Best Christmas Activities for 2021 in Orange County

Looking for some cool sights to see during the month of December? 2020 was a difficult year with many things being shut down but because of that, new activities opened up like drive-thru Christmas lights which turned out to be very fun! With more things being opened up for 2021, more people than ever are looking to get outside and see these beautiful holiday decorations. We are fortunate to have lots of fun options here in Orange County and the surrounding area. Here's a list of some of our favorites!

  • Holidays At The Harbor
  • Holidays At The Harbor
  • Holidays At The Harbor
  • Holidays At The Harbor
  • Holidays At The Harbor

Dana Point Harbor

November 17th - Early January

Take a drive along Dana Point Harbor to see some beautifully decorated trees! You'll also want to park near Dana Wharf Whale Watch to walk around for some great photo ops. These lights will be on from November 17th until early January.

34675 Golden Lantern
Dana Point, CA 92629

  • Dana Point Boat Parade
  • Dana Point Boat Parade
  • Dana Point Boat Parade

Dana Point Christmas Boat Parade

December 10th - December 12th

Starts at 7:30 on the 10th and 11th, 6:00 on the 12th

Dana Wharf Whale Watch

Come watch Christmas lights in a different way during the Dana Point Christmas Boat Parade! Find a spot along the harbor and watch decorated boats go by. You can be a part of the parade by booking a trip aboard Dana Wharf Whale Watch who has boats in the parade. This tickets will sell out far in advance so make sure to plan for this. While you can view the parade from pretty much anywhere in Dana Point Harbor, the best spots are from the bridge and the headlands.

34675 Golden Lantern
Dana Point, CA 92629

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Hakari - A Festival Of Lights

November 26th - December 30th

4:30pm-10:00pm

Hikari at Tanaka Farms

A cozy Wagon Ride around the festively lit farm that will take you to the “Land of a Thousand Lanterns” and once off the wagon, you will have the opportunity to wander through the light displays, with photo opportunities throughout. After the wagon ride, make your way down to the “Gingerbread Forest!”

Use promo code "ocoutdoors" for discount

5380 3/4 University Dr
Irvine, CA 92612

  • Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade

Huntington Harbour Boat Parade

December 11th - 12th 5:15pm

Huntington Habour Boat Parade

Come out to watch beautifully decorated boats travel through Huntington Harbour

  • Irvine Park Railroad Christmas
  • Irvine Park Railroad
  • Irvine Park Railroad

Irvine Park Railroad

November 26th-Decmber 23rd

Irvine Park Railroad

‘Tis the season for Irvine Park Railroad’s annual Christmas Train. Come with family and friends and take this enchanting ride through historic Irvine Regional Park to meet Santa Clause. The train will depart from the train station and drop passengers off at the North Pole. Children can share their wish list with Santa and have their photo taken with him too. You may take pictures with your personal camera or you may purchase a photo taken by Irvine Park Railroad.

After visiting with Santa, hop back aboard the train and enjoy the colorful Christmas lights and decorations, as well as the magical “Tunnel of Lights”, on the ride back to Santa’s Village.

1 Irvine Park Rd.
Orange, CA 92869

  • Christmas at Irvine Spectrum
  • Irvine Spectrum

Irvine Spectrum

November 26th - January 2nd

Irvine Spectrum

Come ice skate under the stars next to the beautifully decorated 75 foot Christmas Tree and the giant Ferris wheel. The Christmas tree will feature a choreographed light show every 30 minutes after 5:00pm each night.

Irvine Spectrum Center
Irvine, CA 92618

  • Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade
  • Schedule
  • Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade
  • Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade
  • Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade
  • Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade

Newport Beach Boat Parade

December 15th - 19th starting at 6:30pm each night

Christmas Boat Parade

Watch beautifully decorated yachts, boats, kayaks and canoes sail along the harbor in the 113th Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade. Beginning at Marina Park, the route will take the parade all along Newport Harbor, typically ending around 9:00pm each night. This is a massive boat parade with amazingly decorated yachts. During the parade, you may want to talk a walk around Balboa Island to enjoy the houses as well. You can also be a part of the boat parade by booking a tour with Davey's Locker or Newport Landing which will also take you around the harbor to see the decorated houses.

309 Palm St.
Newport Beach, CA 92661

  • Newport Dunes Lights
  • Newport Dunes

Newport Dunes

November 26th - January 1st

A great photo op, hang out bay side with floating decorations scattered throughout the bay.

1131 Back Bay Dr.
Newport Beach, CA 92660

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Night Of Lights

November 26th - January 2nd

Night Of Lights OC

A magical and interactive winter wonderland drive-thru experience presented by Winter Fest OC, returns to the OC Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa to provide the Southern California community with a safe, family-friendly holiday celebration. The Night of Lights OC experience guides guests through a mile-long drive-thru course filled with more than one million lights, themed holiday scenery and immersive vignettes, animated light shows, snow flurries and tunnels synchronized to music, special effects, even more interactive characters including Santa.

88 Fair Dr.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

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South Coast Plaza Tree

November 18th

The 40th annual tree lighting will host musical performances and more, located in Town Center Park in front of the Westin Hotel. This 96 foot white fir tree holds 94,000 lights and makes for great photo ops! What's also special about this location is that it's typically not crowded (besides during the tree lighting) and makes for a relaxing atmosphere.

686 Anton Blvd.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

  • Villa Park Boat Parade
  • Villa Park Boat Parade
  • Villa Park Boat Parade
  • Villa Park Boat Parade

Villa Park Boat Parade

December 12th at 5:00pm

How is there a boat parade in a place where there's no water? Come out to Villa Park on this night to see beautifully decorated boats driving by on trailers! It's a very unique and cool experience.

For more info and map, visit Villa Park Boat Parade

18042 Taft Ave.
Villa Park, CA 92681

  • Peltzer Pines
  • Peltzer Pines

Peltzer Pines

November 20th - December 20th

Peltzer Pines

Come pick out a tree and have it cut fresh right in front of you! This really is so much better than buying a pre-cut tree from your neighborhood store. These trees will last longer and be more fresh since they were growing right up until the time you picked it out, other trees you buy at lots have been cut and shipped weeks before arriving at the lots. This is a family owned business who have been operating this farm since 1963.

7851 Black Star Canyon Rd.
Silverado, CA 92676

San Clemente Pier

San Clemente Pier

Take a peaceful walk on San Clemente Pier and enjoy a Christmas tree and decorated lifeguard tower

San Clemente Pier
San Clemente, CA 92672