There’s Something for Everyone to Enjoy at These Wintery Celebrations

Written By: Gaya Lynn and Taylor Gorski  Holiday Events Orange County

When it comes to the holidays, Orange County is the place to be. Where else can you experience fun, sun and holiday cheer? Plus, with most of the country enduring icy-cold temps, the saying “There’s no place like home for the holidays” may be particularly true this year. So while we may dream of a white Christmas, there are perks in staying both warm and merry. Get out your Santa hats, belt out a “Ho ho ho,” and come celebrate the holidays, sunny California-style. If you’re going out and about, make sure to follow all health and safety precautions for a happy, healthy holiday season!


1 | A Taste of Holiday Cheer Holiday Events Orange County

Tavern House Kitchen + Bar

No SoCal holiday season is complete without comfort food and waterfront views. And this year, Tavern House is serving up delicious bayside specials that are sure to warm you right up. Roll up your sleeves and dig into the hot turkey sandwich, an open-faced sandwich served on grilled rustic sourdough, layered with Braised turkey legs, roasted breast, mashed potatoes, cornbread-pine nut stuffing and giblet gravy. This special also comes with a side of butternut squash, maple-glazed Brussels sprouts and cranberry-orange relish. 

If you’ve had too many plates of Thanksgiving leftovers, the crispy roasted duck served for dinner is the perfect change-up. This special features a half crispy skin roasted Pekin duck served with cornbread-pine nut stuffing and a Michigan sour cherry sauce. Don’t miss out on these holiday favorites both available to-go as well!

Tavern House Kitchen + Bar
333 Bayside Dr
Newport Beach, CA 92660


2 | Santa Surfs Into Town Holiday Events Orange County

The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel

The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel is packed with family-friendly activities this holiday season. Book the Inspirations of the Season special package (available until Jan. 31, 2021) for a winter staycay that includes overnight accommodations, a breakfast credit and a surf-inspired ornament. Through Jan. 2, the resort’s lobby will showcase large-scale sand sculptures to get in the holiday spirit. 

Be sure to take advantage of Christmas brunch to go and Christmas Eve to go! The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel will feature a decadent multi-course menu that serves up to 6 people ($295 + tax) and includes seafood cocktail, prime rib, mascarpone mashed potatoes, eggnog cream puffs and more. Reservations can be made by calling 949.240.2000.

The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel 
One Ritz-Carlton Dr
Dana Point, CA 92629


3 | Holiday Spirit Holiday Events Orange County

The District at Tustin Legacy

The District is getting in the holiday spirit with a month full of activities. They are partnering with local non-profit organizations who are all decorating holiday trees that will be displayed for the Festival of Trees on Dec. 5, 12 and 19 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Reservations are required to ensure social distancing. The District is also offering virtual Santa photos that can easily be downloaded for sharing. They will be live-streaming holiday music Dec. 1-29 at 7 p.m. Take a stroll through The District for a look at holiday decorations like the giant light-up ornament, and for a little extra holiday joy, each week you can enter to win a $100 gift card to somewhere at The District; visit to enter! 

The District at Tustin Legacy
2437 Park Ave
Tustin, CA 92782


4 | Merry Kiss Me Holiday Events Orange County

Dana Point Harbor

Known as the “Whale Capital of the World,” the light-laden Dana Point Harbor is a delight for the entire family. Whether you want to go whale watching or grab a tasty treat from the Coffee Importers or the Chocolate Soldier, the Dana Point Harbor makes for the perfect open-air spot to stroll among holiday lights (like the “Merry Kiss Me” arch or candy cane lane). 

Dana Point Harbor
34571 Golden Lantern St
Dana Point, CA 92629


5 | Garden Stroll

Night of 1000 Lights

The holiday season isn’t complete without a visit to the brilliantly decorated Sherman Library & Gardens. And while you walk around the gardens and explore the gorgeous light displays, you can be sure that safety and health is the garden’s top priority. The Christmas Light Walk will be held Dec. 10, 11, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22. Entry is $25 for non-members, $15 for members and free for children under the age of three. You can attend this event by purchasing advance tickets only, and it is expected to sell out.

Sherman Library & Gardens
2647 E Coast Hwy
Corona del Mar, CA 92625


6 | Illuminate the Bay + Festive Activities

Newport Dunes Lighting of the Bay

The 30th annual Lighting of the Bay is taking place at Newport Dunes starting on Nov. 27 and running through Jan. 1. This year, guests can dine fireside, host a private drive-in movie night and check out all the lights illuminated on the bay! For a full Lighting of the Bay experience, book a night’s stay at the resort or reserve an RV campsite. 

Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort
1131 Back Bay Dr
Newport Beach, CA 92660


7 | Oceanfront Skating

Paséa Hotel & Spa

This year, we know just the spot for an unforgettable ice skating experience. Paséa Hotel & Spa will be home to an oceanfront ice rink (that’s right, Southern California’s only oceanfront ice rink!) from Nov. 21 to Jan. 3. Not only will you be able to skate with views of the ocean, but you’ll be able to indulge in special food dishes and cocktails. Enjoy sips from Veuve Clicquot, Ketel One and Diageo as you listen to the DJ that will be dropping beats on the weekends. Tickets to the rink are $25 per person, and you can view the schedule of times here.

Paséa Hotel & Spa
21080 Pacific Coast Hwy
Huntington Beach, CA 92648


8 | Drive-Thru Lights

Night of Lights OC

From Dec. 10 to Jan. 10, the OC Fair & Event Center will transform into a magical winter wonderland, offering an interactive drive-thru experience. The one-mile drive features over one million lights! Tickets start at $40 per vehicle, and you can purchase sweet treats and meals in advance prior to the event.

OC Fair & Event Center
88 Fair Dr
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

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