Christmas tree lighting |Crystal Cove beach
This Saturday December 1st we had a fun short and sweet opportunity to check out the Christmas tree lighting at the Crystal Cove beach with our kid. Apparently it was 22nd annual lighting ceremony. Accompanied by an impromptu market on the beach it was a fun little experience to take a part in as an OC resident. The event takes place every year on the first Saturday of December.
Location of Crystal Cove Christmas tree lighting:
Crystal Cove Conservancy, 5 Crystal Cove, Newport Coast, CA 92657
Parking at Los Trancos parking lot on the inland side of Pacific Coast Highway. For the event on Saturday afternoon, State Parks will waive the $15 parking fee at Los Trancos parking lot. Shuttle service is $1 each way.
The whole $15/ parking at Crystal cove is a bit annoying (I spent close to $100 by this point just on parking every time I and my family wanted to see the Ocean).
Alternatively you can park at the Crystal Cove Shopping center and go on a 15 min walk to the beach. We end up going to Bear Flag – a phenomenal seafood restaurant to eat every time anyways so I don’t feel that terrible at all anyway =)
An amicable local told us that Beachcomber Café validates the parking fee…
Christmas tree lighting ceremony
The whole event lasts from 10:00 am-5:30 pm and includes a simple trinket market followed by the tree lighting after the sunset.
An online source states:
” The first Saturday in December is the Annual Tree Lighting & Holiday Bazaar complete with Santa arriving via a lifeguard vehicle to greet the crowd.”
Btw – FREE hot chocolate and hot apple cider were generously provided by the Beachcomber Café along with the home- baked cookies.
Another online source colorfully accents on the Crystal cove Christmas Tree:
“The Coastal Tree, located next to The Beachcomber Cafe, will remain lit and decorated throughout the holiday season. As the only holiday tree display on the beach of the California coast, it is the perfect place to snap a family holiday photo.”
The whole event seemed very much spontaneously organized , yet had this pleasant surreal feel – a Christmas tree on the Beach! It’s a yet another fun activity to do with kids in Orange County and we definitely recommend it for the next year. The whole small town beach vibe reminded us of Stinson Beach.