Christmas at California Theme Parks

Celebrate the 2016 Holidays

Dreaming of a white Christmas? Then get the heck out of California! (Well, Southern California anyway.) But if you want some holiday hoopla along with some theme park fun, you've come to the right place. (Actually, quite a few parks offer "snow" -- or at least the theme park version of it -- to simulate a white Christmas.)

For the latest discounts and special offers, visit my California Theme Park Deals page.

  • 01 of 07
    Main Street U.S.A. at Disneyland during Christmas.
    ••• © Arthur Levine.

    Holidays at the Disneyland Resort

    • Anaheim, CA
    • 2016 dates: November 10 to January 8 (2017)
    • Included with admission

    Both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure will deck their parks with holiday finery and special events. Highlights include A Christmas Fantasy Parade, it's a small world Holiday, and Disney ¡Viva Navidad! New this year will be Festival of Holidays at DCA with international treats for sale and entertainment to enjoy.

  • 02 of 07

    Knott's Berry Farm

    Snoopy skating in Christmas ice show at Knott's Berry Farm.
    ••• Knott's.

    Knott's Merry Farm

    • Buena Park, CA
    • 2016 dates: November 19 to January 8 (2017)
    • Included with admission

    Highlights will include the ice show, "Merry Christmas, Snoopy," a Christmas Crafts Village with artisans plying their trades, snow falling in Ghost Town, and the stage shows, "A Christmas Carol" and "The Gift of the Magi."

  • 03 of 07

    Legoland California

    Christmas at Legoland Califronia.
    ••• Legoland Califronia

    Holiday Snow Days and Winter Nights

    • Carlsbad, CA
    • 2016 dates: November 25 to January 1 (2017) for the daytime event. The nighttime event is held on select dates.
    • Included with admission

    The park will be offering a holiday stage show. Legoland will will also be lighting its unique Christmas tree made entirely of Lego bricks, offering audiences with St. Nick, and providing lots of holiday decorations, treats, entertainment, and fireworks on select nights.

  • 04 of 07
    Christmas at SeaWorld San Diego.
    ••• SeaWorld Parks.

    SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration

    • San Diego, CA
    • 2016 dates: Nov. 19 to January 1 (2017)
    • Included with admission

    The characters from the claymation TV classic, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer will be at the park. Shamu will be featured in his (her?) own holiday-themed nightly show -- the final one before SeaWorld San Diego discontinues its orca entertainment shows. The sea lions will join in the holiday fun as well with Clyde and Seamore's Christmas Special, and land animals (shelter-adopted pets) get their own holiday show this year with Pet’s Rule Christmas. Plus Santa is on the guest list, and the park, including its landmark Skytower, will get decked out with holiday lights.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07
    Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Holiday in the Park.
    ••• Six Flags.

    Holiday in the Park

    • Vallejo, CA
    • 2016 dates: Weekends Nov. 25 to Dec. 11. Daily Dec. 17 to Jan. 1, 2017
    • Included with admission

    There will be a nighttime, holiday-themed dolphin show and loads of festive decorations such as a giant snow globe. See what else the Six Flags park has in store for its Christmas event at my Holiday in the Park rundown.

  • 06 of 07
    Six Flags Magic Mountain celebrates Holiday in the Park.
    ••• Six Flags.

    Holiday in the Park

    • Valencia
    • 2016 dates: Select days from November 19 to Jan. 1, 2017
    • Included with admission

    Among the highlights, thousands of lights will be synchronized to holiday tunes in Magic Mountain's DC Universe land. Get an overview of the event at my Holiday in the Park rundown.

  • 07 of 07

    Universal Studios Hollywood

    Universal Studios Hollywood Christmas event, Grinchmas.
    ••• Universal Studios Hollywood

    Grinchmas

    Meet and greet The Grinch, Cindy-Lou Who, Max the Dog, and other denizens of Whoville on the backlot original set of the Grinch movie. The cast will present a Whoville Whobilation show.