It’s official! Christmas is upon us, but not until the end of the week. This means that there is still plenty of time for other fun-filled winter activities. Whether it’s the children’s Lil Elves Gift Making Workshop, the Pacific Symphony’s holiday organ show or a Disney-filled ice skating spectacular, there is plenty to keep you distracted until that special day arrives. Christmas Eve brings the Holly Jolly 5K to get you in the holiday spirit before Sunday’s Christmas cruises around Newport Beach.
Monday, December 19
(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

Lil Elves Gift Making Workshop
Chuck Jones Center for Creativity
3321 Hyland Avenue
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(949) 660-7791

Children can enjoy crafting holiday-themed treasures from 3pm to 8:30pm at SOCO’s Chuck Jones Center for Creativity. Crafts include a holiday painting on an actual canvas, a paper keepsake or a clay ornament. Grilled cheese kids’ meals can also be purchased when parents drop their children off. Since the program has a two-hour minimum, it’s the perfect chance for parents to get some last minute holiday shopping in without the kids around to bother them. In addition, SOCO offers a Drop Off & Dine option, where parents can drop their children at the center and head to one of the complex’s restaurants. Shuck Oyster Bar, Pueblo, The Cheese Shop, Iron Press, Timakira and We Olive will all be offering discounts to parents whose children are participating in the workshop.

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Tuesday, December 20
(Credit: Pacific Symphony)

(Credit: Pacific Symphony)

Holiday Organ Spectacular
Segerstrom Center for the Arts
600 Town Center Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 556-2787

Nothing sounds more festive than an organ! Enjoy the sounds of the season with the Pacific Symphony at Segerstrom tonight. Todd Wilson will be playing Segerstrom’s infamous William J. Gillespie Concert Organ, accompanied by members of the symphony for a grand performance you will not want to miss. The group will be playing a variety of Christmas songs so come prepared to sing along with your holiday favorites and some of the more sacred winter tunes. The performance will last just under two hours and is a great way to get in the holiday spirit as we approach Christmas.

Wednesday, December 21
(Credit: Feld Entertainment)

(Credit: Feld Entertainment)

Disney on Ice
Honda Center
2695 Katella Avenue
Anaheim, CA 92806
(714) 704-2400

Disney’s ice shows are some of the best around, offering plenty of fun for the whole family with some of the most memorable characters of our time. This time, catch Disney on Ice’s Worlds of Enchantment at the Honda Center. It runs from Wednesday through Sunday, taking guests on adventures through some of identifiable Disney worlds. Watch the “Cars” crew race across the ice, Ariel exploring her undersea kingdom and the “Toy Story” friends escaping from the third film’s daycare. The real treat is entering the appropriate world of icy Arendelle, which is a journey that can only include the famed sisters, Anna and Elsa.

Thursday, December 22
(Credit: Brent Baker)

(Credit: Brent Baker)

Creepy Christmas
Dark Art Emporium
252 Elm Avenue
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 612-1118

Those that enjoy the darker side of Christmas will love Dark Art Emporium’s latest exhibition, Creepy Christmas. The gallery aims to bring awareness to works of art that may not be seen by the public otherwise — a task that is commendable, and perfect for a creepy Christmas theme. Artists on display include Todd Robey, Jamie Straw, Jeremy Cross, Eric Swartz, Jennae Bennett, Kris Hallford and more. The show features a blend of paintings, sculptures and holiday ornaments that depict a darker side of the holiday, including things like Krampus and evil reincarnations of Old Saint Nick. Stop by to view the artists’ work or buy some.

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Friday, December 23
(Credit: Discovery Cube)

(Credit: Discovery Cube)

Winter Wonderfest
Discovery Cube
2500 North Main Street
Santa Ana, CA 92705
(714) 542-2823

Few things make it feel like winter more than playing in the snow. Although we don’t get the frigid temperatures that other parts of the country do, we can still experience the fun of sledding, tubing and building snowmen at Discovery Cube Orange County’s Winter Wonderfest. Also held at their L.A. location, Winter Wonderfest is one of the best ways to get your snow fix each year. Aside from the icy fun, guests can participate in gingerbread derby races, cookie decorating, visits with Santa and more at the simultaneous Science of Gingerbread exhibit. In addition, the museum will be playing holiday movies all day long! Watch “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”, “Shrek the Halls” and more. The festival runs through January 8th.

Saturday, December 24
(Credit: Rob Nelms)

(Credit: Rob Nelms)

Holly Jolly 5K
Mile Square Park
Ward and West Edinger Avenue
Fountain Valley, CA 92708

Start Christmas Eve off right with a little exercise. Dress up in your funkiest holiday outfit and go on a run Christmas Eve morning. From Santas, Christmas trees, and candy canes to snowmen, all are more are welcome at the Holly Jolly 5K. This fun run, held at Mile Square Park in Fountain Valley, can be completed in one loop (the 5K) or two loops (the 10K). Whatever you choose, make sure to have fun as you spread some holiday cheer along the racecourse. All finishers will receive a colorful medal and free photos of their journey. The race will include chip timing and will last about two hours.

(Credit: Shaiith/shutterstock)

(Credit: Shaiith/shutterstock)

Dine At Restaurants For Christmas Eve
Multiple Locations

Looking to dine on a delicious meal for Christmas Eve with friends and family? We have just the places for you to visit in our list of the Top Restaurants In Orange County For Christmas Eve Dinner.

Sunday, December 25
(Credit: Hornblower Cruises)

(Credit: Hornblower Cruises)

Christmas Day Cruise
Newport Harbor
2431 West Coast Highway
Newport Beach, CA 92663
(949) 646-0155

There’s plenty to do today on Christmas Day! Hornblower Cruises will be offering two different cruises, providing an upscale way to make the most of the endless summer found in Orange County. Head out on the water on Christmas morning for a champagne brunch cruise, with free-flowing bubbly and sparkling cider. With ocean breezes, relaxing live music and a delicious buffet filled with classic fare, there’s no better way to spend the holiday. If you prefer a dinner cruise, there’s one of those too! At 4:30 p.m., set sail to watch the sunset and, later, take in views of the Christmas lights scattered around the harbor. Another buffet, guests will enjoy delicious cuisine, a live solo entertainer and stunning Christmas décor.
If you’d like to get out for a Christmas Day dinner, visit our list of the Best Places In Orange County For Christmas Day Dinner.

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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.