2022 HolidayGuide: 115+ Winter Events for Kids in Southern California

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

Our HolidayGuide is here!

Your holiday favorites are back! Christmas events, 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, contests and giveaways, along with a few extra surprises.

Quick Jump:

Anaheim Ballet’s Nutcracker
City National Gove of Anaheim | Nov 25-26

Experience the spectacle of a towering Christmas tree, waltzing flowers, battling toy soldiers and menacing mice. The enduring theme remains unchanged – good overcomes evil – but AB’s staging of the family classic is constantly updated, which keeps the production fresh.

❇️ FREE!
Ballet Etudes The Nutcracker at Bella Terra
Huntington Beach | Sat, Nov 26

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.

Sponsored Kidsguide Partner

A Christmas Carol at South Coast Repertory
Costa Mesa | Nov 26 – Dec 24

Orange County’s favorite yuletide tradition continues! From the first “Bah humbug” to the final “Wassail,” this timeless classic is sure to rekindle your holiday spirit. Join all your favorite Dickens characters—Tiny Tim and the Cratchit family, the Fezziwigs, the Ghosts of Christmas past, present and yet-to-come, and of course, everyone’s favorite curmudgeon, Ebenezer Scrooge, portrayed by SCR Founding Member Richard Doyle. Ages 6 and up.

Bob Baker’s Nutcracker
Los Angeles | Nov 26 – Jan 8

Enjoy a marionette adaptation of the ballet classic. This show features 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!

Pirates Take Christmas at Pirates Dinner Adventure
Buena Park | Nov 29 – Jan 1

This holiday season, help cheer on Santa to Save Christmas! Scoundrel pirates have captured Santa and Mrs. Claus threatening an end to the holiday season and disappointing all of the good girls and boys of the world. This yuletide adventure combines audience participation, heart-pounding action and the spirit of the season; along with a hearty 3-course Feast.

Debbie Allen Hot Chocolate Nutcracker
Redondo Beach | Dec 1-4

The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker is Debbie Allen’s adaptation of the classic two-act ballet by composer Tchaikovsky, revisited into a modern musical.

A Christmas Carol at Rose Center Theater
Westminster | Dec 2-18

See Ebenezer Scrooge and his ghostly encounters come to life in this lavish and thrilling musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ most well-known story.

Nutcracker for Kids with Pacific Symphony
Costa Mesa | Saturday, Dec 3

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!

Sponsored Kidsguide Partner

Disney on Ice: Road Trip Adventures
Los Angeles | Dec 8-11
Anaheim | Dec 15-19
Ontario | Dec 22-26
Long Beach | Dec 29 – Jan 2

Get swept up in Aladdin’s princely parade, join the adventures of Anna and Elsa, play at a larger-than-life carnival with the Toy Story gang, set off on a safari with Simba, and explore the London skyline with Mary Poppins. Enhance your show ticket with a pre-show Character Experience that includes dance party, crafting, and interactive time with Moana.

Star of Night at Segerstrom Center for the Arts
Costa Mesa | Thursday, Dec 8

Millennial® Choirs & Orchestras proudly presents Star of Night. Featuring a stunning musical force of hundreds of musicians, including the remarkable Youth Choirs, the elegant Grand Chorus, and the superb Symphony Orchestra, this concert will bring the magic of Christmas to your heart and inspire your soul.

The Wonderful Winter of Oz at Laguna Playhouse
Laguna Beach | Dec 8-29

Lythgoe Family Panto invites you on a new adventure to the enchanted land of Oz in their fantastically festive and fun production. Based on the British tradition of pantomime, where the audiences’ participation is part of the show, expect a hilarious, heartwarming evening full of song, dance and holiday merriment!

Sponsored Kidsguide Partner

American Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker
Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa
Dec 9-18

SoCal’s favorite holiday tradition returns with American Ballet Theatre’s critically-acclaimed production of The Nutcracker. This dazzling holiday treat features over 100 superstar dancers along with gorgeous sets and costumes and Pacific Symphony playing Tchaikovsky’s timeless score.

A Christmas Carol at Long Beach Playhouse
Long Beach | Dec 9-18

Enjoy this quick-paced, highly theatrical re-telling of Charles Dickens’ classic tale.

The Magic of Christmas: A Season of Light
La Mirada Theatre | Dec 9-18

The Young Americans star in this spectacular Christmas show. This year’s show highlights favorite Christmas traditions, including Diwali, Hanukkah, Lunar New Year, and more.

Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas
Chance Theater, Anaheim | Dec 9-23

This year, Nancy is especially excited about decorating the Christmas tree. She bought a brand-new sparkly tree topper with her own money and has been waiting for Christmas to come. But when things don’t turn out the way Nancy planned, will Christmas still be splendiferous?

Sponsored Kidsguide Partner

Festival Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker
Irvine Barclay Theatre
Dec 10-24

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 Long Beach Nutcracker
Long Beach | Dec 16-23

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.”

Winter Lights at Discovery Cube OC
Santa Ana | Dec 16 – Jan 8

An all-new holiday musical spectacular comes to Discovery Cube OC. Through a bit of magic and holiday spirit, Lumina realizes the importance of the scientific process, accepting failure, leading from her heart, and the support of community and family. Will her experiment work in time for the big Science Fair?

Coast City Ballet’s The Nutcracker
Huntington Beach | Dec 17-18

Experience the magic of dance at Coast City Ballet’s annual production of this famed holiday favorite at Huntington Beach HS Historic Theater.

Tis the Season with Pacific Chorale
Costa Mesa | Dec 18-19

Pacific Chorale presents its annual extravaganza! “Tis the Season” offers a selection of holiday favorites seasoned with delightful surprises in a concert the entire family can enjoy. 

❇️ FREE!
Nutcracker & Mini Ballet Class at Pacific City
Huntington Beach | Dec 20

Children and families are invited to join a special holiday story time and wear their finest ballet or nutcracker costume. During the event, there will be a demonstration of Festival Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker ballet, and children will be able to participate in a mini ballet class alongside professional ballerinas. Pre-registration required.

Fiesta Navidad at Segerstrom Center for the Arts
Costa Mesa | Friday, Dec 23

One of Orange County’s most beloved holiday events, Fiesta Navidad, features the Grammy Award®-winning Mariachi Los Camperos in a concert filled with festive music and dance. This celebration of Mexican holiday traditions is a perfect for the whole family.

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❇️ FREE!
“Bright & Beautiful” 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.

❇️ FREE!
A Christmas Story Christmas at The Autry Museum
Los Angeles | Saturday, Nov 12

See A Christmas Story Christmas at The Autry Museum. Enjoy live music, food trucks, and this special movie under the stars. Ticket reservations required.

❇️ FREE!
Citadel Outlets Tree Lighting Concert
Los Angeles | Saturday, Nov 12

Over 18,000 LED bulbs will light up California’s tallest live-cut Christmas tree! The free concert is a family-friendly holiday tradition and will include a mix of original pop songs and holiday favorites.

Holiday Glass Fusing Workshop at Urban Workshop
Costa Mesa | Nov 13 & Dec 4

Get hands-on experience cutting glass in your style and design of choice to make your very own festive ornaments, coasters, or dishware. Participants will be guided through the process from start to finish.

❇️ FREE!
Annual Tree Lighting at 2ND & PCH
Long Beach | Wednesday, Nov 16

Watch the Christmas tree light up, enjoy live performances, balloon twisting, face painting, ball pit, bounce house, crafts, The Nutcracker stage activations, the Sugarplums performance, and meet Santa, Mr. and Mrs. Gingerbread.

❇️ FREE!
Roundhouse Aquarium Holiday Open House
Manhattan Beach | Wednesday, Nov 16

Join the Downtown Manhattan Beach festivities and pier lighting by strolling down the pier and stopping by the Roundhouse Aquarium. Get free hot chocolate and desserts!

Once Upon a Christmas: A North Pole Adventure
Balboa Island | Nov 18 – Dec 24

A fully personalized Santa Experience that promises Santa will know all about your children the moment they enter the room. Travel through magical portals on a private elf-guided tour of the North Pole. Talk to Santa’s reindeer, visit the Elf Workshop, and meet the one-and-only Santa.

❇️ FREE!
Tree Lighting at The Outlets at San Clemente
San Clemente | Saturday, Nov 19

Enjoy a tree lighting, free concert, live reindeer, hot chocolate caravan, photo op, and scavenger hunt.

Winter Fantasy at the Sawdust Festival
Laguna Beach | Nov 19 – Dec 18

Shop handcrafted gifts from 160 artists and makers, enjoy daily photos with Santa, holiday carolers, puppet shows, magic acts, three stages of entertainment, food and drink, and complimentary festival classes.

❇️ FREE!
Holidayz at the Park
Great Park, Irvine | Nov 19 – Jan 1

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 St. Nick’s travels and the park’s military history. Snap a photo at various winter-themed backdrops, participate in holiday-themed classes, and curl up for a Pajama Party Movie Night (Irvine residents only) on Nov 30.

Swedish Christmas Fair at Old World Huntington Beach
Huntington Beach | Sunday, Nov 20

Festivities include crafts, glogg bar, Swedish food, home baked goods, Santa, kids activities, and more.

A Gentle Thanksgiving: Pre-Meal Celebration at The Gentle Barn
Santa Clarita | Thursday, Nov 24

Cuddle with turkeys, feed them treats, go on a 1.5 hour self-guided tour of the barnyard, enjoy pie and games before celebrating with your family.

Thanksgiving Turkey Bash at Lions Tigers & Bears
Alpine | Nov 25-26

Come get wild at Lions Tigers & Bears the Friday or Saturday after Thanksgiving – and watch rescued big cats and bears enjoy their Thanksgiving Feast. This event is a special twist on the regularly scheduled 10am guided educational visit.

❇️ FREE!
Meet & Greet Holiday Characters at Bella Terra
Huntington Beach | Nov 25 – Dec 18

Nov 25-26: Grinch & Cindy Loo Hoo • Dec 3-4: Jack Skellington & Sally • Dec 10-11: Buddy the Elf & Jovie • Dec 17-18: Spiderman & Black Panther

An American Christmas Story at The Reagan Library
Simi Valley | Nov 25 – Dec 24

Immerse yourself in the exhibit’s festive forest of decorated trees and learn just how many different ways Americans enjoy the holiday season. See some of the White House gifts and ornaments of Christmases from the past and regale yourself in fanciful exhibits that will appeal to all ages.

❇️ FREE!
“Let It Snow” with Snow Queen & Princess at Bella Terra
Huntington Beach | Nov 26 – Dec 17

The Snow Queen and Princess will be performing and making it snow on the Green with their friends every Saturday and Sunday. Gather around at 5 and 6pm for a 30-minute show.

❇️ FREE!
Solvang Julefest
Solvang | Nov 26 – Jan 6

Julefest returns for a month-long holiday celebration for the village of Solvang. Julefest events includes nightly light and music show, photos with Santa, tree lighting ceremony, carolers, bands and chorus, candlelight tours, artisanal night marketplace, and more.

❇️ FREE!
Hollywood Christmas Parade
Hollywood | Sunday, Nov 27

The 90th annual parade will feature Hollywood celebrities and movie cars, award-wining bands from around the country, 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!

Gingerbread Spice & Everything Nice at Nixon Library
Yorba Linda | Monday, Nov 28

Kick-off the holidays with this festive, family-friendly celebration that pays tribute to the Nixons’ gingerbread themed traditions at the White House complete with a Christmas tree lighting, photos with a life-size gingerbread man, a Christmas Concert, and Santa Claus!

City of Lakewood Tree Lighting
Lakewood | Friday, Dec 2

Enjoy carnival games, pictures with Santa, food trucks and lots of falling snow!

Newport Beach Holiday Lights Cruise
Newport Beach | Dec 2 -31

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.

❇️ FREE!
Winter Wonderland
Los Alamitos | Saturday, Dec 3

Free snow play, musical entertainment, snow sledding, Santa’s Village, tree lighting, inflatables, visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, sensory-calming area, and vendors. This event had over 7,000 event goers last year.

❇️ FREE!
Holiday Tree Lighting
Lake Forest | Saturday, Dec 3

Free rides, entertainment, arts and crafts, vendors selling food, and more. Event begins at 4pm, tree lighting at sunset.

Santa’s Village by the Sea
San Clemente | Saturday, Dec 3

It’s the one holiday event that brings together a night of music, food, hot chocolate, popcorn, games, and snow to San Clemente. Enjoy inflatables, crafts, holiday shopping, and the tree lighting at 5:55pm.

❇️ FREE!
Holidays on Main Street
Yorba Linda | Saturday, Dec 3

Every year family and friends gather on Main Street to celebrate the holidays! There’s something for the whole family with kids crafts, youth talent show, artisan shopping, pictures with Santa, a holiday drinks lounge, live music and more.

❇️ FREE!
Victorian Christmas at The Banning Museum
Wilmington | Saturday, Dec 3

Enjoy walk-through tours of the mansion, horse-drawn trolley rides, a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, Christmas crafts, cookies and cider, blacksmith demonstration, carolers, and more.

❇️ FREE!
Civil War Christmas at Drum Barracks
Wilmington | Saturday, Dec 3

Enjoy children’s crafts, living history reenactors, and special displays.

❇️ FREE!
Holidayfest at South Lake Avenue
Pasadena | Saturday, Dec 3

Enjoy live music, holidays activities, in-store promotions, raffles, free photos with Santa and holiday character, snow globe making stations, cookie and ornament decoration, and more.

Yuletide Cinemaland at Heritage Square Museum
Los Angeles | Dec 3-23

Join Street Food Cinema for the ultimate holiday experience at Heritage Square Museum. Enjoy Victorian holiday home tours, Santa Claus, snow dancing, live piano sing-alongs, holiday light extravaganza, vendors, food trucks, and a special holiday movie screening. Tickets: $16-36. Dec 3: Elf • Dec 10: Edward Scissorhands • Dec 17: The Muppet Christmas Carol • Dec 18: A Christmas Story • Dec 19: Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch • Dec 20: Home Alone • Dec 21: The Nightmare Before Christmas • Dec 22: The Santa Clause • Dec 23: Elf

Long Beach Trolley Holiday Waterfront Tour of Lights
Long Beach | Dec 4-26

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.

❇️ FREE!
Holiday Open House at Rancho Los Alamitos
Long Beach | Dec 8-9

Bring your family and friends for a festive evening at Rancho Los Alamitos. Tour the decorated Ranch House and enjoy music and light refreshments. Reservations required.

Nights of 1000 Lights at Sherman Gardens
Corona Del Mar | Dec 9-22

Stroll through the Gardens this holiday season and experience a display of lights and entertainment.

Luminaria Nights at California Botanic Garden
Claremont | Dec 9-10 16-17

Be enchanted at this Claremont tradition where the Garden glows with light for the holidays. Luminarias and other light installations will guide you through the nighttime garden paths, while you stop to enjoy festive music at multiple venues. Drinks and treats available for purchase.

❇️ FREE!
Candlelight Walk at Heritage Hill Historical Park
Lake Forest | Dec 9-11

Enjoy an evening stroll through the decorated grounds as well as live musical performances, holiday crafts for kids and a visit with Santa Claus! Light refreshments will be available for cash purchase.

❇️ FREE!
Dana Point Boat Parade of Lights
Dana Point | Dec 9-11

The harbor’s much-anticipated Boat Parade of Lights returns with a “Surfin’ USA” theme. Plus, enjoy lighting installations, holiday-themed photo ops, visits with Santa, and more.

Sponsored Kidsguide Partner

Holiday Capsule Lighting at Columbia Memorial Space Center
Downey | Saturday, Dec 10

Check out the Holiday Capsule Lighting on Saturday, December 10.

❇️ FREE!
Daisy Parade
Long Beach | Saturday, Dec 10

The historic parade returns to Daisy Avenue between PCH and Hill Street starting at 5pm.

❇️ FREE!
Naples Island Holiday Boat Parade
Long Beach | Saturday, Dec 10

Twinkling 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.

Merry Market at SteelCraft Bellflower
Bellflower | Saturday, Dec 10

Enjoy a free family event at SteelCraft Bellflower. Activities include a slime workshop from 11am-2pm, appearance from Santa from 2:30-3:30pm, live music from 6-9pm, and food and drinks from vendors of SteelCraft Bellflower.

Holiday Family Faire at Theatricum Botanicum
Topanga | Saturday, Dec 10

Shop an artisan holiday marketplace, enjoy special performances, festive food and drinks, caroling and singing madrigals, photo ops with Santa and Mrs. Claus, winter holiday stories, and more.

Christmas with the Animals at Lions Tiger & Bears
Alpine | Saturday, Dec 10

Watch the animals open their Christmas presents. Grab a bite from food trucks, enjoy hot cocoa, and meet Santa.

Winter Family Festival at Rancho Los Alamitos
Long Beach | Saturday, Dec 10

Celebrate the season while learning about the diverse traditions of those who once called Povuun’nga and Rancho Los Alamitos home. Enjoy hands-on activities, dance and musical performances, a petting zoo, carriage rides, food for purchase, and more!

❇️ FREE!
Holiday Concert at Redondo Beach Pier
Redondo Pier | Saturday, Dec 10

Live holiday music, activity books, charity toy drive, holiday selfie station, giveaways, and more.

After-Hours Holiday Tours of Rancho Los Cerritos
Long Beach | Dec 10-11

Experience a living history tour through the decorated adobe by candlelight. Costumed guides share a century of holiday traditions and short vignettes take place on the adobe’s exhibit rooms. Live music and light refreshments included.

Huntington Harbour Boat Parade
Huntington Beach | Dec 10-11

The all-volunteer Huntington Harbour Boat Parade is the non-profit Huntington Harbour Philharmonic Commitee’s way of saying “thank you” to the Harbour residents for decorating their homes.

Winter Express at San Diego Model Railroad Museum
San Diego | Dec 10-11

Get ready for a fun-filled morning. Enjoy story time with St. Nick, decorate craft ornaments, and get a goodie bag of cocoa, cookies, a special ticket and silver bell. Ticket also include all-day museum access.

❇️ FREE!
Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade
Newport Beach | Dec 14-18

Watch beautifully decorated yachts, boats, kayaks and canoes sail along the harbor. The parade will begin at approximately 6:30pm each night.

Sponsored Kidsguide Partner

Holiday Events at Pretend City
Irvine | Dec 16-27

Celebrate the magic of the holidays all month long at Pretend City. Engage in fun holiday traditions from around the world.

Dec 16: Las Posadas
Dec 18: Hanukkah
Dec 21: Winter Solstice
Dec 23: Christmas Celebration (Meet Santa)
Dec 27: Kwanzaa

❇️ FREE!
Snoopy House
Costa Mesa | Dec 16-23

Visit the Snoopy House at Costa Mesa City Hall for free nightly events including photos with Santa, train rides, letters to Santa, stage performances, and Snoopy House Lights Display. Special weekend activities include Kids Imagine entertainment, carolers, and a miniature sled hill (wavier required).

❇️ FREE!
Ventura Harbor Parade of Lights
Ventura | Dec 16-17

This year’s theme is “Out of this World!” Festivities feature two nights of decorated boats and carnival fun. The boat parade begins at 6:30pm nightly and finishes with a fireworks finale around 8pm.

❇️ FREE!
Holiday Lights at Heritage Hill Historical Park
Lake Forest | Dec 16-18

Wander through twinkling light displays during special park hours. Please note that no additional entertainment or refreshments will be provided at Holiday Lights.

Huntington Harbour Philharmonic’s Cruise of Lights
Huntington Beach | Dec 16-23

The Huntington Harbour Philharmonic Cruise of Lights® offers narrated boat tours through the waterways of Huntington Harbour. In December both locals and visitors share the beauty of thousands of lights and animated displays on brightly decorated homes, docks, decks and boats.

Holiday Krafts Day at the International Printing Museum
Carson | Dec 17

It’s a creative day of printing and crafts for the whole family. Activities throughout the day include letterpress printing cards, bookmarks, keepsakes, fun wrapping paper and ornaments. Participants will also be able to try colorful paper marbling, typing a note to grandma or Santa on vintage typewriters, screen printing t-shirts, bookbinding, special tours, and more! A great opportunity to make some holiday decorations and gifts.

❇️ FREE!
Holiday Festival at The Muckenthaler
Fullerton | Sunday, Dec 18

Celebrate the holiday season with free family-friendly activities, live music, food and drinks, art workshops for kids, and an arts and crafts sale.

A Candlelight Evening at the Nixon Library
Yorba Linda | Tuesday, Dec 20

In 1969, First Lady Pat Nixon introduced evening tours of the White House so that working families could experience the Christmas decorations. To continue her tradition, the Nixon Library will light up after dark with an indoor and outdoor experience featuring festive lights, Christmas music, Santa Claus, live reindeer, and gingerbread!

Equestfest with Tournament of Roses
Los Angeles Equestrian Center, Burbank | Friday, Dec 30

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. Guests are invited to stroll through the stables, meet equestrian participants, and enjoy interactive exhibits.

Floatfest: A Rose Parade Showcase
Pasadena | Jan 2-3, 2023

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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123 Farm Christmas Nights
Cherry Valley | Nov 4 – Jan 8

From acres of lavender, to century-old olive grove and towering oaks, the farm turns into a festive event with over one million lights. Enjoy food and drink, horse-drawn carriage tours, s’mores pits, and Santa. Visit Santa’s Workshop for free photos, see a life-sized gingerbread house, shop the Christmas Village, explore the holiday maze, and ask the information desk for a scavenger hunt.

Lightscape at LA Arboretum
Arcadia | Nov 11 – Jan 8

The internationally acclaimed Lightscape returns with stunning new installations along a new expanded trail. Wander through dazzling displays of color, light and sound that include the spectacular Winter Cathedral. Tickets: $18-39.

Santa’s Village at Skypark
Skyforest | Nov 17 – Jan 8

Visit the enchanting Santa’s Village to have breakfast with Santa, tea with Mrs. Claus, ice skate at the Silver Bells Arena, visit Santa’s elves in the workshop and post office, enjoy spectacular Christmas shows, and watch the entire village come with a dazzling light show.

Knott’s Merry Farm
Buena Park | Nov 18 – Jan 8

The park is transformed into a winter wonderland-inspired holiday festival. Enjoy the musical Christmas show Home for the Holidays, Christmas Crafts Village, magical Snow and Glow experience, Santa’s Christmas Cabin, nightly Christmas tree lighting, and light show throughout Camp Snoopy.

LA Zoo Lights: Animals Aglow
Los Angeles | Nov 18 – Jan 19

The LA Zoo transforms into an immersive landscape filled with lantern sculptures of animals. Take a self-guided 60-90 minute stroll through the zoo and enjoy interactive elements and photo ops. Sensory-Inclusive Zoo Lights on Nov 30 and Pride Night on Jan 4.

Winter Frolic at Kidspace Children’s Museum
Pasadena | Nov 18 – Jan 8

Kidspace transforms into a land of wonder and delight. Grab your favorite socks and head out to their Sock Skating Rink, go ice fishing, toss super-soft snowballs, build a sculpture with ice blocks, dress up a life-size No-Melt Snowman, and strike a snowy pose.

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Science of Gingerbread at Discovery Cube
Santa Ana & Sylmar | Nov 19 – Jan 1

Check out hundreds of creative gingerbread entries and all new holiday fun! Walk through the gingerbread village, meet and snap a photo with Santa, decorate a holiday cookie, participate in winter workshops, and more. Science of Gingerbread is happening at both Discovery Cube OC and LA.

Gingerbread competition entries due December 4th. Exhibit included with general admission. Visit their website to find out when Santa visits!

Holidays at LEGOLAND
Carlsbad | Nov 19 – Jan 8

Experience holidays with fun holiday characters, a 30-foot LEGO Christmas tree with over 400 LEGO ornaments, seasonal shows, traditional treats, and more.

The Polar Express at Southern California Railway Museum
Perris | Nov 20 – Dec 28

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.

Enchanted Forest of Light at Descanso Gardens
La Cañada Flintridge | Nov 20 – Jan 8

Enchanted Forest of Light is an interactive, one-mile walk through unique lighting experiences throughout the gardens. Popular returning favorites include an entire town of magical “stained glass” creations, sparkling geometric installations, Flower Power on the Promenada, and lighting effects in the Ancient Forest.

Wild Lights & Jungle Nights at America’s Teaching Zoo
Moorpark | Nov 23 – Dec 30

Stroll through the zoo filled with dynamic lights, interactive experiences, and photo ops. Enjoy the Arctic Enchanted Aviary and Illuminated Jungle with a Glow in the Dark Garden. Catch Ira the lion roaring (or snoring) under his Canopy of Lights.

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Hikari – A Festival of Lights at Tanaka Farms
Irvine | Nov 25 – 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!

Grab a hot cocoa and take a cozy Wagon Ride around the festively lit farm that will take you to the “Land of a Thousand Lanterns!” Once off the wagon, wander through the light displays, with photo opportunities throughout.

After the wagon ride, make your way down to the Festival Grounds where you can visit with the barnyard animals, grab some food from the Tanaka Grill, enjoy photo ops, games, arts & crafts, and meet Santa for a photo! (all activities are priced individually.) There’s also live music Fridays – Sundays.

Christmas on the Farm at Underwood Family Farms
Moorpark | Nov 25 – Dec 24

Admission includes farm animals, holiday photo ops, tractor-drawn wagon rides, slides, pick-your-own fields (pickings additional fee), letters for Santa, animal shows (weekends only), reindeer (Dec 10-11 & 17-18), and visits with Santa (weekends through Dec 18). Additional activities include arts and crafts, duck racing, elf training, sleigh rides with draft horses, train rides, electric tractors, baby goat experience, and more.

Illuminate Silverlakes
Norco | Nov 25 – Dec 30

Enjoy live musical performances, fun-filled activities, and holiday light displays. Stroll through the Christmas Holiday Marketplace, journey through the Illumination Trail, visit oversized presents and toys in Toyland, explore the Electric Forest, take a photo in the sleigh at Santa’s Reindeer Grove, and meet Santa himself.

❇️ FREE!
Lighting of the Bay at Newport Dunes
Newport Beach | Nov 25 – 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.

Winter Fest OC
Costa Mesa | Nov 25 – Jan 1

The OC Fair & Event Center transforms into a winter wonderland with oversized holiday decor, a million lights, ice skating, ice tubing slide, snowboard simulator, carnival rides, holiday market, food and drinks, photo ops, and more.

Holidays at Universal Studios Hollywood
Hollywood | Nov 25 – Jan 1

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 in the Park at Six Flags
Valencia | Nov 25 – Jan 1

The park is transformed into a winter wonderland with thousands of colorful lights, live entertainment, sleigh rides, and visits with Santa.

Christmas in Color Drive-Thru Light Show
San Dimas | Nov 25 – Dec 31

Drive through millions of lights perfectly synchronized to holiday music you’ll hear right through your radio. Drive by giant candy canes, snowmen, arched pathways and more

Holiday Light Festival Train Ride in Griffith Park
Los Angeles | Nov 25 – Jan 6

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.

Wild Holidays at San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Escondido | Nov 25 – Jan 1

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.

❇️ FREE!
Festival of Lights at The Mission Inn Hotel
Riverside | Nov 25 – Jan 6

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.

Holiday Road
Calabasas | Nov 25 – Dec 30

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.

Snow N’ Glow Holiday Festival
Ventura | Nov 27 – Dec 26
Del Mar | Dec 8 – Jan 1

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.

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.

Santa’s Speedway Christmas Light Experience
Irwindale | Dec 1-31

Walk around to see massive light displays including the 11-story Christmas tree, towering ornaments, stroll through reindeer stables, and meet Santa.

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Capistrano Lights
Mission San Juan Capistrano | Dec 3-30

Celebrate the holidays at Orange County’s only Mission. Create lasting memories with family photos under our 10-foot wreath, experience a Christmas tree lighting and music program with their 30-foot 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 take 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.

Aquarium Holidays at Aquarium of the Pacific
Long Beach | Dec 3-23

Aquarium Holidays features festive décor, shopping, snowfall in the Great Hall, and appearances by Santa Diver. On weekends December 3 through 18 the Aquarium will have photo opportunities with Santa. There will also be a Kwanzaa celebration and Hanukkah storytelling.

Astra Lumina at South Coast Botanic Garden
Palos Verdes Peninsula | Dec 8 – Jan 15

Astra Lumina is an immersive night walk experience that uses light, scenography, original soundscape and projection to plunge visitors into an imaginative world.

Jungle Bells at San Diego Zoo
San Diego | Dec 9 – Jan 1

This annual holiday event will treat guests through a wonderland of twinkling lights, live entertainment, festive music, and views of wildlife. Join in Reindeer Games and trek through Northern Frontier’s Holiday Forest, or visit Santa or his friendly helpers, Dr. Harry Lion, Churchill Polar Bear, Sydney Koala and all their friends. Don’t miss Aurora, an immersive presentation with 3D projection mapping, music, and lights.

Winter Wonders & Holiday Lights at Wild Wonders
Bonsall | Dec 15 – Jan 1

Go on a special tour, sip on hot cocoa, and meet nocturnal animal ambassadors in the glow of holiday lights.

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Big Bear Snow Play
Big Bear Lake | Nov 5 – Easter

Checking the longest tubing runs in Southern California, a new heated base lodge, and expanded paved parking. Save your energy for the ride down with two Magic Carpet rides that take you straight to the top. One is covered with Plexiglas to limit exposure to the chilly air. The Magic Carpet creates a more comfortable experience for everyone.

Big Bear Snow Play’s extensive snowmaking system provides excellent snow coverage on all runs, and nightly grooming ensures the best possible conditions. Open daily November to April from 10 am to 4 pm. Night tubing is Fridays, Saturdays and holiday periods from 5 pm to 9pm.

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Public Skate Sessions at East West Ice Palace
Artesia | November – December
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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Yeti’s Snow Play at Mt. High
Wrightwood | Thanksgiving – March

Make it a “Snow Day” at the Yeti’s Snow Play. Slide down the tubing lanes, go sledding, take a scenic sky chair ride, play in the snow, or meet the Yeti and his friends. It’s all at Mountain High, Southern California’s closest winter resort with no mountain driving.

Ice Rink at Irvine Spectrum Center
Irvine | Nov 8 – Jan 8

Holiday magic starts at Irvine Spectrum Center with the return of the Ice Rink sponsored by the Anaheim Ducks. The open-air ice skating rink is located in Giant Wheel Court and is open daily at 3pm.

Surf City Winter Wonderland
Huntington Beach | Nov 18 – Jan 8

Located at the base of the historic Huntington Beach Pier, Surf City Winter Wonderland is the newest addition to the City of Huntington Beach’s catalog of epic events! Enjoy a day or night out with family and friends by skating to the sounds of crashing waves and following it up by supporting local downtown restaurants and businesses.

Pershing Square Holiday Ice Skating Rink
Los Angeles | Nov 23 – Jan 1

An enchanting holiday activity, ice skating in downtown LA guarantees to delight everyone, from first-time gliders to experienced skaters. Come visit for merrymaking, outdoor fun and guaranteed smiles.

Oceanfront Ice Rink at Pasêa Hotel
Huntington Beach | Nov 25 – Dec 31

Skate and chill where the sand meets the snow with oceanfront ice skating, reserved firepit experiences, theme nights, holiday cocktails and bites, group skate sessions, performances and more holiday delights.

LA Kings Holiday Ice at L.A. Live
Los Angeles | Nov 26 – Jan 8

The city’s largest and most popular outdoor ice rink returns to L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles.

Winter in the Grove
Garden Grove | Saturday, Dec 3

Get ready for 50 tons of snow, snow slides, holiday craft boutique, fun food, photo ops, free crafts, live entertainment, and free inflatable attractions.

Santa Ana Winter Village
Santa Ana | Dec 8 – Jan 8

Enjoy a world-class outdoor ice-skating rink and live entertainment, shopping, local food trucks and more. Ride a festive trackless train, read a story with Mrs. Claus, or simply enjoy a warm holiday treat under the magical lights of this holiday wonderland. Lucky guests may even catch a glimpse of Santa!

Holiday Snow Land
Costa Mesa | Saturday, Dec 17

Balearic Park turns into a winter wonderland with over 40 tons of snow. This time-honored tradition hosts over 1,000 people annually.

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.

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Lango Spanish Immersion Winter Camp
Irvine | Dec 19-23

Enjoy a fun-filled week of slime, homemade snow, holidays songs, games, challenges, and more. Learn about arctic animals, winter clothing, and holiday traditions from Mexico, Peru, and Colombia. Kids will also enjoy singing, dancing, crafts, and more. Beginner and proficient levels available.

Each component of the winter camp will enhance your child’s experience of the Spanish language and culture via calisthenics for kids, dance, crafts, songs, stories and more. Classes are taught by native speakers who are not only professionals but passionate about what they do.

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My Gym Children’s Fitness Center
Long Beach | Nov 22-23, Dec 28-30, and Jan 3-5

Children participate in energizing games, exciting relays, arts and crafts, music and so much more. Each camp program is uniquely designed to keep your children moving and active. My Gym Long Beach makes it easy for parents with a drop-off program, pay-by-the-day options, and multi-day discounts.

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Winter Break J Camps at Merage Jewish Community Center
Irvine | Dec 27-30 & Jan 3-6

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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Acting Out Winter Break Camps
Long Beach | Dec 28-29 & Jan 4-5

Winter Acting Workshops offer improv, theater games, costume play, props, and more. Bring your talents and comedy chops for a great two day of fast-paced acting! Both workshops run 9am – 4pm.

Winter Workshop #1
New Year’s Eve Variety Show
Dec 28-29
This two-day workshop will include variety acts, sketch comedy, and commercials with a special Acting Out flare. The workshop will be filmed and you’ll receive the completed project to watch.

Winter Workshop #2
Seen and Be Seen
Jan 4-5
Monologues, scenes, and short plays, plus improv, theater games, costume play, and props.

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YMCA of Greater Long Beach Preschools

With six 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. NOTE: Through the duration of COVID-19 safety modifications remain in place, including face coverings and additional safety measures.

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United States Youth Volleyball League

USYVL aims to provide every child (ages 7-15) a chance to learn and play volleyball in a fun, safe, supervised environment. One of the main tenets of the program is to encourage children to do their best with their abilities. With an emphasis on positive reinforcement, the program seeks to build confidence and self-esteem in each child.

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Holiday Cooking Events at Lil’ Chef School
Irvine | Nov 18 – 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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Skateboarding Winter Break Camp
Long Beach | Dec 27-30 & Jan 2-5

Irvine | Dec 19-21

Kids (ages 5-13) make new friends, advance their skateboarding skills, and most importantly, have fun at Skatedogs’ private skatepark! The camp includes lessons, free skate, games, competition, and prizes.

With quarter pipes, launch ramps, fun boxes, rails, and other fun obstacles, Skatedogs will work with each skater’s individual skill level to help them be the best skateboarder they can be, in a fun and safe environment.

Looking for even more family fun? The Kidsguide Calendar is filled with lots more events (that aren’t holiday related)!


This post was written by Alina Na

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