Get Out and Enjoy Holiday Activities in Anaheim

With perfect temperatures, sunny skies, and a slate of holiday-themed events, it’s not hard to believe it’s the most wonderful time of the year in Southern California! 

You’ll find all kinds of holiday activities in Anaheim, from festivals to tree lightings and shopping to special performances. Our area has everything you need to enjoy a magical holiday season, so keep reading to find out how you can fill your calendar this holiday season.

Activities

Shows and Performances

Shopping

Opportunities to Share

Safe Celebration

See a Tree lighting

Kick off your holiday season right with a traditional tree lighting ceremony and festival.

Anaheim: On Saturday, December 4, Center Street Promenade will kick off the holiday season with its 27th Annual Nutcracker Christmas Tree Lighting and Holiday Shopping Village. The full-day event features performances, an international food fair, a holiday bazaar, and photos with Santa. There will also be free activities, including crafts, train rides, and snow. The activities culminate with the tree-lighting ceremony. 

Placentia: Our neighboring city hosts its Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony on Thursday, December 2, from 6 to 8 p.m. This event includes pictures with Santa, performances, and, of course, a magical tree lighting.

Garden Grove: You won’t want to miss Garden Grove’s annual Winter in the Grove on Saturday, December 4, at Village Green Park. From 3 to 7 p.m., this event features sliding on fresh snow and visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Then it ends with the GGCF Tree Lighting Spectacular. 

 

Take a Light Tour

If tree-lighting ceremonies aren’t your thing, but you love Christmas lights, you can find plenty of lit-up houses around the area. So hop in your car and enjoy a Christmas-light tour.

Anaheim Historic Colony Light Show: Watch the lights dance to the music at this award-winning Christmas light show.

Fullerton Light Show: Another winner, some call this the best display in all of Orange County. The lights are choreographed to 15 songs, and the show runs from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day.

Lights on Symphony Street: This homeowner has thousands of computer-controlled lights that dance to Christmas music at 1816 N. Symphony Street in Anaheim.

Lights in the Canyon: Catch another synchronized Christmas light show at 8382 E. Quiet Canyon Court in Anaheim.

Catch Holiday Activities in Anaheim and Beyond

There are even more than Christmas trees, lights, and performances this holiday season in Anaheim.

Breakfast with Santa: On November 27, Catal in Downtown Disney is hosting its annual Breakfast with Santa. Attendees get to meet Santa, receive a stuffed animal, take home a tasty treat, and more. Guests 10 and younger also receive a custom stocking! During the family-style breakfast, you’ll be entertained by Christmas carolers and drink hot cocoa (or mimosas if you’re over 21). Tickets for adults are $109.95, and children are $49.95. Kids two and younger are free.

Toys for Tots Car Show: Bring an unwrapped gift for a child in need, and then check out classic cars on display. This annual event is at 180 W Center Street Promenade in Anaheim on December 11.

Muzeo Express: This annual exhibit features holiday model trains, including Thomas the Tank, Radiator Springs, the Polar Express, and more. Watch the Muzeo website for more information, including dates and featured activities during the exhibition.

Fullerton Snow Day: Every year, Fullerton dumps snow into Brea Dam Park, 1700 N. Harbor Boulevard, for a day of sledding, snowman-building, snowball fights, and more! It also includes sled runs, crafts, games, and a snow-play area. Food trucks will be on site for snacks and lunch if you get hungry from all the snow play. And don’t forget to wear warm clothes and gloves! The cost for advanced tickets is $15 for Fullerton residents, $18 for nonresidents. Tickets at the door will be $18 for residents and $21 for nonresidents.

Holiday Festival: On December 19, head to the Muckenthaler Cultural Center at 1201 W. Malvern Avenue in Fullerton. This festival features live music, art workshops for kids, family-friendly activities, and an arts and crafts sale. The event goes from 12 to 4 p.m.

Living Nativity: For a more religious holiday season celebration, you can check out a live nativity at Village Bible Church in Garden Grove. Visitors can walk through Bethlehem and also watch a reenactment of the first Christmas. The live nativity will be open from 4 to 9 p.m. December 11–13. 

Christmas Train: Don’t miss your chance to ride Irvine Park Railroad’s annual Christmas Train! The train travels through the historic Irvine Regional Park before dropping off passengers at the North Pole to meet Santa. After taking pictures and sharing your Christmas list with St. Nick, you’ll hop back on the train, traveling through Christmas displays and a Tunnel of Lights back to the station. The train runs November 26 through December 23, from 4 to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends. The train station also transforms into Santa’s Village during the holidays with special activities. You can purchase activity tickets for $6 each or $80 for 15. 

Shows and Performances

If you’re looking for entertainment-related holiday activities in Anaheim, you won’t be disappointed. 

The Nutcracker: Watch Anaheim Ballet perform The Nutcracker, with music provided by Symphony Irvine. The full-length ballet features everything you know and love about The Nutcracker—Clara, menacing mice, the prince-turned-Nutcracker, brave soldiers, waltzing flowers, and more. It also includes updated staging to keep the performance fresh year after year. 

If you want to catch the Anaheim Ballet performance, you only have two chances this year: at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, November 27, at City National Grove of Anaheim. The venue requires proof of full COVID vaccination or a negative COVID test within 72 hours of the performance.

MistleTok Live: If you’re looking for something different to see this holiday season, then check out MistleTok Live. This family-friendly, interactive show features TikTok-verified Santa J. Claus and his TikTok friends. Watch as they try to find the holiday spirit with music, dancing, and stories. Again, proof of full COVID vaccination or a negative COVID test is required. The show is at 4 p.m. on Sunday, December 5, at City National Grove of Anaheim.

A Charlie Brown Christmas: You don’t need to scour the TV listings this year or search for a bootleg copy of this Christmas classic on YouTube. Instead, watch it live! Join Charlie, Lucy, Snoopy, Linus, and the rest of the gang as they learn the true meaning of Christmas. The show also features all the music you know and love from the cartoon—from Vince Guaraldi to traditional holiday carols. Catch the show at the Chance Theater; tickets are $25–$35.

Shopping

Online shopping makes it easier to check off all the items on your Christmas list, but there’s nothing like in-person shopping during the holiday season. So check out these seasonal markets for holiday activities in Anaheim and our neighboring cities.

Fullerton Winter Market: Every year, the Downtown Fullerton Plaza hosts a winter market on Wilshire Avenue between Pomona and Harbor. There will be free pictures with Santa, vendors with unique gifts, a beer and wine garden, face painting, and more. The best part of the event, though, is that it collects donations for the Spark of Love Toy Drive, hosted by Toys for Tots and the Fullerton Fire Department.

 

Christkindlmarkt: Enjoy a traditional German Christmas market at The Phoenix Club of Anaheim. There will be arts and crafts vendors, entertainment, German food, and a beer garden. This market is scheduled for November 28.

Sugar Plum Holiday Festival – This vintage market is host to over 165 exhibitors selling an eclectic mix of vintage, upcycled, chic, and handmade gifts and decorations.

Huntington Beach Winter Wonderland – This unique event offers visitors the chance to craft their own holiday decorations and buy holiday accessories, decor, clothing, and jewelry. There’s also a selection of great gourmet foods and candy. Don’t miss the chance to shop for some truly unique gifts—and maybe even make some of your own!

Opportunities to Share

Receiving gifts is great, but the true meaning of the holiday season is giving to others. If you have the means or the time during this special time of year, consider giving to those less fortunate so they too can feel the joy of this winter season. Here are some great volunteer opportunities in Santa Ana, CA.

Operation Santa Claus – Unfortunately, thousands of children in Orange County won’t be having a very merry Christmas without our help. This holiday season, donate toys and gifts to children and families in need. Last year, Operation Santa Claus distributed over 39,000 toys and gifts, bringing happiness and hope to our most vulnerable children in Orange County who wouldn’t have otherwise had much at all.

Volunteer with The Salvation Army – Whether you like to get out and interact with the community or work behind the scenes, the Salvation Army is the perfect place to volunteer. Dress up as Santa Claus and help collect donations with the jolly ring of your bell. If a red jumpsuit isn’t your style, you could help pick out gifts for kids or be a personal shopper for a family in need. 

Safe Celebration

While you’re out enjoying holiday activities in Anaheim, don’t forget about safety in your apartment. 

Holiday-scented candles can help you get into the holiday spirit, but they can also be dangerous. Every year, candles are responsible for an estimated 7,610 house fires, with Christmas being the peak day for candle fires. So if you decide to light a candle, please do it responsibly: Keep them at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn, and never leave them unattended. 

Also, consider your tree: Every year, firefighters respond to an estimated 160 house fires that started with Christmas trees. The cause is usually electric—lighting equipment, wiring, cords, etc. The National Fire Protection Association recommends replacing light strings if the cord is broken or worn, using lights listed by a qualified testing lab, never using lit candles on a tree, and turning off the lights before going to bed or leaving.

If you’re looking for holiday activities in Anaheim, you won’t be disappointed. There are festivals, tree lighting ceremonies, performances, incredible home light displays, and so much more!

We’d love to see your holiday fun! If you decorate for the holidays or try out one of the activities above, post a photo on social media, tag us, and use #TisTheSeasonAtAMC.

From all of us at Pacific Palms Apartments in Anaheim,
Happy Holidays!

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