Southern California Holiday Events 2019 – Fall/Winter Activities List

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Southern California Holiday Events 2019

The 411 on Southern California Holiday Events in 2019

The best Southern California Holiday Events are just around the corner! From ice filled plaza’s to millions of holiday light bulbs, we’ve compiled some of the So Cal’s favorite Holiday Activities.

Riversides 27th Annual Festival of Lights

DOWNTOWN RIVERSIDE, CA | Fri. Nov. 29, 2019 – Mon. Jan. 6, 2020

Riverside Festival Of Lights
Visit the Festival of Lights at the Mission Inn in Downtown Riverside – (Watchara Phomicinda/SCNG)

The beloved Southern California tradition recently named “Best Public Holiday Lights Display in the Nation” by USA Today creates a magical, Disneyland-like experience in the heart of Riverside and attracts more than 500,000 visitors from all over the world each year, commencing with the famous “Switch-On” Ceremony, a spectacular event in which the castle-like hotel is instantly illuminated with 5 million holiday lights followed by a full fireworks display.

Highlights of Festival of Lights include 200 animated figures including angels, elves and Dickens carolers; appearances by Santa Claus, the world’s largest man-made mistletoe, horse-drawn carriage rides, elf tuck-ins, freshly fallen snow, elaborately decorated Christmas trees; and delectable holiday confections at the famous Casey’s Cupcakes, among other festive offerings.

Sawdust Annual Winter Fantasy Festival

LAGUNA BEACH, CA | Sat. November 23rd – Sun. December 22nd

Sawdust Annual Winter Fantasy Festival
Sawdust Annual Winter Fantasy Festival

The Sawdust Winter Fantasy Festival is a Family Friendly Festival you won’t want to miss! Featuring 180 artists and makers, 3 stages of live music, holiday-themed festival classes and ceramics, art demonstrations, daily visits with Santa, carolers, a petting zoo, marionette shows, falling snow, thousands of lights and decorations for your perfect festive photo ops, outdoor cafes and saloon, and so much more!


  • Glassblowing and more art demos
  • Photos with Santa in Towne Square where it snows!
  • Marionette puppet shows
  • Petting zoo
  • Balloon art, magic acts and more for children
  • Complimentary pottery wheel experience and ceramics are free to take home
  • Complimentary holiday-themed art and craft classes for all ages
  • 15 Community Christmas trees decorated by local organizations


Learn More | Buy Tickets

Winter Fest OC 2019

COSTA MESA, CA | Thu. December 19th – Sun. January 5th

Featuring ice tubing down an 9 lane, 150 foot mountain, 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 in the middle of Winter Fest OC, 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 so much more.

Learn More | Buy Tickets

Holiday Painting Events

RIVERSIDE, CA | November – December

Holiday Painting Party in Southern California with The Paint Sesh
Holiday Painting Party in Southern California with The Paint Sesh

The Paint Sesh offers several all ages as well as 21 and up Painting Events. Whether you’re looking for a  family friendly event, or a girls night our or date night situation, they have just the sesh for you! Join one of their holiday themed step-by-step instructional paintings while in the company of friends and family. Once finished, everyone gets to go home with a one of a kind personal creation, the perfect holiday gift for those with bare walls!

Just Birchy Acrylic Painting


“Just Birchy”

Paint & Sip Event

 Riverside, CA

TuesdayNovember 26, 2019  7:00pm to 9:00pm
$35  |  More info » |   BOOK NOW
Winter Morning Painting Class


“Winter Morning”

Paint & Sip Event

 Riverside, CA

TuesdayDecember 3, 2019  7:00pm to 9:00pm
$35  |  More info » |   BOOK NOW
Snowy Night Acrylic Painting Class


“Snowy Night”

Paint & Sip Event

 Riverside, CA

WednesdayDecember 4, 2019  7:00pm to 9:00pm
$35  |  More info » |   BOOK NOW
More Holiday Painting Classes

Queen Mary Christmas

LONG BEACH, CA | Fri. November 29th – Wed. January 1st

Queen Mary Christmas in Long Beach, CA
Queen Mary Christmas in Long Beach, CA

The Queen Mary invites one and all to embrace the holiday spirit at Queen Mary Christmas, returning November 29, 2019 – January 1, 2020 on select dates. Start your adventure at the outdoor North Pole Village with ice skating at the True North Ice Rink circling a 26-ft Christmas tree, then jump aboard the QM Express Train or the Grand Carousel for more festive fun. Enjoy a sweet treat or libation as you watch live entertainment on the outdoor stage before climbing aboard the Queen Mary to stroll through the tree-lined decks and take in the dazzling decor.
Learn More | Buy Tickets

Universal / Knotts Merry Farm / Disney

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA | November – December 31st

Universal Studios Holidays
Share memorable holiday traditions with your friends and family at Universal Studios Hollywood from November 28 – December 29. Get into the spirit as you enjoy the Park adorned with holiday decorations, holiday-themed food, characters, photo opportunities, exclusive merchandise, and more!
Learn More | Buy Tickets

Knotts Merry Farm Charlie Brown ShowJoy is in Season at Knott’s Merry Farm on select days in November – January. As the perfect thing to do for the Christmas season, Knott’s Merry Farm provides an awesome backdrop for your family’s holiday memories with a park transformation that surrounds you with the glorious sights, sounds, and scents of the holiday season.
Learn More | Buy Tickets

Disneyland Holiday EventsExperience the Most Magical Time of Year with Celebrations Throughout Both Parks—from November 8, 2019 to January 6, 2020!
Learn More | Buy Tickets

Follow Chris:

Artist / Owner @ The Paint Sesh

I'm an Illustrator, Painter, Photographer, Sculptor and jack of many trades.. I just like to create. What's your creative escape?

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