Making Spirits Bright This Holiday Season
‘Tis the season to sparkle and shine, and Long Beach is all aglow with holiday lights to make your spirits bright. You’ll find some dazzling displays near 442 Residences, as well as festive local shopping and opportunities to give back to the community. Drive by the Terrace Theatre at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center and behold the majestic 50-foot Christmas tree. Take a gondola tour of spectacular Naples bay or stroll among the stunning art installations at South Coast Botanic Garden. Whatever makes your spirits bright, there are countless ways to celebrate this season. Check websites for health guidelines and updates.
City of Long Beach Christmas Tree Terrace Theatre 300 E Ocean Blvd. Long Beach, CA 90802
On December 2, Mayor Robert Garcia flipped the switch for the 6th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting. Drive by the Terrace Theatre at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center to see the 50-foot tree, decked out with dazzling ornaments and lit by 160,000 bulbs. This year, the ceremony was virtual and was aired live on LBTV and the city of Long Beach’s official social media platforms. In case you missed it, you can watch the Long Beach Virtual Christmas Tree Lighting HERE
Members of Steel Magnolias are hosting a “Snowy Enchanted Village” in Naples to raise money and holiday spirits this year. The elaborate display, made exclusively of recycled materials, has been created at the Rivo Alto Canal home of the Gesner family. People can walk through the village for free while strolling the Naples canals to see the decorations, although donations are accepted. Guests can also picnic in the village at a table of four for $100 a group. Steel Magnolias is a nonprofit group dedicated to raising money for the Stramski Children’s Developmental Center and other local charities. For reservations and more information call 562-209-5099.
Gondola Getaway 5437 E. Ocean Blvd. Long Beach, CA 90803
The Islands of Naples become a fairytale setting for the month of December. Gondola Getaway invites you to celebrate the holidays with Sleighs on the Bay, a holiday cruise like no other, where you can experience the beauty of Christmas as you cruise the bay of lights. The 55-minute experience is safe and socially distant-friendly, following a strict set of protocols the company enacted shortly after pandemic shutdowns in spring. Sleighs on the Bay runs nightly through Dec. 30.
Fourth Street Long Beach is a celebration of independence and diversity – a community for everyone, by everyone, welcoming all lifestyles and ideas. The most unique pocket of Long Beach, Fourth Street boasts nearly 100 independently owned and operated stores that offer goods, foods, and experiences you simply won’t find anywhere else. Stretching between Cherry Avenue and Junipero Avenue, it’s a slice of classic Long Beach, earning it the nickname Retro Row. A destination for budget-conscious shoppers and Hollywood designers alike, you’ll find something for everyone when you shop Fourth Street Long Beach Retro Row.
MAKE Collectives 430 E 1st St. Long Beach, CA 90802
Support your community and shop local. MAKE Collectives brings together carefully curated and unique handcrafted goods from over 50+ local artisans, including mens and womens clothing and accessories, vinyl records, home, and local goods to create a compelling shopping experience that makes you feel inspired and connected.
Snowy Pines Christmas Trees 6701 CA-1 Long Beach, CA 90803
Snowy Pines has been serving Southern California for 45 years with an exceptional selection of Christmas trees, such as Noble Fir, Nordmans Fir, Grand Fir, Douglas Fir, and silver-tips (Charlie Brown trees). Services include custom flocking and flame retardant. They will also carry your tree to your vehicle and tie it on for you. Delivery service available as well.
Around 1955, LBFD firefighter Murray Cohn started collecting toys for needy kids in the area surrounding his assigned fire station. Now over 60 years later, the LBFD continues to carry on this tradition, helping hundreds of needy families each year. Donations should be new unwrapped toys, sports equipment, school supplies, and items for teens. Gifts can be dropped off at any Long Beach area fire station. Due to COVID19 restrictions, toys dropped off at fire stations should be placed in boxes located outside the station. Monetary donations and store gift cards are strongly encouraged.
Enjoy holiday fun all season long at The Pike Outlets. Festivities include Snowflake Lane Light Display & Snowfall, Festival of Trees, and Strolling Holiday Carolers. Visit the Christmas tree display on Bay Street and vote for a local charity to win a $1,000 donation from The Pike Outlets. You can also donate to Toys for Tots. Drop off an unwrapped toy for local children in need at various locations. Please visit store and restaurant websites for hours, curbside pick up and delivery.
GLOW South Coast Botanic Garden 26300 Crenshaw Blvd. Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA 90274
South Coast Botanic Garden is proud to present GLOW, a visually stunning art installation that transforms the lush botanic oasis into an oceanic experience for their Garden Lights & Ocean Waters theme, using thousands of lights designed by California Outdoor Lighting. The walk is set to an artistically curated soundtrack featuring a little something for everyone, including original music created for GLOW by Jerzy, as well as Baja surf music and Vivaldi. Let the colors wash over you like a wave and the music be your current, guiding you through this unique and unforgettable after-dark walk.
Winterfest OC Night of Lights OC Fair & Event Center 88 Fair Dr. Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Experience a magical interactive drive through a winter wonderland of lights in the safety of your own vehicle. Guests will enjoy a one mile drive-thru event that includes over one million lights, all while following the mandated Covid-19 safety social distancing restrictions. Currently all food and merch must be purchased online when you’re buying your ticket. Your order will be available for pick up prior to entering the event. No food or merch will be sold onsite.
Photo #1: Photo by Thomas R. Cordova
Photo #2: Photo by Tracey Roman, Contributing Photographer, Long Beach Press-Telegram
Photo #3: Photo by Harry Saltzgaver, Grunion Gazette/SCNG
Photo #4: Gondola Getaway
Photo #5: Fourth Street Retro Row
Photo #6: MAKE Collectives
Photo #7: Snowy Pines Christmas Trees
Photo #8: LBFD Spark of Love
Photo #9: The Pike Outlets
Photo #10: South Coast Botanic Garden
Photo #11: Winterfest OC Night of Lights