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Winterland fun activities in OC!

Winter has finally arrived now it’s the perfect time to enjoy all that it has to offer. While winter in sunny California can feel like any other season, there are numerous activities available to us in SoCal that refute this narrative.Turning a vast Mediterranean climate dotted with cities and suburbs into a winter wonderland, is no easy feat. Yet, we do see how some creative and cultural industries have a hand in doing just that all over the southland this time of year. In particular, Orange County is highly renowned for attracting both residents and tourists because of its diversified population and abundance of creative enterprises. With the shared goal of giving people delightful experiences and fresh perspectives, these winter festivities complement CCIs in a myriad of ways. Here's a carefully curated list of events if you wish to partake in the holiday magic right here in Orange County!

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December 8, 2020 |10am - 1pm

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The Kwanzaa holiday is a beautiful tradition that honors African American culture. Every candle and object utilized during the celebration has a unique meaning that relates to the relevance of culture, values, history, and family. Join the University of Fullerton for its third annual Kwanzaa brunch, which will feature vendors, speakers, cuisine, and music to honor the event.

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December 8-10, 2023 | 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm

The creative and cultural industries are utilized to communicate stories, raise awareness, solve problems, and spark innovation. The Christmas Chalk Walk is a celebration of the holiday season that combines art and storytelling. To celebrate the time of year, artists of all ages and abilities are invited to sign up and construct a chalk path that features festive holiday scenes that celebrate the season.

December 12, 2023 | 5:00pm – 7:00pm

The magic of Hannukah will soon begin, and you won't want to miss out on this occasion. Make sure to visit Ladera Ranch this season to spend the holiday as a community and experience the festival of lights. This year, LARCS is collaborating with numerous local organizations, including Temple Beth El South Orange County, to offer an evening full with music, dancing, candle lighting, traditional Hanukkah snacks, and, of course, the dreidel!

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Thursday, November 30, 2023 | 5:00p.m. - 8:00p.m.

Immerse yourself in the holiday spirit by attending the Aliso Viego Community's annual "All is Bright celebration & tree lighting event." Enjoy a winter wonderland, train rides, a visit from Santa Claus, the custom of caroling, the opportunity to let your inner artist loose by creating ornaments, and, of course, the grand finale—the lighting of the 22-foot-tall Christmas tree. There is no shortage of fun and excitement during this celebration. The holidays are a wonderful time to reflect and give back to others; bring an unwrapped toy for the Spark of Love Toy Drive.

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Winter Fantasy Sawdust Festival – Laguna Beach November 17-December 17, 2023 (each weekend Friday through Sunday) 10AM – 7PM

This Laguna Beach Holiday celebration is a must! The 3-acre art village is transformed into a magical winter wonderland known as The Sawdust Festival Winter Fantasy. Lights and decorations take over the village, falling snow engulfs you, art demos are shown, live music and entertainment is available, and 150 artists and craft makers are featured.

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Winter Fest OC November 24, 2023 – January 7, 2024

Winter Fest OC is a much-anticipated festival full with Christmas cheer! Visitors are welcome to stroll through the holiday themed areas, view the festival light displays, even building a snowman in sunny SoCal is possible at winter fest, ice skate, and much more. Every night, guests can enjoy a tree lighting ceremony, a Christmas parade, and fireworks. Enjoy the holidays and let your inner child out.

December 13-17, 2023 | 6:30PM- 10:00PM

Attend the 115-year-old Newport Bay tradition of holiday lights display on and off the water! Those who appreciate the holiday magic will be in for a treat when they arrive, as both homes on the bay and boats on the water are fully decked for the occasion. Every year, over 1.5 million people witness the parade, which brings together creativity, innovation, and of course a little Christmas cheer as boaters compete for prizes. On this year’s event, everyone can participate in the celebration because the parade will also be streamed virtually.

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December 16, 2023 | 3:00pm - 10:00pm

Who doesn't enjoy a delicious tamale? Come celebrate the 4th annual Tamalfest in Downtown Santa Ana. This is where the celebration of food correlates with other cultures, businesses, and even entertainment. Take part in a community-building event that promises to create lifelong memories and an exciting Tamal eating contest. The fun is calling!

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December 21, 2023 |7:30 pm - 9:30pm

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The Muckenthaler is back this year with a very special event. Californian society has been greatly impacted by Hawaiian culture throughout the years, and CCIs have been instrumental in the positive effects of this influence. On December 21st, discover how the worlds of music and different cultures collide with Grammy winner Jim Kimo West! Enjoy this one-of-a-kind musical experience for a night of Hawaiian slack key Christmas tunes and hula!

December 20 - December 21, 2023 | 7:30 p.m.

Chapman aims to establish a welcoming environment for each and every student. This year, right here at the Musco center, take in the dancing and music that embody Mexican Christmas Eve traditions. Experience the fusion of Spanish heritage, Indigenous cultures, and a variety of other cultural influences via an artistic performance.

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This is just a taste of the festive activities that are happening right here in our own backyard this December! We hope we have provided you with a dash of inspiration to get out and experience some of these first hand. Let us know what your plans are for this winter season, and how do you see CCIs playing a part! Send us your pics to or on IG @chapman_cci

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