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Kids Calendar

Family friendly things to do for the holidays

The cool, winter’s air tousles your hair as you inhale the briny ocean waters that ebb and flow into the illuminated Huntington Harbour.
    On December 17-23, hop aboard the Huntington Harbour Philharmonic Cruise of Lights. Celebrating its 53rd anniversary, the 45-minute narrated boat tour brings together locals and out-of-town visitors for an awe-inspiring evening on the water. A lasting OC family holiday tradition. :: cruiseoflights.org

SPECIAL EVENTS

Holiday Celebrations
Families are invited to the SOCO and OC Mix to participate in free holiday activities such as face painting, pictures with Santa, live music and a photo booth. 3 to 6 p.m. on Dec. 13.
:: shoptheocmix.com

Olive Press
Pretend City Museum in Irvine is hosting an olive press workshop at which children can learn about the traditions of Hanukkah and make olive oil for the menorah. This event runs from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Dec. 8 and is included with museum admission of $12.50. :: pretendcity.org

Christmas at the Mission
Bring the family to Mission San Juan Capistrano and join in the festivities as the mission celebrates Christmas. Kids will have the opportunity to decorate cookies and ornaments in Santa’s workshop, and the whole family can listen to live entertainment and more. 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Dec. 5. General admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children ages 4 to 11 and free for ages 3 and younger and guests with active military I.D. :: missionsjc.com

Tree Lighting
Head to the city of Orange to watch the 21st annual tree-lighting ceremony. Sing Christmas carols and enjoy other holiday-themed festivities. Food and kids activities will be available for a fee. The event begins at 3:30 p.m. with the tree lighting at 5:15 p.m. on Dec. 6. :: cityoforange.org

Light A Light Of Love Parade
Families can enjoy the Light a Light of Love Holiday Parade in Huntington Beach, which features a children’s parade, classic cars and Mr. and Mrs. Claus on a fire engine. The event also features entertainment and a snowflake lighting. The festivities begin at 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 6. :: cspinc.org

‘A Christmas Carol’
South Coast Repertory presents “A Christmas Carol,” the classic holiday tale with characters Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. Performances are on Dec. 3-6, Dec. 9-13,
Dec. 15-20, Dec. 22-24 and Dec. 26-27. Performance times vary depending on day. Tickets start at $27. :: scr.org

‘The Nutcracker’
Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa presents “The Nutcracker for Kids,” a shortened, 45-minute version of “The Nutcracker,” specifically for children ages 5-11. Watch dancing sugar plum fairies and sing along in the grand finale of this performance. 10 and 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 5. Tickets start at $25. :: scfta.org

Christmas Show
Bring the family and watch Cirque Christmas, a holiday concert at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa. Watch jugglers, contortionists, acrobats and more during this festive performance, 8 p.m. on Dec. 18-19. Tickets start at $45. :: scfta.org

Holiday Village
Bring the family to downtown Anaheim for the 21st annual Nutcracker Christmas Tree Lighting and Holiday Village. Enjoy a snow area, face painting, train rides, arts and crafts, and more. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Dec. 5. Admission is free. :: downtownanaheim.com

Boat Parade
Join in the holiday celebration at the 107th annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade. For five nights, you can view decorated kayaks, canoes, yachts and other vessels as they sail around the harbor during this Christmas tradition. The parade takes place at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 16-20 and is free to the public. :: christmasboatparade.com

Noon-Year’s Eve
Celebrate the new year at Pretend City Museum in Irvine with the Noon-Year’s Eve Confetti Countdown geared to children up to age 5. Children can participate in art projects, story time and music. The countdown starts at noon and dance celebrations are every two hours. This event is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 31 and is included with museum admission of $12.50. :: pretendcity.org

Let It Go
Disney on Ice presents “Frozen” at the Honda Center in Anaheim, where audiences can watch Princess Anna journey to save her sister, Queen Elsa, and help her control her powers. Performances take place from Dec. 16 to 21 and performance times vary. Tickets start at $30. :: hondacenter.com

Celebrate Fathers
Miracles for Families invites parents and children to the third annual My Dad, My Hero event at the Montage in Laguna Beach to celebrate the dads in their lives. The event is Dec. 3 and includes a dinner, silent auction, entertainment and dancing. The reception begins at 5:30 p.m. Cocktail attire is required. Cost is $200. :: miraclesforfamilies.org

Food Drive
Come help those in need this holiday season by dropping off canned and nonperishable food items at the annual Drive-Thru Nativity and Community Holiday Food Drive at Mount of Olives Church in Mission Viejo. Visitors can also view the story of Christ’s birth as they drive through the campus of the church. Decorative scenes and live animals will be featured. This event is free from 6 to 10 p.m. on Dec. 18-19. :: moochurch.org

EXHIBITS

Gingerbead
The “Science of Gingerbread” exhibit continues at the Discovery Cube in Santa Ana through Jan. 5. Check out award-winning gingerbread creations, participate in hands-on activities and learn all about gingerbread. The museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. General admission is $17.95 for adults, $12.95 for children ages 3-14 and $14.95 for seniors ages 62 and older. :: discoverycube.org

Construction Zone
The Children’s Museum at La Habra is featuring the “Construction Zone” exhibit through March 6. Children can learn about architects, work at a “construction site” and build their own city. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays; and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays. General admission is $8, $7 for La Habra residents; children 2 and younger are free. :: lhcm.org

Kidseum
Children can engage in an array of educational exhibits and hands-on activities at Kidseum at Bowers Museum in Santa Ana. Visit the “Glow Cave” to create art, explore the Archaeology Lab and much more. Kidseum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. General admission is $6 for ages 2 and older. :: bowers.org

SPORTS
Dec. 6: UCI women’s basketball plays Nevada at 2 p.m.
Dec. 11: The Ducks take on the Hurricanes at 7 p.m.
Dec. 27: The Ducks play the Flyers at 5 p.m

KWANZAA CELEBRATION
The Festival of Kwanzaa event at Pretend City Museum in Irvine will take place over five days and encourages parents and children ages 3-6 to celebrate the holiday with a variety of activities. Children can “light” a candle on the kinara, play Kwanzaa games, make gifts and learn the meaning and traditions of Kwanzaa. This event is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 26-30 and is included with museum admission of $12.50. :: pretendcity.org

OUT-OF-TOWN ENJOYMENT

Festival of Lights
Celebrate the holidays with the Mission Inn Festival of Lights in Riverside. This event showcases a display of more than 4 million holiday lights with decorations throughout downtown Riverside. Food vendors, horse-drawn carriage rides and an ice skating rink will also be available. Nov. 27 through Jan. 3. :: missioninn.com

New Year’s Eve
Ring in the new year at Grand Park in Los Angeles. This event is free to the public and will feature music, dancing and a countdown to 2016 beginning at 6 p.m. on Dec. 31 to 12:30 a.m. on Jan. 1. :: grandparkla.org

Winter Nights
Legoland California is celebrating the season with Holiday Snow Days, featuring Christmas lights, shows, music and food. Kids can also build snowmen with Legos and use real snowballs to throw at targets. Nov. 21 through Jan. 3. Specific activities only available on select dates. :: california.legoland.com


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