Best Family Theme Parks for the Holidays

During the holiday season, theme parks transform into winter wonderlands bursting with decorations and offering exciting holiday-themed attractions. In Southern California, we’re fortunate to be near a number of great parks that go all out for the holiday season. Keep reading to find the best family theme parks for the holidays, and be sure to check out our tips on how to make the most of your trip.



Experience SeaWorld’s amazing Christmas Celebration through January 1st. In Rudolph’s Christmastown, meet Rudolph and his friends, play “reindeer games,” and enjoy live music. Keep an eye out for the park’s live reindeer, and see the nightly lighting of their magnificent 40-foot tree.

Don’t miss SeaWorld’s special holiday shows! “Shamu Christmas Miracles” dazzles with a live singer, Christmas carolers, and everyone’s favorite killer whale.



At LEGOLAND, indulge in seasonal treats like churros con chocolate and peppermint milkshakes while you marvel at snowfall in Southern California. They’ve created a special family-friendly show for their holiday season, which lasts until January 1st. Be sure to get a family photo with the life-sized LEGO Santa and reindeer, as well as the LEGO Christmas tree.


Knott’s Merry Farm

From now until January 8th, Knott’s Berry Farm is Knott’s Merry Farm! Bundle up for snowfall, write letters to Santa, and listen to carolers throughout the park. See performances of A Christmas Carol and The Gift of the Magi as well as Merry Christmas, Snoopy!, an elaborate ice skating show.


Disneyland and California Adventure

At Disneyland, the Haunted Mansion takes on a The Night Before Christmas theme, the Jungle Cruise becomes the Jingle Cruise, and It’s a Small World is decorated with over 50,000 lights. Kids will go crazy for a Christmas Fantasy Parade, featuring Santa, Disney princesses, and characters from Frozen and Toy Story.

At Disney California Adventure, adults will love the 14 Festive Foods Marketplace kiosks serving holiday fare from around the world and the whole family will enjoy ¡Viva Navidad!, a Latin-American inspired street parade with Disney characters, mariachi, and samba. At both parks, the holiday season runs through January 8th.


How can your family have a great theme park experience?

Try these tips to keep everyone comfortable, happy, and healthy:

1. Bring your own food. Pack healthy snacks for trips to family theme parks to keep your energy up : trail mix, dried fruits, carrot sticks, and granola bars high in fiber are all good options. That way, you won’t be forced to purchase overpriced and unhealthy food at the park.

2. Drink water. Make sure to keep yourself hydrated. Weakness, light-headedness, and nausea are symptoms of dehydration.

3. Wear comfortable shoes. You’ll be on your feet all day! Choose shoes with arch support that are good for both standing and walking.

4. Dress in layers. When you’re at family theme parks all day, you can experience anything from scorching sunlight to cold nighttime temperatures. Store a change of clothes in a locker.

5. Know where first aid is. Before you go, find out where the park’s medical services are located. They can help out with anything from skinned knees to emergency situations.

6. Make a plan.Prioritize rides, shows, and attractions before you enter the park so you won’t run out of time for anything you want to do.


Theme parks aren’t just fun, they can be beneficial to your health. Walking around a park all day is great exercise! Talk with your Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups doctor about other ways to maintain an active lifestyle.


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