Grab your most colorful holiday scarves and check out these wonderful Irvine events, perfect to get in a cheerful holiday mood!  See you there!!


1.    Holiday Tree Lighting

Terry Tree LightingDate:  Thursday, Nov 29 5:30p to 7:00p

at Irvine Ranch Historical Park, 13042 Old Myford Road, Irvine, CA 92602

Spend this holiday season in the outdoor winter wonderland of OC Parks. December welcomes a full calendar of festive events and programs for families and friends to enjoy together.  Join OC Parks and OC Public Libraries on Thursday, November 29 for the second annual Holiday Tree Lighting at Irvine Ranch Historic Park, home to the Katie Wheeler Library. The event will feature holiday performances, music and refreshments, and a special appearance by Santa Claus in a beautiful, historic setting. Complimentary festivities will culminate with the lighting of the large redwood tree adjacent to the library. Event and parking are both free and open to the public


2. Candlelight Walk
Date: Saturday, December 8 and Sunday, December 9, 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Event Fee: $4 adults, $3 kids ages 3-12
Parking Fee: FREE
Location: Heritage Hill Historical Park, 25151 Serrano Road, Lake Forest, CA 92630
Also at Heritage Hill Historical Park, the annual Candlelight Walk returns on Saturday, December 8 and Sunday, December 9. Watch the park transforms into an extravagant celebration with 1,000 luminarias lighting the buildings, illuminating the pathways and shining on the park grounds. Holiday carolers, local musicians, storytellers and flamenco dancers provide seasonal entertainment throughout the evening. Visit Santa and enjoy warm cider, cocoa and homemade confections.


3.    A Christmas With Scrooge

Friday, November 30th through December 29th

At Musical Theater Village in Irvine.  Based on the Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas with Scrooge tells the tale of curmudgeonly miser Ebenezer Scrooge, who is visited by the ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Future hoping to change his destiny and save his soul. This brilliant musical adaptation follows Scrooge through a series of strange and magical journeys, where he ultimately discovers the true spirit of the holiday season


4. Tinseltown Christmas

A new holiday musical at the Claire Trevor Theater on the UCI campus.
Saturday, December 1 through Saturday, December 8

Saturday, December 1 at 8:00 pm
Sunday, December 2 at 2:00 pm
Thursday, December 6 at 8:00 pm
Friday, December 7 at 8:00 pm
Saturday, December 8 at 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm
For ticket information, please contact the UCI Arts Box Office at 949-824-2787
Tickets may also be purchased online here.

Get into the holiday spirit with this delightful, charming, and entertaining new musical... Christmas Eve:  Living in two adjacent Hollywood apartments, Steve and Monica have never gotten along until the arrival of celebrity ghosts from the classic black-and-white films featured in the annual Christmas Movie Marathon on TV.  The fun begins when Steve and Monica are confronted with the ghosts of Jimmy Stewart, Judy Garland, Bing Crosby, and Natalie Wood.  True to its title, Tinseltown Christmas has a classic happy Hollywood ending.


5. CLARA'S TUTU TENT-A Family Fun Nutcracker Experience

Date: Saturday, December 22 - Sunday, December 23, 2012

Venue: Northwood Performing Arts Center   4515 Portola Pkwy., Irvine, CA, 92620


As guests of the Maple Youth Ballet's The Nutcracker, your family's enchanting journey to the "Palace of the Sweets" will begin with a visit to Clara's Tutu Tent for a host of fun activities for the kids, which will take place one hour before each performance and during intermission. You and your family will also be able to enjoy our delectable desserts and unique boutique offerings on sale during intermission

 6. Santa's Wonderland

Opens at 10:00am daily through December 31 with last entry at 8:00pm.  Tours run every two hours.  Reserve your tour in advance for best times.   Tickets $25. Children 24 months and younger are free.

Location:  2719 White Road, Irvine, CA 92614

Santa's Wonderland is OC's newest holiday tradition that will dazzle and delight your entire family. Become an honorary Elf in our Elf Academy, decorate gingerbread, play Reindeer Games, stop by Santa's office and control room and check the Naughty/Nice list. Then make your way through the Mischief Maze. Shop the Mistletoe Market and enjoy a treat at the Candy Cane Cafe'. Finish your tour with a visit to Santa for a cherished family photo!

7. Festival Ballet Theatre's The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker @ Irvine Barclay Theatre, Irvine, CA

Date: Friday, December 14 through Monday, December 24

See Festival Ballet Theatre: The Nutcracker at Irvine Barclay Theatre in Irvine.   In 1891, Tchaikovsky adapted E. T. A. Hoffman's story, "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King" into a two-act ballet called The Nutcracker, first performed in 1892. It is one of the most popular ballets in the world, particularly during the Christmas season. Apart from being a landmark production which is still being staged today, it has been noted for the use of the rarely seen musical instrument known as the celesta, which Tchaikovsky stumbled upon while in Paris. 

Terry Winkler  is the founder of Enter Stage Write, an Orange County theater, entertainment and lifestyle website.