There are plenty of unique, festive events coming up here in Orange County. Below is a list of not-to-miss holiday activities that you probably have not heard about. We’ve excluded the standard events, such as the Newport Beach Boat Parade and the Nutcracker ballet, because you already know about them. Make some plans with loved ones this holiday season at any one of the following unique OC events:
For the Family
Dec. 5th 5-8pm at the Irvine Civic Center
Winter Wonderland is a celebration of the season the whole family can appreciate. Watch the falling snow and enjoy games, crafts, music, hot cocoa, food and more. Santa Claus will pay a visit and the Joyful Jingles Holiday Concert will fill the air with festive tunes.
Dec. 18th – Jan. 3rd at the OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa
Winter Fest boasts being “El Niño-proof” as many of the festival’s main attractions are held in the center’s large buildings. The event will have 30 carnival rides, a 6,000 square foot ice rink, an ice slide, reindeer, live ice sculptures and so much more. The adults can enjoy themed craft cocktails and beer. It’s some good, cool fun for the whole family.
Annual German Christmas Market
Dec. 6th, 13th, 20th 11am-4pm at Old World Village, Huntington Beach
Experience a Christmas classic, the German Christmas Market, without leaving the county! The annual tradition is back with tons of unique holiday gifts. Enjoy live music and authentic German food including brauts from the Currywurst Truck, German ice cream and German pastries. Snap a pic at the Santa Photo Booth, too!
Will Downing’s Soulful Sounds of Christmas
Dec. 13th 8pm at City National Grove of Anaheim
Enjoy the beautiful vocals of renowned R&B artist Will Downing as he sings holiday tunes and other greats from his albums. Kenny Lattimore will open. Tickets are $55-$65.
For the Adults
Farm to Fork Holiday Vegetarian Dishes Cooking Class
Dec. 13th 11am-2pm at The Ecology Center, San Juan Capistrano
The Farm to Fork series brings awareness to the amazing dishes you can create using just seasonal produce. Explore The Ecology Center’s orchard, vegetable and herb gardens before the cooking class. Afterwards, enjoy your creations with the other participants around a big table. This is an adults-only event. Tickets are $45-$55 each.
Twelve Days of Christmas at EATS Kitchen & Bar
Dec. 12th – 23rd at EATS Kitchen & Bar, Hotel Irvine
Chef Jason of EATS Kitchen & Bar has devised some delicious dishes for each of the Twelve days following the cherished Christmas folk song for inspiration. For example, coq au vin (French hens) will be served on day 3, cinnamon toast ice cream (maids a-milking) on day 8 and a pink lady cocktail (ladies dancing) on day 9. Prices vary, call ahead for reservations.
4th Annual OC Santa Crawl
Dec. 12th 1-6pm in Newport Beach
This year’s OC Santa Crawl will benefit the Eli Home Foundation. 7 Newport Beach bars are participating with games and great drink specials at each. Look out for event photo booths as well. Individual general tickets are $30. Groups of 10 or more are just $10 per person. Check out the Yelp event page for a discount code.
10th Annual Newport Beach Santa Pub Crawl
Dec. 12th 9pm in Newport Beach
The other Newport Beach Santa Pub Crawl takes place in the evening along Balboa and Newport Piers with 6 bars at each location. Wristbands are a $10-$20+ donation, which goes directly to charity Project Access. Participants must wear festive attire to purchase a wrist band and take part in drink discounts so don’t skimp on your costume!
Holiday DIY Workshop: Christmas Wreaths and Himmeli Hanging Planters
Dec. 13th 2-5pm at The Portal, Santa Ana
Sip and craft your way to some great holiday décor with The Hello Collective & Grâce Belle. For under $35 you’ll enjoy making a Christmas wreath as well as a stringed succulent plant holder while snacking on refreshments and sipping holiday cocktails. Wrap up the afternoon with a fun holiday photo shoot.
There’s no shortage of holiday festivities in Orange County! If you feel we’ve missed a unique holiday activity, feel free to share it below. Happy Holidays from Better Living SoCal!