Holiday Activities to Embrace in Riverside

The holiday season in Riverside, California, ushers in a magical atmosphere filled with twinkling lights, festive events, and joyous celebrations. From dazzling light displays to heartwarming community gatherings, Riverside offers an array of activities that capture the spirit of the holidays. Whether you’re a local or visiting during this special time of the year, here are some delightful holiday activities to enjoy in Riverside.

1. Festival of Lights

The crown jewel of Riverside’s holiday festivities, the Festival of Lights at the historic Mission Inn Hotel & Spa, transforms the area into a winter wonderland. Witness millions of twinkling lights, animated decorations, festive music, and the enchanting switch-on ceremony that illuminates the entire downtown area.

2. Holiday Shopping and Markets

Explore the vibrant local shopping scene and holiday markets dotted around Riverside. Discover unique gifts, handcrafted goods, and specialty items at artisanal pop-ups and seasonal markets while embracing the holiday spirit.

3. Outdoor Ice Skating

Lace up your skates and glide across the ice at Riverside’s outdoor skating rinks. Embrace the chilly fun with friends and family while surrounded by the festive décor and cheerful atmosphere.

4. Downtown Riverside Holiday Stroll

Take a leisurely stroll through Downtown Riverside adorned with festive lights, décor, and cheerful storefronts. Experience the joyous ambiance, visit local shops, and savor the holiday spirit amidst the beautifully decorated streets.

5. Holiday Performances and Shows

Immerse yourself in the holiday magic by attending special performances and shows at Riverside’s theaters and venues. Enjoy holiday-themed concerts, theater productions, and musical performances that spread cheer and warmth.

6. Community Parades and Festivities

Join in the merriment by attending community parades featuring elaborately decorated floats, marching bands, and Santa Claus himself. These parades bring together the community in a joyous celebration of the season.

7. Holiday Lights Tour

Embark on a self-guided tour or hop on a festive trolley to explore Riverside’s neighborhoods adorned with elaborate holiday light displays. Admire the creativity and festive spirit of residents as they decorate their homes.

8. Family-Friendly Activities

Engage in family-friendly activities such as crafting sessions, ornament-making workshops, and visits with Santa Claus. Create cherished memories with loved ones during these heartwarming experiences.

9. Seasonal Dining and Treats

Indulge in the seasonal delights offered by Riverside’s eateries, from special holiday menus to festive treats and drinks. Enjoy the flavors of the season while dining out with family and friends.

10. Charitable Giving and Volunteering

Embrace the true spirit of the holidays by participating in charitable events or volunteering opportunities that support those in need within the Riverside community.


The holiday season in Riverside, CA, is a time of togetherness, joy, and spreading cheer. These festive activities offer a myriad of opportunities to celebrate, create cherished memories, and embrace the magic of the holidays with loved ones in Riverside. Join in the celebrations and make this holiday season in Riverside one to remember!

Visit Riverside
Author: Visit Riverside