December Orange County Events Calendar

Orange County Events

Orange County Farmers Markets Ongoing
List of Farmers Markets in Orange County

Ice Rink at the Spectrum Nov – Jan
Outdoor skating rink at the Irvine Spectrum. Located in Giant Wheel Court adjacent to Nordstrom and Macy’s.

Irvine Park Railroad – Annual Christmas Train to Meet Santa Claus Opens Dec 1
Take an enchanting night ride through historic Irvine Regional Park to meet and have your picture taken with Santa Claus. In addition to riding the Irvine Park Railroad, activities include story time with Mrs. Claus, Christmas cookie decorating, a Santa Claus moon bounce, Christmas coloring corner, carnival games, picture stands and more. Hot food and snacks are available for purchase.

Christmas at The Mission Dec 3
Celebrate the holidays with Mission San Juan Capistrano! Held in conjunction with the City of San Juan Capistrano’s annual Tree Lighting Ceremony and community-wide holiday celebration, Mission San Juan Capistrano will host Christmas at the Mission on Saturday, December 3rd, 2016 from 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Bring the family and enjoy this fun, festive and memorable evening together at the beautiful Mission!

Christmas Tree Lighting @ Laguna Niguel City Hall  Dec 3
Santa, refreshments, bounce house, crafts, tree lighting.

Winter Festival & Tree Lighting @ La Plaza Park Dec 3
Santa, crafts, petting zoo, tree lighting, snow

Santa’s Village by the Sea Dec 3
Join us on Avenida Del Mar for a holiday spectacular that will include collaboration of the Downtown Business Association’s Puttin’ on the Glitz and Casa Romantica’s Christmas at the Casa.

Sawdust Art Festival’s 26th Annual Winter Fantasy  Dec 3-4, 10-11, 17-18
Our festival grounds will be transformed into a winter wonderland where 175 artists create, display and sell original creations over the course of five weekends. The Winter Fantasy is offers the most unique holiday shopping in all of Southern California. Art media includes jewelry, clothing, fused and blown glass, ceramics, woodwork, forged metals, painting, photography, sculpture, clothing and textiles.

Breakfast with Santa Dec 4
Santa Claus is bringing his workshop to Fairmont Newport Beach. Enjoy a “Santa’s Workshop” themed breakfast buffet in Citrus. After dining, visit with Santa and take your complimentary holiday pictures. There will also be complimentary children’s activities including build your own stuffed toy, face painting, balloon art and letters to Santa. Complimentary valet parking during event. Reservations required.

Moreno’s Restaurant 5th Annual Christmas Boutique Dec 4
Shop for unique, hand crafted gifts, décor and more from 25 of Southern California’s most talented vendors while enjoying Moreno’s holiday atmosphere and tasty treats! Please join us for fun shopping and bring your family, friends, and neighbors! Benefitting Lestonnac Free Clinic.

Laguna Niguel Holiday Parade Dec 10
Kick off the holiday season by coming to see the Laguna Niguel Holiday Parade “Home for the Holidays”! View over 100 exciting entries including guests, youth groups, equestrian units, exotic cars, military members, local heroes and fun attractions! No hometown is complete without a dazzling entrance by Santa Claus!

Annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade  Dec 14-18
FREE to the public. The boat parade will light up the harbor for five consecutive nights. The parade starts at Collins Island at 6:30 p.m. and will last approximately three and a half hours over 250 ships participate in the parade along with hundreds of water front estates. Providing the backdrop for the parade is the Ring of Lights waterfront home and business decorating competition. FREE for spectators, entry fee for participating boats. Over million and half people view the parade each year.

Winter Fest OC 2016 Dec 16 – Jan 1
Winter Fest is a giant wonderland of immersive wintry fun featuring a full outdoor ice rink, 130-foot, six lane Snowflake Summit ice slide, a new-for-2016 play park featuring real snow blown in daily for snow angels and snowman building, photos on the world’s largest rocking horse, strolling carolers and personal visits in the cabin of Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

New Year’s Eve Celebration Dec 31
The City of Fullerton will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the annual “First Night Fullerton” on Saturday, December 31, 2016 from 7:00 p.m. to 12 midnight. This popular family-oriented, alcohol-free event will take place in Downtown Fullerton on Harbor Blvd., Pomona Ave., and Wilshire Ave. The event is free to the public and has an estimated attendance of over 15,000 guests every year.

Los Angeles County Events

Los Angeles Farmers Markets Ongoing

LA Zoo Lights Thru Jan 8
Whether you like your holidays on the traditional side or served with a twist, you’ll find plenty of eye-popping, jaw-dropping wonder at L.A. Zoo Lights, which is delivering seasonal sights, sounds and delights nightly through January 8.

CHILL at the Queen Mary Thru Jan 8
You’ll be able to experience Winter by walking through the extensive Ice Kingdom ice sculpture exhibit, where the temperature is 9 degrees. Yep, you read that right. CHILL will also feature ice tubing and skating, a Victorian Village, polar paintball. swinging sleigh ride, and the Enchanted Forrest hedge maze. Tickets are $34.99 for adults and $24.99 for kids.

Ice Skating in LA Thru Jan 16
No snow? No problem! Angelenos still love themselves some ice skating in the winter — and there are plenty of opportunities to get your skate on. The Pershing Square Ice Rink in Downtown, ICE in Santa Monica, and the Burbank Ice Rink all feature smooth and cold rinks to show off your moves on the ice.

Artists & Fleas Venice Dec 3-31
The newest flea market on the block, the Venice outpost of this artisan/craft-focused flea market mini-empire is bringing records, vintage and vintage-inspired clothing, cosmetics, jewelry and more to the Westminster Avenue Elementary School. A handful of small batch confectioners provide sweet treats to snack on or take home, while food trucks and nearby restaurants provide heartier bites.

Festival Navideño de la Calle Ocho Dec 3
The Christmas Navidad en la Calle Ocho festival is considered the biggest toy giveaway and one of the most important festivals in the community. This two-day event will include entertainment on four stages, free toys and products, clowns, and small rides. Come celebrate the joy of the Christmas spirit and the happiness of children.

Mac and Cheese Smackdown 2016 Dec 4
Is there a better marriage than the one between mac and cheese? To celebrate this most holy matrimony, we’re bringing back our popular Mac and Cheese Smackdown for the second year in a row, filling up Downtown’s Bank of America Center Plaza (333 S Hope St., #100) with L.A.’s best mac and cheese dishes. Join us on Sunday, December 4 as we challenge restaurants to offer creative takes on this cheesy classic in the ultimate showdown to crown L.A.’s top mac.

Artisanal L.A. Holiday Show Dec 5
The event, held on Holly Street and beyond, will feature local businesses and makers selling unique gifts, and you’ll be able to get photos with Santa. Admission is free.

LA Harbor Holiday Afloat Parade  Dec 5
Decorated boats parade through the Port of LA Main Channel.

Burbank Mayor’s Holiday Tree Lighting Dec 5
Burbank Mayor’s Holiday Tree Lighting is at 6:30 pm at Burbank City Hall followed by musical entertainment, dancers and special guests from Disney, and of course, Santa Claus from 6:30 to 9:00 pm.

Menorah Lighting in Beverly Hills Dec 6
Beverly Hills will have a public Menorah Lighting Ceremony and Hanukkah Celebration including live music, refreshments and face painting.

Renegade Craft Fair Dec 10-11
Held in urban epicenters such as Brooklyn, Chicago, Austin and of course, Los Angeles, Renegade is a traveling marketplace showcasing work from hundreds of the country’s best contemporary indie craft artists. Aside from the wares, Renegade offers all sorts of homemade DIY fun and holiday festivities: think classes and demos, free photo booths and tons of tasty food trucks.

Echo Park Craft Fair Dec 10-11
Hosted at the 5,000-square-foot Mack Sennett Studios, the Echo Park Craft Fair returns, welcoming artsy Eastsiders for a feast of hand-dyed clothing and delicately concocted bath oils, one-of-a-kind ceramics, weavings, jewelry and beyond. Founded by a shoe designer and a textile artist, the bi-annual extravaganza has grown from a backyard hangout to an artisan’s haven, providing a number of local craftspeople a space to showcase their handmade gems.

Light the Night: A Chanukah Festival Dec 10
Chabad Israel Center and Wells Fargo Bank present a Chanuka Festival featuring rides, TNT Basketball show, giant menorah Lighting, music, face painting. Food is available for sale.

Long Beach Parade of 1000 Lights in the Downtown Shoreline and Rainbow Harbor Marinas Dec 19

Magic Christmas Caroling Truck Dec 24
Every year on Christmas Eve from 5-11 pm, the Magic Christmas Caroling Truck drives through the north Los Angeles neighborhood of Toluca Lake. Decorated like a holiday parade float, the festive flatbed is laden with volunteer musicians and singers who carol through the community.

Grand Park New Year’s Eve LA Dec 31
Getting out for New Year’s Eve can become one of the priciest dates of the year—especially if you have to pony up for a babysitter. But Grand Park (most well-known for its food truck gatherings, lunchtime yoga sessions and summertime concerts) promises to be one of the most family-friendly—and affordable—NYE destinations in the city for the fourth year in a row.




San Diego County Events

San Diego Farmers Markets Ongoing

San Diego Food Trucks Ongoing

Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas Thru Dec 26
Once again the Green Meanie will try to ruin the holiday season for the citizens of Whoville. This is the Globe’s 18th staging. This time, will he succeed? James Vasquez directs.

Legoland Snow Days Thru Jan 1
Thousands of Legos come together to create a massive 30-ft. tall Christmas tree decorated with hundreds of Lego ornaments, and a fireworks show lights up the sky select nights during December. In addition, guests can enjoy the Let It Snow musical and life-size Lego displays of Santa and his reindeer.

Skating by the Sea Thru Jan 2
Skating by the Sea returns to Hotel del Coronado for the 12th year from Thanksgiving Day through January 2. This ice rink is located seaside on Windsor Lawn and features views of the Pacific and Coronado beach. The Del’s iconic Victorian Building, adorned with thousands of white lights, provides a visual backdrop. Skating is $25 per person, and ice skate rentals are free.

Fantasy on Ice Thru Jan 3
The old Horton Plaza ice-skating rink has been permanently relocated to a new Liberty Station location. The venue has changed, but the event continues to benefit the Peckham Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Rady Children’s Hospital. And parking is not only plentiful, it’s free.

Jungle Bells Dec 2 – Jan 2
A chance to see exotic animals at night makes an evening visit worth a trip, and through January 2 the zoo is also decked out with holiday lights and special performances. Expect music, animal-themed Christmas tales, and Santa holding court in an igloo while his elves bounce on a trampoline. Tying the wacky vibe together is the large, tropical toog tree in the zoo’s Front Plaza, outfitted with a musical light display featuring over 1000 bulbs.

December Nights Dec 2-3
Balboa Park December Nights, the nation’s premier holiday festival, will take place for the 39th consecutive year on Friday, December 2 from 3-11pm and Saturday, December, 3 from noon-11pm. Friends, families and the community are invited to come together for festive fun, food and attractions throughout the park, including complimentary admission to Balboa Park museums from 5-9pm.

Holiday Run 5K  Dec 3
Run, dance, or walk your way trough a complete 5K obstacle course with snow, a DJ, and colorful costumes to motivate you. Raise money and collect toys for Toy’s for Tots and other charities.

Santa Paws MEGA Adoption Event Dec 3
Join the San Diego Animal Support Foundation for the 3rd Annual Santa Paws MEGA Adoption Event where approximately 20 local nonprofit rescues and shelters will be attending with more than 200 adoptable dogs. There will even be cats & bunnies!

Garden of Lights Dec 3-23 & 26-30
After the sun goes down in December, the San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas is transformed into a dazzling winter wonderland.More than 125,000 sparkling lights illuminate the flora of this fantastic 37-acre urban oasis each evening from 5 – 9 pm for a magical holiday experience.

SoNo Fest and Chili Cook-off  Dec 4
$20 gets you a handmade ceramic bowl and five 2 oz. restaurant chili tastes. Or bring your own bowl and buy chili tastes for $15. Local brewers represent in the beer garden. Also featuring wine from Fallbrook Winery. Shop handmade goods from more than 30 local vendors.

Wrex the Halls: Beck, more Dec 10
The bill includes Band of Horses, Local Natives, Bishop Briggs, and Glass Animals.

San Diego Bay Parade of Lights Dec 11 & 18
The San Diego Bay Parade of Lights is a time-honored holiday tradition brought to San Diego by the boating community. Continuing its long-standing San Diego tradition, the 45th annual San Diego Bay Parade of Lights promises to dazzle and entertain bayfront crowds during the evenings of December 11 and 18, 2016. Participants in this year’s highly anticipated holiday boat parade will decorate their boats to fit this year’s theme, “It Began with a Roar – San Diego Zoo Celebrates 100 Years.”

Breakfast with Santa Dec 17-18
St. Nick will don his traditional holiday attire to sit down and enjoy breakfast. The morning includes a full breakfast, picture with Santa, face painting, balloon artist, kids’ show, and a gift for kids. Reservations required: 619-738-1627. $25 per person.

San Diego Holiday Half Marathon Dec 18
The 13.1 mile course starts on Penasquitos Drive at the new start lilne in front of the Hotel Karlan (formerly the Doubletree Golf Resort), then travels SW along Carmel Mountain Rd (your only real hill at mile 1.5), along the 56 bike path, and finishes atTorrey Pines State Beach. The race includes a 711-foot net elevation drop along the rolling downhill bike path.

San Diego International Auto Show  Dec 29 – Jan 2
The San Diego International Auto Show will feature over 400 over the latest new models, a dozen test drives, exotics, automotive products and much more!