22nd Annual Nutcracker Christmas Tree Lighting & Holiday Village
Dec. 2nd. Kick-off theholiday season in downtown Anaheim on Center Street Promenade. Enjoy holiday craft activities, a real snow play area, a children’s train ride, free photos with Santa, holiday musical performances and more. Choose from a variety of culinary treasures from the International Food Fair. The day is capped off with a procession down Center Street Promenade at 5:45 p.m. Guests can gather around the 50-foot Christmas tree, which will be magically lit by a surprise guest. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Tree lighting 6-7 p.m. Free. 201 Center St. Promenade, Anaheim.
Dana Wharf Boat Rides with Santa
Dec. 2nd-3rd. Sail through the harbor with Santa and his helpers on a 20-minute cruise. Bring your camera and your Christmas wishes to share. No reservations required. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. $5 donation suggested. 34675 Golden Lantern, Dana Point.
Nutcracker for Kids
Dec. 5th. See your children’s eyes light up when the beautiful ballerinas dance and twirl in a holiday classic, The Nutcracker. Brought to you by Pacific Symphony, the concert will bring to life the enchanted world of toy soldiers, waltzing flowers and the Sugar Plum Fairy in a 50-minute version adapted especially for kids ages 5 and above. Santa Claus will make a special appearance to lead the audience in singing a merry sing-along. Musical Carnival 9 a.m. (for 10 a.m. guests) and 12:15 p.m. (for 11:30 a.m. guests). where kids can test drive a musical instrument, meet the performers, and enjoy musical arts and crafts activities themed to the morning's concert. Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa.
O.C. Brew Ho Ho!
Dec. 9th. Enjoy craft beer, holiday ales, live music, games and unlimited two-ounce pours at the annual Brew Ho Ho beer fest. Food truck fare will be available from Orange County favorites such as The Slidebar and Slaters 50/50. 12-4 p.m. $55/pp; $20 designated drivers. Phoenix Club, 1340 S. Sanderson Ave., Anaheim, 949.363.9960.
42nd Annual Boat Parade of Lights
Dec. 8th-9th, 15th-16th. Come aboard one of Dana Wharf’s decorated boats, joining boaters from all over parading through the harbor. The boat parade will last approximately 90 minutes and the charter rides last for two hours. Seating may be limited. 7:30-9 p.m. Adults $29, Children 12 and under $19, 2 and under free. 34675 Golden Lantern, Dana Point.
Snow Day L.A.
Every Sat. & Sun. till the 17th. The L.A. winter wonderland experience offers multiple lanes for tubing, falling snow, decorated trees and ice skating. Also enjoy a giant snow globe photo booth, food and drinks and a VIP penguin lounge. Get tickets now selling out fast!! The Old Lodge, 2002 Stadium Way, L.A.
Winter Fantasy Sawdust Art & Craft Festival
Five Weekends: November18th through December 17th. The festival grounds will be transformed into a winter wonderland where 175 artists create, display and sell original creations over the course of five weekends. The Winter Fantasy offers the most unique holiday shopping in all of Southern California. Art media includes jewelry, clothing, fused and blown glass, ceramics, woodwork, forged metals, painting, photography, sculpture, clothing and textiles. 10am-7pm, 935 Laguna Canyon Rd, Laguna Beach.
Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade
Dec. 13th-17th. “Seas the Holidays” and join over a million viewers to see beautifully decorated yachts, boats, kayaks and canoes sailing along the harbor. From fireworks to live entertainment by contestants from The Voice, it’s the perfect way to ring in Christmas. See website for full schedule of events. 6:30 p.m. Free. See website for map of full parade route. Newport Pier, Newport Beach.
Christmas with the Critters
Dec. 17th. Bring the entire family and enjoy a festive day at the Rancho Wildlife Foundation. There will be a visit from Santa, bounce houses, crafts, live holiday musical performances and more. Watch the resident exotic animals open their Christmas presents, including a Bengal tiger, zebras, African servals and other beautiful animals. Lunch is included with purchase of tickets. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. $10-$15. Parking $8; valet required. Rancho Las Lomas, Resort & Zoological Garden, 19191 Lawrence Canyon, Silverado.
Breakfast with Santa
Dec. 12-13, 19-20. Meet Santa and his elves as they visit Downtown Disney. The fun-filled family event will feature a delectable family-style breakfast, activities for the children, carolers, elves, ice-skating and of course – Santa! Don’t forget your Christmas wish list for Santa. Full menu available online. Seating times range from 9-11 a.m. $27-$60. Children under 3 free. Make Reservations Now! Catal Restaurant, Downtown Disney, 1580 Disneyland Drive, Anaheim.
Dec. 24-25. Indulge in the ultimate Christmas meal from Chef Marc Johnson, featuring refined classics and contemporary California cuisine. The four-course prix-fixe menu will include choices such as slow-roasted prime rib with a winter medley and whipped potatoes and seared salmon with Meyer lemon gnocchi and parsnip puree. Relax and enjoy fireside music. 4-9 p.m. Adults $90; $25 additional for wine pairings, Children $35, under five free. Oak Grill, Island Hotel, 690 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach.
Festival of Lights at the Mission Inn
Nov. 24th - Jan. 6th. Riverside’s stunningly beautiful Mission Inn is bathed in 4.5 million twinkly lights during the annual Festival of Lights. The free six-week-long holiday tradition begins the day after Thanksgiving with a “switch-on” ceremony. Throughout its run, you'll find horse-drawn carriage rides, fresh snow and more than 400 animated figures. Free! 3649 Mission Inn Ave, Riverside.
Dec. 21st-Jan. 7th. Brace yourself as winter hits Orange County. Enjoy ice-skating, ice-tubing, the world’s largest walk-through ornament, live entertainment, reindeer feedings and more. See a theater-sized screen playing holiday films in the background while you revel in the nightly snowfall and magical lights. Taste seasonal foods and craft cocktails as you stroll through the whimsical wonderland. View website for time and ticket options. OC Fair & Event Center, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa.
Disney on Ice Presents Follow Your Heart
Dec. 14th- Jan 28th on select dates. Follow your heart straight to adventure at Disney On Ice! Just keep swimming with Dory and new pal Hank from Disney•Pixar’s Finding Dory as they set out to find her parents and discover the devotion of family. Cheer with Joy, Sadness, and the rest of the Emotions from Disney•Pixar’s Inside Out as they work together to boost Riley’s spirit and win the big hockey game. Venture to wintery Arendelle where Olaf and Kristoff help reunite royal sisters Anna and Elsa from Disney’s Frozen and learn love is the most powerful magic of all. See Cinderella, Rapunzel, Ariel and the Disney Princesses make their dreams possible through virtues of bravery, kindness and perseverance. And celebrate true friendship with Buzz Lightyear, Woody and the Toy Story gang. Locations; Staples Center, Honda Center, Long Beach Arena, Citizens Business Bank Arena & Valley View Casino Center.
We hope you enjoy!