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Orange County Winter Events
Fun things to do in Orange County in the Winter Months

EVENT UPDATES
Due to COVID 19 concerns, many events are being canceled or rescheduled for a later time. We're continuously updating events, but also encourage you to click on links below to get individual event updates.

December - January - February
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Featured Article
Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade Of Lights. The Granddaddy Of Holiday Events In Southern California
 

 

December

Holiday Events

Details of holiday events beginning in November. You'll find holiday boutiques, tree lightings, visits from Santa, boat parades, New Year's Eve events and much more!

Click Here for events listed by city

Chance Theater Cyber Chats - Online
Friday, December 4, 2020
8 pm

Join Chance Theater on Friday, December 4th for our next CHANCE CYBER CHAT. The perfect chance to take a virtual theater trip together by watching performances online and then coming together on a video conference call to share experiences. Free Event

Friday, December 4th Cyber Chat - 'Hetty Feather'
Jacqueline Wilson’s best-selling novel comes to life on stage as Hetty, a feisty young orphan with an intrepid imagination, embarks on an adventure to find her true home. Infused with live music and daring aerial feats, this new musical is perfect for the whole family.

Watch the show on your own and then join us for the Chance Cyber Chat

LOCATION:
Online - Presented by Chance Theater in Anaheim

TICKETS / INFORMATION:
* Please note: We are not watching the shows together as part of our Chance Cyber Chat. You will need to watch the performance online beforehand. For more information and to sign up, visit chancetheater.com/chance-cyber-chats

Holiday Trains at the Nixon Library - Yorba Linda
November through January - check back for 2020 information, may be cancelled due to COVID restrictions

This fan-favorite, annual Christmas celebration will feature large displays of whistling miniature model trains and the annual Pat Nixon White House Gingerbread House.

Beginning in November, guests to the Nixon Library will enjoy the popular special exhibit Apollo 11: One Giant Leap for Mankind and tour a whistling wonderland of TRAINS, featuring a dozen bustling tracks, 500 square feet of hand-crafted model scenery, and five expertly-designed layouts including the all-new Rocket Railroad space-themed layout, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

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

INFORMATION:
714-993-5075

Tamale Festival - La Habra
Sunday, November 29, 2020

For 2020 - curbside pickup for this year. Pre order your tamales and order will be delivered to your car

Tamale contest, dance performances by local studios, and musical performances by Soto, with its top 40, cumbias and salsa tunes, and the Mariachi Divas. There will be many vendors selling a variety of items, as well as many tamale vendors.

Free entrance for all attendees

LOCATION:
Euclid St. between La Habra Blvd. and Lambert Rd.
La Habra, CA

Candelight Evenings at the Nixon Library - Yorba Linda
2020 information TBA

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 two nights – December 2 and 12th.. New this year! Explore the special holiday display, TRAINS featuring five expertly-designed layouts including the all-new Rocket Railroad space-themed layout, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Live music, create ornaments, decorate cookies and more!

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

INFORMATION:
714-993-5075

Snow Day with the Critters
December

For 2020 - The Zoo is an outdoor experience and remains open. (CLOSED MONDAY - TUESDAY)

All Zoo celebration featuring stations focusing on winter and snow. Watch animals receive icy treats, listen to festive music, enjoy the winter decorations, play educational games, create cool crafts and listen to delightful winter stories.

General Public - free with price of admission; FOSAZ Members are FREE and Santa Ana Residents are FREE on December 15.

LOCATION:
Santa Ana Zoo
1801 E Chestnut Ave
Santa Ana, CA

Christmas and Nativity Play - Huntington Beach
Cancelled for 2020

Celebrating The True Spirit of Christmas... Each year Old World Village plays host to the International Celebration of Christmas, a celebration that brings together a diverse group of churches, singers & dancers for a celebration that highlights the true meaning of the holiday season.

FREE Admission.

LOCATION:
Old World Village Festival Hall
7561 Center Avenue #49
Huntington Beach

Annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade
Newport Beach/Newport Bay
December - cancelled this year

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.

LOCATIONS FOR CRUISES:
December 1-31
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

INFORMATION:
949-675-0551

Tamale Festival - Placentia
check back for this year's event

The Placentia Santa Fe Merchants Association and the City of Placentia are proud to bring you the annual Tamale Festival to be held in Old Town Placentia in the 100-200 blocks of Santa Fe Street.

Additional festival activities include two stages of live entertainment (Darden Sisters, Groupo Fenix & Mariachi Divas), Christmas Palm Tree Lighting and visits with Santa.

LOCATION:
Santa Fe Street
Placentia, Ca

Cars & (Santa) Claus - Tustin
early december

Santa Claus is making a pit-stop to The Marconi on December 2nd! Get a family photo with jolly St. Nick and their red Ferrari, or simply tour the museum with a cup of hot cocoa and brownie. Purchase general admission tickets today, admission price goes up on the day of the event.

General admission is $5 per person, children under 12 get in for free.

LOCATION:
The Marconi Automotive Museum
1302 Industrial Dr
Tustin, California 92780

INFORMATION/TICKETS:
(714) 258-3001
Purchase tickets online

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January

Open Casa: Virtual Exhibition: Christine Nguyen, Installation Artist
December 1, 2020 - February 7, 2021

Experience our virtual exhibition by installation artist Christine Nguyen!

Christine Nguyen’s work draws upon the imagery of nature, the sciences, and the cosmos but it is not limited to a conventional reading of these realms. It imagines that the depths of the ocean reach into outer space, that through an organic prism, vision can fluctuate between the micro- and macroscopic.

Brought to you by:
Casa Romantica
415 Avenida Granada
San Clemente, CA 92672

SCR presents: Sondheim Unplugged
Now streaming ​through Jan​uary ​23, 2021

A celebrated New York event since 2010, Sondheim Unplugged features some of Broadway and cabaret's most dynamic voices, accompanied by piano only, delving into the musical world of Broadway's master composer. ​Expect fun facts and tidbits about the original productions and an evening well spent with "Old Friends."

Sondheim Unplugged is part of the 54 Below Premieres series and features cinematic, ​five-camera HD shoots to bring the glamour and intimacy of Broadway’s Living Room direct to homes across America.

LOCATION:
South Coast Repertory - virtual

INFORMATION:
(714) 708-5555

Pretend City presents: Facebook Live | Play At Home
Tuesday, January 12, 2021
10 am

Join Pretend City's Facebook Live Play at Home event every Tuesday and Thursday at 10 am!

Free event occurring weekly on Tuesdays and Thursdays

Upcoming Dates:
Thursday, January 14, 2021
Tuesday, January 19, 2021

INFORMATION/REGISTRATION:
Registration link

Chance Theater Cyber Chats - Online
Friday, January 15, 2021
8 pm

Join Chance Theater for our next CHANCE CYBER CHAT. The perfect chance to take a virtual theater trip together by watching performances online and then coming together on a video conference call to share experiences. Free Event

Friday, January 15th Cyber Chat - 'Who’s Your Baghdaddy, or How I Started the Iraq War'
Inspired by a true story, Who’s Your Baghdaddy? is a satirical musical comedy, presented as a support group for people who started the Iraq War. Dark, boisterous, and irreverent, the story follows a handful of mid-level spies whose vanity and office politics contributed to the worst intelligence blunder in modern history! Don’t miss this new show from the co-writers of Loch Ness, A New Musical which had its world premiere at the Chance back in 2015, and from the writer/director/resident playwright of the Ovation Award-winning Triassic Parq and Ovation Award-nominated world premiere of Claudio Quest.

NOTE: This show contains adult language and themes.

Watch the show on your own and then join us for the Chance Cyber Chat.

LOCATION:
Online - Presented by Chance Theater in Anaheim

TICKETS / INFORMATION:
* Please note: We are not watching the shows together as part of our Chance Cyber Chat. You will need to watch the performance online beforehand. For more information and to sign up, visit chancetheater.com/chance-cyber-chats

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
January - check back for 2021 information

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 in March

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

LOCATION:
Swallows Inn
Ortega Hwy & Camino Capistrano
San Juan Capistrano

INFORMATION:
949-493-1976

TET FESTIVAL - Costa Mesa
January - check back for 2021 information

Helping preserve Vietnamese culture, the Tet Festival boasts about the attraction of over 100,000+ audiences and hundreds of booths in a span of a three day weekend event. Visitors are immersed with a vibrant array of traditional foods, live entertainment, festive games, and customs celebrating the Vietnamese Lunar New Year.

LOCATION:
OC Fair & Event Center
Costa Mesa

Annual Pet Days - Costa Mesa
2021 date TBA

Pet Days is back for its ninth year featuring local rescues for pet adoptions, non-profit vendors offering animal education, and small business owners offering pet supplies and services for purchase. Come out to meet the fluffy and furry, creepy and crawly animals from 9am to 3pm on Saturday and Sunday. Please, no personal pets allowed at this event.

For free admission into the Market Place, simply bring a donation and the $2 fee will be waived.

LOCATION:
Orange County Market Place/OC Fair & Event Center Lot A
88 Fair Drive
Costa Mesa, CA

Brewer Brothers Model Kit & Hobby Expo - Huntington Beach
January - check back for 2021 information

For Model Kit & Hobby enthusiats, Old World Village will have some great Vendors lined up this year. The Line-Up includes: Multiple Model Kit Vendors (Cars, Ships, Planes, Helicopters, Tanks, and Armored Vehicles), 1/6 scale Figure and Armor Vendors, Toy Soldier Vendors, Miniature Gaming Vendors, Military Book and Decal Vendors, Documentary and Movie DVD Vendors, Die-cast Toy Vendors and so on. Not to be left out…we will also be having our traditional Model Make and Take for first-time Builders to educate and instruct our future Model builders of America.

Tickets are $6 at the door and children under 12 are FREE! Parking is FREE.

LOCATION:
Old World Huntington Beach
7561 Center Ave., #49
Huntington Beach, CA

Main Place Mall's Lunar New Year Event - Santa Ana
January - check back for 2021 information

Celebrate the Year of the Pig with fun for the whole family in Macy's Court and Center Court.

It will be a fun afternoon for the whole family with a face painter, a balloon twister, crafts, stilt walkers, calligraphy artist, Wishing Tree, Lion Dances, giveaways and more! Performances will be hosted by the UVSA (Union of Vietnamese Student Associations of Southern California).

Location:
MainPlace Mall
2800 N Main St.
Santa Ana, CA

SnowFest - Lake Forest
Saturday, January - check back for 2021 information

Come be a part of this annual winter event and hit the snow laden slopes at Pittsford Park! Grab the kids, the camera, and your friends and come play in the snow at this special event. Sleds and saucers will be available for you and your family to slide down Mount Pittsford. There will also be a free snow play area for kids 10 and under open during the entire event. Check out additional attractions and games at the event and bring your camera for guest appearances from a galaxy far far away. Food and drinks are also available for a nominal fee. Pre-registration is mandatory. Sledding wristbands are usually sold out by the time of the event. Everyone who sleds down the hill must have a pre-purchased wristband.

LOCATION:
Pittsford Park
21701 Pittsford Dr
Lake Forest, California 92630

INFORMATION:
Call the event hotline number at 949-461-3459 for rain date information.

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February

SCR presents: Sleep Squad
Streaming ​Online Feb 1-14, 2021​

Experience a family-friendly, interactive, virtual theater experience that turns your home into a rocket ship to launch kids into their dreams. Featuring brand new, unique, kid-driven comedy and music from the Story Pirates that you can’t see or hear anywhere else, this world premiere on-demand production creates a new kind of bedtime ritual for kids age 4-12.

The Story Pirates podcast is the winner of the 2020 iHeartRadio and Webby awards for Best Kids and Family Podcast and has been downloaded 25 million times

LOCATION:
South Coast Repertory - virtual

INFORMATION:
(714) 708-5555

Surf City USA Marathon & Half Marathon - Huntington Beach
Rescheduled to September 11, 2021

This award-winning, Boston-Qualifying, course is considered one of the best courses in the country and is well known for being scenic and flat. Runners come from all over to experience this exhilarating run. The race starts along the Pacific Coast Highway and passes by the famous Huntington Beach pier.

Location:
21100 Pacific Coast Highway
Huntington Beach, Ca

INFORMATION:
info@runsurfcity.com
888-422-0786

Jurassic Quest - Costa Mesa
February 5-14, 2021
7:30am-2:00pm

Jurassic Quest’s exhibit has been transformed into an interactive drive-thru experience, featuring more than 70 moving and roaring dinosaurs and their 50-foot-long Megalodon! Go on a quest with their online audio tour that will take you throughout the exhibit where you will encounter some of the largest dinosaurs to ever roam the earth, and some of the eeriest marine creatures to ever lurk the ocean’s depths.

LOCATION:
OC Fair & Event Center
88 Fair Drive
Costa Mesa , CA

SJC500 Engine Fest Benefit Rotary charities - San Juan Capistrano
February 6, 2021 - Postponed until May
7:30am-2:00pm

SJC500 Engine Fest is considered one of the best in Southern California. It draws nearly 500 exotic and classic show cars, and more than one thousand automotive enthusiasts. This car show is a major fundraising event that enables our SJC Rotary Club to help local charities thrive.

Come and see the impressive rows of cars and trucks, shop the vendor’s booths and enjoy delicious food with your family and see the Incredible Disc Dogs Exhibition.

LOCATION:
San Juan Capistrano Community Center/Sports Park
25925 Camino del Avion
San Juan Capistrano, CA

Laguna Beach Music Festival - Laguna Beach
March 24 - 28, 2021

An annual multi-day celebration featuring outstanding classical and contemporary concerts in intimate spaces, community outreach programs and dynamic special events.

The 19th annual Festival will be held March 24-28, 2021, in Laguna Beach featuring pianist and composer Conrad Tao as Festival Artistic Director, in collaboration with other artists. The Laguna Beach Music Festival is committed to offering free outreach events for students, seniors and the community-at-large.

LOCATION:
Laguna Beach
- check site for venues

Taste of San Juan - San Juan Capistrano
Thursday, February - check back for 2021 information

Help launch the kick-off celebration of the Fiesta de las Golondrinas at A Stone’s Throw Winery. The Taste brings together many of San Juan's marvelous restaurants under one roof to tempt you with 'tastes' of their fare. Includes live music. Tickets are only $40 for general admission

LOCATION:
Stones Throw Winery
San Juan Capistrano

INFORMATION:
949-493-1976

Timberwolf 5 K Run/Walk - Irvine
February - check back for 2021 information

The Timberwolf 5K Run/Walk, and the 1K Fun Run, feature breathtaking views, fantastic food, event t-shirts and the company of hundreds of friendly fitness enthusiasts. Proceeds from registration and sponsorships benefit Northwood High School and Families Forward, a local non-profit providing supported housing programs, counseling, food, referrals, school supplies, career coaching, and other services for families in crisis.

LOCATION:
Northwood High School
4515 Portola Pkwy
Irvine, CA

Art Crawl Experience - Anaheim
February - check back for 2021 information

Art Crawl Experience or simply “ACE”, an auditory explosive art walk and arts festival has been acclaimed by local artisans as the Downtown Anaheim Arts District. During the evening of an ACE, attendees stroll amongst outdoor permanent art fixtures, such as Peter Shire’s illuminated birdhouse sculptures, to discover artists demonstrating their creative process live for curious onlookers.

LOCATION:
The crawl stretches from Anaheim Blvd., to Harbor Blvd. and along Center Street Promenade. Art lovers can walk, crawl or climb aboard the Anaheim Resort Transit (ART) for complimentary rides throughout Anaheim’s Art Crawl Experience.

INFORMATION:
714 956 3586

Valentines Day & Valentines Weekend Events

Special dinners, romance hotel packages, cruises, concerts and gift ideas!


The Kid's Pet Parade
February - check back for 2021 information

Part of the annual Fiesta de las Golondrinas celebration. Kids between the ages of 5 to 12 can show off their favorite animals in a contest for, The Cutest, Most Unusual, Best Team Costume (owner and pet), Funniest & Most Obedient (pet, not child).

A special "Judges Choice" prize will be awarded and this winner will be given the opportunity to be in the Swallows' Day Parade.

Location:
Los Rios Park
31747 Los Rios Street
San Juan Capistrano, CA

INFORMATION:
949-493-1976

Los Alamitos 'Race on the Base' - Los Alamitos
February - check back for 2021 information

The yearly event has continued to provide not only a forum for local avid runners and walkers, but has also instilled a sense of pride and teamwork between the Los Alamitos City Council, the citizens of Los Alamitos, the Rossmoor Community Services District, and the local business community.

The race is held on the run ways at the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos and features helicopters, planes and military vehicles with music throughout the course. Events and activities for the whole family!

INOFORMATION:
562-430-1073

Pacific Symphony: Lantern Festival - Costa Mesa
February - check back for 2021 information

Free Family event! Bring the entire family and join us for Pacific Symphony’s annual Lantern Festival, celebrating the Year of the Rat! The Lantern Festival, which can be traced back 2,000 years, takes place 15 days after the Lunar New Year—on the first full moon night in the lunar calendar—and marks the return of spring, representing the reunion of family. The act of lighting and appreciating lanterns is a way for people to let go of the burdens of their old selves and express their best wishes for themselves and their families for the future.

Admission is FREE, but tickets are required. Due to venue capacity, admission will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis throughout the course of the event. Though a ticket does not guarantee immediate admission, ticket holders will be given priority access. Be sure to print out all print-at-home tickets.

LOCATION:
Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall
615 Town Center Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

INFORMATION:
714-
556-2787

German Style Carnival FASCHING - Huntington Beach
February - check back for 2021 information

Free Admission - Hosted by German Campus School

Families with children ages 4 -17 are welcome to join an afternoon filled with activities, dances and games lead by teachers of GermanSchoolCampus.com. A family fun event with traditional Fasching’s delicatessens like the famous “Berliner”, Krapfen, and Currywurst.

LOCATION:
Old World Village
7561 Center Ave.
Huntington Beach

Irvine Park Railroad Anniversary Celebration
February 27-28, 2021

For 2021 - At this time, due to COVID-19, we are uncertain if the Anniversary Celebration will take place as scheduled. The event dates are scheduled to change at the sole discretion of Irvine Park Railroad.

To celebrate their 25th year of business and to show appreciation to all their loyal customers Irvine Park is rolling back to their original 1996 prices during their anniversay weekend… including $2.00 train rides!

The anniversary celebration will also feature other $2-$4 activities and concessions including carnival games, hot dogs, sodas, ice creams, popcorn, bounce house tickets and cotton candy.

LOCATION:
Irvine Regional Park
1 Irvine Park Road
Orange, CA 92869

INFORMATION:
(714) 997-3968

GEMfest - Newport Coast
Saturday, February - check back for 2021 information

GEMfest is more than a conference -- it is a festive celebration where middle school girls can get information and inspiration to take on middle school, high school and the world! GEMfest attendees will hear inspiring keynote speeches, learn about local businesses and non-profit organizations at our marketplace and attend their choice of hands-on workshops teaching skills for success such as public speaking, finding your drive, coding or self defense

GEMfest is for Middle school girls in grades 6 through 8 who want to meet like-minded peers, connect with high school students who just get it, and learn from inspiring and approachable female mentors to develop healthy habits for life.

LOCATION:
Sage Hill School
20402 Newport Coast Drive
Newport Coast, CA

Annual Monarch Butterfly Day - Fountain Valley
Saturday, February - check back for 2021 information

OC Parks Invites children and families to learn all about Monarch butterflies and their natural habitat with an up-close look at these magnificent creatures at the tenth annual Monarch Butterfly Day! Activities will include interpretive presentations, children's crafts, face painting and a balloon artist. This event is recommended for ages 4 to 12.

Event and parking are free

LOCATION:
Mile Square Regional Park
Forest Shelter near parking lot C
16801 Euclid St.
Fountain Valley, CA 92708

INFORMATION:
(714) 973-6600

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