No matter what age you are, there is something exciting to partake in in Orange County this week. From festive stage shows to Christmas tree lightings and visits with Santa, the holiday is in full swing. But, beyond that, special kid’s programs facilitate learning, an art fair offers a place to purchase holiday gifts and a tea blending class gives you something with which to fill your mugs this December.

Monday, November 27
knotts merry farm1 Best Events & Activities This Week In Orange County   November 27

(credit: Knotts Berry Farm)


Knott’s Merry Farm
Knott’s Berry Farm, Brea
www.knotts.com

Explore the special Christmas celebration at this local beloved theme park. Guests will be treated to a variety of holiday fun, from the Snoopy on Ice Christmas show to falling snow each night in Ghost Town. Santa’s Christmas Cabin is the perfect place to sample holiday treats, with offerings like milk and cookies, tamales, egg nog, seasonal craft beers and chocolate covered cheesecake topped with peppermint. Meet and greets with Santa also take place here.
 
Screening of “Loving Vincent”
The Frida Cinema, Santa Ana
www.thefridacinema.org

Each of the 65,000 frames in this film, which depicts the life and death of Vincent Van Gogh, is an oil painting in and of itself, put together to create the first film of its kind. A team of more than 100 painters helped to create the movie, which was painted with techniques similar to those used by Van Gogh himself. There are showings at 5:30, 7:30 and 9:45 p.m.
 
“An Irish Christmas”
Irvine Barclay Theatre, Irvine
www.thebarclay.org

Singing and dancing join together in this festive stage show that is sure to delight audiences of all ages this week. The traditional Irish show combines a cast of award-winning Irish dancers and authentic music with an electric energy that makes for a memorable show. Songs that are scheduled to be performed include “Carol of the Bells” and “Ave Maria.”

Tuesday, November 28
shutterstock 285116435 Best Events & Activities This Week In Orange County   November 27

(credit: JeniFoto/Shutterstock)


Celebrate National French Toast Day
Farmer Boys, Various Locations
www.farmerboys.com

Enjoy French toast all day long—for one day only, Farmer Boys is offering discounted French toast in honor of National French Toast Day. Local diners can celebrate with three made-to-order slides of toast topped with cinnamon and powdered sugar plus a dollop of whipped cream for only $3.99.
 
Restoration Stewardship
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Laguna Beach
www.ocparks.com

OC Parks partners with the Laguna Canyon Foundation for this restoration event that will help reinvigorate the local habitat for native plants and wildlife in the canyon. From 8:30-11 a.m., volunteers will help with things like collecting seeds, picking up trash, planting native plants and removing non-native plants.
 
Surf City Nights
Main Street, Huntington Beach
www.surfcitynights.com

This free event is the perfect way to spend a Tuesday night. Though the weather has started to cool off, bundle up and head down to the beach to experience live street music and nearly 100 unique vendors and artisans. There is also an international food court and activities for kids.

Wednesday, November 29
1639 34 pacific city lifescapes ericfiggephotos1 Best Events & Activities This Week In Orange County   November 27

(Credit: Eric Figge Photos)


“Polaroid Stories”
CSU Long Beach University Theatre, Long Beach
www.csulb.edu

Naomi Iizuka presents “Polaroid Stories,” a contemporary CSULB stage show that combines classical mythology with stories about homeless youth. By using storytelling to transform their realities and survive the system that won’t help them, they help the audience contemplate the myths we create about ourselves.
 
Fall Tea Blending Class
Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens, San Clemente
www.casaromantica.org

Tea is the perfect drink for cold fall nights, and this workshop will help you get in the autumn spirit. Participants will practice brewing techniques while learning about the health benefits tea offers. There will also be samples on-site from the Lavender Lounge Tea Company, and each visitor will create two of their own fall tea blends to take home.
 
Screening of “Nightmare Before Christmas”
Pacific City, Huntington Beach
www.gopacificcity.com

Whether you’ve got children or simply love Disney classics, head down to Pacific City to watch one of the most beloved children’s Christmas movies. “The Nightmare Before Christmas” features Jack Skellington, a member of Halloweentown who ventures into Christmastown and attempts to bring the jolly holiday to his own world.

Thursday, November 30
 Best Events & Activities This Week In Orange County   November 27

(Credit: JWS)


Planet Beauty Annual Charity Mixer
Planet Beauty, Dana Point
www.planetbeauty.com

In honor of the beauty store’s 25th anniversary, 25 percent of the proceeds from this annual mixer will be donated to CHOC Children’s Hospital. The event will also include $10,000 worth of auction items, and anyone who spends at least $100 at the store will earn a special swag bag.
 
In Person: Dan McCleary
Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach
www.lagunaartmuseum.org

In conjunction with the current exhibit “Dan McCleary: Prints from Oaxaca,” artist Dan McCleary will visit the museum for a talk on Thursday evening. The Los Angeles-based artist travels to Mexico frequently to work with master printer Fernando Sandoval. The results are various paintings and drawings that depict people, sugar skulls and more.
 
Fresh Holiday Wreath Workshop
Roger’s Gardens, Corona del Mar
www.rogersgardens.com

Enjoy a festive workshop led by arrangement designer and horticulturalist Kathleen Nestell on Thursday night. Each guest will create his or her own Christmas wreath, with all materials and instruction included in the workshop fee.

Friday, December 1
o5 Best Events & Activities This Week In Orange County   November 27

(credit: Hayley H./yelp)


Winter Zoobilation
Santa Ana Zoo, Santa Ana
www.santaanazoo.org

With the start of December comes Winter Zoobilation, where the zoo will be transformed with handcrafted holiday decorations; even the train and carousel will be adorned with Christmas décor. In addition, expect special weekend entertainment throughout the month and plenty of animal-themed gifts in the zoo store that serve as great Christmas presents.
 
Vue Newport Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting
Vue Front Plaza, Newport Beach
www.vuenewport.com

This new bayfront housing community invites the public to enjoy the holidays at their very first tree lighting ceremony this Friday night. In addition to live music by the Golden Coast All-Stars, guests will be treated to holiday treats and hot chocolate while watching the Christmas tree lit up for the season.
 
“It’s a Wonderful Life”
Camino Real Playhouse, San Juan Capistrano
caminorealplayhouse.org

Get in the holiday spirit with this community theater production that tells the story of a guy who is visited by his guardian angel on Christmas Eve. The angel reveals to him just how wonderful his life is, at a time when he dreams of escaping his small town life rather than helping his family.

Saturday, December 2
winter fantasy1 Best Events & Activities This Week In Orange County   November 27

(Credit: Sawdust Art Festival)


Sawdust Winter Fantasy
Sawdust Art & Craft Festival Grounds, Laguna Beach
sawdustartfestival.org

This winter wonderland art festival will showcase the works of nearly 200 artists. Their unique works are only on sale on the weekends through December 17th, and guests can purchase everything from creative textiles and jewelry to blown-glass, woodwork, paintings and more. There will also be live entertainment, visits from Santa and art demonstrations on site.
 
STEAM For Teens: Behind the Scenes – Live Theatre
Orange Public Library, Orange
oplfoundation.org

Designed especially for teens who are interested in science, technology, engineering, art and math, this weekly Saturday afternoon series gives youth the chance to learn and explore in a positive way. This week’s session deals with theater, and features Tustin’s Top Hat 8 Repertory.
 
21st Annual Crystal Cove Tree Lighting
Crystal Cove State Park, Newport Beach
crystalcove.org

At sunset, the Christmas tree at Crystal Cove will be lit up with colorful holiday ornaments and twinkling lights, making for a beautiful scene on an already gorgeous beach. The day will also be filled with a visit from Santa Claus, caroling, old-fashioned decorations and a holiday bazaar featuring handcrafted items by local artisans.

Sunday, December 3
shutterstock 170119889 Best Events & Activities This Week In Orange County   November 27

(credit: Maxim Blinkov/shutterstock)


“Science of Gingerbread”
Discovery Cube OC, Santa Ana
oc.discoverycube.org

Building a gingerbread house is a beloved tradition every holiday season. This holiday season, learn while you create with this gingerbread-themed exhibit at the Discovery Cube that gives visitors the chance to build and race their own candy car, learn to craft a gingerbread house and decorate cookies before watching a special stage show and visiting with Santa.
 
Yappy Howl-iday Celebration
The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, Dana Point
www.ritzcarlton.com

Grab your pooch and head to happy hour at the Ritz for a special holiday-themed Yappy Hour. This celebration will feature photos with your dog and Santa, perfect for sending out to friends and family this season. There will also be drinks and snacks on hand, for both dogs and people, and a dog-themed toy and food drive that will benefit a local animal rescue organization.
 
District Freeze Ice Rink
The District at Tustin Legacy, Tustin
www.thedistricttl.com

Skate circles around your friends and family this weekend at the District’s ice rink, which features real ice. The center will offer 90-minute sessions as well as holiday-themed lighting and music. Sunday sessions are available at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Ashley Ryan is an Orange County native that loves traveling, live music and photography. She blogs at Pure Wander and freelances for a variety of publications including Newport Beach Magazine and Laguna Beach Magazine.

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