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Holiday Happenings at The Westin St. Francis
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Magical Holiday Getaways in California

Immerse yourself in the holiday spirit this season with month-long winter celebrations, one-on-one time with Santa and holiday-themed hotels for a winter wonderland type of stay. Holidays in California are nonstop – with something to do all season long!

HOTELS FOR THE HOLIDAYS 


Miracle at Holbrooke Hotel 

This holiday season, head to Grass Valley and watch The Iron Door in Holbrooke Hotel transform into Miracle, a Christmas-themed pop-up bar. Enjoy festive cocktails, like a Christmaspolitan or a Snowball Old-Fashioned, while sipping under festive Christmas décor. This pop-up is the perfect setting for an office Christmas party or friendly gathering. 


Christmas Castle at The Westin St. Francis 

Enjoy a stay at The Westin St Francis in San Francisco from Nov. 23 – Jan. 23 and see the extravagant 12-foot rotating holiday sugar castle created by Executive Pastry Chef Jean-François Houdré. The castle will be on display in the Landmark Lobby by the Sweet Boutique, where freshly baked holiday treats like gingerbread “Castle Bites” will be available for purchase. 


Decked Out Décor at Pebble Beach Resort 

Guests will find holiday décor in every corner, from grand Christmas trees to holiday light displays and more, when they stay at the Pebble Beach Resort in Monterey. Admire their miniature ‘Winter Wonderland’ gingerbread display at the Spanish Bay Lobby or take a walk through The Lodge, where Christmas lights are on display everywhere. 


Feliz Navidad at el PRADO Hotel 

el Prado Hotel, a luxurious Spanish-inspired boutique hotel in the heart of Downtown Palo Alto, is bringing a gold and silver winter wonderland to life with its holiday décor. Enjoy a Christmas-themed painting class on Dec. 17 or festive cocktails with botanical ingredients from their Tapas & Bar Lounge. 


Lido House Holiday Hideaway

Lido House in Newport Beach is bringing a coastal-themed Christmas to guests. Wander through Lido’s Holiday Hideaway, where a collection of charming poolside cabanas offers festive holiday-themed drinks, Christmas treats, cheery photo ops and more. 


Skating by the Sea® at Hotel del Coronado

Skating by the Sea at Hotel del Coronado is returning to San Diego this year. From Nov. 1 – Jan. 1, visitors can experience an ice-skating rink with stunning views of the Pacific. Reservations for their rink-side Frostbite Lounge are also available, where guests can enjoy plush seating, roaring fire pits, holiday-themed drinks and delectable bites. 


LIGHTS, CAMERA, CHRISTMAS


A Trucker’s Holiday Parade

Enjoy a different type of holiday Christmas parade in Eureka, where for more than 30 years, the city has hosted the Trucker’s Christmas Parade: a Christmas lights celebration on wheels. Watch as all kinds of trucks – from tractors, school buses, and even tow trucks – get decked out in holiday lights, with each truck having a different theme. Proceeds this year will benefit the Boys and Girls Club of the Redwoods.


Sights and Sounds Parade

The city of Livermore is hosting its Sights and Sounds Parade on Dec. 3. Join the city at 6 p.m. on First Street as it showcases local businesses, marching bands, music, lighting displays and even a visit from Santa. The parade will start on First Street, between M Street and McLeod Street, with a tree-lighting ceremony to end the event. 


Festival of Lights and Hangtown Christmas Parade

Enjoy the town of Placerville in El Dorado this holiday season as it hosts its annual Christmas events – the tree lighting ceremony, Festival of Lights and the Hangtown Christmas Parade. This year, the Hangtown Christmas Parade’s theme is ‘A Victorian Christmas’ and will feature fine equines decked out in their best tack, high school bands in bright uniforms, and special holiday floats. 


Enchanted Garden Holiday Lights Festival 

For the first time ever, the Santa Ynez Valley Botanic Garden will host the Enchanted Garden Holiday Lights Festival, an immersive light experience in Santa Barbara Wine Country. Guests visiting Buellton for the first three weekends in December can enjoy an evening of enchanting lights as they walk through the magnificent displays at night and enjoy a visit from Santa.


Festival of Lights at Tanaka Farms

This year, Tanaka Farms in Irvine is bringing back Hikari - A Festival of Lights, where guests can take a wagon ride to the “Land of a Thousand Lanterns!” and tour the festively lit farm. Hikari means ‘shine’ in Japanese, which is exactly what guests will experience – a farm shining with thousands of twinkling lights. After the wagon ride, enjoy the Festival Grounds, where guests can visit the Barnyard animals, grab a bite to eat or take festive photos. 


SANTA SIGHTINGS


Holiday Spirit Express with Santa 

The River Fox Train in Sacramento is launching its new Holiday Spirit Express, an hour-and-a-half train experience. From Nov. 25 – Dec. 16, experience an immersive, entertaining night with the train’s merry band of elves, a strolling musician, and a visit from Santa himself! Tickets include two drink tokens that may be redeemed for alcoholic and non-alcoholic refreshments. 


Santa Visits the Tri-Valley 

Head to the Civic Center in Dublin this year for a special guest appearance from Santa. Watch as Santa's elves turn the Civic Center parking lot into Dublin’s very own Winter Wonderland. Enjoy a stroll through the multi-colored light display, local music and dance school performances, and help count down as the new 30-foot holiday tree is illuminated. 


Breakfast with Santa at Costeaux Bakery

Every Saturday in December (except the morning of Christmas Eve), kids visiting Costeaux Bakery in Healdsburg are invited to meet Santa Claus during their Breakfast with Santa Program. Breakfast invites include a digital photo with Santa Claus and a nutcracker collection showcasing pieces from around the world on display for everyone to admire. 


Santa Visits the Embarcadero

Stop by Santa’s House in Morro Bay for the first three weekends of December and get a picture with Santa Claus on Fridays and Saturdays from 4-8 p.m. and Sundays from 12-4 p.m. Santa’s house is at the corner of Embarcadero and Front St in Morro Bay’s downtown waterfront area, the Embarcadero. Admission is free to the public, and all families are invited to participate in this holiday photo op.


Breakfast with Santa at Terrenea Resort 

Join Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes on Dec. 17 and enjoy a holiday breakfast with the one and only Saint Nick. Enjoy a bakery and waffle station, a beverage and hot food station, an egg kitchen, a kid's buffet, and even a festive craft station. A photo op is also available to remember this fantastic breakfast for years to come. 


Holiday at Hilton San Diego Bayfront 

Join the Hilton Bayfront in San Diego Dec. 2-30, where on select days, kids can write letters to Santa, enjoy story time with Mrs. Claus, decorate stockings and ornaments, and enjoy classic holiday movies like Elf, The Santa Clause, and more. Hudson & Nash, Hilton’s new waterfront kitchen, will serve breakfast with Santa on Sundays. 


31 DAYS OF FESTIVITIES


The Nutcracker at Valley Dance Theatre

Valley Dance Theatre in Livermore brings The Nutcracker to life with a beautiful and elegant ballet performance starring Tchaikovsky’s well-known music. For over 35 years, Valley Dance Theatre’s full production of The Nutcracker, accompanied by the Valley Dance Theatre Pit Orchestra, has brought the magic of ballet to families each holiday season with skilled dancers and beautiful costumes enchanting the crowd. 


Nights of Lights in Half Moon Bay

Every Friday night for the month of December, Half Moon Bay will celebrate the Christmas season with Nights of Lights, a weekly festivity along Main Street featuring beautiful holiday lights and artisan shopping. Stop by all month long for different holiday happenings like their ugly sweater party on Dec. 9 or their Holiday Movie night on Dec. 16. 


Tenaya’s Winter Wonderland 

Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite turns into a Winter Wonderland with 75 beautiful forested acres blanketed with snow, a festive holiday tree that adorns the lobby, an onsite ice-skating rink, epic gingerbread house decorating workshops and more. An Elf on the Shelf Scavenger hunt, breakfast with Santa, and a New Year’s celebration will also take place during their month-long celebration. 


Julefest in Solvang

The Danish city of Solvang is bringing its month-long celebration, Julefest, to town. Beginning the first Saturday after Thanksgiving and running through the first Friday of January, this month-long celebration will host activities like the Tree Lighting Ceremony, Julefest Parade, Solvang Nativity Pageant. Don’t forget to visit Santa!


Indian Wells Winterfest

Indian Wells, in Greater Palm Springs, will be hosting its Winterfest in various locations throughout the city. From Nov, 18 to Jan. 1, enjoy the holiday season under starry skies and swaying palm trees, all decked out with dazzling lights and festive décor. Enjoy the outdoor skating rink, decorate cookies, and enjoy their one-of-a-kind holiday-inspired golf experience at Shots in the Night. 


Temecula Chilled

Join Temecula Valley for its 31 days of Temecula Chilled all month long, where every day brings different holiday festive activities. For a fun Christmas dinner experience, check out Lorimar Winery for their special dinner with Santa, get lost in a gingerbread wonderland with Europa Village’s gingerbread village, and don’t miss Temecula’s annual Santa’s Electric Light Parade in Old Town Temecula on Dec. 7. 


Aquarium Holidays at Aquarium of the Pacific 

Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach will be hosting Aquarium Holidays, where guests can enjoy festive décor, holiday shopping, snowfall in the Great Hall and a special appearance from a Santa Diver. On weekends from Dec. 3-18, the Aquarium will have photo opportunities with Santa. What’s more, the Aquarium will also be hosting a Kwanzaa celebration and Hanukkah storytelling.


Belmont Park’s Winter Wonderland

Join Belmont Park in San Diego for their fourth annual beachside Winter Wonder spectacular from Nov. 11 - Jan. 1. Enjoy festive rides and attractions like the iconic Giant Dipper Roller Coaster, Tiki Wonderland Mini Golf, Candy Cane Lanes Go Karts and a holiday-themed Escapology room. Admire the oversized winter sculptures and hundreds of twinkling lights sprinkled throughout the park. 

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