December is only days away! Can you believe 2016 is nearing its end? It feels like the fastest year yet. This is the season of family, friends, Jesus, and love. I just love all of the fun family traditions that come out during the holidays. Do you have any fun traditions that your family and friends carry out each year? I am always looking for fun things to get us all out of the house and in the holiday spirit! So whether you have age old traditions or you're looking for new ones, I have put together a great list of December activities around the Orange County and LA area. There is a little something for everybody!
1. 108th Annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade
FREE- when viewed anywhere on the shore
Join over a million viewers as you watch beautifully decorated yachts, boats, kayaks and canoes sail along the harbor in the 108th Annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade, hosted by the Commodores Club of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce.
2. Irvine Spectrum Center Ice Rink
Through Jan 16(Closed Christmas Day)
Check their website for their scheduled times.
ADULTS/CHILDREN: $20, includes skate rental / $16, bring your own skates
TODDLERS: $16, includes double-blade ice skate rental (sizes 8T - 12T only)
Enjoy a nice night out ice skating with friends and family! It may not get too cold here in southern California but the Irvine Spectrum doesn't let that stop you from having a dreamy chilly time on the ice!
3. Garden Grove Winterfest
Dec. 3, 2016
$10-per person(Pre-purchase of tickets required)
The Garden Grove Community Services Department presents the annual Winterfest holiday event at Atlantis Play Center. There is a limited amount of pre-sale tickets, and children 2-years-old and under are free. Only cash or credit cards are accepted. There will be no ticket sales at the door.
4. Science of Gingerbread: Discovery Cube OC
2 yrs old & under: FREE
Get into the holiday spirit during the annual Science of Gingerbread! A holiday festival filled with great hands-on activities designed to bring families together this holiday season. Plus, check out award-winning Gingerbread Competition entries displayed throughout the Cube!
5. Winter Wonderland: Irvine Civic Center
Sunday, Dec. 4, from 3-8 p.m.
The event will feature a 25-foot-tall, live tree adorned with ornaments and holiday lights; a Joyful Jingles holiday program; children’s activities; and train rides. Guests can enjoy refreshments from the mobile food trucks and a festive tree-lighting as “snow” gently falls over the piazza. Children are in for a special treat when Santa stops by for a visit.
6. Christmas Train at Irvine Railroad Park
December 1-23, 2016
Entry is free and SOME activities are free
Parking: $3 weekdays / $5weekend / FREE after 5pm
Train Rides: $12 per person
24mos and younger FREE
‘Tis the season for Irvine Park Railroad’s annual Christmas Train. Come with family and friends and take this enchanting night ride through historic Irvine Regional Park to meet Santa Claus. The train will depart from the brightly-lit train station and drop passengers off at the North Pole. Children can share their wish list with Santa and have their photo taken with him too. You may take pictures with your personal camera or you may purchase a photo taken by Irvine Park Railroad.
After visiting with Santa, hop back aboard the train and enjoy the colorful Christmas lights and decorations, as well as the magical “Tunnel of Lights”, on the ride back to Santa’s Village.
Story time with Mrs. Claus
7. OC Winter Fest
Dec 16- Jan 1, 2016
$10: Online Child Admission
(3 – 12 years) Child under 3 are Free
$15: Online Adult Admission
Spectacular family fun and date night charm.
Featuring ice tubing, a two million light walk-through show, ice skating, snow play with real snow blown in daily, nightly Christmas tree lighting ceremony, carnival rides, festive entertainment, seasonal eateries, visits with Santa and so much more.
8. CHILL at Queen Mary
Adult General Admission Pricing:
$39.99 - Dec 1-2, 8-9, 15-16 ($44.99 day of and at the door)
$44.99 - Nov 27-29; Dec 3-4, 10-11, 19-22, 29; Jan 5-6 ($49.99 day of and at the door)
$49.99 - Dec 17-18, 23-28, 30-31; Jan 1, 7-8 ($54.99 day of and at the door)
Child (4-11) Admission Pricing:
$29.99 - Dec 1-2, 8-9, 15-16 ($34.99 day of and at the door)
$34.99 - Nov 27-29; Dec 3-4, 10-11, 19-22, 29; Jan 5-6 ($39.99 day of and at the door)
$39.99 - Dec 17-18, 23-28, 30-31; Jan 1, 7-8 ($44.99 day of and at the door)
Light up the holidays this winter at the Queen Mary's CHILL as they proudly present Alice in Winterland, Ice Tubing on the Glacier Glide, Ice Skating, Live Entertainment , North Pole Village, Prancer's Paintball, Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Claus Cottage and more!
9. Shark Lagoon Nights at Aquarium of the Pacific
When: Every Friday Night in December 6pm-9pm
The public is invited to get up close with the ocean’s ultimate predators at the Aquarium of the Pacific for FREE during Shark Lagoon Nights. Guests will have the opportunity to touch bamboo sharks and see large sharks such as sand-tigers as well as rays in the Aquarium’s Shark Lagoon.
10. Griffith Park 2016 Holiday Light Festival Train Ride
$4 Per Person(18 mos and under are free)
Nov. 25- Dec. 23
Dec. 26- Dec. 30
The Rides begin on Friday Nov 25 And continues every night until December 23 and then again from December 26 to December 30 - weather permitting. The first train will leave at 5 pm every day. The last train leaves at 8 pm Monday through Thursday and 9 pm Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Starting the day after Thanksgiving, join in for an evening train ride around the festively decorated, one mile of track. Magical scenes and tens of thousands of lights will captivate you and your family and set the mood for a wonderful Holiday season.
This event requires separate tickets that can be bought at the ticket booth in advance or the day of the ride, if available.