Myriad Holiday Choices Await for Activities in Santa Ana, CA!

“Winter is coming!” may be an ominous warning in Westeros. But in Santa Ana, CA, it’s a much more joyous declaration, as it signals not only the advent of a temperate winter but also the coming holiday season and all its accompanying celebrations and events.

There will be no shortage of things to do and see this winter, ranging from simple gatherings to large-scale concert productions. With cultures and traditions from around the world melding together in Santa Ana and throughout Orange County, the holidays will encourage both a zest for adventure and time for reflection.

Whether you live in Santa Ana or are visiting for the holidays, you will feel the magic of the season! Here are a few of the festivities that make Santa Ana the place to be for the holidays this year:

Activities

Shows and Performances

Shopping

Opportunities to Share

Safe Celebration

Activities

Annual Christmas Together Toy Drive: Last year, this event gave away more than 7,000 toys to registered families. The event will be super-sized this season as the group plans to share 20,000 toys and, on top of that, create an unforgettable experience for children on December 18. That experience includes carnival rides, games, raffles, entertainment, pictures with Santa, COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, holiday meals, and a variety of food options from which to choose—all for free. To be eligible, participants must provide an Orange County address to register and proof of that address at the event. Quantity is limited, so interested parties are advised to register early. 

The Great Holiday Feast: A Celebration for Wizards Inspired by Harry Potter: A magical evening of fun and feasting is in store with an enchanting, Harry Potter-themed dinner. A sorting hat will clue you in as to which house you will join in the Great Hall. In addition to a wizardly array of dinner and drink options, there will be decadent desserts. An air of mystery and fun also will be on the menu at this unique holiday event on November 28 at the Balboa Bay Resort.

Plaza Navideña: This annual event and tree lighting take place November 20 at Plaza Calle Cuatro in the heart of Downtown Santa Ana. This community event is free to attend and features a tree-lighting ceremony, holiday entertainment, delicious food, beverages, and treats. Plaza Navidena runs from 5 to 8 p.m., so don’t be late!

Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade and Ring of Lights Cruise: Newport Bay becomes a glistening beacon of lights as homeowners and businesses go all out competing in the Ring of Lights competition, which is judged on December 15. But you can enjoy this magical holiday experience throughout the month as Newport Landing provides 75-minute cruises from December 3 through January 2, and Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade Cruises are offered from December 15 to 19.

Snow Day with the Critters: This winter celebration at the Santa Ana Zoo features fun winter activities and crafts for children and families, festive holiday music and stories, and cute animals tasting winter treats. If you’re a Santa Ana Resident, you’ll enjoy free admission on December 16! This mid-December activity is the perfect way to celebrate the holidays and learn new facts about the zoo animals. Don’t miss this unique opportunity!

NYE at the Beach “Orange Country”: Nothing says Southern California quite like getting a drink in your hand and your toes in the sand to celebrate the arrival of 2022. Did we mention that this will all be taking place with the backdrop of a country music concert? So take that hitch out of your giddyup and prep your “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” by scootin’ your boots, Nikes, or Bruno Maglis on down to Huntington Beach for dinner, dancing, and performances by Redneck Rodeo, Scotty Mac Band, Timmy McKeever, and DJ David Bugenske. Festivities will be held in a large tented structure with heaters. Part of the space is on the sand, so choose your footwear accordingly.

Shows and Performances

Treat yourself to some holiday magic in Santa Ana. This year has brought some truly spectacular performances to the area. Circuses, vocal and band performances, and cultural celebrations are just a few of the holiday treats in store for you this season near Santa Ana!

Trans-Siberian Orchestra: “Christmas Eve and Other Stories”: Looking for a bombastic, special effects-laden rock concert the entire family can enjoy while still flicking your Bic—or illuminating your cell phone—in a boast of Christmas presence? Look no further than the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s seasonal return to the live concert stage. Last year’s annual trek across North America was scrapped due to COVID (with a pay-per-view live concert instead), but the band’s extravagant production is returning to the road this winter and includes two shows (at 3:30 and 7:30 p.m.) on December 4 at Toyota Arena. The band is marking the 25th anniversary of “Christmas Eve and Other Stories,” followed by a second set with the rest of its favorites. Toyota Arena currently requires proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID test within 72 hours of the show, so your rock cred is not the only card needed for admittance.

A Magical Cirque Christmas: This dazzling holiday performance by the brave performers of A Magical Cirque Christmas is full of high-flying feats and whimsical choreography. All performances are set to live Christmas music, making it perfect for all ages and a great place to take the whole family! Book your tickets early; seats won’t last long.

Rend Collective – Jolly Irish Christmas Extravaganza: Hailing from a small town off the coast of Northern Ireland, Rend Collective will be putting on a celebratory concert on December 7 at Calvary Santa Ana. The band is known for its electric, lively music. So come and get a taste of an Irish Christmas music experience. Local/venue health protocols at the time of the show will apply.

Shopping

For many, the holiday season means decorating the house from roof to floor with tinsel, Christmas trees, lights, and a host of other decorations. Then, of course, there are presents: Is there anything better than seeing a loved one’s face light up as they open a holiday gift you picked out for them? Whether you’re looking for unique seasonal decorations or a special gift to show someone how much you care, Santa Ana is the perfect place to be!

Holiday Faire: This Orange County fair hosts over 50 local artists selling one-of-a-kind holiday decorations, unique handmade gifts, hand-blown glass, ceramics, jewelry, folk crafts, clothing, and more.

Pumpkin City’s Christmas Trees: If you’re looking for Christmas trees near Santa Ana, look no further than Pumpkin City’s Christmas Trees. They have a wide selection of fresh-cut Christmas trees, including noble fir, grand fir, Douglas fir, Nordmann fir, and Fraser fir. They also sell cute woodcut Christmas decorations and wreaths. 

Sugar Plum Holiday Festival: This vintage market is host to over 165 exhibitors selling an eclectic mix of vintage, upcycled, chic, and handmade gifts and decorations.

Opportunities to Share

Receiving gifts is great, but the true meaning of the holiday season is giving to others. If you have the means or the time during this special time of year, consider giving to those less fortunate so they too can feel the joy of the season. Here are some great volunteer opportunities in Santa Ana:

Operation Santa Claus: Unfortunately, thousands of children in Orange County won’t be having a very merry Christmas without our help. This holiday season, donate toys and gifts to children and families in need. Last year, Operation Santa Claus distributed over 39,000 toys and gifts, bringing happiness and hope to our most vulnerable children in Orange County who wouldn’t have otherwise had much at all.

Volunteer with The Salvation Army: Whether you like to get out and interact with the community or work behind the scenes, the Salvation Army is the perfect place to volunteer. Dress up as Santa Claus and help collect donations with the jolly-but-vigorous ring of your bell. If a red jumpsuit isn’t your style, you could help pick out gifts for kids or be a personal shopper for a family in need. 

Safe Celebration

Let’s be honest: Who doesn’t love a good pine-scented candle this time of year? But up to 7,500 fires are started each year because of household candles. Be extra careful when lighting candles in your apartment, especially your bedroom. Instead, consider using battery-powered candles to achieve the same ambiance without the added danger. Whatever you do, never leave your holiday candles unattended!

Christmas trees can create another fire hazard you need to be aware of. If you’ve brought a real Christmas tree into your apartment for the holidays, make sure you keep it watered so it doesn’t dry out. Keep all open flames, such as candles, away from the branches and make sure you turn all lights off when you’re not at home. Stay safe and enjoy the holidays!

With plenty of shows, activities, opportunities to share, and places to shop, Santa Ana has all you need for a festive season.

We’d love to see your holiday fun! If you decorate for the holidays or try out one of the activities above, post a photo on social media, tag us, and use #TisTheSeasonAtAMC.

From all of us at Washington Place Apartments in Santa Ana,
Happy Holidays!

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