December 2016 Around Town 4

Christmas at the Casa

Bring your family to enjoy the magic of the holiday season at Casa Romantica. Our annual Christmas at the Casa is a public celebration featuring festive decorations, live music, carolers, a talking Christmas tree, crafts for children, cookies and refreshments, and a visit from Santa Claus.

Christmas at the Casa is a special event in partnership with the City of San Clemente as part of Santa’s Village by the Sea. Saturday, December 3, 2016  |  5:00 PM – 7:00 PM Free admission

CASA KINETIC The Nutcracker

Celebrate the magic of the holiday season with the Nutcracker ballet. This bestselling event, performed with panache by the Orange County Ballet Theatre, is a must for the whole family. The Casa Nutcracker features choreography tailored to Casa Romantica’s intimate Main Salon.

The Orange County Ballet Theatre is one of Orange County’s best rated pre-professional dance academies, and is known for the prestigious American and international dance careers of its former students.  December 8 – 9, 2016 Tickets: $40

San Juan Capistrano Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration

Come celebrate the holiday season with us on Saturday, December 3, 2016 at Historic Town Center Park – 31852 El Camino Real.  The celebration begins at 4:15 p.m. with performances by Capistrano Valley High School Orchestra, San Juan Capistrano Youth Mariachi’s and Ballet Foklorico, followed by a holiday stage production featuring students of Musical Theater University. The official lighting of the Christmas tree will take place at 5:30 p.m.

Immediately following the ceremony there will festivities at the San Juan Capistrano Mission, Los Rios Park, ZOOMARS and throughout the downtown area.  There will be free photos with Santa Claus at Los Rios Park, a puppet show, along with a free Christmas train ride and crafts. Mrs. Claus will entertain children at the O’Neil Museum with “Story Time.” ZOOMARS will open the gates to their petting zoo at no charge and offer a train and hay rides for a nominal fee. Capistrano Valley High School will accept donations for face painting on Verdugo Street. Pathway to Hope has two “Live Nativity” performances planned at ZOOMARS.  Finally, stroll around the downtown area where shops will remain open, offering complimentary refreshments and special sale items.

For additional information please call (949) 493-5911.

Christmas at the Mission San Juan Capistrano

Celebrate the holidays with Mission San Juan Capistrano! Held in conjunction with the City of San Juan Capistrano’s annual Tree Lighting Ceremony and community-wide holiday celebration. Mission San Juan Capistrano will host Christmas at the Mission on Saturday, December 3rd, 2016 from 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.  Bring the family and enjoy this fun, festive and memorable evening together at the beautiful Mission!

Christmas at the Mission features:

Snow play area for kids! Bring your mittens for snowman-making.

Ringing of the historic bells

Live Christmas music performances throughout the Mission

“Santa’s Workshop” with cookie decorating and holiday card making for service men and women (free while supplies last!)

Photo Opportunities with Father Christmas

Food Vendors serving tamales, chili, sweet treats, spiced cider, hot cocoa, coffee and more

Holiday shopping at the Mission Store

The beautiful historic Mission festively lit up for this special after-hours event, and more!

Performance Groups Include:

Dickens Carolers

Chamber Singers

Orchestra Musicians

Mariachis, and more!

Holiday Toy Drive in Irvine

Help make the season brighter for Irvine’s adopted Marine Battalion families by donating a new, unwrapped gift suitable for infants or children through age 12. Donations will be accepted at the Irvine City Hall, Irvine Police Department and the Orange County Great Park Visitors Center. Donations will also be collected at the Winter Wonderland event on Dec. 4.

Donations accepted Monday-Friday Nov. 7-Dec. 11  7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m  Irvine City Hall, Irvine Police Department and Orange County Great Park Visitor Center 949-724-660

Home for the Holidays Pet Adoption

The City of Irvine Animal Care Center will host its 10th annual Home for the Holidays Pet Adoption Fair event on Sunday, Dec. 4 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. More than 40 pet rescue groups and animal shelters will bring some 600 homeless dogs, cats, rabbits and small animals for adoption.

The annual event features dozens of pet-related vendors, gourmet food trucks, a silent auction, low-cost microchipping and an opportunity drawing. Each animal available for adoption is spayed or neutered, microchipped and evaluated by a veterinarian. Cats and dogs are vaccinated appropriate to age.

Suggested donation for the event is $2 per person or $5 per family. Parking is free.  For more information, call 949-724-7740

Winter Wonderland Irvine

Celebrate winter as ‘snow’ falls over the Irvine Civic Center and the community gathers for games, crafts, music, hot chocolate, entertainment and food. The City’s newest event includes a Joyful Jingles holiday concert and visit from Santa Claus. Admission is free. Sunday Dec. 4 3-8 p.m.  Irvine Civic Center  949-724-6606

Holiday Parade “Home for the Holidays” Laguna Niguel

December 10, 10:00 AM @ Between Nueva Vista and Crown Valley Park

“Home for the Holidays,” what a way to kick off the holiday season by coming to see our hometown parade! View over 100 exciting entries including marching bands, floats, special guests, youth groups, equestrian units, exotic cars, military members, local heroes and fun attractions! No hometown holiday parade is complete without a dazzling entrance by Santa Claus! Arrive early! This event is a Southern California tradition with more than 3,000 parade participants and an anticipated crowd of more than 10,000 people. Parade watchers are encouraged to bring chairs and take advantage of the free shuttle, available from the Federal Bldg. parking lot off of Dorine/El Lazo. Event will go rain or shine, unless conditions are determined unsafe. Please make a note, due to construction at Crown Valley Park, the parade route will end at Central Park Drive. For general information about the parade or to volunteer, go to or call 425-5100. *Crown Valley Parkway will

Chanukah Wonderland &
Menorah Lighting

December 29, 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM @ City Hall Community Room

A Blizzard of Holiday Fun for the Whole Family Enjoy live entertainment, activities, and crafts as well as your favorite Chanukah treats – latkes, dreidles, and more! Bring your family, friends, and lots of holiday spirit! Sponsored by the Chabad of Laguna Niguel and City of Laguna Niguel. For more information, visit or call 831-7701.

Winter Fest Costa Mesa

Brand new to the Orange County scene, Winter Fest at the OC Fair & Event Center brings the spirit of the winter season to Southern California this holiday season. Families can ice skate in front of a theater-sized screen playing holiday films, ice tube down a 130-foot slide, enjoy nightly snowfall, tree lighting, live entertainment, reindeer feedings, and more than 30 carnival rides and games. Paired with seasonal foods, craft cocktails, and festive holiday décor (including the world’s largest ornament!), Winter Fest aims to be one or Orange County’s premiere holiday events. Meet and greets with Santa Claus, as well as story time with Mrs. Claus, crafts, arts, and games with elves, are available at the Winter Fest’s North Pole.

88 Fair Dr. Costa Mesa, CA 92626  (714) 708-1500  Dates: December 18 – January 3, 2016

Outdoor Ice Skating Irvine Spectrum

Located in the Giant Wheel court adjacent to Nordstrom’s and Macys, the ice skating rink is a family friendly activity that everyone will enjoy. Open nearly every day (closed holidays) until February 15th, 2016, the ice rink is the perfect opportunity to get in the holiday spirit while skating around with friends and family. Orange County might not be the coldest place to celebrate the holidays, but one step on the ice and you’ll feel like you’re in a winter wonderland

71 Fortune Drive  Irvine, CA 92618  (949) 753-5180 Dates: October 2, 2015 – February 15, 2016

Winter Solstice Festival  Bowers Museum

To celebrate the upcoming Winter Solstice, the Bowers Museum will feature a free festival on Sunday, December 6. The Winter Solstice Festival will include Celtic music by The Ploughboys, as well as dancing by the Ceili Rua Dancers and a traditional Native American hoop dance and a blessing for the New Year by Gary Wis-Ki-Ge-Amatyuk. In addition, there will also be a Santa-themed performance by Franklin Haynes Marionettes. The event is free and open from 10am to 4pm.

2002 N Main Street, Santa Ana, CA 92706 (714) 567-3600 Date: December 6, 2015 from 10am to 4pm

Sawdust Winter Fantasy

December 3rd, 4th, 10th, 11th, 17th & 18th from 10am-6pm.

Our 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.

Experience unique artwork by 175 artists, live holiday entertainment, great outdoor cafes, art classes and demonstrations, petting zoo, Santa and much, much more! With amazing art gifts, thousands of holiday decorations and picture-perfect moments, the Sawdust’s Winter Fantasy will become your family’s holiday tradition.

Annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade

Newport Landing offers multiple cruises each night of the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade as well as holiday lights cruises throughout the month of December to view the amazing light displays that have made Newport beach legendary. Come enjoy the annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade of Lights with Newport Landing!

Holiday cruises beginning December 2 and run through January 1. The Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade begins December 13th and ends December 18st for 2016. Newport Landing offers three cruises nightly for both all of the holiday light cruise dates as well as the 5 nights of the Newport Beach Boat Parade. Newport Landing’s holiday lights cruises travel throughout Newport Bay viewing amazing light displays from the many Bayfront estates lining Newport Bay. Parade ship entries are also often viewed in full décor as they cruise through the bay or as the decorated ships are at dock and part of a bay front landscape transformed for the holiday season.

During the 5 nights of the Newport Beach Boat Parade, Newport Landing offers cruises that actually travel in the parade, viewing all the decorated ships and Bayfront estates while traveling the parade route the travels through Newport Bay. What better way is there to view all of the holiday activities and décor centering around the boat parade than by ship? All of Newport Landing’s ships are fully decorated and have lots of nice amenities to enjoy the festivities in comfort. Newport Landing gives spectators the opportunity to actually participate in the parade, instead of just watching it from the sidelines!

Buy tickets online at