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5 Magical Holiday Events in Southern California

Christmas Tree Decorations

Gigantic light displays, dancing Nutcrackers, a magical Frozen party on ice, magnificent voices and jaw-dropping aerial artists, the holiday season has arrived and events are beginning all around Southern California.With so many choices, it can be difficult to decide which ones will be best at putting you in the holiday spirit. Here’s a list of our 5 favorite holiday events or productions in southern California. All family-friendly and all full of magic and good cheer, I can guarantee you’ll be singing holiday tunes all the way to Christmas and into the New Year.

5 Magical Holiday Events in Southern California

Dana Point IlluminOcean
November 27 – January 3
Location: Dana Point Harbor
IlluminOcean LightTunnel

Dana Point’s IlluminOcean, presented by the The Resorts of Dana Point, will electrify the world famous Dana Point Harbor with 40 nights of holiday lights. With over one mile of larger-than-life seas sculptures and moving light tunnels dotting the coastline, every step is sure to enchant, excite, and electrify your night. Throughout the city, colorful banners will also herald the new holiday spectacle, as lighted trees, decorated lamp posts and an entrance light sculpture that will lead visitors from Pacific Coast Highway to the event festivities. Stroll through the colorful collection of immersive attractions, every step is filled with vibrant sights and sounds.

Festival Ballet Theatre: The Nutcracker
December 12 – December 24th
Location: Irvine Barclay Theatre
Magical Holiday Events in Southern California - The Nutcracker

Bursting with energy and excitement, Festival Ballet’s enormously popular production charms audiences of all ages. Set to the timeless music of Peter Tchaikovsky, The Nutcracker tells the story of Clara, a young girl who receives the gift of a nutcracker soldier from her mysterious godfather – and then the magical journey begins! Family-friendly and affordable, this full-length, traditional production is choreographed and directed by Festival Ballet Theatre’s Artistic Director Salwa Rizkalla, and features spectacular guest artists, FBT’s professional company dancers, and exceptional young talent from across the Southland.

Disney On Ice – Frozen
December 9th – December 14th
Location: Staples Center, LA
Magical Holiday Events in Southern California - Disney on Ice - Frozen

Enter a fantastical winter wonderland beyond imagination at Disney On Ice presents Frozen. The heartwarming Academy Award-winning tale is now live and on ice. Be magically whisked away to wintry Arendelle by dazzling special effects and astonishing skating as you sing and dance along to inspiring songs including “Let It Go.” Join royal sisters Anna and Elsa, the hilarious snowman Olaf, Kristoff, and Sven as they journey to discover that true love is the most magical power of all! This unforgettable celebration of love and friendship will leave your family with memories to last a lifetime.

Tis the Season – Pacific Chorale
December 20nd – December 21th
Location: Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa
Pacific Chorale's Tis the Season

John Alexander brings the holidays to life in a musical extravaganza featuring the magnificent voices of Pacific Chorale, joined by members of Pacific Symphony Orchestra, angelic children’s voices, and a special guest from the North Pole. It’s one of Orange County’s most beloved traditions! Bring the whole family to meet ours, and let us help set the mood for your Christmas festivities with tidings of comfort and joy!

A Cirque Christmas
December 18 — December 19, 8:00 p.m.
Location: Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Costa Mesa
A Cirque Christmas

A delightful Christmas concert for the whole family: Holiday tunes add a special sparkle to this jaw-dropping fusion of acrobats, aerial artists, contortionists, dancers, jugglers and strongmen who perform their cirque acts while Pacific Symphony provides a joyous soundtrack perfect for the most wonderful time of the year.


Please add to the list if you know of other magical holiday events in southern California.

Happy Holidays!

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