Here’s one easy way you can make this holiday season extra special: take your Yuletide-loving little ones to one of SoCal’s theme parks. Whether you’ve got a Potter-head looking for a yummy cup of hot Butterbeer or a Disney fan who wants to see Cars Land done up in lights, ’tis the season to get jolly—and there are plenty of places to do it! Flip through to find out what’s festive at Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, Universal and more.

Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Fans of all things Harry will want to spend their holiday at Hogsmeade, where Universal Studios has transformed the "Wizarding World of Harry Potter" section of the park into a twinkling spectacle worthy of every muggle's Christmas expectations. Potter-lovers will delight in the spectacular new holiday light and music show that is projected against the sprawling face of Hogwarts castle every night.

Also brewing are regular performances by the a cappella Holiday Frog Choir, a talented assembly of Hogwarts students who sing alongside their giant croaking frogs. And—special for the season—now's your chance to get your authentic Hogsmeade Butterbeer served hot!

Elsewhere in the park, “Grinchmas” returns, featuring a whimsical towering tree where Martha May and the Who Dolls perform holiday music sets throughout the day. The Who-liday Singers—a hip boy-band ensemble—will also perform nightly a cappella concerts featuring a mix of Christmas favorites and pop rock. (“Grinchmas” will take place weekends on December 2-3 and 9-10, and daily from December 15 through December 31, 2017.)

Of course, Universal's holiday magic starts even before you get into the park with the CityWalk's spectacular 40-foot tall Christmas tree, glistening with 200,000 LED icicles choreographed to the lights and sounds of the season — plus daily visits from Santa.

November 24 through January 7.


photo: Universal Studios Hollywood

From Grinchmas to The Merriest Place on Earth: do you have a family theme park fave during the holidays? Let us know in the comments below!

—Melissa Heckscher