Newport Beach goes all out for Christmas. Maybe we’re overcompensating for our sunny skies and plethora of palm trees. Whatever the reason, we are NOT complaining, because Newport Beach’s December holiday activities dish out the holiday spirit like no Hallmark movie ever could.
Newport Beach’s Christmas Boat Parade
It’s Newport’s premier event of the year!
If you’ve never seen the Christmas Boat Parade, here’s the best way to describe it: it’s like Disney’s Electric Light Parade but nautical. A staggering fleet of boats, yachts, sailboats, and dinghies are festooned in lights, garlands, blow-up characters, and fake snow and then paraded around the whole of the harbor. Music blasts, holiday well-wishes are swapped, all while hordes of onlookers gather along the shores of the harbor to witness the spectacle. We can confidently say there’s nothing like it. Don’t miss out on this holiday extravaganza!
CLICK HERE for more info.
Holiday Ring of Lights
You’ve Never Seen Homes so Bedecked with Holiday Glitz!
Not to be outshone by the Boat Parade, Balboa Island, a small residential island on the Newport Harbor, hosts an island-wide decoration contest. The result? House after house plastered with Christmas gear. We’re talking lights, animatronic Santas with acrobatic elves, fake snow, reindeer, carolers, everything you could ever want for a festive excursion. We recommend grabbing a cup of hot chocolate and walking the island’s perimeter (a 1.5 loop) for the best-of-the-best holiday homes.
Lots of Happenings at Lido Marina Village
This waterfront shopping village has transformed into Santa’s headquarters!
We recommend all our guests visit Lido Marina Village at any point in the year. Its boutiques, coffee shops, book stores, and restaurants are just too SoCal chic to pass up. But during Christmas, things only get merrier. All month long, Lido Marina Village is home to Santa sightings and photo ops (he arrives on a boat Dec 3rd!), cookie decorating classes, live music (including a brass ensemble), pop-up markets stuffed with one-of-a-kind gifts and stocking stuffers, character meet-and-greets from the Sugar Plum Fairy and Drummer Boy..the list goes on and on.
Check out the full itinerary HERE.
The Christmas Indoor/Outdoor Boutique at Roger’s Gardens
Makes for the Perfect Afternoon Excursion!
Don’t worry – you won’t be the first person to visit Roger’s Gardens’ just to sight-see. Their holiday boutique features room upon room of sparkling Christmas displays and mountains of holiday merchandise. In fact, we’d call their boutique more of an art installation than a Christmas store. Stroll through their multi-acre gardens, relax with some refreshments at their farm-to-table restaurant, and enjoy an afternoon in your own North Pole fantasy.
Winter Fest OC
Frolic through the Miles of Lights and Holiday Magic!
OK, we admit, sometimes beach life requires you to cosplay the winter season. For that, we go to Winter Fest, a giant complex with all the winter fun you could want! We love coming here with the whole family to ice skate, ride the 150ft-long ice slide, snap pictures in their light installations (which are bedecked in over a million lights!), all while snow machines pump out enough fake snow to make you think you’re somewhere much colder. Winterfest makes for the perfect evening outing with the kids and we promise it won’t disappoint.
Get Your Tickets HERE
Winter Fantasy at Laguna Beach’s Sawdust Festival
Newport’s Neighbors are Festive, too!
Just a quick drive down the Pacific Coast Highway is Laguna Beach, a quiet and artsy coastal town that just so happens to host their own holiday wonderland. An entire artisan village transforms into Santa’s workshop incarnate. Under the eucalyptus trees, you’ll find rows of handmade goods for sale, from blown glass to jewelry, sculpture, fine art, and knitwear. Pair this with live music, food vendors, and Santa meet-and-greets, and you’ll have everything you need for celebrating the winter season in sunny California.
CLICK HERE for more info & tickets
Christmas Cheer is 90-Feet Tall at Fashion Island
Newport’s premier shopping center is a sprawling outdoor complex with – of course – a view of the Pacific. For Christmas, they import a 90-foot behemoth of a Christmas tree and cover every square inch of it with baubles and bangles. We love coming here during this time of year because the atmosphere is just so festive! Every evening between now and January 2nd, the tree comes to life with snowfall, music, and a light show. It’s the perfect destination to get a healthy dose of Christmas spirit.
CLICK HERE for more info
Newport’s Food Scene Has Gone Festive
Tuck into these seasonal menus!
If you’ve ever been to Newport Beach, you know the grub is good. But it’s a little scandalous how many of our restaurants turn it out for the holiday season with winter-centric menus and flavors. Whether it’s breakfast at Rye Goods, an organic, locally-sourced bakery that implements warm winter fruits and spices in their newest winter bakes or dinner at Lido Bottle Works, with an award-winning menu full of seasonal specials, festive, fantastic food seems to be served on every corner of town!