The holiday season is a great time to check out many of the local entertainment venues here in Southern California. A lot of the local tourist spots in Southern California are offering exclusive discounts to residents only. Better yet, some tickets are even free (a small service fee applies).
Goldstar.com highlights events in Los Angeles, Orange County, the Inland Empire and San Diego with everything from family-friendly theater to comedy shows to concerts and more.
So, here’s a roundup of the best Cyber Monday Entertainment Deals in Southern California for families! As always, if you find a great deal that you like, make sure to purchase it immediately. Once tickets are sold, they are gone forever! Discount tickets also make great Christmas presents and stocking stuffers.
Southern California Entertainment Discount Tickets
Evening skies blaze with color and light at the Fairplex in Pomona during the Magical Chinese Lantern Festival. This all-ages experience features over 1,000 hand-crafted lanterns, live entertainment and delicious food for purchase. Chinese folk artists demonstrate their ancient crafts, including a live kung fu showcase and on-stage coaching, all with the ambiance to reconnect with nature and to create lifelong memories with friends and family. If you need a unique place to snap a few stunning Instagram-worthy photos, this is the place to do it. Witness illuminated cheetahs, jumping koi fish, majestic cranes and even dinosaurs of beautiful paper and silk.
$13 Tickets to Queen Mary Christmas, Long Beach
Take a voyage from Long Beach to the North Pole, and discover new traditions mingled with good old-fashioned Christmas cheer. As you stroll the beautiful decks of the legendary ship, see thousands of synchronized twinkling lights, carolers and musical performances. There’s even an outdoor skating rink atop the Sports Deck, plus meet-and-greets with Santa, memory-making activities for the whole family and more. Make your holidays extra special this year, and experience all the glittery and joyful magic aboard the historic Queen Mary! This offer is good for any non-peak dates between November 23 and December 20 (so December 1, 2, 8, 9, 15 and 16 are excluded).
$11.00 Tickets to Enchanted Forest at Descanso Gardens, La Canada Flintridge
Descanso Gardens is famed for its daytime beauty all year round, but when the holiday season approaches, it brings a special treat. It’s a whole new experience to see this SoCal treasure illuminated in glorious light. As the sun sets, the gardens transform into an enchanted forest and your ticket is an invitation to venture in and discover the magical world that waits under the glowing foliage. During this colorful and interactive experience, you can stroll through a mile of Descanso Gardens’ most popular areas while marveling at the gorgeous lighted displays. Located in La Cañada Flintridge, Descanso is a 160-acre outdoor wonderland featuring a Camellia Forest, a fragrant Rose Garden, and the carefully-tended Japanese Garden and Oak Woodland. At Enchanted: Forest of Light, the beauty of these beloved sights is enhanced by the bewitching brilliance of the lighted displays.
$11.50 Tickets to visit L.A. Zoo Lights, Los Angeles
L.A.’s brightest holiday tradition returns as bright as ever, with an expanded route and dazzling new additions for the 2018/2019 season. While most of the animals are asleep, make unforgettable memories as you take an evening stroll through the zoo, which has been transformed into a fantastical “wild wonderland” populated by glowing light animals rendered by lasers, 3-D projections and musical water-and-light displays. The insta-worthy Twinkle Tunnel has been reimagined with dynamic swirls of light, and there’s a whole new area of the zoo to explore. Delight in mischievous light-monkeys run amok, a stained glass menagerie, fanciful animated elephants and a giant glowing snake. This year’s event also features real reindeers, seasonal goodies and a chance to hang with Santa on select dates. Complete this festive cheer with holiday treats and hot chocolate to warm your fingers on a wintery night.
$39.00 Tickets to Knott’s Merry Farm, Buena Park
Holiday spirit shines even brighter at Knott’s Merry Farm this year, taking place November 16 through January 6. Experience Knott’s largest Christmas display ever, with a full park transformation that includes all-new seasonal décor. There’s tons to keep you and your entire family amused by land, water and air at Knott’s Berry Farm’s 160 acres of roller coasters, games, shopping, live entertainment, dining and children’s rides in Buena Park.
Winter Fest OC is coming to town for 18 days and nights, blowing tons of family fun into the OC Fair & Event Center. Winter Fest OC is a giant wonderland of immersive wintry fun, featuring ice tubing down an 8-lane, 150 foot real ice summit; massive snow play and slide area with fresh snow blown in daily; an all new SoCal Dickens Village, where you can take a trip down memory lane through the 1800’s with holidays past, present and future. Decorate Christmas cookies, listen to holiday storytelling, visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus (through Christmas Eve), enjoy a pony ride, and visit the new Victorian holiday shops. Make sure you don’t miss the magic of Santa and his Reindeer flying over the fairgrounds through Christmas Eve. Winter Fest OC also includes the all new Festival of Lights walk-through with more than 2 million lights, nightly Christmas tree lighting celebration with spectacular fireworks and snowfall and ice skating under the stars on SoCal’s largest outdoor ice rink. Winter Fest OC is also packed with over 30 carnival rides, attractions and games, a petting zoo, pony rides, trackless train through the Festival of Lights, interactive model trains, craft-making activities and plenty of Instagram-worthy picture opportunities.
SoCal gets a merry makeover when Holiday by the Bay brings a sleigh-full of fun to every corner of Hilton San Diego Bayfront. Bring the whole family and celebrate the magic of the season with plenty of festive attractions, entertainment and activities. This holiday adventure park features Reindeer Run, an exhilarating two-story 100-foot ice tubing slide; the Iceberg Bumpers ride; plus Shine, an hourly interactive dynamic light show. Get creative with stocking trimming at Santa’s Workshop and cookie decorating at Claus Kitchen. Then, curl up with sweet and savory treats from Elven Eatery and Kringle Bakery or sip cocoa and toast s’mores at a private Fireside Lounge.
Climb aboard the magic holiday sleigh with Elf as he takes you on a journey to discover holiday traditions from around the world in The Greatest Holiday Showman! Your mission: to learn stories and songs from holidays such as Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and more without the Grinch or Scrooge stopping you! This fun family-friendly show will have you singing, clapping, booing for the villains and cheering for the heroes, as it reminds us all what true holiday spirit is all about! This is a Creating Arts Company signature original mini-musical and is a one-hour, immersive and interactive show that is perfect for ages 3 and up.
Complimentary Tickets to The Museum of Illusions, Los Angeles
Hollywood’s newest, coolest pop-up museum comes Instagram ready to put you and the fam right in the middle of some amazing images. The Museum of Illusions is filled with paintings, 3-D set pieces and giant props that produce eye-popping pics, inspired by cartoons, art, current events, movies and more. You can picture yourself on a raft watching the Titanic go down, climb a sheer cliff, become a burger topping or dangle over an MC Escher-like edge. Then show off your shots and really wow your crowd back home.
$9.00 Tickets to the Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach
Connect with 20 years of wonder and memories at the Aquarium of the Pacific, one the nation’s most popular aquariums. Come face-to-face with and touch the ocean’s ultimate predators in Shark Lagoon, hand-feed colorful lorikeet birds and watch Magellanic penguins play. To celebrate their 20th anniversary, the Aquarium invites you to learn about and meet animals that have been with the Aquarium since its earliest days, such as Charlie the sea otter and Theo and Lou the sea turtles. A new exhibit, “Tentacles and Ink,” features a rotating display of squid, octopuses and cuttlefish. There’s no better time to visit than now!
Take a hilarious hit movie, add in some seriously impressive song-and-dance numbers, tie a big Broadway bow around it and you’ve got the sweet family treat known as Elf the Musical. Fasten your sleigh belts for a fun ride that follows the story of Buddy, a little boy who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. He grows up unaware that he’s an actual human, but his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities eventually force him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy takes off on a journey to New York to find his birth father, discover his true identity and help the city remember the true meaning of Christmas. Enjoy this sparkling holiday show at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center in Long Beach.
Board a historic battleship and see history come to life before your eyes. Named one of the best exhibits to see with your kids by CBS Local, the Battleship Iowa Museum is the West Coast’s only battleship open to the public. Walk the wooden decks and check out the guns, missile decks, bridge, mess areas and the world famous Captain’s Cabin — with the only bathtub installed on a battleship for a president. Known as “The Battleship of Presidents,” Iowa has hosted three presidents: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. New for 2017, you’ll get an up-close look at a Korean War-era Piasecki HUP-2 Retriever helicopter, fully restored and sitting on Iowa’s flight deck. You’ll also be able to have an augmented reality HUP Experience of flying an actual HUP helicopter, as well as take a simulated ride in a virtual reality Navy Flight Theater. The Battleship Iowa is located at the L.A. Waterfront, former home to the US Navy Battleship fleet prior to World War II and an area rich in maritime history.
Head down the yellow brick road with the Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, Dorothy and her little dog, Toto, too, in Encore’s adaptation of The Wizard of Oz at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center. Based on the classic screenplay and featuring music from the Oscar-winning movie, this is the beloved story of the girl who wakes up in a strange land filled with witches and wizards, munchkins and flying monkeys — and befriends a lion, a tin man and a scarecrow in her quest to find her way back home. The unforgettable score includes all-time favorites like “Over the Rainbow,” “We’re Off to See the Wizard” and “If I Only Had a Brain.”
Whodunits — you gotta love ’em. From the secluded locales to the cast of colorful characters in which everyone’s a suspect to the final, ingenious twist, the author who did it best was Agatha Christie. One of her most famous stories, The Mousetrap, has it all. A group of strangers trapped by a snowstorm discovers that a murderer is among them, and you’ll never guess who it is! The longest-running play in history, The Mousetrap has been thrilling audiences continuously since its 1952 premiere in London’s West End. Now you can experience the ultimate whodunit at Crown City Theatre Company in North Hollywood.
The beautiful 1920s art deco Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro plays host to this ENCORE production of Peter Pan. Join the boy who never wants to grow up, along with his pals the Lost Boys and the mischievous fairy Tinkerbell, as they embark on the adventure of a lifetime and try to save Wendy, John and Michael from the menacing pirate Captain Hook. Based on the Cathy Rigby stage production, there’s lots of high-flying fun to be had with Peter and his crew in this enduring and beloved musical.
SoCal may not have snow, sleds and mittens for the holidays, but Newport Beach boasts dazzling Christmastime light displays sparkling from the boats, homes, docks and businesses along the harbor. Now a holiday tradition dating back more than 100 years, locals go “all out” with roof-top animated scenes, dancing Christmas trees, special effects and more (there are even prizes awarded). Hop onboard a 75-minute Holiday Lights Cruise on Davey’s Locker Ships, and be a part of one of the biggest Christmas celebrations in the country.
Beauty and the Beast: A Christmas Rose puts a fun, modern spin on the beloved tale. Featuring alumni of So You Think You Can Dance, acclaimed TV and Broadway performers, choreography by Mandy Moore (La La Land), musical direction by Keith Harrison and direction by Tony nominee Sheldon Epps, this production will get the whole family in the Christmas spirit. Packed with laughs and hit songs by Coldplay, the BeeGees, Edith Piaf and the Chainsmokers, this show from the acclaimed Lythgoe Family Panto comes to the stage in the style of a classic British holiday panto, which takes a well-known fairy tale and gives it a cheeky, modern twist. So, gather the family and come out to Laguna Playhouse to cheer the heroes and boo the villains in this fun, interactive play.
Experience the magic of Christmas! Join us as The Young Americans transforms La Mirada Theatre into a winter wonderland, bringing holiday cheer to theatre-goers of all ages. Featuring a cast of 250 Young Americans, the theatre comes to life with state-of-the-art 45-foot digital screens, over 6,000 costumes, 30 festive scene changes and yes, it will even snow! Spectacularly created and produced, you’ll delight in dancing Santas, The Nutcracker Suite, toe-tapping penguins and your favorite Christmas songs. Huge production numbers! This is the Christmas show not to miss!
Celebrate the holidays with the Dana Point Harbor Boat Parade of Lights, as various decorated vessels vie for prizes and trophies, including the one you’ll be riding on. On these festive 90-minute cruises, you’ll get a great look at the participating boats and the beautiful harbor scenery while enjoying holiday music, a cash bar and more. This year’s theme is “western wonderland.” The cruise is an event for all ages — children can vote for their favorite decorated vessel, and be entered into a drawing for free whale watching and fishing trips. A long-running Orange County tradition, the Dana Point Harbor Boat Parade of Lights has been a highlight of the season every year since 1975.
Hailing from the People’s Republic of China, Golden Dragon Acrobats represent a time-honored tradition that began over twenty-five centuries ago. The troupe’s spectacular athleticism combined with ancient and modern dance and music present a show of breathtaking skill and spellbinding beauty. Now in their 30th year, Golden Dragon Acrobats offer unparalleled artistic form and award-winning acrobatics at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center in Long Beach.
Join Professor Planethead on his musical journey through outer space, complete with visually captivating NASA projections and dancers from Backhausdance. Hear the Orange County Youth Symphony perform music from Holst’s The Planets, and raise your lightsabers as you hear “The Imperial March” from Star Wars. This 45-minute concert will transport your imagination to a galaxy far, far away at Costa Mesa’s Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Be sure to check out the pre-concert activities in the lobby beginning an hour before show time, including a musical instrument petting zoo courtesy of the Philharmonic Society’s Music Mobile, arts and crafts, photo booth and more.
Based on the beloved, timeless film, this heartwarming musical adaptation features 17 Irving Berlin songs and a book by David Ives and Paul Blake. Veterans Bob Wallace and Phil Davis have a successful song-and-dance act after World War II. With romance in mind, the two follow a duo of beautiful singing sisters en route to their Christmas show at a Vermont lodge, which just happens to be owned by Bob and Phil’s former army commander. The dazzling score features well known standards including “Blue Skies,” “I Love A Piano,” “How Deep Is the Ocean” and the perennial favorite, “White Christmas.” Yorba Linda Spotlight Theater Company brings this beautiful holiday story to life with performers age 5-20! Come bring the entire family for some heart-warming holiday cheer!
$16.00 Tickets to Cheat Day Land Pop Up Museum, Los Angeles
Enjoy every health enthusiast’s favorite day — cheat day — at this one-of-a-kind pop-up museum! Cheat Day Land combines delicious food, smart options, new innovations and free samples from some of Los Angeles’ best food spots. Each week has a new sample from a different sponsor, so set aside the diet restrictions and treat yourself to a fun and carefree exploration of fantastic food at Cheat Day Land.
$16.00 Tickets to visit OUE Skyspace LA, Los Angeles
Experience Los Angeles like you’ve never seen it before, at OUE Skyspace LA, atop downtown’s iconic US Bank Tower. Feel like you’re flying on the Skyslide, a transparent slide around the outside of the building that sends you soaring from the 70th floor to the east observation terrace. There, you can take in the sprawling beauty of the city. Then, hit up the Interactive Level for even more eye candy. See a 360-degree time lapse of some of the city’s most famous spots. Stand over an old elevator shaft that has been remade into The Infinity Mirror, a cosmic design of light and reflections. Finally, strike an action pose at the Silhouette Wall to add yourself to the amazing sights at this destination. And now, you can raise a glass at the new Skyspace Bar featuring locally crafted spirits and small bites.