Christmas in California


Living Nativities in California

California Living nativity scenes and drive-thru nativities are popular church-sponsored events in California that include public displays and recreations of the birth of Jesus as told by the Christian Bible. Congregations produce these events (usually free) in outdoor, winter settings, often on or around church property. In 2012 a public religious display (not living nativity) was taken to court in a lawsuit involving free expression in public places. 

Christmas is the most celebrated religious event in the U.S. honoring the birthday of Jesus, always held on December 25.   The living nativity brings to life the stories that surround this 2000+ year old event that inspires people around the globe today. How big is Christianity that includes the belief in the birth of Jesus as a religious event? An estimated one-third of the global population, or well over 2 billion people are professed Christians.

Participants of nativities include Mary, Joseph and the manger with a baby Jesus, angels, shepherds, Wise Men, Caesar,   animals such as donkeys, sheep and lambs, and sometimes performing choirs. Drive-by or drive-through nativity scenes are popular, though walking tours are often an optional offering at outdoor nativities. In addition to the living nativities, you'll find nativity collections made of glass, wood, ceramics and clay that are displayed in public places.  Life-size versions (usually made of molded plastic) are publicly lit with floodlights and often are called creches.

AUBURN: The Nativity December 14-15, 2019

BREA: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Nativity  December 13-14, 2019

CAMARILLO: Drive Thru Nativity December 20-21, 2019

CLAREMONT: Living Nativity: Celebrating the Birth of Jesus December 12-15, 2019

CLOVIS: Living Nativity Walk Through: December 14-15, 2019

ESCONDIDO: Bethlehem Walk December 13-15, 2019

EUREKA: no info

FULLERTON: A Walk Through Bethlehem December 6-8, 2019

GLENDALE: Explore Bethlehem December 8, 2019

GLEN ELLEN: Live Nativity December 7, 2019

HUNTINGTON BEACH: Living Nativity December 4-6, 2019

HUNTINGTON BEACH: International Celebration of Christmas Live Nativity Show, December 15, 2019

IMPERIAL BEACH: Live Nativity December 14, 2019

JULIAN: Living Nativity November 30, 2019

LAGUNA HILLS: Journey to Bethlehem Nativity December 13-15, 2019

LA HABRA: The Living Nativity December 13-15, 2019


LODI: Living Nativity Drive Thru December 13-15, 2019

LONG BEACH: Portraits of the Prince of Peace Pageant Church Walk Thru Nativity December 13-15, 2019

MISSION VIEJO: Drive-Thru Nativity December 6-7, 2019

MODESTO: Live Nativity December 13-15, 2019

MOORPARK: Drive Thru Nativity  December 6-7, 2019

NEWPORT BEACH: A Night in Bethlehem  no info

NORCO: Community Creche Festival December 4-7, 2019

ONTARIO: Christmas on Euclid Street Nativity  November 28, 2019-January 1, 2020

OAKDALE: Oakdale, CA Living Nativity December 13-15, 2019

ONTARIO: Ontario California Living Nativity November 28, 2019-January 1, 2020

OROVILLE: Oroville  Walk Through Nativity December 6-7, 2019

POMONA: Journey to Bethlehem December 13-15, 2019 is an immersive, walk through experience

RANCHO CORDOVA: Live Nativity December 13-15, 2019

SALINAS: The Streets of Bethlehem December 4-7, 2019

SPRING VALLEY: Bethlehem Story, Live Stage Musical Nativity Story December 5-8, 2019

TEHACHAPI: Creche Festival December 14-15, 2019, 3-8 p.m. at 600 Anita Dr. Tehachapi Creche Festival hosted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints features artistically displayed nativities from all around Tehachapi. Holiday music performed by local musicians A LIVE nativity (5:30 - 7 PM Sat. & Sun.) Community Christmas Music Sing Along (7 pm Sat. & Sun.) Children's Room (nativity-themed activities, crafts, dress-up, puzzles, etc.  Admission is FREE!

TUJUNGA: Drive Thru Nativity December 13-14, 2019, 6:30-9:30 p.m.

VACAVILLE: Live Nativity December 13-15, 2019

VENTURA: Old Mission San Buena Ventura Live Nativity December 6, 2019

The first living nativity was created by St. Francis of Assisi in 1223
A manger scene is the primary decoration in many European, Central American, and South American countries. St. Francis of Assisi created the first living nativity in 1224 to help explain the birth of Jesus to his followers.


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

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