If you’re feeling especially festive this holiday season, you’d better be ready to mark your calendar because Long Beach has a haul of events planned this December.
For those craving a holiday experience that comes with a history lesson, perhaps Rancho Los Alamitos’ 1920s holiday display or a tour of the heritage-decked Bembridge House will do.
Looking for something a little less wholesome? Hop on the Beer Bus during SantaCon or have a few (or five) Christmapolitans at Miracle at The Ordinarie.
Or perhaps you’d rather catch a show like the Long Beach Ballet’s Nutcracker or Musica Angelica’s The Joy of Christmas.
We warned you, there’s a lot going on. Here are just some of the holiday happenings we thought you should check out.
Miracle at The Ordinarie – Nov. 24 to Dec. 31
One of Long Beach’s most beloved “holiday musts” has already kicked off at The Ordinarie in Downtown. Miracle is a pop-up that brings a gargantuan amount of Christmas decor to this small Long Beach tavern each December.
If Disneyland isn’t in the budget this year, this might be the closest to winter wonderland you can drink and eat in. Reservations to dine or drink can be made on the restaurant’s website.
The Ordinaire is at 210 The Promenade N. Read more about it here.
Small Biz Holiday Pop-up Shop – Dec. 2
For whatever reason this year, the second day of December is going to be a very busy Saturday in Long Beach. Start your day with this pop-up market benefitting small businesses in town from noon to 4 p.m.
Hosted by Wine, Cheese, Etc., which already has holiday wine and cheese gift boxes ready to go online, the shop is gathering a host of local businesses that will be showcasing “unique” products. If you ask me, this sounds like an opportunity to find your friends some gifts you can’t find at Target.
Wine, Cheese, Etc. is at 2938 Clark Avenue. More information here.
Aquarium Holidays – Dec. 2 to Dec. 23
This weekslong event, which kicks off on Dec. 2, lends the unique opportunity to see “snowfall” in the Great Hall of the Aquarium of the Pacific and much more.
Guests can enjoy festive decore, have photo opportunities with Santa and, of course, visit the creatures of the sea while they’re at it. On the weekend of Dec. 9 and 10, the facility will host a Kwanzaa celebration and a Hanukkah storytelling.
Tickets are included with general admission, which is $44.95 for adults, $29.95 for children and $41.95 for seniors.
More information here.
Belmont Shore Christmas Parade – Dec. 2
The Belmont Shore Christmas Parade is one of the city’s biggest holiday spectacle. Fun fact: it’s the second largest holiday parade in Los Angeles County next to the Hollywood Christmas Parade.
The 39th annual parade will feature more than 100 floats, marching bands, drill teams, local personalities and plenty of holiday fanfare. The spectacle is free and open to all ages. The parade, themed “Christmas by the Sea” this year, will begin at 6 p.m. at Livingston and Second Street.
More information here.
Rancho Voices: A Holiday Celebration – Dec. 7, 8, 9
The 7.5-acre Rancho Los Alamitos is a historic piece of Tongva-Gabrielino land that was sold to the city by its last private owners (The Bixby’s) in 1968.
You can still visit this remnant parcel and wander garden trails and meet the ranch animals this December, but this time, it’ll be decked out for a special holiday program.
Experience “voices from the past” while you take a free tour of the Ranch House, which will be decorated for a 1920s holiday party. Refreshments and music will be offered after the tour.
The tour begins at 4 p.m. and ends at 8 p.m. Parking is $5 for non-members.
Rancho Los Alamitos is at 6400 East Bixby Hill Road. Register here.
SantaCon – Dec. 10
If you believed the costume parties would end Oct. 31, you were wrong. SantaCon will usher a costumed holiday pub crawl through Bixby Knolls.
Starting at 1 p.m., Santas will walk and travel on the Beer Bus to and from several breweries, restaurants, wine bars and shops. And let me make sure you understand, holiday costumes are “mandatory.”
Find more information here.
Heritage Holidays at the Historic Bembridge House – Dec. 1 to 16
Another way to ring in the holidays with a dose of history is to visit the Bembridge House for its Heritage Holiday tour, which will celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.
This year’s theme is “Dreaming of a Holiday Getaway.” All tours are $15 except for Friday, Dec. 1, which will be reserved for adults only (there will be wine). That tour will be $20.
The Bembridge House is at 953 North Park Circle. More information here.
Deck The Halls Holiday Concert In The Park(ing Lot) – Dec. 17
You read that right. In the parking lot of the Second Street Chase Bank, Jazz Angels and the SeaFunk Brass Band will perform starting at 11 a.m. for a holiday concert. Complementary holiday photos and gift wrapping by Loree Scarborough will be offered from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Attendees can also contribute non-perishable foods to a drive benefiting Cal State Long Beach’s ASI Food Pantry, which provides food for students in need.
Chase Bank is at 5200 Second St. More information here.
The Joy of Christmas with Musica Angelica – Dec. 9
Long Beach’s baroque orchestra is bringing one of its most popular European Christmas concerts back on Dec. 9. Music by Francesco Manfredini, Giuseppe Sammartini, Johann Adolf Hasse, Antonio Vivaldi, Michel Corette and Johann Sebastian Bach will be performed.
The show starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Beverly O’Neill Theater and tickets start at $40.
The Beverly O’Neill Theater is at 300 E Ocean Blvd.
The Long Beach Nutcracker – Dec. 16 to 23
This production goes all out at the Long Beach Terrace Theater, wrapping in a full orchestra, a horse (a real horse), a flying sleigh, pyrotechnics — the works.
Tickets range from $35 to $125.
More information and tickets here.