They decorate some of their rooms for Christmas, and our room was fully decked out with a Christmas tree, tiny decorated gingerbread houses and garlands around the room, festive pillows, gingerbread house wallpaper, and more! It was magical and cozy and immediately put us in the Christmas spirit.

We spent the weekend relaxing, eating, playing, exploring, and even riding in a lit up horse drawn carriage. Also we went to Sunday brunch at the hotel before we checked out (where San met Santa and loved it, ha!), and if you’re local, you must go to this brunch. Hands down the best cinnamon roll I’ve ever had in my life, and their bread pudding is award winning.

If you’re local to Southern California, you must go see the beautiful lights, the beautiful Mission Inn hotel lobby, snag a kiss under the world’s biggest mistletoe, and get a cupcake at Casey’s Cupcakes in the hotel (I recommend peanut butter cup or sprinkles!

A huge thank you to the Mission Inn for hosting us! 

Getting In the Christmas Spirit

Mission Inn Hotel Merrick's Art

When we moved to California from Utah, one thing I really missed was how the cold and snow helped it feel like Christmas. I love, love living by the beach and developing new warm weather Christmas traditions, but I still need some traditions to get me in the Christmas spirit.

Last year we did a little weekend getaway in Big Bear and went tubing, played in the snow, snuggled up in our little log cabin that we rented, and it was perfect. We wanted to go again this year, but snow activities are tough with a baby, and since we weren’t going with friends or family there wouldn’t be anyone to trade babies with while we played in the snow.

We were trying to come up with a good alternative when the Mission Inn hotel invited us down for a weekend getaway. It’s located in the city of Riverside, about an hour from our house, so it was easy to sneak away. They host the well known Festival of Lights at and around the hotel that draws huge crowds. We went with Philip’s parents a few years ago, so it was fun to be back and stay a few days.

Merrick's Art Mission Inn Hotel
Merrick's Art Mission Inn Hotel
Merrick's Art Mission Inn Hotel Hot Chocolate
Merrick's Art Christmas Jammies
Merrick's Art Snow Globe

Our first night, they delivered hot cocoa and cupcakes to our room before bed. I’m pretty particular about my hot cocoa, and this stuff was to die for. The boys loved the giant pile of whipped cream it came with, and although they drank lots of cocoa too, they spent a lot of time sticking their fingers in the cream and licking it off.

The room also had a snow globe that wound up and played music. I don’t know that my kids had ever seen a real snow globe since we don’t own any, and they were all completely enamored by it.

Mission Inn Hotel
Merrick's Art Christmas Lights
Merrick's Art Gingerbread Cookie Jar
Santa Mail
Merrick's Art Baby and a Snowglobe
Merrick's Art Gingerbread House Room
Santa Baby
Mission Inn Hotel Lobby
Mission Inn Hotel
Merrick's Art Mission Inn Hotel


  1. Aks says:

    Do you have any plan to let us see how you set up your new home?? I have been looking forward to that post since you moved there..

  2. Teri says:

    Could you post a link for the black booties you have on with the burgundy dress?

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