbinding, screen printing, and much more. Tickets are $10 per person.

Holiday Family Faire at Theatricum Botanicum
Topanga | Saturday, Dec 11
Shop an artisan holiday market, photo ops with Santa and Mrs. Claus, enjoy festive food and drink, caroling and singing madrigals, winter holiday stories, aerialist performances, 14-piece band, and more.

Christmas Parade
Whittier | Saturday, Dec 11
Come enjoy floats, marching bands, dance and cheer groups, equestrian teams, decorated vehicles, and lots more.

Christmas at the OC Zoo
Orange | Saturday, Dec 11
Come visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, make festive crafts, and play fun games. See the zoo animals receive holiday “gifts” and treats hidden inside Christmas trees!

Daisy Parade
Long Beach | Saturday, Dec 11
The reimagined parade will be inclusive of the original parade route, and the Daisy Lane Parade decorations will be placed on the Daisy Median. The parade route will be bounded by Wardlow Road and Pacific Coast Highway on the North and South, and Magnolia Avenue and the Los Angeles River on the East and West.

After-Hours Holiday Tours at Rancho Los Cerritos
Long Beach | Dec 12 & 19
Festive decorations and costumed interpreters from various time periods will greet visitors as they stroll through the historic adobe. Warm seasonal beverages and live holiday music will complete the festivities. The Outdoor Museum Shop will be open during the event.

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Dreams for Schools
Online Coding & Engineering Classes
Dreams for Schools offers, fun, interactive, and hands-on STEM classes for all grade levels. Classes are designed to be challenging and rewarding no matter your student’s age, experience, and awareness about STEM. All students learn to explore and think creatively. Spaces are limited, so sign up your child today!

Christmas Boat Parade
Newport Beach | Dec 15-19
Watch beautifully decorated yachts, boats, kayaks and canoes sail along the harbor in the 113th Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade. A special fireworks display will take place opening and closing night. Want to be in the parade? Book a Holiday Lights Cruise.

Naples Holiday Boat Parade
Long Beach | Saturday, Dec 18
Twinkling Christmas lights decorate the small boats that cruise the canals of Naples, while larger boats sail through the bay. Hundreds of homes and boats are festively decorated throughout the season.

Winter Holidays Around the Globe Festival
Bowers Museum, Santa Ana | Saturday, Dec 19
The coming of Winter is celebrated around the globe in both secular and spiritual themes. Join in the music and dance as we close the year behind us and look forward to the new year. We’ll celebrate Mexican Las Posadas, Chanukah and Kwanzaa. Enjoy complimentary face painting, art projects, live performances, and a unique treat!

Holiday Festival at Muckenthaler Cultural Center
Fullerton | Saturday, Dec 19
Celebrate the holiday season with family-friendly activities, live music, free art workshops for kids, and an arts and crafts sale.

Equestfest with the Tournament of Roses
Pasadena | Wednesday, Dec 29
Each year, the Rose Parade’s equestrian units showcase their breeds and demonstrate their talent with performances at Equestfest. This family friendly event includes an exciting equestrian show, musical performances, and a food and vendor court.

Noon Year’s Eve at Pretend City
Irvine | Friday, Dec 31
Celebrate the new year at different times throughout the day as the sun travels across the different time zones! There will be a confetti countdown at four different times to celebrate the new year in Bangladesh, Dubai, Athens, and London!

Rose Parade Viewing Party with SCCM
Pasadena | Saturday, Jan 1
The annual Rose Parade viewing party is back! Come kick-off the New Year with Southern California Children’s Museum – you’ll get a prime view of the parade, continental breakfast, open museum play, fun-themed crafts and restroom access.

Floatfest: A Rose Parade Showcase
Pasadena | Jan 1-2
A 2-mile showcase of Rose Parade floats following their appearance along the parade route. Visitors get the chance to walk within a few feet of the floats and appreciate up close, the creativity and detail of each magnificent display.

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The Elf on the Shelf’s Magical Holiday Journey
Pomona | Now – Jan 2
An outdoor immersive experience featuring scenic displays, a Christmas village with shopping and dining options, an ice-skating rink, and a heart-warming walk-through journey that explores Christmas cheer from an elf’s perspective and culminates in a magical trolley ride.

Knott’s Merry Farm
Buena Park | Now – Jan 2
Park-goers can enjoy Christmas shows like Home for the Holidays, a musical revue featuring classic Christmas tunes and world-class performers. Also returning is the beloved ice show starring Snoopy and the Peanuts Gang. Enjoy a nightly tree lighting ceremony, snow and glow experience, and light show throughout Camp Snoopy.

Holidays at the Harbor
Dana Point Harbor | Now – Jan 2

Each night throughout the holiday season, the Harbor’s magnificent light display will illuminate the evening sky for guests of all ages to enjoy.

SkyPark at Santa’s Village in Skyforest
Skyforest | Now – Jan 2
Meet Santa, visit Santa’s Workshop & Post Office, decorate cookies, see characters of the Northwoods, live entertainment, wander through the immersive Fantasy Forest of Lights, and go ice skating!

L.A. Zoo Lights at Los Angeles Zoo
Los Angeles | Now – Jan 9
L.A. Zoo Lights returns for the 2021-22 season and is back with more glowing animals and an unforgettable nighttime journey that includes the world’s largest illuminated pop-up storybook, a magical disco ball forest, giant glittering snowflakes, and a twinkling tunnel filled with dynamic swirls of color.

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GLOW at South Coast Botanic Garden
Palos Verdes Peninsula | Now – Jan 17

South Coast Botanic Garden is proud to present GLOW (Garden Lights & Ocean Waters), a visually stunning light display that will transform their lush botanic oasis into an oceanic experience.

Food, drinks, music and a transformative Garden featuring thousands of lights will have you hanging on the beach, drinking cocktails on the bayou and chasing waterfalls. And a stunning kelp forest will take your breath away and spark your interest in the beauty of the sea.

Themed Nights: Disney’s Encanto (Nov 21-23), Mardi Gras (Dec 1), Ugly Christmas Sweater (Dec 8), Neon Night (Dec 15), Kids’ Beach Night (Jan 5), Conservation Night (Jan 12).

Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Magic Mountain
Valencia | Now – Jan 2
The park is transformed into a winter wonderland with thousands of colorful lights, carolers performing classic yuletide favorites and personalized meet-and-greets with Santa and his helpers.

Enchanted at Descanso Gardens
La Cañada Flintridge | Now – Jan 9
An interactive, nighttime event, featuring a one-mile walk through unique lighting experiences. See an entire town of magical “stained glass” creations. Popular returning favorites include sparkling, swirling installations on the Main Lawn, Flower Power on the Promenade and exquisite lighting effects in the Ancient Forest.

The Polar Express at Southern California Railway Museum
Perris | Nov 24 – Dec 31
Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, passengers will relive the magic of the classic story as they are whisked away for a magical one-hour trip to meet Santa. Hosts will punch your golden ticket before hot chocolate and cookies are served by dancing chefs. Passengers are immersed in theatrical onboard entertainment. Each guest will take home a keepsake sleigh bell.

Wild Lights & Disco Nights at America’s Teaching Zoo
Moorpark | Nov 24 – Dec 23
Walk through a sparkling disco ball forest, visit Ira the Lion, move and groove to tunes, and join a themed night.

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Hikari – A Festival of Lights at Tanaka Farms
Irvine | Nov 26 – Dec 30
Visit Tanaka Farms for a celebration filled with joy and light! Loosely translated, Hikari means shine in Japanese, and this holiday season, Tanaka Farms shines with over a million twinkling lights! This year, guests will have two options to enjoy the farm:

Holiday Wagon Ride & Gingerbread Forest
Go on a cozy wagon ride around the festively lit farm that will take you to the Land of a Thousand Lanterns. Wander through light displays with photo ops. After the wagon ride, make your down to the Gingerbread Forest.

Gingerbread Forest Only
Enjoy live music, food, photo ops, arts and crafts, barnyard, animals, and meet Santa! (All activities priced individually.)

The Immersive Nutcracker Walk-Through Experience
Los Angeles | Nov 26 – Dec 31
A dreamlike family-friendly walk-through experience of the most beloved holiday fairytale accompanied by Tchaikovsky’s timeless score. Think theatre, VR and projection combined with magic and classical music. Locations at Beverly Center, The Village at Westfield Topanga, Westfield Santa Anita, and Westfield Valencia Town Center.

Wild Holidays at San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Escondido | Nov 26 – Jan 2
See the Safari Park in a whole new light! Take a holiday expedition of light and travel through places that glow and twinkle with holiday cheer. Holiday tunes set the mood, and seasonal food treats tempt you throughout your journey.

Snow N Glow
Ventura | Nov 26 – Jan 2
A snow-filled, family-friendly holiday experience full of fun things to do. Go snow-tubing and stroll through an immersive light trail with a million glowing lights! Private igloo rental available.

Holidays at Universal Studios
Hollywood | Nov 26 – Jan 2
Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with the return of yuletide favorites and family traditions, Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Grinchmas.

Holiday Light Festival Train Ride in Griffith Park
Los Angeles | Nov 26 – Jan 7
Enjoy an evening train ride around the festively decorated, one-mile track. Magical scenes and tens of thousands of lights will captivate you and your family, and set the mood for a wonderful holiday season.

Festival of Lights at The Mission Inn Hotel
Riverside | Nov 26 – Jan 6
A cherished annual tradition first created in 1992 as a gift back to the community. The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa’s Festival of Lights is one of the nation’s largest holiday light collections, voted “Best Public Lights Display” by USA Today.

Casa Lumina Holiday Walk at Casa Romantica
San Clemente | Dec 1-22
A fun family-friendly experience for all, each night of the Casa Lumina Holiday Walk will include an illuminated walk through Casa Romantica, live entertainment from local artists, crafts including Letters to Santa, and a hot cocoa bar.

Seas ‘n’ Greetings at Birch Aquarium
La Jolla | Dec 1-31
Experience the magic of the holidays in the underwater world at Birch Aquarium during this month-long holiday celebration featuring SEAsonal decor, music, and activities for the whole family. Deck the Hall (of Fishes) and get into the festive spirit every day. Enjoy fun, festive photo ops and an interactive scavenger hunt.

Frontier Family Christmas at El Dorado Frontier
Long Beach | Dec 2-19
Evening holiday train rides, Santa Claus meet and greets, live holiday music, food, Christmas decor, carousel rides, and more.

Holiday Road
Calabasas | Dec 3-31
Enjoy an immersive walking trail to see larger than life holiday displays, thousands of lights, Santa and Mrs. Claus, Elves, and countless candy canes. Immerse yourselves in a winter wonderland featuring a gift shop, food trucks, and more.

Aquarium Holidays at Aquarium of the Pacific
Long Beach | Dec 4-23
See appearances by Santa Diver, special presentations of animals receiving holiday treats, photo opportunities with Santa, Hanukkah storytelling, and Kwanzaa celebration.

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Capistrano Lights
Mission San Juan Capistrano | Dec 4-30
Create lasting memories with family photos under their 10’ wreath, experience a Christmas tree lighting and music program with a 30’ tree and make your prayer for peace and goodwill by placing a candle near the large-scale nativity in the Ruins of the Great Stone Church.

Enjoy performances by Dickens-era Carolers and Selfies with Santa. Visit the Serra Chapel open after hours, California’s most historic chapel. Enjoy the Mission in lights, community Christmas trees around the grounds, extended holiday shopping hours in the Mission Store and more. Kids craft vendor and sweet treat vendor will be available on select days throughout the program as well as surprise performances.

Snow N Glow
Del Mar | Dec 4 – Jan 2
Go tubing down a giant snow hill made with real snow, sip on hot cocoa, and stroll through a million festive lights. Igloo private party rentals, s’mores kits, food and drink available for purchase.

Jurassic Quest
Anaheim: Dec 29 – Jan 2 | San Deigo: Jan 21-23
A unique indoor experience for the whole family including more than 100 life-like dinosaurs, dinosaur themed rides and attractions, live dinosaur shows, interactive science and art activities, a “Triceratots” soft play area for the littlest explorers, photo opportunities, and more.

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St. Hedwig School Open House
Los Alamitos | Sunday, Jan 30
Serving students from TK-8th grade, St. Hedwig School strives to develop the whole child, one who is academically competitive and who demonstrates good character grounded in Catholic values. They aim to provide an exceptional educational experience and to empower students to face the challenges of 21st century learning and make a difference in their world.

In addition to rigorous academics, St. Hedwig offers music, the arts and physical education classes, plus competitive sports and after-school enrichment programs. Applications for enrollment are live on Jan 10.

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The Holiday GEM at The GEM Theatre
Garden Grove | Nov 26 – Dec 19
Ring in the holidays with a ‘fun for the whole family’ holiday revue, featuring a brand new story! Backed by live musicians, stunning costumes and a whimsical set; Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, and a cast of talented performers close out the season in true holiday fashion!

The Nutcracker presented by Westside Ballet
The Broad Stage, Santa Monica | Nov 27-28 and Dec 4-5
SoCal’s longest running production of The Nutcracker returns to the big stage for an extra special magical holiday season. From the classic Victorian-style party scene to the Kingdom of Sweets, the Westside production preserves its most treasured traditional characters and scenes: the tree that grows, a firing cannon, and falling snow over a stunning corps de ballet of glittering Snowflakes. Charming children’s roles include party children, mice, and soldiers.

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A Christmas Carol at South Coast Repertory
Costa Mesa | Nov 27 – Dec 26
A Christmas Carol, Orange County’s favorite holiday tradition returns live, in-person, at South Coast Repertory. From the first “Bah humbug” to the final “Wassail,” this timeless classic is sure to rekindle your family’s holiday spirit. Join all your favorite Dickens characters—Tiny Tim and the Cratchits, the Fezziwigs, the Ghosts of Christmas past, present and yet-to-come, and of course, everyone’s favorite curmudgeon, Ebenezer Scrooge. Ages 6 and up.

Nutcracker at Bob Baker’s Marionette Theater
Los Angeles | Nov 27 – Jan 9
Usher in the holiday season with their marionette rendition of the ballet classic. This show features over 100 handcrafted marionettes, including all the characters from the beloved story: Clara and the Nutcracker, the Sugarplum Fairy, the Mouse King, and many more. After the show, guests are treated to ice cream!

A Christmas Carol at Ahmanson Theatre
Los Angeles | Nov 30 – Jan 1
An immersive experience that is brimming with Christmas spirit. Featuring dazzling staging, moving storytelling, and 12 cherished Christmas carols.

A Charlie Brown Christmas
Anaheim | Dec 3-19
Everyone’s favorite holiday classic comes to life in the all-new stage adaptation! Join Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, and the whole Peanuts gang as they produce their own Christmas play and ultimately learn the true meaning of the season.

Nutcracker for Kids at Segerstrom
Costa Mesa | Saturday, Dec 4
Visions of sugarplums and beautiful ballerinas will dance in your head after seeing Tchaikovsky’s delightful Christmas ballet, performed in a condensed version created just for kids. This annual favorite finishes with a jolly visit from Santa Claus himself! This fun and fascinating 45-minute concert is designed especially for children 5-11.

The Nutcracker Ballet
La Mirada Theatre | Dec 4-5
Join La Mirada Theatre this holiday season as the lights fade, the music swells, snowflakes fall, flowers waltz and a young girl dreams about a magical sweet-filled world in the charming and magical The Nutcracker Ballet.

Holidays Around the World at Segerstrom
Costa Mesa | Saturdays, Dec 4 & 11
Festive family fun as the Argyros Plaza transforms into a winter wonderland! Enjoy live performances from local music and dance groups that celebrate holiday traditions from around the world, create your own seasonal craft, and spectacular snowfall on the plaza!

A Christmas Carol
Long Beach Playhouse | Dec 4-19
In this quick-paced, highly theatrical re-telling of Charles Dickens’ classic tale, the ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Future show Ebenezer Scrooge the poverty of his material wealth and the blessings that come with generosity. Can they convince him to change before it’s too late?

The Nutcracker by the Los Angeles Ballet
Los Angeles | Dec 4-26
Los Angeles Ballet stays true to the traditions of the holiday story with some surprises! This production is set in 1912 Los Angeles. Throughout the performance, you’ll find hints and tastes of Southern California – a Spanish style home, calla lilies, bougainvillea, the snowy forests of the Sierras, Venice archways, a moonlit Pacific Ocean and more! Performances at Alex Theatre (Dec 4-5), Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center (Dec 11-12), Royce Hall UCLA (Dec 17-19), and Dolby Theatre (Dec 23, 24, 26).

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The Nutcracker presented by American Ballet Theatre
Costa Mesa | Dec 10-19
Southern California’s favorite holiday tradition returns with American Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker. This magical treat for the whole family features an impressive cast of over 100 performers, incredible sets and costumes, and Pacific Symphony performing Tchaikovsky’s timeless score!

The LA Times raves “ABT’s The Nutcracker is a new classic worth watching over and over (and over)” and the OC Register exclaimed it is “A Nutcracker without parallel in Southern California.” It simply isn’t the holidays without The Nutcracker!

The Magic of Christmas starring The Young Americans
La Mirada Theatre | Dec 10-19
Heralded for their legendary choral sound, the Young Americans are back this holiday season, and they are bringing merriment, majesty, and music with them! The Magic of Christmas is the best holiday musical for the entire family. This winter-wonderland variety show includes all kinds of singing and dancing, including many of your favorite Christmas carols.

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The Nutcracker at Irvine Barclay Theatre
Irvine | Dec 11-24
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.

The Nutcracker presented by Long Beach Ballet
Long Beach | Dec 17-19
The Los Angeles Times proclaimed, “Crammed with special effects, the familiar Long Beach Ballet version of The Nutcracker has nearly everything money can buy. For opulent, family-oriented, entertainment — seek no further.”

Pacific Chorale’s Tis the Season at Segerstrom
Costa Mesa | Dec 19-20
Pacific Chorale’s beloved family-friendly holiday extravaganza “Tis the Season,” features holiday carols and traditional favorites sung by 85 members of the Chorale. Plus, word from the North Pole is that Santa Claus himself plans swing by!

A Magical Cirque Christmas at Segerstrom
Costa Mesa | Sunday, Dec 26
Enjoy an evening of dazzling performers and breathtaking cirque artists, accompanied by your favorite holiday music performed live. Get into the spirit of the season with this merry treat that’s perfect for the entire family.

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Last Stop on Market Street at South Coast Repertory
Costa Mesa | Jan 7-23
Come along on a musical joy ride! CJ is staying with his Nana in the city, where everything is different than home. The food, the people, the noise—it’s too much. He just wants to stay inside and watch videos, but Nana’s having none of that. So together they board the Number 5 bus for an adventure, and CJ learns to look past the surface and appreciate the good in others.

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Yeti’s Snow Play at Mt. High
Wrightwood | Open Weekends & Holidays through March
Make it a “Snow Day” at the Yeti’s Snow Play. Slide down the tubing lanes, take a scenic sky chair ride, or meet the Yeti and his friends. It’s all at Mountain High, Southern California’s closest winter resort, located just an hour and a half away in Wrightwood.

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Public Skate Sessions at East West Ice Palace
Artesia | Saturdays, Nov 20, Dec 4, 11, & 20
Public skate sessions are back at East West Ice Palace on select days. Visit their website for the public skate schedule.

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Big Bear Snow Play
Big Bear Lake | Now – Easter
Check out the longest runs in Southern California, serviced by a Magic Carpet uphill lift that eliminates the tiring uphill struggle through snow. Lift-assisted inner tubing lets parents and children conserve their energy for the thrilling downhill twists and turns and not on walking uphill!

Ice Rink at Irvine Spectrum Center
Irvine | Now – Jan 2, 2022
The ever-popular ice skating rink is located in Giant Wheel Court and is open daily at 3pm.

Public Skating at The Rinks
Locations: Anaheim Ice, Great Park Ice, Lakewood Ice, Poway Ice, Westminster Ice, and Yorba Linda Ice
Enjoy ice skating on NHL and Olympic-sized rinks. They have over 1,000 pairs of professionally maintained hockey and figure skates for rental, plus skate mates for new skaters. Must register online. Visit their website for public skating dates.

Oceanfront Ice Rink
Huntington Beach | Nov 25 – Jan 2
Enjoy a secluded skating experience complete with holiday drinks and bites, theme nights, luxury firepit experiences, performances, and more. Skate and chill where the sand meets the snow.

Dodgers Holiday Festival
Los Angeles | Nov 26 – Dec 31
The Los Angeles Dodgers are hosting a Holiday Festival in the beautiful, newly-renovated Centerfield Plaza, warning track, and bullpens complete with nightly entertainment, an ice skating rink, scenic and light displays, holiday-themed food and beverage, and an opportunity to take photos with Santa!

Surf City Winter Wonderland
Huntington Beach | Nov 26 – Jan 2
Ice skate at Surf City Winter Wonderland and enjoy an unobstructed view of the pier, sand, and sea. Experience Huntington Beach’s coastline in a merry new way this holiday season!

LA Kings Holiday Ice at L.A. Live
Los Angeles | Nov 27 – Jan 7
The annual LA Kings Holiday Ice presented by Coca-Cola brings outdoor ice skating to L.A. LIVE on Xbox Plaza right out front of STAPLES Center. Skate your way into the holiday season and enjoy the rink.

Winter in the Grove
Garden Grove | Saturday, Dec 4
Live performances, holiday crafts and inflatable activities for children of all ages, a holiday craft boutique featuring handmade gifts from local vendors, a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, and 50 tons of snow to create snow slides.

Temecula On Ice
Temecula Town Square Park | Dec 9 – Jan 2
Sharpen your skates, practice your double axel, and we’ll see you on the ice! Temecula On Ice returns with a state-of-the-art ice rink, rental skates, Bobby skating aid and its own radio station playing the best ice skating music.

Holiday Snow Land
Costa Mesa | Saturday, Dec 18
Balearic Park turns into into a winter wonderland with over 40 tons of snow.

Lake Forest | Saturday, Jan 29
Come be a part of this annual winter event and hit the snow laden slopes at Pittsford Park! Sleds and saucers will be available for you and your family to slide down Mount Pittsford. There will also be a free snow play area for kids 10 and under open during the entire event. There will also be additional attractions, games, and guest appearances from a galaxy far, far away. Pre-registration mandatory.

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Magic of Lights at Angel Stadium
Anaheim | Now – Dec 26
The Angel Stadium parking lot is transformed into a vibrant drive-through, holiday lights experience featuring favorite holiday scenes and characters of the season using the latest LED technology and digital animations.

World of Illumination Reindeer Road
Arcadia | Now – Jan 2
Drive along a one mile journey to see 350+ North Pole theme installations, millions of animated lights, synchronized musical experience, and more.

Nights of Lights OC – Drive-Thru Experience
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa | Nov 26 – Jan 2
Journey through a mile-long drive-thru course filled with more than a million lights, themed holiday scenery and immersive vignettes, animated light shows, snow flurries and tunnels synchronized to music, special effects, interactive characters, and more.

Santa’s Speedway Christmas Lights
Irwindale Speedway | Nov 26 – Jan 2
Drive on an actual NASCAR racetrack, as you enjoy Santa’s Village with elves hard at work, a land filled with Christmas sweets, drive-thru ornaments, Rudolph’s Enchanted garage filled with illuminated race cars, and more!

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Holiday Cooking Events at Lil’ Chef School
Irvine | Nov 22 – Dec 30
Lil’ Chef School provides a fun, exciting, and unique atmosphere for lil’ chefs to develop hands-on skills and techniques to be creative within a safe and controlled environment. With a variety of camps, workshops, classes, and drop-off Parent’s Night Out, there’s something for every lil’ chef!

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Rock Climbing Camps with Sender One
Santa Ana & Los Angeles | Nov 22-24, Dec 20-23, and Dec 27-30
Looking for something fun and health-conscious to do for your child this season? Sign up for Sender One’s 3-day rock climbing camp! Activities include rope climbing, bouldering, games, zip line, king swing, slackline, and Sender City. Great for ages 7-13.

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Winter Break J Camps at Merage Jewish Community Center
Irvine | Dec 20-23 and 27-30
Snow doesn’t usually fall here in Orange County, but we can still celebrate the winter season and all it has to offer! Your child will be baking, crafting, singing, learning, dancing and playing during these JCamp days… Choose just a few days, or all of them!

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Spanish Immersion Winter Camp with LangoKids
Irvine | Dec 20-24 and 27-30
Two fun weeks of arts, reading, writing, science, slime, homemade snow, games, songs, challenges, and more! Lear about arctic animals and holiday traditions of Mexico, Peru, and Argentina. Each component of the winter camp will enhance your child’s experience of the Spanish language and culture.

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YMCA of Orange County Winter Camps
The YMCA of OC is offering a variety of activities for your child to participate in during their winter school break. Activities: Esports Camp, Arctic Adventure Winter Day Camp, and Various Sports and Specialty camps (including Art, Basketball, Science, and much more). Each camp offers small teacher to child ratios, fun activities, and time with friends!

Winter Vacation Park Program
Lakewood | Dec 20-31
Holiday activities at Lakewood parks will be featured throughout the two weeks of school vacation. Park activities include winter holiday craft projects, indoor and outdoor games, and fun with food. Santa will make an early appearance on Saturday, December 18 at each of the parks, followed by a candy cane hunt.

Winter Break at El Dorado Nature Center
Long Beach | Dec 20-24 and 27-31
Learn about the journey of birds and butterflies and discover how animals use their amazing hearing, extreme smell, stealthy vision, and tremendous touch to survive and thrive in wild.

Winter Break Skateboarding Camp with Skatedogs
Irvine | Dec 27-30
Kids make new friends, advance their skateboarding skills, and most importantly, have fun at Skatedogs’ wiinter-break skateboarding camp, offered in conjunction with the recreation departments of Irvine.


This post was written by Alina Na

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