As we continue into the month of December, this week brings an array of holiday events, including Christmas tree lots, seasonal Disney celebrations, photos with Santa, tree lightings, parades and a Christmas train straight to Santa and Mrs. Claus. Beyond the Christmas-related activities, locals can enjoy special events at local restaurants, a nature program for little ones, a new art exhibit, a brunch cruise, a cocktail class and more.

Monday, December 4
monday lazy dog cafe happy hour ashley ryan Best Events & Activities To Do This Week In Orange County   December 4

(credit: Ashley Ryan)

Monday Extended Happy Hour
Lazy Dog Cafe, Orange

While you can enjoy happy hour at Lazy Dog Café six days a week, Monday’s is special, with an extended happy hour that begins at 3 p.m. and runs until the restaurant closes. Enjoy discounted drinks and dishes, including the seasonal tangerine thyme margarita or small portions of the buffalo chicken lollipops, turkey meatballs or brick oven pizza.
Visit The Magic Christmas Tree Lot
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa

Pay a visit to this annual Christmas tree lot that is housed at the local fairgrounds, where visitors can select the perfect tree for decorating. In recent years, the lot has gotten their trees from the Pacific Northwest so expect only the best quality and freshest scented pines this season.
See The Used Perform Live!
The Observatory, Santa Ana

Utah-based rock band The Used returns to Orange County for one night only, where they will perform hits like “The Taste of Ink,” “Take It Away” and “I Caught Fire.” The band will also play songs from their most recent album, “The Canyon,” which was released in October.

Tuesday, December 5
holidays at disneyland resort paul hiffmeyerdisneyland resort Best Events & Activities To Do This Week In Orange County   December 4

(credit: Disneyland Resort)

Holidays At The Disneyland Resort
Disneyland Resort, Anaheim

Disneyland is always a festive place, but that is especially true during the holidays, when guests can pay a visit to decked out rides like Haunted Mansion Holiday and it’s a small world Holiday, watch a special fireworks show, enjoy holiday treats, watch a Christmas parade, visit with Santa and take in the unique lights and decorations that can only be found in the winter.
Tiny Naturalists
Environmental Nature Center, Newport Beach

The six-week Tiny Naturalists program returns to the Environmental Nature Center with a new session that will once again pair parents and their babies with outreach coordinator Mindy Schwartz for free play and tummy time outdoors in the center’s redwood forest. Each class features story time and song.
“Shi Zhiying”
Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach

Shanghai-based artist Shi Zhiying brings her first solo show in the U.S. to Orange County, presenting an array of artwork that features monochromatic paintings of vistas like open water, sand gardens and weathered structures.

Wednesday, December 6
holiday movie night pacific city Best Events & Activities To Do This Week In Orange County   December 4

(credit: Pacific City)

Holiday Movie Night
Pacific City, Huntington Beach

The first movie night of December kicks off on Wednesday with a screening of “Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas” at 6 p.m. A follow-up to the Disney animated classic, this holiday film deals with the differences in how Belle and the Beast view Christmastime.
Author Event: Discussion and Signing with Andy Weir
Barnes & Noble, Huntington Beach

Author Andy Weir—best known for writing the book “The Martian,” which was recently adapted for the big screen—will be on site to discuss and sign copies of his new book “Artemis,” which tells the story of the first and only city on the moon, set in the 2080s.
Candlelight Evening
Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace, Yorba Linda

In honor of events that once took place at the White House, the Nixon Library hosts Wednesday night Candlelight Evenings, where guests can explore a model train exhibit, take photos with Santa, listen to live music, decorate cookies and ornaments or create holiday cards for wounded warriors at Camp Pendleton.

Thursday, December 7
christmas train irvine park railroad Best Events & Activities To Do This Week In Orange County   December 4

(credit: Irvine Park Railroad)

Christmas Train
Irvine Park Railroad, Orange

Arrive at the Irvine Park Railroad ready to hop a train and head to the North Pole, where you can visit with Santa and listen to stories from Mrs. Claus. Then, head back to the Christmas Village for fun holiday activities like cookie decorating, ice fishing, coloring and carnival games.
Home for the Holidays Home & Design Tour
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa

A variety of local homes will be open to participants of this home and design tour, allowing guests to see the holiday décor and fun festive designs within. In addition, top designers will provide tips and tricks so that you can create your own seasonal style. Guests will also enjoy demonstrations, live music and shopping for holiday gifts.
Celebrate Ruby’s Diner’s 35th Anniversary
Ruby’s Diner, Various Locations

Celebrate the anniversary of one of Orange County’s most beloved diners with special deals for one day only. Diners will enjoy a classic Ruby Burger and French fries for only $2.99 on Thursday, with proceeds benefiting both The Ruby Dooby Foundation and Spark of Love.

Friday, December 8
 Best Events & Activities To Do This Week In Orange County   December 4

(credit: Dana Point Harbor / OC Parks)

A Superhero Holiday
Dana Point Harbor, Dana Point

This annual boat parade is a festive event that will thrill visitors of all ages. This year’s theme, focusing on superheroes, will dictate the décor of the boats that pass by. In addition, there will be carolers, games, arts & crafts, photos with Santa and strolling superheroes before the parade kicks off.
Tree Lighting Ceremony
Tustin Public Library, Tustin

Celebrate the reason for the season with friends and family as the City of Tustin illuminates their civic center tree for the first time. The event starts at 6 p.m., and features performances by a local choir, dance troupe and preschool as well as letters to Santa and craft area.
Candlelight Walk
Heritage Hill Historical Park, Lake Forest

The three-nigh Candlelight Walk, which is celebrating its 32nd year in 2017, offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience with more than 1,000 luminarias lighting up the light. Wander the park’s pathways as strolling carolers and live musicians add some holiday spirit to the event.

Saturday, December 9
mixology class monarch beach resort Best Events & Activities To Do This Week In Orange County   December 4

(credit: Monarch Beach Resort)

Mixology Class
Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point

If you’ve ever wanted to learn to craft a high-quality cocktail, this special workshop at Monarch Beach Resort can help you do just that. The resort’s master mixologists will be on site to provide instruction, premium spirits and fresh ingredients to help attendees create three different drinks this Saturday at 3 p.m.
Barks of Love Bash
Ways & Means Oyster House, Huntington Beach

This beachside restaurant will host a dog-friendly bash on their patio, complete with plenty of activities for the pooches to take part in. In addition, vendors like Top Dog Boutique and Pop Bar will be on site, with the latter serving up “pup-sicles.” Proceeds from the event will benefit animal rescue organization Barks of Love.
“The Nutcracker”
Irvine Barclay Theatre, Irvine

Always a favorite during the holiday season, Festival Ballet Theatre’s version of “The Nutcracker” will return this year, running through Christmas Eve. The stage show will include the famous sets, costumes and score that it is famous for, and some events will include a pre-show tea party with the production’s Clara.

Sunday, December 10
home for the holidays pet adoption fair city of irvineanimal care center Best Events & Activities To Do This Week In Orange County   December 4

(credit: Irvine Animal Care Center)

Home for the Holidays Pet Adoption Fair
Animal Care Center, Irvine

For more than a decade, the City of Irvine’s Animal Care Center has held holiday adoptions to help find home for dogs, cats, rabbits and other small animals. In addition to the hundreds of pets and more than 30 rescue groups that will be on site, visitors can enjoy pet-related vendors, a silent auction, gourmet food trucks and low-cost microchipping.
Children’s Garden Workshop: Terrariums
Orange County Great Park Farm + Food Lab, Irvine

Beginning at both 9 a.m. and 10 a.m., children can stop by the Great Park to take part in a gardening workshop for kids. This week, guests will use a two-liter bottle to create their own enclosed rainforest terrarium.
KJAZZ Champagne Brunch Cruise
Newport Harbor, Newport Beach
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Enjoy the cool breeze and sun shining on the water as you traverse the Newport Harbor while sipping champagne. In addition to the bubbly, this Hornblower Cruise will include a buffet of classic breakfast dishes, seasonal lunch entrees and special desserts. Michael Whitman will also be performing live during the cruise.

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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