2023 HolidayGuide: 170+ Holiday 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.

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Holiday Shows in Southern California

Hip Hop Nutcracker
Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts | Cerritos
Friday, November 10, 2023

A holiday mash-up for the whole family, this contemporary dance spectacle is a re-mixed and re-imagined version of the classic, smashing Hip Hop dance and Tchaikovsky’s timeless music together into a heart-stirring and inspirational holiday event.

Anaheim Ballet’s Nutcracker
City National Grove of Anaheim | Anaheim
November 24-25, 2023

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.

Advertiser Spotlight

A Christmas Carol
South Coast Repertory | Costa Mesa
November 25 – December 24, 2023


Don’t miss Orange County’s favorite holiday tradition! 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. Ring in the holidays with the magic of live theatre.

Running Time: Approximately 2 hours with 15-minute intermission.

Advisory: Ages 6 and up. Children under the age of 6 will not be admitted to A Christmas Carol. Everyone( regardless of age) must have a ticket, sit in a seat and be able to sit quietly through the performance. This show contains smoke, haze and ​strobe effects.

Bob Baker’s Nutcracker
Bob Baker Marionette Theater | Los Angeles
November 25 – January 7, 2024

Enjoy a marionette adaptation of the ballet classic. It’s Bob’s most beloved holiday show since its opening in 1969. 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!

Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas
Chance Theater | Anaheim
December 1-23, 2023

Ooh, la la! This year, Nancy is especially excited. After selling some of her old gowns and accessories, she has enough money to buy a brand-new sparkly tree topper. She simply cannot wait to decorate the Christmas tree. But when things don’t turn out the way Nancy planned, does Christmas still stand a chance of being splendiferous? Running Time: 1 hour, with 10-minute intermission.

Kidsguide Tip! There are four Pay-What-You-Can preview shows! These seats will not be assigned until an hour before curtain. Limit 4 tickets per order.

Pirates Take Christmas
Pirates Dinner Adventure | Buena Park
December 1 – January 1, 2024

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.

Nutcracker for Kids
Segerstrom Center for the Arts | Costa Mesa
Saturday, December 2, 2023

See Tchaikovsky’s Christmas ballet performed in a condensed version created just for kids! This concert finishes with a visit from Santa and annual holiday sing-along. There’s special activities before and after the concert including a coloring station, craft station, STEAM station, and photo backdrop.

Narrated Nutcracker
Central Library | Huntington Beach
December 2-3, 2023

Festival Ballet Theatre’s lavish 45-minute, narrated rendition of The Nutcracker is specially designed to introduce young children to the beauty of classical ballet and music.

Merry-Achi Christmas
Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts | Cerritos
December 2-23, 2023

The annual tradition Merry-Achi Christmas returns to Cerritos in a colorful Mexican holiday celebration filled with seasonal songs, dance, and festive merriment.

Advertiser Spotlight

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical
Hollywood Pantages Theatre | Los Angeles
December 6-17, 2023


Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical features the hit songs “You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch” and “Welcome Christmas” from the original animated series. Max the Dog narrates as the mean and scheming Grinch, whose heart is “two sizes too small,” decides to steal Christmas away from the Holiday loving Whos. Magnificent sets and costumes inspired by Dr. Seuss’ original illustrations help transport audiences to the whimsical world of Whoville.

Visit www.BroadwayInHollywood.com to see all family friendly performances times with best availability being on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings.

Debbie Allen’s Hot Chocolate Nutcracker
Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center | Redondo Beach
December 7-10, 2023

​Debbie Allen has taken the ballet classic and given it fresh, new context with lively characters, new music by industry legends, diverse choreography, spectacular aerial arts and state-of-the-art projection to create an immersive, vibrant and memorable theater experience for all ages. Pre-performance events (separate ticketed events) include Fairy Queen Tea and Girl Scout Patch Workshop.

Holiday Spectacular
Pasadena Playhouse ||
December 14-23, 2023

A brand-new holiday show that’s sure to leave you feeling merry and bright from Tony nominee, Sam Pinkleton. It’s holiday hijinks as only the Playhouse can do. For ages 6 and up.

Advertiser Spotlight

A Cinderella Christmas
Laguna Playhouse | Laguna Beach
December 7-29, 2023


“Kids will delight in the sight gags and fast-paced dances, parents in the campy jokes and music. It’s a Christmas blast!” –Broadway World

This holiday season, put on your glass slippers and join Laguna Playhouse for their annual Lythgoe Family Panto, A Cinderella Christmas! Based on the traditional British panto, where the audiences’ participation is part of the show, expect a hilarious, heartwarming evening full of song, dance and holiday merriment!

A wild, wacky, and interactive holiday event featuring all of your favorite characters, A Cinderella Christmas sets the age-old fairytale of Cinderella to modern music, with a comical twist and incredible magic! Featuring songs like 9 to 5 by Dolly Parton and When You Believe by Whitney Houston, make Panto your holiday tradition!

Run Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Santa’s Circus
The Montalbán Theatre || Hollywood
December 8-23, 2023

Enjoy a mesmerizing theatrical experience that delivers the joy of Christmas through a unique blend of theater and cirque-style acrobatics. This 90-minute spectacular is designed to delight the whole family.

Advertiser Spotlight

American Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker
Segerstrom Center for the Arts | Costa Mesa
December 8-17, 2023


“…ravishing and clever enough to inspire multiple viewings.” – Los Angeles Times

“Jaw-droppingly beautiful!” – OC Register

SoCal’s favorite holiday tradition returns with American Ballet Theatre’s critically acclaimed production of The Nutcracker. Created by one of today’s most celebrated choreographers, Alexei Ratmansky, this dazzling holiday treat features ABT’s roster of superstar dancers along with gorgeous sets and costumes by Tony winner Richard Hudson, and Pacific Symphony playing Tchaikovsky’s timeless score.

The Nutcracker is the tale of a young girl, Clara, who receives the gift of a nutcracker doll at her family’s Christmas party. In her dreams that night, the nutcracker doll comes to life as a handsome prince who joins her on a magical journey. Together, they travel to lands filled with dancing snowflakes, waltzing flowers, a mouse army and other exotic characters, all brought to vivid life on stage by a cast of over 100 performers.

Nutcracker Sweet Seats
A limited number of exclusive Sweet Seats are available for weekend performances. Along with prime orchestra seating, this ticket also comes with a keepsake ornament, The Nutcracker collectible poster, and a holiday cookie – all in a Segerstrom Center tote bag!

Advertiser Spotlight

A Charlie Brown Christmas
The Phantom Projects Theatre at La Habra Depot
December 8-10 & 15-17, 2023

The classic animated television special A Charlie Brown Christmas comes to life in this faithful stage adaptation in which Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang discover the true meaning of Christmas. Stay after and meet the cast of this family-friendly performance that’s perfect for your Christmas activities! For tickets and info visit: www.ThePhantomProjectsTheatre.com or call 714-690-2900. Address: 311 South Euclid St, La Habra (next door to the Children’s Museum at La Habra) Run Time: Approximately 45 minutes.

Advertiser Spotlight

Festival Ballet Theater’s The Nutcracker
Irvine Barclay Theater | Irvine
December 9-24, 2023


Festival Ballet Theatre’s family-friendly production of The Nutcracker features colorful scenery and dazzling costumes, making this age-old tradition sparkle like new. Be swept away by Tchaikovsky’s iconic score as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Clara, and a cast of hundreds take you on a journey to mystical lands.

Nutcracker Tea Party: Make your Nutcracker experience even more magical with the pre-show Nutcracker Tea Party (additional purchase). Enjoy finger sandwiches, petit fours and scones with tea and lemonade. Characters from The Nutcracker ballet, including Clara, will join the party. Photo opportunities and a party favor for each guest is included.

Partner Spotlight

Disney on Ice: Frozen & Encanto
Los Angeles | December 9-10, 2023
Anaheim | December 14-18, 2023
Ontario | December 21-24, 2023
Long Beach | December 28 – January 1, 2024


Glide and dance your way into the worlds of Frozen & Encanto with music and dancing alongside Elsa and Mirabel, celebrating the amazing gifts that make each of us unique. Enhance your experience with a preshow Character Experience that includes games, storytelling, crafting and interactive time with Elsa and Mirabel.

KIDSGUIDE TIP! We’re giving away Disney on Ice tickets really soon! Make sure you’re signed up for our newsletter to be the first to know. Not a subscriber? Sign up here!

A Christmas Carol
Long Beach Playhouse | Long Beach
December 9-23, 2023

In this quick-paced, highly theatrical retelling 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?

Long Beach Nutcracker
Long Beach Terrace Theater | Long Beach
December 16-17 & 22-23, 2023

This production boasts a full symphony orchestra, a flying sleigh, a real live horse, on-stage pyrotechnics, and a cast of over 200.

Nutcracker! Magical Christmas Ballet
Wiltern Theatre | Los Angeles
Sunday, December 17, 2023

Experience the international cast performing at the peak of classical European Ballet. Be transported by the magic of jaw-dropping acrobatics, larger than life puppets, and hand-crafted sets and costumes.

Advertiser Spotlight

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical
Segerstrom Center for the Arts | Costa Mesa
December 19-24, 2023


Discover the magic of Dr. Seuss’ classic holiday tale as it comes to life on stage. Featuring the hit songs “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” and “Welcome Christmas,” The Grinch discovers there’s more to Christmas than he bargained for in this heart-warming holiday classic. Max the Dog narrates as the mean and scheming Grinch, whose heart is “two sizes too small,” decides to steal Christmas away from the Whos, an endlessly cheerful bunch bursting with holiday spirit.

Magnificent sets and costumes inspired by Dr. Seuss’ original illustrations help transport audiences to the whimsical world of Whoville, while the Music and Book of Mel Marvin and Timothy Mason breathe new life into this timeless story of the true meaning of Christmas.

Celebrate the holidays with the show The New York Times calls “100 times better than any bedtime story!”

Drumline Live Holiday
Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts | Cerritos
Friday, December 22, 2023

Drumline Live’s soulful renditions of favorite holiday songs will include chart-topping holiday classics with a marching band twist of Gospel, Jazz, Soul, Motown, and Hip-Hop. Experience the magic and musicianship with vocalists, musicians, energetic choreography, special lighting, and holiday costumes.

State Street Ballet’s The Nutcracker
La Mirada Theatre | La Mirada
Saturday, December 23, 2023

This enchanting production is a favorite for audiences of all ages. Magnificent sets, complete with a glorious Christmas tree, came all the way from Russia to set the backdrop for glittering snowflakes, waltzing flowers, the Sugar Plum Fairy, and her enchanting castle of characters.

Tickets to a live show make a great gift! Check out these other shows happening during the holiday season:
Circus Vargas
Mary Poppins
Dog Man: The Musical
Disney Junior Live
Blippi: The Wonderful World Tour
Ever After Take Two
• and more!

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Christmas Events in Southern California

Advertiser Spotlight

Lincoln Park Monthly Events
Lincoln Park | Long Beach
November – December, 2023
FREE


Join the City of Long Beach for free family events at Lincoln Park. Weekly activities include Tuesday Walking Group, Wednesday Intro to Fitness with Park Equipment, Friday Play Date in the Park, and Friday Come & Dance.

Free game nights will take place on November 30th with bingo and December 21st with an obstacle race.

Free movie night will take place December 28th with a screening of The Grinch. Activities including cookie decorating, Grinch arts and crafts, ang games begin at 3pm. Movie starts at dusk.

Tree Lighting Concert with Pentatonix
Citadel Outlets | Los Angeles
Saturday, November 11, 2023
FREE

Over 18,000 LED bulbs will light up California’s tallest live-cut Christmas tree! Multi-platinum recording selling vocal quintet, Pentatonix, headlines this free family-friendly concert.

Holiday Open House & Pier Lighting
Manhattan Beach Pier & Roundhouse Aquarium | Manhattan Beach
Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Enjoy an evening of holiday music, shopping and dining in Downtown Manhattan Beach. Visit the Metlox Fountain Plaza for Santa sleigh family pictures, treats, face painting, strolling Dickens-style carolers, and Manhattan Avenue will have live reindeer in front of stores (see website for stores). Roundhouse Aquarium will be hosting an extended hours open house event during the Pier Lighting with complimentary hot chocolate and cookie station, games, interactive touch tanks, and more.

Light Up the Night & Santa Arrival
2ND & PCH | Long Beach
Thursday, November 16 • 5-8pm

Kick off the holiday season with a tree lighting and watch as Santa arrives in style. The first RSVP’d guests to check in between 4-5pm will receive a complimentary snowflake light stick.

Cool Yule Celebration
Pacific City || Huntington Beach
Friday, November 24, 2023
FREE

Welcome Santa with joyful music, live performers, and shopping. Plus, children and families can take photos with Santa on the Ocean Deck and decorate a fun kids craft.

Hollywood Christmas Parade
Hollywood Blvd. & Orange Drive
Sunday, November 26, 2023
6pm
See celebrities, award-winning marching bands, dance groups, equestrians, larger-than-life character balloons, colorful floats, and specialty acts. The parade culminates with the appearance of the Jolly Old Elf himself, Santa Claus and his reindeer.

Advertiser Spotlight

Acting Out Holiday Workshops
Long Beach

Acting Out offers improv, theater games, costume play, props, and skill-building fun. Actors, ages 7-17, bring their special talents, creativity, and comedy chops to enjoy these fast-paced holiday workshops for all skill levels.

Thanksgiving Week: Students learn improv, theater games and discovering characters. Choose one or both days.

Winter Break Workshop: This is a two-and-a-half-day mini version of their summer program. Students work on short scenes, play theater games, and perform fun variety numbers. Half and full-day options available.

Christmas Tree Lighting
Nixon Library | Yorba Linda
Tuesday, November 28, 2023
5:30-8pm
Join the Nixon Library for their annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony, explore museum galleries after hours, enjoy professional photos with Santa Claus in the Oval Office, create your own personalized ornament, sing along with the Dickens carolers, and take home an ornament craft kit.

All is Bright Holiday Celebration & Tree Lighting Ceremony
Aliso Viejo Town Center | Aliso Viejo
Thursday, November 30, 2023 • 5-8pm

Enjoy holiday cheer, train rides, ornament making, community and aerial performances, snow fall, and a visit from Santa Claus as the 22-foot tree lights up at the Aliso Viejo Town Center Fountain and Amphitheater.

Breakfast with Santa
Newport Coast Community Center || Newport Beach
Friday, December 1, 2023 • 9:30-11am

Enjoy a tasty breakfast along with crafts, train rides, bouncer, and a photo with Santa.

City of Lakewood Tree Lighting
The Centre | Lakewood
Friday, December 1, 2023 • 4:30-8pm

Join the City of Lakewood for their annual tree lighting ceremony. Festivities include carnival games, falling snow, holiday musical entertainment, holiday photo ops, costumed characters, and food trucks.

Winter Wonderland & Holiday Tree Lighting
Artesia Park | Artesia
Friday, December 1, 2023 • 5-8pm

Enjoy kids performances, vendors, food trucks, pics with Santa, kids zone, train rides, and 15 tons of snow!

Christmas Tree Lighting
Buena Park City Hall | Buena Park
Friday, December 1, 2023 • 6pm

The Annual Christmas Tree Lighting will feature entertainment, local school performances, festivities, and even a visit from Santa Claus himself. Food trucks will be serving up tamales, hot chocolate, and more.

Advertiser Spotlight

Holiday Cooking Camps
Lil’ Chef School | Irvine


Thanksgiving Week Holiday Camp
November 20-22, 2023

Lil’ chefs will make a turkey entrée, side dish, and yummy dessert while learning knife skills, time management, kitchen safety, and more.

Twas the Week Before Christmas Holiday Camp
December 18-22, 2023

One week left… Christmas so near! Parents, running low on time? Never fear, Lil’ Chef School is here! Kids will have fun cooking while you put the finishing touches on your family’s holidays plans. Join all days or some days.

Winter Camp Week 1: December 27-29, 2023
Winter Camp Week 2: January 2-5, 2024

Enjoy creating sweet and savory dishes that give the warm fuzzies, nostalgic vibes, and recipes that are always family favorites.

Santa’s Village by the Sea
San Clemente Community Center | San Clemente
Saturday, December 2, 2023
4-8pm
Join the City of San Clemente for a holiday tree lighting, snow hill sledding, games, visit with Santa, cookie decorating, indoor snowball fight, holiday shopping, and more.

Santa’s Big Day
Citadel Outlets | Los Angeles
Saturday, December 2, 2023 • 9am – 6pm

Kick off the holiday season with special activities including Breakfast with Santa, balloon twisting, Christmas carolers, brass band, storytime with Mrs. Claus, holiday characters, photo ops, face painting, scavenger hunt, and more.

Tree Lighting & Holiday Bazaar
Crystal Cove | Newport Coast
Saturday, December 2, 2023 • 10am

The Crystal Cove Historic District will be decked out from the trails to the sea with holiday decor and lights, plus the iconic beach tree. Meet Santa during a beachside photo op, munch on cookies and cocoa, make a holiday craft, and hear holiday tunes.

La Habra Tamale Festival
Euclid St. (between La Habra Blvd. & Bridenbecker Ave.)
Saturday, December 2, 2023 • 10am – 8pm

Enjoy live entertainment on three stages, tamales, food vendors, retail vendors, children’s play activities, holiday tree lighting, and fireworks show. This annual event draws in about 10,000 attendees every year. Catch friendly-friendly entertainment including Buster Balloon, Raptor Events Birds of Prey Show, and Prehistoric Pets Reptile Show.

Civil War Christmas
Drum Barracks | Wilmington
Saturday, December 2, 2023 • 11am – 4pm
FREE

Enjoy self-guided tours of the museum, Civil War brass band, Victorian parlor singers, children’s crafts, special exhibitions and displays, and horse-drawn trolley rides.

Victorian Christmas
The Banning Museum | Wilmington
Saturday, December 2, 2023 • Noon – 4pm
FREE

Enjoy a walk-through tour of the decorated Banning House, a horse-drawn carriage ride to the Drum Barracks, a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, free cookies and hot cider, family crafts, Yesteryears Dancers and more.

Santa’s Jolly Trolley
La Plaza Park | Dana Point
Saturday, December 2, 2023 • 1:30-5:30pm

Santa and his elves from the Recreation Division will be riding on his Jolly Trolley and making stops at local parks to hand out treats for kids up to 12 years of age. Santa’s elves will also be collecting letters to Santa. Please include your mailing address on the letter so Santa can return a special letter to you. Sunset Park, 1:30-2pm • Dana Woods Park • 2:30-3pm • Sea Canyon Park, 3:30-4pm • and La Plaza Park, 4:30-5:30pm (tree lighting at 5:15pm)

Illuminate Irvine
Great Park | Irvine
Saturday, December 2, 2023
3-7pm
Ring in the season with winter-wonderland inspired activities and holiday music classics. The evening culminates with the lighting of the Holiday Tree and Palm Court Arts Complex.

Christmas at the Beach
Beach City Provisions | Bolsa Chica State Beach
Saturday, December 2, 2023 • 3-6pm
FREE

Santa will be coming to Bolsa Chica State Beach on his jet ski accompanied by his lifeguard elves. Enjoy a photo op with Satna, holiday karaoke, Christmas tree raffle, crafts and games, and an outdoor movie screening of “Shrek the Halls.”

Winter in the Grove
Village Green Park | Garden Grove
Saturday, December 2, 2023 • 3-7pm

Enjoy 50 tons of snow with nine snow slides, song and dance performances from local schools and performers, holiday crafts and inflatable activities for children of all ages, a holiday craft boutique featuring handmade gifts from local vendors, and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus!

Winter Wonderland
St. Isidore Historical Plaza | Los Alamitos
Saturday, December 2, 2023 • 4-7:30pm
FREE

Join the City of Los Alamitos for their annual Winter Wonderland featuring free snow play, free ice skating rink, tree lighting, snow sledding, Santa’s Village, musical entertainment, and vendors.

Holidays by the Sea
Town Square & Promenade | San Pedro
Saturday, December 2, 2023 • 4-8pm
FREE

Get into the holidays spirit with the Port of LA. Enjoy the Town Square tree lighting, live entertainment, tall ship displays, crafts, and the Holiday Harbor Afloat Parade at 6pm.

Tree Lighting & Firework Show
FV Recreation Center & Sports Park | Fountain Valley
Saturday, December 2, 2023 • 4:30-8pm
Join the City of Fountain Valley for their annual holiday tree lighting ceremony, plus food, snow zone, snow queen, trackless train rides, carnival games, and fireworks.

Chili Holiday
Splash! La Mirada Regional Aquatics Center
Saturday, December 2, 2023 • 5-8pm
FREE

Enjoy chili, hotdogs, cookies, and hot drinks plus fun holiday activities including the tree lighting ceremony, photos with Santa, live entertainment, snow sledding, and holiday train ride.

A Candyland Christmas Tree Lighting
City Hall | Laguna Niguel
Saturday, December 2, 2023 • 5-8pm

The City of Laguna Niguel hosts their annual tree lighting with an evening full of games, crafts, performances, winter princess meet and greets, cookie decorating, and a visit from Santa.

Belmont Shore Christmas Parade
2nd St. | Long Beach

Check out one of the biggest parades of the year in Long Beach. See Santa, elves, colorful bands, costumes, floats and more. The parade route is along E. 2nd St. and begins heading east from Livingston Ave. to Bayshore Ave.

Celebration of Winter Holidays
Bowers Museum | Santa Ana
Sunday, December 3, 2023 • 11am – 3pm

Enjoy a full day of fun with complimentary face painting, art projects, live performances, and more.

Holiday Bash Family Rave
Yost Theater | Santa Ana
Sunday, December 3, 2023 • 2-4pm

Groove to awesome house, techno, dnb music on a multi-sensory dance floor filled with bubbles, confetti, balloons, and parachute dance finale. There’s also a crafting area, fun activities, and bar (for grown-ups). Fancy dress is optional. Pull out the ugly sweaters, reindeer antlers, and Santa hats!

Nutcracker Holiday Village & Tree Lighting
Clementine St. & Center St. Promenade || Anaheim
Sunday, December 3, 2023 • Noon

Ring in the holidays with a special tree lighting celebration, holiday entertainment, dog costume contest, crafts, shopping, pictures with Santa, and more.

Advertiser Spotlight

My Gym Children’s Fitness Center | Long Beach

Experience the holiday enchantment at My Gym with an exclusive 2-Week Holiday Enrollment Special for just $32! Delight in the joy of Mommy-and-Me classes, tailor-made for holiday bonding and fun. From those heartwarming first steps to awe-inspiring handstands, My Gym programs kindle physical growth, nurture essential social skills, and boost self-esteem — a perfect gift for the whole family!

With options for all ages, from heartwarming newborn classes to exhilarating ninja training, there’s something for everyone to unwrap. Don’t miss out on this festive opportunity to give your child the gift of boundless possibilities this holiday season!

Rancho Voices: A Holiday Celebration
Rancho Los Alamitos || Long Beach
December 7-9, 2023 • 4-8pm

Tour the Ranch House decorated for a 1920s holiday party and listen to voices from its past. Enjoy light refreshments and music after your tour.

Candlelight Walk
Heritage Hill Historical Park || Lake Forest
December 8-10, 2023
FREE

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.

Holiday Krazy Krafts Day
International Printing Museum || Carson
Saturday, December 9, 2023 • 10am – 4pm

It’s a creative day of printing and crafts for the whole family. Activities include letterpress printing cards, bookmarks, keepsakes, paper marbling, typing on vintage typewriters, screenprinting t-shirts, bookbinding, special tours, and more.

Christmas at the OC Zoo
OC Zoo || Orange
Saturday, December 9, 2023 • 10-3pm

Visit Santa and Mrs. Claus, make festive crafts, and play games. See the zoo animals receive holiday “gifts” and treats hidden inside Christmas trees. Reservations are not needed. Activities are free with paid zoo admission ($2 per person).

Candy Caneland & Craft Fair
Ehlers Event Center | Buena Park
Saturday, December 9, 2023 • 10am – 4pm
FREE

Join the City of Buena Park for entertainment, food, games, free raffles, snow slide, synthetic ice rink, petting zoo, plus a craft faire featuring over 100 artisans.

Advertiser Spotlight

Apollo Lighting
Columbia Memorial Space Center | Downey
Saturday, December 9, 2023 • 4-7pm
FREE

Join the Columbia Memorial Space Center for a day of festive wonder and exploration! Listen to your favorite holiday tunes performed by TubaChristmas, followed by the lighting of the Apollo capsule and a STEM-filled holiday adventure with interactive activities for all ages.

Holiday Concert on the Pier
Fisherman’s Wharf | Redondo Beach
Saturday, December 9, 2023 • 2-4pm
FREE

Enjoy live holiday music, activity books, holiday photos, and fun giveaways. Donate a new, unwrapped toy for a chance to win pier prizes.

Tree Lighting Celebration
Civic Center | Lake Forest
Saturday, December 9, 2023 • 3pm

Join the City of Lake Forest for their annual tree lighting celebration featuring games, crafts, face painting, balloon artist, photo ops, inflatables, train rides, holiday entertainment, and vendors.

Daisy Parade
Daisy Ave. between Hill St. & PCH | Long Beach
Saturday, December 9, 2023 • 5pm

This special neighborhood tradition returns to its historic format this year.

Christmas with the Animals
Lions Tigers and Bears | Alpine
Saturday, December 9, 2023 • 2:30-7:30pm

Visit San Diego’s only accredited animal sanctuary to watch animals unwrap their Christmas presents. Plus, enjoy their Festival of Lights, grab a cup of hot cocoa, and visit the gift shop.

Holiday Open House
Rancho Los Cerritos | Long Beach
December 9-10, 2023 • 3:30-7:30pm
FREE

Tour the decorated adobe, meet costumed docents, and stroll the grounds listening to holiday music while sipping hot cider.

Sunsets with Santa
San Clemente Municipal Pier | San Clemente
December 9, 16, & 17, 2023 • 3-5pm
FREE

Enjoy free visits with Santa on the San Clemente Municipal Pier with a beautiful sunset as your backdrop. Bring your own camera.

Santa at Lomita Railroad Museum
Sunday, December 10, 2023 • 11am – 3pm

Visit Santa, enjoy cookies and hot chocolate, cookie decorating, balloon animals, visiting the museum, holiday crafts, kids games, photo ops, and more.

Family Fun Night
Marina Park Community Center || Newport Beach
Friday, December 15, 2023

Enjoy a fun family event for all ages, with lots of activities, dinner and an amazing view of the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade. Enjoy crafts for kids, photos with Santa, and the evening will include watching boat parade.

Yuletide Cinemaland
Heritage Square Museum | Los Angeles
December 15-23, 2023

Join Street Food Cinema for an immersive holiday experience featuring Victorian holiday home tours, food trucks, vendors, Santa appearances, photo ops, and holiday films under the stars.

December 15: Elf
December 16: Home Alone 1 & 2 (Pajama Party)
December 17: The Muppet Christmas Carol
December 18: Tim Burton Night
December 20: Harry Potter Night
December 23: Elf

Holiday Groove: A Family Dance Workshop
Pasadena Playhouse |
Saturday, December 16, 2023 • 10am & 11am

Bring your kids, your mom, your grandma, for an all-energy, all-ages, all-abilities dance and choreography workshop. Throw down your best moves and work together with your family to make a unique and tailor-made group dance.

Who-ville Winter
Silverado Park | Long Beach
Saturday, December 16, 2023 • 11am – 3pm
FREE

Join the City of Long Beach for a joyful who-ville winter event with face painting, outdoor games, crafts, hot cocoa, Santa visit, and raffles.

Holiday Snow Land
Balearic Park | Costa Mesa
Saturday, December 16, 2023

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

Holiday Festival
Muckenthaler Cultural Center | Fullerton
Sunday, December 17, 2023 • 12-2pm
FREE

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

Candlelight Evening
Nixon Library | Yorba Linda
Tuesday, December 19, 2023 • 6-8pm

Explore museum galleries after hours, enjoy professional photos with Santa Claus in the Oval Office, feed Santa’s reindeer, create your own personalized ornament, sing along with Christmas carolers, and take home an ornament craft kit.

Parents Night Out
Columbia Memorial Space Center | Downey
Thursday, December 21, 2023 • 5-8pm

Take some time for last-minute holiday shopping or wrap gifts without the kiddos or just take a break from the holiday hustle and bustle. Leave the kids at CMSC for hands-on activities, games, and food while you take care of holiday necessities.

Equestfest
Los Angeles Equestrian Center
Friday, December 29, 2023

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.

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Multicultural Events in Southern California

Advertiser Spotlight

Lango Spanish Immersion Winter Camp
LangoKids | Irvine
December 26-29 & January 2-5, 2024


Join LangoKids Irvine for one or two fun-filled weeks of slime, home made snow, holiday songs, games, contest, and more. Learn about arctic animals, winter clothing and traditions around the world, plus how people in Mexico, Peru, and Colombia celebrate Christmas!

Classes are suitable for beginners with no prior exposure and more proficient levels. Each component of the winter camp will enhance your child’s experience of the Spanish language and culture via calisthenics, dance, crafts, songs, stories and more. Classes are taught by native speakers who are not only professionals but passionate about what they do.

Irish Christmas in America
Torrance Cultural Arts Foundation
Friday, December 1, 2023 • 8pm

This family-friendly performance features lively instrumental tunes on fiddle, flute, uilleann pipes and harp, along with thrilling Irish old-style dancing.

La Pastorela: A Mexican Christmastime Tradition
Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum | Rancho Dominguez
Saturday, December 2, 2023 • 3-4pm

See the La Pastorela Christmas play put on by the CSUDH Teatro Department. Kick off the Christmas festivities with oriejas and champurrado as you watch the play in the museum’s historic veranda.

Las Posadas
Heritage Park | Santa Fe Springs
Friday, December 8, 2023 • 6:30-9pm

Enjoy this traditional cultural event as you go through Mary and Joseph’s journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem in search of shelter through this guided, candle-lit procession through Heritage Park. As the last door is opened and shelter has been found, the celebration begins. Enjoy holiday carols sung in both English and Spanish. Performances by folklorico dancers and mariachi will take place on an outdoor stage and food will be available for purchase.

Hanukkah Festival
Skirball Cultural Center || Los Angeles
Sunday, December 10, 2023

Skirball Storytellers bring the Hanukkah story to life with a theatrical performance featuring music and puppetry. Take a spin in the Dreidel lounge, grab a plate of latkes and jelly doughnuts, enjoy photo ops, a handcrafted torch-making activity, and join a storybook reading and dance lesson. At sundown, participate in a unique candle lighting ceremony.

Holidays Around the World
Segerstrom Center for the Arts | Costa Mesa
Sunday, December 10, 2023 • 11am

Experience a day of festive family fun as the plaza is transformed into a winter wonderland! Enjoy a variety of live performances from local music acts and dance groups that celebrate holiday traditions from around the world. Kids can create their own seasonal crafts and experience sparkling snowfall on the plaza.

Multicultural Holiday Events
Pretend City Children’s Museum || Irvine

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

December 13: Hanukkah Celebration
December 16: Las Posadas
December 26: Kwanzaa

Advertiser Spotlight

Winter Break J Camps
Merage Jewish Community Center | Irvine
December 26-29 & January 2-5, 2024


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. Plus, enjoy a special Snow Day on December 26th. Choose just a few days, or all of them! Camps are open to the community.

Navidad en Mexico
La Mirada Theatre | La Mirada
Saturday, December 16, 2023

This vibrant production celebrates Mexico’s festive Christmas traditions and folklore through music, song and dance. With a live mariachi band and costumes, this show invites you to embark on a journey through the many regions of Mexico to experience Navidad en Mexico!

Nochebuena: A Christmas Spectacular
Musco Center | Chapman University
December 20-21, 2023

A vibrant holiday experience celebrating the traditions and customs of Christmas Eve in Mexico. Music and dance from across Mexico’s diverse regions blend the traditions of Indigenous cultures, Spanish heritage, and diverse cultural influences in an exciting night of festive family fun.

Fiesta Navidad
Segerstrom Center for the Arts | Costa Mesa
Saturday, December 23, 2023 • 8pm

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 joyous annual tradition, perfect for the whole family.

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Holiday Shopping in Southern California

Advertiser Spotlight

Baha Play Sand – Great for Gifting!
Calcean Minerals & Materials LLC


Why should you use Baha Play Sand? Sustainable Ocean Sand is the safe and environmentally responsible alternative to standard play sand. It is renewable and sustainable, naturally made in the ocean, nontoxic, silica-free and quartz-free. This unique sand cushions and cools for safety and comfort, is smooth and round in texture, dust-free and appropriate for indoor/outdoor use. Baha Play Sand is safe for the environment, pets, and children, and comes in colorfast, nontoxic colors. It is great for backyards and indoor sensory play, and perfect for gift-giving! Add a splash of color to your sandbox!

Christmas Confections
Roger’s Gardens | Corona del Mar
Now Open

Experience a festive shopping wonderland and discover a curated collection of Christmas decor, unique artisan pieces, handmade ornaments, and other enchanting treasures.

Creep It Real Festive
Heritage Museum of Orange County | Santa Ana
November 17-18, 2023

Experience the dark side of the holidays. Get a jump on shopping at the CryptsMas Marketplace. Holiday/Halloween crossover items provided by 100 vendors showing off their most creative spooky-influenced seasonal artwork, crafts, treats and merch.

Winter Fantasy
Sawdust Art Festival | Laguna Beach
November 17 – December 17, 2023

Winter Fantasy offers a festive, unique shopping experience in an enchanting winter wonderland with thousands of lights and decorations, three stages of live music, carolers, puppeteers, art classes, and daily visits with Santa Claus.

Holiday on Main Street
Main Street || Yorba Linda
Saturday, December 2, 2023 • 4-9pm

Every year family and friends gather on Main Street to celebrate the holidays! Shop from over 70 artisan vendors, enjoy live entertainment and talent show, and families will love the all-new Kid Zone with games and Nerf court, plus slime making, train rides, balloon twisting, face painting, and more.

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Holiday Boats & Trains in Southern California

Advertiser Spotlight

Cruise of Lights®
Huntington Harbour | Huntington Beach
December 16-18 & 21-23, 2023

The Huntington Harbour Philharmonic Committee’s 61st Annual Cruise of Lights® offers 50-minute narrated boat tours through the waterways of Huntington Harbour. Share the beauty of thousands of lights and animated displays on brightly decorated homes, docks, decks and boats.

North Pole Limited
Pacific Southwest Railway Museum | Campo
November 24 – December 16, 2024

The North Pole Limited winds its way through the San Diego backcountry on its way to the North Pole, where it stops at Santa’s Workshop to pick up Santa and Mrs. Claus. Onboard, the crew of elves will regale you with holiday songs and stories, serve hot chocolate and cookies, and more. The train ride lasts approximately 90 minutes.

The Polar Express
Southern California Railway Museum | Perris
November 19 – December 30, 2023

Relive the magic of the classic story aboard The Polar Express for a magical one-hour trip to meet Santa. Once on board, car hosts will punch your golden ticket before dancing chefs serve hot chocolate and cookies. Passengers then read along with the classic children’s book and enjoy theatrical onboard entertainment, plus take home a keepsake sleigh bell.

Holiday Light Festival & Train Ride
Griffith Park | Los Angeles
November 24 – January 5, 2024

Enjoy an evening train ride around the festively decorated, one-mile track in Griffith Park. The track is transformed with festive scenes with thousands of lights.

Dana Point Harbor Holiday Lights Cruises
Dana Wharf || Dana Point
December 1-2, 15-16, and 21-22, 2023

Take a 60-minute boat ride around Dana Point Harbor and enjoy the light displays from the land and sea. Get a panoramic view of the harbor all dressed up for the season. This trip is not part of the boat parade.

Newport Beach Boat Parade & Holiday Lights Cruises
Newport Landing || Newport Beach
December 1-31, 2023

Experience Newport Harbor in full holiday décor aboard a decorated vessel on a 75-minute holiday lights cruise. View multi million dollar estates and vessels all decked out with thousands of lights. Want a chance to be in the Christmas Boat Parade? Cruises travel with the parade on December 13-17.

Boat Parade of Lights: Candyland
Dana Point Harbor || Dana Point
December 8-10, 2023 • 6:30pm
FREE

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

Holiday Harbor Boat Parade Sail
Los Angeles Maritime Institute || San Pedro
Saturday, December 2, 2023

Join Los Angeles Maritime Institute for the Holiday Harbor Boat Parade aboard one of their tall ships. The LA Waterfront will be hosting their annual Holidays By The Sea celebration with tree lighting, live entertainment, tall ship display, crafts, and the harbor parade at 6pm.

Boat Ride with Santa
Dana Wharf || Dana Point
December 2-3, 2023

Take a aboat ride with Santa this holiday season around Dana Point Harbor. Tickets are only $5 per person!

KIDSGUIDE TIP: Book quick, this sells out early every year!

Dana Point Harbor Boat Parade of Lights
Dana Wharf || Dana Point
December 8-10, 2023

Hop on board and be part of the boat parade. Enjoy up-close views of all the boats participating in the parade.

Christmas Boat Parade & Ring of Lights
Starts Lido Isle || Newport Beach
December 13-17, 2023 • 6:30pm

Watch beautifully decorated yachts, boats, kayaks, and canoes sail along the harbor. View the parade from over 50 locations including Marina Park and Balboa Village Fun Zone.

Polar Express Family Day
San Diego Railroad Museum || San Diego
Saturday, December 9, 2023 • 10am – 4pm

Don your pajamas and join the museum to watch the classic film, participate in crafts, and enjoy the exhibits, a special appearance from Santa, make your own ornaments, and more.

Naples Island Annual Boat Parade
Naples Island || Long Beach
Saturday, December 16, 2023 • 6pm
FREE

Twinkling lights decorate the boats that cruise the canals of Naples. Hundreds of homes and boats are festively decorated throughout the season.

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Holiday Attractions in Southern California

Advertiser Spotlight

Hikari – A Festival of Lights
Tanaka Farms | Irvine
November 24 – December 30, 2023


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 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, take advantage of lots of photo ops, games, arts & crafts, meet Santa for a photo, and, of course, more holiday lights! (All activities are priced individually.) Enjoy live music on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights.

KIDSGUIDE TIP! Use 2023 Tanaka Farms Hikari Discount Code: KIDSHIKARI23 to save 10% all season long!

Christmas Nights
123 Farm | Cherry Valley
November 9 – January 7, 2024

Experience an enchanting display of a million lights that light up lavender fields, olive groves, and historic buildings. Savor festive food and drinks while shopping at the marketplace. Take a tractor-pulled wagon ride around the property and be sure to visit the Christmas Village, holiday maze, s’mores pits, and Elvesville. Free photos with Santa on select days.

Astra Lumina
South Coast Botanic Garden | Palos Verdes Peninsula
November 9 – December 31, 2023

Go an enchanted night walk and set off across mysterious grounds to discover a celestial pathway of lustrous light, cosmic visions, and astral song. A multisensory immersive experience for all ages.

Winter Frolic
Kidspace Children’s Museum || Pasadena
November 10 – January 7, 2024

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

Christmas Around the World
Reagan Library | Simi Valley
November 11 – January 8, 2024

See a display of 26 decorated trees representing the 26 countries that President Reagan visited while in office, as well as a White House Tree. Decorations encompass the bright and festive colors of the Caribbean, the crystals of the Nordic countries, and the traditional decorations of England and Europe.

Christmas at Santa’s Village
Skypark at Santa’s Village | Skyforest
November 16 – January 7, 2024

Santa’s Village transforms into a Christmas Wonderland with many attractions and activities, including: Northwoods Express Train Ride, Village of Lights, Fantasy Forest Experience, Santa’s Workshop and Post Office, live entertainment, ice skating arena, Santa’s House, Northwood characters, and special holiday experiences.

Knott’s Merry Farm
Knott’s Berry Farm | Buena Park
November 17 – January 7, 2024

Experience the theme park with special Christmas activities inspired by the spirit of the holidays. Enjoy Santa’s Christmas Cabin, a nightly tree lighting ceremony, Christmas light show throughout Camp Snoopy, and the return of the holiday ice show.

Advertiser Spotlight

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.

Lightscape
LA Arboretum | Arcadia
November 17 – January 2, 2024

The reimagined Lightscape merges nature and art in the Fire Garden, Arch of Light, Feast of Light, Dancing Palms, and other installations. Fan favorite, the Winter Cathedral, returns! Santa visits on select nights.

L.A. Zoo Lights: Animals Aglow
Los Angeles Zoo | Los Angeles
November 17 – January 7, 2024

Explore an immersive landscape filled with dazzling lantern sculptures of animals. This nature-focused holiday celebration features all-new seasonal wonders, including Winter Wildlands with majestic pine trees, glowing ice crystals, snow-loving animals, views of the “northern lights,” and photo spots. Sensory-Inclusive Night on Tuesday, December 5th and Pride Night on Thursday, January 4th. Family New Year’s Eve VIP Night on Sunday, December 31st.

Imaginarium
Fairplex | Pomona
November 17 – January 7, 2024

Roam through Southern California’s largest holiday and fantasyland light show featuring a garden of over 35,000 LED roses, a labyrinth of mirrors, an enchanted forest, and 25 colossal storybook creatures, plus free daily circus performances, interactive game experiences, balloon drops, and onsite food and beverages.

Science of Gingerbread
Discovery Cube OC & LA || Santa Ana & Sylmar
November 18 – January 7, 2024

Check out hundreds of creative gingerbread entries and all new holiday fun! Enjoy cookie decorating , LEGO engineering table, snowflake programmable art, Santa Claus visits (select dates), and gingerbread demonstrations from a pastry chef (select dates). Want to enter the gingerbread competition? Entries due December 3rd.

Once Upon a Christmas
Once Upon an Island | Balboa Island
November 18 – December 24, 2023

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 Toy Workshop, and meet the one-and-only Santa, get a keepsake gift, and lots more. Activities vary by tour.

Holidays at LEGOLAND
LEGOLAND | Carlsbad
November 18 – January 7, 2024

Experience Holidays at Legoland featuring a 30-foot, fully decorated, LEGO Christmas tree with over 400 LEGO ornaments, and as the day winds down, the tree twinkles to holiday tunes at the Holiday Light Show featuring falling “snow”.

Advertiser Spotlight

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.

Festival of Lights
Mission Inn Hotel | Riverside
November 18 – January 7, 2024

The Mission Inn’s Festival of Lights is one of the nation’s largest holiday light collections, voted “Best Public Lights Display” by USA Today.

Enchanted Forest of Light
Descanso Gardens | La Cañada Flintridge
November 19 – January 7, 2024

Aan interactive nighttime experience, featuring a one-mile walk through unique lighting experiences in some of the most beloved areas of Descanso Gardens. The Rose Garden’s Labyrinth comes alive with HYBYCOZO’s 3-D geometric sculptures, and a glowing field of “meadow grass” sways amidst the rose bushes. Tom Fruin’s charming “stained glass” houses will create a village of their own on the Main Lawn, featuring new interactive lighting options.

Wild Lights & Ocean Nights
America’s Teaching Zoo || Moorpark
November 22 – December 28, 2023

Embark on a self-guided expedition throughout the zoo, see dynamic light displays, interactive attractions, dive under the sea at Rajah’s Retreat, venture into the illuminated jungle with a glow in the dark garden, and visit Santa’s workshop. Visit with Santa on December 10 and 17.

Winter Fest OC
OC Fair & Event Center | Costa Mesa
November 24 – January 7, 2023

See over a million lights, holiday decor, and enjoy activities including a 150-foot ice tubing slide, ice skating, snow play area, carnival fun, nightly live entertainment, tree lighting show, winter photo ops, and more.

Christmas on the Farm
Underwood Farms || Moorpark
November 24 – December 24, 2023

Admission includes farm animals, holiday photo ops, tractor-drawn wagon rides, holiday store, slides, pick your own fields (pickings additional fee), letters for Santa, animal shows, reindeer (select dates) and visits with Santa (select dates).

Frosty’s Village
The Pumpkin Factory || Corona
November 24 – December 31, 2023

Enjoy rides and attractions including carousel, coaster, pony rides, and an ice skating rink!

Holiday Road
King Gillette Ranch || Calabasas
November 24 – December 27, 2023

Enjoy an immersive walking trail to see larger than life holiday displays, thousands of lights, Santa and Mrs. Claus, Elves, and countless candy canes.

Advertiser Spotlight

Orange Unified School District

OUSD offers parents a range of educational options for children of all ages including dual-language programs in Spanish/ English and Mandarin/English.

The district has received many awards, including Golden Bell Awards from the California School Board Association, National Forum Schools to Watch, California Civic Learning Awards, 25 Gold Ribbon and 23 Distinguished School Awards from the California Department of Education. In addition, three of their high schools have been designated as U.S. News & World Report’s “Best” for four consecutive years.

For more information, visit orangeusd.org or book your personal tour at orangeusd.org/learnmore. Open enrollment for 2024-2025 begins January 15th!

Fire & Ice Festival
Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort | Newport Beach
November 24 – January 1, 2024

Enjoy a large outdoor ice skating rink, igloo bar with hot toddies, fire tables and s’more kits, fire dancers, lighting of the bay, inflatable garden, photo ops, and special appearances with Santa.

Holidays at Universal Studios Hollywood
November 24 – January 1, 2024

Join the celebration of Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter throughout Hogsmeade, see the tree at Universal CityWalk Hollywood, discover the Who-tacular festivities with the Grinch and Max during Grinchmas, and enjoy holiday entertainment and festive treats.

Jingle Jets
USS Midway Museum || San Diego
November 24 – December 23, 2023

The USS Midway Museum will deck out the carrier from bow to stern with hundreds of thousands of twinkling and shimmering lights. The Midway will be transformed from mighty warship into a winter wonderland with an aviation twist. Enjoy holiday music, DJ, dancing, themed treats and cocktails for purchase, a visit from Santa, and more.

Wild Holidays
San Diego Zoo Safari Park | Escondido
November 25 – January 1, 2024

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 and live entertainment set the mood, and seasonal food treats tempt you throughout your journey.

Aquarium Holidays
Aquarium of the Pacific || Long Beach
December 2-23, 2023

Aquarium Holidays features festive décor, shopping, snowfall in the Great Hall, and appearances by Santa Diver. Enjoy photo opportunities with Santa on weekends. There will also be a Kwanzaa celebration and Hanukkah storytelling.

Santa Ana Winter Village
Orange County Civic Center Plaza | Santa Ana
December 2-31, 2023

Enjoy ice skating, holiday light show, food vendors, and more. Special event days include a Tree Lighting Ceremony on December 2nd, Breakfast with Santa on December 9th, and Toy Giveaway on December 16th.

Holidayz at Great Park Irvine
December 2 – January 7, 2024

The Great Park transforms into a winterscape of holiday themed art, music, and lights. Enjoy interactive displays, festive photo ops, and explore various winter themed backdrops as the Artist Studios is transformed into a pop up museum.

Advertiser Spotlight

Capistrano Lights: Mission in Lights
Mission San Juan Capistrano
December 2-30, 2023


Celebrate the holidays at Orange County’s only Mission. Capistrano Lights: Mission in Lights returns with tree lighting, visits with Santa, Dickens-era carolers, full-scale nativity, light features including a new lighted halo grove, new butterfly orchard, dancing swallows, and more!

The tradition also brings back Community Christmas Trees, Family Wreaths, and a harpist in the Serra Chapel. The Capistrano Lights audio tour will also be available throughout the entire month of December. Guests can enjoy the Gospel and Night Before Christmas reading while learning more about Capistrano Lights evening offerings.

Babes in Toyland
Historic Howard Motor Company Building | Pasadena
December 8-23, 2023

Step into a delightful world with Babes in Toyland, a magical immersive experience based on the beloved story of the same name. See your favorite storybook characters and visit the four lands of Merry Lane – Storybook Land, Candyland, Gingerbread Land, and Toyland. See a dance performance, enjoy a teddy bear picnic, holiday shopping, and fun photo ops.

Nights of 1000 Lights
Sherman Library & Gardens | Corona del Mar
December 9-22, 2023

Stroll through the Gardens this holiday season and experience a display of lights and entertainment. This year, the garden’s holiday decor is themed after the vintage board game, Candyland. Stroll along Rainbow Trail, past the Lollypop Woods and Grumdrop Mountains, through Peppermint Stick Forest, the glistening light tunnel, and play games at the Candy Heart Carnival. Visit the Molasses Swamp, Old Peanut Brittle House, and the Candy Land Express Train on your way to see Santa in his workshop.

Luminaria Nights
California Botanic Garden || Claremont
December 9-10 & 15-16, 2023

This holiday lights experiences features peaceful paths lined with luminaria and string lights leading to musical venues. Enjoy live performers each night, new art installations, plus food, sweets and drinks available for purchase.

Jungle Bells: Aurora
San Diego Zoo || San Diego
December 9 – January 1, 2024

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, 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.

Snoopy House Holiday Display
City Hall || Costa Mesa
December 15-22, 2023 • 5:30-8:30pm

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 carolers, special play areas, and sensory-friendly event.

Winter Wonders & Holiday Lights
Wild Wonders || Bonsall
December 15-31, 2023

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

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Ice Rinks & Snow Play in Southern California

Advertiser Spotlight

Big Bear Snow Play
November – April


Check out the largest tubing hill in Southern California! Enjoy 8 different runs, unlimited rides, Magic Carpet lifts that take you straight to the top, glow tubing at night, and a heated base lodge with video games, snack bar, and more. Open daily, November to April from 10am – 4pm. Glow tubing is offered Fridays, Saturdays, and holiday periods from 5-9pm.

Advertiser Spotlight

Yeti’s Snow Play
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
Now Open – January 7, 2024

Holiday magic starts at Irvine Spectrum Center with the return of the Ice Rink sponsored by the Anaheim Ducks. Themed Thursdays include Ducks Night on November 16, Reindeers & Red Noses Night on November 30, and Ugly Sweater Night on December 14.

Pershing Square Holiday Ice Skating Rink
Pershing Square | Los Angeles
November 16 – January 7, 2024

Surrounded by art, lively activity, and the impressive city skyline, the outdoor ice rink lets you enjoy entertainment and ice skating in Los Angeles under the sun and stars.

LA Kings Holiday Ice
L.A. Live || Los Angeles
November 23 – December 31, 2023

he annual LA Kings Holiday Ice brings outdoor ice skating to L.A. LIVE on Peacock Place right out front of Crypto.com Arena. Skate your way into the holiday season and enjoy the rink while it is here for a limited time.

Ice Rink at Paséa Hotel
Huntington Beach
December 14 – January 2, 2024

Enjoy oceanfront ice skating, reserved firepit experiences, themed nights, holiday cocktails and bits, group skate sessions, performances, and more.

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.

Public Skate Sessions
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.

Surf City Winter Wonderland
Huntington Beach Pier
DATES TBA

For more ice rinks and snow play, see also:
• Winter Fest OC at OC Fair & Event Center
Fire & Ice Festival at Newport Dunes
Winter Wonderland at Artesia Park
Santa Ana Winter Village

Advertiser Spotlight

Skatedogs Winter Break Camp
University Park | Irvine
December 27-29 & January 2-5, 2024


Fun winter-break camp for ages 5-13 of all ability levels. Camp includes lessons, ollie clinic, free skate, skate trivia, games, and prizes! Bring a trick skateboard, helmet, knee pads, and elbow pads. Click here to register.

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New Year Events for Kids in Southern California

Noon Year’s Eve
Pretend City Children’s Museum || Irvine
Sunday, December 31, 2023

Countdown around the world and welcome the new year early with Pretend City.

Family New Year’s Eve VIP Night
L.A. Zoo Lights: Animals Aglow | Los Angeles Zoo
Sunday, December 31, 2023

VIP offerings include buffet dinner, dancing, live broadcast of the Times Square ball drop, a New Year toast with sparkling wine or apple cider, and more.

Floatfest: A Rose Parade Showcase
Tournament of Roses || Pasadena
January 1-2, 2024

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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