By Shantelle, Disneyland Tour Guide
This article contains affiliate links from Disneyland Tour Guide
The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year to visit Anaheim. Guests can not only enjoy the magic of the Disneyland Resort, but there are also plenty of holiday-themed eats, activities, and more to experience throughout Anaheim and Orange County. Let’s check out a few!
The Viv Hotel Anaheim, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel
The Viv Hotel, Anaheim, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel is conveniently located 2 miles from Disneyland Resort, Anaheim GardenWalk and near Angel Stadium. Choose between one of their bunk-bed rooms, if you’re traveling with a family, or a spacious suite for couples.
The hotel also has two outdoor heated swimming pools, jacuzzi, splash pad and more. Enjoy their rooftop bar, Top of the V, for great views of the Disneyland resort. Be sure to also check out Valencia’s at the Viv, a culinary experience that serves up a modern take on Baja California-style cuisine.
This hotel is also participating in Visit Anaheim and Get Away Today’s Give the Gift of Vacation holiday package. For a limited time, guests booking the package can receive a free day at Disneyland Resort and night free at a participating hotel for free. More information about this travel deal can be found at the bottom of this post!
I really enjoyed my stay at The Viv Hotel. Excellent customer service, super clean room, and a fun modern feel. Find pricing and availability for The Viv Hotel here. If you don’t find availability for your dates, call 855-GET-AWAY and an agent can help you with a room. Tell them Disneyland Tour Guide sent you for the BEST rate!
The Viv Hotel Anaheim
Tree Lighting Ceremony and Festival in Downtown Anaheim
Center Street Promenade in Downtown Anaheim transforms into a winter wonderland. This event happens annually. Don’t worry if you missed it this year, mark your calendar for next year’s event! It typically takes place on the first Saturday in December.
The tree lighting ceremony this year featured the lighting of the tree, children’s choir from AUHSD, Anaheim Ballet, Sean Oliu, and an exclusive reading of the Night Before Christmas with Santa & Mrs. Claus.
Downtown Anaheim's Tree Lighting Ceremony and Festival
This event consists of over two dozen food and craft vendors making it the perfect time to grab a holiday gift for your friends and family. Attendees can take photos with Santa, enter the Candy Canine dog costume contest, shop from local vendors, enter the gingerbread house contest, and watch as Center Street Promenade tree is lit up. This event is all free of charge. This year they even had a free train ride for kids during the event. So mark your calendars for next year and start the Christmas season with a fun holiday tradition in Downtown Anaheim!
Hikari at Tanaka Farms
Tanaka Farms is located just outside of Anaheim. It’s a short drive from Anaheim; approximately 15-20-minutes south. For the holiday season, Tanaka Farms offers their Hikari event which features over a million twinkling lights! Loosely translated, Hikari means "shine" in Japanese.
Hikari and Tanaka Farms
Grab a hot cocoa, and take a cozy Wagon Ride around the festively lit farm that will take you to the “Land of a Thousand Lanterns!” Once off the wagon, you will wander through the light displays, with photo opportunities throughout. After the wagon ride, make your way down to the Festival Grounds where you can visit with the Barnyard Animals, grab some food from the Tanaka Grill, take advantage of lots of photo ops, games, Arts & Crafts, meet Santa for a photo, and, of course, more holiday lights! (All activities are priced individually.) Enjoy live music on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights!
This was a great way to feel the holiday magic, chill in the air and see some beautiful holiday lights. I’d definitely add this spot to your holiday must do list. They also sell local produce and Christmas trees!
South Coast Plaza
South Coast Plaza is another magical destination to experience during a holiday visit. Located a short 20-minute drive from Anaheim in nearby Costa Mesa, South Coast Plaza offers fun holiday-themed attractions like Santa’s Express Train and Reindeer Carousel (both attractions are transformed for the holiday season and great for little ones.). You don’t want to miss Santa’s Village where you can meet Santa himself and take photos.
Plus, over in the center of South Coast Plaza is the massive tree centerpiece complete with toy trains and various Santa Claus’ from all over the world! This was my first time visiting South Coast Plaza, and I was amazed at how well they decorate for the holidays. Plus they offer so many places to shop and eat. Definitely check it out on your next visit to the area.
Eating in Anaheim
During your holiday vacation in Anaheim stop at local restaurants for some great holiday eats. One location I’d like to showcase is The RANCH Restaurant. We had dinner at this fine dining establishment in Anaheim.
Their menu changes with the season and is always full off fresh, organically grown fruits and vegetables from local farms and from their own ranch in the Santa Ana Mountains. Everything we ate was presented so beautifully and tasted so fresh! We received excellent service and loved our dining experience at The RANCH Restaurant. Highlights were the Ceviche Trilogy, Cape Grim Grass-Fed Filet, Icefjord Icelandic Salmon and for dessert the PBJ & Milk Chocolate Bar. All cooked to perfection!
Make your holiday vacation in Anaheim extra special this year by experiencing The RANCH Restaurant’s special Christmas Eve dinner menu. The menu is a 4-course meal, complete with The RANCH’s signature fresh and organic produce and regional American cuisine. Cost is $140 per person, and reservations can be made by calling 714-817-4200. The restaurant is open from 5pm – close.
The RANCH Restaurant
Another must-stop spot during your holiday vacation in Anaheim is the Anaheim Packing District. The Anaheim Packing District, located at 440 S. Anaheim Blvd, offers a unique gathering place for local food, drinks, and live music, and includes the historic Packard Building, Farmers Park, the Anaheim Packing House and MAKE building.
Several of the locations throughout the Anaheim Packing District are offering holiday specials, including The Kroft and Le Parfait Paris!
The Kroft is located in the Anaheim Packing House and best known for their poutines, a dish consisting of crispy fries topped with cheese curds and gravy. This Canadian-loved comfort food has been reinvented by The Kroft, with variations including country fried chicken, Indian-inspired, curry-covered, and classic cheeseburger. We enjoyed our poutine and also LOVED our Waygu Double Smash Cheeseburger!
The Kroft inside the Anaheim Packing House
Le Parfait Paris is also located in the Anaheim Packing House. The location offers a variety of savory and sweet fares, all made from scratch. Must-try items at this location include their macarons! They offer over a dozen different flavors, including Oreo, Roasted Hazelnut Nutella, California Raspberry, and so many more! They make a great holiday gift.
Le Parfait Paris
Book a Trip to Anaheim
Ready to book a trip to Anaheim and check out all the fun? Well, I’ve got a deal for you. Visit Anaheim and my travel partner Get Away Today have teamed up to give visitors a special offer! Book your trip using this offer to receive an extra day AND night free.
All packages include:
- 4-night hotel stay at the listed hotel - with 4th night free
- 5-day Disneyland resort Park Hopper Tickets for 2 adults and 2 children (ages 3-9) - with 5th day free
If you have further questions you can call 855-GET-AWAY and let them know the Disneyland Tour Guide sent you!
I hope that this post gives you some ideas on some of the many things to do while visiting Anaheim. You know I love to go to Disneyland, and I always recommend a non-park day to rest. On your next rest day, plan to eat at one of these local places or go explore at some of the above mentioned locations. If you’re looking for other places in Anaheim to visit, I've detailed a few summer vacation activities and even more Halloween fun to help you plan the ultimate Anaheim vacation! I love to explore Anaheim each time I visit; there’s so much to do!
About Shantelle of Disneyland Tour Guide
Shantelle shares tips, information, strategies, news, events and more (mostly) about the Disneyland Resort. Whether it's your first time or fifth time, Shantelle offers the best tips and tricks to maximize the fun on your next vacation.