A Very SoCal Holiday

Dreaming of a white Christmas? In Southern California, we rarely get snow but we are guaranteed to soak up the sun in the salty air. Our holiday season is unique and we make sure we enjoy our little slice of paradise. Whether you are new to the area, or looking to move to Southern California, we’ve got you covered. From San Diego to  Los Angeles – there are events happening everywhere, from Ventura all the way down the Southern California coast.  

SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration 

Seaworld Christmas Celebration Christmas Tree Decorated During The Day
Seaworld Christmas Celebration Christmas Tree. Source: Yelp.

A tradition since 1969, SeaWorld’s Christmas Tree of Lights is Southern California’s largest Christmas tree – it is a sight to behold once it’s lit. Classic shows like Clyde and Seamore’s Christmas Special and the Dolphin Island Christmas show will be playing this year for families to enjoy. There is so much to participate in and see, all in a safe and fun way. Make sure you get in quick, as the festivities end on January 2, 2022.

The Tournament of Roses Parade

Tournament of the Roses
Tournament of the Roses. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Coined the main flower parade on the planet, the Tournament of Roses Parade has been viewed by millions of people world-wide since 1890. The parade itself actually started before the Rose Bowl, which came along 12 years later. Considered one of America’s most famous New Year Celebrations, the Tournament of Roses Parade includes floats decked out with beautiful flowers, marching bands, and a ton of entertainment. Don’t miss this event happening in Pasadena starting January 1st, 2022.  

The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa Festival of Lights 

Mission Inn Lights
The Mission Inn Festival of Lights. Source: Wikimedia Commons.  

With their holiday spirit intact, the owners of Mission Inn have been giving this gift to the Southern California community for 29 years and what a gift it is! They have the world’s largest man-made mistletoe and over 4 million lights. The entire town of Riverside is decorated and it is quite a sight to see! The Festival of Lights commences the day after Thanksgiving and continues for six weeks until January 6th, 2022. While there will not be a formal lighting ceremony this year due to COVID-19, it is still one of Southern California’s must-sees over the holidays. 


Disneyland Railroad at Christmas Time
Disneyland Christmas Time. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Disney has a way of making the happiest season even happier. If you haven’t seen Disneyland during the holidays, you are missing out on a one-of-a-kind experience. They decorate the entire theme park – they even have “snow” falling down on Main Street. Festivities continue through to January 9, 2022. Go see the 60-foot-tall Christmas tree or check out their “A Christmas Fantasy” parade. And don’t miss Santa Claus at the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail. If you have children, or if you want to feel like a child again, you have to go to Disneyland over the holidays.  

113th Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade & Holiday Lights Cruises 

Lights strung up

The New York Times called the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade of Lights “one of the Top Ten Holiday Events in the country”.  The Bayfront estates compete over the month of December for the best holiday décor & light displays, called the Ring of Lights. This event started after Thanksgiving and will continue until January 2, 2022. Get in quickly and book your cruise through the harbor to see it illuminated with millions of lights and witness all the holiday-themed estates.  

The Holiday Bowl 

Petco Park on a Clear, Sunny Day
Petco Park hosts this years San Diego Holiday Bowl. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

It has not been announced which college football teams will be playing in what is officially called the “San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl”, a postseason NCAA Division football game. We do know that the game will be played December 28, 2021 at 5 pm. Since it is now being played at Petco Park, the addition of bleachers in the right field and the standing room only areas will allow approximately 50,000 people to attend. The teams will be selected from the Pac-12 Conference and the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). 

What are your holiday traditions that you celebrate?