Ring in the most wonderful time of the year at one (or all!) of these festive holiday events in California.
Select dates through Dec. 23: The Teddy Bear Tea Party
An annual holiday tradition at The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco, The Teddy Bear Tea Party is ready to give children the ultimate magical experience in The Ritz-Carlton Ballroom. While children devour an exceptional tea experience of hot chocolate, scones, teddy bear sweet treats and assorted sandwiches, they will also enjoy live holiday performances from animated elves, live music, storytelling and a plush teddy bear to keep them company. Guests are also invited to bring a wrapped toy to place under the holiday tree to be donated to UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals. Tickets are $175 per person, with every $2 per ticket sold benefiting the Children’s Miracle Network and Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area. To learn more about The Teddy Bear Tea Party, visit ritzcarlton.com.
Now through Jan 1: Winter Wonder at Belmont Park
Belmont Park is making spirits bright this holiday season at its fourth-annual beachside Winter Wonder spectacular now through Jan. 1. The holiday event in California will feature festive rides and attractions, including the Giant Dipper Roller coaster, mini golf, Candy Cane Lane go karts, balloons from Buddy from Elf, face painting and a holiday-themed escape room. When guests aren’t enjoying the rides, they can stroll through the park and take in ice sculptures, twinkling light displays and enjoy live music from carolers. To learn more about Winter Wonder at Belmont Park, visit belmontpark.com/winterwonder/.
Now through Jan. 1: Lakeside Ice Skating and Polar Express Hayrides
Lakehouse Hotel & Resort is going all out this holiday season with a lakeside ice skating rink and Polar Express hayrides happening now through Jan. 1. Bundle up and head onto the rink for a lakeside ice skating experience or enjoy a nostalgic Polar Express hayride through the hotel’s grounds that have been seasonally decorated from top to bottom. Admission varies depending on age and attraction but starts at $3 for little ones. To learn more about the Lakeside Ice Skating and Polar Express hayrides, visit lakehousehotelandresort.com.
Now through Dec. 22 : Holidays at One Paseo
The holidays are finally here, and One Paseo in San Diego is ready with a lineup of festive happenings. The agenda includes a tree lighting ceremony of the shopping center’s 30-ft. Christmas tree on Nov. 26; a Holiday Moonlight Cinema night on Dec. 10, where visitors can enjoy classic Christmas movies under the stars with blankets, snacks and warm sips; Cocoa with Santa for the little ones on Dec. 18, with meet and greets with Ol’ St. Nick, hot cocoa, phot -ops and more; and a special Menorah lighting ceremony on Dec. 22 featuring live music, kosher bites and a candle lit for every Hanukkah night. To learn more about the holidays at One Paseo, visit onepaseo.com.
Nov. 25 to Dec. 23: Holidays at The Forum
The Forum in Carlsbad is going all out for the holidays this year with a lineup of seasonal events from Nov. 25 to Dec. 23. Guests who visit can expect to enjoy the 20th annual tree-lighting celebration on Dec. 2, Winter Wonderlights, a festive light show with magical snowfall from Dec. 3 to Dec. 17 and opportunities to visit Santa in the garden daily. To learn more about Holidays at The Forum, visit theforumcarlsbad.com.
Nov. 25 to Jan. 1: Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Join Universal Studios in Los Angeles for an unforgettable Christmas celebration at Hogwarts. The magic castle has been turned into a winter wonderland, complete with light projections, seasonal decor and live entertainment from some familiar frogs. Be sure to grab a cup of warm butter beer to keep you warm while you stroll the grounds, shop for a loved one and bask in the surprise festivities the night holds. Tickets are included in the annual theme park admission. To learn more about Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, visit universalstudioshollywood.com.
Nov. 29: Tree Lighting Ceremony at The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco
To kick off the holiday season, The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco, is hosting the hotel’s annual Tree Lighting Ceremony on Tuesday, Nov. 29. The event will be hosted by Liam Mayclem and Betty Yu of KPIX-TV CBS and one of the Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area children. The ceremony will feature live entertainment with Dickens-era carolers and trumpeters, the legendary tree lighting at the hotel’s porte-cochère, complimentary refreshments and photo opportunities with Santa Claus. The holiday event in California is free and open to the public. To learn more about the Tree Lighting Ceremony at The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco, visit ritzcarlton.com.
Dec. 1 to Dec. 25: Holidays at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay
Guests can revel in the magic of the coast this winter season with the joyous holiday lineup happening at the five-star luxury resort, The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay. The festivities will include Dickens-era costumed carolers singing holiday classics throughout the resort, a unique Xbox and PlayStation experience and showings of some of your favorite holiday movies. The holiday fun is only available to resort guests and will run from Dec. 1 to Dec. 25. To learn more about Holidays at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, visit ritzcarlton.com.
Dec. 10: Holiday Maker’s Market
The family-owned spot, Invita Café, is offering some holiday cheer with a Holiday Maker’s Market on Dec. 10 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The market will be a festive shopping extravaganza with 50-plus vendors, one-of-a-kind goodies, live music, raffle prizes and much more fun. To learn more about the Holiday Maker’s Market, visit invitacafe.com.
Dec. 24: L.A. County Holiday Celebration
The Emmy Award-winning L.A. County Holiday Celebration has officially returned to spread holiday cheer with its free holiday spectacular. The holiday event in California has been running since 1959 and will once again delight both the in-person audience at The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and an at-home audience watching the live broadcast on TV. The show will feature 20 music ensembles, choirs and dance companies from L.A. Admission is free, and you can catch the show on Saturday, Dec. 24. To learn more about the L.A. County Holiday Celebration, visit musiccenter.org.