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Christmas at the Mission

December 1 @ 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every year that begins at 5:30 pm on day 1 of December, repeating indefinitely

Celebrate the holidays with Mission San Juan Capistrano for the first ever Christmas Tree Lighting program as part of the long-standing annual Christmas at the Mission event on Saturday, December 1, 2018 from 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.  Bring the family and enjoy this fun, festive and memorable evening together at the beautiful Mission! The new Tree Lighting Program begins with a 7 p.m. special reading of “The First Christmas” by Mission Pastor, Monsignor. J. Michael McKiernan. The Program includes holiday carols, music and a light program at 7:15 p.m. and again at 7:45 p.m.

As part of the annual tradition, the event will feature live performances in its Central Courtyard that include Dickens-era carolers, a local orchestra, and mariachis playing “Merry-achi music of the season.” On the food front, there will be savory tamales offered by San Juan Capistrano’s Las Golondrinas restaurant as well as hot cocoa and sweet treats provided by 3:16 Bakery Shop, both San Juan Capistrano local businesses offering snacks for a nominal price.

Children can enjoy the chance to decorate a holiday cookie with Mrs. Claus and take selfies with Father Christmas in the historic Sala. Guests have the option to write holiday messages on a Mission postcard to be mailed to service men and women who are away from their families during the holiday season. Learn more.

CHRISTMAS AT THE MISSION IS SOLD OUT! Join us for Capistrano Lights from December 2, 2018 through January 6, 2019


Capistrano Lights

After Christmas at the Mission, join us all month long for a new tradition!

The Mission will host Capistrano Lights 2018: a nightly tree lighting at 5:00 p.m. The Mission’s new nightly lighting and music program will be held from December 2 through January 6, 2019. Guests must be on the grounds before closing at 5 p.m. to enjoy the lighting experience. After the Mission closes, guests can take their complimentary downtown San Juan Capistrano map and discover the historic downtown district with plenty of holiday shopping, dining, and wine tasting all season long.

Additionally, throughout December weekends, families will also have the chance to meet and take “selfies with Santa or Mrs. Claus” in the historic Sala building on December 8, 9, 15, 16, and 22, 2018. Both the nightly tree lighting and weekend holiday fun are free for Mission Members or with paid admission to the Mission as part of our holiday programming. Learn more.

Purchase Tickets


December 1
5:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Category:


Mission San Juan Capistrano
26801 Ortega Hwy
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675 United States
(949) 234-1300


Historic Mission Grounds