(credit: Temple Beth Shalom)

Every night and day from Dec. 8 through Monday, Dec. 16, neighborhoods throughout Orange County will offer Hanukkah feasts, menorah lighting and cultural events to mark the sacred holiday. Observe the festivities in the way your family and your tradition dictates, but don’t miss out on extra fun this year at the best places to celebrate the season in Orange County.

(credit: Chabad of Newport Beach)

Fashion Island Menorah Lighting Ceremony
Fashion Island
401 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 721-9800
Hours: Sunday, Dec. 9 at 3 p.m.
Price: free

Fashion Island’s Atrium Garden Court will be transformed for the Hanukkah celebration with singing and festivities and a traditional menorah lighting ceremony. Enjoy treats, crafting, live music and dancing. A special guest will be on hand for the enormous menorah lighting ceremony. Live entertainment and gifts for the children are provided at no cost. The annual Fashion Island event is sponsored by the Chabad Jewish Center Newport Beach.

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(credit: Chabad of Laguna Niguel)

Chabad of Laguna Niguel Hanukkah Wonderland & Menorah Lighting
Laguna Niguel City Hall
30111 Crown Valley Parkway
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
(949) 831-7701
Hours: Sunday, Dec. 9 at 3:30 p.m.
Price: free

Friends, festivities, food and a wealth of Hanukkah spirit mark what Chabad of Laguna Niguel heralds as, “a blizzard of holiday fun for the whole family.” Participate in and enjoy live entertainment, activities, crafts and traditional Hanukkah customs and favorites. This event is sponsored by the Chabad of Laguna Niguel and the City of Laguna Niguel.

(credit: Chabad of Irvine)

Irvine Spectrum Menorah Lighting Ceremony
Irvine Spectrum Center
71 Fortune Drive
Irvine, CA 92618
(949) 786-5000
Event: Sunday, Dec. 9 at 3:30 p.m.
Price: free

Join the glorious Hanukkah celebration and menorah lighting ceremony at the Irvine Spectrum Oasis. Enjoy food, dancing, singing, demonstrations and the grand, whimsical menorah presentation. Performances include an appearance by the Chabad of Irvine Children’s Choir. This annual event is brought to guests free of charge through the sponsorship of the Chabad of Irvine.

(credit: Temple Beth Shalom)

Temple Beth Sholom
2625 N. Tustin Ave.
Santa Ana, CA 92705
(714) 628-4600
Hours: Friday, Dec. 14. Dinner at 6 p.m., service begins at 7:30 p.m.
Price: free

Each night during Hanukkah, Temple Beth Sholom will feature a menorah lighting in its scenic, ceremonial Orange Circle, Dec. 8 to Dec. 15 at 6 p.m. Light the menorah with family and friends of the Jewish Community and TBS. The glorious Orange Circle will shine with the lights of Hanukkah and ring with song and prayer. On Friday, Dec. 14, Temple Beth Sholom Sisterhood is sponsoring the 2012 Hanukkah Dinner and Service. Treat your family to a splendid, traditional Hanukkah feast. Shabbat Hanukkah service will be led by TBS’ 5th Grade Religious School class.

(credit: Chabad Jewish Center of Aliso Viejo)

Chabad Jewish Center of Aliso Viejo Donuts Spectacular
23665 Moulton Parkway, Suite D
Laguna Hills, CA 92653-1937
(949) 244-7627
Hours: Sunday, Dec. 16 from 3:30 to 5 p.m.
Price: free

Celebrate and learn about the Hanukkah holiday while crafting your very own sufganiot and kosher delicacies. Dive in and make masses of jelly-filled, chocolate-smothered, sugar-powdered goodies. Create and enjoy traditional treats, and take the recipes and skill home for your family celebration. This is a family event, though cooking lessons are tailored toward girls and boys ages 5 to 11.

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Christopher Schmidt is a freelance writer experiencing and espousing the glory that is Orange County. Driven to travel, drawn to sports, spirits and celebrity, Chris’ work can be found on