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Live Nativity Events in Southern California (Updated 2022)

Updated for 2022

Please call ahead of time to check with the venue to make sure each event is taking place accordingly.

The first living nativity was created by St. Francis of Assisi in 1223 to help explain the birth of Jesus to his followers.  Throughout Europe, Central America, and South America the manger scene is a primary decoration at Christmastime.  In the United States, the manger scene is often displayed in a church or as a part of a neighborhood Christmas display.

Live Nativity Scenes in Southern California

In Southern California, we also have several live nativities that take place throughout the month of December.  And the good news is that most are FREE community events!  Here is a comprehensive list of live, virtual, drive and walk thru nativity scenes in Southern California for your enjoyment!

Are you looking to start a new tradition with your family this holiday season? Check out this wide ranging list of live, walk thru and drive thru nativity scenes in Southern California. From Santa Barbara to Los Angeles to Orange County to San Diego, there is at least one nativity scene within driving distance from your home.

Live Nativity Scenes in Orange County

Drive or Walk Thru Nativity, First Christian Church, Huntington Beach

December 7, 8, & 9 starting @ 6:00 – 9:00 pm

The Live Nativity at First Christian Church of Huntington Beach has been a staple in the community for more than 50 years. Actors and live animals tell the story of Jesus’ birth through 9 different scenes.  Whether you’re driving through or walking, the true magic of Christmas will be remembered as you celebrate with friends and family.  Come for the Live Nativity and stay for Christmas Carols in the Chapel, a photo opportunity for the family and crafts for the kids.  Free admission.

Orange County Christmas Experience, Liberty Baptist Church, Newport Beach

December 10 & 11 @ 5:00 pm

The centerpiece of the Orange County Christmas Experience is a light-hearted Christmas play that is perfect for all ages. We’ll follow Eliza as she re-tells the story of her first time participating in a Christmas pageant and how it re-ignited her faith.  This 30 minute play is a fun reminder to slow down from the hustle and bustle, spend time with family, and remember the true reason for the season—Jesus Christ.  Doors will open at 4:30PM and the play begins at 5:00PM.  Registration required.

Our Christmas Village will immediately sweep you into the Christmas spirit! Live music, sights and sounds of Christmas, and a free petting zoo will make this a night you will remember for years to come.

Live Nativities in Orange County

Living Nativity, Village Bible Church, Garden Grove 

December 17 & 18 @ 4:00 – 9:00 pm

Join us on a tour through Bethlehem as we celebrate the birth of Jesus.  Your self-guided tour will walk through the streets of Bethlehem ending up at the nativity.  There will be live interactions along the way that tell the Christmas story and give an idea of the setting of Christ’s birth.  This is a great way to remind ourselves of the message of Christmas.  Admission is free and tours will last about 20 minutes each.

Live Nativity Orange County

The Living Nativity, The Church at Green Hills, La Habra

December 17 & 18 @ 5:15 pm, 6:30 pm & 7:45 pm

You will see the true Christmas Story come to life right before your eyes!  See Mary riding on a donkey, the Wise Men riding on magnificent camels, sheep by the manger, and then enter a toy shop where toys come to life.  Plus you will be treated with hot chocolate, cookies, candy sticks and more.  Admission is free.  Reservations are preferred and you can make them here.  Tickets will be available after Thanksgiving.

Are you looking to start a new tradition with your family this holiday season? Check out this wide ranging list of live, walk thru and drive thru nativity scenes in Southern California. From Santa Barbara to Los Angeles to Orange County to San Diego, there is at least one nativity scene within driving distance from your home.

Live Nativity Show, Old World German Village, Huntington Beach  (Dates for 2022 TBD)

Attend the International Celebration of Christmas, a celebration that brings together a diverse group of churches, singers & dancers for a celebration that highlights the true meaning of the holiday season.  Free.  Donations accepted. See a promo video here.  Free admission.

Are you looking to start a new tradition with your family this holiday season? Check out this wide ranging list of live, walk thru and drive thru nativity scenes in Southern California. From Santa Barbara to Los Angeles to Orange County to San Diego, there is at least one nativity scene within driving distance from your home.

Walk Thru Nativity, Crossline Community Church, Laguna Hills

December 9, 10 & 11 @ 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

The most immersive living nativity in South Orange County!  Come experience a huge cast bringing Bethlehem to life as it was 2000 years ago.  Meet Mary and Joseph, The Three Wise Men, angels, shepherds, and townspeople.  See live camels, sheep, donkeys and Roman Soldiers on horseback.  Experience a petting zoo, cookie and craft decorating and holiday treats and hot drinks for everyone.  $5.00 per person suggested donation.  Advance reservations recommended to avoid long lines.

Are you looking to start a new tradition with your family this holiday season? Check out this wide ranging list of live, walk thru and drive thru nativity scenes in Southern California. From Santa Barbara to Los Angeles to Orange County to San Diego, there is at least one nativity scene within driving distance from your home.

Drive or Walk Thru Nativity, Mount of Olives Church, Mission Viejo

December 2 & 3 @ 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Experience this life-size retelling of the Christmas Story from the comfort of your car.  Live actors, animals and narration through your car radio!  You can also enjoy the Drive-Thru Nativity on foot.  The church is also collecting non-perishable food donations at the Drive-Thru Nativity to support local families in need.  Bring the whole family to this annual free event, a Mission Viejo community Christmas tradition since 1994!  Free admission.

Live Nativity Mission Viejo

Live Nativity Scenes in Los Angeles

Christmas Carnival, Evangelical Free Church, Diamond Bar

December 9 & 10 and 16 & 17 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Come one, Come all … Fun for all ages; toddlers, kids, teens, singles, couples, families, grandparents!  The biggest neighborhood-wide event of the year is coming!  It’s the Magical, Musical, stroll-through Christmas Carnival!

  • Great Games, Great Snacks, Great Music . . . and everything is FREE!
  • Come meet Mary in her living room, Joseph in his shop and a Magi on the road!
  • Carol with our madrigals around the Manger.
  • Photo Ops at every turn!
  • Play around the Sno-Foam fort … you may get wet
  • Enjoy some great Christmas Recital performances
  • Get your face painted or a temporary tattoo for your arm
  • Build FREE crafts and wrap FREE special gifts
  • FREE Adult games like snowball toss and Cornhole
  • FREE Kids Games with special prizes, including candy candy candy!!
  • FREE snacks and seasonal beverages.

Live Nativity Scene Los Angeles

College Avenue Church of the Nazarene, Whittier

December 6 @ 6:00 pm

This drive thru nativity is best enjoyed in the comfort of your car listening to our radio broadcast.

Journey to Bethlehem, Purpose Church, Pomona

December 10 & 11 @ 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm 

Journey to Bethlehem at Purpose Church is a living history event that will give you a glimpse into what life may have been like over 2000 years ago.  Sign the census, avoid the Roman soldiers, interact with the potter, weaver, carpenter, and other merchants. Spend some shekels, visit the animals, and make your way under the giant star to discover the new born King, baby Jesus. Parking is free.  Food is available for purchase at our Bethlehem café.  Enjoy some lentil stew, beef kabobs and citrus punch to experience a taste of the time.  Tickets available for purchase online for $5.00.  Children 12 and under are free.

Live Nativity Scene Southern California

Live Walk Thru Nativity, Portraits of the Prince of Peace Pageant, Long Beach (Dates for 2022 TBD)

The “Portraits of the Prince of Peace” Pageant has been a Long Beach tradition for well over 40 years.  Through the combined efforts of 6 different Churches the story of the birth of Jesus is presented in a fun filled way with music, live actors, beautifully decorated murals, as well as, and live animals.

The Pageant starts on the South East Corner of Bellflower & Wardlow, in front of St. Cornelius.  Brought to you by St. Luke’s Lutheran, University Baptist, St. Cornelius Roman Catholic, Long Beach Christian Reformed and Calvary Chapel Long Beach.  Free parking is available at all the churches.  Free admission.

Are you looking to start a new tradition with your family this holiday season? Check out this wide ranging list of live, walk thru and drive thru nativity scenes in Southern California. From Santa Barbara to Los Angeles to Orange County to San Diego, there is at least one nativity scene within driving distance from your home.

Journey to the Manger, Landmark Christian Church, Diamond Bar

December 8 & 9 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Journey to the Manger is a live walk through of the Christmas story, full of animals, actors, and interactivity.  This walk-through Christmas Event is for the whole family.  Your own journey should be in groups of 5-10 people and only takes about 30 minutes.  Also, come and enjoy live musical performances, food and hot drinks, a petting zoo, along with the narrated story walk-through experience.  Free admission.  Call to confirm details.

Live Nativity Scenes Southern California

Live Walk Thru Nativity, Granite Creek Community Church, Claremont

December 15, 16, 17 & 18 @ 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Come experience the living nativity!  The 10-scene walk-through drama recreates pivotal moments surrounding the birth of Jesus Christ, from the Angel Gabriel’s appearing to Mary, to Caesar Augustus’ devious census declaration, to the ecstatic singing of the heavenly hosts at Jesus’ birth.  Elaborate set decorations, a life-sized manger, dozens of live animals, Roman soldiers, and a chance to see exotic animals and baby animals up close in our Petting Zoo!

The Living Nativity Outdoor Drama and Marketplace opens at 5:00 pm and includes outdoor fire pits, hot cocoa, food trucks, tons of vendors, and lots of unique gift ideas.  Dress warmly!  Outdoor bleacher seating is handicapped accessible for wheelchairs and walkers.  To enhance the Nativity experience, this production is a ticketed-only event.  Shows run nightly at 6:00 pm, 7:00 pm and 8:00 pm.  Children under 2 years old are free.

Are you looking to start a new tradition with your family this holiday season? Check out this wide ranging list of live, walk thru and drive thru nativity scenes in Southern California. From Santa Barbara to Los Angeles to Orange County to San Diego, there is at least one nativity scene within driving distance from your home.

The Live Nativity, Glendora City Hall, Glendora (Dates for 2022 TBD)

A live nativity scene on the grass lawn up at Glendora city hall.  Enjoy hot cocoa, see shepherds, wise men, and manger animals all while learning about the hope that Christmas brings.  Presented by Grace Church of Glendora.  Free admission.

Live Nativity Scenes Los Angeles

Drive Thru Nativity, Community Christian Church of The Foothills, Tujunga (Dates for 2022 TBD)

Come join the Tujunga community for two nights in the little town of Bethlehem, as you get to experience the story of Jesus’ birth!  Walk or drive-thru and see Mary and Joseph’s long journey, the angel’s heavenly proclamation, and the wisemen with their gifts.  See a live video of the Nativity here!  Free admission.

Live Nativity Near Me 2018

Las Posadas, Olvera Street, Los Angeles (Dates for 2022 TBD)

Las Posadas, a nine night festival, has been a part of Olvera Street since its founding in 1930.  Reenacting the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem with traditional songs, colorful costumes, and vibrant music brings one of the oldest Christmas stories to life.  Free.

Live Nativity Events Southern California

Live Nativity Scenes in The Inland Empire

The Living Nativity, Magnolia Church, Riverside

December 2, 3 & 4 @ 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Bring the entire family, or a group of friends, and experience the Christmas story. Get close to the action and live animals as you walk through our Living Nativity. After, enjoy hot cocoa and the music and lights of the season. Everyone can use a little extra joy and fun this holiday season.  Be sure to reserve your arrival time today, only one reservation is needed for each group.  Our walk through is wheelchair accessible.

Magnolia Church Living Nativity

Drive or Walk Thru Nativity Scenes, Christmas on Euclid Street, Ontario

Thanksgiving Day 2022 – New Years Day 2023

Ontario Nativity scenes include religious creches exhibited on the Euclid Avenue median in downtown. Protected by wooden shelters, the dozen Nativity scenes between D and G streets tell the story of Jesus’ birth.  For 55 years, it has been a tradition for the scenes to go up in Ontario – through the help of volunteers – on the weekend before Thanksgiving and come down the first week in January.

Are you looking to start a new tradition with your family this holiday season? Check out this wide ranging list of live, walk thru and drive thru nativity scenes in Southern California. From Santa Barbara to Los Angeles to Orange County to San Diego, there is at least one nativity scene within driving distance from your home.

The Living Nativity, Calvary Sunrise, Murrieta (Dates for 2022 TBD)

A memorable event for the entire family celebrating the true meaning of Christmas.  Take a free family photo with one of the live performers or animals.

Live Nativity Events in Southern California

Live Nativity Scenes in San Diego

Bethlehem Drive, First United Methodist of Escondido, Escondido (Dates for 2022 TBD)

Free to the public, this nativity scene experience invites visitors to watch a re-creation of the traditional birthplace of Jesus.  The period is set in the time of Caesar Augustus, the Roman Emperor who decreed that a census be taken and set in motion the event we now celebrate as Christmas: the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem.

Families will be able to visit the village and view and listen to its inhabitants.  As you slowly go through the village, you’ll encounter Roman centurions and soldiers, shops, tradesmen, the synagogue, and other key landmarks, culminating in the inn and the manger.

Reservations by car-load will required and will be available on Eventbrite beginning November 22.  All visitors will be asked to bring a donation of cash or nonperishable items for Interfaith Community Services.

Live Nativity Scenes in Ventura County

Live Nativity, The Old Mission San Buena Ventura, Ventura

First Friday after Thanksgiving Weekend during the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting

A live Nativity sponsored by Holy Cross School is held on the front steps of the Mission.

Drive Thru Nativity, Faith Lutheran Church, Moorpark

December 10 @ 7:00 pm

Experience the wonder of a “living nativity”.  Drive-up to see the Living Nativity or park your car and enjoy hot chocolate by the fire while listening to music.  Look for the searchlight in the sky, to guide your way.  They will also be collecting donations of cash or canned food to support the Moorpark Food Pantry.  Free admission.

Drive Thru Nativity, Temple Avenue Baptist Church, Camarillo

December 16 & 17 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

The birth of Jesus Christ will be depicted in different Bible scenes during this annual drive thru nativity in Camarillo.

Drice Thru Nativity Camarillo

Happy Holiday Field Tripping!

Jilleen

More Family Holiday Events in Southern California:

mari

Wednesday 16th of November 2022

There is a great free one in RSM too! https://sites.google.com/view/follow-the-star/home

Lydia

Thursday 16th of December 2021

Thank you so much, Jilleen for posting our event (http://FBCCamarillo.com) May GOD bless you and your family. Merry Christmas and have a Wonderful Happy New Year!

Drive-Thru Nativity First Baptist Church of Camarillo 1601 Temple Avenue, Camarillo, CA 93010

LIVE Performances: December 17 @ 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. December 18 @ 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

FREE Event - FREE Hot Chocolate FREE Christmas Stockings with a lot of FREE items inside - GIFT Cards, Coupons & GIFTS FREE Christmas Nativity Stickers for kids

See you all tomorrow, Ventura County Neighborhood!!!

michelle

Tuesday 8th of December 2020

sorry, just saw this, I spoke to soon.

Thank you!

Jilleen

Wednesday 9th of December 2020

Glad you found it! Also, Light of the World at Saddleback Church has a manager scene at the end.

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