The Inland Empire covers a vast area of Southern California. Below you’ll find a guide of the best Christmas Events the Inland Empire has to offer. From Big Bear to Temecula, you’ll be sure to find something fun to do!
Saturday, December 17
Christmas in the Colonies
Go back to the Colonial days this Christmas and spend an evening doing Riley’s Farm version of Colonial Virginia Christmas at the Hawk’s Head Public House. Enjoy a gourmet Colonial dinner, listen to live music, dance like people did in the 18th century, throw a tomahawk and do some cider pressing. This will be an evening that you and your family will remember for a lifetime, especially since costumes are required. Tickets for an evening full of enchanted Colonial fun sell for $35.95 for adults and $27.95 for children 3-12 years old. Log on now to buy your tickets before they sell out!
Daily through January 8, 2012
Festival of Lights
Visit the Historic Mission Inn in downtown Riverside’s 19th annual Festival of Lights. The Mission Inn comes alive during the holiday season with over 3.6 million twinkly and magical lights. But the twinkly lights are not all that the Mission Inn and Downtown Riverside provides! There are also live entertainment, horse drawn carriages, outdoor skating rink, plenty of treats and even Santa and his reindeer makes this Christmas experience one your kids won’t soon forget!
Toms Farms was established in 1971 as a farm stand along the side of the road and is now a full-blown family fun destination. For the Christmas season, the folks at Toms Farms decorate with over 200 light displays totaling over 1 million light bulbs! Ride the old fashioned steam train replica through the lit up covered bridge, visit Santa (a professional photographer is on site to capture your visit with perfection), purchase your Christmas tree, grab a bite to eat and have a jolly good time.
Candy Cane Making Tour
Come step back in time to see how sweet life can be at Logan’s Candy Shop! A family owned business that thrives in candy making tradition has been making hand-made candy for over 70 years. Candy cane making tours are available for large or small groups starting in November. Reservations go quick for the super popular candy tours and can be made starting in August! It’s not too late to enjoy the authenticity of Logan’s Candy Shop now though just head on down to the shop and take a gander at all the sweet and treats available for purchase!
Weekends up to December 25th
There’s no better place in Southern California to spend Christmas than in the snow in Big Bear! Big Bear celebrates Christmas in the village every year with Santa Claus every weekend leading up to Christmas. Santa waits at his Christmas hunt near the tree lot to visit eager children from 10:00am to 4:00pm every Saturday and Sunday.
On December 18th, enjoy an afternoon of 1950’s Christmas delight at the Mansion! A concert of 1950’s fun will be at the Knickerbocker Mansion with lively and uplifting Christmas music. A gourmet Christmas dinner will be served immediately afterward in the Mansion’s dining room. Reservations are required; please call 909) 585-5916 for more information.
Fridays and Saturdays through December 23rd
Snowfall at the Mall
Victoria Gardens is a 1.4 million square foot open-air town center that during the holidays transforms into a winter wonderland. Shop for gifts, eat lunch and visit Santa and get your picture taken at the Santa Depot all in one. You don’t have to drive to the mountains to see snow! Now until December 23rd on every Friday and Saturday night in the Chaffey Town Square you and the kids can watch magical snow fall. Snow falls at 7:00pm and again at 8:00pm. Also every Friday and Saturday night you can be taken back in time with Charles Dickens Carolers from 4:00pm until 7:00pm.
December 16th – January 8, 2012
On December 16th take the kids to PennyPickles Workshop to play in the snow, eat smore’s, drink hot chocolate and meet the snow princess. Don’t forget to stop by the gift shop for amazing scientific gifts! Tickets are required for activities. Log on to their website for more details.
December 16th is also the Grand Opening of the Winterfest Ice Rink. A grand opening at 3 p.m. will feature a broom ball game between Chaparral and Great Oak High Schools, plus Lake Elsinore Storm’s Thunder and KFROG’s “Froggie” serving as officials of the game. Regular ice skating sessions follow. The 3,500 square foot ice rink will be located at Main and Mercedes and open through January 8 from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm.
Old Town Temecula also presents Santa every Saturday and Sunday from 1:00pm until 5:00pm through December 18th. Visits with Santa are free, personal pictures and pets are allowed.
Desiree Eaglin lives in the Inland Empire. She blogs at Sarcastic, Funny and Brutally Honest