December Nights in San Diego
Join Forever Balboa Park on Dec. 1 and 2 for the city of San Diego’s largest free holiday festival in Balboa Park. Opening night festivities take place from 3-11 p.m., and Dec. 2 will go from 11 a.m.- 11 p.m. The family-friendly event brings San Diegans together to enjoy the lights, the sounds, the attractions and the food. For more information, please visit https://shorturl.at/birGL.
Fa la la for a cause! Jingle Belle Cruise & Mama’s Kitchen
Evans Hotel is partnering with Mama’s Kitchen on its Jingle Belle Cruises, Dec. 21-25, aboard the majestic William D. Evans sternwheeler. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Mama’s Kitchen, a San Diego nonprofit that provides medically tailored meals to individuals and families at risk of malnutrition due to critical illnesses, including HIV, cancer, congestive heart failure, type 2 diabetes and chronic kidney disease.
This popular San Diego holiday tradition on Mission Bay features photos with Santa, carolers, cookie decorating, and other surprises.
There is a sleigh full of other festivities lined up at the Bahia and Catamaran resorts, including the Parade of Lights (prime viewing area at the Catamaran), Sip and Savor on the Bay (new monthly dining series at Oceana Coastal Kitchen), lavish holiday feasts and more.
For more information or to book a cruise, please visit https://www.bahiahotel.com/jingle-belle-cruise.
Santa’s Village by the Sea
On Dec. 2, the city of San Clemente and the Downtown Business Association will present Santa’s Village by the Sea! The all-day holiday event offers a night of music, games, cookie decorating and snow in San Clemente. There will be a tree lighting at 5 p.m. on the lawn. Anyone who wants to play the games, eat cotton candy or popcorn, decorate a cookie (while supplies last), or take a ride down the snow hill will need to purchase a wristband. The activities will be available from 4 p.m.-8 p.m. and the Fireside Room will be open for free Santa visits (bring your camera or phone). Wristbands will be sold at the Community Center front desk on the day of the event.
Schedule of Events:
4-8 p.m.: Games | Snow | Cookie Decorating | Crafts | Santa Visits | Gingerbread Display
5 p.m.: Community Center Tree Lighting
5-9 p.m.: Music | Restaurants | Holiday Market and Shopping on Del Mar Street.
For more information, please visit https://shorturl.at/gipCS.
Boat Ride with Santa
Cruise with Santa at Dana Point Harbor on Dec. 2-3. Tickets are $5 per person and all proceeds will benefit Soroptimist of Capistrano Bay. The 20-minute boat ride, taking passengers around the harbor with Santa, will be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information and to book a ride, visit https://danawharf.com/boat-ride.
Holiday Lights Harbor Cruise
Join Dana Wharf for a 60-minute boat ride around Dana Point Harbor on Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. and enjoy all the light displays from the land and the sea. Become a part of this local tradition and enjoy a one-of-a-kind holiday experience. To book and for more information, visit https://danawharf.com/cruises.
Stand Up To Trash Beach Cleanup: New Year’s Pledge
Join Dana Point Harbor Partners for Stand Up to Trash Beach Cleanup: New Year’s Pledge on Dec. 3, from 9 to 11 a.m. at Baby Beach next to the Ocean Institute. For more information, visit StandUpToTrash.com/events.
Newport Dunes Fire & Ice Festival
From now until Jan. 1, Newport Dunes will light up the bay with fire, lights and ice. This will be the 33rd year hosting the Lighting of the Bay, with over 50 lights floating in the Back Bay. One of Orange County’s largest ice rinks for people to come and skate along the water has been added this year. Tickets for 1.5-hour ice rink sessions may be purchased online. Skate rentals and skate aids are available. Enjoy a hot chocolate or hot toddy at the rinkside Igloo bar, open Wednesdays through Sundays. Stroll through our inflatable garden and take photos. Enjoy the lights while roasting marshmallows for s’mores at one of the firepit tables. On the weekend, enjoy live entertainment, including fire dancers and music. Holiday movies will be played by the beach. For more information, visit https://www.visitnewportbeach.com/events/newport-dunes-fire-ice-festival/.
33rd Annual Lighting of The Bay at Newport Dunes
Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort presents Lighting of the Bay through New Year’s Eve. In honor of the upcoming holiday season, the serene, waveless bay will transform each evening into a vibrant winter wonderland featuring more than 50 holiday floating light displays.
There will be holiday crafts, festive food and concessions, photos with Santa and a holiday movie on the beach. At 6 p.m., Santa will flip the switch to turn on the Lighting of the Bay. Parking is $15 on opening night only. On other evenings, resort rates will apply.
An ice skating rink will be set up at the Fire and Ice Festival too.
The Newport Dunes Holiday Tree Lot offers a hand-picked selection of farm-fresh trees from Oregon. Varieties include Noble, Nordmann, Natural and Douglas. The lot receives weekly deliveries of fresh trees. Wreaths and garlands are available, too.
The event is free for the public and on-site parking is available at the following rates: 0 to 30 minutes: free; 30 minutes to 2 hours: $10; 2 to 5 hours: $15; 5 to 8 hours: $20; 8 to 24 hours: $25.
For more information, visit https://www.visitnewportbeach.com/events/newport-dunes-lighting-bay/.
Shop Catalina Holiday Kick Off & Community Tree Lighting
On Dec. 2 from 12 – 8 p.m., join Love Catalina Island for the 30th annual “Shop Catalina” Holiday Kick-Off.
Island shops will open their doors and offer rare discounts on favorite island jewelry, art, clothing, unique gifts, housewares and more. The event also includes:
- Treasure Card “code word” hunt
- Christmas Craft Boutique & Ornament Decorating for Kids
- Gingerbread House Decorating Contest
- Holiday Home Decorating Contest
- Business Decorating Contest
- Hot Chocolate & Popcorn Sales
- See’s Candies Sales
- Catalina Kid Ventures Preschool holiday performance
- Strolling Holiday Carolers, “The Jingle Singers”
- Santa Claus Arrival & Community Tree Lighting
- Pictures with Santa on Wrigley Stage
Visit the Shop Catalina page for full details and more information.
Conservancy Level 1 Naturalist Training
Begin your Catalina Naturalist journey on Dec. 6 at 11 a.m. with this free virtual program consisting of two short videos and an online certification meeting with Conservancy Education Staff. This training gives a brief overview of Catalina’s geology, island species, human history and the work of the Conservancy. This includes classic stories of the recovery of the American Bald Eagle and Catalina Island Fox from the verge of extinction and the history and future of the American Bison and California Mule Deer on Catalina. For more information, please visit https://www.lovecatalina.com/event/conservancy-level-1-naturalist-training/1670/.
Breakfast With Santa
On Dec. 9 and Dec. 16 from 9 – 10 a.m., Noble Bird Rotisserie at 2nd Street & Pacific Coast Highway will host this festive event where attendees enjoy a breakfast to remember with special guests Santa and holiday friends. Reservations are required. For additional details, menu options and booking visit 2ndandpch.com/Events.
Creative Communal Makers Market
Shop small businesses during the holiday season with this curated open-air market, including unique goods from over 30 local artisans and vendors, live entertainment, photo ops, and more.
Join 2nd & PCH Dec. 10 and 17, from 11 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. along Seaport Way to support local makers. Pets are welcome, but must remain leashed and in an owner’s physical control at all times. For more information, please visit https://www.visitlongbeach.com/events/creative-communal-makers-market/.
The Nutcracker-Warner Grand
Beginning Dec. 8, San Pedro City Ballet presents The Nutcracker: 30th Anniversary. The ballet returns with this timeless holiday classic fairy tale, featuring professionals and young dancers from the company and cameos by favorite community members. San Pedro City Ballet, home of American Ballet Theatre superstar Misty Copeland, presents the production, with artistic direction by Cynthia and David Patrick Bradley. Join Clara on a dreamlike journey with a dancing Nutcracker, mischievous mice, sparkling snowflakes and a magical Christmas tree. The show features dance, magic, gorgeous sets and costumes, and is fun for the whole family.
Dec. 8, 7 p.m.
Dec. 9, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
December 10, 2 p.m.
This production is made possible in part by a grant from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and by a grant from the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. The Port of Los Angeles also provides grant support. For more information, please visit https://www.sanpedrocityballet.org/upcoming-events/nutcracker/.
Port of Los Angeles
Holidays By the Sea
Get your holiday spirit underway with the Port of LA’s
‘Holidays By the Sea’ celebration on the LA Waterfront on Dec. 2. The event will begin with the town square tree lighting at 5 p.m. The port will have tall ships on display as well as live entertainment. There will be arts and crafts for children and the Annual Holiday Harbor Afloat Parade will take off at 6 p.m.
Winter Wonderland at Ventura Harbor Village
On Dec. 16, Santa and his reindeer fly into Ventura Harbor Village for the annual Winter Wonderland and Holiday Marketplace from noon – 4 p.m. Festivities include faux snowfall, a variety of live musicians, holiday characters, crafts and more. For more information, visit https://www.venturaharborvillage.com/event/winter-wonderland-2023/.