Holiday Entertainments

The weather turns chilly, familiar carols blast through speakers and red and yellow lights blink merrily, signalling the start of the Christmas season. Here are some engaging activities across Southern California that will make your holiday a bit more festive.

Skating Under the Stars

Photo courtesy of Allen Ling

        Glide across the ice while breathing in winter air at Skating Under the Stars, an outdoor skating rink at the Irvine Spectrum Center. For $18 per person and an additional fee of $2 for skating rentals, you can have fun with friends and family at this rink, which is open until Jan. 6. Adding on to the winter spirit, Skating Under the Stars also has Themed Thursdays, where participants can skate dressed in a weekly theme, such as “Ugly Sweater” or “New Year’s Sparkle,” to get $5 off. Once you finish your 75-minute skating session, you can go to the nearby Irvine Spectrum shopping center for some last minute Christmas shopping. 

Winterfest OC

Photo courtesy of Winter Fest

     Channel your inner child by attending Winter Fest OC, held at Orange County Fair & Event Center. Starting at $10, tickets cover numerous activities, including unlimited tubing down Snowflake Summit, Festival of Lights, Santa’s Petting Zoo and a Snow Play area. In addition, you can marvel at the nightly Christmas tree lighting that is paired with fireworks, snowfall and a holiday parade. This festive winter wonderland is open from Dec. 20 to Jan. 6, with Santa making a special visit on Christmas Eve by flying with his reindeer over the fairground.

Walt Disney Concert Hall

Photo courtesy of La Philharmonic

     Get into the holiday spirit by singing Christmas carols at Walt Disney Concert Hall sing-alongs, which are part of the Deck the Hall Festival, a series of Christmas and New Years-related concerts hosted by the Los Angeles Philharmonic. On Dec. 23, audience members can belt out tunes from “White Christmas” while watching the 1954 film and following the lyrics on a screen. For more song variety, another sing-along event will be held Dec. 22, where you can listen to and sing along with the Angeles Choral. If you don’t know the lyrics to “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” or “O Come All Ye Faithful,” fear not—lyrics will be handed out for the event. Tickets for each performance start at $34 and can be purchased at the Los Angeles Philharmonic website.