110th Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade: People have long sought to decorate their vessels, practically since the invention of boats. And while there've been some dazzling looks in the past, few boat-based sights can outshine this five-night treat, an annual on-the-water show that's been around for a century plus a decade. It's all free to see, too, if you find the right railing to stand at, but, of course, nearby restaurants and cruise boats'll be hosting onlookers, too. It's all shimmering through Sunday, Dec. 23.
Winter Fest OC: Long to see how big the largest seasonal outdoor rink in our region truly is, anyway? You'll need to get to the OC Fair & Event Center, in Costa Mesa, for this frost-laden lark. Ice skating isn't the only pastime on the party-spirit scene, for nightly snowfalls, tree lightings, Santa sightings, and tubing are all woven through the whimsy and wonder, too. Look also for the just-debuted light maze, as well as some 20 carnival rides. This is weekend #1 for Winter Fest, but don't wait too long: It'll melt away on Jan. 6, 2019.
Walt Disney Concert Hall Sing-alongs: The opportunity to croon, from your seat, inside this world-famous venue, is rare, but it does come back around each year, just before Christmas. And there are four chances to sing inside the hall, over two days, at two events: The Holiday Sing-along is happening on Dec. 22, with a pair of daytime happenings, while the "White Christmas" Sing-along will fill the DTLA destination with vintage-film joy on Dec. 23, in the afternoon and evening. Wear your favorite poinsettia corsage or Santa-style suit and sing, sing, sing in this beautiful space.
What to do, where to go and what to see
Christmas Festivities at the Original Farmers Market: So you love feeling the spirit of this time, but you'd rather do it in a relaxing way, with a cup of coffee or glass of wine? While the music you're hearing is free, meaning you didn't have to pay entry or admission? Head for the corner of Third & Fairfax through the afternoon of Dec. 24, for the yearly yuletide celebrations are on, and how. This means mariachi music, Victorian-style carolers, crafts for kids to make, and more. Just check the schedule before you go, to make sure the merriment you seek is timed to your visit.
Halloween Meets Christmas: So you thought the spookiest time of year had wickedly wrapped? Here's the answer to that: a big nope. For there's a pop-up haunted home attraction, that's themed to the holidays, called Santa's Workshop: Toys Revenge, in Highland Park. It's getting mighty goosebumpily, for two nights only, on Dec. 22 and 23 (it's free, as is the Mexican hot chocolate they'll be serving). And lookie here, Jack fans: Yuletide Cinemaland, a December pop-up film series, will be revisiting "Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas" in honor of its 25th anniversary, on Dec. 22 at Heritage Square.