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Holiday Events

Details of holiday events beginning in November.

Click Here for events listed by city

Annual Boat Parade of Lights - Dana Point
December 15 & 16, 2017
7:30pm to 9:00pm

Boaters from all around Orange County decorate their boats and vie for awards. You can view the parade free from anywhere in the Harbor, or make reservations at one of our restaurants to view it from a cozy and warm spot. Come on down and enjoy the sights and sounds of the season.

Dana Point Harbor
34555 Golden Lantern

** Dana Wharf Sportfishing offers boat rides so you too can experience the fun of actually riding on a boat and joining in the parade. Don't miss the opportunity to become a part of this one-of-a-kind holiday experience. Reservations can be made at

Call and make your reservations at (949) 496-5794.

For more information or a boat or sponsor entry form call THE Harbor Info line at (949) 923-2255

The Nutcracker by Ballet Repertory Theatre - Huntington Beach
December 9, 15, 16, 21, 22 & 23 at 7 pm
December 9, 16, 22 & 23 at 2 pm
December 10, 17 & 24 at 1 pm
December 10 & 17 at 5 pm

Enjoy Ballet Repertory Theatre’s cherished 41-year-old tradition of bringing beloved holiday music to life with nearly 300 performers in dazzling costumes. Travel alongside young Clara through a magical world of life-size dolls, toy soldiers, colossal mice, and delicate snowflakes to the fabulous Land of Sweets, home of the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier. Exuberant French, Spanish, Arabian, Russian, and Chinese dancers await you, along with twirling candy canes and waltzing flowers. With 15 enchanting performances, Orange County’s longest-running Nutcracker is the ultimate feel-good family tradition.

Ticket prices: $19 general admission; $15 seniors, veterans, students, children under 12

Golden West College Theater
15751 Gothard Street
Huntington Beach, CA 92647


Fairmont Private Academy Winter Wonderland - Anaheim
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
3:00 pm to 05:00 pm

Come experience a true Winter Wonderland in Southern California — complete with snow and Santa to provide that magical holiday feel! It will be a wonderful time to create joyful memories with your family while you learn a little more about Fairmont Private Schools Anaheim Hills Campus.

This is a free event!

Anaheim Hills Campus
5300 East La Palma Avenue
Anaheim, California, United States

Please RSVP to this event!

Annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade
Newport Beach/Newport Bay
December 13-17, 2017

FREE to the public. The boat parade will light up the harbor for five consecutive nights. The parade starts at Collins Island at 6:30 p.m. and will last approximately three and a half hours over 250 ships participate in the parade along with hundreds of water front estates. Providing the backdrop for the parade is the Ring of Lights waterfront home and business decorating competition. FREE for spectators, entry fee for participating boats. Over million and half people view the parade each year.

For those of you that would like to be in parade both Newport Landing and Davey's Locker will offer 3 general admission cruises nightly every night of the parade that are a part of the actual parade. Viewing the parade from a ship means that you see all of the parade and homes in full decor that line the waterfront. General admission tickets can be reserved over the phone.

December 1-31, 2017
Offered three times nightly (check websites for times)
Newport Landing
309 Palm - Suite A, Newport Beach Ca 92661
Davey's Locker
400 Main St., Newport Beach, CA 92661


Swedish Christmas Julbord
Friday, December 15, 2017
Seating Times: 4:00pm - 5:30pm
6:30pm - 8:00pm

Join the folks at Ikea Costa Mesa on December 15, 2017 for their annual Swedish Christmas Julbord!

IKEA FAMILY Member price
$12.99 /per person & $2.99/ kids
Regular price:
$16.99/person & $4.99/child.

Seating is limited. **Restaurant closes at 1:00pm for event set-up.

IKEA Costa Mesa
1475 S Coast Dr
Costa Mesa, CA

Anaheim Plaza - Holiday Event with Santa!
Saturday, December 16, 2017
11:00am - 1:00pm

Free Fun Family Event - Anaheim Plaza Food Court

Santa is coming to Anaheim Plaza. Bring your camera for a selfie with Santa. This event is for the whole family and will include giveaways for the first 100 kids, raffle prizes, balloon artist and a kid friendly DJ.

Anaheim Plaza
N. Euclid St. & Santa Ana Fwy.
Anaheim, CA 92801

Take a Picture with Santa!
Sunday December 17, 2017
12-2 pm

Ho ho ho! Have you been naughty or nice? Come to IKEA Costa Mesa to get a free printed photo with Santa and a small gift to take home! Make plans to sit down with Santa from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm at the front entrance of the store and enjoy his visit. Don't miss out!

*Give away activities are for children 12 years old or younger, until supplies last.

IKEA Costa Mesa
1475 S Coast Dr
Costa Mesa, CA

Irvine Park Railroad - Annual Christmas Train to Meet Santa Claus
December 1-23, 2017

Take an enchanting night ride through historic Irvine Regional Park to meet and have your picture taken with Santa Claus. In addition to riding the Irvine Park Railroad, activities include story time with Mrs. Claus, Christmas cookie decorating, a Santa Claus moon bounce, Christmas coloring corner, carnival games, picture stands and more. Hot food and snacks are available for purchase.

Children younger than 24 months ride free. Prices for activities vary. For directions, costs and additional information or to purchase tickets, visit online at

Irvine Park Railroad
1 Irvine Park Road
Orange, CA 92869

(714) 997-3968

Candlelight Evenings at the Nixon Library - Yorba Linda
Wednesdays, November 29 - December 27, 2017

Toy Trains, Santa Claus and White House Traditions

In the spirit of White House Christmas traditions past and present, the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum is opening its doors after hours for special Candlelight Evenings every Wednesday night this holiday season. New this year! Explore the special holiday display, A Whistling White House Wonderland! The exciting fan-favorite exhibit is back with a 10-foot mountain of model trains whistling over bridges and through tunnels.

Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum
18001 Yorba Linda Blvd.
Yorba Linda, CA 92886


Discovery CubePresents: Science of Gingerbread - Santa Ana
November 24 - December 31, 2017

Aprons on, scientists! You’ll head into the world of the classic holiday dessert and find out how science plays a crucial role in the kitchen. Our favorite goodies, don’t come together magically though. We use heat, math, engineering and other important components in order to bake and create the confections everyone loves. Build a candy car out of holiday treats and then compete, sweet-to-sweet in the Gingerbread Derby, Santa Claus will make special appearances, and other fa, la, la activities are on the schedule.

Discovery Cube
2500 N. Main St.
Santa Ana, CA 92705


Hilton New Years Eve Party
Sunday, December 31, 2017

Party and take the elevator home at Hilton NYE, 'When it just has to be First Class'!

Only $99 til Dec. 20 - Book NOW to get the Discount!!!!

Includes 3 Entree Dinner with Dessert, Tea, Coffee & Midnight Champagne. Eat when you want, all you want from 8 -9:30 pm. Dancing until 1 am with live Band (The Vertikals, formerly with Turtles & Beach Boys) plus DJ John for Non-Stop Music!

Free Midnight Champagne Toast plus a $10 corkage fee 'bring your favorite wine', or you can choose to relax with the Open Bar package for $50.

Hilton Irvine Hotel Ballroom
Across from John Wayne Airport
18800 MacArthur Blvd.
Irvine, 92612

Reserve and pay online for this event @ or call 949-378-6600 for details. Special room rates at the Hilton for attendees.

Note, this is sold out every year for the last 8 years, so please get your reservation in early.
Ask for Lemondrop New Years Eve Party Rate.

Whale Watching - Dana Point & Newport Beach

Gray Whales migrate annually along the west coast of North America. They can be seen from the Orange County coast from December through early April.

Since the Gray Whales migrate just a few miles off the coast, simple cruises from Dana Point and Newport Beach enable you to see these spectacular creatures in their natural habitat.

You can book cruises at the following locations:

Captain Dave's Dolphin & Whale Safari
34451 Ensenada Place
Dana Point, CA 92629
Davey's Locker Whale Watching
400 Main Street
Newport Beach, Ca 92661
Dana Wharf

34675 Golden Lantern
Dana Point, CA 92629
Newport Landing Whale Watching
309 Palm - Suite A
Newport Beach, CA. 92661

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New Years Eve Events in Orange County

Listed by city, find both New Year's Eve and New Year's Day events in Orange County

Fiesta Association Hairiest Man Contest - San Juan Capistrano
Saturday, January 13, 2018
1:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M.

One of the wackiest contests the Fiesta Association holds. You must come to the sign-ups with a "Smooth Puss" (clean shaven) and ready to be photographed for the "Most Wanted" poster. You then have 8 weeks to grow a beard or moustache that will be judged at the Fiesta Grande March 21st.

There is a $5.00 entry fee which goes to support the Swallow's Day Parade.

Swallows Inn
Ortega Hwy & Camino Capistrano
San Juan Capistrano


Snow Day - Fullerton
Saturday, January 27, 2018

Tons of the frosty stuff is delivered to the dam to enable youngsters to sled, make snow people, and have old-fashioned snowball battles. Children are advised to wear warm clothes and gloves.

Space is limited to 900 persons, and early registration is recommended. Advance registration fee for the event is $12 per person for Fullerton residents and $15 per person for non-residents.

Brea Dam Park
1700 N. Harbor Blvd

Registration can be made through the Park's Class Sign up or by calling the Parks and Recreation Department at (714) 738-6575.

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