November 17, 2015

Top 5 Family-Friendly Holiday Attractions In Orange County 2015

Family travel guide for Southern California top 5 family friendly Holiday attractions in Orange County
So you are planning to visit Orange County this holiday season? Great choice! There's lots of Family fun in California during the holidays, from California attractions and California activities, to endless hours of beachside relaxation. Orange County is an especially magical place to visit during the holidays. From spectacular Christmas parades, to extravagant tree lightings, Orange County has festivities that will delight the whole family! Here are a few local events that you don’t want to miss!

1. Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade of Lights
Date: Wednesday December 16, 2015 – Sunday December 20, 2015
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm

This is the grandaddy of all Christmas events in Southern California. Imagine rich hues of light reflecting in the bay–salty ocean air merging with restaurants’ outdoor dining. Join over one million other spectators to view 200 ships, boats, and duffy’s glistening with elaborate landscapes of glowing lights. Newport Harbor comes alive with color and music with some entrants spending over $50,000 to earn honors in the parade. For children, this magical event is a must-see, and, if you’re anything like us, you adults will love it as well.

2. Irvine Park Christmas Train

Date: November 27th – December 23rd
Time: Nightly

Take an enchanting night ride through historical Irvine Park, on a Christmas train that departs from the brightly lit station and finishes at the North Pole. Upon arrival, children can share their Christmas wish list with Santa, and take pictures with the jolly old man. After visiting, hop on board the train and ride back through the glittering “Tunnel of Lights” to Santa’s village where kids can:
  • Make Cookies
  • Bounce in Santa’s Bounce House
  • Listen to Story Time with Mrs. Claus
  • Ice Fish
  • Enjoy tasty Food
  • Explore Christmas Carnival Games
An evening in Irvine is sure to delight the whole family! Learn more here.

3. Dana Point Harbor Boat Parade Of Lights
Date: Friday, December 11 & Saturday, December 12 • Friday, December 18 & Saturday, December 19
Time: 7:30pm

This holiday season, stop by Dana Point to experience a wonderland in the sea. On two weekends, holiday lights electrify the world famous harbor, as boaters from all around Orange County decorate their seafaring craft and compete for awards and cash prizes. Come see for yourself who’s display is the Most Colorful, has the Best Animation, or takes the cake for Best Sailboat! Better yet, take a boat ride and join the parade for yourself! With Galactic themed boats and the whole harbor aglow, children and adults alike are sure to be entertained and delighted. Learn more here.

4. Puttin’ On the Glitz
Date: Saturday, November 28th, 2015
Time: 5pm – 10pm

San Clemente knows how to throw a party! Enjoy an evening of local entertainment, food, beverages, and shopping complete with Santa Claus, roasted chestnuts and carolers! Experience San Clemente’s holiday best, and enjoy connecting with village locals. Learn more here. Need a place to stay?

5. 21st Annual Nutcracker Christmas Tree Lighting
Date: Saturday December 5th, 2015
Time: 10am – 7pm

Travel to Anaheim December 15th, for a full day of holiday cheer! Participate in age-specific activities during the day, be entertained with performances from the Loara Band, Anaheim ballet, and various choirs, and experience the massive 50-foot tall Christmas tree twinkle to life as dusk falls.
  • Free Kid Craft Activities
  • Family Music Show
  • International Food Fair
  • Free Snow Play
  • Free Train Rides
  • Unique Gift Shopping
  • Free photos with Santa
  • And Much More!!
If you have a family with young children, this day trip was created with you in mind! Sit back and relax knowing your kids are going to be pleased! Learn more here.

*Bonus*: Mission Viejo Christmas Tree Lighting
Date: Friday, December 4, 2015
Time: 6pm – 8pm

Don’t miss out on this holiday experience for the whole family! Be dazzled by 94 dancers from the South Coast Freestyle Dance Company entertaining with “The Storybook Nutcracker,” and enjoy a rich musical performance by the St. Killian Choir. Music, dance, laughter, and holiday lights are sure to put you in a festive spirit! Learn more here.

While these are a few of our favorite holiday attractions, Orange County offers a wealth of other tree-lightings, amusement park festivities, and christmastime events! Need help deciding where to stay or what to see? Give us a call!

Planning a vacation around the holidays can take a lot of time and effort. That’s why, at Beachside Vacation Rentals, we don’t just manage properties; we’re also here to help you plan your perfect getaway. Give us a call at 800-408-1822 or email us at to talk about California lodging and your vacation planning. We look forward to listening to your vacation dreams and assisting you in finding the perfect location, vacation home, and activities for you and your holiday guests!
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