Festive destinations to create lasting memories

 This holiday season, and Winter Break, is the perfect time to spend with friends and family, creating memories that are unforgettable. Many attractions are also decorated in theme with the holiday season—a perfect way to get into the holiday spirit.  Below are ten festive places you can visit with your loved ones to create memorable memories this holiday season. 


 1. Disneyland 

Disneyland Park and California Adventure Park celebrate the holiday season from Nov. 1 to Jan. 1. Rides are decked in holiday decorations, cast members perform holiday parades, festive treats are sold and the resort hosts multicultural festivals. Disneyland Park operates from 8 a.m.-10 p.m., California Adventure Park operates from 8 a.m.-10 p.m. and Downtown Disney District closes at 1 a.m. Tickets can be purchased for $104 per park per day or $164 for both parks per day.  


1313 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802 

For more information visit the link HERE


      2. Holidayz at the Great Park

Irvine’s Great Park transforms into a “winterscape” through Jan. 2. Palm trees are wrapped into light-up candy canes, pop-up artists sell winter-themed crafts, Santa’s elves visit and holiday-themed classes are available for those interested. For a late night, the park will host a pajama drive-in movie night on Dec. 18 at 6 p.m. Admission is free with a non-perishable food donation unless registration is specified for a specific event.


8000 Great Park Blvd, Irvine, CA 92618 

For more information and a calendar of upcoming events, visit the link HERE


3. Irvine Spectrum Center Ice Rink

Visit the Irvine Spectrum Center’s ice rink through Jan. 1. The ice rink is located under the Giant Wheel and features a view of the Spectrum’s Christmas tree, holiday decorations and festive vendors. Skaters may rent ice skates and skate for about $25 per session. Season passes, group events and private parties are also for sale at the Ice Rink Booth located near the Guest Services kiosk. 

670 Spectrum Center Dr, Irvine, CA 92618

For more information and a calendar of upcoming events, visit the link HERE


4. Irvine Civic Center tree lighting

On Dec. 4 from 4 p.m-6:30 p.m, Irvine Civic Center will host a tree lighting ceremony. In addition, visitors can meet Santa, listen to live holiday music and ride on a winter-themed train route. Admission is free but guests are encouraged to bring a toy donation for the Marine Adoption Committee Holiday Toy Drive.

1 Civic Center Plaza, Irvine, CA 92606

For more information and directions, visit the link HERE.  


5. “Jingle on the Waves” Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade

From Dec. 16 to Dec. 19, Newport Beach and surrounding residents decorate their boats of all sizes in holiday decorations, flashy lights and music to float across Newport Harbor. The event is called the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade and can be viewed around the perimeter of the bay or at waterfront restaurants. Tourists and locals can bring chairs and purchase refreshments at specific locations during the show.


309 Palm St, Newport Beach, CA 92661

For more information and best viewing locations, visit the link HERE


6. Home for the Holidays Pet Adoption Fair 

The 15th annual Home for the Holidays Pet Adoption Fair hosted by the Irvine Animal Care Center is on Dec. 5. Visitors will get the chance to meet almost 200 adoptable pets, including dogs, cats and rodents, from local shelter and rescue groups. In addition to pet adoptions, the event will feature food trucks, raffles and holiday activities.



6443 Oak Canyon, Irvine, CA 92618

For more information and ticket prices, visit the link HERE


7. Winter Fantasy – Sawdust Art Festival

Laguna Beach’s annual Sawdust Festival transforms into a holiday-themed art exhibition through Dec. 19. The event will host over 150 artists selling Christmas lights, crafted decorations, hosting holiday classes, gifts and more. Most winter-themed art on display is for purchase. Aside from the art, the festival features food vendors, activities and sites of Laguna Beach’s canyon. 


935 Laguna Canyon Rd, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

For a specific schedule, visit the link HERE


8. Magic of Lights

Magic of Lights is a drive-through holiday lights experience for families at the Angel Stadium of Anaheim. From Nov. 19 to Jan 2., visitors will get to drive under, around and in between intricate light displays featuring holiday characters, famous holiday scenes and more. Merchandise is available for purchase at the event and in total, the attraction uses more than one million lights to sculpt the displays.

2000 E Gene Autry Way, Anaheim, CA 92806

For ticket information, visit the link HERE


9. Knott’s Merry Farm

Knott’s Berry Farm amusement park is transformed into Knott’s Merry Farm for the holiday season. From Nov. 22 to January, park visitors will get to enjoy holiday-themed shows and parades, live holiday music, Christmas Crafts Villages, tree lightings, decorations and Santa visits. A daily admissions ticket is around $54.




8039 Beach Blvd, Buena Park, CA 90620

For more information and tickets, visit the link HERE


10. Los Angeles Zoo Lights

The Los Angeles Zoo hosts the L.A. Zoo Lights event from Nov. 19 to Jan. 9. The park will render glow-in-the-dark animals with LED lights and lasers around the zoo every evening. Guests may take a self-guided tour for around 60 to 90 minutes as they tour the attractions, while treats and photo opportunities are spread out around the park. Visitors will also get to view live reindeer in many of the park’s animal enclosures.


5333 Zoo Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027 

For more information, visit the link HERE

Image copyrights belong to Irvine Spectrum Center, City of Irvine, Newport Beach Independent Newspaper, Barks of Love Animal Rescue, South OC Beaches, Magic of Lights, OC Register and NBC Los Angeles, and are being used under Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976.