Orange County Holiday Events Guide 2013

Xmas-setting--INTEXTFrom holiday dinners to festive performances and winter wonderlands, we’ve gathered the best holiday Orange County things to do this season.

CHRISTMAS EVE
21 Oceanfront
Delight in a scrumptious three-course Christmas Eve dinner with selections such as lobster bisque, veal osso bucco and chocolate fantasy cake. Dine among the festive décor and ocean view while enjoying the sounds of live carolers. $65 adults; $25 children’s meal. 5-9 p.m. 2100 W. Oceanfront, Newport Beach, 949.673.2100. 21oceanfront.com

St. Regis Monarch Beach
Indulge in an indelible holiday tasting menu created and prepared by Executive Chef Raj Dixit from 5-8 p.m. $125 adults; $200 with wine pairings. Motif will offer traditional favorites and new inspirations with a preselected holiday dinner by Executive Chef Frederic Castan. $105 adults; $35 children. 1 Monarch Beach Resort N., Dana Point, 949.234.3200. stregismb.com

Montage
Get out of the kitchen and savor the views while dining at the Montage. The Loft will be putting on a four-course tasting menu from 5-10 p.m. for $105 adults; $35 children. Studio will be featuring a five-course holiday tasting menu from 5-10 p.m. for $200 including wine. 30801 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, 949.715.6420. montgelagunabeach.com

Lark Creek Newport Beach
Celebrate with a three-course meal from Chef/Partner John Ledbetter including roasted chestnut soup with brandy cream and cocoa,; slow roasted pork loin with smoked bacon, potato gratin and apple relish and croissant bread pudding served with chocolate gelato. $37. Full a la carte menu will also be available. Fashion Island, 957 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, 949.640.6700. larkcreeknb.com

CHRISTMAS DAY
Laguna Cliffs Marriott
Vue will be showcasing holiday dishes such as roasted pumpkin and acorn squash soup with coconut ginger cream; mixed green salad; rack of lamb with roasted red potatoes, mint-infused green beans and a red wine reduction and your choice of sweets. $75 adults; children’s menu available. Live entertainment and complimentary valet parking. Reservations required. 2-6 p.m. 25135 Park Lantern, Dana Point, 949.487.7516. lagunacliffs.com

St. Regis Monarch Beach
Enjoy a holiday version of their renowned brunch featuring holiday favorites, delectable desserts and international culinary creations. 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m. $115 adults; $35 children. 1 Monarch Beach Resort N., Dana Point, 949.234.3200. stregismb.com

The Ritz-Carlton
RAYA will be serving a four-course holiday menu complimenting their amazing ocean views. $110 adults; $57.50 children. A Christmas Day holiday buffet will be featured in the Pavillion from noon-3:30 p.m. $115. adults; $57.50 children. 1 Ritz-Carlton Drive, Laguna Niguel, 949.240.2000. ritzcarlton.com

Montage
Indulge in a 12-station holiday buffet with live entertainment and complimentary family photographs in the Masterpiece Ballroom for $110 adults; $40 children. A five-course holiday tasting menu is at Studio for $200 person or a four-course tasting menu at The Loft for $105 adults; $35 children. 30801 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, 949.715.6420. montgelagunabeach.com

Balboa Bay Resort
The Christmas spirit will fill the air with lovely piano melodies as you delight in a traditional five-course holiday meal in the warm and elegant ambiance of First Cabin Restaurant. 1-8 p.m. $89 adults; $45 children 4-12. 1221 Coast Hwy., Newport Beach, 949.630.4145. balboabayresort.com

The Resort at Pelican Hill
Families will appreciat the Christmas Day ballroom brunch with a classical harpist and children’s activities such as Santa Claus photos, cupcake decorating and a puppet marionette show. $110 adults; $50 children. 11-4p.m. The Resort at Pelican Hill, 22701 S. Pelican Hill Road, Newport Coast, 949.467.6800. pelicanhill.com

EVENTS
Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade
Dec. 18-22.
Join over a million viewers as you watch beautifully decorated yachts, boats, kayaks and canoes sail along the harbor in the 105th annual event. For five nights, the boat parade will set the harbor ablaze with a dazzling array of holiday lights and music—this year’s theme is “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.’” Fireworks displays on both opening and closing night. 6:30-9 p.m. The parade starts off at Bay Island. Check website for route. christmasboatparade.com

The Nutcracker at the Irvine Barclay Theatre
Dec. 13-24. See the classic ballet showcasing colorful sceneries and dazzling costumes, making this age-old tradition sparkle like new. Guest artists from the Joffrey Ballet and American Ballet Theatre will be featured on specific performances. $35-$40. 4242 Campus Drive., Irvine, 949.854.4646. festivalballet.org

Trains, Trees & Traditions at Nixon
Opens Through Jan. 5. See the magical model train exhibit as it decks the halls of the Nixon Presidential Library this holiday season. Escape to a whistling wonderland of model trains to celebrate a time when little locomotives would round the tracks underneath Christmas trees across America. M-Sa,10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Su, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. $11.95 adults; $4.75 children ages 7-11; free for children under 6; $8.50 seniors 62 and older; $6.95 students and active military. The Richard Nixon Foundation, 18001 Yorba Linda Blvd., Yorba Linda, 714.993.5075. nixonfoundation.org

Holiday on Ice at Irvine Spectrum Center
Through Feb. 14. Enter a winter wonderland as the festive outdoor holiday ice rink returns to Irvine Spectrum Center this holiday season. Season passes, private lessons and private parties are available. Skate sessions are 75 minutes. $14 plus $3.50 for skate rentals. Giant Wheel Court at Irvine Spectrum, 71 Fortune Drive, Irvine, 949.748.8280. skatespectrum.com

A Christmas Carol
Through Dec. 26. Watch 19th century London come to life with the beloved Dickens classic about Tiny Tim, the Cratchits, the Fessiwigs, the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, and, as always, Ebeneezer Scrooge. South Coast Repertory, 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.708.5555. scr.org

A Christmas Memory
Through Dec. 29. Witness this tender portrait of a rare friendship across the generations with a musical score that will bring love and light to your hearts for the holiday season. Based on Truman Capote’s Depression-era short story. Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, 949.497.2787. lagunaplayhouse.com

Chill the Ice Kingdom at Queen Mary
Through Jan. 5. Witness the Queen Mary as it is overtaken by a deep freeze for the second annual chill, bringing holiday cheer, enchantment and North Pole temperatures to families across sunny Southern California. See larger than life, hand carved ice sculptures that fill the 14,000 square-foot igloo called The Ice Kingdom, featuring scenes from The Nutcracker, such as life sized reproductions of Clara, the evil Mouse King, sugar plum fairies and The Nutcracker himself. Grab an over-sized tube and race down one of the six slides standing two stories tall and 100-feet long and ice skate in the 6,000 square-foot ice skating rink. Enjoy a holiday village with gingerbread houses, holiday carolers and Santa. $29.95 for adults; $14.95 for children. Open Tu-Su. 1126 Queens Hwy., Long Beach, 800.437.2934. queenmary.com

Sawdust Art Festival Winter Fantasy
Through Dec. 15. Enjoy the holidays in Laguna as the Sawdust Festival grounds are turned into a winter wonderland where more than 170 artists create, display and sell original works. Live holiday entertainment, great outdoor cafes, art classes and demonstrations, a petting zoo, Santa and much more will be featured. Open weekends. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. 935 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, 949.494.3030. sawdustfestival.org

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