Happy Holidays, OC! The Top Orange County Winter Events – Part 1

Although the weather may have been saying otherwise, we are fast approaching the holidays, Orange County! Leading up to Christmas and New Years, the area lights up with fun events for the whole family. We’ve got the top Orange County winter events this year for you in two parts. Read on and enjoy the season’s festivities!

Irvine Park Railroad Christmas Train lights - top Orange County Winter events

1. Christmas Train, Irvine Park Railroad

December 1st – 23rd

Monday – Friday: 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Saturday and Sunday: 10:00 am – 9:00 pm

1 Irvine Park Road, Orange, CA 92869

One of Irvine’s most treasured holiday activities, the Irvine Park Railroad Christmas Train takes visitors on an enchanted ride to meet Santa Claus at the North Pole! Purchase tickets online ahead of time and then stop by to ride the train and enjoy other activities including story time with Mrs. Claus, Christmas cookie decorating, carnival games, a moon bounce and more. Refreshments are available for purchase at the North Pole. The train station restaurant offers a full lunch and dinner menu.

Santa Ana Zoo logo

2. Winter Zoobilation, Santa Ana Zoo at Prentice Park

December 1st – 31st (closed Christmas Day)

Monday – Sunday: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

1221 West Coast Highway, Newport Beach, CA 92663

The Santa Ana Zoo will be transformed into a winter wonderland with holiday décor and falling snow. It’s the perfect time to visit the zoo! Find more information here.

Balboa Bay Tree Lighting Ceremony with live orchestra

3. Tree Lighting Ceremony, Balboa Bay Resort

December 1st, 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

1221 West Coast Highway, Newport Beach, CA 92663

A free event for everyone, parking costs may apply. Feel the joy as the great Christmas tree and Resort light up with thousands of twinkling lights and holiday décor, accompanied by a live holiday musical performance and a visit from Santa. Click here for more information.

Dana Point Harbor Christmas Festival

4. Holiday in the Harbor, Dana Point Harbor

December 2nd, 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm

34624 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, CA 92629

A free event for everyone. Dana Wharf, Mariners Village and Mariner’s Alley at Dana Point Harbor will host family holiday activities including photos with Santa, performances, holiday crafts, people painting, carolers and more, all free! View the event flier for more information.

Seal Beach Christmas Parade

5. Seal Beach Christmas Parade, Main Street Seal Beach

December 2nd, 7:00 pm – 8:45 pm

Main Street & Ocean Avenue, Seal Beach, CA 90740

A free event for everyone. The Seal Beach Christmas Parade, run by the Seal Beach Lions Club, will celebrate this year’s theme of “A Red, White and Blue Christmas.” The parade route will run along Main street from Ocean Avenue to Pacific Coast highway. The event will highlight local youth groups, sports groups, first responders, schools, businesses and other organizations. This year more than 17,000 attendees are expected on Main Street to celebrate.

Victorian Christmas illustration

6. 35th Annual Victorian Christmas, Heritage Hill Historical Park

December 3rd, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

25151 Serrano Road, Lake Forest, CA 92630

Heritage Hill will host its 35th and final Victorian Christmas celebration this year. The park’s four historic buildings will be festively decorated for the season with live music and dance performances, Santa visits, local craft vendors and treats available for purchase. Participate in hands-on activities including Christmas ornament and card making, candle dipping, butter churning, Victorian-inspired crafts and games and cookie decorating with Mrs. Claus.

7. Snow Wonderland, Anaheim Indoor Marketplace

December 4th, 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

1440 S. Anaheim Blvd, Anaheim, CA 92805

A free event for everyone. The Anaheim Indoor Marketplace will have over 25 tons of snow for families to play in! Enjoy live entertainment, free hot chocolate, crafts and giveaways. The marketplace’s many shops will be open during the festivities for visitors to browse.

Snow Day Irvine Spectrum Center

8. Snow Day, Irvine Spectrum Center

December 10th, 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

71 Fortune Drive, Irvine, CA 92618

A free event for everyone. Active Ride Shop will bring real snow and fun to the Edwards Courtyard at the Irvine Spectrum mall. Kids can play in the snow and to learn to snowboard on a mini-hill. Snap some festive pictures in the Active Ride Shop photo booth. Don’t miss a photo opportunity with Wild Wing and the Power Players from the Anaheim Ducks in the afternoon. This is one of the top Orange County winter events not to miss! Get more information here.

Snoopy House Christmas in front of Costa Mesa City Hall

9. Annual Snoopy House, Costa Mesa City Hall

December 10th – 23rd, 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm

77 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

A free event for everyone. The Snoopy House is celebrating its 50th anniversary! The attraction has been an Orange County tradition since 1966 and attracts an estimated 80,000 visitors annually. The Costa Mesa City Council took over the tradition in 2011. The holiday display features “Peanuts” characters in holiday scenes nightly. Opening night will be December 10th with a formal presentation at 5:00 pm. Santa will be available for free photos from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Refreshments may be available for purchase from fundraising organizations. First-come, first-served. Click here for more information.

Old World Weiner Dog Race in Huntington Beach

10. Winter Wonderland Weiner Dog Race Classic, Old World

December 11th, 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

7561 Center Avenue, Huntington Beach, CA 92647

Who wouldn’t want to watch some silly pups trot and waggle their way to top dog? Great for the whole family, including the dog (on the dog-friendly patio)! To get more information or sign up your own pup, click here.

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