(credit: Sawdust Festival)

(credit: Sawdust Festival)


It’s beginning to look a lot like the holidays in Orange County, and for couples who feel like celebrating the season, there are plenty of festive activities from Newport Beach to Anaheim that are guaranteed to keep the holiday spirit – and the spirit of date night fun – going strong.
(credit:Yelp/Thor B.)

(credit:Yelp/Thor B.)


Newport Beach Boat Parade
Newport Beach Harbor
Newport Beach, CA
(949) 729-4400
www.christmasboatparade.com
Dates: December 14 – 18, 2016

Bundle up and grab an ocean front seat to view the seafaring glitter of the Newport Beach Boat Parade. The parade, an annual tradition, is great for watching beautiful glowing boats, kayaks, and canoes sail the harbor for 4 days for the 108th annual parade, whose theme is “Seas the Holidays.” Fireworks will blossom in the skies above the harbor both on the opening and closing nights at what has been called one of the top holiday events in the U.S. Adding to the fun, the festive lights aren’t just on the water. They’re around it too. Homes and businesses also decorate their properties with all the best and brightest lights around.

(credit: Irvine Barclay Theatre)

(credit: Irvine Barclay Theatre)


“The Nutcracker”
Irvine Barclay Theatre
4242 Campus Dr
Irvine, CA 92612
(949) 854-4607
www.festivalballet.org
Dates: December 10, 2016 – December 24, 2016

Be a part of a annual holiday tradition of seeing “The Nutcracker” ballet live at the famed Irvine Barclay Theatre. Along with the Tchaikovsky score, beautiful costumes, and nationally renowned dancers of The Festival Ballet, there will also be a magical dance extravaganza. Supervised by artistic director Salwa Rizkalla, this lushly staged rendition takes place at the beautiful Irvine Barclay Theatre and is a holiday favorite year and year.

(credit: Sawdust Art Festival)

(credit: Sawdust Art Festival)


The Sawdust Art Festival Winter Fantasy
935 Laguna Canyon Road
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 494–3030
www.sawdustartfestival.com
Dates: November 19, 2016 – December 18, 2016 from 10am to 6pm

The Sawdust Art Festival Winter Fantasy is back again and will feature over 175 artists displaying, creating, and selling great artistic holiday gifts. From jewelry to blown glass, sculpture, clothing, and leather crafts, there are plenty of reasons to stroll, browse, and shop while enjoying festive entertainment and art demonstrations.

(credit: Newport Beach Santa Pub Crawl)

(credit: Newport Beach Santa Pub Crawl)


Newport Beach Santa Pub Crawl
Newport Beach
www.nbsantapubcrawl.com
Date: December 10, 2016 at 9pm

The annual Newport Beach Santa Pub Crawl proves a worthy holiday excursion year after year. This year, you’ll be delighted to take advantage of discounted drinks over the course of a fun evening of sipping and celebrating. Anyone is invited in this annual tradition where two pub crawl routes are available. In addition, bars in the area have agreed to the drink specials to all Santas with a wristband, so you’ll want to make sure to get one. The Balboa Pier crawl has a number of bars and restaurants participating in the fun including the Newport Landing Restaurant, Close of ’47, the Balboa Saloon, Cruisers Pizza Bar Grill, Cabo Cantina, and Mavericks Gastropub. Or, opt for the Newport Pier crawl, including Woody’s Wharf, Blue Beet, Sharkeez, Stag Bar + Kitchen, Beach Ball and Mutt Lynch’s bar. As with previous years, Santa/Christmas costumes and attire is encouraged.

(credit: Yelp/Jennifer M.)

(credit: Yelp/Jennifer M.)


Orange County Christmas Lights
25473 Nellie Gail Rd.
Laguna Hills, CA 92653
www.orangecountychristmaslights.com
Dates: November 24, 2016 – December 24, 2016

The Orange County Christmas Lights display on Nellie Gail Rd. in Laguna Hills is one of the more spectacular Christmas delights in Southern California. With homes lit up perfect for the holidays, it’s the ideal spot for couples to get into the spirit of the season. With over 100,000 glowing lights, snow village displays, and free warm apple cider, you can’t go wrong. Volunteers also lead tours inside and outside the home’s dazzling displays.

Genie Davis is a multi-published journalist, novelist, and screenwriter. She lives near the beach in Los Angeles. See more on: CBSLA | eco-exist.com | geniedavis.com | Divulge.com | Twitter.