Capistrano Lights

Event Info
Opening Night
Food Drive
Mission Store
Food Vendors
Downtown San Juan Capistrano & Tree Lighting


Capistrano Lights
Sunday, December 8, 2019 – Monday, January 6, 2020
Opening Night: Saturday, December 7, 2019 *Ticketed Event


The Mission will host Capistrano Lights 2019: Experience the Mission at Night featuring a nightly tree lighting and music program held from December 7 through January 6, 2020. 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, on weekends throughout December, families will have the opportunity to meet and take “Selfies with Santa” in the historic Sala building. This event will be offered from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm on December 14, 15, 21 and 22. 

For more fun, join us for Winter Break: Crafts and Activities for Kids. This event will be offered daily starting Saturday, December 21, 2019 to Sunday, January 5, 2020, nominal fee in addition to paid admission. Mission Members receive a discounted rate. Weekday crafts and activities are offered from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m and weekend crafts and activities are offered from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Crafts and activities include Adobe Brick Making, Arrowhead Necklace and an Alternate Craft.

*There will be no Capistrano Lights Program on Tuesday, December 24, 2019, Wednesday, December 25, 2019 or Tuesday, December 31, 2019.

*There will be Winter Crafts and activities offered on Tuesday, December 24, 2019 or Wednesday, December 25, 2019.

Capistrano Lights 2019 Opening Night Information

Celebrate the holidays with Mission San Juan Capistrano and join us for Capistrano Lights Opening Night on Saturday, December 7, 2019 from 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Enjoy a unique opportunity to experience the Mission at night where history meets holiday.  Bring the family and enjoy this fun, festive and memorable evening together at the beautiful Mission!

More information coming soon!

Capistrano Lights 2019 Ticket Information

Admission tickets will be sold exclusively online beginning Monday, October 28 at 9:00 a.m. for Mission Members only. Become a Member to receive discounted ticket rates and access to Member on-sale dates! Admission tickets will go on sale to the general public beginning Friday, November 1 at 9:00 a.m. Ticketing pricing is as follows:

Opening Night – December 7, 2019 (Pre-Sale):

  • Mission Member:
    • $10 for Adults (ages 12-60)
    • $9 for Seniors
    • $5 for Children (ages 4-11)
  • Non-Member Public General:
    • $13 for Adults (ages 12-60)
    • $10 for Seniors
    • $7 for Children (ages 4-11)

Opening Night – December 7, 2019 (Day of the Event):

  • Mission Member:
    • $13 for Adults (ages 12-60)
    • $10 for Seniors
    • $7 for Children (ages 4-11)
  • Non-Member Public General:
    • $15 for Adults (ages 12-60)
    • $12 for Seniors
    • $10 for Children (ages 4-11).

Capistrano Lights Nightly Program – December 8, 2019 – January 6, 2020:

  • Mission Member:
    • $3 for Adults (ages 12-60)
    • $3 for Seniors
    • $3 for Children (ages 4-11).
  • Non-Member Public General:
    • $10 for Adults (ages 12-60)
    • $9 for Seniors
    • $7 for Children (ages 4-11).

*Due to safety, capacity is limited. There will be no re-entry to this event. 

*On December 7, the Mission grounds will be open for general admission at 9:00 a.m. and will close at 4:00 p.m. Doors will re-open at 5:30 p.m. for Capistrano Lights: Opening Night. General admission tickets purchased during the daytime visiting hours are not transferable to Capistrano Lights: Opening Night.

*Complimentary Guest Passes, CertifiKID, Gold Star, Groupon and Travel Zoo are not valid for Capistrano Lights: Opening Night. 

Ticket Policy Regarding Rain
Please Note: Capistrano Lights will be held rain or shine. Ticket purchases for Capistrano Lights are final. No refunds, exchanges or transfers will be honored. Thank you for your understanding. If you are unable to attend Capistrano Lights, 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.


Serra’s Pantry Food Drive

November 18 – December 20, 2019
Spread goodwill and the spirit of Christmas by donating to the Serra’s Pantry Food Drive!

Drop off a food donation anytime during the holiday season to the Mission Gate House 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. or upon entry for Capistrano Lights.

The following items are usually in short supply and are much appreciated: cooking oil, cereal, tuna, one-pound bags of sugar and flour, peanut butter, jelly, dry pinto beans, canned vegetables and fruit, rice, spaghetti, spaghetti sauce and pop/flip top food items. Hygiene items in demand: toothpaste, deodorant, shaving cream, bar soap and toilet paper. Learn More About Serra’s Pantry

Mission Store

Capistrano Lights features holiday shopping for unique gifts, nativity scenes and beautiful handcrafted items from around the world. Visit the Mission Store and also the Mission Store Cart, a special extension of the Mission Store located near the West gate area inside the Mission grounds.

Learn more about the Mission Store

2018 Food Vendors

Las Golondrinas Mexican Food


3:16 Bakery Shop

Sweets and hot cocoa

Hawaiian Delight

Snow cones and cotton candy

*Our Food Vendors will be accepting cash and credit card payments.*

Enjoy Historic San Juan Capistrano

Tree Lighting Ceremony

Capistrano Lights is part of a community-wide holiday celebration in San Juan Capistrano. Before and after visiting the Mission, plan an evening full of fun, festivity, and memories in historic San Juan Capistrano, home to the Jewel of the Missions.

Tree Lighting Ceremony width=

City of San Juan Capistrano’s Tree Lighting Ceremony: An annual tradition celebrated in Historic Town Center Park. Tree Lighting Ceremony begins at 4:15 p.m. on December 7 and is followed by a variety of free activities for families in the downtown walking area. Check back soon for a full program of activities.

Shopping and Dining in San Juan Capistrano: Enjoy a whole evening of holiday festivity, dining, and entertainment in beautiful, historic San Juan Capistrano. Many restaurants and shops are open late and offer special discounts or entertainment for this community-wide celebration. Check out our list of recommended restaurants here: Restaurant Members.

Download 2019 Downtown Map & Guide

Getting to San Juan Capistrano: There will be a free shuttle service in San Juan Capistrano from 3:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. for the Tree Lighting Ceremony & Festivities.  Click here for details about 2018 Shuttle Service Map. The Metrolink is also a great way to get into town with a train station located just two blocks from the Mission. Please refer to the Metrolink website to check train schedules: Metrolink.

2018 Sponsors

Thank you to our 2018 Capistrano Lights Sponsors for their Generous Support.




Laura and James Baratta


DM Color Express


For sponsorship opportunities, please contact the Events Department at (949) 234-1316.