Celebrate the 2021 Holidays in Costa Mesa, CA!

Did you know that one of the best performing arts centers in Southern California is located in Costa Mesa? It’s True! Residents and visitors alike enjoy quick and easy access to the truly magnificent performances taking place at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. 

But don’t think holiday shows and performances are the only things going on in Costa Mesa, CA, this time of year. Fun holiday activities, great shopping, and opportunities to volunteer abound during this time of year! Here’s what’s going on in and around Costa Mesa, CA, this year.


Shows and Performances


Opportunities to Share

Safe Celebration


This holiday season, those in and around Costa Mesa, CA, are in for a treat. There are some seriously exciting holiday activities happening in the area this year. Here are some of the best holiday activities to check out!

Christmas Boat Parade and Ring of Lights Cruise: Newport Beach residents have a wonderful holiday tradition of decorating their bayside homes and yards with bright strings of light, animatronic holiday figures, and all sorts of other decorations. Even the boats get decorated during the holidays! There’s no better way to enjoy the sight of the lights than by taking a trip on the Ring of Lights Cruise, a cruise that takes passengers right along the shoreline of the bay. The cruise boats are fully decked out with lights, and the cruise offers a unique holiday activity for the whole family! This activity takes place throughout December.

Long Beach International Tamales Festival: Are you ready to start a new holiday tradition? The first annual International Tamales Festival is coming to Long Beach! Visitors can sample tamales from all over South America at this all-day holiday-inspired fair. In addition to tamales, you can find Latin-inspired dishes, drinks, tequila tastings, live music, art workshops for kids, performances, shopping, and more happening at the Long Beach International Tamales Festival! This festival takes place on December 5, so come hungry!

The Great Holiday Feast: A Celebration for Wizards Inspired by Harry Potter: Jump into the mischievous and magical world of Harry Potter this holiday season and attend a great holiday feast in the great hall. Before dinner, you’ll meet the Sorting Hat and get sorted into one of the four houses. Dinner will feature fresh seafood, pasta, ham, turkey, salad, bread, and a magical selection of scrumptious desserts such as brownies, cookies, cakes, tarts, and fudge. You’ll have a night to remember as you celebrate in true wizardly fashion at this Celebration for Wizards Inspired by Harry Potter!

SOCO Farmers Market: This year round activity occurs each Saturday in Costa Mesa from 9AM to 2PM. Farmers and vendors showcase and sell their fresh local produce, meats, and other goods. Food vendors are also present, selling homemade fast food and artisanal products for your enjoyment. Around the holidays, vendors sell handmade decor and items perfect for a unique gift or special occasion. This festive time of year means you’ll find some truly magical items and foods for sale at the SOCO Farmers Market, so don’t miss out!

Shows and Performances

Costa Mesa may be known for its proximity to the beach, but there’s a whole lot more going on during the holidays. Singing, ballet, and even circus performances are coming to the area this year! Make sure you set aside some time for family and friends this holiday and check out one or all of the amazing performances in the area. 

The Beautiful Day – Kurt Elling Sings Christmas: This year, Kurt Elling returns to the Jazz Club in Samueli Theater to celebrate the holidays with a fun and nostalgic mix of Christmas classics and more contemporary holiday hits. This celebrated artist brings together people of all beliefs for a holiday celebration of music sure to please! You can catch this performance on December 11 at 7 p.m. Don’t be late.

The Nutcracker: The star-studded cast and performers of the American Theatre’s The Nutcracker are coming to Costa Mesa this December, featuring over 100 performers and costumes designed by Tony-Award-winner Richard Hudson. Follow Clara’s dreamy journey as you experience Christmas through the eyes of a child. This performance in particular is widely celebrated as a “colorful, cinematic creation filled with spectacle, humor and eye-popping costumes.” There are nearly a dozen performances of The Nutcracker taking place in Costa Mesa, CA, this December, so pick a good date and go!

A Magical Cirque Christmas: Celebrate the holidays with the high-flying, death-defying antics of the Magical Cirque Christmas performers. This spell-binding performance will have you sitting on the edge of your seat. There will also be live musical performances of holiday classics and magical performances. It will be fun for the whole family. This event takes place December 26 and will likely sell out, so get your tickets in advance!


Does holiday shopping feel like a chore? Maybe you’re shopping in the wrong places. There are tons of unique holiday boutiques and fairs to find handmade holiday gifts, decor, and even Christmas trees. Here are a few of the top shopping attractions in the area this year.

The Wrapper: This holiday shop opens in October each year and sells hard-to-find holiday decor and items. Whether you’re looking for show-stopping decor pieces to impress your relatives or a special ornament to give to a friend, you’ll find multiple great options at The Wrapper. The Wrapper is open Monday through Saturday 11 a.m.–8 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m.–7 p.m. If for no other reason than to look at the beautifully decorated store, check out The Wrapper this holiday season.

Christmas Tree House: The Christmas trees sold at Christmas Tree House are family grown and have been for over 80 years. The purveyors of these Christmas trees strike a great balance between service and cost. The Christmas trees are freshly cut and sent directly to Southern California to maintain their freshness. The trees for sale include Douglas fir, Grand fir, Noble fir, Nordmann fir, Turkish Fir, and Silver Tips and range in size from a foot or two to over 13 feet. If you’re wondering if a real Christmas tree is for you, stop by the Christmas Tree House and see how beautiful they are for yourself.

A Very Merry Gente Market: Pick up a guide or scan a QR code that will lead you through the unique shopping experience at A Very Merry Gente Market. Unique gifts, delicious food, yummy treats, and fun activities all await at this cultural celebration and market. If you’re ready for a cultural holiday celebration, check out this unique market! It takes place on November 14 at the Heritage Museum of Orange County.

Opportunities to Share

Sometimes you have to give to get. Volunteer some of your time and energy this holiday season and you’ll find your holidays will be happier than ever! There are plenty of opportunities to volunteer your time, energy, or money in and around Costa Mesa, CA. Here are a few of the noble causes you could consider contributing to nearby.

Christmas Together 2021: This community organization has given away thousands of toys for children during the holidays. Last year, they managed to give away over 7,000 toys, but it wasn’t enough. This year, their goal is to reach over 20,000 toys to give away. But they provide more than toys to those in need. Healthcare screenings, vaccines, haircuts, food, and games are also going to those in need this holiday season. All this takes a lot of time and energy to pull off, so please consider donating this holiday season!

Operation #MovingForwardTogether: Operation #MovingForwardTogether is a program organized by the MovingForwardTogether Coalition to provide hot meals to seniors and individuals unemployed due to COVID-19. This operation is entirely run by volunteers and funded by private donations and sponsorship, and 500 hot meals are delivered across the 15 cities with locations in Orange County, CA. Consider helping with delivery or cooking, or simply donate to help cover the cost of food. This holiday season is a great time to donate.

Safe Celebration

Everyone loves a good pine-scented candle around December, but up to 7,500 fires are started each year because of household candles. Be extra careful when lighting candles in your apartment and place them in safe locations, especially if you have candles in your bedroom. Battery-powered candles are safe options without the added danger of real fire. Whatever you do, never leave your holiday candles unattended or go to bed without blowing them out!

Christmas trees can be another fire hazard you need to be aware of. They are festive and smell great, but if you’ve brought a real Christmas tree into your apartment during this holiday season, make sure you keep it watered so it isn’t quite as dangerous. Keep all open flames, especially candles, away from the branches and needles, and make sure you turn all holiday lights and strands off when you’re not at home. You never know when electrical issues might cause fires. Stay safe and enjoy the holidays!

If you want to take advantage of all the great holiday activities this year, you’d better be prepared: You’ll be running around all season having tons of fun! Holiday activities, performances, and shopping opportunities are plentiful, but don’t forget to give a bit of your time and money this holiday season to someone who wouldn’t have a very happy holiday without your help.

We’d love to see your holiday fun! If you decorate for the holidays or try out one of the activities above, post a photo on social media, tag us, and use #TisTheSeasonAtAMC.

From all of us at Eastside Apartments in Costa Mesa,
Happy Holidays!

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(949) 763-3495


126 E. 18th St., #A-102 Costa Mesa, CA 92627