Celebrating the Holidays in Brea: Safe, Festive Activities Around Town

One of my favorite holidays of the year is Christmas.  With all the good cheer, great food, and opportunities to get together with friends and loved ones, there is just something very special and magical about this time of year.  Granted, this year will look a little bit different because of COVID-19, but with a little imagination, patience and creativity, Christmas in Brea still promises to be a wonderful holiday celebration.

Part of the magic of the holidays, besides being able to share memories with your loved ones is the opportunity to embrace and seek out exciting events and create new lifelong traditions that you can look forward to every year and this is why Brea is such a special place at this time of year.  The community and the city are about more than just a dream home in your ideal neighborhood.  Instead, it is a place of belonging, a place that is welcoming and above all a place where you will feel at home and a part of something larger – this is why Brea is the place to call home in California.

As your premier real estate agent for homes for sale in Brea as well as a longtime resident of this wonderful city, I would like to share this list of activities, festivals and other must see attractions in and around Brea that are sure to make your holiday season a memorable one.

Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade

This crowd favorite features over 250 festively lit boats of all shapes and sizes and draws over a million spectators annually.  Prizes are awarded for “Most Original”, “Most Humorous” and “Best Lights and Animation”.

In addition to the boat parade, holiday coat cruises are available that allow you to view the spectacular bay shore estates and landscapes that are competing for the Ring of Lights competition.  Newport Landing offers both private boat rentals and public/general admission cruises each night to view these amazing light displays.

  • This year’s festival is COVID safe and will see a reduction of passengers, new protocols for cleaning and sanitizing all surfaces and is an outside, open environment.

Brea’s Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony

Start your holiday season off right with Brea’s annual tree lighting ceremony.  Live music and entertainment are all part of this city tradition.  Keep your eyes open for a surprise visit from Mr. and Mrs. Claus.  Get in the Christmas spirit and come watch Brea’s holiday tree light up the evening sky.  Community minded, family friendly events like these make Brea a special place to call home.

Long Beach Midnight Fireworks

If you are looking for something to do to welcome in 2021, then the Long Beach Midnight Firework cruise may be just the fun for you.  One of the most unique and spectacular ways to see Long Beach’s skyline, harbor, sunset and firework display is on board the 200-person yacht.  Complete with a fully stocked bar and a professional DJ, this ultimate way to ring in the New Year cannot be rivalled by any club or party.  Book your tickets today.

“Santa’s Workshop” at Mission Marketplace

Do not miss Santa this holiday season at Mission Marketplace.  This one-stop experience offers a wide variety of shopping options as well as dining choices and a large selection of services.  From specialty stores to financial and health services, Mission Marketplace has all the best stuff.  A $25 dollar purchase at any vendor in the Marketplace rewards you with an opportunity to visit Santa at his workshop.  Be sure to include this as one of your holiday stops this Christmas season.

Eagle Hills Christmas Lights

Year after year, the Eagle Hills neighborhood of Brea brings holiday joy to the city in the form of brilliant light displays and Christmas decorations.  This is no ordinary Christmas light display, instead, be prepared to take some time and even plan a few evenings for a nice stroll or drive to see the entirety of the festive displays in the neighborhood.

There are over 100 homes with full interactive displays, nativity scenes with live animals and some of the homes even invite you in to see the decorative and welcoming interiors.  The Eagle Hills Christmas lights are the types of displays and community feel that makes the city of Brea one of the most sought after and greatest places to call home in all of California.  Be sure to take the time to see this winter wonderland and make it part of your annual Christmas tradition.

Lights. Camera. Santa – Brea Mall

Santa is back at Brea Mall this holiday season.  Come get your picture with Santa at this family friendly event from November 27-December 24.

Here are some guidelines for your safety this holiday season:

  • A reservation is required.
  • This is a social distance event.
  • Santa and his helpers will be wearing masks.
  • Guests are required to wear masks where mandated by local authorities and government agencies.

Peltzer Pines – Live Christmas Tree Farm

Looking for a fun filled Christmas tree experience in Brea?  Well, look no further than Peltzer Pines, a family tradition since 1963.  Go out into the farm and choose your own tree or let the friendly and knowledgeable staff at Peltzer Pines pick the right Christmas tree for you. Regardless of your choice, you will end up with a quality tree that can be the centerpiece of your holiday living room.  Here are some tips for caring for your tree so you can enjoy it and keep it healthy for the duration of the holidays:

  • Cut off anywhere from ¼ of an inch off the bottom of your tree if sap has formed. This will allow your tree easier access to water.
  • Immediately put your tree in water and be sure to check and top up the water daily.
  • Never let your tree go dry.
  • Do not put your tree around sources of heat such as vents or electric heaters (as this will dry your tree out and can be a fire hazard).
  • If well cared for, your tree should last anywhere from 4-5 weeks.

Casa Romantica’s Blooming Winter Gardens

While most gardens are going to seed and getting ready to hibernate for the winter months, Casa Romantica’s botanical garden is one of the few that thrives during the season with drought resistant plants that bloom all year round.  Some of the highlights that you can expect to see include:

  • Aloe Arborescens – This blooming aloe plant grows up to 10 feet tall and blooms a brilliant red cylindrical flower in the winter months. Look for this beautiful plant in our “Story Circle.”
  • Popcorn Cassia – This vibrant yellow plant can grow up to 15 feet high and originates from the tropical parts of central and eastern Africa. The plant gets its name from the smell. When rubbed, it emits a scent of buttered popcorn.  You can find these unique flowers in the Spanky Chang Children’s area of the garden.
  • Golden Rain Plant – A native of the Indian subcontinent, and the national flower of Thailand, the Golden Rain plant achieves prolific blooms beginning in mid-November which lasts through the winter months. See this unique plant just beyond the entrance of the Woodland garden.

In addition to these spectacular flowering plants, Casa Romantica’s blooming winter gardens has a wide range of other beautiful and unique plants.  Be sure to include this in your holiday calendar.

Fullerton Winter Market

Be sure to come out and enjoy Fullerton’s Winter Market and tree lighting ceremony this year. This family friendly event has free admission and is located at the Fullerton Downtown Plaza.  Don’t forget to bring a new toy to donate to the toy drive.  Remember to check back frequently to see this year’s COVID-19 restrictions.  Last year’s market highlights include:

  • Holiday entertainment.
  • Free pictures with Santa for the kids.
  • Food booths.
  • A toy drive held by the Fullerton Fire Department.
  • Face painting and a bouncy castle.
  • A wine and beer gardens.

We hope to see you at this year’s celebrations.  Check back often and circle your calendar for the exact date of Fullerton’s Winter Market and tree lighting ceremony.

New Year’s Eve Orange County Block Party

Hit multiple New Year’s Eve parties with this exciting package deal.  Hit the dance floor and welcome in the new year to a variety of music including:

  • Top 40 hits.
  • Hip-hop, house, and electric.
  • An eclectic mash-up to keep you moving into 2021.

At midnight, gear pup for a DJ led countdown to welcome in the new year with a toast of complementary champagne.  At the Orange County Block party, you don’t need to settle for just a single venue to ring in the new year, instead, let the night take you where it will and see where you end up in 2021.

First Night in Fullerton

The original “First Night” celebration took place in Boston in 1976.  The events goal was to broaden appreciation of the visual and performing arts while at the same time providing a family friendly alternative to the traditional New Year’s Eve celebrations that focused on drinking and alcohol. There are now several hundred “First Night” celebrations that take place all over the United States.

Fullerton was the first city in California to offer this unique celebration and judging by last year, it was a huge success.  Granted things will look different this year because of COVID, but the city hopes to host this popular event.  Highlights from last year’s family friendly alcohol-free party include:

  • Four live bands.
  • A kid’s zone.
  • A variety of different food choices.
  • Roaming live entertainment.
  • Fireworks at midnight to ring in the New Year.

Last year’s celebration ran from 7 pm until after midnight in downtown Fullerton on Harbor Blvd, Pomona Ave. and Wilshire Ave.

Take a trip to the Mountains

You may not think that a winter wonderland is a possibility for the holidays with all the sunshine, mild weather, and easy access to beaches.  However, there are a wide range of ski resorts just over 1 hour away from Brea.  So, if you are looking for a new experience or to start a new family tradition this holiday season or would like to take up a new winter sport then here are a few of the options that are available.

Big Bear Resort – Bear Mountain Resort offers the best snow conditions, longest season, and most rideable terrain in all southern California.  Equipped with state-of-the-art snowmaking capabilities, and 14 chair lifts, it is no wonder that Big Bear Resort is a California favorite.

Mountain High Resorts – This holiday season ski 3 separate mountains (East, West, and North) with just one ticket.  Mountain High is southern California’s closest resort and offers not only ski and snowboard terrain, but also tubing, snowshoeing adventures and even a scenic sky ride.  Mountain High Resort is a great winter escape and holiday destination from Brea.

Snow Valley – Snow Valley is home to the most beginner terrain in southern California so this may be the ideal place for learning a new winter sport and the perfect place for your first family ski holiday.  Besides offering a wide range of ski terrain, Snow Valley is the only resort in the area that has the only serviced sledding area that is accessed via a chairlift.  Come see for yourself why they say that there really is something for everyone at Snow Valley.

Beach Days

Regardless of the time of year, one of the biggest bonuses about living in Brea is the amount of sunny days we have – all year round.  Although the water may be a little chilly for a swim, the beaches that surround Brea are always a great place to enjoy a holiday picnic or a nice stroll or to catch a spectacular winter sunset.

Here’s the Deal:

The best part about the wide-open beaches is that there is plenty of room for everyone so social distancing will not be a problem.  Create a new California holiday tradition and take a trip to one of the local beaches.  Some of my favorite beaches include:

  • Newport Beach
  • Seal Beach
  • Huntington Beach
  • Sunset Beach

This is by no means an extensive list of the celebrations, festivals and activities that can be found in and around Brea over the holiday season.  If you have other great holiday traditions that are must see or are interested in viewing some of the amazing properties that are available in Brea’s real estate market, please contact me today.  I would love to show you why Brea is such a special place to call home and help you find the home that is the perfect fit for your lifestyle and needs.  I look forward to meeting you soon.

Happy Holidays from Darryl Jones Realty!




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