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Events Happening This Weekend in Orange County: December 18th – 20th


You can catch two Christmas boat parades this weekend in Dana Point and Newport Harbor. The OC Model Engineers are hosting their monthly free public rides in Costa Mesa with a visit with Santa. The free Wilderness Access Day is in Bommer Canyon this Saturday and they are hosting a family hike that day at 9:00am. Family hikes seem to be the theme this weekend with additional hikes offered on Friday at Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, on Saturday at the Muth Center, Crystal Cove, and Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve, and on Sunday at Laguna Niguel Regional Park. Enjoy your weekend!

Multi-Day Events / Museum Happenings

Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade (December 16 – 20)

Newport Harbor

Newport Beach, CA 92663

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. Event runs 6:30pm – 10:00pm and is free.

Drive-thru Nativity (December 18 – 19)

Mount of Olives Lutheran Church

24772 Chrisanta Dr,

Mission Viejo, CA 92691

Experience this life-size retelling of the Christmas Story from the comfort of your car. Live actors, animals and narration through your car radio!
You can also enjoy the Drive-thru Nativity on foot. We’re collecting non-perishable food donations to support local families in need. Event runs , 6:00pm – 10:00pm and is free.

Winter Fest (December 18 – January 3)

OC Fair & Event Center

88 Fair Dr.

Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Winter Fest is a whimsical getaway that features unlimited ice tubing down a 130-foot, six lane ice slide known as Snowflake Summit, massive ice skating rink, where skaters circle the ice while beloved holiday films play on the theatre-sized projection screen in the background, reindeer viewing and feeding, experience the world’s largest walk-through ornament, visits with Mr. & Mrs. Claus in the North Pole building with model trains, arts, crafts, games and cookie decorating for kids, Candy Cane Carnival with 30 rides and games, entertainment from magician Jimmy H., Chainsaw Chicks, strolling carolers, stilt walking soldiers, local bands and more.  Hours and admission varies; check website for details.

OC Model Engineers Free Public Rides and Photo with Santa Claus (December 19 – 20)

Orange County Model Engineers

Goat Hill Junction Railroad

2500 Placentia Ave.

Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Public ride days are conducted on the third Saturday and following Sunday of each month from 10:00am – 3:30pm. The club has a variety of engines and riding cars.  Trains on public ride days are made up of 4 to 6 bench cars that seat 5 to 6 adults and children.  Children need to be old enough to walk (note we may have a height of 34″ requirement). Rides are free; however, donations are welcome and help keep the trains running.

Special this weekend is an opportunity to meet Santa. He will be available for photos 10:00am – 2:30pm for a $5 donation.

41st Annual Dana Point Harbor Boat Parade of Lights (December 11 – 12 and 18-19)

Dana Point Harbor

Dana Point, CA 92629

Boaters from all around Orange County decorate their boats and vie for the awards of Judges Choice, Best Theme, Best Use of Lights, Best Animation, Most Colorful, Most Original, Best Sailboat, Best Powerboat and the Perpetual Trophy for the Yacht Club with the Most Entries, along with many other awards and cash prizes!  This year’s theme is “A Galactic Holiday.” Be part of the parade and enter your own boat, contact us at (949)496-5794 or pick up an entry form at Dana Wharf Sportfishing or online at or  You can view the parade free from anywhere in the Harbor, or make reservations at one of our restaurants to view it from a cozy and warm spot.  Come on down and enjoy the sights and sounds of the season. The parade is at 7:30pm at the water’s edge.

Dana Wharf Sportfishing offers boat rides for the fun of and joining in the parade.  The boat is located at Dana Wharf docks, 34675 Golden Lantern, Dana Point.  Tickets are $29 for Adults/$19 for Children.  Kids will be able to participate in the judging of the Dana Wharf Kid’s Cup Trophy.  Call and make your reservations at (949) 496-5794.  For more information call the Harbor info line at (949) 496-5794 or visit our website at

Aquarium of the Pacific (December 18 – 20)

100 Aquarium Way

Long Beach, CA  90802

Friday, December 18: – Shark Lagoon Nights – 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 sandtigers as well as rays in the Aquarium’s Shark Lagoon. Coffee, hot cocoa, beer, wine, desserts, and snacks are available for purchase. Please note that while it is almost every Friday, some Fridays are excluded. Please check the dates for availability. Shark Lagoon Nights are weather-dependent and can be canceled due to inclement weather. Only Shark Lagoon is open and available for guests during these free events. Please call for more information. Event runs 6:00pm – 9:00pm.

Friday, December 18: Homeschool Holiday – Join us for Homeschool Holiday! We are opening our doors to homeschool families, networks, students, parents, and teachers. Help us brrrrrring in winter! With winter themed activities, learn about the amazing ocean and how animals cope with cold water. Enjoy special activities throughout the Aquarium where students of all ages can investigate, experiment, and discover. Event runs 9:00am – 12:00pm and is $6 per participant.

Saturday, December 19 and Sunday, December 20: Aquarium Holidays – Celebrate the holiday season at the Aquarium this December with special events and holiday décor all month long. On the first three weekends in December carolers will regale Aquarium visitors with holiday songs, and a snow play area will be set up on the front lawn. Santa will also make appearances on all three weekends of Aquarium Holidays for photo opportunities. On December 12 and 13 the Aquarium will be collecting toys for the annual Spark of Love Toy Drive. Bring a new and unwrapped toy valued at $15 or more for the Long Beach Fire Department’s Annual Spark of Love Toy Drive and receive a coupon for $10 off adult and $5 off child admissions. Donations may include books, toys, sports equipment, and school supplies. This drive will directly benefit Long Beach families and children in need this holiday season. Holiday activities are free with general admission ($28.95 adult, $14.95 Child 3-11) and run 9:00am – 6:00pm.

Santa Ana Zoo Winter Zoobilation (December 1 – 31)

1801 E Chestnut Ave.

Santa Ana, CA 92701

Winter Zoobilation is our annual holiday family festival. The Zoo is transformed into a winter wonderland filled with beautiful, original, hand-crafted decorations by Board Member Rip Ribble, train and carrousel rides in their full holiday regale, mischievous monkeys, and festive weekend entertainment. Zoo hours are 10:00am – 4:00pm. Free with museum admission ($10/adult, $7 child).

Selfies with Santa (November 27 – December 24)

Irvine Spectrum Center (Carousel Court)

670 Spectrum Center Dr.

Irvine, CA 92618

Santa returns to Irvine Spectrum Center, Orange County style!  Clad in a Hawaiian shirt and board shorts, St. Nick will greet visitors in his Crystal Cove beach-inspired house decked out with iconic OC accents including surfboards and orange crates. Shoppers are invited to share holiday wishes and take complimentary Selfies with Santa.  Every visitor can take two complimentary photos with their cell phones or cameras.  A complimentary professional digital photo will also be available and emailed to you.  Hard copy photos can also be purchased upon request. 2015 SANTA HOUSE HOURS:

  • Monday – Saturday: Noon – 8pm
  • Sunday: 11am – 6pm


  • Black Friday/Opening Day (Friday, November 27): 11am – 8pm
  • December 21 – 23: Noon – 9pm
  • Christmas Eve (Wednesday, December 24): 10am – 6pm
  • Christmas Day (Thursday, December 25) : CLOSED – Santa flies back to the North Pole!

Disney Magical Holiday Lights (November 27, 2015 – January 3, 2016)

Irvine Spectrum Center

670 Spectrum Center Dr.

Irvine, CA 92618

In partnership with Disney, Irvine Spectrum Center proudly presents “Disney Magical Holiday Lights” which brings a touch of dazzle to our tree lighting tradition in the Edwards Courtyard. The lighting and music is a yuletide tribute to the holiday spectaculars that have become guest favorites at the Disneyland Resort. New sparkling effects and lighting “magic” will bring our tree to life this year, along with a delightful new holiday soundtrack. And of course, everyone enjoys hearing the voice of Mickey Mouse, who leads a holiday sing-along. It’s a sparkling moment of magic and wonder for the whole family to enjoy! Showtimes 5:30pm, 6:30pm, 7:30pm, 8:30pm and 9:30pm.

Irvine Park Railroad’s Christmas Train (November 27 – December 23)

Irvine Regional Park

1 Irvine Park Rd.

Orange, CA 92869

Come with family and friends and take this enchanting night ridethrough 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. 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. $12/person to ride the train. Children age 24 months and younger are free. Activity tickets are $5.00/ticket or purchase a book of activity tickets for $60.00 ($15.00 savings).

Free activities:

  • Story Time with Mrs. Claus
  • Christmas Coloring Corner
  • Picture stands

Cost activities:

  • Photos with Santa
  • Santa Bounce House Jumper
  • Cookie Decorating
  • Ice Fishing
  • Christmas Carnival games
  • Food for purchase

CHILL (November 20, 2015 – January 10, 2016)

Queen Mary

1126 Queens Hwy.

Long Beach, CA 90802

A deep freeze will take over the Queen Mary this holiday season as CHILL® returns in 2015 on Nov. 20- Nov. 29, Dec. 1-6, Dec. 8 – Jan. 3 & Jan. 7-10. Experience the frozen magic that will bring holiday celebration, wonderment and North Pole temperatures to families across sunny Southern California. Tickets start at $24.99/child and $34.99/adult on select dates. See website for ticket prices including a limited time offer of tickets for $18.99 on select dates.

Our giant dome – once home to the legendary Spruce Goose – will be frozen over and transformed into a giant igloo and home to The Ice Kingdom – an awe-inspiring 13,000 sq ft walk-thru exhibit featuring larger-than-life ice creations some towering over 2.5 stories tall and made using over two million pounds of ice. But don’t forget to grab a parka and gloves – temperatures drop to a numbing 9-degrees inside the Ice Kingdom.

In addition to the enchantment of The Ice Kingdom, CHILL will also feature Ice Tubing , Ice Skating*,  an all new Victorian Village, Swinging Sleigh Ride*, Giant Rocking Horse, Polar Paintball*, Illumination Candle Making Shoppe, an Enchanted Forest Hedge Maze, live music, holiday carolers and so much more!  Your CHILL ticket also gives you ship access and a complimentary screening in the brand new 4-D Theater!  *Additional costs apply.

Winter Fantasy (November 21 – December 20)

Sawdust Art Festival

935 Laguna Canyon Rd.

Laguna Beach, CA 92651

The Sawdust Festival celebrates the holiday season every weekend starting November 21 through December 20 (as well as Friday November 27). 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.

Experience unique artwork by 175 artists, live holiday entertainment, great outdoor cafes, art classes and demonstrations, petting zoo, Santa and much, much more! With amazing art gifts, thousands of holiday decorations and picture-perfect moments, the Sawdust’s Winter Fantasy will become your family’s holiday tradition. Cost is $7 Adult and $4 Children 6-12. Hours are 10:00am – 6:00pm.

Ice Rink at the Irvine Spectrum (October 2, 2015 – February 15, 2016)

71 Fortune Dr.

Irvine, CA 92618

Outdoor skating rink at the Irvine Spectrum. Skating season runs October 2, 2015 – February 15, 2016. See website for skate schedules and pricing. Located in Giant Wheel Court adjacent to Nordstrom and Macy’s. Tickets can be purchased at the Ice Rink Box Office in Giant Wheel Court. Cash and Credit Cards (Visa/Mastercard) accepted.

Children’s Museum at La Habra

301 South Euclid St.

La Habra, CA 90631

Our mission
is to encourage enthusiasm about learning in a hands-on environment that opens the world even to the youngest child. Our museum features 7 galleries and 14 different hands on exhibits, many of which remain unique to the field today. In addition to these exhibits, an outdoor dinosaur topiary and historic 1942 caboose, the Museum features an exhibit which changes 3 times a year. The Children’s Museum welcomes local, national and international visitors. Children can ride a kid-size carousel, take a walk in T-Rex’s footprints, pet an Arctic fox, pump gas, drive a bus, dress up and perform, and dig for fossils all in one afternoon! Admission: Kids and Adults $8, La Habra residents $7, Kids Under 2 Free). The museum is closed on Mondays.

Construction Zone exhibit – Frank Lloyd Wright has nothing on the next generation of young architects! This immersive exhibit will give them the building blocks to success. Busy hands and minds are encouraged to build, create, and innovate as they learn what goes into the making of a city. From driving bulldozers in construction sites to designing blueprints of shiny new skyscrapers, there’s a job for everyone! So grab your hard hat and your imagination and get ready to build your own city! Exhibit runs through March 6, 2016.

Friday, December 18: What To Do When Your Child Has Asthma – An interactive discussion and tools to help families with parenting issues. Participants will receive a free copy of book discussed. Workshops are presented by the La Habra Resource Center and offered in English and Spanish. Free, Museum admission is an additional $8. Workshop runs 10:15am – 1:15am.

Friday, December 18: Free Art Fridays – Anything goes today! An array of art supplies are available to create your masterpiece today! Activity available 11:00am – 3:00pm in the Family Art Center. Free with museum admission.

Saturday, December 19: Holiday Garland Craft – We’ll supply all the materials for a colorful holiday garland you can deck your halls with! Activity available 11:00am – 3:000pm in the Family Art Center. Free with museum admission.

Sunday, December 20: Silly Santa Craft – The countdown is on. We’re making silly Santas to help welcome the jolly old guy! Activity available 1:00pm – 4:000pm in the Family Art Center. Free with museum admission.

Discovery Cube Orange County

2500 N Main St.

Santa Ana, CA  92705

We INSPIRE and EDUCATE young minds through engaging SCIENCE-BASED programs and exhibits to create a meaningful IMPACT on the COMMUNITIES we serve. Our mission to inspire, educate, and impact is brought to life through the cornerstones of our core initiatives (STEM Proficiency, Early Learning, Healthy Living, and Environmental Stewardship. Explore over 100 hands-on, interactive exhibits as you adventure throughout Discovery Cube’s first and second floors. All of our exhibits teach science concepts using fun and engaging activities.

Visit the Healthy Kitchen and enjoy demonstrations from a professional chef to learn some tips and tricks of the trade. Demonstrations feature healthy, delicious, and kid approved recipes that are quick, easy, and fun to make for family and friends. Learn about food science and pick up some safety tips to help keep your little ones safe in the kitchen. No food demonstration is complete without samples and participants have the opportunity try every dish featured during the demonstration! The Healthy Kitchen offers demonstrations every weekend, at the following times:


  • 12:00pm-12:30pm
  • 1:30pm-2:00pm
  • 3:00pm-3:30pm


  • 1:30pm-2:00pm
  • 3:00pm-3:30pm

Admission is $16.95 for Adults, $12.95 for Children 3-14, and Free for Children 2 and Under. Memberships also available. Check website for details.

September 19, 2015 – January 3, 2016: Hot Wheels: Race to Win – This new family exhibit will get you revved up with immersive activities for three generations of Hot Wheels® fans. There’s something for mom, dad, grandparents, and children! Visit this exhibit to become part of a race team working together to build and test the fastest speed machines on the planet! Here’s a peak at what you’ll see:

  • Take a behind-the-scenes look at the thrilling world of racing, including the scientific process for designing fast cars
  • Compete in the Pit Stop Challenge, by racing against the clock to change tires and refuel your race car
  • Test theories regarding the science of racing by experimenting with a six lane downhill speed track, booster power track, adjustable angles track, and timing track
  • See and learn about real race car parts, authentic artifacts, and captivating memorabilia

Don’t miss this opportunity to push the limits of your imagination and learn about the world of racing in this all-new exhibit!

November 27, 2015 – January 3, 2016: Science of Gingerbread – Inside the kitchen, much more is going on than pouring and mixing – it’s science at work! Our holiday festival is filled with great hands-on activities designed to bring families together this holiday season.

Activities include:

  • Gingerbread Derby Competition (11am, 1pm, & 3pm)
  • Kitchen Chemistry Learning Station
  • Gingerbread Spices Learning Station
  • Build a House Learning Station
  • Hall of Traditions
  • 3D Printing of a gingerbread house
  • Do You Want To Build A Snowman? Science of Snow Stage Show (on select dates only – please see schedule below)
  • Cookie Decorating in the Healthy Kitchen (on select dates only – please see website for schedule)
  • Santa Meet & Greet (on select dates only – please see schedule below)

o   Saturday, 12/19/2015 – Thursday, 12/24/2015

December 19, 2015 – January 3, 2016: Winter Wonderfest – Snow and science combine this winter at Discovery Cube’s Winter Wonderfest! Learn about the science behind sledding down ice ramps and how snowflakes are formed, then put your knowledge to action with real sledding, tubing, and snow play. Winter Wonderfest is for guests of all ages and provides snow-fun in the heart of Orange County. Attractions and exhibits include sliding down a 70 foot long ramp on inner tubes, snowflake making, snowmen building, snow sledding, gingerbread derby racing and much more! Additionally, experience the 10th Annual Science of Gingerbread featuring award-winning gingerbread creations, the “Science of Snow” stage show, and cookie decorating. Santa will be making stops at the Cube for photos and the smell of sweet gingerbread will be wafting through the air. Event runs daily 10:00am – 5:00pm. Tickets for Winter Wonderfest are $5.00 per person, children under three are free.

Heritage Museum of Orange County

3101 W Harvard St.

Santa Ana, CA 92704

Heritage Museum of Orange County is a cultural and natural history center in Southern California. The centerpiece of the museum, which covers nearly 12 acres in all, is an historic plaza featuring several buildings from the 1890s set amid extensive floral gardens and citrus groves. Among these is the Kellogg House, familiar to teachers and students throughout Orange County as a favorite field trip destination for over 25 years.

Our regular public visiting hours are:

  • Friday 1pm-5pm
  • Saturday 10am-2pm
  • Sunday 11am-3pm

Prices and Amenities

  • Adults: $5
  • Seniors/Children: $4
  • Free parking
  • Free use of grounds for individuals and families during public hours
  • AAA/Access Member Discounts
  • Special for Santa Ana Residents Only: Free Admission & Tour on the first Sunday of every month.

Kidseum (art-based children’s museum operated by the Bowers Museum)

1802 N Main St.

Santa Ana, CA 92706

The newly renovated Kidseum is high-tech and interactive with a focus on its new mission, “Igniting imagination through exploration,” stressing the excitement of art and archaeology. Be sure to check out the new “Glow Cave” with its fun art making activities, ride the magical Wells Fargo stagecoach through time in the “Green Screen Time Machine,” and explore archaeology like never before in our new Archaeology Lab. There will be a lot of visual stimulation and engaging education with new smart tables, smart boards and computers.

Special Weekend Programs for children and adults! (included with admission). Admission is $6 for Ages 2 and Up, Under 2/Members are Free. Adult free admission with current Bowers Museum ticket stub.

  • Face painting all day
  • Drop in Art Studio all day
  • Live Storytelling in the Story Room – 11:00am – 11:30am and 1:30pam – 2:00pm (Saturdays & Sundays)
  • Glow Cave Paintings – 11:30am – 12:00pm and 2:00pm – 2:30pm (Saturdays & Sundays)
  • Archaeology Lab Coin Impressions – 1:00pm – 1:30pm and 2:30pm – 3:00pm (Saturdays & Sundays)

December 19, 20, 22, 23 and 24: Hands-on Art MakingClay Snowman: In the Art Studio from 10:00 a.m-4:00 p.m. (10:00am – 2:00pm on 12/24) your child can create a clay gingerbread man with air dry clay. Art is a fantastic way to get in the holiday spirit. Did you know that you don’t need any snow to make a snowman? All week (Dec 19, 20, 22, 23, and 24) create a joyful clay snowman in the Art Studio and paint it to look like snow. This is a fantastic holiday decoration or gift.

December 19, 20, 22, 23 and 24: Hands-on Art MakingGingerbread Man Cookies: In the Art Studio from 10:00 a.m-4:00 p.m. (10:00am – 2:00pm on 12/24) your child can bake and decorate cookies. It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Join us in the Art Studio to make your own gingerbread man from scratch. Staff will assist children with mixing their dough and shaping their gingerbread man. They take about 20 minutes to cook and then kids can decorate their yummy cookies in a traditional way or do a little bit crazy with decorations!

December 19, 20, 22, 23 and 24: Hands-on Art MakingGlowing Reindeer Painting: In the Glow Cave from 10:00 a.m-4:00 p.m. (10:00am – 2:00pm on 12/24) your child can create a neon reindeer painting. The paint appears to glow due to the black lights in the room. Non-toxic neon paint is provided for your child to create their one of a kind masterpiece in a unique environment. If you plan to visit Kidseum for the glow cave, try dressing your child in some neon colors or white and they will be delighted by how their clothing glows in the room.

December 19, 20, 22, 23 and 24: Hands-on Art MakingPaper Snowflakes: In the Glow Cave from 10:00 a.m-4:00 p.m. (10:00am – 2:00pm on 12/24) your child can create a snowflake. Learn how to create your own snowflake by folding and cutting paper. The snowflakes will appear to be glowing when in the Glow Cave. After cutting the snowflake children can decorate it with glitter. Hang your snowflake at home for a fun glittery winter decoration. You can continue the fun at home by cutting more snowflakes with your children.

December 20: Family Drumming Circle – Join professional LA-based percussionist Andrew Grueschow on Sunday, December 20 from 1:30pm to 3:00pm at Kidseum to participate in a family drumming circle with an emphasis on African drumming! Recommended for ages 2-8. Andrew will teach children the basics of drumming and music, then children will participate in the indigenous Mexican drumming circle and sound great! The drumming circle and the art studio are complimentary with admission. In the Art Studio today (from 10am – 4:00pm) children can make their very own maracas and rainsticks to take the music home! Event runs 1:30pm – 3:00pm.

Laguna Art Museum

307 Cliff Dr.

Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Laguna Art Museum is a museum of California art. It collects, cares for, and exhibits works of art that were created by California artists or represent the life and history of the state. Unlike any other museum in the state, it collects California art and only California art, and ranges across all periods and styles, nineteenth-century to present-day. Walk-in tours led by experienced docents feature highlights from the museum’s current exhibitions. These tours begin at 11:00 a.m. in the museum lobby on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays beginning one week after an exhibition opens. No reservations are necessary, but please notify the tour program coordinator if you are bringing a group of ten or more. Tours are free for museum members and free for non-member with museum admission.

The museum is open Monday – Tuesday, Friday – Sunday 11:00am – 5:00pm, Thursday 11:00am – 9:00pm, Closed Wednesday. Admission is $7 adult, Free for children under 12. The museum is free for all visitors the first Thursday of every month from 5:00pm – 9:00pm. Metered parking is available surrounding the museum on Cliff Drive and Pacific Coast Highway. The meters take quarters and credit cards only.  Additional street parking is available in the residential area east of the museum, across Pacific Coast Highway. The museum does not have a parking lot. There is a free trolley service available for visitors on weekends in the spring and daily during the summer months.

Sunday, December 20: Kids’ Art Studio – Kids’ Art Studio is a new hands-on art-making program offered by Laguna Art Museum. It takes place on a drop-in basis on the third Sunday of every month between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m. Children and their families create a piece of art, from start to finish, inspired by one of the exhibitions on view in the museum. Art projects are designed for all ages and are presented by members of the Laguna Art Museum Arts Council. Free admission. For questions or more information, please contact Kayla Gephart at 949.494.8971 x221.

Mission San Juan Capistrano

26801 Ortega Hwy.

San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

Mission San Juan Capistrano, historic landmark and museum, is the Birthplace of Orange County. It was founded more than two hundred years ago as the 7th of 21 missions statewide and features a chapel still standing where Fr. Serra once celebrated Mass. Today, it is a monument to California’s multi-cultural history, embracing its Native American, Spanish, Mexican and European heritage. Originally built as a self sufficient community by Spanish Padres and Native Americans, the Mission was a center for agriculture, industry, education and religion.

Admission: Adults $9 (includes free audio tour), Seniors (60+) $8 (includes free audio tour), Children (4-11) $6 (includes free audio tour), and Children under 3 are free. Admission tickets are stold at the Gate House or online. The mission is open daily 9:00am – 5:00pm. Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Closed at noon Good Friday and Christmas Eve.

Activities and tours are offered daily. Curiosity Carts are out 10:00am – 12:00pm every Tuesday and Thursday. Garden tours are offered every Wednesday at 10:00am and 10:30am. Gold Panning, Adobe Brick Making, and Arrowhead Necklace are offered every Saturday and Sunday, 11:00am – 3:00pm. $5 non-members, $1 members.


241 S Anaheim Blvd.

Anaheim, CA 92805

The MUZEO engages the community by exploring and celebrating our diverse heritage, culture and arts through creative programming. The MUZEO hosts three traveling exhibitions per year which would otherwise not be displayed in the region. Every exhibit is enhanced with special programs, events and activities. You don’t want to miss a moment of them. Admission fees: Adults $10 and children $6. Parking is available in the structure on the corner of Center Street Promenade and South Lemon Street. Museum is closed on Mondays.

King Tut: “Wonderful Things” from the Pharaoh’s Tomb – ten years in the making, this dazzling collection of 131 replicas of Tutankhamun’s legendary treasures recreates the richest archaeological find of all time. Carefully recreated by the artisans of the Pharaonic Village in Giza, Egypt and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, this collection is larger and more complete than any previous exhibition of original artifacts. Displayed in open glass cases, King Tut includes replicas of the pharaoh’s sacred and personal possessions along with associated artifacts from the period surrounding Tutankhamen’s reign.

Docent tours start in the box office and last approximately 45 minutes. Tours are complimentary with admission to King Tut: “Wonderful Things” from the Pharaoh’s Tomb. Schedule subject to change. Exhibit runs November 8, 2015 – January 24, 2016.

Muzeo Express: Holiday Model Trains – This FREE exhibit runs from December 3rd through the 19th, with trains running Tuesdays 12-5pm, Thursdays 5-8pm and Saturdays 10-5.

Orange County Museum of Art

850 San Clemente Dr.

Newport Beach, CA 92660

OCMA’s mission is to enrich the lives of a diverse and changing community through modern and contemporary art. The museum offers free admission every Friday. Hours are 11:00am – 8:00pm. A public tour is offered at 1:00pm.

Pretend City

29 Hubble

Irvine, CA 92618

Pretend City Children’s Museum features a small, interconnected city designed to “build better brains” through purposeful play, hands-on learning experiences, role playing, and educational programming. As a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization serving all children, it depends on community-based funding and guest support. Through 17 interactive exhibits and activities guided by a highly trained professional staff, children learn foundational math, reading and science skills, while fostering curiosity, creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, organization, teamwork, self-confidence and socialization. The museum is a unique community resource offering developmental screenings and tools for families, educators and community agencies working to ensure that each child gains the experiences needed to discover their potential and build toward a productive and fulfilling future.

Admission is as follows: Infant to 12 months: FREE, Children: $12.50, Adult: $12.50, Military and Family Members: $9.50. Pretend City’s Art Studio has new art projects daily! See the Art Calendar for details. Pretend City’s Real Café is located between the Home and Construction Site. Our vending Machines contain healthy choices like sandwiches, salads, fruit snacks, milk, bottle water, and other healthier snack options for your family. Take a break in our Real Cafe seating area while you fill up on much-needed fuel before going back on the floor for more play!  We ask that all eating be in the Real Café seating area, or on the outside tables to side the building (next to the Front Entrance). Pretend City Children’s Museum is a nut-free facility.

Sunday, December 6 – December 14: Hooray for Chanukah! – Happy Chanukah! Celebrate Chanukah at Pretend City. Your child will love these rich and diverse activities about the Hanukkah miracle and the importance of many of the traditions of the holiday. We’ll have fun learning about this wonderful holiday through games, finger play rhymes, art projects and activities.

Featured activities include:

  • Sunday, December 6  Menorah
  • Monday, December 7  Dreidel, Dreidel
  • Tuesday, December 8  Star of David
  • Wednesday, December 9 Chanukah Art
  • Thursday, December 10 Tzedakah Box
  • Friday, December 11 Chanukah Story Tim
  • Saturday, December 12 Sunrise-Sunset Song
  • Sunday, December 13 Gelt Scavenger hunt
  • Monday, December 14 Pretend Honey and spice cookies

Event runs each day 10:00am – 5:00pm. RSVP not required. Free with museum admission.

Saturday, December 12 – December 23: Christmas Countdown – It’s time to begin the 12 days of Christmas Countdown! The days that lead up to Christmas are an exciting and magical time for young children. Join us each day as we “unwrap” a new activity that celebrates the season. By the end of our Christmas Countdown, we’ll be as excited and full of Christmas spirit as Buddy the Elf! Featured activities include:

  • Saturday, December 12 Gingerbread Man & Houses
  • Sunday, December 13 Candy Canes
  • Monday, December 14 Visit & Photo with Santa
  • Monday, December 15 Christmas Trees
  • Tuesday, December 16 Reindeers
  • Wednesday, December 17 Christmas Stockings and Visit & Photo with Santa
  • Thursday, December 18 Twinkly Christmas Lights
  • Friday, December 19 Presents & Sleighs
  • Saturday, December 20 Popcorn Decorations
  • Sunday, December 21 Christmas Snow and Visit & Photo with Santa
  • Monday, December 22 Christmas Carols and Visit & Photo with Santa
  • Tuesday, December 23 Christmas Eve Excitement

*All activities are subject to change and limited to availability. RSVP: Not required. Fee: Included with museum admission.

Friday, December 18: Homeschool Field Experience Day – Once a month we offer Homeschool students unlimited access to our interactive exhibits offering learning through fun experiences. A field experience to Pretend City offers your students a learning experience through hands-on educational play. The Pretend City environment allows you to create a plethora of curriculum and activities to surround your students with challenging problems and absorbing questions. RSVP:  Register here. Registration is required by Wednesday, November 18. Maximum: 300

*When you come to Pretend City on the Homeschool Day, please present your Homeschool Day ticket and Homeschool ID card (or district letter, private school affidavit, etc) to the Front Desk. Fee:  $9.00 per students; $9.00 per adult. Event runs 10:00am – 5:00pm.

Sunday, December 20: The International Peace Choir Performance – As a non-profit* organization, the International Peace Choir Inc. embraces a vision of worldwide peace. Since its inception in 1987, the International Peace Choir Inc. has continued to focus its efforts on promoting peace, love, and brotherhood through its Peace Ambassadors and their performances worldwide. Our theme song, “Let There Be Peace On Earth” is a beautiful reminder that it really does begin with each and every one of us! The children, our Peace Ambassadors, are between the ages of five and seventeen and proudly represent their diverse heritages and cultural backgrounds. The costumes they wear are carefully researched for authenticity and designed as genuine replicas of the clothing worn on the most festive occasions. This colorful ritual allows our audiences to enjoy a beautiful showcase of traditional costumes from many nearby and distant lands. RSVP: Not required. Fee: Included with museum admission. Event runs 11:30am – 12:30pm.

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