Celebrate Christmas in Laguna Beach with these Holiday Events and Festivals

November 23, 2023

2023 is ending soon! There’s still time to plan that last getaway and use up your remaining time offs. Laguna Beach is a great year-round destination for folks in search of sun, sand, and surf, but Christmas in Laguna Beach is an entirely different experience that’s nothing short of magical. The weather is great, and every holiday event is an experience to remember. From lighted boat parades to arts and dance festivals, there are plenty of Christmas-y things to do in Laguna Beach this season that are sure to put you in a festive mood.


Support the Laguna Dance Festival

When: December 2nd from 6pm to 10pm

Where: Surf & Sand Resort | How to get here– 7 minutes from The Art Hotel

Sip cocktails while watching sunset, feast on a delicious meal, and watch various spectacular dance performances all night long at the Laguna Dance Festival 2023 Holiday Gala, themed “My Favorite Things,” on December 2nd from 6pm to 10pm at Surf & Sand Resort . Amazing talents will be gracing the night with a mix of ballet and contemporary dance performances.

Since its inception in 2005, the festival has been instrumental in bringing world-class dance to Laguna Beach, collaborating with renowned groups such as the Paul Taylor Dance Company, San Francisco Ballet, American Ballet, and New York City Ballet. The Gala serves as a critical fundraiser for the festival, supporting dance programming, education, and providing scholarships to emerging young dancers. Tickets to sell out quickly, so book early.


Visit Sawdust Art Festival’s Winter Fantasy

How to get here – 5 minutes away from The Art Hotel

When: On weekends from November 17 to Sunday, December 17, 2023 from 10am to 7pm

Now in its 33rd year, the Sawdust Winter Fantasy Festival is one of the best and most anticipated Christmas events in Laguna Beach. Three acres of winter magic await you with beautifully decorated Christmas trees, hundreds of shimmering lights, dazzling ornaments, live entertainment by local bands, roaming Victorian carolers, puppeteers, magic shows, visits from Santa, art workshops, and more!

Get a hot cup of coffee and delicious grubs from our concession stands while you take in the sights and sounds. It’s a festival for the senses! But most of all, come to the market and show your support for the 165 participating local artists and merchants. Explore the wide selection of pottery, tile artwork, jewelry pieces, clothing, and toys created by local artisans, and find the perfect presents for your loved ones.


Hospitality Night in Downtown Laguna Beach

When: December 1, 2023 | 5:00pm to 10:00pm
Where: Downtown Laguna, 357 Glenneyre, Laguna Beach, California

Downtown Laguna’s Hospitality Night, set for December 1 from 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM, is the season’s highlight. Co-hosted by the City and the Chamber of Commerce, this event is a festive mix of caroling, community spirit, and the much-awaited tree lighting by Santa at 6:10 PM in the Peppertree Lot. Join in for an evening of holiday joy and neighborhood camaraderie in the heart of Laguna Beach.


The Nutcracker

When: Saturday, December 2 at 6pm and Sunday, December 3 at 4pm
Where: Santa Ana Highschool– 26 minutes from Art Hotel

]Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean your holiday traditions get thrown out the window. The Nutcracker will be playing at Santa Ana High School on December 2nd at 6pm and on December 3rd at 4pm. Presented by the California Ballet Theater and the Prynstev Ballet Academy, the schools’ Youth Academy will perform Tchaikovsky’s timeless score. Support local artists and purchase The Nutcracker tickets here.


Holiday Concert by Laguna Community Concert and JaZz Bands

When: December 3, 2023, at 2:00 PM
Where: Artists Theatre, Laguna Beach High School, 625 Park Ave, Laguna Beach, CA, 92651

Kickstart your holiday with a free holiday concert featuring the Laguna Community Concert Band and the Laguna JaZz Band. Enjoy beloved holiday classics like “Sleigh Ride,” “The Hanukkah Song,” and “White Christmas,” performed with the vocal talents of Lisa Morrice, Gary Greene, Ginger Hatfield, and Samantha Morrice.


Catch a show at The Laguna Playhouse

How to get here – 4 minutes from The Art Hotel


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If you’re not sure what to do on Christmas in Laguna Beach, head out to the theater! Fill in some of your vacation time with music, dancing, and arts, and catch a show at The Laguna Playhouse. This December, the theatre showcases an exciting lineup:

  1. Catch A Cinderella Christmas from December 7 to 29, 2023, a Lythgoe Family Panto that transforms the classic Cinderella tale into a hilarious and heartwarming holiday spectacle. This modern take on the classic fairy tale features favorite characters, contemporary music, and a comical twist. Children ages 4-12 can enjoy a special onstage sing-along experience with the purchase of a Golden Ticket.
  2. The Skivvies: Best in Snow brings Broadway’s Lauren Molina and Nick Cearley back to Laguna Playhouse for a uniquely outrageous holiday show on December 11 and 12, 2023. Known for their undie-rock, comedy pop performances, the duo will deliver a night of stripped-down holiday tunes, zany instruments, and top-notch entertainment.
  3. Don’t miss Sister’s Christmas Catechism on December 18 and 19, 2023. It’s “CSI: Bethlehem” as Sister unravels the mystery of the Magi’s gold in this hilarious holiday mystery extravaganza. This show promises to be a perfect blend of humor and holiday spirit, possibly becoming a new addition to your holiday traditions.
  4. Celebrate New Year’s Eve at The Laguna Playhouse with two special performances. On December 31, 2023, at 1:00 pm, enjoy Listen to the Seventies – a tribute to the iconic music of the 1970s. And at 7:00 pm, join us for A Groovy New Year’s Eve, featuring Rita Rudner’s comedy and music, followed by a celebration of the East Coast ball drop with champagne and party favors.


Songs for a New World at No Square Theatre

When: December 8th at 7:30pm
Where: No Square Theatre, Historic Legion Hall, 384 Legion Street, Laguna Beach

Experience the captivating musical, “Songs for a New World” at No Square Theatre, a journey of self-discovery through powerful storytelling and music. This Jason Robert Brown creation, known for works like “Parade” and “Bridges of Madison County,” blends contemporary narratives with a vibrant score. The show takes you from historical voyages to modern-day challenges, all portrayed by a talented, multi-ethnic cast. It’s a dynamic exploration of life, love, and choices, perfect for introducing new audiences to the world of theatre.


Newport Dunes Fire & Ice Festival


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When: Nov 24, 2023 – Jan 1, 2024, 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Where: Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina, 1131 Back Bay Drive, Newport Beach, CA

Less than 15 minutes from Art Hotel, head to Newport Beach for Newport Dunes’ Fire & Ice Festival. Celebrating its 33rd year, the festival lights up the bay with over 50 floating lights and introduces one of Orange County’s largest ice rinks by the water. Skate under the stars, enjoy hot beverages at the Igloo bar, and savor s’mores at cozy firepit tables. The festival also features live weekend entertainment, including fire dancers and holiday movies by the beach. Don’t miss this enchanting blend of fire, ice, and festive fun!


Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade and Marina Park Family Fun Night

The 115th annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade will feature over 100 boats of all shapes and sizes, from yachts to kayaks and canoes, all decorated to bring holiday cheer. The parade will be from Wednesday through Sunday, December 13 to 17, 2023 at 6:30pm but come early on December 15 at 5:30pm and head to Marina Park Community Center for the Marina Park Family Fun Night. There will be crafts for kids, photo ops with Santa, and other family-friendly activities to enjoy before watching the parade.


Dana Point Holiday Light Cruises

Where: 34675 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, California
When: December 1st, 2nd, 15th, 16th, 21st, and 22nd at 6:00pm

Set sail on a festive 60-minute journey around Dana Point Harbor this holiday season. On select dates in December, Dana Point’s Holiday Light Cruises offer an enchanting experience with up-close views twinkling boats and the harbor’s festive lights. Enjoy the scenery with a drink in hand from our cash bar.

Tickets: Adults $25, Children (3-12) $15, Toddlers $5.  Keep in mind that seating is limited, allowing most guests to enjoy the cruise from standing areas which provide the best views of the harbor’s holiday lights. Don’t miss this chance to be part of a unique local tradition and experience a holiday cruise like no other!




After a long day of exploring at the Sawdust Art Festival 2022 Winter Gala or dancing your blues away at the Laguna Dance Festival, come home to a comfy bed at The Art Hotel. The holiday events in Laguna Beach can really get you going! But don’t worry, the Art Hotel is the perfect place to rest your tired feet and aching back. With our smoke-free and spacious hotel rooms, you can relax with ease.

The Art Hotel offers complimentary underground parking, laundry facilities, ADA-accessible rooms, complimentary breakfasts, and an outdoor pool. We are located just a few minutes away from all the Christmas events in Laguna Beach that you might want to go to, but far enough from the heavy hustle and bustle of this popular resort playground. Spend Christmas in Laguna Beach with your family, friends, loved ones, and fur babies. We’re pet-friendly! For reservations, call us at 949.494.6464 or book directly below.

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