Comedy, concerts, cruises, carolers and beyond—find it all on our list of top Orange County weekend events for Dec. 20-25.
Edited by Laura Okey.
Winter Fest OC
Starts Dec. 20. This annual festival features more than 20 wintry activities including outdoor ice skating at SoCal’s largest outdoor ice rink, ice tubing, a significantly upgraded snow play area with real snow, a re-imagined Festival of Lights, flying Santa and nightly fireworks. New this year are Alpine Village, the Snowmazing Maze, model train exhibits and live entertainment. See website for schedule and prices. OC Fair & Event Center, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, 657.333.2520. winterfestoc.com
Dec. 22. Escape the holiday madness with some of SoCal’s funniest comics for a comedy pop-up event. The talented lineup includes Jak Knight (Netflix’s Big Mouth), Kurt Metzger (Inside Amy Schumer), Annie Lederman (Chelsea Lately and Girl Code), and Caleb Synan (Last Comic Standing). 21+. Two drink minimum. Doors 7 p.m.; showtime 8 p.m. $15+. Rec Room (Inside Glow Zone), 7227 Edinger Ave., Huntington Beach. comedypopupla.com
Orange Home Grown Artists Alley
Dec. 22. The annual event features handmade artisan goods from painters, sculptors, jewelers and designers. Shop locally grown produce and treats, and find the perfect unique gifts for the holidays. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Free. 303 W. Palm Ave., Orange. orangehomegrown.org
Disney on Ice
Through Dec. 23. Five Disney heroines—including Moana, making her Disney-on-Ice debut—come together to share their adventures. Discover your inner hero with Disney classic characters— Rapunzel, Elsa, Mickey and friends—on ice! See website for showtimes. $25+. Honda Center, 2695 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim, 714.704.2500. hondacenter.com
California Country Christmas Concert
Dec. 20. Head to House of Blues Anaheim for the 5th annual Country Christmas Concert that benefits the Spark of Love toy drive. Country-music fans will dance to an unforgettable night of ’90s tunes performed by 24 of SoCal’s top country artists, including Daniel Bonte & The Bona Fide, Alice Walace, Jake Parr and more. Doors 6:30 p.m. Free admission with unwrapped toy donation. 400 Disney Way, Suite 337, Anaheim, 714.778.2583. houseofblues.com
Christmas Concert at Mile Square Park
Dec. 22. Enjoy an evening under the stars at Mile Square Park’s inaugural Christmas Concert. The event features family-friendly holiday music from local choirs and the world-renowned All-American Boys Chorus, along with face-painting, sing-alongs and free reindeer antlers for audience members. 5-7 p.m. Free. Freedom Hall, Mile Square Park (entrance on Edinger), 16801 Euclid St., Fountain Valley, 714.834.3110. More Info.
“A Christmas Carol”
Dec. 22. Recapture the spirit of an old-fashioned Christmas with this timeless Dickens classic and all your favorite characters—Tiny Tim and the Cratchit family, the Fezziwigs, the ghosts of Christmas past, present and yet-to-come—and, as always, Hal Landon Jr. as Ebenezer Scrooge. See website for showtimes. $56+. South Coast Repertory, 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.708.5555. scr.org
Irvine Park Railroad’s Christmas Train
Dec. 22. The annual Christmas Train will depart every 15 minutes from the festively-lit train station to deliver passengers to the North Pole. Venture through Santa’s Village, featuring carnival games, story time with Mrs. Claus, ice fishing and Christmas cookie decorating. Tickets must be purchased online. See website for all departure times. $15. Parking $3-$5; free after 5 p.m. Irvine Park Railroad, 1 Irvine Park Road, Orange. irvineparkrailroad.com
Nightmare Before Christmas Brews Cruise
Dec. 22. Cruise from Long Beach to Catalina, inspired by the classic movie The Nightmare Before Christmas. The Catalina Classic King Yacht will transform into Halloween Town, featuring unlimited samples of 20 local varieties of winter, pumpkin and holiday ales. Enjoy live music from the Skeleton Sisters, karaoke, food and a photo op with Captain Jack Skeleton. 6:30-10 p.m. $46+. Catalina Classic Cruises, 1046 Queens Hwy., Long Beach, 562.495.3566. Tickets.
Tis the Season!
Dec. 22. Pacific Chorale and Pacific Symphony convene with the Southern California Children’s Chorus to present a grand, joyous holiday concert. Hear renditions of favorite holiday classics, including “A Holly Jolly Christmas” and “Silent Night.” 5 p.m.$29-$140. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.662.2345. scfta.org
Newport Beach Boat Parade Celebration
Through Dec. 23. In addition to prime viewing for the boat parade, the Mexican-Christmas-Fiesta-themed event offers Mexican dinner buffets, family activities, carolers and other live entertainment. All donations benefit troops, veterans and their families. Reservations encouraged. Doors 4 p.m.; dinner 5 p.m.; boat parade, approximately 6:45 p.m. Suggested donations: $29 Adults, $12 Children 10 and under. The American Legion on Balboa Peninsula, 215 15th St., Newport Beach, 949.554.4914. al291.com
Grasslands Christmas Eve Dinner
Dec. 24. Let Grasslands serve you this Christmas Eve with a family-style feast. Indulge in holiday specials such as “prime ribs” and Grasslands house favorites including pulled pork chimichurri and barbecued brisket. Choose among seasonal sides such as apple-sausage stuffing. 2-9 p.m. 400 W. Disney Way, Suite 199, Anaheim, 657.208.1133. grasslandsusa.com
Queen Mary Holiday Dinner Shows
Through Dec. 24. Find your Christmas cheer aboard the Queen Mary. Enjoy holiday dinner shows featuring festive tunes from The Holiday Follies or American Bombshells, complete with a holiday-inspired three-course dinner. The whole family will be entertained with modern arrangements of holiday classics such as “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” 6-8 p.m. $80+. The Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Hwy., Long Beach, 562.499.1739. queenmary.com
Heirloom Farmhouse Kitchen Christmas Dinner
Dec. 25. Marriott Irvine Spectrum’s signature restaurant is serving up specialties from Executive Chef Paolo Buffa. Appetizers include purple cauliflower puree with saffron beurre blanc and roasted fennel, or crab cakes. Entree choices include grilled filet mignon with butter poached lobster tail, Chilean seabass, and a classic Surf n’ Turf. For dessert, indulge with Christmas cake and cookies. Call for reservations. 7905 Irvine Center Drive, Irvine, 949.759.0200. marriott.com
Studio at Montage Laguna Beach Christmas Dinner
Dec. 25. Feast on a chef-driven four-course tasting menu this Christmas at Montage Laguna Beach’s acclaimed restaurant. The seasonally-inspired menu includes roasted heirloom beet salad, crispy chicken ballotine, roasted filet of beef with accompaniments and hucklebrry beef jus. Studio’s customary á la carte menu will also be available. To toast the holiday, a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Champagne will be served for every two adult guests. 4-10 p.m. $175 adults, $80 ages 13-20, $50 children 4-12. 30801 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, 949.715.6420. montagehotels.com
FOOD + DRINK
National Sangria Day
Dec. 20. Sip on award-winning sangria from Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen and enjoy a $2 discount in honor of National Sangria Day. The signature traditional sangria is made with red wine and orange liqueur and infused with fresh tropical and citrus fruits. 110 W. Birch St., Brea, 714.255.1040; 13126 Jamboree Road, Irvine, 714.408.7819. chachaslatinkitchen.com
Sweet Rolled Tacos Grand Opening
Dec. 22. Taco and ice cream lovers are invited to indulge in a fantastical culinary union—tacos and ice cream—at Sweet Rolled Tacos’ grand opening celebration. All day long customers receive a special “buy one, get one” offer to sample specialty items. 11:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m. DJ 6-8 p.m. 3910 E. Chapman Ave., Orange, 714.300.4607. sweetrolledtacos.com
ARTS + CULTURE
“Emma: The Musical”
Through Dec. 23. Jane Austen’s novel Emma is now a romantic-comedy musical. The story revolves around a well-meaning but disaster-prone matchmaker who ignores her own romantic feelings while setting out to find a suitor for her friend. Her efforts go awry, of course, leading to comic complications. See website for showtimes and ticket prices. Cripe Stage at Chance Theater, Bette Aitken Theater Arts Center, 5522 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim, Tickets
Photos: Sweet Rolled Tacos courtesy @sweetrolledtacos/Instagram. Comedy Pop Up courtesy @comedypopup/Instagram. Newport Beach Boat Parade Celebration courtesy American Legion. Nightmare Before Christmas Brews Cruise courtesy Rock Star Beer Festivals. Queen Mary courtesy The ACE Agency. House of Blues courtesy Live Nation. “A Christmas Carol” courtesy South Coast Repertory. Mile Square Park courtesy The ACE Agency. Heirloom Farmhouse Kitchen courtesy J Public Relations. Montage courtesy MCPR. National Sangria Day courtesy Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen.