It’s mid-November and holiday events are popping up everywhere. With a blend of turkey-related events, Christmas fairs and Santas on surfboards, it’s the most wonderful time of the year! Aside from holiday festivities, those that enjoy the arts can check out a Monday night concert by R&B artist Erykah Badu, a Wednesday night poetry reading and a live performance of the mystery-solving Boxcar Children at the Laguna Playhouse.

Monday, November 14
(Photo by Mindy Small/FilmMagic)

(Photo by Mindy Small/FilmMagic)

Erykah Badu
The Observatory
3503 South Harbor Boulevard
Santa Ana, CA 92704
(714) 957-0600

Singer-songwriter Erykah Badu returns to Orange County this week with a performance at The Observatory. Her eccentric fashion sense and eclectic musical repertoire—influenced by a variety of R&B, hip hop, jazz and soul artists from the past—have made Badu popular within the neo soul music scene since the 1990s. Her most recent album, a mixtape titled “But You Caint Use My Phone”, was released a year ago, marking the first time she released an album on her own record label. With inspiring lyrics and a live show that expertly blends old and new jams, it’s the perfect way to kick off the week.

Tuesday, November 15
(Credit: Pacific City)

(Credit: Pacific City)

Turkey Tuesday
Pacific City
21010 Pacific Coast Highway
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Tuesday morning, stop by Huntington Beach’s newest open-air mall for a family-friendly Thanksgiving event. Turkey Tuesday presents activities for kids, including a sing-a-long, a reading of “Olivia Talks Turkey” and an interactive station for children to make their own paper turkeys. Though the event will last from 10 to 11 a.m., various shops and restaurants at Pacific City will be offering additional Turkey Tuesday promotions, including a free kid’s meal with the purchase of an adult entrée at Ways & Means, a free ice cream cone at Saint Marc and discounts at Smocking Birds, Rudy’s Barbershop and Top Dog. The event is free, but you can RSVP online.

Wednesday, November 16
(credit: Yoojin S./yelp)

(credit: Yoojin S./yelp)

OC Poetry Club Reading
4th Street Market
201 East 4th Street
Santa Ana, CA 92701
(714) 486-0700

Every Wednesday night, the Orange County Poetry Club takes their talents to the patio of the 4th Street Market. Though they have only been frequenting the Santa Ana hotspot for the last year, their two-hour open readings include a variety of classic poetry as well as more modern styles like street poetry and spoken word performance. Grab some food from one of the many vendors and join in to listen to poetry or to read some of your own. Sign-ups start at the beginning of the night and, while everyone is welcome, no profanity or bigotry will be accepted, as children may be present as well. The event occurs from 7 to 9 p.m. each week.

Thursday, November 17
(Credit: Courtesy of The Laguna Playhouse)

(Credit: Courtesy of The Laguna Playhouse)

“The Boxcar Children”
Laguna Playhouse
606 Laguna Canyon Road
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 497-2787

The Laguna Playhouse presents “The Boxcar Children”, a play based on the children’s mystery novels written by Gertrude Chandler Warner. It tells the story of Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny, four siblings who live on their own in an abandoned boxcar in the forest. Eventually, the children move in with their grandfather, who brings the boxcar—their former home—to his backyard. Further novels delve into their mysterious adventures both around town and on vacations and, although the original novels by Warner were set in the Great Depression era, other novelists have written more modern tales using the same characters. The Laguna performance runs through Sunday.

Friday, November 18
(credit: Turville Photography)

(credit: Turville Photography)

Jack and Jill Guild Holiday Home Tour and Boutique
Clifton Miller Community Center
300 Centennial Way
Tustin, CA 92780

Each year, the Jack and Jill Guild organizes a holiday home tour in Tustin. This year’s event, which will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, showcases three unique homes—the Timeless Charmer, the Modern Transitional and the Leafwood Home. Each has a completely different architectural design, but they will all be decorated in gorgeous Christmas décor. Tickets can be purchased ahead of time online and picked up at the event’s holiday boutique, held at the community center Thursday night and all day Friday. The boutique offers home décor, holiday gifts, jewelry, clothing, artisan foods and more. Proceeds from both the tour and partial proceeds from the boutique will benefit the Children’s Hospital of Orange County.

Saturday, November 19
(credit: Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel)

(credit: Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel)

Surfing Santa Competition
Salt Creek Beach
33333 Pacific Coast Highway
Dana Point, CA 92629
(949) 240-5088

Surfers are invited to dress up in their favorite holiday costumes and hit the waves in the annual Surfing Santa Competition hosted by the Ritz-Calton. Santas, elves and reindeer take to the water during the charity event, which benefits Surfers Healing. There are five different divisions—each with a whole lot of prizes up for grabs—as well as a costume contest. Though it’s only a one-day event, the day marks the start of the Holiday Surfboard Auction, an online auction that includes a variety of donated surfboards from legendary artists, museums and surf stars. Take advantage of our perfect Southern California weather and join these surfing Santas for a fun holiday at the beach.

Sunday, November 20
(Credit: Helena Linton Eriksson)

(Credit: Helena Linton Eriksson)

Swedish Christmas Fair
Old World Village
7561 Center Avenue
Huntington Beach, CA 92647
(714) 895-8020

Now in its fifth year, this one-day Christmas fair, presented by the Swedish Womens Education Association of Orange County (SWEA), offers an impressive selection of holiday gifts and delicious food. Modeled after the famous German Christmas markets, vendors will be selling handmade crafts, ornaments and other décor as well as clothing, artwork, blankets, figurines and baked goods. While you shop, sip some glögg—a traditional European mulled wine—while you savor traditional Swedish food. The event will also feature meet and greets with Santa Claus, dancing around the Christmas tree and two Lucia pageants.

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.