Orange County

Weekend roundup

December 2-5


Blood drive at The District at Tustin Legacy photo courtesy The District at Tustin Legacy

Blood Drive at The District at Tustin Legacy

Dec. 4. With an ever-increasing need for blood donations, The District at Tustin Legacy is once again partnering with Southern California Blood Bank Mobile to host a blood drive on Saturday near Lowe’s and Lucille’s Bar-B-Que. Also in attendance at the drive will be Dolce Gelato to give a $5 Dolce Gelato gift card to each donor at the event. Photo ID required and arrive hydrated. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. 2437 Park Ave., Tustin, 844.380.5220.

Night of Lights OC photo courtesy Night of Lights OC

Night of Lights OC

Now Open. Grab your tickets for the return of drive-through winter-wonderland experience Night of Lights OC at the OC Fair & Event Center! Guests will enjoy in the safety of their own vehicle a 1-mile-long magical interactive drive-thru, family-friendly wonderland illuminated by more than one million lights. Guests can enhance their experience by preordering (or purchasing on-site) seasonal items from the food and drink menu. See website for dates, time slots and prices. 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa.

Casa Lumina Holiday Walk 2021 photo courtesy Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens

Casa Lumina Holiday Walk

Through Dec. 22. Experience the wonder of the holiday season during Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens’ annual Christmas light display on select evenings. Delight in the holiday decorations and more than 1,000 twinkling lights illuminating Casa Romantica’s gardens with festive themes. Every night will include letters to Santa, live holiday music, cookies, and hot chocolate and wine. Capacity is limited; reserve your tickets now. Open nightly 5-7 p.m. $12 general admission, $8 members, free for children 12 and under. 415 Avenida Granada, San Clemente, 949.498.2139.

Food + Drink

Different flavors of churro from Churriño Gourmet Churros & Gelato photo courtesy Churriño Gourmet Churros & Gelato

Churriño Gourmet Churros & Gelato

Opens Dec. 4. Sweeten your weekend plans by attending the grand opening celebration of Churriño’s second SoCal store on Saturday from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Located within the Collage culinary experience at South Coast Plaza, Churriño offers an inventive “build-your-own churro” menu inviting guests to choose from Churriño’s favorites, three churro creations recommended by Churriño’s churro expert, or customize their own creation. During the grand opening, look forward to festivities such as DJ entertainment, special promotions, giveaways. M-Th noon-8 p.m., F-Sa noon-9 p.m., Su noon-7 p.m. 3333 S. Bristol St., Costa Mesa.

Gracias Madre's Parm Pastor Rolled Tacos with crispy Follow Your Heart dairy-free Parmesan cheese rolled around the signature al pastor oyster mushrooms on a basil pesto dressed mixed greens and topped with chipotle crema photo courtesy JS2 PR

Gracias Madre’s New Dinner and Cocktail Menu

Now Available. Get a taste of new dinner menu items and cocktails at Cafe Gratitude’s sister restaurant Gracias Madre in Newport Beach. The dinner menu features all-new dishes created by chef Justin Haefler, including the Parm Pastor Tacos (pictured) made with with crispy Follow Your Heart dairy-free Parmesan cheese; and the Mole and Mushroom Tamales. Pair your meal with new cocktails by beverage director Kacie Lambert, such as the Conejo, Magnífica Royale, La Sandia Paloma and more. Su-Th 2-9 p.m., F-Sa 2-10 p.m. 1617 Westcliff Drive, Newport Beach, 949.386.8100.

Arts + Culture

"A Charlie Brown Christmas" 2019 production at Chance Theater photo courtesy Chance Theater

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Dec. 3-19. Bring the family to enjoy the holiday classic at Chance Theater! Created by Charles M. Schulz and based on the television special by Bill Melendez and Lee Mendelson, this stage adaptation by Eric Schaeffer is presented by special arrangement with Arthur Whitelaw and Ruby Persson, and directed by resident artist James McHale. Note: Proof of full vaccination required or must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to entering the theater; Masks required at all times. See website for showtimes. $20-$35. Bette Aitken theater arts Center, 5522 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim, 888.455.4212.

Exterior shot of Laguna Playhouse with the banner for "Robin Hood & Maid Marion – A Holiday Panto" photo courtesy Laguna Playhouse

Robin Hood & Maid Marion: A Holiday Panto

Dec. 3-29. Give the kiddos an adventure to remember at Laguna Playhouse’s production of Robin Hood & Maid Marion: A Holiday Panto. Highlighting comedy, action and audience participation, this classic tale is getting a modern makeover twist in this year’s panto (short for pantomime) with a soundtrack of Disco hits and dance anthems from the ‘70s (the 1170’s). Featured disco tunes include Donna Summer’s “Bad Girls,” The Bee Gees’ “Jive Talkin’”, “He’s the Greatest Dancer’ by Sister Sledge and more. See website for showtimes and prices. 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, 949.497.2787.

Pacific Chorale's Carols by Candlelight photo by Drew Kelley

Pacific Chorale’s “Carols by Candlelight”

Dec. 4, 8. Pacific Chorale rings in the holidays with two performances of “Carols by Candlelight,” a lush compilation of timeless seasonal choral music from the Renaissance and beyond on Saturday and Dec. 8 at Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church. Look forward to arrangements of beloved classics such as I Wonder as I Wander, Ding! Dong! Merrily on High, Silent Night, and God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen, as well as works by noted 20th-century English composers and contemporary composers. 8 p.m. $25-$70. 2100 Mar Vista Drive, Newport Beach, 714.662.2345.

Photo credits: Gracias Madre courtesy JS2 PR. Pacific Chorale by Drew Kelley. All other images are courtesy of the businesses and venues.

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