‘Capistrano Lights' to Sparkle at Historic Mission

The glittery event, which will take place over 30 nights, brings fresh illumination, multiple trees, and activities, too, to the storied spot.

What to Know

  • Dec. 8, 2019-Jan. 6, 2020
  • Dec. 7 opening night
  • $10 general public adult (opening night $15)

The glorious grounds of Mission San Juan Capistrano are impressive at any moment on the calendar, as anyone who has ever strolled by the roses and bells well knows.

It could be March, when all of the swallows celebrations take flight in the area, or it might be fall, when nights arrive earlier and the historic spread takes on a quieter, summer-is-over character.

But washes of color, and bulb-bright lights, and several seasonal sweetnesses will give the famous mission its Christmastime look much of December and some of January, too.

For "Capistrano Lights," a 30-night holiday event, will make its delightful and visually striking debut at the Orange County hamlet on Saturday, Dec. 7.

Ten community Christmas trees will dot the storied spread, while a "large-scale nativity" may be found at the Ruins of the Great Stone Church.

And speaking of the Great Stone Church? Visitors will be able to add a candle to a special area during their time at the event.


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Opening night will see live mariachi performances, Victorian-style carolers, and selfies with Santa in the 18th-century Sala Building.

But even if you can't make it on Dec. 7, note that there will be several special happenings during the weekends of "Capistrano Lights," including craft-making themed to the mission (think adobe bricks and such).

For tickets and information on the happening, which wraps on Jan. 6, follow the seasonal sparkle to the Mission San Juan Capistrano site now.

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