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Your Guide to a Very Merry Family Vacation in Newport Beach

November 4, 2023

‘Tis the season for some festive family fun! From dazzling light displays and photos with Santa to Ferris wheel rides and movie nights, there’s no place like Newport Beach when it comes to holiday cheer. So round up your little ones and spend the season with us in our town by the sea! We’ve put together a holly jolly itinerary for you and your family to enjoy this winter season.

Stay at Hyatt Regency Newport Beach

For a coastal winter escape, book your stay at the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach! This sprawling property sits on 26 acres near the beautiful Back Bay and features three pools, lush grounds, several on-site restaurants, outdoor fire pits and an abundance of family-friendly amenities. Cozy up together in one of the hotel’s spacious suites or villas and prepare for a holiday vacation full of merriment. Spend your days exploring the Back Bay’s nature trails, playing games like table tennis, shuffleboard and volleyball and roasting s’mores by the fire pits.

9 a.m. Breakfast at Great Maple + Photos With Santa

Kickstart your morning with a cozy breakfast at Fashion Island’s Great Maple, just a mile from your hotel! The Hyatt Regency Newport Beach offers complimentary bike rentals, so you can get some exercise in before you chow down on delicious morning favorites like syrup-soaked French Toast Logs, Chilaquiles or their Famous Maple Bacon Doughnuts. After you’ve had your fill, pop on over to see Santa and snap some family photos!

12 p.m. See a Movie at THE LOT

Cozy up and catch a flick at THE LOT at Fashion IslandNewport Beach’s premier movie theater. With in-seat theater wait service and reserved recliner seating, this luxury theater is the ultimate place to watch a movie on the big screen. Nosh on SoCal-inspired bites like flatbreads, sushi and fresh salads as you enjoy a one-of-a-kind cinematic experience. Stay tuned for upcoming movies during the winter months!

4 p.m. Head to the Balboa Fun Zone + See the Ring of Lights

No Newport Beach family vacation is complete without a trip to the time-honored Balboa Fun Zone. Take a ride on the Ferris wheel and let the kids play in the old-school arcade, then take the Ferry across to Balboa Island to see the annual Ring of Lights waterfront decorating competition. We suggest grabbing a hot cocoa from Huskins Coffee Company on Marine Avenue before walking around to see the festive homes.

6 p.m. Dinner at Mama D’s Italian Kitchen

Rated one of the best Italian restaurants in the US by Yelp, Mama D’s Italian Kitchen is the perfect place for a family dinner by the beach. The restaurant has two Newport Beach locations, one in Corona del Mar and the other on the Balboa Peninsula. Both offer an excellent dining experience with local flair and authentic Italian recipes. Savor everything from minestrone soup to specialty pizzas and classic pastas like spinach ravioli, baked ziti and vegetarian lasagna.

7pm: Grab a Balboa Bar From Sugar ‘n Spice

Famous for their chocolate-dipped ice cream bars, Sugar ‘n Spice has been a Balboa Island staple since 1945. Take an after-dinner stroll down Marine Avenue and order one of these beloved frozen treats. Simply choose your toppings—think rainbow sprinkles, almonds, Oreos, toffee and Fruity Pebbles—and don’t forget to snap a pic before you bite. If ice cream isn’t your style, try one of Sugar ‘n Spice’s frozen bananas!

Don’t Miss!

The Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade is back for its 115th year! Celebrate the holiday season with us and watch as decorated boats cruise the harbor from Dec. 13-17. For more info, visit

Written By: Kaylin Waizinger

Written by Visit Newport Beach

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