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12 Magical Must-Do Christmas Events in the Inland Empire

12 Magical Must-Do Christmas Events in the Inland Empire

It is the holiday season which means it is time to bring out  the festive lights, Christmas trees, and holiday spirit. Whether you need to get some holiday shopping done, want to go see a Christmas show, or take a ride on the infamous Polar Express, there is something for everyone. So grab your hat, scarf, and hot chocolate to embrace the holiday season with these 12 merry events in the Inland Empire sure to help get even Scrooge in a festive spirit.

 

Riverside

Mission Inn Festival of Lights

Take a trip to downtown Riverside to see the beautifully decorated historic hotel. Each year, the Mission Inn hotel staff transforms the hotel from a gorgeous Spanish-style stay to a Christmas wonderland. Come see the lights, drink hot chocolate, and maybe shop while you are here.

Where: 3649 Mission Inn Avenue, Riverside CA 92501

When: November 18th – January 7th

Cost: Attending is free but parking spaces fill up fast! Reserve your parking spot here: https://app.parkmobile.io/venue/festival-of-lights/events

Find out more information here: https://www.missioninn.com/about/festival-of-lights

 

The Festival of the Trees Holiday Fair

Come bring your kids to take photos with Santa, look at the beautifully decorated Christmas trees, shop with local vendors, and participate in fun Christmas activities!

Where: 3637 5th St Riverside CA, 92501 

When: November 25-26, 10 am-9 pm

Cost: Free

Find out more information here: https://riversideca.gov/calendar/event/festival-trees-holiday-fair

 

Perris

The Polar Express

I love this classic Christmas movie starring Tom Hanks. Have you always wanted to board the magical train that takes you to Santa’s workshop in the North Pole? Now you can! Come in your pj’s, drink hot chocolate, and get a bell, but make sure to show your golden ticket!

Where: 2201 S. A St, Perris CA 92570

When: November 19 – December 30

Cost: Prices vary per person and ticket

Find out more information here: https://socalthepolarexpressride.com/

 

Menifee

Menifee Hometown Holiday Festival

Dress up in your best ugly Christmas sweater for a chance to win the contest, donate to a toy drive, enjoy live music, shop at local vendors, and get a chance to see Santa!

Where: 28237 La Piedra Rd, Menifee, CA 92584

When: December 9th, 3 pm-8 pm

Cost: Admission is free

To find out more information visit https://allevents.in/menifee/menifee-hometown-holiday-festival/80001162557264?ref=eventlist-cat

 

San Bernardino

The Nutcracker Ballet Performance

Come to the California Theater of Performing Arts in the city of San Bernardino to see the ballet performance of The Nutcracker. Come see professional and local dancers perform the classic Christmas tale.

Where: 562 W 4th St, San Bernardino CA 92401

When: December 8-9 at 7 pm and December 10 at 2:15 pm

Cost: Ticket prices range from $ 40 to $50, depending on your seats.

Find out more information here: https://dola.com/events/2023/12/10/inland-dance-theatre-presents-the-nutcracker-tickets

 

Temecula

Temecula on Ice

Are you sad that you cannot ice skate in Southern California? Well, now you can! Come to Old Town Temecula, lace up your skates, and get out on the ice. Don’t have skates? Not to worry they are available to rent! (and helmets for the little ones).

Where: 41902 Main Street, Temecula CA, 92590

When: December 14 – January 7 but the days of the week vary

Cost: General Admission is $20 and includes skates, but other pricing options are available

To find out about days open and prices and any other information visit here: https://temeculaca.gov/1120/Temecula-On-Ice

 

Holiday Market

Get Christmas shopping done with local vendors in a cozy holiday market. Take advantage of cute photo opportunities, enjoy music, and get the chance to see Disney’s Frozen’s Elsa and Anna!

Where: 40820 Winchester Rd, Temecula CA, 92591

When: December 9th, 10 am – 9 pm

Cost: Free

To find out more information visit: https://www.promenadetemecula.com/en/events/it-s-peachy-merry-everything-holiday-market-41770.html

 

Santa’s Electric Light Parade

Set up chairs, get cozy with blankets, and enjoy some hot cocoa to get in the Christmas spirit with an electrifying Christmas light parade.

When: December 1st, 7 pm sharp

Where: 41000 Main St, Temecula, CA

Cost: Admission is free but good spots fill up fast!

To find out more information visit: https://temeculaca.gov/1089/Santas-Electric-Light-Parade

 

Merry Little Market

This little magical three-day event is filled with twinkling lights, carolers, yummy Christmas treats, and local vendors all while being surrounded by a magical Christmas atmosphere.

When: December 15th-17th, 10 am-9 pm

Where:  41000 Main St, Temecula, CA

Cost: Admission is free

To find out more information about day 1 visit: https://www.inthelooptemecula.com/events/merry-little-market-nh4h6

To find out more information about day 2 visit: https://www.inthelooptemecula.com/events/merry-little-market-nh4h6-n5j8j

To find out more about say 3 visit: https://www.inthelooptemecula.com/events/merry-little-market-nh4h6-n5j8j-mf28a

 

A Christmas Carol

Come to the Old Town Temecula Theater to see a live performance of the Christmas tale with music from Broadway stars, Alan Menken and Lynn Ahrens. See how Temecula Valley’s and New York’s actors bring this Christmas classic to life.

Where: 42051 Main St, Temecula CA, 92590

When: November 30 – December 9, dates and times vary

Cost: Prices vary on seats

To find out the dates, times, and ticket prices visit the link here: https://temeculavalleyplayers.com/

 

Holiday Bike Tour

Nothing says Christmas quite like looking at the festively decorated houses and nothing says Southern California like enjoying our warm winter. So, Temecula combined the two! Grab your bikes and festive Christmas sweaters to ride 2-3 miles and take a look at some very festive, beautifully decorated houses. Everyone must have their own bike! Bikes with training wheels and tricycles are not allowed.

Where: 45850 Wolf Creek Dr. N, Temecula CA 92592

When: December 16, 7 pm

Cost: Free! You just have to bring your bike

To find out more information visit: https://temeculaca.gov/1425/Holiday-Fun

 

Longshadow Christmas Gala

Watch Christmas performances, enjoy spiced cider, mulled wine, hot chocolate, a peppermint toss, and much more at this transformed Temecula winery.

Where: Longshadow Ranch Winery 39847, Calle Contento Temecula, CA 92591

When: December 2, 6-8 pm

Cost: Prices range from $15-$50

Find out more information about prices and others here: https://www.simpletix.com/e/longshadow-christmas-gala-tickets-150586

 

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About the Contributor
Mia Rotell, Writer
Hi! My name is Mia Rotell and I am a writer and editor for The Talon! I'm going on my second year at MSJC and my second semester at The Talon. I'm extremely passionate about writing and storytelling, which makes me put my all into my pieces and always on the lookout for a story to cover. I'm currently a Journalism major and plan on getting my bachelor's degree in Journalism and Media Communications. My ultimate goal is to be an editor at a major publication like TIME Magazine or one that highlights people/ events of different cultures and backgrounds. Outside my articles, I like to read, write, do yoga, paint, travel, and collect old books.

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