The Ultimate Guide to OC Holiday Boat Parades

See How the Beach Cities Make a Splash for the Holidays

Written By: Tamara Austring The Ultimate Guide to OC Holiday Boat Parades

If you’re a transplant living in sunny California for the holidays, or even if you’re Orange County homegrown, it’s often difficult to feel the wintery Christmas spirit when you’re surrounded by palm trees and it’s 75 degrees outside. However, there is a remedy to put you in the yuletide mood! The Orange County area offers a variety of parades and light shows on the water. And when the temperature drops while you’re out to witness the light show, you’ll instantly feel the Christmas spirit. Here are our some of OC’s best to bring your family to this year.


109th Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade

From Dec. 13-17, catch the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade at Lido Isle. The fun begins at 6:30 p.m. each evening. Marina Park is a local favorite spot to watch, but there are plenty of alternative spots to enjoy the fun. Be sure to get there early!

Native Knowledge: Head to Newport Landing to reserve a parade cruise ride. This is the way to celebrate in comfort and style.

Marina Park
1600 W Balboa Blvd
Newport Beach, CA 92663


Newport Beach Ring of Lights

Got a side of competitiveness along with your Christmas spirit? You can enter your boat or home into the Ring of Lights competition. Entering your boat officially makes you part of the parade. And all waterfront homes, businesses and yacht clubs are encouraged to join in the fun as well in a separate land category.

Native Knowledge: The entry fee is $35, but well worth it to join in on the friendly competition!

Newport Harbor


43rd Annual Dana Point Boat Parade of Lights

During the weekends of Dec. 8-9 and 15-16, this south county parade of lights has a fun theme the whole family can get behind—A Superhero Holiday. Along with the boat parade, you can look forward to carolers, superheroes, games, crafts, free photos with Santa and more!

Native Knowledge: The boat parade begins at 7:30 p.m., but be sure to get there around 4:30 p.m. for the family festivities in the harbor.

Dana Point Harbor
34555 St of the Golden Lantern
Dana Point, CA 92629


55th Annual Huntington Beach Harbor Boat Parade

Grab your music-loving friends and family for the “Musical Kicks on Route 66” themed Huntington Harbour boat parade. If you’re an HB local, you’re encouraged to participate! There are several places to view the parade along the route to witness the decked out boats.

Native Knowledge: Put on by The Huntington Harbour Philharmonic Committee, entries provide music education funds for Orange County school children.

16252 Countess Dr
Huntington Beach, CA 92649

Light Up Your Spirits At These OC Holiday Boat Parades.

Website | + posts

Tamara is SoCal born and bred with Dutch roots. With an English degree from Vanguard University, she is thrilled to be part of the LOCALE editorial team. She enjoys reading, eating green bell peppers, petting other people's dogs, and cooking/baking while singing into a kitchen spoon to Broadway show tunes.


11 Waterfront Restaurants in Orange County With Unforgettable Views
Make a Splash at the 16 Coolest Pools in Greater Palm Springs
Bare It All: Here Are 8 of the Best Nude Resorts in California
10 Resorts With the Freshest Poolside Cocktails in All of Southern California



Related Content

Join our mailing list.Be the first to know about the best eats, shops, sights and escapes of Southern California.
Skip to content