It’s quite literally the most wonderful time of the year and holiday events abound in and around Newport Beach. Here’s our curated selection of festive fun to help you celebrate through movies, theater, food and more:
Photos with Santa at Fashion Island
- When: Now through Dec. 24 at 12 a.m.
- Where: Fashion Island (401 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach, CA 92660)
It’s that time of year again! Young visitors at Fashion Island can meet with Santa to share holiday wishes and take a photo at his custom-designed house on Atrium Lawn through Dec. 24. Be sure to share your photos on Instagram with #FashionIsland, so the team at the chic shopping center can see (and potentially repost).
“It’s A Wonderful Life” Annual Showing at Lido Theater
- When: Dec. 14-17
- Where: Lido Theater (3459 Via Lido, Newport Beach, CA 92663)
In the cannon of holiday cinema, “It’s A Wonderful Life” earns its spot (or wings) as one of the most angelic Christmas classics. Watching the 1946, Frank Capra-directed movie, starring James Stewart and Donna Reed, is a perennial family tradition for many, and the good people at Lido Theater in Newport Beach know it. The beloved film will play at Lido Theater from Friday, Dec. 14 through Monday, Dec. 17, shown at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. each day. And, as an added bonus of festive, film-wise cheer, on Saturday, Dec. 15 at 6 p.m., moviegoers can hang out with Santa, listen to carolers sing holiday tunes and sip on free hot cocoa before the 7 p.m. showing of It’s A Wonderful Life begins.
28th Annual Winter Fantasy
- When: Dec. 15-16, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
- Where: Sawdust Art Festival (935 Laguna Canyon Rd., Laguna Beach, CA 92651)
Hosted by Sawdust Art Festival, the 28th Annual Winter Fantasy features 182 artists and makers, three stages of live music and entertainment, glassblowing and art demos, hands-on pottery wheel and festival classes, falling snow and holiday photo-ops with Santa, thousands of Christmas lights, decorations and Xmas trees, outdoor eateries, cafes, festive saloon offerings, and so much more! Ticket prices are: Adults – $8; Seniors- $6; Kids, 6-12 -$4; Under 5- Free. Military and three members of their family get in for free. Click here for the full schedule of events.
Second Annual Holidays Around the World
- When: Dec. 14-23
- Where: Julianne and George Argyros Plaza at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts (600 Town Center Dr, Costa Mesa, CA 92626)
Experience the Julianne and George Argyros Plaza transform into a winter wonderland during the second annual Holidays Around the World celebration! Enjoy nightly snowfall, live performances, festive activities, and free holiday fun for the entire family.
The Nutcracker by Ballet Repertory Theater
- When: Dec. 14-16, 21-24
- Where: Goldenwest College Mainstage Theater (15751 Gothard Street at Center Avenue, Huntington Beach, CA 92647)
Orange County’s longest-running Nutcracker is the ultimate feel-good family tradition! Enjoy Ballet Repertory Theatre’s cherished 42-year-old tradition of bringing beloved holiday music to life with nearly 300 performers in dazzling costumes. Click here to purchase tickets.
The Nutcracker at Segerstrom Center for the Arts
- When: Dec. 14-23
- Where: Segerstrom Center for the Arts (600 Town Center Dr, Costa Mesa, CA 92626)
The Kingdom of sweets comes to life with swirling snowflakes and mice-battling soldiers. Set to Tchaikovsky’s eternally magical score, American Ballet Theatre’s highly acclaimed production of The Nutcracker appeals to all ages. Click here for tickets to see The Nutcracker!
Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade
- When: Dec. 19-Dec. 23, 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
- Where: The parade begins and ends at the tip of Lido Isle but see full viewing schedule here
It’s the most wonderful time of the year … to see Christmas boats! The 110th Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade (perennially voted one of the best boat parades in the nation) will be a nautical, festive extravaganza! The first and last day of the event always feature a fireworks show over either Balboa or Newport Pier and each night is hosted by a grand marshal. This year’s lineup of grand marshals includes: Albert Pujols, first baseman for the Los Angeles Angels (Dec. 19); Newport Beach Hometown Heroes: Firefighters and Lifeguards of the Year (Dec. 20); The Young Americans (Dec. 21); A Christmas Celebration with Olive Crest (Dec. 22); and Corona de Mar High School Drumline (Dec. 23). Visit christmasboatparade.com for more information.
Winter Fest OC
- When: Dec. 20-Jan. 6
- Where: OC Fair & Event Center (88 Fair Dr, Costa Mesa, CA 92626)
Experience Southern California’s largest winter festival, featuring ice tubing down an 8-lane, 150-foot mountain; a massive snow play and slide area with separate areas for toddlers and kids with fresh snow blown in daily, ice skating on SoCal’s largest outdoor ice rink under the stars. The event also features a nightly Christmas tree lighting celebration with a parade of the Winter Fest OC characters, fireworks and snow flurries, plus a not to be missed experience with Santa and his reindeer flying over the fairgrounds through Christmas Eve, an all new Alpine Village with a new light maze and new wintery attractions, over 20 carnival rides and attractions, festive entertainment, seasonal eateries, visits with Santa and more. Visit winterfestoc.com for additional information.
Breakfast with Santa at Malibu Farm
- When: Dec. 24, 11 a.m.
- Where: Malibu Farm, Lido Marina Village (3420 Via Oporto, Suite 101 & 3416 Via Oporto, Suite 104)
One for the kids … Enjoy a fun-filled, festive breakfast with Santa at brand-new Malibu Farm in Lido Marina Village! No reservations required.