Aliso Viejo Tree Lighting
Dec. 1. The 5th Annual All is Bright Holiday Celebration & Tree Lighting Ceremony takes place this Thursday evening in Aliso Viejo Town Center. Enjoy holiday cheer, train rides, ornament making, community and aerial performances, magical snowfall, and a visit from jolly ole St. Nick as the city lights its 22-foot tree. Thursday, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. 26901 Aliso Creek Rd., Aliso Viejo. avcity.org
Sleigh the Holidays
Dec. 4. Dana Point’s biggest local holiday shopping festival on Del Prado Ave. Come see why The Pop-Up Shoppes is one of Orange County’s best groups for an event like this. Sleigh the Holidays with live performances, local food & beverages, a curated local market, Sleigh Bars, Santa & The Grinch, VIP Tasting Room, Holiday Light Show, & Family-Friendly Fun. Admission is free. 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Del Prado Ave, Dana Point. More Info
Hikari – A Festival of Lights
Now Open. Loosely translated, Hikari means “shine” in Japanese, and this holiday season the team at Tanaka Farms has really made things shine with over a million twinkling lights for the whole family to enjoy. Entry gates open at 4:30 p.m. and close at 8 p.m. and Hikari itself closes at 10 p.m. Reservations are required and can be made here. 5380 3/4 University Dr., Irvine, 949.653.2100. tanakafarms.com
Food + Drink
Bloom Begins Service in San Juan
Dec. 2. The newest restaurant offering from the team behind established destinations Olea, Vine, and Ironwood opens its doors this weekend. Bloom, located in the heart of San Juan Capistrano, is an all-encompassing Wine Country dining experience, featuring craft cocktails, an extensive wine list, and craft beer selections. Doors open at Friday, 4:30 p.m. 31760 Old Mission Rd a, San Juan Capistrano. bloomsanjuancapistrano.com
Elimination Begins at OC Local
Dec. 3. Rise and shine and put on your best red, white, and blue. FIFA World Cup knockout matches begin and The United States squares off against The Netherlands this Saturday. OC Local Taproom has you covered as they will be opening their doors at 6:30 a.m. for fans to get a good seat. Kickoff this Saturday, 7 a.m. 30100 Town Center Drive, Suite A, Laguna Niguel. oclocaltaproom.com
The Naughty List VIP Tasting Room
Dec. 4. The Dana Point Sleigh the Holidays Team welcomes you to The Naughty List. Located at Prado Square in the historic Lantern District, enjoy our courtyard tasting room featuring a curated selection of esteemed spirit brands like Johnnie Walker, Tequila Cabal, Libre Tequila, and more. Enjoy complimentary bites, live entertainment, guest appearances by The Grinch, and a Premium craft cocktail bar. $25. Sunday, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. Tickets can be purchased here. Prado West on Amber Lantern 34137 California 1 #100, Dana Point.
Arts + Culture
American Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker!
Coming Soon. SoCal’s favorite holiday tradition returns to Segerstrom Center December 9 – 18 only! This dazzling feast for the senses features ABT’s superstar dancers along with gorgeous sets and costumes and Pacific Symphony playing Tchaikovsky’s timeless score! See why this production has been called “A Nutcracker without parallel” and “Jaw-droppingly gorgeous” by the OC Register! 6600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.556.2787. scfta.org
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s Wild and Swingin’ Holiday Party
Dec. 1. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s unique and spirited “Wild and Swingin’ Holiday Party” has become an anticipated annual family event throughout the country. Drawing on a rich catalog of holiday classics and Christmas originals from the band’s two full-length holiday albums, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s fun and quirky take on the holidays includes classic holiday songs. 8 p.m. Tickets are $65 – $140 and can be purchased here. 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine, 949.854.4646. thebarclay.org
Book Signing: The Widow With Kaira Rouda
Dec. 1. Join award-winning USA Today and Amazon Charts bestselling author Kaira Rouda, for a discussion and signing of her latest novel, The Widow. Visceral and alluring, The Widow is a riveting novel about marriage, privilege, and lies in the cutthroat world of international politics. The event will consist of a brief talk with Rouda about the novel, the tradition of the widow’s mandate, and more. Thursday, 5 p.m. 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach. lagunaartmuseum.org
Sara Evans: Go Tell it on the Mountain
Dec. 4. Anchored by her insightful songwriting and warm, evocative voice, country music superstar Sara Evans brings the spirit of the holidays to a concert featuring traditional Christmas songs and her greatest hits. Her signature sound encompasses a broad range of accessible county styles. 7 p.m. Tickets are $30 – $125 and can be purchased here. 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine, 949.854.4646. thebarclay.org
Photo credits: All other images are courtesy of the businesses and venues.