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Updated: Oct 18, 2019

Orange County’s only mission and historic landmark kicks off the holiday season with a special Opening Night event on Saturday, December 7, 2019.

Mission San Juan Capistrano will kick off its 30-day Capistrano Lights nightly Christmas tree lighting programming with a special Opening Night event on Saturday, December 7, 2019. The opening night festivities and event requires a special ticket to attend.

Capistrano Lights: Opening Night December 7, 2019

Capistrano Lights Opening Night begins with Mission gates opening at 5:30 p.m. and will run through 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 7. Admission to the special event requires a separate ticket not included with daily general admission. Member pre-sale begins on Monday, October 28 at 9:00 a.m. and general public ticket sales begin on Friday, November 1 at 9:00 a.m. Tickets can be purchased at

As Mission San Juan Capistrano guests enter the grounds, they will receive a special candle to place within the Ruins of the Great Stone Church to make a personal prayer or wish for the coming year.

The Mission is pleased to welcome to its opening night festivities, the musical talents of The Filharmonic, The Goode Time Carolers, Mariachi Nuevo Capistrano and harpist Marsha Long. Live musical performances will take place throughout the Mission grounds. In the midst of the evening’s musical lineup, families will also have the opportunity to take part in activities such as to take “Selfies with Santa” or meet Mrs. Claus, create an ornament with AR Workshop or purchase holiday cookie decorating kits designed by Mission San Juan Capistrano partner, 3:16 Bakery Shop. Additionally, 3:16 Bakery Shop will be onsite selling a variety of hot and cold beverages for adults and children alike, along with Las Golondrinas Mexican Food who will be selling savory and sweet tamales.

After the Mission closes, guests can use their free downtown San Juan Capistrano map to discover the heritage tourism district’s offering of shopping, dining, and wine tasting.

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

For those unable to join us Opening Night, there are 30 additional days of holiday fun from December 8, 2019 through January 6, 2020. Join us for the nightly tree lighting in the Ruins of the Great Stone Church. The Mission grounds will be decked out in lights and the Front Courtyard features a 10-foot wreath, perfect for a holiday photo op. From time to time during the period, community musical groups, choirs and orchestras may join the Mission with pre-tree lighting performances.

Join us for “Selfies with Santa” and Holiday Crafts Workshop offered Saturdays and Sundays. December 14, 15 and December 21, 22 2019 from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Selfies with Santa are free with paid admission. Holiday Crafts Workshop is a nominal fee.

Crafts and activities for kids will also be offered during winter break from December 21, 2019 through January 5, 2020. The crafts and activities are offered weekdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and on weekends from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. and are an added cost in addition to general admission.

Don’t miss out on the Mission at Night experience! Tickets on sale beginning October 28 online at

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