December always presents opportunities to enjoy the holiday season and the conclusion of the year, especially around the Coachella Valley. Although things may be a bit different in 2020, you can still find creative and unique ways to enjoy the season through virtual events, bringing celebrations from afar into your home. Here are a few of our favorite ways to get into the spirit of the holidays and spread some joy.
Video with Santa Claus
Through December 24th
Prepare for the jolly guy’s trip to your house with a personal, one-on-one call with Santa. Now through December 24th you can arrange for a personalized video conference between St. Nick and your family, presenting the perfect opportunity for your kids to tell Santa what they want under the tree this year. Session lengths are 5 and 10 minutes, and there’s even a special Christmas Eve video call option to really get that list-minute request in before opening presents Christmas morning.
For more details on how to arrange for a call with Santa, check out the Video With Santa Claus website.
Utah Arts Festival’s Holiday Gallery Show
Through December 19th
On the hunt for some unique gifts for loved ones or to spice up your own space? Then you should check out the Utah Arts Festival’s Holiday Gallery Show. This online event features plenty of cool and one-of-a-kind pieces from local artists selling their wares, including a variety of mediums encompassing 2D and 3D art, jewelry, ceramics, glass, metalwork, and more. Even better, you can peruse the online marketplace and purchase from multiple artists in one transaction, creating an easy way to find and purchase your haul.
Head over to the Utah Arts Festival website for more information and to start your shopping.
Whistler Film Festival
December 1st – 20th
Celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Whistler Film Festival, a premier Canadian celebration of film, with 20 days of films from incredible filmmakers. In addition to over 100 works to screen virtually, you can check out virtual conference sessions featuring bright, creative minds from the industry.
Virtual Santa Hustle
December 1st – 31st
Southern California winters are unlike any other, and that’s especially true in the Coachella Valley. Take advantage of our pristine December climate and get out for a virtual race with the Santa Hustle. There are multiple distances to sign up for, from 5K to marathon course lengths. The best part – you get to create your own route and can go at your own pace, ensuring you will “sleigh” this race!
In addition to calling your own distance, pace, and course, the swag package is as festive as they come. All participants receive a full zip hoodie, Santa hat, Santa buff, race bib, and finisher medal.
For more information on the virtual Santa Hustle and to sign up, check out the race’s website.
‘Tis the Season! Virtual Concert & Gala
Swing into the season by attending the virtual Tis the Season! concert and gala. This free concert, put on by Pacific Chorale, boasts a program stuffed with beautiful numbers performed by some of the most talented musicians in Orange County. In addition to the concert, you can participate in a silent auction and sponsor the gala.
For more information, head over to the Pacific Chorale website.
A Christmas Carol
December 4th – 20th
Gather the family, get comfy, and prepare to soak up the holiday classic, A Christmas Carol. This pay-what-you-will streaming option brings the treasured Charles Dickens tale to life and is sure to warm the hearts of even the Scroogiest of viewers. Tickets are available in advance and you have 3 performances to choose from each weekend starting December 4th. Start times are 8pm EST Friday and Saturday, and 3pm EST Sunday.
For more information and to purchase tickets, check out the Open Stage website.
Little Italy Virtual Tree Lighting & Christmas Experiences
A treasured San Diego tradition, the Little Italy Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony will be held virtually this year starting at 5:30pm on Saturday, December 5th. Presented in a “Hallmark-style” virtual special running 45 minutes, you can still celebrate the lighting of the tree and enjoy some holiday cheer from a safe distance.
For more information on the virtual tree lighting ceremony, and other planned goodies for the evening, check out the Little Italy San Diego website.
Kids Holiday Virtual Paint Party
Get the kids into a festive mood and participate in a virtual paint party. Join West Art Studio for some fun over video conference and have your little ones create a holiday-themed picture. Tickets range from $15-$25, including an option to paint from home using your own materials or to purchase a supply bag.
For more information and to sign up for the art class, check out the event’s website.
Skirball Hanukkah Celebration
Celebrate the Festival of Lights online with the Skirball Hanukkah Celebration. Festivities including candle lighting, live music from a compelling cast of performers, a puppet show that retells the Hanukkah story, and more. You can even join in before the show and bring your own Hanukkah lamp to share, learn about the Skirball hanukkiot, and connect with other members of the Skirball community.
Check out the Skirball Theater website for more details.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Christmas Eve Live In Concert
An epic holiday rock concert awaits at the Trans-Siberian Orchestra Christmas Eve live streaming event. Known for their rousing renditions of all the holiday classics, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra takes to the stage to deck the halls, and then knock them down, with an energetic performance that will leave you energized with the spirit of the season. Live streaming tickets start at $30, with optional packages full of festive swag.
Head over to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra live streaming website to purchase tickets and to get more details.
Holiday Running Festival
If you want an alternative option to get out for a virtual run, the Holiday Running Festival takes place over the week of December 24th through the 31st. With a variety of distances to cover, including the Christmas Light 5K/10K and Penguin Waddle, and the Holiday Half Marathon (13.1 miles). Participants receive a shirt, medal, bib, and sponsor swag.
For more details on the Holiday Running Festival check out the event’s website.