As a parent, I can see how sometimes it is hard to show kids what the true meaning of Christmas is all about. Especially since every shopping mall has a Santa Claus or tree lighting. As much as we love tree lighting ceremonies, I also wanted to show my kids another side of Christmas and Jesus’ birth. I have found the best way for them to learn about the reason for the season is by taking them to one of the many live nativity events in Orange County.
It’s a good thing that many local churches and organizations have free live nativities because it makes our new tradition even easier to start! Many also offer free drinks and crafts. And others recreate what life was like in Bethlehem. There is also one that you can drive through (perfect for those cold nights). Check out our list of free live nativities in Orange County below. I hope you can take your chiquitos to at least one, and If I missed some, please leave a comment below. Enjoy!
Live Nativity Events in Orange County
First Christian Church // Huntington Beach
WHEN: Wednesday-Friday December 7-9, 2016
WHERE: 1207 Main St., Huntington Beach, CA. 92648
More information: fcchb.com
The Live Nativity at First Christian Church of Huntington Beach has been a staple in the community for almost 50 years. Actors and live animals tell the story of Jesus’ birth through nine different scenes. Whether you’re driving through or walking, the true magic of Christmas will be remembered as you celebrate with friends and family.
Liberty Baptist Church // Newport Beach
WHEN: Friday-Sunday December 9-11, 2016
WHERE: 1000 Bison Avenue, Newport Beach, CA 92660
TIME: Fri. December 9, 6-8PM // Sat. December 10, 5-7PM // Sun. December 11, 5-7PM
More information: (949) 760-5444
In “Night in Bethlehem” you can experience the sights and sounds of the very first Christmas. Bring friends and family to experience a first-century market, meet Bethlehem’s citizens, create interesting crafts and receive a free family photo as a memento of Bethlehem.
Santa Margarita Stake // Rancho Santa Margarita
WHEN: Friday-Sunday, December 9-11, 2016
WHERE: 29441 Altisima, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA. 92688
More information: http://www.smstake.church
Come celebrate the true meaning of the Christmas season at this annual living nativity. Follow the Star is a living portrayal of Christ’s birth as recorded in the New Testament. The show repeats every 30 min with the last show at 8:30 pm. The International Creche exhibit is open from 6-9 pm. and hot chocolate is served.
Mount of Olives Lutheran Church // Mission Viejo
WHEN: Friday and Saturday December 9-10, 2016
WHERE: 24772 Chrisanta Dr, Mission Viejo, CA 92691
More information: (949) 837-7467
This is a drive-through nativity experience with a life-size retelling of the Christmas Story from the comfort of your car. Live actors, animals and narration’s available through your car radio! You can also enjoy the drive-through nativity on foot if you prefer. The church is also collecting non-perishable food donations at the drive-thru nativity to support local families in need. Plus – FREE ice skating for children on the Mount of Olives Courtyard!
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints // Brea
WHEN: Friday and Saturday December 9-10, 2016
WHERE: 151 N Poplar Ave, Brea, CA 92821
TIME: 7PM & 8:15PM Nightly
More information: (714) 256-2514
2016 will be the 11th annual event of The Nativity. Join with members of the local community in celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior. This is an outdoor performance and the nights get chilly. Enjoy music, light refreshments, crafts for kids and nativity displays inside after the live outdoor performance. Local politicians are known to make appearances as part of the cast for this event.
Crossline Community Church // Laguna Hills
WHEN: Saturday-Sunday December 17-18, 2016
WHERE: 23331 Moulton Pkwy, Laguna Hills, CA. 92653
More information: (949) 916-0250
In “Journey to Bethlehem,” visitors can see a huge cast bringing Bethlehem to life as it was 2000 years ago, including Mary, Joseph, wise men, angels, shepherds, townspeople, live camels, sheep, donkeys, & Roman soldiers on horseback. They will have free crafts for kids and also offer coffee, cocoa and small desserts for free. This is an outdoor event.
Old World German Village // Huntington Beach
WHEN: Saturday, December 18, 2016
WHERE: 7561 Center Ave, Huntington Beach, CA. 92647
TIME: 6-8PM (Doors Open at 5:30)
More information: (714) 895-8020
Each year Old World Village plays host to the International Celebration of Christmas, a celebration that brings together a diverse group of churches, singers & dancers for a celebration that highlights the true meaning of the holiday season. Admission is FREE.
BONUS Christmas Events:
Pretend City // Irvine
WHEN: Friday, December 16, 2016
WHERE: 29 Hubble, Irvine, CA 92618
More information: pretendcity.org
“Celebrate Las Posadas” Feliz Navidad! It’s time to celebrate Las Posadas! This colorful Mexican holiday celebrates the 9 days leading up to Christmas! Join Pretend City for some festive activities, art, and events at Pretend City!
- Visit the Art Studio to make colorful Las Posadas mementos to take home:
- Posada Piñata Ornaments
- Posada Placemat
- Luminaria Path
- Sensational Story Time (11:30am): Uno, Dos, Tres, Posada > Join us in Orange Plaza for an engaging story time that will introduce your child to Las Posadas. We will read Uno, Dos, Tres, Posada! By Virginia Kroll. This story is about a little girl celebrating a traditional posada-an important Latino holiday tradition that happens all over the world on each of the nine nights before Christmas. Children will learn how to count to ten in both English and Spanish by the end of this story.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints // Aliso Viejo
WHEN: Friday-Saturday December 16th-17th, 2016
WHERE: 22851 Aliso Creek Road, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656
More information: christmaschalkwalk.com
Come take a stroll around beautiful Christmas street chalkings by local artists. Watch beautiful artwork unfold in a matter of hours, created by local amateur and professional artists. 100+ artists participate to create beautiful chalkings of Christmas. There will be LIVE music, lights and free refreshments. Artwork will be in progress on the 16th, and completed on the 17th.