Fun and COVID-Free Holiday Activities


Courtesy of the Orange County Register

Although COVID-19 is negatively impacting many holiday traditions, there is still an array of different holiday activities you can do that are safe from the pandemic.

Danielle Huizar, Photojournalist

Christmas is supposed to be the happiest time of the year, but it seems like Christmas might be extremely different this year. With a new surge in cases and the uncertainty of what is safe to do for the holidays, many Christmas and holiday events and activities appear to be canceled. However, although the COVID-19 pandemic forced many traditional celebrations of Christmas and the holidays to be canceled, there is still an array of different Christmas and winter activities you can still take part in safely.

There are multiple extravagant holiday exhibits that you and your families and friends can participate in while in a vehicle to mitigate the risk of COVID-19. In Costa Mesa, at the OC Fair event center, there is the “Nights of Lights OC” event. This enterprise consists of a mile drive that goes through over one million Christmas lights. To ensure the safety of their guests, those in charge of this event are taking multiple safety precautions: a mask mandate for the team members that are running the event and guests if they choose to roll down their windows, a 6 feet spacing between vehicles, a team of EMT’s if an emergency occurs, and much more (Night Of Lights OC). The Drive-In at Santa Monica Airport is a “contact-free cinema experience” where you can enjoy many holiday movies, such as Elf, The Nightmare Before Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and many more, in the comfort of your car. They provide you with personal headphones, a concession stand, city views, and, of course, a screen of the movie you are watching that night, and they use similar safety precautions as the “Night of Lights OC” events like the enforcement of a six feet spacing of vehicles and masks if you decide to leave your vehicle (Rooftop Cinema Club). In Long Beach, there is a Christmas Gondola Cruise where you can enjoy an immersive Christmas light display in a private gondola. For $160, four guests can enjoy this experience with a professional gondolier, a complimentary photo, a bucket of ice for beverages, and cozy blankets (Gondola Get Away Inc.).

If you want to walk around during a Christmas outing, there are multiple outdoor events that you can enjoy that are socially distanced with masks. At the South Coast Botanic Garden, “Glow” is “a visually stunning art installation that will transform… lush botanic oasis into an oceanic experience for our Garden Lights & Ocean Waters theme using thousands of lights designed by California Outdoor Lighting.” You can walk through this aesthetically pleasing event with a lessened risk of COVID-19 because of guidelines that state that guests over 2 years old must wear a mask, physical distancing is required, and there is a limited capacity for different time slots (South Coast Botanic Garden). Disneyland California Adventure and Knotts Berry Farm have different Christmas activities as well. At California Adventure, there are multiple holiday events, and shopping and dining have opened up. They require all guests to wear masks and try to maintain physical distance from one another (Disneyland Disney Go). At Knotts Berry Farm, they offer the “Knott’s Taste of Merry,” a dining experience that contains an array of different holiday foods. Guests must purchase a tastecard, and there are limited tastecards per day, a requirement of face masks for everyone, and social distancing to lessen the spread of COVID-19 (Knotts). 

For those people who feel safest from COVID-19 at their home, there is a lot of virtual events you can take part in. The Los Angeles Ballet is hosting a virtual event called “Clara’s Nutcracker Tea Party” where you can enjoy an afternoon of different events including dancing, magic, music, crafts, and holiday fun (Los Angeles Ballet). Because of the pandemic, the 61st Annual LA County Holiday Celebration pre-recorded a diverse set of LA-based musicians and artists and will stream it on December 24, 2020, online or on PBS SoCal1. Some artists that are performing are the American Youth Symphony, Infinite Flow Dance, and many more (Music Center). Of course, if you want to celebrate with your friends and family in the safest way possible, Zoom meetings and FaceTime calls are great ways to share the holiday spirit with the people you love. 

Students at Yorba Linda High School love Christmas time, and they are somewhat disappointed about the pandemic preventing traditional celebrations. However, many students are making the most of the COVID-19 Christmas and are being as safe as possible. Sydney Fried (11) “wanted to hang out with [her] family up north,” but she is optimistic for a Christmas “day filled with love, Christmas music, and a lot of FaceTimes” that will be the “best quarantine Christmas I can ask for with [her] family.” Although the COVID-19 pandemic is hindering many holiday celebrations, it is best to stay cheerful about Christmas time. In addition, it is imperative to stay as responsible and safe as possible when it comes to COVID-19 and to be a responsible citizen. You should social distance, wear masks, and follow CDC guidelines to ensure safety from COVID-19 for yourself and your loved ones.