When my big kid was little, we lived in Colorado. We spent many winter days dressed for the cold. Now that we’re back in Orange County, I revel in the warmer winter weather. I can grab the mail without bothering to wear shoes. I wear shorts year-round. But I still like to bundle up occasionally and head outdoors for some hot cocoa and holiday cheer.
Irvine Park Railroad Christmas Train ($$)
The 14th Annual Christmas Train runs from the Irvine Park Railroad inside Irvine Regional Park. The railroad transforms into Santa’s Village with an Elf House Snack Bar. The best part of the Christmas Train is going through the tunnel of lights. For the first time, families can buy pre-sale tickets when purchasing tickets online. Pre-sale tickets may NOT be purchased by phone or in person. Tickets will continue to be sold at the train station ticket window on the day you are planning to ride the train. Sign up for Irvine Park Railroad’s FREE newsletter to receive exclusive offers. Dress warmly. Bring your camera. Arrive early to avoid crowds. Check their website for more details.
Christmas at the OC Zoo ($)
Also at Irvine Regional Park, on December 19th from 10am-3pm celebrate Christmas at the OC Zoo. See the animals receive treats hidden inside Christmas trees. (We did this at Halloween when the animals received pumpkins. It was lots of fun.)
Chanukah Celebration and Concert at Crown Valley Community Park (FREE)
On December 13th at 3:30 p.m., head to the park for the lighting of the community menorah and a free concert by Shankbone – “the hottest Jewish folk-rock band playing a mash-up of Jewish and Indie music.” Bring a blanket to sit on. Event sponsored by the Chabad of Laguna Niguel. Check the flyer for details.
101st Year of the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade at Newport Harbor (FREE)
I can’t even describe how cool it is to see all the lights and boats on parade. This year’s theme is “The Joys of Christmas Toys.” Explore the website for all the details.
Metrolink Holiday Toy Express Trains (FREE)
We’re big train lovers, so it’s fun to see the holiday train roll into the station with all the lights. I also like that it’s a charity event where you bring a toy donation for Sparks of Love. Here’s the flyer.
Price Guide for a Family of Four
Less than $12 ($)
*Since these events are “outdoorsy” they may be postponed for weather. Make sure you check the links before you go.
Tuesday 17th of November 2009
Great ideas! Thanks!! I can't believe it is time for the holidays already!