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Heritage Hill Candlelight Walk & Holiday Lights

Wander through twinkling lights and festive holiday décor at Heritage Hill Historical Park. For over 30 years, Heritage Hill has hosted this magical holiday celebration for visitors to explore the historic grounds and enjoy seasonal lights and activities.

There are two events for this holiday season. The Candlelight Walk and Holiday Lights. Both events are free to visitors.

Heritage Hill Historical Park Candlelight Walk and Holiday Lights

The Candlelight Walk

December 8-10, 2023
5PM – 9PM

Heritage Hill will be festively decorated with lights and décor for the annual candlelight walk. Visitors can explore the grounds, find holiday photo ops, and enjoy live musical performances. There are holiday crafts for the kids, and Santa will be there for visits and pictures. Light refreshments will be available to purchase at the event.

Holiday Lights

December 15-17, 2023
5PM – 9PM

For the weekend two Holiday Lights, visitors can explore the decorated grounds of Heritage Hill Historical Park and enjoy all of the lights and holiday-themed photo opportunities. There will be no additional activities or events during this weekend, and Santa will not be on site.

Heritage Hill Historical Park Details

Address: 25151 Serrano Road, Lake Forest, CA 92630
Phone: 949-923-2230
Email: [email protected]
Parking: Free
Admission: Free
Heritage Hill Historical Park Map

What To Expect At Heritage Hill Holiday Events

This is one of our favorite local holiday events and we have attended at least 4 times over the years. Here’s a few of our highlights:

  • There are several great holiday themed photo ops around the park including a holiday sleigh, decorated areas in the with lighted props, and of course, Santa Claus.
  • We love wandering through the historic buildings, and they are adorned with period-appropriate holiday decor.
  • The school house, adobe, St. George’s Mission, the Bennett House and the Library are all worth visiting. Take a few minutes to read through the informational displays in the library.
  • If you have small children, they will have the most fun at the Candlelight Walk event.
  • There are usually activities for the kids, including tables where they can make their own take-home crafts.
  • This is a great spot for photos with holiday lights as your backdrop.
  • They often have a marionette show that the kids absolutely adore on the nights when they have live entertainment.
  • It is free to enter and free to park, so you really can’t beat a free evening of holiday cheer. I have attended with kids aged 2 to 14 and they all enjoyed the event.

About Heritage Hill Historical Park

Heritage Hill Historical Park is a 4.1-acre park in Lake Forest that preserves some of Orange County’s historic buildings. The buildings have been fully restored and serve to provide a peek into the history and culture of the citrus farming days and the beginnings of Orange County.

1863 Serrano Adobe: Heritage Hill sits on land granted to Don Jose Serrano by the Mexican Government in 1841 and 1846. Serrano called the land Rancho Canada de Alisos and built an adobe on the land in 1863, where is still stands today.

1890 El Toro Grammar School: El Toro’s first grammar school, acquired and moved to the park in 1976.

1891 St. George’s Episcopal Mission: El Toro’s first church, acquired and moved to Heritage Hill in 1976.

1908 Harvey Bennett Ranch House: Acquired in 1978, offers a representation of the lifestyle of citrus farmers in the early days of the county’s development.

Heritage Hill was OC’s first historical park, opening in 1982, and is still the only site in the area to provide a chronological interpretation of the community’s past through buildings that span multiple periods of development.

The park provides educational tours to the public and local schools. A number of seasonal events are hosted here throughout the year including the Rancho Days Fiesta, Victorian Christmas, and the Autumn Harvest Festival. The Halloween event is always popular with lots of lights and photo opportunities.

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Heidi Deal
Heidi Deal is the author of the Newcomers Handbook to Living In Los Angeles & Orange County, and a children’s book author specializing in history and human rights. When she's not writing you can find her solo hiking and going on new adventures with her kids and pup.