Costa Mesa, CA, USA

Travel Costa Mesa Blog

10 Not-To-Miss Holiday Events in Costa Mesa

Posted on December 2, 2019 | 9:52am | Travel Costa Mesa

We love the holidays in Costa Mesa! It’s the perfect time to spend with loved ones and make memories together. Get into the holiday spirit with these festive holiday events. Make it a weekend getaway with our holiday hotel packages!

Holidays at South Coast Plaza

Visit Santa at Santa’s Village & The North Pole November 22 through December 24 in the Macy’s Home Store Wing of South Coast Plaza. There are crafts and activities for children. Photo packages available starting at $15, or bring your own camera for $10. You can also ride the Reindeer Carousel in Carousel Court or Santa’s Express Train in the Macy’s Home Store Wing for $1.

Holidays by Design

Stop by SOCO & The OC Mix on Saturdays from November 30 to December 21 for Holidays by Design. Listen to live music while you shop and dine at The OC Mix. There’s also storytime with Mrs. Claus, followed by art and crafts. Each week features a different storybook and craft project to take home. The event is free, but tickets are required for storytime.

The Polar Express

The Polar Express comes to Costa Mesa on December 7 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Kids can ride the train, write letters to Santa and get their pictures taken with him too. There are also other fun activities like face painting, cooking decorating and ornament making. This event is free.

A Christmas Carol

The 40th annual South Coast Repertory production of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” is a holiday tradition. Step back in time to Victorian-era London as Tiny Tim, the Cratchit family and  the Ghosts of Christmas past, present and yet-to-come teach Ebenezer Scrooge the meaning of Christmas. See Hal Landon Jr. take his final bow as Scrooge November 30 to December 24. Tickets are limited.

Snoopy House

The Snoopy House display, now in its 50th year, attracts an estimated 80,000 visitors annually. See the Peanuts gang as they celebrate the holidays, enjoy live music and train rides for kids. Children and families can also get their photos with Santa, who visits nightly at 6. Snoopy House is available for viewing from 5:30-9:00 p.m. December 13-22 at Costa Mesa City Hall. This event is free.

The Nutcracker

Costa Mesa has three productions of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” this holiday season! “The Nutcracker” for Kids, with two performaces on December 7, is a shortened version featuring a grand finale sing-along and a visit from Santa. There are also free activities at each performance including an instrument petting zoo and opportunities to meet Pacfic Symphony musicians. 

With an impressive cast of over 100 performers, the American Ballet Theatre production will have sugar plum fairies dancing through your head. The featured performers alternate, so be sure to check the schedule before booking your tickets. The ABT “The Nutcracker” runs from December 13-22.

The Duke Ellington Orchestra will dazzle audiences with Duke Ellington’s “Nutcracker” on December 15. Arranged by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, this performance combines the Tchaikovsky score with the jazz. The Duke Ellington Orchestra is the only ensemble carrying on the tradition directling from Duke Ellington.

Holidays Around the World

The Julianne and George Argyros Plaza becomes a winter wonderland for “Holidays Around the World” from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. December 14-15. Live performances celebrate global holiday traditions like Chinese lion dance, Indian Bollywood dance, German holiday folk dances and Mexican ballet folklorico and more. The festivities also include rides on the Holiday Express train, seasonal crafts and snowfall. This event is free.

WinterFest OC

Did you know you can ice skate and watch snowfall in the heart of Orange County? Returning for its fifth year, Winter Fest OC brings a magical winter experience to the OC Fair & Events Center from December 19 through January 5. The immersive event includes a Victorian village, ice skating trail, carnival rides, entertainment and visits by Santa. This year, there’s also Winter Fest After Dark with drink specials, live music and more. 
There are so many holiday events in Costa Mesa that we can’t fit them all into one blog. To find all the events, check out our calendar. You can also download our Visitor Guide for more things to do and see in Costa Mesa and Orange County. Stay for more festive fun with our holiday hotel deals.