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    Christmas in California: the best places to spend December 25th

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    Lluis Enric Mayans

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    Maybe it's a little early to talk about holiday season, however, although the summer holidays are just behind us, many are already writing to us asking for advice and tips for organizing winter holidays in the United States of America.

    For those who have decided to spend the winter in California it could therefore be useful to have some tips on how to spend the period around December 25 and New Year.

    So I thought I'd make a short list of where to spend the Natale in California, selecting some particular events that take place near the most important urban centers: Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego. We will also soon publish a guide for the holiday season dedicated to individual cities.

    So here are some things to do in California at Christmas:

    Natale to Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco:

    Skate in Pershing Square at Christmas, Los Angeles

    There are many Christmas events in the American cities of San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Here we report one in particular by city.

    • Ice Skating by Pershing Square a Los Angeles: a classic typical of the big cities. From mid-November until at least mid-January, a large ice skating rink opens in Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles. This is a good place not only for a nice skating, but also for walking, enjoying a concert and numerous other Christmas events.
    • The great San Francisco christmas tree: Many streets in the city of San Francisco light up during the Christmas season and launching the season is the annual lighting of thetree in Union Square, the city version of the tree in New York's Rockefeller Center. Also contributing to the atmosphere are all the surrounding buildings (especially the Macy's department store), which form the decorative outline of the ice skating rink that is set up in the square.
    • Jungle Bells at the San Diego Zoo: During the three-week Jungle Bells celebrations, the San Diego Zoo transforms into a Christmas-style winter landscape. Here you can attend the tree lighting ceremony, animal shows, shows, music and of course the visit of Santa Claus. The activities end at 20pm every evening. To enter you will have to pay the entrance to the zoo.

    Christmas lights in California

    Visit Solvang at Christmas

    Just go to the most important city centers to stroll through the illuminated streets and atmospheres of Jingle Bells. However, if this is the kind of attraction you are looking for for your California native, there are also some smaller centers that are worth considering. Here are 2:

    • Mission Inn Festival of Lights in Riverside: The Mission Inn Festival of Lights in Riverside is a popular Christmas event in California, mostly due to the nearly 3 million lights and over 400 animated figures that are used. Every year the famous Mission Inn hotel and the surrounding streets are decorated to the fullest: you can explore the inside of the hotel for free or stroll outside among the illuminated streets and the many stalls set up for a snack.
    • Christmas decorations in the Danish town of Solvang: It will sound strange but in California, in Santa Barbara County, about 3 hours from Los Angeles, it exists Solvang, a Danish town of yesteryear, with characteristic houses and just over 5000 inhabitants. During the Christmas period, this city is also covered with decorations and taking a walk, perhaps stopping in one of the many bakeries or bakeries, can be a very special experience.

    Two California Christmas parades

    Di Christmas parades in California there are plenty of them, here are 2 quite well known and singular ones:

    • Newport Christmas Boat Parade: in the bay of Newport every year at Christmas, a hundred yachts parade illuminated and decorated in the most unthinkable ways. Apparently people are willing to spend a fortune to get noticed (even more than $ 50000) and the result is one of the most surprising and unlikely parades of boats in the entire United States. The Christmas Boat Parade can be viewed for free from various points along Newport Harbor. The parade starts on the Bay Island Channel in the late afternoon and ends at the same location around 21pm.
    • Parade of tractors in Calistoga: The Calistoga Illuminated Tractor Parade is one of the most popular attractions in the Napa Valley area. Vintage and modern tractors, trucks, propulsion vehicles and various construction equipment are adorned for the occasion with dazzling lights and whiz (so to speak ...) along the main street of Calistoga to celebrate Christmas and heritage agricultural sector of the whole area.

    Ice Christmas at the historic ship Queen Mary

    In the port of Long Beach is still moored a historic ship, the Queen Mary, which served from 1936 to 1967, used to transport soldiers (as well as by Winston Churchill) during the Second World War. Why should we care about this ship for ours Christmas holidays in California?

    The reason is that the chill, a reconstruction of an environment in which, thanks to the use of 2 million pounds of white or colored ice, stunning structures and life-size sculptures are formed. Getting an idea of ​​what it is is a bit difficult: first watch the video below:

    Catholic masses in California at Christmas

    San Francisco Cathedral
    San Diego Cathedral
    Los Angeles Cathedral

    Obviously, masses are celebrated in all Catholic churches, here we put the cathedrals of the 3 main cities:

    • Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles: large modern building a few steps from the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Official site. 
    • Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta in San Francisco: modern church with a peculiar shape near Jefferson Square Park. Official site.
    • Cathedral of San Giuseppe in San Diego: Historic church in Downtown, near Balboa Park and the City Zoo. Official site.

     Directions of the various stages

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