Tree Lighting Ceremonies in Orange County


November 16, 2011

Nothing rings in the holidays" quite" like a good ol' fashioned Christmas tree lighting. Here in Orange County, we may not have snow, but we like to go big anyway. That's why some of our most popular tree lighting ceremonies boast 90 foot trees and 70,000 lights. Check out the biggest tree lighting ceremonies happening in Orange County, and give the holiday season a bright start!

Tips for enjoying these events:

  • Dress warm. All lighting ceremonies take place after dark, and the weather can drop to the 40s and 50s, depending on the city.
  • If you are attending a ceremony with a snow play area, plan accordingly with boots and gloves.
  • Bring cash. Lots of these ceremonies will have yummy food and shopping from local vendors." 
  • Arrive early. All the ceremonies will have festivities prior to the lighting, so come early and have some fun, and then get a good seat for the tree lighting.
  • Bring your camera!
  • Do your research ahead of time and see if you can figure out where (or if) you can get free parking.

Tree Lighting Ceremonies:

South Coast Plaza Tree Lighting

Thursday, November 17, 2011

5:00 p.m.

South Coast Plaza makes the start of Christmas an event to remember with Santa's arrival and holiday music performed by students from the Orange County High School of the Arts. The lighting of their 96-foot Christmas tree is free to the public and is located at Town Center Park (686 Anton Blvd., next to The Westin South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa). More Info

Downtown Fullerton

Saturday, December 3, 2011

5:00 p.m.

Downtown Fullerton is throwing a Winter Market, with entertainment and pictures with Santa from 12:00 p.m. To 4:00 p.m. The tree will be lit at 5:00 p.m. Admission is free. More Info

Old Towne Orange

Sunday, December 4, 2011

3:30 p.m.

The city of Orange will be having an afternoon of carols with the Orange Community Master Chorale in the Old Towne Plaza Area. The festivities begin at 3:30 p.m. Admission is free. More Info

Brea Annual Tree Lighting

Thursday, December 8, 2011

6:30 p.m.

Head to the Brea Civic & Cultural Center for festivities, musical performances, and an appearance from Mr. and Mrs. Claus. KOST 103.5 will be broadcasting live holiday music and giving away prizes before and after the ceremony. Admission is free. More Info

Fashion Island Lighting Ceremony, Newport Beach

Friday & Saturday, November 18 & 19, 2011

6:00 p.m.

On Friday night, Mickey and his pals from the Disneyland Resort will be at Fashion Island to give an exclusive performance before the lighting of their stunning 90 ft. Christmas tree. Orange County's own Musical Theatre University will entertain guests prior to the Disney performance on Friday, and will return on Saturday as the main performance. The tree lighting will take place in the Neiman Marcus-Bloomingdale's Courtyard and is free to the public. More Info

Anaheim Nutcracker Festival

Saturday, December 3, 2011

10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

This Holiday Street Fair will take place at the Center Street Promenade and will include a lighting ceremony, snow area, free crafts and train rides for children, entertainment, and food. The tree will be lit at 5:45 p.m. Admission is free. More Info

Anaheim Disneyland Resort

November 14-January 8

Each night from November 14 through January 8, Disneyland lights their Main Street U.S.A. Tree, which glimmers with more than 70,000 lights and over 2,000 ornaments. In addition, each night at 8:45 p.m., catch the '€œBelieve... In Holiday Magic'€ Fireworks Spectacular in the skies over Disneyland park, and a '€œChristmas Fantasy'€ Parade down Main Street at 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. daily. As if that's not enough, some nights feature a Wintertime Enchantment Holiday Lighting happening at Sleeping Beauty's castle at 5:00 p.m., 5:15 p.m., 6:30 p.m., and 7:30 p.m. (check the calendar for exact dates). Don't miss the magical holidays at Disneyland! Visit for admission fees. More Info