Christmas in California


Mendocino Botanical Gardens Festival of Lights

November 23-December 16, 2018, 5-7:30 p.m.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, rain or shine

 Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens
18220 North Highway 1
2 mi.  south of Fort Bragg, 7 mi. north of Mendocino.
$10, age 16 & under free

(Fridays-Sundays, rain or shine -- last entry 7:15 p.m.)


November 23, 2018 Jim & Morning Nichols
blues, jazz, and country, 2018 Free face painting

November 24, 2018 Francis Vanek Quartet
jazz, 2018 Free face painting

November 25, 2018 The Groovinators
blues, jazz, and swing

November 30, 2018 Jason Moore
acoustic folk rock

December 1, 2018 Pura Vida
salsa, Cuban rumba, mambo, chachacha, cumbia, samba, 2018 Visit from Santa Claus

December 2, 2018 Mendocino Women's Choir

December 7, 2018 Butch Kwan & Friends, 2018

December 8, 2018 Chuck Tourtillott
classic rock, country, folk, and blues

December 9, 2018 Mendocino High School Choir, 2018 Free face painting

December 14, 2018 Tony Roach
pop and jazz

December 15, 2018 Small Hat Band
soul, southern rock, blues, and roots, 2018 Visit with Santa Claus

December 16, 2018 Business Casual
A cappella funk, folk, pop, soul, swing, and R&B, 2018


One of several holiday-lit gardens in California, Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens transforms each year into the Festival of Lights.

 Quaint neighborhoods and main streets are drenched in aromatic garlands and sparkling lights. Alluringly festive inns move at a slower pace during the winter months, offering a relaxing and affordable escape along the coast. A warm feeling and sense of tradition washes over each small shop, restaurant, and local watering hole. Perhaps best of all, the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens transforms into a luminescent winter wonderland for its annual Festival of Lights. An unbelievable show of glittering color draws people into the Gardens for a stroll along the twinkling pathways lined with inventive displays. The Succulent Garden morphs into a fantastic underwater scene of seaweed and floating jellyfish.

  • A sailing brig that struck near-by reefs back in 1850 is reanimated in dazzling lights amidst the Gardens' nationally recognized Heath and Heather Collection.
  • A visit to Santa's workshop will delight the little ones and give families a chance to snap a keep-sake photo.
  • A beautifully decorated tent offers visitors a place to warm up and wind down.

Visit this garden by the sea year-round, and enjoy easy access to the treasured California Coastal National Monument, a unique marine-dependent wildlife and vegetation oasis of more than 20,000 rocks, islands, exposed reefs, and pinnacles along the California coast at the Point Arena-Stornetta Unit of BLM.

Each night the tent comes to life with sweet treats, live music, local craft brews, and some of the best wine Mendocino County has to offer. 

Weddings: Winter Wonderland Wedding Package gives exclusive use of the festively decorated tent and spectacularly lit Gardens.

In the daytime witness 47-acres of natural beauty with manicured gardens, fern-ringed ponds, hidden pocket gardens, coastal pine forests, and wildflower-strewn bluffs at ocean's edge.

The Garden Store and Nursery on the Plaza are open year-round for themed gifts.

Events are not guaranteed. It is your responsibility to confirm before going.

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Near Fort Bragg