Last Minute Holiday Events in Orange County

Annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade
Newport Beach/Newport Bay
December 15 – 19, 2021

FREE to the public. The boat parade will light up the harbor for five consecutive nights. The parade starts at Collins Island at 6:30 p.m. and will last approximately three and a half hours over 250 ships participate in the parade along with hundreds of water front estates. Providing the backdrop for the parade is the Ring of Lights waterfront home and business decorating competition. FREE for spectators, entry fee for participating boats. Over million and half people view the parade each year.

For those of you that would like to be in parade both Newport Landing and Davey’s Locker will offer 3 general admission cruises nightly every night of the parade that are a part of the actual parade. Viewing the parade from a ship means that you see all of the parade and homes in full decor that line the waterfront. General admission tickets can be reserved over the phone.

December 3, 2021 – January 2, 2022
Offered three times nightly (check websites for times)
Newport Landing
309 Palm – Suite A, Newport Beach Ca 92661
Davey’s Locker
400 Main St., Newport Beach, CA 92661


Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol
November 27 – December 26, 2021

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.

South Coast Repertory
655 Town Center Drive
Costa Mesa, CA

(714) 708-5555

Night of Lights OC
November 26, 2021 – January 2, 2022

A spectacular drive-thru experience with over a million lights, holiday music, characters and real snow!

Guests will enjoy in the safety of their own vehicle a magical and interactive drive through a winter wonderland of lights. This one-mile drive-thru will include over one million lights. Limited tickets and time slots per day!

OC Fair & Event Center
88 Fair Dr
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Winter Fest OC – Costa Mesa

18 Days of Snow!

Featuring ice tubing down an 8 lane, 150 foot mountain, massive snow play and slide area with separate areas for toddlers and kids with fresh snow blown in daily, ice skating on SoCal’s largest outdoor ice rink under the stars in the middle of Winter Fest OC, nightly Christmas tree lighting celebration with a parade of the Winter Fest OC characters.

There’s also fireworks and snow flurries, plus a not to be missed experience with Santa and his reindeer flying over the fairgrounds through Christmas Eve, an all new Alpine Village with a new light maze and new wintery attractions, over 20 carnival rides and attractions, festive entertainment, seasonal eateries, visits with Santa and so much more.

OC Fair & Event Center
88 Fair Dr
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

The Muckenthaler Cultural Center Holiday Festival
Sunday, December 19, 2021

The Muckenthaler’s annual Holiday Festival features various activities, including family-friendly activities, live music, free art workshops for kids, and an arts and crafts sale. Featuring Performances by Noelle Lidyoff, The Sugar Daddies, The Kamaaina Glee Club, & Momentum Dance.

The Muckenthaler Cultural Center
1201 West Malvern Avenue
Fullerton, California 92833





The Nutcracker by Ballet Repertory Theatre – Huntington Beach
December 11-24, 2021

Enjoy Ballet Repertory Theatre’s cherished 45-year-old tradition of bringing beloved holiday music to life with nearly 300 performers in dazzling costumes. Travel with young Clara through a magical world of life-size dolls, toy soldiers, colossal mice, and delicate snowflakes to the fabulous Land of Sweets, home of the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier. Exuberant French, Spanish, Arabian, Russian, and Chinese dancers await you, along with twirling candy canes and waltzing flowers. Orange County’s longest-running Nutcracker is the ultimate feel-good family tradition.

Golden West College Theater
15751 Gothard Street
Huntington Beach, CA 92647






Christmas Countdown
December 12-23, 2021

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…holiday fun at Pretend City! Join us for our exciting 12 Days of Christmas Countdown! Each day leading up to Christmas, we will “unwrap” a new holiday activity at the museum! Get in the holiday spirit as we gear up for Christmas and countdown the days!

Cost is included with museum admission.

Pretend City Children’s Museum
29 Hubble
Irvine, CA





Festival of Kwanzaa
December 26-31, 2021

Join us as we celebrate Kwanzaa at Pretend City! Each day we will light a candle on the Kinara and celebrate a new principle through a variety of activities.

Cost is included with museum admission.

Pretend City Children’s Museum
29 Hubble
Irvine, CA

For Kids!
Annual Noon-Year’s Confetti Countdown

Friday, December 31, 2021

5..4..3..2..1..HAPPY NOON YEAR! Join us for our annual New Year’s Celebration in the middle of the day! We will celebrate the new year at different times throughout the day as the sun travels across the different time zones! There will be a confetti countdown at 4 different times to celebrate the new year in Bangladesh, Dubai, Athens, and London, as it turns to midnight in these different cities! We will also have New Year’s activities and art for our little ones to enjoy!

Pretend City Children’s Museum
29 Hubble, Irvine, CA


Sawdust Winter Fantasy
November 20-21 & 26-28, 2021
December 4-5, 11-12 & 18-19, 2021

Weekends – 10am to 7pm

This unique fair offers shoppers the opportunity to purchase unique artisan crafts from various local artists. Includes live entertainment, hands-on art projects and picture-perfect moments, the Sawdust Art Festival’s Winter Fantasy will become your family’s holiday tradition.

Sawdust Art Festival
935 Laguna Canyon Rd






Laguna Playhouse: Sister’s Christmas Catechism
December 20 & 21, 2021

It’s “CSI: Bethlehem” in this holiday mystery extravaganza from the author of Late Nite Catechism, as Sister takes on the mystery that has intrigued historians throughout the ages – whatever happened to the Magi’s gold? (“We know that Mary used the frankincense and myrrh as a sort of potpourri – they were in a barn after all.”) Retelling the story of the nativity, as only Sister can, this hilarious holiday production has been vaccinated, masked and ready to take on Christmas in a very Sister way.

Laguna Playhouse
606 Laguna Canyon Road
Laguna Beach, CA 92652

Box Office (949) 497-ARTS (2787)

asa Lumina: Holiday Garden Walk – San Clemente
December 1-22, 2021

Experience the wonder of the holiday season during “Casa Lumina Holiday Walk” on select evenings from December 5 to 23 at Casa Romantica. Over 1,000 twinkling lights illuminate Casa Romantica’s exquisitely-decorated home and gardens with holiday themes.


Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens
415 Avenida Granada
San Clemente, CA 92672

(949) 498-2139





Camino Real Playhouse presents: A Christmas Story
November 26th – December 19th, 2021

Christmas is approaching and 9 year-old Ralphie wants only one thing: a Red Ryder Range 200 Shot BB gun. When he mentions it at the dinner table, his mother’s immediate reaction is that he’ll shoot his eye out. He then decides on a perfect theme for his teacher but her reaction is like his mother’s. He fantasizes about what it would be like to be Red Ryder and catch the bad guys. When the big day arrives, he gets lots of presents under the tree including a lovely gift from his aunt that his mother just adores. But what about the BB gun?

Camino Real Playhouse
31776 El Camino Real
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675 675

(949) 489-8082




Snow Day with the Critters

All Zoo celebration featuring stations focusing on winter and snow. Watch animals receive icy treats, listen to festive music, enjoy the winter decorations, play educational games, create cool crafts and listen to delightful winter stories.

General Public – free with price of admission; FOSAZ Members are FREE and Santa Ana Residents are FREE on December 15.

Santa Ana Zoo
1801 E Chestnut Ave
Santa Ana, CA

Kidseum New Years Eve Bash

New Year’s Eve isn’t just for adults- head to Kidseum for a kid-friendly countdown! Families will enjoy complimentary face painting and craft stations where they can make their own disco balls, confetti poppers, and even noise makers during this kid-centric celebration.

Ticketed Event: Member or with paid Bowers Museum admission $15 | General $20

Bowers Museum
2002 North Main Street
Santa Ana

(714) 567-3679



The Nixon Library presents “A Holiday of Hope” – Yorba Linda
November 18 through December 28, 2021

All Aboard! Trains are Back!

Every week, Nixon Library visitors will enjoy rotating sets of model trains chugging up mountains and rolling across the American plains. Visit the Nixon Library throughout the Holiday season to keep up with the latest rotating model! New trains every week!

Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum
18001 Yorba Linda Blvd.
Yorba Linda, CA 92886



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