HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS IN THE O.C.

ANAHEIM, CA -- Who needs snow when you have a
virtual storm of unique holiday activities in and around Orange County? During
this season friends and family take time out to reconnect with each other,
enjoy outings, sing Christmas carols, feast and be merry. The colorful array
of activities range from cultural to thrilling and everything in between.

Following is a short list of holiday happenings in the area:

The Balboa Bay Club & Resort is a great location to watch the Newport Beach Christmas Boat parade and enjoy special holiday rates December 15, 16 and19. Special event dinners include an All American Boys Chorus concert along with dinner on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas. Ring in the New Year with a black- tie gala, complete with dancing, and a six-coursemenu. Call (949) 630- 4223 for more information or visit
www.balboabayclub.com.

Dana Points' annual Christmas boat parade themed, "California Dreamin'" is a great location to see nearly 100 decorated boats that join the parade each night, December 10, 11, 17 & 18, 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm. Call (949)-496-5794 or visit www.danawharfsportfishing.com.

Disneyland, "The Happiest Place on Earth," becomes "The Merriest Place on Earth" from November 5 through January 2. Enjoy Jingle Bells at the "It's a Small World Holiday." the madcap "Haunted Mansion Holiday" and "A Christmas Fantasy" parade, from November 19 through January 2. The "Christmas Candlelight Procession," takes place December 4 and 5 on Main Street,U.S.A., featuring a full orchestra and chorus performing holiday music and the retelling of the Christmas story. Call (714) 781-4565 or visit http://disneyland.disney.go.com

At Disney's California Adventure Park, check out "Santa's Beach Blast," a continuous party where classic holiday images and Disney characters collide with contemporary California beach culture. Call (714) 781-4565 or visit http://disneyland.disney.go.com

Fashion Island's majestic Christmas tree is illuminated with over 17,000lights and ornaments. Enjoy traditional carolers every Saturday and Sunday from November 20 to December 19. On December 5, the Menorah Lighting Ceremony will include music, refreshments and dreidels for the children. Call (949) 721-2000
 

City of Fullerton celebrates the "First Night Fullerton," a family-oriented, alcohol-free New Year's Eve celebration, beginning at 7p.m. The eventfeatures live entertainment children's activities and a fireworks finale. Free admission. Call (714) 738-6575.

Shirley Jones will appear live in concert at the Heritage Forum in Anaheim, California on December 4th, 2004 at 2pm. The event is free but a $10donation is suggested at the door. All proceeds will benefit the Front Porch Gallery. For more information, call 714/776-7776 or visit

Hornblower Cruises & Events is a great location to enjoy the Newport Beach Boat Parade of Lights December 15-19 or Dinner Dance Cruises and Sunday Champagne Brunch Cruises available throughout the holiday season. For  an unforgettable evening ring in the New Year aboard a Hornblower yacht.  Call 949.646.0155 or visit www.hornblowerholidays.com

Holiday Ice Rink opens at Irvine  Spectrum Center. To make reservations in advance, visit www.SkateSpectrum.com or  call (949) 456-6937.

Knott's Berry Farm magically transforms for the holidays as Knott's Merry Farm brims with the season's brightest shopping, dining and entertainment through January 2nd. In addition, Silver Bullet, a thrilling new rollercoaster opens on December 7th. Call (714) 220-5200 or visit www.knotts.com.

Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa in Dana Point, recently awarded the AAA Four Diamond Award, is offering a special $109 holiday rates between November 19th to 30th, or December 19th to 28th. Call (949) 487-7576 or visit www.lagunacliffs.com.

Medieval Times features a fabulous four-course medieval banquet amidst towering pines, brilliant lights and festive holiday music, while watching the spectacular pageantry and excitement of a 11th century tournament for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, or Christmas Day. On New Year's Eve. Call 800-899-6600 or visit www.medievaltimes.com.

From December 5-10 Montage Resort & Spa offers "Artistry of Food and Wine
Week." This food and wine celebration will feature wine tastings and seminars; cheese and wine pairings; holiday cocktails; and exceptional tasting menus at resort. For information call (888) 715-6700; or visit www.montagelagunabeach.com.

Ocean Institute uncovers the secrets of the Ocean during the exciting Lights! Cameras! inter Action! experience, when you become the researcher as you uncover the secret lifestyles of these amazing underwater animals. The R/V Sea Explorer will cruise around the beautiful Dana Point Harbor on Friday, December 17 from 7-9:00p.m. Guests will enjoy holiday mood music and goodies. Call (949) 496-2274 or visit www.ocean-institute.org.

Orange County Performing Arts Center will be decked with top international
entertainment for the holidays from the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra (November 27); to popular jazz vocalist Steve Tyrell (December 4); dance fans will welcome the Southern California premiere of Matthew Bourne's "Nutcracker!" (December 7-12) "Home for Christmas" (December 14) and Grammy Award-winning jazz great Paquito D'Rivera joins with the New York Voices for intimate concerts (December17-18) and some of Charles Dickens' greatest characters spring to life in the musical "Oliver!" (December 21,2004-January 2, 2005).

South Coast Plaza spices up the holiday season with new holiday d├ęcor, special events, and activities for the kids starting November 19. From an exciting trip to Santa's Village to an impressive tree lighting ceremony on November 29, there's something for everyone this holiday season. Call (714)435-2115 for more information. Sunday, December 5, 2004, enjoy an evening of holiday cheer at the City of Orange's Annual Tree-Lighting Ceremony and Candlelight Processional at the Plaza Area in Old Towne Orange. Sing along with 350-voice choir and40-piece orchestra as they head into the Plaza for the reading of the story of Christmas as well as the lighting of the city's Christmas tree. Photos with Santa will be available for a nominal fee as well as special discounts and promotions at some of the Plaza's unique shops and restaurants.

Santa Claus and the Orange County Market Place will spread even more  holiday cheer this year by adding shopping days to its customary weekend schedule at the fairgrounds. Shop 'til you drop on the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, Nov. 26, and Monday, Dec. 20. For more information, call (949) 723-6660  or visit the website at www.ocmarketplace.com.

The Sawdust Arts Festival presents its 14th annual Winter Fantasy in Laguna Beach on weekends from November 20 through 12. Featuring more than 170 artisans and exhibitors offering a variety of holiday items, fine art, paintings, sculpture and jewelry. For more information call 949/494-3030 or visit www.sawdustartsfestival.org.

Share Our Selves or "SOS", as it is so affectionately known, will once again be on hand at the Orange County Fairgrounds to receive gifts and food items from Orange County families and businesses that will "adopt" needy families this holiday season. To adopt a family, call (949) 642-3451 or visit www.shareourselves.org.

St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort & Spa is brimming with holiday festivities -from the first bite of turkey and pumpkin pie at the Bountiful Thanksgiving Feast to building gingerbread houses and dancing the night away on New Year's Eve. Special holiday packages start at $275. Call (949) 234-3200 or visit www.stregismb.com

In addition to Orange County's many holiday activities a short drive away
are another array of holiday cheer at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, Queen Mary, San Diego Zoo, Wild Animal Park and the city of Temecula.

For more information contact the Anaheim/Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau at 714/765-8888 or www.anaheimoc.org.
 

 


 

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