Family Friendly Shows, Festivals and Events Around Orange County
Saturday December 1-Saturday January 5
A two-story, 100-foot ice tubing slide, ice bumper cars, nightly snow flurries and an interactive light show featuring a 30-foot tall Christmas tree are a few amazing attractions found nightly (5 pm-10 pm) at this Xmas extravaganza. Family activities also include decorating cookies and even trimming stockings! This event, additionally, will raise money to benefit the USO San Diego.
4 pm-8 pm weekdays; 10 am-8 pm weekends
This Christmas train takes passengers to the North Pole to meet Santa. Youngsters can share their wish list and have a photo with Santa. Santa’s Village presents more holiday merriment, like carnival games, “ice fishing,” cookie decorating, Rudolph Racers, Blizzard Ball and a Mrs. Claus story time.
Saturday December 1-Monday December 31
The District at Tustin Legacy launches the holiday December 1 with a family fest, including free Santa photos (12 pm-2 pm). Santa is also part of December 15’s Winter Wonderland (6 pm-8 pm) along with magical snowfall, the Snow Queen and other wintry fun. The photo-friendly Wonderland Holiday House will be open December 1-31. Check The District’s website for additional details.
Wednesday December 19-Sunday December 23
At 110 years old, this boat parade might be one of the oldest around, but it has its youthful spirit. Gloriously decorated yachts, boats, kayaks and canoes will proceed for all to see along the 14-mile route from 6:30 pm-9 pm nightly. Fireworks open and close the five-night floating spectacle, with each night having a different Grand Marshall.
Bay Island Channel
Newport Beach Harbor, Newport Beach
This seasonal extravaganza comes packed with ice tubing, ice skating, and two real Snow Play areas, along with carnival rides, games and special events, like a Flying Santa. This year also presents 40,000 square feet of new wintry adventures—a Festival of Lights, a Candy and Snowflake Wonderland and a SoCal Dickens Village. Check the website for details and times.
Thursday December 20-Sunday January 6
Pretend City commemorates Kwanzaa with five days of interesting, educational activities. December 26 features holiday craft projects, like Kufi making. Additionally, children can hear storytime readings of “Li’l Rabbit’s Kwanzaa” (December 27), “My First Kwanzaa” (December 28), “Kevin’s Kwanzaa” (December 29) and “The Sound of Kwanzaa” (December 30). The museum’s website has more complete details.
For the 27th year, First Night Fullerton occurs on the last night of the year (7 pm-12 am). Always a popular New Year’s Eve destination, this all-ages, alcohol-free festival offers musical performances, roaming entertainment, games, food vendors, activities and an amazing fireworks display to ring in the new year at midnight.
Harbor Boulevard, Pomona Avenue and Wilshire Avenue, Fullerton
Spend a full day at Legoland (11 am-7 pm) celebrating New Year’s Eve—and still get home by midnight! During the day, there will be live bands and special character meet-and-greets. The main attraction starts around 6 pm with the fun (and early) New Year’s countdown that culminates in the 22-foot drop of a giant LEGO brick and a fireworks show.
Why wait until midnight to celebrate 2019’s arrival when the Children’s Museum at La Habra is having its annual midday New Year’s party (10 am-12 pm)? The morning’s merriment includes dancing to a DJ’s music, hat making, face painting and the big balloon drop at noon. Space is limited; please call 562-383-4236 to make your balloon drop reservation.
The public actually can enjoy three New Year’s celebrations at Pretend City’s “Noon-Year’s” party. They will do confetti countdowns to celebrate 2019’s arrival in Dubai (12 pm), Athens (2 pm) and London (4 pm). To prepare for the festivities, children can make noise-makers and party hats, and even get to sharpen their counting skills.