OSTA MESA, Calif. (December 15, 2020) – Travel Costa Mesa has put together a list of holiday activities that can be experienced in the city during the 2020 holiday season. Each event is designed to create a positive, joyful holiday experience – but with a safe, socially distanced system in place.  For any in-person events or where there are other people in attendance, masks are required. 

“While we continue to remain vigilant by following required health and safety protocols in Costa Mesa, we also know that everyone could use a little extra cheer, especially this year,” said Paulette Lombardi-Fries, President of Travel Costa Mesa.  


The Holidays at South Coast Plaza are a popular time for Southern Californians to get in the spirit of the season – not only to explore the extensive collection of retailers, specialty boutiques and restaurants, but for the photo opportunities with Santa Claus that are an annual tradition for many families. Visits with Santa are a little different this year, though the special moment can still be captured:

  • A family-friendly experience, Around the World with Santa, allows guests an opportunity to say hello to Santa and take their own photos with him while he is seated in his sleigh with a backdrop of holidays scenes from around the world, separated from visitors by protective glass. 
  • Professional photos are also available in Santa’s Outdoor Wonderland, where Santa is staged at a safe distance from guests in a wintery scene.  
  • South Coast Plaza remains open for limited indoor shopping and takeout dining, but guests can also enjoy a private, in-person shopping experience at The Pavilion at South Coast Plaza, or take advantage of curbside pickup with SCP2Go.  Visiting South Coast Plaza during non-peak hours will help ensure a safe, pleasant experience.


Winter Wonderland – A Light Show and Toy Drive is being presented by the Power of One Foundation with support from the City of Costa Mesa, and will feature a long-standing Costa Mesa holiday tradition – The Snoopy House.  Located at IKEA, 1475 South Coast Dr., Costa Mesa.

  • On December 16 & 17, a toy collection will take place. Guests must register in advance and bring an unwrapped toy for a child age 15 or younger in order to enter the drive-through light show.
  • On December 18, a toy giveaway will take place to benefit those in need this season. Guests must register in advance to attend the drive-through toy giveaway event.
  • Winterfest OC: Night of Lights is a one-mile-long, drive-thru winter wonderland consisting of more than a million lights, animated displays with music, snowfall, and a tree lighting spectacular each night. The event runs December 10, 2020 – January 3, 2021, at the OC Fair & Event Center. Ticket prices begin at $49 per car.


For more than 40 years, a live performance of “A Christmas Carol” took place at the Tony Award®-winning South Coast Repertory. There are two options to still enjoy the story this year. 

  • On demand through January 3, 2021, stream a Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”. The timeless tale of Ebenezer Scrooge comes to new life as Tony Award-winner Jefferson Mays plays over 50 roles in this retelling of “A Christmas Carol.” The performance is staged exclusively for this streaming event.  For $50 (plus fees), patrons can register to view the show on demand. Proceeds will benefit South Coast Repertory. 
  • On Tuesday, Dec. 15, South Coast Repertory will release a new adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”—free of charge. Actor Richard Doyle, one of South Coast Repertory’s founding artists, stars in this free audio performance that includes a vibrant soundscape designed to help listeners fully immerse in the 19th-century London setting. The audio will be available through December 31, 2020.

Segerstrom Center for the Arts, the premier performing arts center in Orange County, will present three holiday programs for online streaming. All proceeds support the performing arts center and its programs.

  • Liz Callaway, Emmy® -winning singer and the voice of Anastasia, performs her Home for the Holidays concert with a mix of holiday favorites and Broadway showtunes. The concert is available through December 19 for $20 per household.
  • Broadway star Shoshanna Bean performs a holiday concert, Sing Your Hallelujah!, filmed live from New York City’s famed Apollo Theater.  The show includes special guests and a documentary film about the legendary theater. The program is available through January 3, 2021, with tickets starting at $30 per household, or VIP packages (special guest moderators, signed posters and Q&A) start at $75 per household.
  • Holidaze Harmony, a concert featuring Broadway veterans and recording artists Terron Brooks (The Lion King) and Kamilah Marshall (Hairspray Live! And Rent), is available through December 20, 2020. Tickets are $35 for the livestream premiere on December 16, or $29 for on-demand viewing December 17-20.


Shopping online may be the easiest way for many people to finish crossing items off their gift list this year. For this reason, Travel Costa Mesa has put together a list of ideas to support local businesses while shopping this holiday season.  Travel Costa Mesa’s events calendar is updated regularly with activities happening both in the city and virtually. Learn more about Costa Mesa’s efforts to ensure appropriate COVID-19 guidelines are in place.