Orange County Weekend Events Roundup Dec. 15-18

Find the best Orange County things to do for the weekend of Dec. 15-18

Edited by Laura Okey

Winter Fest OCEVENTS
Winter Fest

Dec. 16-Jan. 1. Brace yourself as winter hits Orange County. Enjoy ice skating, ice tubing, carnival rides, live entertainment, Santa’s furry friends petting zoo and more. Transport yourself to a wintry wonderland in a play park that features real snow for snow angels or snowman building, the world’s largest rocking horse, strolling carolers, personal visits in the cabin home of Mr. and Mrs. Claus and a walk-through holiday light show featuring two million sparkling lights. See website for daily hours. Tickets start at $10. OC Fair & Event Center, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa.



newport-beach-boat-parade-300x1882x-2Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade
Dec. 14-18. Join over a million viewers to see beautifully decorated yachts, boats, kayaks and canoes sailing along the harbor at the 108th annual parade. From fireworks to live entertainment like dancers, music, moving displays and more, it’s the perfect way to ring in Christmas. Each night holds surprise entertainment such as The Voice contestants Nick Hagelin, Peyton Parker and Kylie Rothfield (Friday), and members of the USC Trojan Marching Band (Saturday). See website for full schedule of events. 6:30-9 p.m. Free. See website for map of full parade route. Newport Pier, Newport Beach.



Family Fun at Lido Marina VillageLido Marina Village Boat Parade Viewing
Dec. 14-16. Watch the 108th Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade at Lido Marina Village’s waterfront Main Deck. Enjoy delicious treats provided by Lido Marina Village and live entertainment. The Main Deck will be open for parade viewing all weekend. Arrive early to dine at one of Lido Marina Village’s restaurants. 3434 Via Lido, Newport Beach.





duck-the-hallsDuck the Halls: Watch Party & Family Party
Dec. 17. Meet and take photos with the Anaheim Ducks mascot Wild Wing, the power players and the Ducks street team. Enjoy carnival games and take a shot at winning several prizes. Watch the Anaheim Ducks take on the Detroit Red Wings live at 4 p.m. on two giant screens. 2-7 p.m. Free. Edwards Theatre Courtyard, The Market Place, Tustin, 714.730.4124.





cirque-musicaCirque Musica Holiday Spectacular
Dec. 17. See a fun filled family holiday event featuring the cast of Cirque Musica with all-time favorite holiday songs performed by a live orchestra. Journey into a world of high-flying adventure with amazing acrobats, aerialists, hilarious hi-jinks and holiday cheer. 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $39. Honda Center, 2695 East Katella, Anaheim, 1.800.745.3000.




holiday-movie-nights-pacific-cityHoliday Movie Nights at Pacific City
Dec. 14. Get in the holiday spirit at Pacific City’s holiday movie series. Come early Wednesday nights through December to save your seats and grab a snack—Lemonade and Saint Marc will offer special movie night meals to go. This week’s film is A Christmas Story. Movie begins 7 p.m. Free. 21010 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach.




dana-point-boat-paradeBoat Parade of Lights
Dec. 16-17. Bring the whole family and meet at the waters edge. Watch a spectacular parade of decorated vessels as they cruise through Dana Point Harbor. 7:30 p.m. Dana Point Harbor, 949.923.2255.





the-district-at-tustinWinter Wonderland at The District
Dec. 15. Join Santa in his winter wonderland as snow falls from the sky at The District. In The Promenade, find holiday craft stations, live holiday entertainment, photo opportunities with Santa and special promotions from merchants. 6-8:30 p.m. Free. 2437 Park Ave., Tustin.





Wags and WineWaggin’ Trails and Wine
Dec. 14. Dress yourself and your pup in your best holiday attire for an evening of wine tasting, hors d’oeuvres, chocolate and desserts. Enjoy a silent auction, raffles, live music and tons of pups all while supporting Waggin’ Trails Rescue Foundation. RSVP’s are requested. 6-9 p.m. $35-$45. The Waterfront Beach Resort, A Hilton Hotel, The Tides Ballroom, 21100 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach, 714.328.8661.




Discovery CubeWinter Wonderfest at Discovery Cube
Dec. 17-Jan. 8. Experience a snowstorm of thrills as Discovery Cube hosts its second annual Winter Wonderfest. Learn the science behind sledding down ice ramps, weather and how snow is formed through hands-on activities. The holiday exhibit includes sliding down a 75-foot long ramp on inner tubes, a snow play area and real snow sledding. Build snow castles, snowmen, snow angels and all kinds of frosty creations. The Snow Meets Science learning station will include animal adaptations to the cold, the three states of water and cloud in a bottle. $5-$7. Discovery Cube Orange County, 2500 N. Main St., Santa Ana, 714.542.2823.



molly-wood-fresh-greensMolly Wood Garden Design’s Fresh Greens Tabletop Workshop
Dec. 16. Molly Wood Garden Design owner Molly Wood will show you creative ways on how to use gorgeous fresh greens to create stylish tablescapes in your home for the holidays. 11 a.m., 1 p.m. Free. 1661 Orange Ave., Costa Mesa, 949.548.1611.




Winter FantasyWinter Fantasy
Through Dec. 18. The Sawdust Festival grounds have been transformed into a winter wonderland—don’t miss your last chance this year to experience it yourself. See 175 artists display and sell their creations as holiday gifts. Enjoy food, live holiday entertainment, art classes, a petting zoo and of course—Santa Claus. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. $7. 935 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, 949.494.3030.





socoCelebrate the Holidays at SOCO and The OC Mix
Dec. 18. Enjoy free, family-friendly days filled with photos with Santa, a festive photo booth, live music and holiday activities. Complimentary gift-wrapping will be available for holiday shoppers for a suggested donation to benefit Project Hope Alliance. In addition, MaxLove Project will host arts and crafts and a book drive for CHOC Hospital. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. 3303 Hyland Ave., Costa Mesa, 949.760.9150.





25-days-of-giving-pacific-cityPacific City’s 25 Days of Giving
Through Dec. 25. See a life-sized, advent-style holiday countdown calendar with surprises behind each door—one opened each day of the season. Behind the doors you’ll find inspirational messages, special offers, information on shopping events to benefit local charities and more. In addition, throughout the month of December, the Pacific City Pedal Squad will perform random acts of giving. The squad will roam Pacific City to offer shoppers fun, pop-up style holiday entertainment, free gifts and also awarding lucky shoppers and diners merchandise and food “on the house.” Free.  21010 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach.



Irvine Spectrum HolidayHoliday Tree Light Show
Through Dec. 24.
See Irvine Spectrum Center’s brand new 50-foot, LED Christmas tree with animated lights as it “performs” a choreographed light show set to holiday music every 30 minutes nightly from 5-11 p.m. Free. Irvine Spectrum, Edwards Court, 670 Spectrum Center Drive, Irvine, 949.753.5180.




ralph-brennans-jazz-kitchenHoliday Gingerbread Workshops at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen
Dec. 17-18. ‘Tis almost the season! Start a new tradition or carry on a time-honored institution at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen—Holiday Gingerbread House Building Workshops. Purchase tickets online for $48, which includes the gingerbread kit (gingerbread house, candy, a chef’s hat, two jingle bells) plus two seats and unlimited sodas. Reserve additional seats for $18 per seat. Downtown Disney District, 1590 S. Disneyland Drive, Anaheim, 714.563.7261.




saint-marcFOOD + DRINK
Saint Marc Anniversary Whiskey Dinner & Celebration
Dec. 15. Join Saint Marc at Pacific City in celebrating its one-year anniversary. Start mid-day with a cake cutting ceremony—an enormous red SOLO velvet cake made fresh with mousse, raspberries and cream cheese—along with a Jell-O shot toast. Jell-O shots and all 11 signature bacon “buy” the slice will be $1 all day long. At 6 p.m., you’re invited to participate in a whiskey toast, just before an exclusive whiskey dinner at 6:30 p.m. Menu highlights include scallop ceviche, pork cheek ravioli, smoked bone marrow brulee and more, all paired with the perfect whiskies. Featured master mixologists Thomas (Mac) McFarland Gregory III and Kent Bearden will guide you through the evening’s coursed menu. Following the dinner, Saint Marc will take the celebration into the night by hosting its nightly Americana House Party from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Whiskey dinner 6:30 p.m. Reservations required. 21058 Pacific Coast Hwy., Suite M230, Huntington Beach, 714.374.1101.




the-ritz-prime-seafoodDine & View Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade
Dec. 14-Dec. 18. Reserve prime seats for the annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade at The Ritz Prime Seafood. Indulge on a three-course dinner as troops of festively lit boats of all sizes launch each evening from nearby Bay Island along Mariner’s Mile. The chef’s special menu for the first seating features appetizer choices of kabocha squash bisque or Caesar salad and entrees of either pan seared Scottish salmon with sweet potato croquette, pan seared Jidori chicken breast with fennel and polenta or eight-ounce filet Mignon with potato puree and wild mushrooms and vanilla bean panna cotta for dessert. The second seating will offer a few more options including 16-ounce prime rib eye with carrot puree, bone marrow butter and a mini baked potato. 5 p.m.; 7:30 p.m. First seating $90; Second seating $125. The Ritz Prime Seafood, 2801 West Coast Hwy., Newport Beach, 949.720.1800.




lighthouse-bayview-cafeLighthouse Bayview Cafe Boat Parade Viewing
Dec. 14-18. Celebrate Lighthouse Bayview Cafe’s one-year anniversary with prime seating for the Newport Beach Boat Parade and a special three-course menu. Menu highlights include fried calamari with chili orange sauce and main entree choices like stout beer braised short ribs with wild mushroom and pea polenta; or a maple glazed pork chop served with caramelized apple puree, roasted root vegetables and chili apple gastrique. Dessert finishes strong with a choice of cinnamon sugar beignets filled with cream cheese icing or chocolate cake s’mores-style with toasted meringue, graham cracker streusel and whipped cream. Call for reservations. Adults $35, children $8. Marina Park, 1600 West Balboa Blvd., 949.933.1001.




baysideBayside Restaurant Boat Parade Libations & Viewing
Dec. 14-18. Sip warm holiday cocktails while taking in the spectacular lights of the Newport Beach Boat Parade. Bayside Restaurant is introducing a limited warm cocktail list that includes a pumpkin spice latte with Bailey’s Pumpkin Spice, house-brewed coffee and steamed milk; spiked hot cocoa with Patron XO and housemade hot chocolate; and Irishman’s Coffee with Bushmills Irish Whiskey, Kerrygold Irish Cream, coffee and a dab of whipped cream. $12. 900 Bayside Drive, Newport Beach, 949.721.1222.




mix-mixHappy Hour at Mix Mix Kitchen Bar
Enjoy happy hour specials at the brand new Mix Mix Kitchen Bar. Specials include $2 off snacks like chef Ross Pangilinan’s chorizo and potato croquettes, cheese steak fries and lamb meat balls and special offers on libations such as $2 off wines by the glass, $5 beer of the day and $8 signature cocktails. Tu-F 5-7 p.m. 300 N. Main St., Santa Ana, 714.836.5158.





eats-kitchen-bar_patioTwelve Days of Christmas
Dec. 12-23. Begin your Christmas feasting to the tune of everyone’s favorite ditty, “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” At Eats Kitchen, it starts with the chef’s version of “A Partridge in a Pear Tree,” presented as roasted Scottish partridge with an anjou pear and Gorgonzola tart. Other items include day five’s “Five Golden Rings”—feast on five golden Berliner housemade doughnuts with blackberry sauce and chocolate soil. And on the last day “Twelve Drummers Drumming,” taste grilled spiced chicken wings and drumsticks with shishito peppers and chile gastrique polished off with Julian Hard Cider. Call for reservations. EATS Kitchen + Bar, Hotel Irvine, 17900 Jamboree Road, Irvine, 949.225.6780.





nutcracker-clara-nutcrackerARTS + CULTURE
Festival Ballet Theatre: The Nutcracker
Through Dec. 24.
See the cherished classic, The Nutcracker by Festival Ballet Theatre. The breathtaking, family-friendly production features superb colorful scenery and dazzling costumes, which make this age-old tradition sparkle like new. The Sugar Plum Fairy, heroine Clara and a cast of hundreds will take the audience on a magical journey to mystical lands, to the grandeur of Tchaikovsky’s iconic score. See website for showtimes. $42-$55. Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine, 949.854.4646.





sleeping-beautySleeping Beauty
Through Dec. 30. Relive a childhood favorite as Sleeping Beauty comes to life on stage. Princess Aurora has a curse put on her by an evil fairy Carabosse—she pricks her finger on a spindle and falls asleep for 100 years. A handsome prince saves the day by defeating the wicked fairy and giving Aurora a true love kiss. See website for showtimes. Tickets start at $45. Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, 949.497.2787.






American Ballet Theater NutcrackerAmerican Ballet Theatre: The Nutcracker
Through Dec. 18. Fulfill a holiday tradition as American Ballet Theatre and Segerstrom Center for the Arts present Alexei Ratmansky’s production of The Nutcracker. A cast of more than 100 performers will take audiences on a dreamlike adventure amid colorful, larger-than-life scenery, dancing toy soldiers, mischievous mice, sparkling snowflakes and a glittering Christmas tree. See website for showtimes. Tickets start at $29. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.556.2787.