As a mom, I am always on the lookout for fun events for my family especially during the holiday season. We are fortunate to live in Southern California, blessed with the mild winter, so outdoor events are popular. Here are a few of our favorite affordable and family friendly events in Orange County. They are listed chronologically by the event date. Mark your calendar and get ready for some fun!
Nutcracker for Kids with Pacific Symphony – December 10, 2011, 10 AM and 11:30 AM
This Tchaikovsky’s delightful Christmas ballet performed in a 45-minute version created just for kids. This seasonal favorite finishes with a grand finale and is sure to sell out. During the Musical Carnival, kids will enjoy free hands-on activities, meeting the Symphony musicians, sing, dance, play, color, try musical instruments, and enjoy themselves in thematic activities related to the concert. For more information, visit the website of Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall (www.scfta.org) or call (714) 556-2787. Ticket price: $36 – $19.
Victorian Christmas in Fullerton Arboretum – December 10 & 11, 2011 at 3 – 6 PM
You don’t need time machine to travel back in time for this special event. Join the Victorian Society as they take you back to 1894 with a Victorian Melodrama beginning at the Heritage House. Enjoy refreshments and activities at the Victorian Fair on the pavilion. Visit Fullerton Arboretum website (fullertonarboretum.org) or call (657) 278-3407 for tickets and information. $15/adult, $5/child, $45/family.
“Feelin’ Christmas-Sea in Newport Beach!” Christmas Boat Parade – December 14 – 18, 2011 from 6:30 PM – 9 PM
Do not miss this spectacular Holiday Tradition. Join over a million viewers to watch beautifully decorated yachts, boats, kayaks and canoes sail along the harbor in the 103rd Annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade. Hosted by the Commodores Club of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce, this year features the theme “Feelin’ Christmas-Sea in Newport Beach!”.On the final night of the parade, Sunday, December 18, a special fireworks display will close out the parade at approximately 9:00 pm. For more information, visit the website at www.christmasboatparade.com or call the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce at (949) 729-4400.
Christmas at the OC Zoo! – December 17, 2011 starts at 10 AM – 4 PM
Calling children of all ages to celebrate Christmas at the OC Zoo! Visitors will enjoy special story time with Mrs. Claus, a visit with Santa, holiday crafts and face painting. Also you can watch the zoo animals receive treats hidden inside Christmas trees and festive presents. For more information, visit the website for Christmas at the OC Zoo (ocparks.com) or call (714) 973-6847. OC Zoo locates at 1 Irvine Park Road, Orange, CA 92869. Event Fee: Free with zoo admission ($2 per person, ages 2 & under free). Parking Fee: Irvine Park entry $5.00 per car.
If you like theme park holiday events and have bigger budget, you may like to visit Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, and Lego land.
Knott’s Merry Farm Toys For Tots Drive – December 3 -18, 2011
Knott’s Merry Farm and the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve will once again be teaming up to provide hundreds of toys for needy families throughout the southland December 3-18. With a purchase of a $20 gift from one of several merchandise locations in Knott’s Marketplace, guests will receive FREE admission to Knott’s Merry Farm. Those wishing to bring their own new, unwrapped gift valued at $20 or more, will be given a voucher to purchase a regular Knott’s Merry Farm admission for only $20. For more information of other events at Knott’s Berry Farm, visit their website at knotts.com.
Holiday Snow Days at Legoland, San Diego – November 19, 2011 – January 02, 2012
Snow in San Diego! Yes – you can play with real snow in Legoland everyday from mid – November to January 2012. Other fun things are: snowball targets, “Let it Snow” the musical till December 31, the world’s largest LEGO Christmas Tree, lots of festive entertainment, LEGO Santa and reindeer, and nightly tree lighting ceremony and fireworks. If you visit during November 19 – December 31, present your one day paid admission ticket at the Guest Information Desk, you will receive a one-day ticket valid January 1 – March 31, 2012. Ticket price: 1 day Legoland $72 (13 – 59 years old) and $62 (3 – 12 years old and 60+). Various packages are available – check their website at legoland.com.
Winter Wonderland in Disneyland and California Adventure Park – November 14, 2011 to January 8, 2012
Although this can be a pricier Christmas event, it sure will leave a life time impression. The holiday season transforms the entire Disneyland Resort into a winter wonderland, where hundreds of thousands of lights brighten the night, fireworks burst to the sounds of the season and snow falls in Southern California! It simply magical! For park hours, check the website at disney.go.com. Ticket price: 1 day 1 park $80 (10 years old & up) and $74 (3 – 9 years old) and parking $15. Various packages are available – check their website at disney.go.com.
Have a happy holiday!