It's getting down to the wire but there are still plenty of options for Christmas shopping throughout the county. While heading over to the local mall or big-box store might seem like easy options, craft fairs provide options for unique and special gifts that are likely to be one-of-a-kind. From local holiday bazaars, to traveling indie craft festivals and art fairs showcasing local artists -- you're bound to find the right gift at one of these special holiday shopping events.
With the holidays comes an entire slate of winter theater and Christmas themed performances. Catch holiday classics such as White Christmas, Handel's Messiah, the Nutcracker Ballet and A Christmas Carol. There are also a couple reinterpretations of the classics, grand holiday concerts and local community theater. If you've got a taste for holiday arts, 'tis the season for you to indulge.
The holiday season isn't just about arts and shopping, its also about lights, winter festivals and visits from Santa Claus. While cities throughout the county will be hosting various tree lighting ceremonies, if you're looking for a spectacular lights display, check out of boat parades in Newport, Dana Point or Huntington Beach. There are also plenty of opportunities for pictures with Santa and even a few parades.
Where: Irvine Animal Care Center
Animal shelters throughout the county are overcrowded with animals in need of a loving home. To wit, various animal shelters and rescue centers are teaming up for a huge pet adoption fair in Irvine in the hopes that someone will be inspired to take home a pet for the holidays. While you’re there, enjoy the bake sale and food court, or participate in the silent raffle. Admission is $1 and adoption fees may apply.
Where: Goat Hill Junction/Fairview Park
The Orange County Model Engineers host a special “Polar Express” run of the miniature trains at Goat Hill Junction in Costa Mesa. All activities are free including train rides, pictures with Santa, face painting and a coloring contest. Admission is free, but a unwrapped toy or $10 gift card donation to the holiday toy drive is appreciated. Check the website for more details.
There are festivals and parades, there are concerts and theater; there’s even holiday shopping and a guide to New Year’s Eve happenings throughout the O.C. But if you’re looking to catch the magic of a giant Christmas Tree being lit in the middle of a city-center, there are several tree-lighting ceremonies in cities across the county. Check this listing for dates and times.
Whether you’re looking for something casual and open to all ages, a hip night club party or something a little more family friendly, there are several options for New Year’s Eve celebrations throughout Orange County. From luxury yacht cruises, to alcohol free alternatives -- here’s your guide to New Year’s Eve celebrations in the O.C.