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Celebrate the holidays at Orange County’s only Mission. Join us on select days from December 7, 2024 through December 29, 2024 for daytime admission to the Mission and an evening of holiday programming and fun. Capistrano Lights: Mission in Lights returns this December with tree lighting, Dickens-era carolers, full-scale nativity, light features including a new lighted halo grove, new scented citrus garden, dancing swallows and more – all are included with any Capistrano Lights ticket which also includes same day admission to the Mission.

The tradition also brings back Community Christmas Trees, Family Wreaths, and a harpist in the Serra Chapel. The Capistrano Lights audio tour will also be available throughout the entire month of December so guests can enjoy hearing the Gospel and the Night Before Christmas reading while learning more about Capistrano Lights evening offerings. 

Event Information

We are excited to announce the return of Capistrano Lights on select days December 7 through December 29.

Capistrano Lights Super Ticket Admission Includes:
• Daytime admission to the Mission
• Capistrano Lights Audio Tour
Holiday Programming from 3:30PM-6:30PM. The Mission opens at 10:00AM and closes at 7PM during Capistrano Lights
• Christmas Tree Lighting and Music Program at 5:05PM
• Selfies with Santa (Santa leaves for the North Pole after December 23) courtesy of Farmers & Merchants Bank
• Performances by Dickens era Carolers courtesy of Farmers & Merchants Bank
• Nativity in the Ruins of the Great Stone Church, circa 1806
• The Mission in Lights
• Community Christmas Trees
• Prayer Candles
• Large Scale Wreath
• Kids Crafts
• Sweet Treats
• Serra Chapel Open
• Extended Holiday Shopping Hours in the Mission Store

2024 Capistrano Lights Offered:

Tickets sales will begin in August 2024. Ticket sales will be available for purchase online only. Sign up for our e-newsletter to stay in the know!

Mission Members

Mission Members receive discounted admission rates! Become a Member today to received discounted tickets and advanced purchase opportunity to Capistrano Lights. Advance ticket sales begin Wednesday, August 7 at 10:00 a.m. online only.

To purchase tickets and receive a discounted Member rate, you will need your login information. Enter the last name associated with your membership followed by your 8 Digit Member ID number (shown in red below).

Mission Member Adults (12-59)$9
Mission Member Seniors (60+)$9
Mission Member Youth/Student (5+)$9
Children (4 and younger)FREE
Mission Member Guest (Member must be present)$10

General Public

Advance ticket sales begin Wednesday, August 7 at 10:00 a.m. online only.

Adults (12-59)$20
Seniors (60+)$17
Youth/Student (5+)$14
Children (4 and younger)FREE

* The following vouchers/promotions/offers are NOT valid for entry to Capistrano Lights : Complimentary Admission Guest Passes (Dated after July 1, 2024), Members $9 guest tickets,  CertifiKID, Gold Star, Groupon, and Travel Zoo. 

Ticket Policies

All onsite events are subject to change.

Ticket sales are final. Mission San Juan Capistrano is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. It requires immense effort and administration to process ticket orders. We are unable to accommodate refunds or exchanges. Thank you for your understanding.

Should there be conditions related to weather, rain, emergency or other conditions beyond control of Mission staff that should necessitate cancellation of the event, tickets will not be refunded. Please consider the cost of your tickets a charitable donation in support of Mission San Juan Capistrano, historic California landmark #200 and 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization #95-1904079.

Frequently Asked Questions

Community Christmas Trees

Annually to promote the entire community as part of our Capistrano Lights tree lighting, we have ten community Christmas trees sponsored by key organizations in San Juan Capistrano. Each of these entities will have their very own Christmas tree at the Mission and will decorate it in a way to promote their service as well as contribute to an overall sense of good will to our visitors coming from all over the world. In the same spirit of Franciscan hospitality, these community groups as well as members of the Heritage Tourism Association, will contribute to a setting of inspiration during the holiday season. To participate in the Community Christmas Tree Program, please email

We hope visitors will come see the Mission in lights, and leave with a sense of inspiration that our world famous Mission is known for.

Thank you to our 2023 Capistrano Lights Community Christmas Tree Sponsors

Buy My Bikes, San Juan Capistrano
Mission San Juan Capistrano Gardening Angels
Homefront America
Shea Center
Inn at the Mission San Juan Capistrano
Providence Mission Hospital

Rancho Mission Viejo
Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) – San Clemente

Mission Basilica School

Family Christmas Wreaths

Up to twelve beautifully decorated Christmas wreaths will hang throughout the Mission grounds throughout the run of Capistrano Lights Returns. Each sponsoring family will be invited to write a holiday message to be included on the Christmas wreath which will be placed in special locations at the Mission. Net proceeds will help offset the costs for the Capistrano Lights Returns program. The cost to sponsor a Family Christmas wreath is $150. There is one special opportunity for a family to underwrite the Christmas wreath that will be situated at the historic Serra Chapel for $500.

Businesses, non-profits and individuals are also invited to consider sponsoring a Christmas wreath too.The Mission Preservation Foundation is especially grateful to all of those who want to help support our Christmas programming in a way that is meaningful and purposeful. Each family Christmas wreath sponsor receives a voucher for 6 complimentary tickets to attend any evening of Capistrano Lights Returns programming.

If you are interested in this new sponsorship program, please reach out to our Events Director, Stephanie Montes de Oca at

Thank you to our 2023 Family Christmas Wreath Sponsors

The Carabini Family
The Busch Family

The Mission “Work” Family
The Baratta Family

Elfs On A Mission

Each December Sullivan the Elf and his best friend Poppy make their way back to Mission San Juan Capistrano from the North Pole. Join us daily through the month of December to see if you can spot where these mischevious elves are hiding. Once you find them, snap a photo, post and tag #ElvesOnAMission. Follow along on Sullivan and Poppy’s journey and learn fun interesting facts about the Mission on the way on our social media accounts. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to join in on the fun!


Thank You to our 2024 Sponsors for their support of Capistrano Lights

American Endowment Foundation

Thank You to Our Event Partners for Their Generous Gift-In-Kind Support

Underwriting and Sponsorships

Underwriting and sponsorships available for all events, for more information please contact Stephanie Montes de Oca, Events Director at (949) 234-1316 or by emailing

Support Mission San Juan Capistrano and Save!

Member benefits include free daily admission and other exclusive perks.

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Museum Hours

Tuesday - Sunday, 9AM - 5PM

Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas.
Closed for Annual Gala on September 13, 2024.
Closed early on Good Friday.
Hours subject to change


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26801 Old Mission Road
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
(949) 234-1300

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