Things to Look Forward to This December
December is here, and we’re bringing the cheer! Each winter, Newport Beach transforms into a winter paradise, complete with a sleigh-full of holiday happenings and seasonal experiences. From tree lightings and Santa sightings to Christmas-themed speakeasies and the annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade, there’s so much festive fun to be had. Here are events to look forward to this December in Newport Beach!
Dates: Dec. 13-17 at 6:30 p.m.
Join the city of Newport Beach for the enchanting 115th Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade, happening from Dec. 13 to 17 at 6:30 p.m. A festive array of decked-out yachts, boats and more will be on display, offering a magical holiday spectacle that you won’t want to miss! Snuggle up and enjoy the festive ambiance as these boats light up the waves in classic Newport Beach style.
Dates: Dec. 13-17
Witness waterfront homes, businesses and yacht clubs light up during the Ring of Lights Competition—a cherished Newport Beach tradition! This annual event enhances the charm of the boat parade, allowing locals and visitors of our seaside city to enjoy and participate in the holiday cheer. Stroll around Balboa Island, take in the stunning light displays, and cap off your evening with dinner at a scenic bayside restaurant.
Tree Lighting Dates: Now through Jan. 5, 2024, every half hour from 5:30-8 p.m.
Photos with Santa Dates: Nov. 17 through Dec. 24
Each year, Fashion Island welcomes a majestic 90-foot white fir tree, signaling the start of the holiday season. As the tree illuminates each night every half hour, shoppers can witness the center transform into a winter wonderland, complete with snowfall, lights, music and glittering decorations. Get some holiday shopping done, snap a few photos with Santa and soak up all the joy!
Dates: Dec. 7-15
This year, Hanukkah begins at sundown on Thursday, Dec. 7, and ends the evening of Friday, Dec. 15, and to get you in the spirit, Pendry Newport Beach is pulling out all the stops.
Join this brand-new hotel for a nightly lighting of the Menorah, celebrating the eight sacred days of Hanukkah. This event will take place in the lobby!
Dates: Dec. 31 to Jan. 1 from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Say farewell to 2023 in style at Lido House’s Topside Roof Deck! Taking place from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Dec. 31, this exclusive rooftop party will feature DJ beats, red carpet photo ops, a midnight brunch buffet and a celebratory midnight toast. Each ticket includes general admission to the event, a welcome drink, tray-passed canapes and access to the midnight brunch buffet. To up the ante, guests can also take advantage of VIP and reserved seating options for an unforgettable night.
Dates: Open daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
A must-visit this season, Roger’s Gardens’ “Christmas Confections” Holiday Boutique brings a hefty dose of cheer each year to Corona del Mar. This December, the gardens have transformed into a holiday haven, complete with a candy-themed boutique full of sparkling ornaments and shimmering garlands, lush wreaths and merry gifts designed to resemble the most scrumptious seasonal treats.
Date: Dec. 13 from 4 to 8 p.m.
On the evening of Dec. 13 at Marina Park, the Opening Night Holiday Pop-Up Market will take place, kicking off the highly anticipated Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade. This event coincides with the boat parade’s first night, featuring local makers, live music, face painting and a spectacular fireworks show. Shop handmade goods from Creative Communal’s talented collection of artisans, and cheers to an evening well spent!
Dates: Nov. 24 through Jan. 1
Immerse yourself in the holiday spirit at Newport Dunes’ first-ever Fire & Ice Festival, where this bayside oasis becomes a scenic winter paradise. Enjoy ice skating on an outdoor rink, the 33rd annual Lighting of the Bay, and activities like s’mores roasting and Christmas tree shopping. This ongoing event provides fun for the whole family, and as you lace up your ice skates, you may even forget you’re on the west coast.
Make it Merry: The Holidays at Lido Marina Village
Date: Dec. 2 – Dec. 23 ( select dates)
Santa Claus is coming to town! Watch Santa’s grand entrance via an electric boat at Lido Marina Village on Dec. 2 as he pulls up dockside and greets guests. Enjoy gourmet hot chocolate and fun activities, with snow flurries on the Lido Deck adding to the festive mood every Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Click here to see what else is happening at Lido Marina Village this December!
Date: Starting Nov. 30
Beginning Nov. 30, VEA Newport Beach will host its Holiday Hideout Speakeasy experience. Throw on your best Christmas sweater or scarf and sip festive holiday libations, listen to live music and enjoy a cozy winter atmosphere that is perfect for holiday gatherings. The speakeasy will be open from Thursday to Saturday throughout the month of December and will serve unique cocktails like the Naughty or Spice List and Santa’s Little Helper.
Written By: Kaylin Waizinger