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8 Fun and Free Things to Do in Costa Mesa During the Holidays

Posted on November 23, 2021 | 7:00pm | Travel Costa Mesa

8 Fun and Free Things to Do in Costa Mesa During the Holidays

Holiday events are happening in Costa Mesa. It’s the perfect time for a quick getaway, with hotel deals as low as $99! From the return of A Christmas Carol at South Coast Repertory to Night of Lights OC at OC Fair & Event Center, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Looking for some fun and free things to do during the holidays too? Check out these 8 family-friendly events!

Holidays Around the World 

Segerstrom Center for the Arts 5th annual Holidays Around the World celebrates holiday traditions from around the world with live performances from local music and dance groups, seasonal crafts and a snowfall on Argyos Plaza! There are two opportunities to see Holidays Around the World this year, December 4th and 11th.

Costa Mesa Art Walk Audio Tour

The Costa Mesa Art Walk Audio Tour showcases the sculptures around South Coast Plaza, Segerstrom Center for the Arts and South Coast Repertory. You can listen to the audio tour directly on your phone. During the holidays, you can also see the 90-foot South Coast Plaza holiday tree that has over 94,000 lights! The tree is located in Town Center Park.

Centennial Farm in Orange County Fairgrounds and Event Center on December 1, 2017. (Photo by Michael Goulding)

Discovery Day at Centennial Farm

Take the kids to a real working farm at OC Fair & Event Center for Discovery Day at Centennial Farm. Discovery Day has group activities such as radish seed planting for children to plant seeds to take to school, chick education to learn about the chick development process, oxen demonstration, cow milking demonstration and seasonal crops. Livestock includes pigs, goats, cows, poultry, sheep and rabbits. Visit Discovery Day December 1, 9 or 17. Both Discovery Day and parking are free!

Photo courtesy of The Makers Hive

The Makers Hive Market at The CAMP

The Makers Hive Market is a pop-up market with local makers and artisans, live music and photo ops. The CAMP is an eco-friendly retail campus with award-winning dining. Walk across the street to The LAB Anti-Mall for more small businesses and Instagrammable spots.

The Original OC Swap Meet

Everyone’s favorite swap meet returns to the OC Fair & Event Center! The Original OC Swap Meet has over 150 local small businesses. Find out why this is one of Travel Costa Mesa’s most asked about events November 27, December 11 and December 18. The event is free, but parking is $10.

Photo courtesy of Creative Babe Market

Creative Babe Market 

Shop over 100 local businesses, that are mainly women owned, at Creative Babe Market at OC Fair & Event Center on December 4th. You’ll find holiday gifts, hand-crafted items, seasonal items, home decor, clothing and even goodies for your pet. Traveling with kids? Enjoy family-friendly activities such as face painting, sensory kids workshop, live reading and signing with a children’s author, succulent wreath workshop and family photo ops. There will be lots of food and drinks available as well. 

Makeshift Muse Holiday Market 

Makeshift Muse Holiday Market at SOCO & The OC Mix is a curated pop-up market with 80 local makers. The event features live, local music and a food court. This event is $10, but will be waived for anyone that brings a toy or non-perishable food donation for the food and toy drive.

Photo courtesy of SOCO & The OC Mix

Holiday Story Time with Mrs. Claus

Small children will love Holiday Story Time with Mrs. Claus at SOCO & The OC Mix. Mrs. Claus will read stories and lead a holiday sing-a-long every Saturday from November 27 to December 18. Kids get to make and take home their own musical instrument, plus enjoy complimentary hot chocolate, seasonal treats and take photos with Mrs. Claus.  The event is free, but tickets are required.