California Christmas Mission Fests


CALIFORNIA: Christmas in the Missions

The religious aspect of Christmas is often forgotten as people get wrapped up in commercialism. Experience the holidays in a unique manner that only California missions can offer. Also see nativities presented by churches.

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO Capistrano Lights December 7, 2019 - January 6, 2020, 5:30-9 p.m.
Mission San Juan Capistrano
Historic Mission Grounds
(949) 234-1300
Celebrate the holidays at Mission San Juan Capistrano with nightly tree lighting, holiday music throughout the Mission, crafts for kids, visits with St. Nicholas, Christmas shopping at the Mission Store, and more. Don't miss it!

CARMEL: Carmel Mission I Cantori Concerts December
Carmel Mission Basilica
3080 Rio Road
Carmel, CA
Join Carmel Mission Choir and Lectors in An Advent Celebration
November 24, 2019 Messiah Sing
December 7 & 8, 2019, 8-10 p.m. I Cantori
December 14 & 15, 2019, 6:30-10 p.m. Cantiamo
December 22, 2019 Lessons and Carols 6:30-10 p.m.
December 23, 2019, 6 & 8 p.m. Chanticleer Concert

FREMONT: Mission San Jose Las Posadas December 15-23, 2019, 6 p.m.
Mission San Jose Museum
43300 Mission Blvd.
Fremont, CA |
 Mission San Jose and Fremont Cultural Arts provides an opportunity for families to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. Each evening at 6 p.m. we will meet on the front porch of the to process while singing Christmas carols to a local business or site within two blocks of the Mission. A family is selected to carry the beautifully hand-carved statue of Mary and Joseph. Once inside the host business or site, Fremont Cultural Arts Council has arranged for a short musical program and then we will enjoy light refreshments courtesy of our host. Wear warm clothing and bring a flashlight to read the music sheets as we process. No-cost celebration during the Christmas season. 

JOLON: December 24, 5:30 p.m. Mission San Antonio Las Posadas - Confirm before going as year was not included in date
Mission San Antonio de Padua
End of Mission Road
Jolon, CA 93928
Las Posadas in the Padre's Garden at 5:30pm. Sing Christmas carols by candlelight in the evening's frosty air at this beautiful historic Mission. Christmas Eve Mass celebration follows at 6pm. There will be NO Mass celebrated on Christmas Day and the Mission will be closed so that the staff can celebrate Christmas with their families.

LOMPOC: Mission La Purisima Concepcion Founding Day Remembrance December 8, 2019, Mass 12 p.m. & Concert 3 p.m.
La Purisima Mission State Historic Park
2295 Purisima Road
Lompoc, CA 93436
A mass at noon celebrates the founding of the mission. The public is invited to attend.  Concert $6 tickets sold on
Over 500 luminaries lead the way to an evening of candlelight and music observing the  anniversary of the founding of La Purisima Mission in 1787. Enjoy the musical performance by the Santa Ynez Valley Master Chorale in the setting of the historic church by candlelight. After the performance, guests are invited to La Sala to enjoy fellowship and refreshments. Attendance is limited to 6 years or older.
Las Posadas December 15, 2019, 2-4 p.m. Las Posadas. Join costumed docents as they lead the Las Posadas procession through the mission grounds with songs in Spanish and English. This tradition dates back over 400 years in Mexico and reenacts the biblical journey of Mary and Joseph seeking shelter in Bethlehem.

OCEANSIDE: Mission San Luis Rey Serra Center
Annual Tree Lighting and Christmas Carols December 13, 2019
Mission San Luis Rey
4050 Mission Ave
Oceanside, CA 92057
Mission Concert & Sing Along December 6-7, 2019
December 6, 2019, 7 p.m. $40-60
December 7, 2019, 2 p.m. $30 door till capacity reached
Christmas Concert at beautiful, historical Mission San Luis Rey features an evening of traditional holiday music performed by the 60 person San Luis Rey Chorale. Following the concert on December 7th, there will be a dessert reception in the Sacred Garden surrounded by thousands of twinkling lights. 
Mission Tamales December 21, 2019 pick-up on orders. Cost: $24.50/dozen. Go to website for ordering, pre-purchase only by specified deadline.

SAN DIEGO: Christmas Nativity Weekend December 7, 2019, 4-7 p.m. | December 8, 2019, 7:30 a.m.-7 p.m.
Mission San Diego de Alcalá
10818 San Diego Mission Road
San Diego, CA 92108
Free will offering,
Share your favorite Nativity Set by displaying for these 2 days.
Candlelight Meditation December 14-15, 2019, 7:30-9:30 p.m. 
Mission San Diego de Alcala Choir with Classic Brass presents the annual Christmas Candlelight Meditation with songs sung by the mission choir under the direction of Gene Regard and accompanying music by organist by Howard McCullough. In addition to traditional and contemporary Christmas music and carols, special scripture messages are shared. A reception is held following in La Sala.

SAN FRANCISCO: Mission Dolores Basilica Choir Candlelight Concert "Known & Unknown" Music from Around the World December 16, 2019, 5-7 p.m.
Mission Dolores Basilica
3321 16th Street
San Francisco, CA 94114
Be part of a San Francisco Christmas tradition as the Mission Dolores Basilic follows the concert.
Annual Mission Dolores Basilica Candlelight Christmas Concert  in the beautiful setting of the historic Mission Dolores Basilica, features the Basilica Choir performing Christmas Classics, sacred and secular music under the baton of Jerome Lenk, Musical Director, accompanied by a full orchestra.

SAN GABRIEL: San Gabriel Mission Posadas December 15-23, 7-10 p.m. Must confirm for 2019*
Event held nightly December 15, 16 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23. All are invited.
San Gabriel Mission
428 S. Mission Dr.
San Gabriel, CA

SAN JUAN BAUTISTA:  Mission San Juan Bautista
406 2nd St. |
Heaven's Light, A Christmas Concert November 30, 2019, 7:30 p.m.  with mezzo soprano Laure de Marcellus with her longtime collaborator, Alberto Urroz in this special Christmas program dedicated to Mary and Her child, experience beautiful music at the Mission of Music! $25-43,
Holiday at the Mission Winter Concert December 7, 2019, 7 p.m. with Youth Orchestra Salinas (
Oriana Chorale Holiday Choir Home for the Holidays Performance December 10, 2019, 7:30 p.m. Performed at Old Mission San Juan Bautista, featuring the first performance of the Oriana Youth Chorus. Adults $15-20, Students $10, Children 12 and under Free.
Holiday Bonfire / Hayden Christmas Celebration December 20, 2019, sunset.
First Street near the Mission. Santa Claus will be at the Community Hall, 10 San Jose Street, starting at 6 p.m. The annual bonfire is a tribute to the Hayden Family. During the depression era, the Haden Family pooled their money to help buy candies, toys and oranges for the community children. They erected a bonfire to bring together the people in town, and celebrated with games and songs while keeping warm. Sponsored by the San Juan Bautista Service Club.
Winter Solstice at The Mission December 21, 2019, 6 a.m.
Be at the Mission church at sunrise to witness a spectacular sunrise light coming through the window, lining up with the alter, then the isle, ending at the Tabernacle.

SAN LUIS OBISPO: Mission San Luis Obispo Holiday Choral Concert At The Mission December 7, 2019, 8-10 p.m.  
Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa
751 Palm Street
San Luis Obispo, CA
$30-40, |
A Star in the Night Concert features  classical music, contemporary songs, and traditional carols.

SAN MIGUEL: Mission San Miguel Las Posadas No info
Las Posadas in Spanish means The Inns. It is the name of a religious festival celebrated in Mexico and some parts of the United States between December 16 and 24. Las Posadas commemorates the journey that Joseph and Mary made from Nazareth to Bethlehem in search of a safe refuge where Mary could give birth to the baby Jesus.

SANTA BARBARA: Mission by Candlelight Sip N Stroll December 6, 2019, 5-7 p.m.
Mission Santa Barbara
2201 Laguna Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93105
(805) 682-4151
$30, age 21+ only, |
Decked out for Christmas and illuminated by candles and luminarias, stroll through the museum on a self-guided tour while sipping beer & wine, nibbling on cheese  and chatting with the Franciscan Friars in the peace and beauty of the church, exquisitely decorated and set aglow by candlelight.
At the Presidio there's an annual Las Posadas.

SANTA CLARA: Mission Santa Clara A Chanticleer Christmas December 19, 2019, 6 & 8:30 p.m.
Mission Santa Clara
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95050

SOLVANG: Mission Santa Ines
1760 Mission Drive, P.O. Box 408
Solvang, CA 93464
Phone: (805) 688-4815
Christmas Handbell Concert December 2, 2019, 9:30 a.m. Followed by lunch in the Parish Hall
Las Posadas December 15-23, 2019, 7 p.m. (8 p.m. on Dec.15)

SONOMA: Sonoma Mission State Historic Park Christmas at the Park December 14, 2019, 5, 6 & 7 p.m.
363 3rd Street West
Sonoma, California
Free admission, $2.50 per ticket for holiday sing-along,
Holidays on the Northern Frontier December 14, 2019 offers a traditional and festive holiday event! Family-friendly activities
take place throughout the historic buildings in downtown Sonoma. The Mission Chapel program is a ticketed event but all other activities are free and open to the community!
Christmas at the Mission sing-along program in the Mission Chapel (ticketed event) features Sonoma Valley High School Madrigal Choir.  A Soldiers' Christmas living history, refreshments, crafts and Kris Kringle in the Sonoma Barracks. Gift Shop & Bookstore stocked with holiday merchandise.
Band performs in the Toscano Hotel and docents provide tours of the Toscano Kitchen. Yuletide at the Blue Wing Inn living history, crafts, and refreshments.

VENTURA: Mission San Buenaventura Advent-Christmas at San Buenaventura Mission.
San Buenaventura Mission
211 East Main Street
Ventura, CA 93001-2691
Tree Lighting in Figueroa Plaza December 6, 2019
Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe December 12, 2019
Mariachi traditional songs are played at 5 a.m. in O'Brien Hall followed by Mass at 5:30 a.m. Then menudo breakfast in the Parish Center Auditorium. At 6 p.m. in the Mission Church, Aztec dancers pay tribute to Our Lady of Guadalupe and a procession is held on Main Street from the Mission to Palm Street to Juniper Serra Way and O'Brien Hall. Mass includes a dramatized representation of the apparition at Tepeyac Hill in Mexico. The evening concludes with pan dulce and chocolate in the Parish Center Auditorium.

VENTURA: Mission San Buenaventura Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, 5 a.m. Mariachi traditional songs are played at 5 a.m. in O'Brien Hall followed by Mass at 5:30 a.m. Then menudo breakfast in the Parish Center Auditorium. At 6 p.m. in the Mission Church, Aztec dancers pay tribute to Our Lady of Guadalupe and a procession is held on Main Street from the Mission to Palm Street to Juniper Serra Way and O'Brien Hall. Mass includes a dramatized representation of the apparition at Tepeyac Hill in Mexico. The evening concludes with pan dulce and chocolate in the Parish. Location: 211 East Main Street

Events are not guaranteed. It is your responsibility to confirm before going.

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