Fun Things to Do in SoCal Between the Holidays

December 26, 2018


Fun things to do in SoCal during the holidays! - M Loves M @marmar

Matthew and I are so lucky to be able to take some time off between Christmas and New Year’s Day this year! We try to take as much time as we can during the holidays to spend with friends and family and find some fun things to do in SoCal. We also like to use the time to take care of some things around the house, but planning a few fun outings is a must. We have family in Los Angeles and San Diego that we’re planning on visiting, so I’ve rounded up some fun things to do in SoCal between the holidays!

Fun things to do in SoCal during the holidays with your family! - M Loves M @marmar Love these fun things to do in Los Angeles during the holidays! - M Loves M @marmar

Fun Things to Do in SoCal Between the Holidays

Mission Inn Festival of Lights

This extravagant display of Christmas lights at a historic hotel is a pretty beloved SoCal tradition. I can’t believe I haven’t been yet, especially since my best friend Lizzie lived in Riverside for several years. The train will even drop you right off near the hotel so you don’t have to stress about traffic and parking.

Ice Skating at Pershing Square

We don’t get much snow {actually zero snow} in Southern California, so ice skating rinks will have to do! I love the rink in Pershing Square because you can check out a great restaurant in Downtown Los Angeles after you’ve worked up an appetite!

Holiday Light Festival Train Ride at Griffith Park

This has Augustine’s name all over it! I can’t wait to head to Griffith Park to enjoy a one mile track train ride full of holiday lights! With tens of thousands of lights, your little ones will totally be captivated!

Logan’s Candy Cane Making Demonstration

Head to Logan’s to witness cheerful treats being made. Logan’s has been making Candy Canes for 79 years, so I’m super curious to see how it’s done!

LA Zoo Christmas Lights

The zoo is a fun family activity any time of the year, but add in some holiday lights and it’s pretty darn perfect. It’ll be a pretty magical night with displays like giant illuminated snowflakes, a disco ball forest, a whimsical herd of animated elephants, and a twinkling tunnel filled with dynamic swirls of color.

Balboa Park Holiday Food Truck Festival

From December 26th – 30th head over to the gorgeous Balboa Park for a holiday food truck festival! The annual festival serves up gourmet food from over a dozen of San Diego’s top food trucks, along with free live entertainment and fun activities for families.

Rancho Cucamonga Holiday Lights

Take a drive through Thoroughbred Street to see incredible houses draped with gleaming Christmas lights. If you want to take a drive to look at lights, this is the street to come to!

Orange County Winter Festival

Anyone with kids should check out Orange County’s Winter Festival! The family-fun event includes a tubing lane, areas of snow for the children to play in, ice skating, carnival rides, and much more. What more could you ask for??

Descanso Gardens’ Enchanted Forests of Lights

I’ve always loved Descanso Gardens’ but haven’t been to the Enchanted Forests of Lights before. This interactive, nighttime program includes 10 illuminated installations around the botanical garden grounds. Think less Christmas lights and more magical fairy garden! I bet it’s stunning!

Attend a High Tea Service in San Diego

I love the idea of attending a high tea service during the holidays. It just feels so perfect, doesn’t it? It’s a great opportunity to get all dressed up and indulge in some yummy treats. In early December my mother-in-law treated the girls in the family to a tea at Marlene’s Tea and Cakes and their scones were the best I’ve probably had. White chocolate and cranberry perfection!

The Ginger Bread House at the Grand Californian Disneyland Hotel

In case you need another reason to go to Disneyland, you can visit the most incredible gingerbread house at the Grand Californian Hotel at the Disneyland Resort. This Gingerbread house stands over 7 and ½ feet tall and 12 feet wide. If the aroma of gingerbread makes you hungry, gingerbread and snowman shortbread cookies are available for sale. Or bring home a piece of the magic with some traditional German stollen bread! Yum yum!

I would love to know what’s on your to-do list this week! Are you taking advantage of time off to catch up on chores? What about family-friendly activities? I know some people like to stay in the office and take advantage of the peace and quiet, too, which I totally get. I’m so curious what your plans are! Are there any other fun things to do in SoCal that I should check out?! Let me know below!


photos by Priscilla Frey