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Holiday Boat Rides, Enchanted Parades and Dance-Along Nutcrackers, all in Your Favorite Nook Neighborhood

Written by Cindy Marie Jenkins on Wednesday, November 29th, 2017 at 12:03pm.

When Nook Sales Experts match a buyer with their dream home, the only thing as important as architectural style is the neighborhood. This week’s #NookNeighborhood story highlights the best of the holiday spirit in our favorite nooks.

The Bay Area

  • Dance-Along “Nutcrackers of the Caribbean”. Saturday, December 9 & Sunday, December 10. If you need more information than that, I just don’t know your definition of fun. The San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band presents a parody version of The Nutcracker for you, with selected times the audience joins in the fray.

  • WinterFest at California’s Great America. Through December 30. For a relatively new holiday tradition, WinterFest has gotten pretty huge. Starting at the Christmas tree, one of the tallest in the area, 7 million LED lights, 25 rides and attractions, ice skating at the Carousel Columbia….bundle up and have a great night!

  • Fairy Winterland. December 15-23. You know how much we love Children’s Fairyland in Oakland, and Fairy Winterland just ups the ante. They have puppet shows of The Snow Queen, Santa Claus leads a Festival of Lights Parade, the DC Dancers will entertain, plus arts and crafts and storytellers.


Los Angeles/Long Beach

  • LA Zoo Lights. Through Jan 7. This self guided tour of the Zoo with special animal themed displays and real reindeer is not to be missed. As one of the most popular holiday events in Los Angeles, you really need to experience it at least once to believe the enormity of such a cool event.

  • The 64th Annual Daisy Avenue Christmas Tree Lane Parade. Saturday, December 9. Join The City of Long Beach’s seventh district for a home decorating contest with hot chocolate and cookies at each stop! You’ll want to bundle up and bring a chair.

  • Canals of Naples usually have to be booked in advance for holiday visits on the waterways, and it’s worth the planning ahead. Enjoy an hour long trip as an authentic Venetian gondola sweeps you through the sparkling holiday lights of Belmont Shore.


Orange County

  • South Coast Plaza: Santa’s Village and The North Pole, Santa’s Express Train and Reindeer Carousel. Starting November 17. Holiday shopping is not always as fun for the kids as it is for us, and South Coast Plaza found a great solution. Bribe an older cousin to watch them trot through Santa’s Village as you mark those nice people off your gifting list.

  • 109th Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade. Dec 13-17. Dine & Watch, Dine & Walk, or choose from a number of public viewing locations to find the best place to see Newport Beach’s holiday themed yachts, kayaks, and boats that get better every year.

  • 55th Annual Cruise of Lights. December 15-18 & 21-23. This year’s theme is “Fairy Tales Afloat,” and you’ll enjoy family events that all lead up to Santa flying across the sky - then a parade!

  • The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel “Inspirations of the Season”. The oceanfront hotel adds seasonal specialties to its luxury experience, including a gingerbread extravaganza, holiday surfboard auction, holiday tea, storytelling and buffets.


San Diego

  • Gaslamp District Holiday Pet Parade. December 10. Did you keep that Halloween costume for your pet, or always think they’d make a great reindeer? True to the Gaslamp District style, dress up your pet and parade them around MLK Promenade Park for prizes.

  • Frozen Fairgrounds at Del Mar Fairgrounds. December 15 - 21. As the largest holiday ice skating rink in San Diego, you can play ice hockey, practice your figure skating or take the special loved one for a skate while holding hands. Parents, fear not: they also have a lounge where you can enjoy adult beverages.

  • Balboa Park December Nights. December 1-3. There’s no denying the appeal of a seasonal spirit in Balboa Park. With its unique architectural styles and abundance of greenery, the only thing that could make it better is the music and dance performances mingled with local food vendors, brought to you by the Balboa Park Conservancy.


Santa Barbara

  • 65th Annual Downtown Santa Barbara Holiday Parade. December 1. Headlined by Grand Marshal Noah Wyle, this year’s parade theme is “Colors of the Season.” Expect the best from marching bands, schools and local civic leaders as they crown a Holiday Prince and Fairy.  

  • Edible Santa Barbara Holiday Pop-up Shop. December 9. If you want something a little more tasty and high brow,  Edible Santa Barbara and Carr Winery team up with local artisans for a lovely tasting and shopping experience where you can also find delicious holiday gifts.

  • 32nd Annual Holiday Parade of Lights at the Harbor. December 10. Boat parade, fireworks, Santa Claus, community….it’s hard to compare a holiday at Santa Barbara’s harbor with any other experience.



  • 46th Annual WinterFest Boat Parade. December 9. Decorate your boat to the theme “Broadway on Parade” and enter it into the WinterFest contest! Or find a great location to sit and watch the parade from start to finish -- about 12 miles of boats means 2 and ½ hours of entertainment.

  • Santa’s Enchanted Forest. Through January 7. It’s a time honored tradition with activities and ride to keep all ages in the holiday spirit. There’s magic shows, aerial feats and a freestyle motorcross to enjoy. You may think it’s just for kids, but there’s enough enchantment to enter even the most humbug of hearts.

Love one of these regions? Search With Style to see what beautiful homes are on sale in your favorite nook.

Photo credit: 2017 Newport Christmas Parade

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