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Ventura Holiday and Seasonal Events Celebrate the Beach Lifestyle in Ventura County, California

Holiday Parade of Lights, Ventura Harbor

This two-day celebration set for Friday, December 19th and Saturday, December 20th, marks the 32nd anniversary of this fun filled occasion. Themed "Ventura Harbor’s Polar Express”, guests can enjoy the revelry as boats adorned with Christmas lights and decorations illuminate the Ventura Harbor and watch as colorful fireworks fill the night sky. Folks with little ones are sure to be jolly at the family carnival where tots can get pony & train rides, carousel rides, and a visit with Santa. This event also serves as a great opportunity to get a head start on Christmas shopping or experience fine cuisine at one of ten Harbor restaurants. A free shuttle bus is also available at the Parking Lot on Harbor Blvd. & Schooner Drive. For more information call (877) 89-HARBOR.

Parade of Lights Harbor Cruise

Celebrate the Holidays with ISLAND PACKERS as they cruise the Harbor to watch the Parade of Lights and take in the beautiful fireworks display. Trips are scheduled from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm on Friday, December 19th and 20th aboard the 64’ catamaran “Islander” and Saturday, December 15th aboard the 70’ vessel “Vanguard.” Tickets cost $24 for adults, $20 for seniors and $17 for children. Includes hot cocoa. Food will be for in sale in the snack bar. For reservations call Island Packers at (805) 642-1393.

Holiday Caroling Cruise

Ride and sing with ISLAND PACKERS Wednesday December 12th and 19th from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm. Aboard the 64’ catamaran “Island Adventure” which departs at from 1691 Spinnaker Drive in the Ventura Harbor . Enjoy the harbor lights and the decorated boats in the marinas and Harbor Village while singing holiday songs with the crew and passengers. Tickets cost $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $7 for children. Includes hot cocoa and cookies. For reservations call Island Packers at (805) 642-1393.

California-Style Sleigh Rides

Hop onboard the good ship Dreamer for a holiday sleigh ride – California style! Sail the waters of the Ventura Keys and Ventura harbor from December 1st to December 30th and enjoy the sparkling Christmas lights adorning shoreline homes and casting picturesque reflections in the nighttime waters. Cruise every night from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Closed on December 24th & 25th. Each cruise offers a full bar, sodas and seasonal concoctions such as “reindeer milk” and hot chocolate. Cruises cost $20 for adults and $10 for children 12-2 years old. Call (805) 642-7753.

Annual Dudley House Victorian Holiday Boutique

The historic Victorian Dudley House, a museum dedicated to preserving Ventura ’s historic past, will be opening its doors free to the public on three consecutive weekends of November 28-30, December 5-7 and December 12-14. From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. the museum will have crafts, home decorations, antiques and collectibles sales, as well as a silent auction, quilt raffle and refreshments in the building’s Victorian Tearoom. The museum will also accept donations. For more information call (805) 654-8381.

Real Snow and Fireworks at the Pacific View Mall

From 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Pacific View Mall Community Plaza , celebrate the beginning of the holiday season on Monday, December 1st with the “Holiday Traditions Festival – Ventura Style”. Kids will enjoy playing in real snow, as well as visits with Santa and his reindeer. There will also be a Community Holiday Tree Lighting, live entertainment and fireworks. For more information call (805) 642-0605.

Dinner with Santa Trains

Gather the family for a dinner hosted by Santa Claus! From November 28th to December 21st, the Fillmore & Western Railroad Co. will be inviting young and old to this new memorable holiday occasion. Trains will depart Fridays and Sundays at 5:30 p.m. On the train, have your ‘wish lists’ ready to discuss with Santa and have an opportunity for a picture with him as well. Costs, which include the train ride and dinner, run $45 for adults and $24 for children 3-12. Costs for children 2 and under is $10, but this is a ride ticket only and a meal is not included. This event is by reservation only and can be made by calling (800) 773-8724.

The North Pole Express and the Christmas Tree Holiday Train

Every Saturday and Sunday from November 29th to December 21st, visitors and locals alike are invited to hop onboard Fillmore & Western’s Christmas Tree Train and chug through Ventura County ’s picturesque Heritage Valley on the way to select and cut down their own Christmas tree. Trains depart at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and the rides cost $22 for adults, $20 for seniors 60+, $12 for kids 4-12 and $8 for kids 1-3 and infants under 1 are free on lap. Similarly, the North Pole Express journeys to the “North Pole” to “pick up Santa.” Children will delight in storytellers dressed as elves and chocolate milk and cookies, and are encouraged to wear their pajamas and bring their teddy bears to cuddle up with in a festive setting. Santa will be onboard both trains to pay visits to little ones. The North Pole Express runs Wednesday though Sunday from November 28th to December 26th from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and costs $24 for adults, $15 for kids 3-12 and infants 0-2 are free on lap. Call (800) 773-8724.

Christmas at the Historic Pierpont Inn

Step back in time and enjoy a holiday tradition on December 25th. Dine at Austen’s at the historic Pierpont Inn and enter the days of Christmas past. Guests can indulge in a scrumptious holiday feast amid festive decorated surroundings. Time and price to be determined. Call (805) 643-6144.

Chanukah Festival at the Harbor!

Come celebrate the annual Chanukah Festival at Ventura Harbor on Sunday December 28th. Bring the entire family and be apart of the giant 20-foot Menorah Lighting Ceremony. Enjoy a Children’s Show, live musical entertainment, hot Latkes and Kosher food, carnival rides, a Judaica Boutique and an olive oil press demonstration. The festival runs from 2:30 p.m.-5 p.m. and is free to the public. For more info please contact The Chabad of Oxnard Jewish Center at (805) 382-4770.

“Holidays in Paradise” Holiday Street Festival

Ventura’s 32nd Annual Holiday Street Festival, whose theme this year is “Holidays in Paradise ”, will take place on Sunday, December 7th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and will be held on Main Street in the city’s historic Downtown Cultural District. For one-of-a-kink Christmas or Chanukah shopping, wander twelve blocks to see more than 300 artisan and fine arts booths, tasty treats from numerous food vendors, all while enjoying free musical entertainment. For the smaller set, photos with Santa Claus will be taken at the Midtown Community Council booth. The event is free to the public and a complimentary shuttle service will be provided to the event from the Ventura County Government Center , Lot F. Call (805) 654-7749.

The Ventura Visitors Center, 89 S. California Street in downtown Ventura , is open Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.Ventura Visitors & Convention Bureau serves tourism and the economy by positioning the City of Ventura as a visitor and conference destination., Call: (800) 483-6215.


Where to stay when taking a Ventura California vacation? We love several great hotels that include historic Pierpont Inn, Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach Hotel, and Four Points by Sheraton on the bay.


Dining: A great restaurant downtown is J's Tapas.


Do you enjoy California Car Shows? We do too. Here are a few more to check out!