California Christmas Events

Watch the Christmas boat parade in Newport Harbor.

Join over a million viewers as you watch beautifully decorated yachts, boats, kayaks and canoes sail along the harbor in the 97th Annual Newport Harbor Christmas Boat ParadeThe Christmas Boat Parade, which has been hailed as “one of the top ten holiday happenings in the nation” by the New York Times, is truly a magical holiday tradition for all ages. The parade continues to be a premier event during the holiday season in Southern California that brings joy and happiness to all that view it.
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irishlass said...

Go old-fashioned to the Victorian Christmas, Nevada City.

Victorian Christmas, the old-fashioned celebration held each year in this colorful California Gold Rush town, evokes holiday memories of an earlier era.

During the event, Nevada City’s landmark historic district is closed to motorized traffic and transformed back in time. Christmas melodies and costumed characters remind visitors of another time and place.

Holiday celebrants fill the streets, sampling the outdoor fare of friendly hawkers and vendors and food and goods offered by downtown restaurants and specialty shops. Victorian singers, bagpipers, a living nativity scene, a walking Christmas tree and visits with Santa Claus are among the attractions. Taste chestnuts roasted on an open fire and enjoy strolling minstrels, brass bands, hay wagon rides and much more..

A popular added holiday attraction is the annual Candlelight Tour of Historic Bed and Breakfast Inns in Nevada City and Grass Valley.

irishlass said...

In Sacramento, you should go to Sacred Heart Elementary School's Holiday Home Tour

Take a self-guided walking tour of six magnificent homes in Sacramento’s Fabulous Forties, decorated for the holidays by top interior designers and florists. The tour takes about two hours from start to finish.

The Fabulous Forties East Sacramento is home to a neighborhood that is affectionately referred to as the "Fabulous Forties." An area bound by J Street and Folsom Boulevard from 38th to 47th Streets, this historic neighborhood boasts wide avenues, sweeping green lawns and large, prewar (pre-WWI and pre-WWII) homes that have housed many of the city’s most prominent residents (including Ronald Reagan when he was governor.)

The neighborhood features grand old houses that were custom built in the early decades of the 20th century, when architects were looking to Europe for design inspiration. As a result, the Fabulous Forties is renowned for its eclectic "Revival" style architecture. Here you find a variety of dwellings: English cottages, Tudor-style homes, Dutch farmhouses, Mediterranean villas, and Craftsman bungalows. No two houses are the same.

Every year since 1973, residents of the Fabulous Forties have opened their homes to the public for the Holiday Home Tour, a self-guided walking tour that benefits Sacred Heart Parish School in East Sacramento. Thousands of visitors from throughout Northern California and Nevada and beyond come to see special homes and their architecture that create an extraordinary neighborhood.

Susan said...

Celebrate the holidays at Carols in the Caves. Whether in wine caves of Napa Valley, Sonoma, other regions of California wine country... in natural caverns, cathedrals, or other sacred settings, Cave Music features the silence, resonance, reverberation and echo of the pristine acoustical environment. Hear the cave. Experience the space. Go back in time.

Participating wineries include

Schramsberg Vineyards, Calistoga - America's First House of Sparkling Wine

Rutherford Hill Winery, Rutherford - Merlot with 94 points from Wine Spectator Magazine

Cliff Led Vineyards, S. Anderson

Pine Ridge Winery, Napa

Jarvis Winery, Napa

irishlass said...

Celebrate the Holidays with a spectacular Old English banquet at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite, The Bracebridge Dinner

Heraldic horns sound throughout Yosemite National Park's elegant Ahwahnee Hotel, calling guests to enter Bracebridge Hall. Come travel back through time to a Christmas of centuries past, where glorious music and sumptuous food are but part of America's best-loved holiday tradition.

In a manor hall with fifty-foot beamed ceilings and huge windows looking out to snow-clad mountains, this celebrated Yuletide extravaganza allows guests to travel to a Christmas that is rich in every aspect. In a perfect balance of the mystical mixed with mirth, this 3-1/2 hour holiday feast transports guests to old England as Squire Bracebridge welcomes all to "food and riches without measure, joining voices raised in festive sound. Let our conviviality abound!" A splendid array of singers, jugglers and court characters tell the story of Lord Merrick Bracebridge and his household, while guests are entertained and tended by an attentive Bracebridge staff.

Explore this captivating pageant of music and magic...


The 2006 Bracebridge Dinners will be held on December 15, 16, 18, 19, 21, 22, 24, and 26 at 6:00 pm.

Attendance at the Bracebridge Dinner is no longer by lottery.

How to get tickets
Bracebridge packages are available at The Ahwahnee, Yosemite Lodge at the Falls, Tenaya Lodge, and Wawona Hotel. Packages include 2-nights lodging for two adults, a voucher for a commemorative Bracebridge-themed ornament redeemable at The Ahwahnee Gift Shop, and dinner for two at the Bracebridge Celebration on the second night of your package. Please click on the links below to get more details about each package.

The 2006 Ahwahnee Package: $1,625

The 2006 Yosemite Lodge at The Falls Package: $1,135

The 2006 Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite Package: $1,027

The 2006 Wawona Hotel Package: $1,075

Dinner-Only Tickets: $345

For reservations, further information, and any possible restrictions, call 559-253-5604 or visit YosemitePark.com.

Anonymous said...

In Balboa Park, San Diego, they celebrate December Nights with over 250,000 visitors to the celebration.

irishlass said...


Join us for a Christmas Card Come to Life1

FOUR WEEKENDS & THE FRIDAY after Thanksgiving -- Friday, Nov 24th thru Sunday, Dec 17th --- In the San Francisco Cow Palace Exhibition Halls,

Anonymous said...

The seasonal splendor of the Glory of Christmas began with the goal of becoming a holiday tradition in Southern California. Today it draws visitors from around the world to witness its unique pageantry. Through the creative blend of Christmas carols, pageantry of live animals, flying angels and special effects, the nativity unfolds with colorful wonder.

Pre-recorded orchestration by the London Symphony Orchestra provides the musical backdrop for live performances by adult and child soloists. The Cathedral's world-renowned pipe organ also fills the all-glass structure with glorious sounds. Early reservations are required for good seating and dates. For reservations and more information call 714-54-GLORY

In 1980 the Crystal Cathedral was dedicated. In 1981 the beautiful living nativity, The Glory of Christmas premiered inside the first all-glass church.

The Cathedral seats 2,736 for church services-2,508 when holding the enormous Glory of Christmas set.

Installing the production set takes a month of preparation-including lighting load-in, angel track installation and rigging, as well as set construction.

Eight angels fly throughout both productions. Some fly as high as 80-feet and can travel as fast as 25 miles per hour.

The Cathedral's pipe organ has 287 ranks of pipes, 16,000 individual, 549 horizontal trumpet pipes in the East and West Balconies and 5,000 additional pipes in the South Balcony division, making it the largest collection of such pipes in the world.

More than 300 volunteers dedicate over 160 hours each to The Glory of Christmas as both cast members and volunteer ushers.

Animals play an integral role in the production's recreation of the ancient land. In The Glory of Christmas you will see three adult camels and a baby, six horses, a yak, a llama, a baby water buffalo and many sheep and goats.

Anonymous said...

Annual Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade, Squaw Valley, CA

This is a family favorite and a wonderful holiday tradition for all ages. Join us for this special evening as The Squaw Valley Ski School descends Squaw Valley's lower mountain in a brilliant parade of lights, finishing just outside the Plaza Bar. The Parade begins at aprox. 6pm.

your sis said...

Get outdoors for Christmas by joining up with the Marin Audubon Society for the Christmas Bird Count

The Southern Marin count circle is 15 miles in diameter and ranges from Terra Linda to Sausalito, and Bolinas to San Pablo Bay. Volunteers are assigned to 23 separate areas within this count circle and identify and record every individual bird within their area of this count circle. The compiler combines each area's total species and individual birds, and sends this on to National Audubon.

For those of you not familiar with Christmas bird counts, to quote from www.audubon.org/bird/cbc: "More than 50,000 observers participate each year in this all-day census of early-winter bird populations. The results of their efforts are compiled into the longest running database in ornithology. Simply put, the Christmas Bird Count, or "CBC", is citizen science in action. Up until the turn of the century, people commonly engaged in a holiday tradition known as the Christmas "Side Hunt". They would choose sides and go afield with their guns; whoever brought in the biggest pile of feathered quarry won. Conservation was in its beginning stages at the turn of the century, and many observers were becoming concerned about the indiscriminate slaughter of wildlife, and concurrent declines in bird populations. On Christmas Day 1900, ornithologist Frank Chapman, an early officer in the then budding Audubon Society, called for an end to the slaughter. He suggested that, rather than shooting birds, people count them instead. So began the Christmas Bird Count."

Thanks for your interest in Audubon's Christmas Bird Count.

The next and 107th Christmas Bird Count will take place between December 14, 2006 and January 5, 2007.

Check with Marin or your local Audubon Society for the date of the 2006 count.

Anonymous said...

AS WE TRAVEL BACK IN TIME TO 1941 on the Peral Harbor Troop Train

Ride along as we experience that “Day of Infamy” aboard our vintage railcar and celebrate America, our flag and our freedoms. Participate in our salute to America’s World War II heroes; watch and listen as veterans share the hopes, fears and uncertainty of the times. Honor those men and women who paid the ultimate price for the precious freedoms we often take for granted.

Help us salute our Guests of Honor, the brave Veterans who were there when Pearl Harbor erupted in flames, on December 7th, 1941. This is a rare opportunity to share the personal stories of these brave battle Survivors. Hear it just as they lived it.

These spirited men and women are now in their golden years, and growing fewer in numbers, daily. Sadly, we are now losing our WWII Veterans at the rate of 1165 a day! That means, the WWII era is quickly coming to an end. This is your opportunity to join us as we honor these wonderful patriots, to thank them for the freedoms we enjoy today.

This patriotic excursion is dedicated to all WWII veterans and those who served on the home-front. They demonstrated courage, strength of character and determination to win, while serving and sacrificing in their fight to defend freedom and our Republic. These are our Heroes.

Relive the styles and trends through the always popular and colorful WWII re-enactors, portraying civilian and military personnel of the 1940s era. Their vintage civilian attire and authentic military uniforms help to enrich the theme and delight the passengers.
You’ll love the personal narratives of the historic individuals they portray.

Trip Highlights:

Relive the 1940’s streamliner travel era
Flash back to the good old days with Christmas decorations of the 1940s
View the attack of Pearl Harbor from actual footage of the event.
Relive President Franklin Roosevelt's "Day of Infamy" speech.
Hear the story telling by Pearl Harbor Survivors
Visit with WW II Re-enactors.
Celebrate with Patriotic Music.
Relax to Holiday Music and old radio shows.
See WW II propaganda posters.
Enjoy the delicious foods of the War Years.
Savor a cup of Hot Mulling Spices.
Preserve this memory with a keepsake photo.
Have an Old Fashioned, Flag-Waving, good time
Enjoy a fresh haircut aboard the last operating railroad barbershop car (additional fee)
Prizes for ticketed passengers wearing the best 1940s costume

Newportlanding said...

For those of you that are interested in the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade for 2007, we offer tickets every night of the parade. This year the parade is from Dec 12 (Weds) to Dec 16 (Sunday). We have two cruises nightly and each cruise is in the parade. First trip departs at 5:45 PM and the second cruise departs at 8:00 PM. The weather is usually really nice and allow extra time for parking (especially Friday and Saturday night). Here is our christmas parade website http://www.christmasparadeboats.com/. Feel free to give us a call (949)-675-0551 with any questions or if interested in joining us on one of our cruises.