OC Day Tripper

By Ellen Bell

OC Day Tripper
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OC Holiday Happenings: Dec. 1 – 6

Tis the season when Orange County decks its halls and celebrates the holidays with a variety of seasonal events. With so much Merry in the air, it will be difficult to avoid being doused in a sprinkling of good cheer.

Throughout the month of December, I will share my tips for holiday bliss, day by day.



Some will be traditional favorites.

Others will be a little more off-beat.

Try one or two and enjoy the holidays  – Orange County style.


Saturday, December 1
Christmas at the Casa – San Clemente


Casa Romantica   415 Avenida Granada

One of my favorite South County destinations, Casa Romantica, will be splendidly decorated for the holidays. The 1927 home of San Clemente founder Ole Hanson will feature Dickens carolers, hot chocolate and, of course, Santa. Start the season with a blend of Christmas cheer and local history.


Sunday, December 2
Annual Home for the Holidays Pet Adoption Fair – Irvine

10am – 3pm

Irvine Animal Care Center  6443 Oak Canyon Road

Is a new puppy on someone’s Christmas list? You can make a homeless pet part of your family just in time for the holidays. This event will feature adoptable animals from shelters all over California. There will be a silent auction, Ask a Vet advice, and low-cost microchip service. Admission cost is $1.


Monday, December 3
Sprinkles Treats for Toys – Newport Beach

10am – 8pm

944 Avocado

Sprinkles Cupcakes will trade toys for treats. Just donate a toy and receive a free cupcake of your choice. All toys will be donated to the Salvation Army of Southern California.


Tuesday, December 4
“Plaid Tidings” at the Laguna Playhouse – Laguna Beach 


606 Laguna Canyon Road

The hilarious, heavenly quartet is returning to The Laguna Playhouse to croon their tight  harmonic renditions of musical hits from the ‘50s and ‘60s. This nostalgic holiday extravaganza features “Plaid-erized” Christmas standards such as “Mr. Santa,” “Let It Snow” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. ”


Wednesday, December 5
Ice Skating at the Spectrum – Irvine

Open daily, 11am – 9:15pm

Irvine Spectrum
71 Fortune Drive, Irvine

It may not be Rockefeller Center, but the outdoor ice skating rink near the Giant Wheel at the Irvine Spectrum is a fun, active way to celebrate the season.


Thursday, December 6
Tree Lighting Ceremony – Brea


Brea Civic & Cultural Center
1 Civic Center Circle

If you live in North County, you may want to light up the holiday at the City of Brea’s annual Tree Lighting Celebration. Live music and entertainment will put everyone in the holiday mood. Watch the holiday tree light up the evening. Santa and Mrs. Claus will drop in for a visit and pictures are available for a fee. Cookies and hot chocolate will be served.






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