Holiday Events: Christmas, Hanukkah & Santa 2020: Orange County

ORANGE COUNTY, CA — The holidays are nearing in Orange County!

Christmas this year falls on a Friday, Dec. 25. Hanukkah runs Thursday, Dec. 10 through Friday, Dec. 18. And Kwanzaa is Dec. 26 to Jan. 1.

Celebrations are markedly different for 2020, to be sure. Many annual community extravaganazas were canceled throughout the O.C. region this year due to the pandemic.

But festivities still abound throughout the area as towns and organizations are getting creative with drive-thrus, virtual and in-person, socially distanced events — many with limited availablity and required reservations.

Check out our annual event guide to see what’s going on near you. And Happy Holidays, from Patch!

NOTE: Bookmark this page as additional events will be added when announced.

Also, remember to double-check with organizers to confirm activities still are proceeding as originally planned as last-minute cancellations are possible.



DEC.: Fairy Market – Holiday Gift Shopping for Children. Fun finds available for your gift giving.

  • Online via Journey School, 27102 Foxborough, Aliso Viejo, CA

Through DEC. 9: ‘Stocking Stuffer Collection’ Holiday Drive. Supports local families in need.

  • AVCA Office, 95 Argonaut, Aliso Viejo, CA

DEC. 19-20: Zoom With Santa. Don’t delay on registration as space is limited.



DEC. 5: Annual Nutcracker Christmas Tree Lighting. The town tradition continues!



DEC. 3 & 10: Virtual Tree Lighting & Santa Letter Drop-Off. View lighting online & use drive-thru drop-off for letters to North Pole.

  • Brea Community Center Parking Lot, 695 E. Madison Way, Brea, CA



Through JAN. 3: Knott’s ‘Taste of Merry Farm’ – Picturesque holiday setting & tastiest holiday foods around. Tickets selling fast.

  • Knott’s Berry Farm, 8039 Beach Blvd., Buena Park, CA



DEC. 11-22: ‘Nights Of 1000 Lights’: Sherman Gardens. Heads up: expected to sell out.

  • Sherman Library and Gardens, 2647 E. Coast Hwy., Corona del Mar, CA

Through DEC. 31: ‘Christmas Walk Reimagined’ – The traditional, one-day event is revamped to month of offers.



DEC. 5, 12 & 19: Holiday 2020 Events at SOCO + The OC Mix. Music & storytime with Mrs. Claus.

  • SOCO & The OC Mix, 3313 Hyland Avenue, Costa Mesa, CA

DEC. 10-JAN. 10: ‘Night Of Lights’ Holiday Drive-Thru: Fairgrounds. One-mile drive through a winter wonderland!

  • OC Fair & Event Center, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA

Through JAN. 3: South Coast Rep’s ‘A Christmas Carol’- Bringing magic of live theatre home for the holidays.

  • Streaming online via South Coast Repertory, 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, CA



DEC. 7: Chanukah Drive-In Menorah Lighting. Chabad of Los Alamitos is relocating annual Seal Beach menorah lighting

  • In front of Los Almitos Race Track, 961 Katella Ave., Cypress, CA



DEC. 4: Santa’s Jolly Trolley. Guess who’s coming to town!

DEC. 4-5: ‘Santa Paws’ Photos. Benefits homeless pets & reservation system in place.

DEC. 5: Holiday Food Drive & Santa. “Each child will receive a special treat from Santa and his elves.”

  • Community Center, 34052 Del Obispo St., Dana Point, CA

DEC. 12-13, 19-20 & 26-27: Weekend Wonderland. STEM celebration with reindeer games & more.

  • Ocean Institute, 24200 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point, CA



DEC. 4: Holiday Tree-Lighting Ceremony. Watch from the comfort of home.



DEC. 10-13: Drive-In Holiday Movies: Miles Square Park. Featuring “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” & “Elf.”

  • Mile Square Regional Park, 16801 Euclid St., Fountain Valley, CA

DEC. 11: Zoom Holiday Dance. Free for persons with disabilities, ages 18+.

DEC. 12: Christmas In The Gazebo. Canceled.

  • Heritage Park, 10200 Slater Ave., Fountain Valley, CA



DEC. 5: ‘Winter In The Grove’ Holiday Drive-Thru. Advance tickets required.

  • Village Green Park, 12732 Main St., Garden Grove, CA.

DEC. 10: Free ‘Elf’ Drive-In Holiday Movie. Reserve soon as space is limited.

  • Senior Center Parking Lot, 11300 Stanford Ave., Garden Grove, CA



DEC. 6-20: Annual Christmas Market: Old World Huntington Beach. With holiday festivities & favorite treats.

  • Old World Huntington Beach, 7561 Center Ave, Huntington Beach, CA

DEC. 10: Holiday Author Event with Sarah Morgenthaler. Meet author of “Mistletoe & Mr. Right.”

  • Online via Central Library, 7111 Talbert Ave., Huntington Beach, CA

DEC. 12-13: Huntington Harbour Boat Parade. “Parade boats naturally social distance!”

DEC. 12-26: Ballet Etudes ‘The Nutcracker’ – “This year’s production has a new artistic twist!”

  • Online via Huntington Academy of Dance, 6491 Edinger Ave., Huntington Beach, CA

DEC. 20 & 23: Coast City Ballet’s ‘Nutcracker’ – “Don’t miss this opportunity to support these wonderful dancers (even through Covid-19).

  • Virtual performances via Coast City Ballet, via 9596 Hamilton Ave., Huntington Beach, CA

Through JAN. 3: Holiday Outdoor Ice-Skating: Paséa Hotel. With hot cocoa bar & more.

  • Paséa Hotel & Spa, 21080 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach, CA



DEC. 12: Christmas Movie Night. Family fun with with carols & “Elf.”

  • Northwood High School, 4515 Portola Parkway, Irvine, CA

DEC. 20: Christmas Magic Show. Outdoor event & registration required.

  • Northwood High School, 4515 Portola Parkway, Irvine, CA



DEC. 5-6: Santa & Photos: Sendero Marketplace. Socially distanced & photos are free!

  • Sendero Marketplace, 30845 Gateway Pl, Ladera Ranch, CA



DEC. 4: ‘Hospitality Night’- Canceled.

DEC. 13: Laguna Beach Parents Club Holiday Car Safari. Extravaganza with decked-out houses, carolers, cocoa, plus toy & food drive.

DEC. 13: Car Menorah Parade. Culminates in menorah lighting.

  • Begins & ends Chabad Jewish Center of Laguna Beach, 30804 S. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, CA

DEC. 17: ‘Yes, Virginia’ Via Laguna Playhouse: Virtual. “Quirky, feel-good holiday comedy.”

  • Online via Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, CA



DEC. 4: “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Drive-in movie & RSVPs required.

  • Laguna Niguel Presbyterian Church, 30071 Ivy Glenn Drive, Laguna Niguel, CA

DEC. 13: Drive-Through Chanukah Celebration. Help build a ‘Canorah’ to benefit the OC Food Bank.

  • City Hall, 30111 Crown Valley Parkway, Laguna Niguel, CA

Through DEC. 31: Ritz-Carlton Annual Holiday Surfboard Auction. Supports surfing for children with autism.

  • Online via Surfers Healing, San Juan Capistrano, CA & Ritz-Carlton-Laguna Niguel, One Ritz Carlton Drive, Dana Point, CA



DEC. 5: Drive In Movie – Elf. Sold out.

Through DEC. 11: Letters To Santa. Send a letter & Santa will write back!

Through DEC. 19: Annual Chamber 5K Elf Yourself: Virtual Race. Run anytime, anywhere.

  • Via Lake Forest Chamber of Commerce, 26239 Enterprise Court, Lake Forest, CA

Through DEC. 24: Light of the World – Saddleback Christmas Lights Experience. If time slots are full, check back for openings or to get on waitlist.

  • Saddleback Church Lake Forest, 1 Saddleback Pkwy., Lake Forest, CA



DEC. 2: Holiday Toy Drive Drive-Up. Make a difference in a child’s life.

  • Los Alamitos Community Center, 10911 Oak St., Los Alamitos, CA

DEC. 5: Winter Wonderland. Sold out.

  • Epson, 3131 Katella Ave., Los Alamitos, CA

DEC. 7: Chanukah Drive-In Menorah Lighting. Chabad of Los Alamitos is relocating annual Seal Beach menorah lighting

  • In front of Los Almitos Race Track, 961 Katella Ave., Cypress, CA



DEC. 4-5: Drive-Thru Nativity. With live actors, animals, music & food-drive collection, too.

  • Nativity at Mount of Olives Church, 24772 Chrisanta Drive, Mission Viejo, CA

DEC. 12: Drive-Through Food and Toy Drive. Help make holidays bright for those in need.

  • Norman P. Murray Community/ Senior Center, 24932 Veterans Way, Mission Viejo, CA

Through DEC. 20: Santa’s Village ‘Stop, Wave & Go’ – “Stop, wave & drop off a letter to Santa and Mrs. Claus.”

  • City Hall, 200 Civic Center, Mission Viejo, CA



DEC. 4: Decorating a Living Christmas Tree with Lauren Anderson. Livestream with expert horticulturist.

  • Online via Roger’s Gardens, 2301 San Joaquin Hills Road, Newport Beach, CA

DEC. 5: Crystal Cove Tree Lighting. Canceled.

  • Crystal Cove State Park, Pacific Coast Highway & Los Trancos, Newport Beach, CA

DEC. 5: Designing with Poinsettias with Nika Davis. Tips to give your home pop of holiday color.

  • Online via Roger’s Gardens, 2301 San Joaquin Hills Road, Newport Beach, CA

Through DEC. 11: Ring of Lights Waterfront Holiday Contest. Boat rentals available to view the displays.

DEC. 12: Roger’s Holiday Fresh Florals & Planted Arrangements with Shelley. An informative livestream on holiday florals.

  • Online via Roger’s Gardens, 2301 San Joaquin Hills Road, Newport Beach, CA

DEC. 13: Balboa Island Holiday Home Tour. Canceled.

Through DEC. 13: Community Toy Drive. Supports underpriviledged & special-needs children.

  • Chabad Center for Jewish Life Newport Beach, 2240 University Drive, Newport Beach, CA

DEC. 16-20: Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade: Virtual Viewing. Canceled.

Through JAN. 1: Lighting Of The Bay: Newport Dunes. Resort’s grand display can be viewed on foot or by car.

  • Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort, 1131 Back Bay Drive, Newport Beach, CA



DEC. 17: ‘Nochebuena’ Holiday Concert: Musco Center. Featuring Ballet Folklórico de Los Ángeles & Mariachi Garibaldi de Jaime Cuéllar.

  • Livestream via Musco Center for the Arts, 415 North Glassell, Orange, CA



DEC. 11-13: Jingle Bell Run For Arthritis Foundation. Annual event goes virtual for 2020.

  • Location: Anytime, anywhere, Orange County, CA



DEC. 5: SAMLARC’s Virtual Tree Lighting. Santa leads sing-along & countdown.

  • Online via Facebook with Rancho Santa Margarita Landscape and Recreation Corp., Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

DEC. 5-6: Santa & Photos: Plaza Antonio. Socially distanced, with free photos, carolers & giveaways.

  • Plaza Antonio, 22441 Antonio Pkwy., Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

Through DEC. 16: Be A Santa To A Senior. Brighten the holidays for local senior citizens.

  • Bell Tower Regional Community Center, 22232 El Paseo, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

Through DEC. 16: Senior Services Holiday Food Drive. Help stock pantries for homebound seniors.

  • Bell Tower Regional Community Center, 22232 El Paseo, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

Through DEC. 31: SAMLARC Holiday Stroll ‘Round Lake. Three dates include cocoa & treats!

  • Lago Santa Margarita Beach Club, 21472 Avenida De Los Fundadores, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA



DEC. 5: Santa’s Village By The Sea. Canceled.

  • Community Center, 100 N. Calle Seville, San Clemente, CA

DEC. 5-23:Casa Lumina Holiday Walk: Casa Romantica. Capacity is limited, so don’t delay on tickets.

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

DEC. 13: Chanukah Menorah Lighting: Pier. Register to secure a spot.

  • San Clemente Pier, Avenida Victoria, San Clemente, CA

DEC. 17: Chanukah Menorah Lighting: Outlets. Advance reservations only.

  • Outlets at San Clemente, 101 W. Avenida Vista Hermosa, San Clemente, CA



DEC. 5: ‘It’s A San Juan Christmas’ Drive-Thru Holiday Experience. Extravaganza starring Santa, entertainment & decorated cars.

DEC. 17: Musical Holiday Fun-raiser: Camino Real Playhouse. Featuring a great musical line-up.

  • Online via Camino Real Playhouse, 31776 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano, CA

DEC. 26: ‘Elf Crawl’ – Supports local eateries.



DEC. 5: Christmas Parade Caravan. Don’t miss Santa!

  • Route: Ocean & Electric Avenues, Main Street & The Hill, Seal Beach, CA

DEC. 7: Chanukah Drive-In Menorah Lighting. Chabad of Los Alamitos is relocating annual Seal Beach menorah lighting

  • In front of Los Almitos Race Track, 961 Katella Ave., Cypress, CA

DEC. 12: Drive-Thru Breakfast With Santa & Toy Drive. Ol’ St. Nick will be there, so bring your letters to Santa.

  • Marina Park, 151 Marina Drive, Seal Beach, CA



DEC. 12: Chris Daniels Project Pre-Holiday Show. An annual tradition at Cook’s Corner!

  • Cook’s Corner, 19152 Santiago Canyon Rd, Trabuco Canyon, CA



DEC. 6: Ugly Christmas Sweater Competition Drive-Thru. Dig out your best of the worst, and enjoy doughnuts & cocoa.

  • Tustin Ministry Center, 3002 Dow Ave., Tustin, CA




ALSO SEE: Holiday Cocktail Recipes To Make The Season Merry & Bright

This article originally appeared on the Orange County Patch

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