Family Friendly Shows, Festivals and Events Around Orange County
Wednesday November 1-Sunday January 28
This winter you can visit the Antarctic in Santa Ana. At least, you can see the Antarctic as it looked 100 years ago during the legendary Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. This historic journey, led by the renowned explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, was documented in the amazing photographs of Frank Hurley. Hurley’s work, along with select artifacts from the expedition, will be on display in this exhibit, which should interest those who love history and adventure.
Saturday November 18-Sunday November 19, Saturday November 25-Sunday November 26, Saturday December 2-Sunday December 3, Saturday December 9-Sunday December 10, Saturday December 16-Sunday December 17
The Sawdust Festival delivers five weekends of holiday fun where you’ll enter a “winter fantasy” filled with all type of gift items. More than 175 artists will have a variety of jewelry, clothing, fused and blown glass, ceramics, woodwork, forged metals, painting, photography, sculpture, clothing and textiles on display. The festival also includes outdoor cafes, art classes and demonstrations, petting zoo, and three stages of live performances. Oh, there will be visits from Santa too!
Friday November 24–Saturday December 24 (no shows Mon. and some Tuesdays and Wednesday)
7:30 pm Tuesday-Friday, 2:30 pm, 7:30 pm Saturday, 12 pm, 4 pm Sunday
Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit, Ebenezer Scrooge and all your favorite Christmas Carol characters return to South Coast Rep. for the 38th year. SCR’s acclaimed original adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic has become a local holiday tradition. Part of this tradition includes actor Hal Landon Jr. portraying Scrooge, which he has done in every SCR production. Low-priced previews are on November 24-26, 28-30. Check their website for complete show day and ticket information (demand pricing may occur for some shows). Ages 6 and older.
Segerstrom Stage, South Coast Repertory
Have a sweet time finding out all about that holiday favorite: gingerbread. Discover the elements of math, engineering and science that are involved in its creation. Build a candy car out of holiday treats and then race it in the Gingerbread Derby. There will be other holiday treats in store too, like Santa visits. You can also check out the delicious entries in the annual gingerbread house competition.
Whether you are a fan of model trains or just love the holiday season, you will want to make a stop at the Muzeo this month as the museum will again host a stand-out collection of holiday model trains. On display will be some vintage model trains set up in nicely detailed miniature scenes. The exhibit will also provide a history of trains in Southern California along with having hands-on activities for children to do.
Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit, Ebenezer Scrooge and all your favorite Christmas Carol characters return to South Coast Rep. for the 38th year. SCR’s acclaimed original adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic certainly has become a local holiday tradition. Part of this tradition includes actor Hal Landon Jr. portraying Scrooge, which he has done in every SCR production. The show is recommended for ages 6 and older; check their website for complete show day and ticket information (demand pricing may occur for some shows).
The District, in Tustin, celebrates the winter season in a big way – with the largest outdoor ice skating rink in all of Orange County! The rink, known as the District Freeze, is open seven days a week (except Christmas) and offers 90-minute sessions. At night, District Freeze serves up a unique skating experience where the lights get timed the music. For full details on the ice rink, visit the District’s website.
You can experience plenty of holiday cheer at Disneyland. California Adventure will again light up the night with its sensational “World of Color: Season of Light” while “Disney ¡Viva Navidad!” offers some Latin American flair to Christmas-time. Over at Disneyland, “It’s A Small World” and the “Haunted Mansion” will have special holiday adornments. Guests can also enjoy the Christmas Fantasy Parade and the “Believe…In Holiday Magic Fireworks show.
4-8 pm Monday-Friday, 10 am-8 pm Saturday-Sunday December 1-23
Train rides: 15 ages 2 and older; some activities have an additional fee
The Christmas train will be making stops at Irvine Regional Park and taking its passengers on a festive trip to the North Pole to meet Santa. Youngsters can tell him about their wish list and have a photo with him too. Santa’s Village will hold more holiday merriment, like ice fishing, carnival games, cookie decorating, Rudolph Races, Frosty’s maze, and a storytime with Mrs. Claus. Some activities have an additional fee.
The popular rink has popped back up at the Irvine Spectrum for your skating pleasure. Every Thursday, from 6 pm-8:30 pm, holds DJ music, prizes, entertainment, and a different theme. For example, the theme December 7 will be Reindeer & Red Noses, followed weekly by Christmas Jammies, Jingle Bells & Santa’s Helpers, and, on December 21, New Year’s Sparkle. There are several separate skate sessions daily; visit the rink’s website to get the full details.