Family Holiday Activities, Newport Style

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Newport Beach is a wonderland all year long, boasting a variety of opportunities for play and recreation for active families. But during the holidays special celebrations, uniquely Newport, abound. Mark your calendars for these family-friendly activities beginning now and taking place throughout the season.

 Rogers Gardens’ Photos with Santa in Disney Gazebo

Every weekend through December 22 from noon to 6 p.m., bring your children and take a professional photo with Santa Claus. Santa will be in the original Disneyland bandstand gazebo. Bring your own camera to take photos, no charge, or a professional photographer will be available to take photos to purchase. Visit or call (949) 640-5800.

 christmas2Santa Claus at Fashion Island, now through Christmas Eve. Bring your own camera, or purchase a photo on site. Hours vary, visit

 Nightly Holiday Tree lighting at Fashion Island, through January 5. Every evening at 5 p.m. enjoy the lighting of Fashion Island’s towering tree, Disney style. Illumination is accompanied by custom Disney holiday music. Free. Visit

 Menorah Lighting at Fashion Island. December 1 at 3 p.m. Friendship Circle Choir performs, plus a concert by the Hot Shotz. Dreidles, doughnuts, balloon animals, face painting, Chanukah entertainment, gifts, Chanukah crafts and treats for kids. Bring an unwrapped gift for community toy drive. Free. Visit, or call (949) 721-9800.

 Balboa Island Christmas Tree Lighting. December 1, 4 to 6 p.m. at the Balboa Island Fire Station at Marine and Park Avenues. Santa and Mrschristmas5. Santa arrive at 4 p.m. Tree lighting and caroling at dusk. Snow for the kids – bring your mittens!  Christmas caroling, popcorn, cookies, and cider will be provided. Go to

Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort Lighting of the Bay. December 6 at 6 p.m. Santa Claus will arrive not by sleigh, but by lighted paddleboard. He will flip the switch that will illuminate 50 electric Christmas trees situated on the bay. Free. Visit

Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at Crystal Cove State Park. Dec. 7. This is an all-day free event beginning at 9 a.m. with a holiday bazaar and ending with the tree lighting at 5:15 pm. The seaside cottages will be aglow with lights and vintage decorations and giant candy canes. Hot beverages will be provided by The Beachcomber Café. Santa Claus arrives in the Historic District at 4 p.m. Crystal Cove State Park is at Pacific Coast Highway and Los Trancos. For more information, visit

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