Mission in Lights Opens December 3 with Theme Bigger, Better, Brighter!

Special Opening Night Ceremony and Programming on Saturday, December 2

San Juan Capistrano, Calif. (November 15, 2023) — Capistrano Lights: Mission in Lights returns to historic Mission San Juan Capistrano on select evenings from December 3 through 30.  A combination of reverence and holiday traditions, the annual celebration features a musical tree lighting, Dickens-era carolers, large-scale nativity scene, selfies with Santa, live holiday performances, expanded light features and extended hours this year.

Capistrano Lights tickets include all-day Mission admission, multi-language Capistrano Lights audio tour and holiday programming from 3:30 - 6:30 p.m. with the tree lighting at 5:05 p.m.

Hours are extended to 8:00 p.m. for a special opening night ceremony on Saturday, December 2 prior to the tree lighting featuring a special welcome by Mission San Juan Capistrano pastor, Reverend Monsignor J. Michael McKiernan and reading of the Gospel.

New lighting features to illuminate the California Landmark include lighted halos, poppy field, swallows, scented citrus grove, lighted cactus garden, bells and lanterns along with various performances throughout the Mission grounds.

Capistrano Lights traditions return with community-designed Christmas trees, family wreaths, large-scale nativity scene in the Ruins of the Great Stone Church (circa 1806), prayer candles, extended backdrops for holiday photos, children’s crafts by AR Workshop, refreshments by 3:16 Bakery Shop and Rancho Capistrano Winery wine nights on Saturdays.

Event details and tickets are available at www.capistranolights.com. Mission San Juan Capistrano is located at 26801 Old Mission Road, San Juan Capistrano.

Capistrano Lights underwriters include American Endowment Foundation, Farmers & Merchants Bank, Mike Ahumada Realtor SJC-Specialist, Rancho Capistrano Winery and 3:16 Bakery Shop.

About Mission San Juan Capistrano

Known as the “Jewel of the Missions,” Mission San Juan Capistrano is a historic landmark and museum that features permanent exhibits with original artifacts as well as traveling and temporary exhibits. Orange County’s only Mission, the site is home to Serra Chapel, The Great Stone Church and the original padres’ quarters of the South Wing and promotes faith, education, preservation and cultural event programming. 

Founded on November 1, 1776, by Saint Junipero Serra as the seventh of 21 California missions established by Spain, Mission San Juan Capistrano is owned by the Diocese of Orange and receives no church or state funding. The Mission Preservation Foundation, comprised of business and community leaders, is its fundraising entity committed to ensuring education, preservation and its long-term historic and religious significance.