Best 2021 Holiday Activities and Events Near Santa Ana, CA

It’s that time of year again! The air is cooling down (well, by Southern California standards), the yummy seasonal smells and flavors are all around us, and all of the fun holiday activities are coming up! The excitement and cheer that accompany the holiday season are unlike anything else!

Here in Santa Ana, California, we are surrounded by countless holiday activities and events! Orange county is flooded with things to do during this special time of year! If you want to make the most of your holiday season this year, you are in luck! Here are the best holiday activities and events in Santa Ana and the surrounding areas.

Activities

Shows and Performances

Shopping

Opportunities to Share

Safe Celebration

Activities

Plaza Navideña: Kick off your holiday season at this annual community event! The Plaza Navideña takes place in the heart of downtown Santa Ana on Saturday, November 20, at Plaza Calle Cuatro. Gather with the Santa Ana community as we celebrate the upcoming holiday season with a tree lighting ceremony, entertainment, and tasty treats! This event is completely free of charge, so gather your loved ones and embrace the local holiday spirit. 

Swedish Christmas Fair: For an event that is a little different from the norm and that will give you a Christmas experience from a different culture, check out the Swedish Christmas Fair. This Fair is put on by the Swedish Women’s Education Association and is a unique and memorable holiday activity! Come and experience this cultural holiday event, only on Sunday, November 21, in Huntington Beach.

Turkey Trot OC 5K 2021: Don’t let the overeating from your Thanksgiving feast get the best of you! Come join the eighth annual Turkey Trot Orange County 5k located at the Orange County Rescue Mission in Tustin! This is a great way to get out, enjoy some fresh air, get some good Thanksgiving Day exercise, and spend time together as friends and family. Make sure to register ahead of time using this link between October 1 and November 23 at 12 noon. There will be no day-of registration. Get ready now so you can be ready to run!

Hikari – A Festival of Lights: The Hikari Festival of Lights is guaranteed to be a beautiful and memorable experience for you and your family! In Japanese, Hikari means “shine,” a fitting name for this festival that shines with over a million twinkling lights! Take a walk through the amazing “Gingerbread Forest” filled with music, food, art, photo opportunities, a chance to meet Santa, and, of course, lots of lights! You can also go for a ride on the “Holiday Wagon!” The Hikari Festival is truly spectacular and something that you won’t want to miss! The 2021 season will begin November 26.

Holiday Home Tour: Head over to Floral Park in Santa Ana for this one-day-only activity! Tour the historic homes, beautifully decorated for the holidays, on November 13. Make sure to register beforehand using this link. This activity will be paradise for holiday lovers and home decor lovers alike!

Knott’s Merry Farm: We all know how fun Knott’s Berry Farm can be, but by throwing in a little holiday magic, there is so much more to enjoy! Beginning November 19, “Knott’s Merry Farm” will fill the park with holiday lights, decor, food, treats, activities, and more. This experience will be fun for the whole family and will fill your holiday season with happy, magical memories. Take a sneak peek of Knott’s Merry Farm by watching this teaser video!

Science of Gingerbread: Alright, it’s time to bring out your competitive side for Southern California’s largest gingerbread house contest! This competition will run from November 20 through January 2, so make sure you enter to compete or check out the incredible submissions. Anyone is welcome to compete, and family participation is encouraged. Click here to see 2019’s winners for some inspiration and an idea of what you may be going up against! Contact the Discovery Cube Orange County for additional information!

Breakfast with Santa: Let’s be honest: Seeing kids light up when they get to talk to Santa is about as cute as it gets. This year, the city of Tustin is hosting a breakfast with Santa! At this activity, not only can your kids meet Santa, but they can spend the whole morning with him! The breakfast will take place all day on December 11, 2021. Take a look at Tustin City’s website for additional information as this event comes closer.

Christmas Together 2021: Get into the true holiday spirit by giving back! On December 18, 2021, gather together with the families of Orange County in this incredible, large-scale toy drive! By participating in Christmas Together, families will also join in a fun celebration, including games, food, entertainment, and more. This year, the goal is to collect 20,000 toys, so come and be a part of this day to remember! 

Disney Merriest Nites: Where are our Disney lovers at? Here in Santa Ana, we are so lucky to live so close to Disneyland! During the holiday season, Disneyland is decked out with holiday decor and the holiday spirit! There is also the exciting opportunity to attend Disney Merriest Nites, a series of after-hours holiday celebrations at the park! Check out the website for more information about these fun events hosted by Mickey and his friends! Additional holiday festivities are also celebrated frequently throughout November and December, so be on the lookout for all that the Disney Park has to offer!

Shows and Performances

A Magical Cirque Christmas: Have you ever seen a real-deal cirque performance in person? If you haven’t, you are missing out! Lucky for you, some of the world’s greatest performers are coming to a city near you—and in holiday style! Come and experience the awe of these breath-taking cirque performers in A Magical Cirque Christmas! The performance will occur on December 26, so mark your calendar for this incredible experience!

Concordia Christmas: Repeat the Sounding Joy! – Every year, Concordia University puts together a spectacular Christmas concert, including vocals, instruments, and even handbells. Enjoy nostalgic carols and Christmas favorites, both new and old. This event is a popular Christmas tradition, and Concordia’s Christmas Concerts sell out every year, so don’t delay! Get your tickets soon!

The Beautiful Day: Kurt Elling Sings Christmas – Put a little jazz in your Christmas this year with a performance by Grammy-winning performer Kurt Elling. His holiday performance consists of a mix of traditional and contemporary Christmas songs. Whatever traditions and beliefs you hold about the holiday season, you’ll feel the magic and peace of this special time of year while listening to the vocals of Kurt Elling this holiday season!

Shopping

There’s something so exciting about getting gifts for your loved ones! The hardest part is waiting to see their reaction when you give it to them! Here in Santa Ana, there are many great places to shop. For some new ideas of places to shop, here are a couple shops to check out this holiday season!

Christmas Holiday Boutique and Day of the Horse Event: This boutique and event are hosted by the Free Rein Foundation. On December 11, stop by and get some great holiday shopping done while also participating in games and activities, eating at the food trucks, seeing the beautiful holiday horses, and more! The Free Rein Foundation rescues, rehabilitates, and rehomes abused horses, and the work that they do is incredible. Come participate in this fun shopping event and learn more about this amazing foundation!

Tanaka Farms Christmas Tree Farm and Holiday Market: Have you ever experienced the charm of a tree farm during the holiday season? Well, it is truly magical and an experience that you need to try this year! At Tanaka Farms, not only can you purchase the perfect Christmas tree, but you can purchase wreaths, poinsettias, garlands, holiday banners, holiday decor, and much more! Be sure to check out the beautiful Tanaka Farms for your holiday shopping needs! 2021 dates and information coming soon.

Opportunities to Share

Receiving gifts is great, but the true meaning of the holiday season is giving to others. If you have the means or the time during this special time of year, consider giving to those less fortunate so they too can feel the joy of this winter season. Here are some great volunteer opportunities in Santa Ana, CA.

Christmas Together 2021: Get into the true holiday spirit by giving back! On December 18, 2021, gather together with the families of Orange County in this incredible, large-scale toy drive! By participating in Christmas Together, families will also join in a fun celebration, including games, food, entertainment, and more. This year, the goal is to collect 20,000 toys, so come and be a part of this day to remember! 

Operation Santa Claus – Unfortunately, thousands of children in Orange County won’t be having a very merry Christmas without our help. This holiday season, donate toys and gifts to children and families in need. Last year, Operation Santa Claus distributed over 39,000 toys and gifts, bringing happiness and hope to our most vulnerable children in Orange County who wouldn’t have otherwise had much at all.

Volunteer with The Salvation Army – Whether you like to get out and interact with the community or work behind the scenes, the Salvation Army is the perfect place to volunteer. Dress up as Santa Claus and help collect donations with the jolly ring of your bell. If a red jumpsuit isn’t your style, you could help pick out gifts for kids or be a personal shopper for a family in need. 

Safe Celebration

We all love the warmth and smells that candles bring into our homes, especially during the holiday season! However, it is important to note that, on average, 21 house fires are started from candles every day! To avoid this, be careful when and where candles are lit, and be sure to keep them supervised at all times. You could also consider using electric candles, and wall plug-in scents to create the same atmosphere in a safer way.

Christmas trees too can create a potential fire hazard. Make sure you keep your live Christmas trees watered to avoid it becoming dry and easier to catch on fire. Also, make sure it is nowhere near an open flame and that you keep the lights off when you are not at home. Additional Christmas tree safety tips can be found on Huffpost’s website. Following these candle and Christmas tree safety tips will help you to have a safe and happy holiday season!

In Santa Ana, CA, there are endless opportunities to have fun and make memories throughout the holiday season and year-round! If you are looking for a place in Santa Ana to call home, our apartments at Park Plaza could be the perfect place for you!

We’d love to see your holiday fun! If you decorate for the holidays or try out one of the activities above, post a photo on social media, tag us, and use #TisTheSeasonAtAMC.

From all of us at Park Plaza Apartments in Santa Ana,
Happy Holidays!

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