Here is round two! Orange County illuminates with fun events for the whole family leading up to Christmas and New Years. We’ve split the top Orange County winter events into two parts, with this second part being for the latter half of December. Happy Holidays, OC!
1. Nutcracker, Huntington Beach Central Library
December 13th – 14th, 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
7111 Talbert Avenue, Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Ballet Etudes presents the Nutcracker at the Huntington Beach Central Library. The performance is a shortened version of the famous ballet and will be about 80 minutes long, perfect for children! The Nutcracker performances throughout the county are not to be missed, though a child-friendly edition is possibly one of the top Orange County winter events ever. To purchase tickets and for more information, click here.
2. Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade
December 14th – 18th, 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm
309 Palm St, Newport Beach, CA 92661
One of the most famous Christmas boat parades in Southern California is the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade. The parade features about 250 beautifully decorated boats with lights and even animatronics. Houses also participate with their own decorations as a separate show dubbed the “Ring of Lights.” The event attracts more than one million spectators each year. You can view the parade from almost any place on the shore without a fee, just be careful and considerate when parking.
3. Winter Fest, Orange County Fairgrounds
December 16th, 2016 – January 1st, 2017
Sunday – Wednesday: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm
Thursday: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Friday and Saturday: 11:00 am – 11:00 pm
88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
One of Orange County’s newest and biggest winter traditions, Winter Fest at the OC Fair & Event Center, will be even bigger and better with more food and entertainment. Activities include ice tubing, a two million Christmas light walk-through show, ice skating, snow play with real snow blown in daily, nightly Christmas tree lighting ceremony with fireworks and snow, carnival rides, festive entertainment, craft and games, character meet and greets, a toddler play area, visits with Santa and more.
4. Charles Phoenix’s Retro Holiday Slide Show, Brea Curtis Theatre
December 17th, 8:00 pm & December 18th, 3:00 pm, 7:00 pm
1 Civic Center Circle, Brea, CA 92821
For an off-the-beaten-path holiday experience, consider attending Charles Phoenix’s Retro Holiday Slide Show. Pop culture humorist, Phoenix, manipulates the concept of a classic living room slide show into a laugh-out-loud holiday-themed experience. Phoenix exhibits his latest food-crafting experiments, guide to local attractions, along with unique and hilarious Kodachrome slide images from the 1950s and 60s. Phoenix roasts and toasts how we dressed, dined, drove and exchanged gifts with rousing enthusiasm and gracious wit, all with Mid-Century modern flair. Happy holidays, OC!
5. Winter Wonderfest, Discovery Cube Orange County
December 17th, 2016 – January 8th, 2017
2500 N. Main Street, Santa Ana, CA 92705
Every Day 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Head to Winter Wonderfest at the Discovery Cube to learn about the science behind weather and sledding down ice ramps, then put your new knowledge into action with real sledding, tubing and snow play. There will be entertainment, The Science of Gingerbread exhibit, cookie decorating and Santa visits. It will be winter fun for the whole family!
6. International Celebration of Christmas, Old World
December 18th, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
7561 Center Avenue, Huntington Beach, CA 92647
A free event for everyone. The annual Old World Village International Celebration of Christmas brings together a diverse group of churches and performers for a celebration of the true meaning of the holiday. The event will feature a nativity play, prayer, cultural dancing, Christmas carols and live music.
7. Winter Break Kids Crafts and Activities, Mission San Juan Capistrano
December 19th – 30th
Monday – Friday: 11:00 am – 3:00 pm (closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas)
26801 Ortega Hwy San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
Mission San Juan Capistrano will offer special winter break activities for children including panning for gold, adobe brick making, and arrowhead necklace making. Parent or sitter must be present to participate. Get more details on the event here.
8. Kid’s Club Frozen Christmas, Bella Terra
December 19th, 10:30 am – 11:30 am
7777 Edinger Avenue, Huntington Beach, CA 92647
Bring your little ones out to Kid’s Club Frozen Christmas Meet and Greet at the Century Theaters Plaza in Bella Terra to meet and take pictures with Elsa and Anna characters from “Frozen Christmas!”
9. First Night Fullerton, Fullerton Downtown Plaza
December 31st, 7:00 pm – 12:00 am
125 E. Wilshire Avenue, Fullerton, CA 92832
A free event for everyone. Head to Fullerton on New Years Eve for a family-oriented, alcohol-free ringing in of 2017! Over 15,000 attendees are expected this year. The festival will have musical stage performances, roaming entertainment, rides, games, food vendors and more, with a fireworks show at midnight. For more information click here.
10. New Year’s Eve Yacht Party, Newport Beach
December 31st, 9:00 pm – 1:00 am
2901 West Coast Highway, Newport Beach, CA 92663
Join us on Newport’s most elegant oversized luxury yacht, The Ambassador! The four-hour cruise through Newport Harbor includes premium open bar all night, champagne greeting, appetizer buffet food court, New Year’s party favors, DJ and dancing on the 140 feet, 3 level yacht with outdoor decks, lounge and a beautiful dance floor. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here. Happy Holidays, OC!