10 Can’t-Miss Holiday Events in Newport Beach
December is here, which means it’s time to spread some holiday cheer! This month, Newport Beach is all things merry and is eager to make your season bright with a slew of festive activities. From dazzling light displays to tree lightings and holiday markets, we’ve rounded up nine can’t-miss events and places to explore this month in our charming coastal town. We may not have snow, but we sure have spirit!
Dates: December 13-17 at 6:30 p.m.
Experience the magic of the holidays with the 115th anniversary of the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade! This merry celebration will take place from Dec. 13-17 at 6:30 p.m. nightly and will showcase a variety of beautifully decorated yachts, boats, kayaks and canoes. Cozy up and watch as the boats “jingle on the waves” this year in true Newport Beach fashion. This is one you won’t want to miss!
Dates: December 13-17
In addition to beautiful boats sailing the harbor, all waterfront homes, businesses and yacht clubs are encouraged to participate in the Ring of Lights Competition. This annual decorating competition adds to the festive feel of the boat parade and gives locals and visitors of Newport Beach a chance to explore the beautiful and festive displays. Take a stroll around Balboa Island and see the lights, then enjoy a meal at one of Newport Beach’s many bayside restaurants to watch the boats cruise by.
Dates: Now through January 5, 2024, every half hour from 5:30-8 p.m.
A 90-foot-tall, white fir tree has made its way to Fashion Island to officially kick off the 2023 holiday season. The tree will be lit every evening, but you’ll want to stay to witness Fashion Island transform into a magical winter wonderland with snowfall, choreographed music and light displays, Santa sightings and sparkling red and green decor. Get some gifting done and enjoy the festive atmosphere of this one-stop shopping destination.
Date: December 3 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For over 43 years, the Corona del Mar Christmas Walk has proudly celebrated the local shops and restaurants of Corona del Mar Village with a spectacular holiday celebration. This special event is fun for all ages and draws thousands of friends, neighbors and business owners into the neighborhood of Corona del Mar! This year’s festivities will include live entertainment from over 17 local bands, photos with Santa, beer and wine gardens, unique vendors, activities for the kids and more.
Dates: Open daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Experience the enchanted spirit of the season at the Roger’s Gardens “Christmas Confections” Holiday Boutique! In the fall and winter, Roger’s Gardens transforms into a winter wonderland filled with festive decor. Take a stroll through the lush gardens, then wander through the candy shoppe dreamland to shop a vast collection of shimmering ornaments, wreaths, garlands and cherished gifts crafted to mimic the sweetest holiday confections.
Date: December 13 from 4 to 8 p.m.
Before you head to the nearest department store to get your holiday shopping done, stop by the Opening Night Holiday Pop-Up Market during the first night of the boat parade! On Wednesday, Dec. 13, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Marina Park, you can shop from local makers and artisans from Creative Communal. There will also be face painting, photo ops, live music and a dazzling fireworks display!
Dates: November 24 through January 1
The magic of the holiday season will come alive at Newport Dunes’ enchanting Fire & Ice Festival. Come watch as the resort’s bayside oasis transforms into a winter wonderland, featuring one of the most scenic outdoor ice skating rinks in Orange County. Visitors can bask in the glow of festive lights and enjoy sweeping views of the 33rd annual Lighting of the Bay, where over 50 lighted Christmas trees will float on the serene, waveless bay. Don’t miss other activities like roasting s’mores, writing letters to Santa, and picking out the perfect tree at the Christmas tree lot.
Date: December 2 at 11:30 a.m.
This year, Santa will be trading in his sleigh for an electric boat! Don’t miss his epic arrival in a Vision Electric Boat at Lido Marina Village. Gather by the water on the Lido Deck to greet jolly old St. Nick and stay to sip gourmet hot chocolate and enjoy activities like face painting and cookie decorating. There will also be snow flurries every Friday and Saturday
Christmas Carolers at Five Crowns
Dates: December 1-30
From Dec. 1-30, handbell carolers will perform nightly at Five Crowns in Corona del Mar, serenading diners with classic holiday jingles. The restaurant’s charming dining and private rooms will be enhanced with twinkling lights, festive decor and crackling fireplaces, setting the scene for a festive holiday meal. Don’t miss a fun photo op with Santa on Nov. 26 and the restaurant’s Dickens Dinner on Dec. 1. Order a cozy cocktail at the bar and head back to Shakespeare’s Lounge to watch a live performance of “A Christmas Carol!”
Date: Starting November 30
Coinciding with the hotel’s second annual tree lighting event on Nov. 30, VEA’s Holiday Hideout invites guests to revel in festive refreshments, live entertainment and Santa sightings. Open Thursday through Saturday throughout December, this cozy lounge area in the lobby transforms into a festive winter wonderland retreat—perfect for sipping on holiday-themed cocktails and capturing memorable photos. The drink menu includes unique concoctions such as “Santa’s Little Helper,” made with Braulio, green chartreuse and hot cocoa, and the “Mariah Carey High Note” crafted with Tanqueray gin, Grey Goose vanilla vodka, cranberry, blood orange puree, lime and ginger beer.
Written By: Kaylin Waizinger