100 Family Friendly Holiday Events in Southern California!

100 Family Friendly Holiday Events in Southern California!

South Coast Plaza (2013) 03

By Arunravi.signs

Christmas is upon us and to help kick off the holiday season, I have compiled a list of 100 Family Friendly Holiday Events in Southern California!

So grab your coat, pack up your family in the car and head on out to one of these wonderful events happening across the southland this holiday season.  There is sure to be something for everyone; from attending a traditional tree lighting ceremony to joining a Handel’s Messiah Sing-Along to meeting Santa’s reindeers at The Los Angeles Zoo!

Happy Field Tripping from all of us at SoCal Field Trips!


Inland Empire:

Santa’s Big Entrance & Tree Lighting Ceremony, Big Bear (Nov. 28)

Corona Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony, Corona (Dec. 7)

Snow Day @ The Shops at Dos Lagos, Corona (Dec. 13)

2014 Holiday Gingerbread House Night @ Valle Vista Community Center, Hemet (Dec. 16)

Hemet Christmas Parade, Hemet (Dec. 6)

Candy Cane Making Demonstration @ Logan’s Candies, Ontario (seasonal)

Trans-Siberian Orchestra in Concert @ Citizens Business Bank Arena, Ontario (Nov. 29)

Ride The Christmas Train @ The Orange Empire Railway, Perris (Dec. 7, 13, 14, 20,&  21 )

Magical Snow Fall in Chaffey Town Square @ Victoria Gardens, Rancho Cucamonga (Weekends Nov. 14 – Dec. 21)

Christmas DC-3 Airplane Flights Over Riverside @ The Riverside Municipal Airport, Riverside (Nov. 28 – 30)

The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa Festival of Lights, Riverside (seasonal)

Sounds of the Season Concert @ The Fox Performing Arts Center, Riverside (Dec. 6)

Visit Santa Clause @ The San Bernardino Public Libraries, San Bernardino (throughout Dec.)

Breakfast With Santa @ The Valley Wide Recreation Center, San Jacinto (Dec. 13)

Breakfast With Santa @ Community Recreation Center, Temecula (Dec. 13)

Pennypickle’s Winter Wonderland @ Pennypickle’s Workshop Temecula Children’s Museum, Temecula (Dec. 12)

Santa’s Electrical Light Parade, Temecula (Dec. 5)

Orange County:

Holidays at The Disneyland Resort, Anaheim (Nov. 13 – Jan. 6)

Olaf’s Frozen Ice Rink @ Downtown Disney, Anaheim (Nov. 13 – Feb. 22)

Eagle Hills Christmas Lights, Brea (seasonal)

Knott’s Merry Farm, Buena Park (Nov. 22 – Jan. 4)

A Christmas Carol @ South Coast Repertory, Costa Mesa (Nov. 28 – Dec. 27)

Christmas Fantasia Concert presented by Vanguard University @ Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa (Dec. 2)

Handel’s Glorious Messiah presented by The Pacific Symphony @ Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa (Dec. 14)

How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical @ Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa (Dec. 10-14)

The Nutcracker for Kids presented by The Pacific Symphony @ Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa (Dec. 13)

Snoopy’s House Holiday Display, Costa Mesa (Dec. 12-25)

South Coast Plaza – Visit with Santa Claus, take a train ride and ride the carousel, Costa Mesa (seasonal)

IlluminOcean, Dana Point (Nov. 26 – Jan. 4)

Sparkleballs at North Yale Avenue, Fullerton (seasonal)

Celebrate Las Posadas! @ Pretend City, Irvine (Dec. 16)

Home For The Holidays Pet Adoption Event @ The Irvine Animal Care Center, Irvine (Dec. 7)

Hooray for Chanukah @ Pretend City, Irvine (Dec. 17-23)

Ice Skating @ The Irvine Spectrum, Irvine (seasonal)

Irvine Park Railroad Christmas Train, Orange (Nov. 28 – Dec. 23)

Sensitive Santa Visit and Photo Opportunity @ Pretend City, Irvine (Dec. 16)

Sister’s Christmas Catechism @ The Laguna Playhouse, Laguna Beach (Dec. 8, 15, 16 & 22)

The Sawdust Art Festival’s 24th Annual Winter Fantasy, Laguna Beach (Nov. 22 – Dec. 21)

33rd Annual Victorian Christmas @ Heritage Hill Historical Park, Lake Forest (Dec. 6)

Heritage Hill Historical Park’s Annual Christmas Walk, Lake Forest (Dec. 13 & 14)

Candy Cane Lane Holiday Lights, Orange (seasonal)

Holiday Gifts For The Animals Family Program @ The OC Zoo, Orange (Dec. 6)

Christmas @ The OC Zoo, Orange (Dec. 13)

Drive-Thru Nativity @ Mount of Olives Church, Mission Viejo (Dec. 5-6)

Ice Skating @ The Shops at Mission Viejo, Mission Viejo (seasonal)

See The Christmas Decorations @ Roger’s Gardens, Newport Beach (seasonal)

See the Christmas Tree @ Fashion Island, Newport Beach (seasonal)

Winter Break! Crafts for Kids @ Mission San Juan Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano (Dec. 22 – Jan. 2)

International Holiday with The Critters @ The Santa Ana Zoo, Santa Ana (Dec. 6)

Winter Zoobilation @ The Santa Ana Zoo, Santa Ana (Dec. 1-31)

Nixon Family Holiday Traditions at The White House 1969 – 1973 @ The Nixon Presidential Library & Museum, Yorba Linda (Nov. 20 – Jan. 4)

Los Angeles & The Surrounding Area:

Christmas Tree Lane Christmas Lights, Altadena (seasonal)

32nd Belmont Shore Christmas Parade, Belmont Shore (Dec. 6)

Naples Island 68th Annual Boat Parade, Belmont Shore (Dec. 13)

Santa #HQ, Cerritos (seasonal)

Candy Cane Lane Christmas Lights, El Segundo (seasonal)

Botanic Bling Weekend @ Descanso Gardens, La Canada Flintridge (Dec. 6-7)

Santa #HQ @ The Lakewood Center, Lakewood (seasonal)

Aquarium of the Pacific Homeschool Holiday, Long Beach (Dec. 19)

CHILL @ The Queen Mary, Long Beach (through January 11)

Grand Central Market Holidays, Los Angeles (Dec. 6 – 7)

Holiday Festivities @ The Farmer’s Market, Los Angeles (seasonal)

Holiday Treats for the Animals @ The Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach (Dec. 6 & 7)

Ice Skating @ Pershing Square, Los Angeles (seasonal)

LA Zoo Lights @ The LA Zoo, Los Angeles (Nov. 28 – Jan. 4)

Magical Snow @ The Grove, Los Angeles (Nov. 17 – Dec. 24)

Messiah Sing-Along @ The Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles (Dec. 7)

Reindeer Romp @ The Los Angeles Zoo, Los Angeles (Nov. 28 – Jan. 5)

Old Pasadena Home For The Holidays, Pasadena (Nov. 28)

Sleeping Beauty and Her Winter Knight @ The Pasadena Playhouse, Pasadena (Dec. 10 – Jan. 4)

Snow Days @ Kid’s Space Museum, Pasadena (Dec. 24 – 30)

Majestic Pines on St. Albans Christmas Lights, San Marino (seasonal)

Winterlit, Santa Monica (seasonal)

A California Christmas @ The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Library, Simi Valley (Nov. 16 – Jan. 4)

Sleepy Hallow Christmas Lights, South Torrance (seasonal)

Candy Cane Lane Christmas Lights, Woodland Hills (seasonal)

Handel’s Messiah @ The Woodland Hills United Methodist Church, Woodland Hills (Dec. 6)

San Diego:

Breakfast with Santa, Alpine (Dec. 6)

The Northpole Limited Santa Train @ The Pacific Southwest Railway Museum, Campo (Friday & Saturdays, Nov. 28-Dec. 20)

Carlsbad Educational Foundation’s 5th Annual Carols of Carlsbad @ Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, Carlsbad (Dec. 6)

A Magical Visit From Caring Santa (Special Needs Event) @ Carlsbad Premium Outlets, Carlsbad (Dec. 7)

Christmas On The Pecos, Carlsbad (Nov. 28 – Dec. 31)

Legoland Holiday Snow Days & Winter Nights, Carlsbad (Nov. 22 – Jan. 4)

Holidays at The Del, Coronado Island (seasonal)

Jacumba Holiday Party, Jacumba (Dec. 6)

Julian Country Christmas & Tree Lighting, Julian (Nov. 30)

The Second City’s Nut-Cracking Holiday Revue @ The La Jolla Playhouse, La Jolla (Nov. 28 – Dec. 21)

4th Annual Christmas Concert @ The Old Mission San Luis Rey, Oceanside (Dec. 5)

Balboa Park December Nights, San Diego (Dec. 5-6)

The Christmas Story Tree @ Balboa Park, San Diego (Dec. 5-6)

Messiah Sing-A-Long & Holiday Tea presented by The San Diego Master Chorale @ St. Paul’s Cathedral, San Diego (Dec. 13)

Messiah Sing-A-Long @ The Spreckles Theater, San Diego (Dec. 16)

SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration, San Diego (Nov. 15 – Jan. 4)

Santa Barbara & Ventura Counties:

Holiday Festival of Trains @ Goleta Library, Goleta (Dec. 7-9)

Kid’s Holiday Fused Bead Craft @ Goleta Library, Goleta (Dec. 6)

Children’s Holiday Gift Workshop – All Wrapped Up: The Art of Giving, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara (Dec. 13)

Santa’s Starry Ride @ The Santa Barbara Natural History Museum’s Planetarium, Santa Barbara (Dec. 20 – 31)

Snow Leopard Festival & Sledding @ The Santa Barbara Zoo, Santa Barbara (Dec. 7)

Ventura Harbor Parade of Lights & Fireworks, Ventura (Dec. 12 – 13)

Ventura Winter Wine Walk & Holiday Street Fair, Ventura (Dec. 6)


Disclosure: This post is for informational purposes only.  All points of view are our own.

Giveaway to Embark on a Magical Train Ride and Visit with Santa Claus at The Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris!


Embark on a Magical Train Ride and Visit with Santa Claus at The Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris!

Santa Claus

Embark on a magical train ride and visit with Santa Claus himself at his North Pole workshop on Dec. 7, 13, 14, 20, 21 at the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris, CA.  

Ride the train where elves will lead families in Christmas songs, holiday trivia games and story telling.  Santa will greet guests as they arrive at the workshop.  Visit with Santa & Mrs. Claus at a play area where children can experience Thomas train tables, a child-powered roller coaster and crafts.  Enjoy holiday treats while waiting to board your train and a child-size train ride ($2).

Santa Claus

TRAIN TIMES: 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m, 5:30 p.m and 7 p.m.

COST: Non-members: ages 12 & up, $15; ages 5-11, $10; ages 2-4, $5 / Members: ages 12 & up, $8; ages 2-11, $5

RESERVATION INFORMATION:  Trains fill up fast, so it is advised to make advance reservations by calling 951-943-3020.

ABOUT: The Orange Empire Railway Museum is an all-volunteer organization that has been preserving Southern California’s railway history since 1956. The museum’s mission is to educate the public on the technology, history, and impact of the rail transportation industry in the West. Over 200 rail cars and locomotives, ranging from Los Angeles street cars to modern diesel locomotives, are preserved at the museum’s 100-acre site in Perris, California, which is open 363 days of the year.

For further information please visit www.oerm.org.

The Orange Empire Railway Museum is giving away a Family-Four-Pack of Tickets to ride The Christmas Train to one lucky SoCal Field Trips reader!  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Holiday Field Tripping!


Disclosure: SoCal Field Trips has been invited to a media event at the museum.  All opinions and points of view are our own.  Images used by permission from the Orange Empire Railway Museum.  Contest rules and regulations provided in the Rafflecopter link above.

FREE Teachers on Trails event at Rancho Soñado in Silverado on 12/13!

FREE Teachers on Trails event at Rancho Soñado in Silverado on 12/13!

Child among wildflowers (6785302942)

By U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters

Last spring, I set up a field trip for a group of homeschool students to participate in an Inside the Outdoors program called Exploring The Great Park.  We were the first homeschool group to attend the program at The Orange County Great Park in Irvine.

Inside the Outdoors is a unique, hands-on environmental education program administered by the Orange County Department of Education whose mission is to empower students, teachers, parents and the community to explore natural areas and expand their knowledge, understanding and stewardship of the environment.  They offer affordable, grade-specific, science and social science  programs specifically  designed to support Common Core State  Standards and develop  21st century skills.

Exploring the Great Park was a free field trip and outdoor education program for first grade students in Orange County that emphasized a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) focused curriculum.  The program, which ended in June 2014, was designed to build knowledge of scientific investigation, physical science, geography, earth science, technology, language and visual arts.

Inside the Outdoors was kind enough to let us bring our students of all ages and their parents on the field trip.  We throughly enjoyed ourselves.

On Saturday, December 13 at 10:00 am, Inside the Outdoors invites all teachers and homeschool educators to join them for a FREE Teachers on Trails event at Rancho Soñado in Silverado.


By Shannon1

The day will include a hike with an experienced Naturalist, a raffle for a FREE Traveling Scientist program, FREE massages for Educators and learning all about what Inside the Outdoors can offer your students.  Plus bring your entire family along to meet some of Inside The Outdoors’ program animals!

Call or email your RSVP by December 11th, 2014 because limited space is available.

For more information visit http://ito.ocde.us/Programs/CommunityPrograms/Pages/Teachers-On-Trails.aspx

Happy Field Tripping!


Disclosure: This post is for informational purposes only.

Ju-Ju-Be for Hello Kitty Product Review & Giveaway !

Ju-Ju-Be for Hello Kitty Product Review & Giveaway!


In early November, I had the opportunity to attend the first ever Hello Convention at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA (The Museum of Contemporary Art) in Los Angeles.  It was a celebration and in honor of Hello Kitty’s 4oth Birthday!

Sanrio created Hello Kitty Con to celebrate Hello Kitty’s 40th Anniversary and place Hello Kitty fans at the center of the ultimate interactive experience, inviting them to immerse themselves in a never-before-seen environment where the world of Hello Kitty was celebrated, explored and experienced.

If you are a true Hello Kitty fan, then this was the place to be!  Hello Kitty Con was sold out within weeks and the building was chocked full of Hello Kitty fans from around the world.


One my favorite places that I explored at the convention was the Hello Kitty Super Supermarket!  Inside they featured a carefully curated selection of vendors offering products and experiences available only at the convention.

This is where I met the warm and friendly folks of Ju-Ju-Be.  Ju-Ju-Be is an upscale line of designer bags for everyday use.  As a parent of young children, I am always looking for the “right” bag to hold all of my children’s belongings.  Plus since we travel a lot, I like to purchase bags that are versatile and have a lot of compartments.  All of Ju-Ju-Be’s bags fit this tall order.


I recently received the Ju-Ju-Be for Hello Kitty Paci Pod – Lucky Stars.  Yes, its original purpose is to hold a baby’s pacifier, but Field Trip Girl uses it as a purse when she is out and about on the town with mommy.  She likes to put a few of her Littlest Pet Shop toys or Disney Doll accessories in it to play with in the car.  I also like to add a few pieces of candy inside if she’s good on the road, because the Paci Pod is lined with AgION ™ antimicrobial treatment.

The Paci Pod features: 

  • Wristlet strap, detachable with a swivel hook.
  • Interior elastic securely holds 2 pacifiers.
  • Fits other little stuff, like retainers and iPods!
  • Teflon® fabric protector … helps repel stains.
  • Agion® treatment protects the liner by inhibiting the growth of odor-causing bacteria, mold and mildew.
  • Metal Hardware … we don’t trust any of the cheap plastic stuff.
  • Light Colored Linings … you can actually see what’s inside.
  • Machine Washable … air dry.
  • Available in either a red or pink Hello Kitty design


This week, while packing for our Thanksgiving vacation, I used the new Ju-Ju-Be for Hello Kitty Be Quick to hold all of my make up and accessories.  The Be Quick was roomy to accomidate it all, plus some.

The Ju-Ju-Be for Hello Kitty Be Quick is designed to organize the inside of your favorite bag or be carried alone as a purse.  You can also use it as a diaper pouch on the go.

The Be Quick features:

  • main zippered pocket holds changing essentials
  • internal zippered pocket for smaller items
  • clip-on strap for use as a wristlet or to attach to the stroller or bag
  • Teflon … so stains don’t stick.
  • Metal Hardware … we don’t trust any of the cheap plastic stuff.
  • Light Colored Linings … you can actually see what’s inside, it’s not just a big black hole in there.
  • Machine Washable … air dry.

In celebration of Hello Kitty’s 40th Birthday, Ju-Ju-Be is giving away a Ju-Ju-Be for Hello Kitty Be Quick and Paci Pod to one lucky SoCal Field Trips reader! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Birthday Hello Kitty!


Disclosure: We received a complimentary Be Quick and Paci Pod from Ju-Ju-Be to help facilitate this post.  All points of view are our own.  Image used by permission from Hello Kitty Con.  Contest rules and regulations can be found in the Rafflecopter link above.

BEST OF: Best Ice Skating Rinks in Southern California (Brr!)

BEST OF: Best Ice Skating Rinks in Southern California (Brr!)

Greenwich, orange feet - geograph.org.uk - 651521

By Chris Downer [CC-BY-SA-2.0]

“Why shouldn’t you tell a joke when you are ice skating?   Because the ice might crack up!”

What do you do in Southern California when Burbank sets an all time record of having 9 straight days of 80 degree weather in January 2014?  You can either drive 2 hours to the nearest ski slope or head over to your local ice skating rink.  I prefer the shorter drive.

Luckily for us, in Southern California we have a great selection of ice skating rinks to choose from.  But before you head out, don’t forget to check social media sites like Facebook, Living Social, Amazon Local, Group On and Plum District for discounts.  You can usually find a good deal online.

What is the best ice skating rink in your home town?  Share with us at www.socalfieldtrips.com

Inland Empire

Corona – The Rinks, Corona Online

Ontario – Ontario Ice Skating Center

Riverside – Ice Town

Los Angeles and Surrounding Areas

Lakewood – The Rinks – Lakewood Ice

Long Beach – CHILL

Los Angeles – Pershing Square

Pasadena – Pasadena Ice Skating Center

Van Nuys – Iceland Ice Skating Center

Orange County

Aliso Viejo – Aliso Viejo Ice Palace – They have a homeschool ice skating day on Mondays for only $8!

Anaheim – KHS Ice Arena

Irvine – The Irvine Spectrum

Lake Forest – Lake Forest Ice Palace

Mission Viejo – The Shops at Mission Viejo (group of 10 or more, receive $2.00 off per person)

Westminster – Westminster Ice – They have a homeschool ice skating day on Mondays for only $5!

Yorba Linda – Yorba Linda Ice Rink

San Diego

Escondido – Ice-Plex Escondido

San Diego – University Town Center Ice Sports Center

Happy Field Tripping!


Disclosure: This post is for informational purposes only.