Your Guide to Holiday Gifts and Activities in Riverside

After another year filled with challenges and change, it’s so nice to have the holidays to look forward to, and in Riverside, there’s a lot to see and experience. 

Whether you’re a resident or just visiting, get ready for Christmas in Riverside by reading our guide: We’ve got holiday activities, exciting shows, and unique shopping experiences to make for a memorable time.

Activities

Shows and Performances

Shopping

Opportunities to Share

Safe Celebration

Activities

Looking for holiday activities in Riverside? You’re in luck! There’s a ton to do here, from picking out your own Christmas tree and munching on holiday desserts to making a gift for someone on your list. As it gets darker earlier and all you want to do is get comfy and watch movies on the couch, consider planning one of these activities to add some excitement to your day:

Finding the Perfect Tree

Starting November 20, head over to Sand Haven Pines in Perris to look for your own real Christmas tree. On top of cutting down your chosen tree (unless you’d like to cut it down yourself, which you are welcome to do!), they also offer services to shake your tree clean, net it, drill a hole for a tree stand, install a tree stand, add flocking, and even bring it to your car and tie it down. Plus, they have free treats and coffee, a free bouncy house for kids, and vendors to check out. Picking out your own tree is something you have to do at least once. Give it a try!

Baking Cookies

Visiting the Cookie Plug is one of our favorite holiday activities in Riverside. Their thick, decadent cookies are unforgettable! Some of their regular flavors include classic chocolate chip, fruity cereal, strawberry cheesecake, s’mores, and a couple of keto-friendly options, too. But around the holidays, they offer holiday flavors in festive colors as well as a take-home kit to make and decorate your own holiday cookies. They also deliver nationwide—a great gift idea for faraway friends! 

Crafting

If you love some DIY fun, check out Ceramic and Art Studio in Norco! You could make a personalized hot cocoa mug, a plate for Santa’s cookies, or even a Christmas tree to decorate your house with. Call ahead and make an appointment to be sure there is a spot for you.

Shows and Performances

Live shows are back, and it’s amazing! While TV and YouTube videos can be super entertaining, there’s something exciting about seeing the performers right before your eyes, and watching a show makes a perfect holiday activity. Lucky for us, there are tons of shows going on for everyone to enjoy in Riverside.

A Christmas Carol

The Riverside Community Players are in their 97th season and will be continuing their tradition of putting on A Christmas Carol this year on December 15–18. This classic story of redemption and joy always leaves you with a warm fuzzy feeling, and Riverside’s hour-long version is perfect for introducing it to children for the first time.

Live Performances

Fox Performing Arts Center has an exciting lineup this holiday season!

  • November 19: JJ El Gigante La Comedia, a hilarious comedy show hailing from Mexico
  • November 20: Julieta Venegas, multi-Grammy-winning singer and instrumentalist
  • December 4: Trey Kennedy, comedian and star of dozens of viral YouTube sketches
  • December 11–19: The Nutcracker, presented by Inland Pacific Ballet, a great tradition for celebrating Christmas in Riverside
  • December 22: Jason Mraz, “Live & Acoustic”

Costume Dance Party

On November 19, Romano’s Concert Lounge is hosting an all-night dance party featuring La Sonora Dinamita, a full band from Colombia. Wear a costume and a face mask to make it extra fun!

Shopping

One of our favorite holiday activities in Riverside is gift shopping! Gift shopping can be stressful, but it’s a lot easier when you go to stores that have tons of fun, high-quality items. Head over to one of these local shops to find unique gifts for everyone on your list:

Toys

Jacks Toy Shop in Redlands is “a shop for kids and kids at heart!” They have a huge selection of toys at a wide variety of price points. So even if your kids are spending their pocket money to get their friend a gift, they’ll be able to get something awesome. There are cute hand and finger puppets, building toys, puzzles, bath and baby toys, and more. The shop has a curated, handmade feel to it, so whatever you get, you know you’re getting something unique. 

Outdoors

Turner’s Outdoorsman is the perfect store for the outdoor sports enthusiast in your life. They sell supplies for hunting and shooting, archery, and fishing, and there’s clothing to go along with all of those activities. If you don’t know what to get, you can grab a gift card and let your giftee pick something out themselves.

Anything and Everything

If you just don’t know what to get someone, a gift shop can really help! Mrs. Tiggy Winkles has lots of gems to pick from. They’ve got jewelry, decor, handmade soaps, unique books, goat milk beauty products—you name it! Find the store on Main Street in Riverside.

Opportunities to Share

When you are able to reach outside of your regular circle and give to those less fortunate, it really makes the holidays special. Giving any time or money you can warms your heart and truly makes a difference for those you are helping.

Toys for Tots

Toys for Tots gives “toys, books, and HOPE to less fortunate children” all over the country. In 2020, the North San Diego/Southwest Riverside County program gave 58,963 toys to 45,963 children. You can donate money or new toys, or you can volunteer to help with things like meal delivery or warehouse tasks. If your children or children you know could use some toys this year, you can also fill out a form to request a toy.

Red Cross

Another charity you can volunteer with is the Red Cross. We all know the Red Cross collects blood donations, but did you know they also help with emergencies like home fires and sustaining military families in need? Visit this website to see volunteer opportunities near you.

Humane Services

And let’s not forget our furry friends! The Riverside County Department of Animal Services County has some great ideas for giving back to the animals in our community. Here are a couple:

  • Make a donation to the shelter on behalf of someone in place of a gift.
  • Purchase something on an Amazon Wish List for pets, livestock, or shelter animals. 
  • Consider giving a shelter pet a forever home!

Safe Celebration

Everyone loves a nice scented candle around the holidays, and candles are an essential part of commemorating Hanukkah. Sadly, up to 7,500 fires are started each year because of household candles, so it’s important to be aware of the best practices for using candles in your apartment. Be careful not to light candles too close to flammable items, and consider using battery-powered candles where you can. Whatever you do, never leave your holiday candles unattended!

Be aware of the fire hazard posed by Christmas trees, too. Real Christmas trees can dry out and become highly flammable, so be sure to keep yours watered. Keep candles away from the branches, and turn off all lights when you’re not at home. Stay safe and enjoy the holidays!

We hope you enjoy some fun holiday activities in Riverside with your friends and family this year.

We’d love to see your holiday fun! If you decorate for the holidays or try out one of the activities above, post a photo on social media, tag us, and use #TisTheSeasonAtAMC.

From all of us at Corona Pointe Resort Apartments in Riverside, CA,
Happy Holidays!

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