Whether you want to kick off the dazzling Christmas season early or wait until December is in full swing, discover a variety of tree lighting events in and around Anaheim to make your holiday season magical. Later in December, find even more fun events when Hanukkah begins on December 22 with menorah lighting ceremonies and activities for kids. Don’t miss the many sparkling ways to celebrate with community in Orange County.

November 21 – 38th Annual South Coast Plaza Tree Lighting

Experience a 90-foot white fir tree brilliantly decked out with over 94,000 colorful LED and strobe lights. The Segerstrom family continues its annual tree lighting tradition at South Coast Plaza’s Town Center Park. Enjoy complimentary seasonal drinks and holiday entertainment, including a live band and carolers. Santa Claus will even make an appearance. 

November 22 and 23 – Fashion Island Tree Lighting

Discover a magical start to the holiday season at Fashion Island in the Neiman Marcus/Bloomingdale's Courtyard. Before they light the 90-foot fir tree, enjoy a performance by The Young Americans and a magical snow experience. Santa will also make a visit before he settles into his custom house on the Atrium Lawn where he’ll stay from November 22 through December 24. 

November 29 – Cool Yule Christmas Tree-Lighting Ceremony

Enjoy holiday carolers and a singing Santa Claus as they light a 30-foot tree. The Second Annual “Cool Yule” Tree Lighting Celebration at Pasea Hotel & Spa will welcome visitors with complimentary hot cocoa and cookies. Afterwards, enjoy vendors, giveaways and crafts.

November 30 – 29th Annual Lighting of the Bay

Experience magic on the water at the free Newport Dunes’ 29th Annual Lighting of the Bay celebration. One lucky kid will get to help Santa Claus flip the switch and light up over 50 electric Christmas trees. Discover school choirs, crafts, cookie decorating, train rides and a live performance by The Tijuana Dogs. There will also be an outdoor holiday movie.

December 1- Hometown Heroes Christmas Tree Dedication

Join the families of Southern California’s military heroes for a free event at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda on Sunday, December 1 at 12 pm. Dozens of Gold Star families will be given personally inscribed ornaments honoring their families who have lost their lives while in service. The free program will be led by award-winning actor Joe Mantegna and include a performance from the Band of the California Battalion.

December 5 – Night of 1,000 Lights in Corona del Mar

The sixth annual Nights of 1,000 Lights returns this holiday season to the Sherman Library and Gardens in Corona del Mar. For 12 nights this December, experience a dazzling wonderland of bright lights, including a magical light tunnel. Enjoy hot chocolate and s’mores around the bonfire before visiting with Santa Claus.

December 7 – Capistrano Lights Opening Night

Experience the Mission San Juan Capistrano during one of the most magical times of year. Wander through the historic grounds when they are lit up with holiday lights, 10 Christmas trees and a 10-foot-tall LED Christmas wreath. Other activities include cookie decorating, musical performances and a chance to take a selfie with Mr. and Mrs. Claus. If you can’t make it December 7, you can still enjoy the Capistrano Lights and nightly tree lighting from December 8 to January 6.

December 8 – Nutcracker Christmas Tree Lighting & Holiday Village

Downtown Anaheim celebrates its 25th annual Nutcracker Tree Lighting and Holiday Village on December 7. Experience all-day festivities include international food fair, holiday shopping and family-friendly activities kicking off at 10 am. Enjoy the free snow play area, crafts and live entertainment before the tree lighting ceremony at 6 pm.

December 22 - Menorah Lighting at the Outlets of San Clemente

Begin Hanukkah with a family-friendly celebration from 4-5 pm at the Outlets of San Clemente that includes entertainment for children, balloons, traditional activities, hot latkes, doughnuts and gelt, plus a magic comedy show by the famous Abbit the Average. This event will take place in the Oak Tree Court and is sponsored by the Chabad Jewish Center of San Clemente.

Dec. 22 – Dec. 30 - Hooray for Hanukkah at the Pretend City Children’s Museum

Pretend City Children’s Museum is celebrating Hanukkah every day beginning Sunday, December 22 at 10 am through Monday, December 30 at 4pm. Different activities are planned each day, including songs, stories, games and art. Visit their website for more information. Admission is $13.75 each. Pretend City Children’s Museum, 29 Hubble, Irvine, CA 92618