Celebrate Holiday Events in Los Angeles and Orange County
Updated for 2021 Holidays
We’ve created a Holiday Event Guide for Events in Los Angeles and Orange County, to be your resource for the holiday season. We’ve created your holiday event guide so you can fun lots of fun things to do to celebrate in and around the Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego! Did we miss something, send us an email so we can add it! Check out our Community Calendar for event more local happenings!
If you are looking for the perfect Holiday gifts, please check out our local South Bay Shopping Guide and South Bay Shopping Guide for Kids. Both guides filled with lot of options to get your holiday shopping done while supporting our local businesses.
And don’t miss a thing by signing up to receive our weekly “What’s Happening in the South Bay” Community Newsletter!
Holiday Events in and around Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego
South Coast Botanic Garden’s: GLOW, Nov 20 2021 – Jan 17, 2021
GLOW (Garden Lights & Ocean Waters) at the South Coast Botanic Garden has been redesigned for its second year. Guests can anticipate a more pleasant and brighter stay. Food, beverages, music, and a life-changing experience You’ll be hanging out on the beach, enjoying drinks on the bayou, and chasing waterfalls in this garden with thousands of lights. In addition, a breathtaking kelp forest will steal your breath away and pique your curiosity in the sea’s beauty. This year’s exhibit also features interactive experiences and themed nights (more details to come), so be sure to take advantage of our Member Presale (now underway) to guarantee your preferred day and time.
Snow Flurries at The Point, November 27 – December 23 on every Friday and Saturday from 6pm – 8pm
At The Point, Enjoy A Magical Holiday Snow Flurries!
From November 26 through December 23, every Friday and Saturday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., they’ll have Magical Snow Flurries every 30 minutes! Plus, from December 20 to 23, every night.
Join us for a joyful and light-filled celebration! Hikari is a Japanese word that loosely translates to “shine,” and this holiday season we have truly made Tanaka Farms glow with over a million glittering lights!
“Welcome to the Gingerbread Forest!” says the narrator. Live music, refreshments, photo ops, Arts & Crafts, Barnyard, Animals, and, of course, holiday lights are all on the menu! Meet Santa for a photo opportunity! (each activity is priced separately)
Visitors from all over the country will be stunned by the spectacular walking trail packed with illuminated lights, larger-than-life Christmas displays, and iconic holiday images in Calabasas’ legendary Christmas Road holiday experience, which will provide a safe and pleasant tour for guests of all ages.
This year, the Christmas joy shines even brighter at Knott’s Merry Farm, which runs from November 19 to January 2. Knott’s largest Christmas celebration features a panorama of thousands of dazzling lights, miles of themed garland, enormous snowflakes, and a variety of stunning seasonal settings, all transformed into a classic holiday festival with winter wonderland-inspired décor. Christmas activities for families and delightful experiences inspired by the spirit of the holidays are available at Knott’s Merry Farm.
Descanso Gardens: Enchanted Forest of Light returns November 21, 2021–January 9, 2022
The Enchanted Forest of Light is an interactive twilight experience unlike any other in Los Angeles, with a one-mile trek through various lighting sensations in some of Descanso Gardens’ most beloved places.
This year, a complete town of stunning stained glass masterpieces by modern sculptor Tom Fruin will be constructed in the Rose Garden. HYBYCOZO’s shimmering, swirling works on the Main Lawn, Flower Power on the Promenade, and beautiful lighting effects in the Ancient Forest are among the returning favorites.
Enchanted takes place rain or shine. Tickets are non-refundable, require advance purchase, and have a timed admission.
The Irvine Park Railroad’s annual Christmas Train is in full swing. Take this magical night ride around historic Irvine Regional Park with your family and friends to meet Santa Clause. The train will leave from the well-lit train station and transport passengers to the North Pole. Children can give Santa their wish list and have their picture taken with him. You can either take pictures with your own camera or buy a photograph shot by the Irvine Park Railroad.
After your visit with Santa, board the train and journey back to Santa’s Village through the bright Christmas lights and decorations, as well as the spectacular “Tunnel of Lights.”
Night of Lights OC, A Magical One Mile Holiday Lights and Winter Wonderland Drive-Thru Experience – Nov 26 through Jan. 2
Featuring ice tubing down a 9-lane, 150-foot mountain of real ice, a massive snow play and slide area with fresh snow blown in daily, ice skating on SoCal’s largest outdoor ice rink under the stars in the heart of Winter Fest OC, a nightly Christmas tree lighting celebration with a parade of Winter Fest OC characters, fireworks, and snow flurries, and a must-see experience with Santa and his reindeer flying over the fairgrounds through Christmas
Los Angeles Zoo Lights – November 19, 2021 – January 9, 2022
The world’s largest illuminated pop-up storybook, a magical disco ball forest, giant glittering snowflakes, and a twinkling tunnel filled with dynamic swirls of color return for the 2021-22 season, and we’re thrilled to welcome you back with more glowing animals and an unforgettable nighttime journey that includes the world’s largest illuminated pop-up storybook, a magical disco ball forest, giant glittering snowflakes, and a twinkling tunnel filled with dynamic swirls of color. L.A. Zoo Lights is a must-see holiday light show that has grown in popularity each year since its debut in 2014. This year’s show includes more light creatures than ever before, as well as amazing new additions – both handcrafted and high-tech – and old favorites.
The Elf on the Shelf’s Magical Holiday Journey – November 5th, 2021 – January 2nd, 2022
Santa’s sleigh had to make an emergency landing due to a lack of Christmas spirit. Tiny Tinkerman, Santa’s best Scout Elf, and the rest of the Scout Elves need your help now! As you and your elf-loving team magically shrink down to elf size and start on a fun trip through a beautiful outdoor winter wonderland to assist repair Santa’s sleigh, join them on a quest to build more Christmas Spirit!
Bringing a toy is optional, but it would help lift Christmas Spirit! All toys should be new, unwrapped, and sealed in their original packaging. If you’d prefer to make a donation, you’ll be given a donate option during your ticket purchase.
SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration, November 12 through Jan 2
From November 12 through January 2, gather your family and friends for SeaWorldChristmas ®’s CelebrationTM. SeaWorld transforms into a winter wonderland brimming with holiday cheer, excitement, and more than 3 million shimmering lights. Winter Wonderland on Ice, a show-stopping ice-skating spectacle, is only one example of award-winning entertainment. Meet Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer or pay a visit to Santa at Wild Arctic®. Create lasting holiday memories with a wonderful Christmas event only available at SeaWorld.
Lightscape at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Friday, November 12, 2021 through Sunday, January 16, 2022
Lightscape, an internationally famous holiday extravaganza, is a must-see for 2021. Explore the spectacular Winter Cathedral, as well as the breathtaking Fire Garden and other attractions. For an amazing Christmas gathering for family and friends, Lightscape transforms the Arboretum into a night of wonder and light. Members receive a $3 discount each ticket (additional service fees apply).
What are your plans for the holidays? The holidays are a time for spending time with family, eating large and wonderful meals, exchanging gifts, and attending Christmas office parties. Of course, you won’t want to pass up the opportunity to see the colorful holiday lights and decorations. The Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade Of Lights 2021, the answer, has it all. With their Ring Of Lights competition and one of the largest decorated boat parades in the country, bayfront properties put on elaborate Christmas light displays. Hundreds of decorated ships of all sizes compete in over a half-dozen categories for top honors. Each season, nearly 1.5 million people watch the Newport Beach Boat Parade, making it one of the largest boat parades you’ll ever see. The Newport Beach Boat Parade and Ring Of Lights decorations feature millions of holiday lights, making Newport Bay a “must see” during the holiday season.
Visit Santa at his North Pole Cabin, where the fire is always burning and the memories are made to last a lifetime! In his lovely cabin, the Jolly One enjoys visits from all good girls and boys. Santa may be seen working and preparing for the Big Night (Christmas Eve)! Enjoy a distant conversation with the Jolly One and a look inside the place where all the magic happens. Check Santa’s mailbox for your wish list, or write a beautiful thank you note for the presents you’ve gotten this year. Feel the chilly North Pole just outside Santa’s house door and watch it glow with the force of the Northern lights. Santa’s Village in Sky Park is designated as part of the mystical North Pole by this pole.
Holidays at Universal Studios Hollywood, Grinchmas, & CityWalk Holidays
Beginning Friday, November 26 and running daily through Sunday, January 2, 2022, Universal Studios Hollywood decks the halls to celebrate the return of holiday favorites “Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” and “Grinchmas.” The cost of entry includes access to the holiday events.
Holidays at LEGOLAND, November 20 – January 2
Santa and the Toy Soldier, as well as The Gingerbread Man, are back for the holidays! They’re all set for holiday hugs, selfies, and photos. Then go over to Fun Town, where you’ll find a 30-foot-tall LEGO® Christmas tree with over 400 LEGO ornaments. As the day draws to a close, the tree twinkles to Christmas tunes at the Holiday Light Show, and guests can enjoy falling “snow.”
Do you require any other photos? Climb on a sleigh drawn by a life-size LEGO Santa and his dependable reindeer. There are over 60 rides, shows, and activities at LEGOLAND California Resort, in addition to the festive fun, cuisine, and live music.
Beverly Center Welcomes ‘The Immersive Nutcracker’ Magical Experience, November 26 — December 31
The Immersive Nutcracker, an all-new family-friendly walk-through holiday fairytale experience from the producers of the Russian Ballet Theatre, is expanding its holiday programming by welcoming “The Immersive Nutcracker,” an all-new family-friendly walk-through holiday fairytale experience that combines the best in theatre, VR, and projection.
“The Immersive Nutcracker,” which opens on Friday, November 26 and runs through December 31, will provide dreamy experiences based on iconic moments, characters, and settings from the beloved ballets and storylines from Tchaikovsky’s immortal Nutcracker soundtrack.
We hope you enjoy our Holiday Event Guide, for more Holiday Fun, check out these posts: