It's been one hell of a year. Doesn't it feel right to end it on a (safe) celebratory note? From Diwali and Hanukkah to Christmas and Kwanza and then, of course, New Year's Eve, the 2020 holiday season may feel like it’s canceled. But in reality, there're a host of festive, safe, outdoor activities to cherish with your immediate family or quaranteam squad and bring on the holiday cheer to say bye-bye (no, really, don't let the door hit you on the way out) to 2020.

Up and down the California coast, traditional events have pivoted to create safe festive memories. This season, no matter where you are, create a string of joyful moments that will make you feel the holiday magic. 

Temecula Chilled

Chilled Christmas Lights Credit Justin Hulse

Temecula's entire downtown and surrounding wine estates are dedicated to the magic of the season with their yearly event, Temecula Chilled. Enjoy Southern California's winter sunshine during the day, and cozy up at night with mulled wine as you stroll through city-wide light displays. 

Take a Jingle Bell “Sleigh” Ride on a horse-drawn carriage along a path decorated with more than 100,000 twinkle lights and holiday decorations. Reserve an hour at Peltzer’s Ice Skating Rink, which boasts more than 8500 square feet of ice for safe social distancing. Or catch an outdoor Christmas movie at Europa Village, and visit the Gingerbread Village too.

Solvang’s Julefest and Digital “Nisse Adventure”

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Recently named by Country Living as one of the USA’s “Best Christmas Towns,” this quaint, Danish-inspired village is illuminated with celebratory scenes. More than 100 Christmas trees line the downtown streets, with stores competing in the annual tree decorating contest. And don't forget Solvang's famous Danish bakeries offering delish sweet delicacies to go. For the kids (or the young at heart), the digital “Nisse Adventure" is a city-wide scavenger hunt for the mysterious Solvang Nisse (AKA Christmas elves). Once "Elf-trackers" find the Nisse, scan a QR code for a prize at the end.

Lights at Cambria Pines

Lights

While its annual Cambria Christmas Market is postponed until next year, the Lights at Cambria Pines do not disappoint. A magical pathway with more than one million lights, live music, Gluhwein, holiday crafts for sale, and a safe "contactless" Santa in a glasshouse, this wonderland will make you believe in the magic of the season again. Walk under the enchanting tunnel of lights, and wind your way through gorgeous twinkling landscapes depicting famous holiday scenes.

Holidays in Your Car 

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Now open in two beachtown locations, Ventura and Del Mar, Holidays in Your Car transforms a drive-in concert venue and fairground into wintery wonderlands featuring live family holiday entertainment and an epic light show with over one million LED lights, lasers, and projections backed by a holiday playlist. Both drive-thru light show extravaganzas host professional ballet productions of The Nutcracker and an original Santa Saves Christmas show. 

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