Capistrano Lights: Mission in Lights
Celebrate the holidays at Orange County’s only Mission. Join us on select days from December 2, 2023 through December 30, 2023 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, visits with Santa, Dickens-era carolers, full-scale nativity, light features including a new lighted halo grove, new butterfly orchard, 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.
We are excited to announce the return of Capistrano Lights on select evenings from December 2, 2023 through December 30, 2023.
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
• Performances by Dickens era Carolers and Selfies with Santa 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
2023 Capistrano Lights Offered:
Tickets sales will begin Tuesday, August 1, 2023 at 10AM for Mission Members. Ticket sales will be available for purchase online only. Sign up for our e-newsletter to stay in the know!
Mission Members receive discounted admission rates! Become a Member today to received discounted tickets and advanced purchase opportunity to Capistrano Lights. Ticket sales will begin Tuesday, August 1, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. Tickets will be sold online.
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|
Ticket sales will begin Tuesday, August 1, 2023 at 10AM. Tickets will be sold online.
|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, 2023), Members $9 guest tickets, CertifiKID, Gold Star, Groupon, and Travel Zoo.
All onsite events are subject to change.
TICKET SALES FINAL
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.
EVENT CANCELLATION POLICY
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
Capistrano Lights is offered on select evenings December 2 through December 30, 2023. View calendar.
Tickets are valid all day and include general admission as well as Capistrano Lights. Mission grounds open at 10:00 a.m. and close at 7:00 p.m. on Capistrano Lights evenings except for opening night on December 2, grounds close at 8:00 p.m.
Holiday programming which includes Dickens era carolers and visits with Santa begins at 3:30 p.m. however, you may enter as early as 10:00 a.m. to enjoy the grounds, daytime holiday decor and listen to the Capistrano Lights audio tour included with admission.
Capistrano Lights tickets are final sale.
Yes, reentry is allowed. Make sure to get your hand stamped and keep your receipt.
We will have a sweets and hot cocoa vendor on most nights as well as wine available for purchase on Saturdays. You may also bring in your own non-alcoholic drinks and snacks, however, we encourage you to support our local restaurants. <a href="https://www.missionsjc.com/partners/#RestaurantMembers.
The Christmas tree lighting and music program will begin at 5:05 p.m.
Mission staff will kindly ask you to make your way toward the exit around 6:45 p.m. The Mission grounds will close at 7:00 p.m. except for opening night on Saturday, December 2 the grounds will close at 8:00 p.m.
Guest are welcomed to come as late as they’d like but must exit by 7:00 p.m. The Mission Store will close at 7:00 p.m. on Capistrano Lights programming days.
Yes, tickets will be available for purchase onsite. Ticket availability is not guaranteed as there is a capacity limit. Online purchase in advance is recommended.
Mission Members may purchase tickets at discounted rates.
Capistrano Lights members tickets are limited based on your level of membership. You may purchase additional tickets at the public price.
No, member guest tickets are not available on special event days or on days when Capistrano Lights is offered.
Due to safety concerns, dogs are not allowed onsite during Capistrano Lights.
A portion of your ticket may be credited toward your membership. This is allowed ONLY on the night your tickets are valid on.
There will be no chairs during Capistrano Lights. You may sit and enjoy the event from one of the many benches in the courtyards.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
The 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 smontesdeoca.missionsjc.com.
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 2023 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
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Member benefits include free daily admission and other exclusive perks.: Join