Updated for 2020
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 they are FREE community events! Here is a comprehensive list of live, virtual, drive and walk thru nativity scenes in Southern California for your enjoyment!
Live Nativity Scenes in Orange County
Drive or Walk Thru Nativity, First Christian Church, Huntington Beach
December 9, 10, & 11 starting @ 6:00 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.
December 11 & 12 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Christmas BLVD is a popular family-oriented Christmas experience that is returning to North Orange County this year! You’re invited to a drive thru celebration of Christmas. So, pack up the car and head over to Fullerton Free to make some new Christmas memories with your family. You will stay in your car for this drive through our main campus all the while experiencing fun Christmas movie characters, Santa’s workshop, a light show, and the amazing story of the incredible birth of Jesus.
Walk Thru A Night in Bethlehem, Liberty Baptist Church, Newport Beach (returning in 2021!)
Experience the sights, sounds and excitement of the very first Christmas! Bring friends and family to experience a first-century marketplace. Meet Bethlehem’s citizens. Create interesting crafts. Enjoy delicious treats. And receive a free family photo as a memento of your evening in Bethlehem! See a wonderful promo video here. Free admission.
Living Nativity, Village Bible Church, Garden Grove
December 12 & 13 @ 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.
The Living Nativity, The Church at Green Hills, La Habra
December 19 & 20 @ 6:00 pm, 7:00 pm & 8:00 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.