There is no denying the fact that a Newport Christmas will always be warm and sunny. But that doesn’t mean Christmas cheer still isn’t in the air!
If you are searching for breathtaking light displays over the water or a festival that’s perfect for the whole family, you have come to the right place. Let’s take a look at the little things you can do in Newport Beach for Christmas.
Always remember to double-check dates, opening times, and weather conditions before traveling.
Dig Into The top things to do for Christmas in Newport Beach, CA
Casa Lumina Holiday Walk
We are starting off our list with a stroll through the Casa Lumina Holiday Gardens at the Casa Romantica Gardens. Tickets for this fantastic light display are available from early-mid December and range from $8-$12, depending on if you are already part of the gardens membership.
There is something incredibly special about the holiday walk, which is, it’s not just limited to Christmas! Throughout the month, they have different crafts and snacks to celebrate many different holidays, including Chanukah, Bodhi Day, and Kwanza. Overall, it is an excellent learning opportunity for all!
Among the activities and refreshments, you will also find live performances every night to enjoy. It is such a wonderful experience to walk around and hear the music while taking in the lights and atmosphere as you enjoy the gardens, this is an experience you cannot miss!
Nights of 1000 Lights
After a brief glimpse into Sherman Library and Gardens in the previous Newport article, let’s see what Nights of 1000 Lights is all about at Sherman Gardens. The tickets for this event sell out fast, and it’s no wonder why!
The festival is not only about the lights; there are aerial silk performers, a fairy themed forest, and even S’mores available! There are so many surprises to be found here that it is worth having a number of visits over the holiday season to truly see all the things there are to offer!
Another wonderful thing to do in Newport for Christmas is to check the Capistrano Lights display. This event is an opportunity for you to have a look at the historic Mission San Juan Capistrano, which dates back to 1776! The Capistrano Gardens and Chapel are decorated for the Christmas season with a wondrous display that dazzles visitors and chapel members alike.
As part of the festivities, there will be a tree lighting, Carolers, prayer candles, and surprise performances. There’s no doubt that this is one of the most meaningful light displays you’ll ever see. It’s truly among the best Newport Beach Christmas Lights! The lights run throughout the whole month of December on select evenings, and tickets are available for $19 each.
Hikari – A Festival Of Lights
Tanaka Farms is a family run farm in Southern California located a few miles off the coast of Newport Beach. The farm offers many activities throughout the year, such as pumpkin picking in the fall, flower and melon picking in the summer, and wagon rides with the Easter bunny!
However, it is really at Christmas that Tanaka Farm has a real opportunity to shine. I can honestly say that the Hikari Festival of Lights is a once in a lifetime experience that you don’t want to miss! There is a wagon ride you can take around the farms that allows you to view the absolutely stunning light display that they have set up right up close!
As soon as your wagon ride is over, you will be dropped at the ‘Land of a Thousand Lanterns’ and you will be directed to the Gingerbread Forest… where you will find food, live performances, arts & crafts… and best of all, you will be able to get pictures with Santa!
Every year Hikari runs from the beginning of November through the end of December, and I absolutely recommend that you check it out with the entire family! Tickets start at just $20 for the gingerbread forest.
Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade
One of my absolute favorites from this list is the annual Newport Beach Holiday Boat Parade. For over 100 years, this parade has been dazzling spectators and giving the true feeling of Christmas cheer. The parade lasts throughout the evening so it’s wise to grab a spot early and camp out until late into the night.
There’s many different ways to enjoy the parade, including booking a boat trip with local companies, which not only puts you right in the middle of the parade and getting the closest view of the other boats, but gives you a wonderful view of all of the decorations on nearby businesses and homes as well! Last year, I had gotten a hotel on the parade route and didn’t regret it!
The parade dates fluctuate from year to year, but usually runs for three nights in mid-December. This is definitely worth checking out and is an unforgettable experience all around!
A Christmas Carol
Onto one of the more unique offerings on our list, this yearly production of ‘A Christmas Carol’ from the South Coast Repertory Theatre! A new addition to 2021 and likely moving forward is founding member Richard Doyle playing the role of Scrooge.
For lovers of the Charles Dickens story, this play certainly won’t disappoint! The play runs from early in November to right after Christmas each year and is a huge treat to young ones and adults alike.
We should also make note that a child under 6 years of age will not be allowed in the theater as of 2021, so planning ahead for that is recommended.
Winter Fest OC
Lastly, but certainly not least, we have the Winter Fest OC. Taking place at the Orange County Fairgrounds, this is the place to go if you want to immerse yourself in the Christmas spirit everywhere at once! This is a must-see event running all the way through December and into January!
This delightful festival has a lot to offer, such as the ice skating rink in a frozen pond, the lighting of the Christmas tree every night, ice tubing, Santa meet and greets, and more! This is another place I recommend stopping by more than once to make sure you have seen everything they have to offer!
The pricing for weekday tickets starts at $13, and a season pass is $25, which provides you with access for the full amount of time the event runs! In 2021, however, they will only be doing Night of Lights events, which you will have to go through in your car, but it is still an incredible event that will not disappoint!