This Week: Winter Fest Opens in Costa Mesa

Santa sightings, tubing at Snowflake Summit, and other icy activities whoooosh into the OC Fair & Event Center.

Winter Fest opens: Do you have a sleigh in the garage, one that can whisk you to a magical land of ice skating, chilly tubing, storybook characters, Christmas tree lightings, and other pleasures of the coldest season? You're lucky, for sure, but no enchanted sleigh is required to find this annual treat at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa. The frosty festival, which jingle-jingles from Dec. 20 through Jan. 6, rocks "SoCal's largest outdoor rink" as well as several other details that speak to the sweetness of the bundle-up-iest moment of the year.

American Cinematheque Holiday: We're nearly to the 25th of December, which means that, for many Southern Californians, the time is nigh to consume as many merry movies as possible. And, if possible, to do so on the big screen, upping the general joy quotient. And you can find a seasonal slew of such cinematic works, starting on Wednesday, Dec. 19, at both the Egyptian and Aero Theatres. Coming up in the days ahead? Look for showings of "Die Hard," "Gremlins," and, yes, "Elf." But be fast on the festive: The ho, ho, ho-filled films wrap on Dec. 23.

Christmas Festivities begin: If you know the Original Farmers Market, the stall-packed, food-laden, community-sweet spot at the corner of Third & Fairfax, you know that it wears a lot of green throughout the year, thanks to its awnings, tables, chairs, and more. But a little red is splashed in, over one special week, when a bunch of music performances, crafty happenings, and other yuletide-themed to-dos arrive at the landmark. Look for carolers, mariachis, and so much fa, la, la fun to weave its way through the beloved destination, from Dec. 17 through 24. 

Pints for Paws: So you're completely sweet on the canine-loving, feline-doting Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA? And you're forever looking for ways to support their mission of helping furry and scaly and feather-rocking beasties? Here's one refreshing route, if you're a fan of excellent brews and you'll be in the Arcadia area on the evening of Thursday, Dec. 20. There's a Pints for Paws meet-up, at Mt. Lowe Brewing Company, which lends some love to the historic society. If you haven't grabbed dinner beforehand, there'll be a food truck, too, oh yeah.

Award-winning Gingerbread Houses on Display: Dig a confection that resembles a casa? One that's covered in gumdrops and candy canes and rocks a ton of kitchen-cool pizzazz? There's a way to admire just those elements, and to do so inside a science-fun museum, too. That museum, or, rather, museums, are the Discovery Cubes in Orange County and Los Angeles, which are now featuring several amazing gingerbread houses. Indeed, the houses, created by talented bakers around our region, are part of the larger The Science of Gingerbread exhibit, an annual happening at both museums. See the houses through Dec. 24.

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