Enjoy the Holidays with These Activities in Orange, California

Summer is in the rearview mirror, and cooler temperatures have finally arrived. Trick-or-treaters have gotten their fill of candy, and colorful leaves adorn the ground. The changing seasons are a sign that the best time of year is just around the corner. 

The winter holidays will soon be here, with abundant festivities for all. There is plenty to do in and around Orange, California, during the holiday season. Whether you like to keep things low key or go all out during the holidays, you’ll love what this area has to offer. From service opportunities to community events, here are some activities you and your family can enjoy in Orange, California, this year.


Shows and Performances


Opportunities to Share

Safe Celebration


Celebrate Disney-Style

Of course, everybody loves a visit to Disneyland any time of year, but the resort has something extra special in store for holiday visitors. All throughout the holiday season, Disney California Adventure Park and Disneyland have a host of decked out attractions to enjoy: 

  • The Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure Park is a multicultural festival celebrating holidays from around the world, including Diwali, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Three Kings Day. Enjoy great food, music, and dancing from November 12 through January 9. Of course, the Disney characters will be dressed in holiday garb, and none other than Santa Claus will be on hand with his elves as well for a visit and games.
  • Disneyland doesn’t do anything small, and the holidays are no different. The park is transformed with winter decor, including dazzling lights, wreaths, and other festive adornments. Santa Claus will be bringing a merry parade through town, and fireworks will light up the night for visitors from November 12 through January 9. And for those who prefer spooky over merry, Jack Skellington has put his special touch on the Haunted Mansion this year, and some of his friends will be on hand to greet visitors. 

Attend a Tree Lighting

Putting the lights on the house and decorating the Christmas tree are some of the most exciting parts of the holiday season. A tree-lighting on a grander scale is even harder to beat. The City of Orange will be hosting a tree-lighting ceremony, complete with seasonal carols performed by the Orange Community Master Chorale. Keep an eye out for more details from the city website.

Light the Menorah

Head to the Fish Interfaith Center at Chapman University in Orange to celebrate the festival of Hanukkah. Spend some time with friends and good music as the first candle is lit on November 29 at the Fashionables Courtyard.

Ride the Christmas Train

There’s something about the holiday season that makes a train ride so much more fun. Take a ride on the Christmas Train at the Irvine Park Railroad starting November 26 through December 23. The railroad is just a short 20-minute drive from Orange, and kids and adults alike will love the ride. Passengers will take a scenic ride through Irvine Regional Park, meet Santa Claus, and take in beautiful holiday lights and decorations. Be sure to bring your wish list and camera for photos with Santa!

Run a Turkey Trot

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to get together with family and friends and eat lots of delicious food. Heaps of mashed potatoes, turkey legs, gravy, and pie are friendly fare for your taste buds, but they can certainly take a toll on the waistline. 

Turkey trots have become a popular activity for Thanksgiving morning to balance out the feasting to come. Earn your Thanksgiving meal by getting in some fun exercise beforehand. Many turkey trots have different course lengths, from kids’ runs and one-mile jogs all the way up to half marathons, so everyone in the family can find a run that works for them. Have a good time running a race with your friends and relatives in the morning before Thanksgiving dinner inevitably turns into a food fight over politics. 

There are several turkey trots in the area to choose from:

  • The Turkey Trot OC in Tustin is a 5K that will get your blood pumping, but your legs won’t be too dead to get you to the dinner table later. As a bonus, this turkey trot is a fundraiser run by the Orange County Rescue Mission: While you’re running, you’ll also be helping to raise money for the hungry and homeless in Orange County.
  • If you’re looking for a turkey trot that even your littlest family members can participate in, the Orange County Turkey Trot in Irvine is a fantastic option. This race features a one-mile dash, a 5K, and a “Gobble Wobble” for the little ones. You won’t even have to wait for Thanksgiving dinner to get a delicious reward—a slice of pumpkin pie awaits you at the finish line.
  • There’s no place like California to get your exercise while enjoying beautiful scenery. The Dana Point Turkey Trot has no shortage of incredible landscapes to feast your eyes on while you earn your dinner feast. Sign up for a one-mile “Gobble Wobble” for the kids, or give the 5K or 10K a try. If you want a great workout, you can even sign up for the 5K and 10K together for a full 15K run.

Shows and Performances

Enjoy Holiday Music

Ring in the holiday season with a pair of concerts at Chapman University. The 57th annual Wassail Concert will be held on December 10 and 11 at the Musco Center. Audiences will be entertained with orchestral and vocal performances of holiday classics. On December 12, come back to the Musco Center for Nochebuena: Christmas Eve in Mexico. This popular cultural experience features songs and dances by more than 150 talented entertainers. There is sure to be something for everyone to enjoy at these events.

Opportunities to Share

Help a Food Bank

Thanksgiving is all about the food, and it can be a wonderful time to help the hungry as well. There are plenty of ways to serve through local food banks, even without leaving your home. 

Consider donating to the Second Harvest Food Bank online through a virtual food drive. A little goes a long way—just $1 can provide the equivalent of three meals. The Community Action Partnership of Orange County is also a great place to donate or volunteer, whether as an individual or with a company. Check with your local food bank to find out how you can do your part.

Safe Celebration

At the Grove House Apartments, we want you to have a safe holiday season full of cheer. Decorating for the holidays is fun, but it can be dangerous if you aren’t careful. An average of 200 decorating-related injuries occur every day during the holidays. In addition, an average of 100 Christmas tree fires and 1,100 candle fires cause property damage and injuries each year during November and December. 

Don’t leave burning candles unattended, and make sure your live trees have plenty of water. Throw away damaged or frayed lights and any with loose connections. If you’ll be using a ladder to hang lights, be sure you are on solid ground and don’t reach farther than you are able.

Orange, California, is a great place to live and visit any time of year, and it is even more special during the holidays. You and your family will love getting into the holiday spirit with some of these activities in the area. Whether you’re a fan of the arts, a running enthusiast, or just a lover of the holidays, you’ll find an activity to suit your interests in Orange, California.

We’d love to see your holiday fun! If you decorate for the holidays or try out one of the activities above, post a photo on social media, tag us, and use #TisTheSeasonAtAMC.

From all of us at Grove House Apartments in Orange,
Happy Holidays!

Come On In


9 AM–6 PM



(714) 947-1104


501 E. Katella Avenue
Orange, CA 92867