While the usual holiday events and get-togethers aren’t possible this year due to coronavirus, there are several festive events in Southern California this December 2020 that can be enjoyed safely. From LA to San Diego, here are all of the boat parades, holiday drive-through experiences, and more to get you into the holiday spirit this year!
*Due to these unusual times, events are subject to change. Please always check before heading out!
Orange County Events:
Santa Claus is Coming to Zoom
Saturday, December 12th
1 PM Session
2:30 PM Session
Every year our First Team Huntington Beach South Office hosts a Santa Day extravaganza so that the community can get a free picture with Santa. This year, the celebration is going online to keep the fun alive and everyone in our community safe. A North Pole Express Mailbox has been stationed outside of their office where children can submit their letters, and this Saturday, Santa will be available for two separate Zoom sessions to respond to letters and share stories from the North Pole. If you’d like to register for some face time with Santa, simply email our new Huntington Beach South Branch Manager Jeremiah Secrest at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive your personal invitation.
Huntington Harbour Boat Parade
Saturday, December 12th – Sunday, December 13th
Parade begins 5:15PM
This year, you can catch the Huntington Harbour Boat Parade LIVE on Facebook. The Livestream starts at 5:30 p.m. on December 12 for anyone who wants to tune in virtually. A completely volunteer-run event, The Philharmonic Society of Orange County strongly that anyone attending the boat parade adheres to all city, county, and state guidelines, especially after the most recent Southern California region stay-at-home orders. If participation is possible, everyone should remain outdoors, wear masks, and maintain at least 6 feet of distance from one another.
Nights of 1,000 Lights
Select Nights Thursday, December 10th – Tuesday, December 22nd
5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
You can stroll through Sherman Gardens safely this holiday season and experience a dazzling display of lights and entertainment. The garden’s installation includes a beautifully decorated Christmas tree and the Disco Inferno, where you can strut down a technicolor light tunnel! Add your wish to the wishing tree, and discover surprises throughout the Gardens. Make sure to secure your ticket before all evening strolls are sold out.
Drive-in Christmas Concert at the Muckenthaler
Friday, December 18th
Doors open 6 PM; Concert starts 7:30 PM
The Darden Sisters will be performing melodious renditions of classic Christmas tunes amongst the stars, featuring Joe Tatar and special guests. Tickets are available for $30 per car, and attendees are asked to wear masks and remain in the car for the event.
Tanaka Farms Hikari Christmas Light Experience
Friday, November 27th – Sunday, January 10th, 2021
First car enters at 5:30 PM | Last car enters at 9 PM
Hikari means shine in Japanese, and this holiday season Tanaka Farms is shining with over a mile of twinkling lights! As you drive through our 30-acre farm, you will see farm-themed lighting from trees, to scarecrows, tractors…even our sugarcane got the holiday light treatment! Plus, every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday we have a very special visit from Santa, himself. The loop lasts about 30 to 45 minutes, depending on how fast you drive.
Los Angeles Events:
Now – Sunday, January 10th
5 PM – 10:45 PM
An event that lets you celebrate while in the safety of your own vehicle, the Irwindale Speedway has been transformed into a magical display of lights and attractions including a record-setting Christmas Tree of lights towering over 110 feet. Entry is $59 per Car Load (maximum 8 people) for an amazing experience of light on a real NASCAR racetrack. Tickets must be purchased online for weekend dates and remember to secure them ASAP for your magical drive.
The Elf on the Shelf’s Magical Holiday Journey
Thursday, November 12th – Sunday, January 3rd
5 pm – 7:15 pm drive through start times
Prepare to be swept away in an immersive drive-thru experience like no other! The Elf on the Shelf’s Magical Holiday Journey is an original story brought to life by world-class artists from theater, TV, and film, including scenic design by Emmy Award® winner David Korins (Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, The 2019 Oscars), original music composed by Emmy Award® nominee Curtis Moore (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), and lighting design by Broadway lighting designer David Weiner (Romeo and Juliet, Outside Lands Festival).
Monday, November 30th – Wednesday, December 30th
Holiday Drive Through Adventure
Enjoyed from the safety of your car, WonderLAnd is a frosted, all-ages welcome adventure in Woodland Hills! Celebrate the holiday season with millions of lights and themed decor during a festive drive-through show. Experience the magic of the inclusive showcase during the most wonderful time of the year.
South Coast Botanical Garden’s Glow
Now – Friday, January 1st
5:30 PM – 9 PM Nightly
A visually stunning art installation at the South Coast Botanical Gardens will transform the lush oasis into an oceanic experience for the Garden Lights & Ocean Waters theme using thousands of lights designed by California Outdoor Lighting. The walk is set to an artistically curated soundtrack featuring a little something for everyone, including original music created for GLOW by Jerzy, as well as Baja surf music, Train and Vivaldi. Make sure to wear a mask, practice social distancing, and purchase your ticket online!
LA County Holiday Celebration
Thursday, December 24th
3:00 PM – 6:00 PM
This year, viewers will be able to watch the LA County Holiday Celebration on TV or stream it online. This year’s show is pre-recorded using state of the art technology and shot in a variety of prominent Los Angeles locations to comply with all county health and safety guidelines. As always, the celebration will include a diverse lineup of LA-based artists including many favorites and some exciting new performances!
Inland Empire Events
Light It Up Moreno Valley
Starting Friday, November 20th
6 PM-11:45 PM
If you’re looking for the #1 light show within the Inland Empire, this is it. Completely synchronized to all the classic holiday songs, the drive through experience is guaranteed to lighten up your night! Tickets are sold per cars (up to 8 people) for $25 or $30 depending on the night or $30-$35 at the drive up gate.
Festival of Lights in Riverside
Friday, November 27th – Wednesday, January 6th
Enjoy the Festival of Lights featuring 5 million lights adorning the Mission Inn, as well as 200 characters around the building. This year will be a “Winter Wonderland” theme and due to current regulations, the Inn will have dazzling holiday lights on the front exterior of the hotel only, with holiday decor inside the hotel for guests to enjoy.
Temecula Farmer’s Market
Every Saturday in Old Town
8:30 am – 12:30 pm
California-certified farmers with everything from fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, fresh-cut flowers and plants continue to populate the Temecula Farmers’ Market every Saturday in Old Town. Enjoy specialty foods and artisan treats as well – rain or shine! The Farmer’s Market is a great way to support local and shop safefly outdoors during the pandemic.
San Diego Events
Holidays at LEGOLAND®
Now – Sunday, January 10th 2021
10 AM – 4 PM
Your favorite holiday characters Santa, the Toy Solider and Gingerbread Man are back and ready for socially distanced meet-and-greets. Head over to Fun Town where there’s a 30-foot, fully decorated LEGO® Christmas tree with over 400 LEGO ornaments. And as the day winds down, the tree gets a-twinklin’ to holiday tunes at the Holiday Light Show.
San Diego Holiday Half Marathon [Semi-Virtual]
December 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20
More Details Online
Offering the opportunity to run in-person or virtually at your own pace, the San Diego Holiday Half Marathon tradition lives on in 2020! If you want to run the actual course (the last mile is a little different…) and receive your medal and shirt when you finish, there will be a small tent posted on the available dates with you swag between the hours of 8am -3pm at 11815 Sorrento Valley Rd. Check out the website for all of this year’s special details.
Enchanted Village Drive-Thru Holiday Experience
Friday, December 18th – Wednesday, December 23rd
5:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Experience over 500,000 holiday lights, interactive displays, and fun attractions from the safety of your vehicle, all while supporting people with eevelopmental disabilities. The Enchanted Village Drive-Thru Holiday experience allows you to kick-start your adventure at Steele Canyon High School, then check out beautiful holiday displays at Noah Homes. Be sure to purchase your ticket online!