Santa, Superheroes, and the Sea

by Noella Noelophile®

Lighted boat on water at night

(Photograph courtesy of Dana Point Harbor, and used with permission.)

Would you like to take a boat ride with Santa?  Spend a Christmastime Friday or Saturday by the sea?  Or choose your favorite “superhero” at an annual Christmas tradition?

All of the above are possible, this Christmas season in Dana Point.

Festivities start at 10:00, Saturday morning, December 2, at Dana Wharf Docks  You’re merrily invited aboard the “Sum Fun”, for a 20-minute “Harbor Cruise with Santa” (and his helpers),.  Want a “Southern California Christmas”-style Santa picture?  The El Camino Real Junior Woman’s Club will be on hand to take one for you, for a $3 donation.

“Harbor Cruises with Santa” happen Saturday and Sunday., December 2 and 3, at the east end of Dana Point Harbor, at  Dana Wharf Sportfishing Docks, 34675 Golden Lantern between the Jolly Roger and the Wind and Sea.  Dress warmly, it will be pre-Christmas chilly out on the water.

Now–what if you’d like to do some Christmas shopping down by the sea?  Mark your calendar for “Holidays in the Harbor”, for two sets of weekend evenings!  (Note: in this case, by “weekend”, I mean Fridays and Saturdays.  I don’t want you putting coal in my stocking if you show up on Sunday!)

On Friday, December 8 and Saturday, December 9, as well as Friday, December 15 and Saturday, December 16, the three areas of Dana Point Harbor will host “Holidays in the Harbor”.  Performances, crafts, caroling and Santa photos (bring your camera) will all be on the schedule for these free, family-oriented events.  And you’re invited to come dressed as your favorite superhero!

“Holidays in the Harbor” happens Friday, December 8th, Saturday, December 9th, Friday, December 15th and Saturday December 16th, at Dana Point Harbor, 34555 Golden Lantern at Dana Point Harbor Drive.  Hours are 4:30 to 7:30 pm at the Harbor’s three locations: Mariner’s Village, Mariner’s Alley and Dana Wharf.  Parking and admission are free.

And–don’t go away when “Holdays in the Harbor” wraps up.   Those same four evenings are the nights of Dana Point’s “43rd Annual Boat Parade of Lights”!

This year’s Boat Parade of Lights is themed, “A Super Hero Holiday”.  Come see boaters from all around Orange County exercise their “superpowers” of creativity as their decorated boats use color, lights and animation in competition for a multitude of awards!  Among the categories for which they’ll be vying are “Best Animation”, “Best Sailboat”, “Most Original”, “Judges’ Choice” and “Best Use of Lights”.

Come on down and wish a “Merry Christmas!” to your favorites–OR…

…you can even enter your own boat in the festivities.  Dana Point Harbor Association Executive Director Kim Tilly says the deadline for entries is December 6th.   You can pick up an entry form at Wharf Sportfishing &; Whale Watching,  go online at or email

Dana Point’s 43rd Annual Boat Parade of Lights, themed “A Super Hero Holiday”, starts at 7:30 pm on four evenings: Friday, December 8th; Saturday, December 9th; Friday, December 15th; and Saturday, December 16th. 
You can view the parade for free from anywhere in the harbor, which is at  34555 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, CA.  You can also make a reservation at any of the harbor restaurants.  (Warning; call early.  Not surprisingly, these have a tendency to book up.  Kim emailed that the best viewing opportunities are available from Waterman’s Harbor and Wind & Sea,)  Parking tends to go quickly, but additional parking is available, for a fee, at Doheny State Beach.  Allow extra time; from Doheny State Beach, you can get a ride on the free Dana Point Trolley to the harbor.