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Ultimate Orange County Holiday Events Guide

Top Holiday Events in Orange County

What activities do you enjoy with your family during the holiday season? Most of us like to drive around admiring beautiful house light displays or treat the little ones to a Breakfast with Santa. It’s also a wonderful time to teach the kids to give back through service projects such as preparing a shoebox full of goodies for disadvantaged children through Operation Christmas Child. But there are so many other great holiday events available in Orange County. So here it is, the cream of the crop! The best of the best! Here are my top picks (in no particular order) by category of the amazing holiday events in Orange County. In addition, I’ve listed Holiday Celebrations by city by North and South Orange County. Enjoy your holiday season!

Top Holiday Experience Events

Winter Fest at the OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa

December 18, 2015 – January 3, 2016, Hours vary, Admission Varies ($10-$30)

Enjoy winter in the OC with ice skating, holiday film viewings, ice tubing, nightly snowfall, Christmas tree lighting celebration and more festive entertainment and family-friendly activities.

Irvine Park Railroad’s Christmas Train at Irvine Regional Park

November 27 – December 23, Times vary by day, $12 to ride train and additional cost for some activities

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.

Goat Hill Junction Train Rides at Fairview Park in Costa Mesa – Polar Express or Ride with Santa

December 6, 10:00am – 12:00pm, Polar Express, Free

December 19 – 20, 10:00am – 3:30pm, Public Ride Days with Santa!, Free

The OC Model Engineers have 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.

CHILL at the Queen Mary in Long Beach

November 20 – 29, December 1 – 6, December 8 – January 3, & January 7 – 10, Times vary by day, Ticket prices vary

Experience the frozen magic that will bring holiday celebration, wonderment and North Pole temperatures to families across sunny Southern California. Our giant dome 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. CHILL will also feature Ice Tubing , Ice Skating*, live music, holiday carolers and so much more.

Disney Magical Holiday Lights at Irvine Spectrum Center

November 27, 2015 – January 3, 2016, Showtimes 5:30pm, 6:30pm, 7:30pm 8:30pm and 9:30pm, Free

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!

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  1. OC Holiday Light Guide – South Coast Style - […] One of my favorite things to do around the holidays is to drive around and look at decorated houses.…

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