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Guide to Christmas & Holiday Events in Southern California for Kids

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Tis' the season to be jolly, shower those we love with gifts and get out and do fun things with the kids too. Southern California has a plethora of amazing events happening nearly every day around the holidays. We've created a list of the best of the best Christmas events for kids.


Knotts Merry Farm
8039 Beach Boulevard
Buena Park, CA 90620
(714) 220-5200
Dates: November 21, 2015 - January 3, 2016

A holiday season would not be complete without a trip to Knott's Berry Farm, which transforms itself during the holidays into Knott's Merry Farm. Joy is in season at this annual transformation of the park. Celebrate the holidays with everything from a Snoopy ice show, a Calico Christmas with a crafts village and festive food to a nightly dancing light show to the beat of holiday music as snow falls. A Christmas Crafts Village is a great place to relax and unwind as Ghost Town transforms into a shopping wonderland filled with dozens of local artisans selling unique goods. There will also be live entertainment, including he sounds of the season with the Dickensian vocal quartet. And, inside the intimate setting of Ghost Town's historic Bird Cage Theatre, visitors get to see a live performance of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" or "O. Henry's A Gift of the Magic." Head over to Camp Snoopy to watch the Peanuts Gang in their charming holiday show "Christmas Time is Here, Charlie Brown" as well! Looking for fun rides? Knott's is known for them! There are many rides to enjoy including roller coasters, children's rides, and attractions fit for the entire family.

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(credit: The Mission Inn)

Festival of Lights at the Mission Inn
3649 Mission Inn Avenue
Riverside, CA 92501
(800) 678-8946
Dates: November 27, 2015 through January 6, 2016

Located in Downtown Riverside, the historic Mission Inn transforms into a magical sight for the holidays. Covered in over 4 million twinkly lights, the annual Festival of Lights at the Mission Inn is a sight you have see for yourself. Kids will delight in all the activities. From an outdoor ice skating rink, horse drawn carriage rides, a few of Santa's reindeer to Santa himself, the Festival of Lights is sure to bring a smile to your child's face.

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(credit: Irvine Park Railroad)

Irvine Park Railroad
1 Irvine Park Road
Orange, CA 92869
(714) 997-3968

No list of Christmas events for kids would be complete without a mention of the Irvine Park Railroad Christmas train. Ride aboard the train through the Irvine Regional Park to the "North Pole" where Santa awaits to see all of the good girls and boys. Other activities include story time with Mrs. Claus, cookie decorating, hay maze, carnival games and more. Timed Christmas train tickets must be purchased online.

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(credit: Pretend City)

Pretend City Children's Museum CHOC Toy Drive
29 Hubble
Irvine, CA 92618
(949) 428-3900
Dates: December 1, 2015 - December 23, 2015

Join Santa Claus and friends as they come into the city for some "deck-the-halls" fun and excitement. Pretend City invites children and families to participate in its annual CHOC Toy Drive as a great way to help another child and demonstrate the importance of giving. Bring a child's toy valued at $5 or greater to receive 25% off general admission for the day of your visit. It's a great event for kids and to give back to the community during the holidays.

(credit: Toms Farms)

Toms Farms Holiday Events
23900 Temescal Canyon Road
Corona, CA 92883
(951) 277-4422

Toms Farms, a local favorite for kids and adults alike, transforms into a Christmas wonderland over the holidays with events ranging from a Christmas light show to live music and more. Toms Farms is complete with the best Santa Claus in town, train rides on the authentic reproduction 1800's steam propelled train through thousands of twinkly lights, darling old time carousel and more. Bringing your entire family will ensure that they love the experience.

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(credit: ICE Santa Monica)

ICE at Santa Monica
1324 5th Street
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(Corner of 5th St. & Arizona Ave.)
(310) 393-8355
Dates: November 1, 2015 — January 18, 2016

A holiday season would not be complete without putting on your favorite mittens, and ice skates. Every holiday season, Downtown Santa Monica brings outdoor ice skating to the beachside community and transforms the corner of 5th Street and Arizona Avenue into ICE at Santa Monica. The 8,000 square foot rink by the beach offers residents and visitors a little taste of winter without the winter freeze.

Desiree Eaglin is all about the holidays in Southern California with kids. She blogs at The Funny Mom Blog (link blog title with: You can follow her adventures on Twitter too.
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