November 20, 2015
Holiday Happenings in Newport Beach
You’ll find holiday fun around every corner in Newport Beach with festive events for your enjoyment all season long! Eat, drink and be merry!
Head to the alluring enclave of Balboa Island to check out the twinkling Christmas tree and all of the beautifully decorated bayside homes. The annual Holiday Home Tour Dec. 13 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. even offers the chance to peek inside a select few of the community’s distinctively decorated cottages. Afterward, be sure to visit the shops on Marine Avenue to uncover one-of-a-kind gifts, refreshments and specials, and to enjoy a mouthwatering meal at popular local restaurants including Wilma’s Patio for Mexican and more, Amelia’s for Italian and seafood dishes, and Basilic for an authentic French-Swiss menu. You also can take the Balboa Island Ferry over to Balboa Village and spend time riding the Ferris wheel and playing arcade games with your family at the Fun Zone. They also have a tree-lighting ceremony December 5th with family activities.
Speaking of delicious dining … Waterline and A&O Kitchen+Bar restaurants at the nearby Balboa Bay Resort offer stand-out vantage points for watching the festooned watercraft (some with animated scenes, music and even costumed carolers) make their 14-mile trek around the harbor for the 107th Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade — “Seas the Holidays” — Dec. 16-20, starting and ending at Bay Island from 6:30-9 p.m. Want to set sail and see the parade sights on your own? Rent an easy-to-navigate electric boat and cruise the scenic harbor not only to view the boats but also to spy an array of bayside homes and businesses trimmed to the nines thanks to the annual Ring of Lights holiday decorating competition. Looking to relax and have a captained experience instead? Try Hornblower’s Festive Parade of Lights Preview Dinner Cruise (before the parade begins) with DJ entertainment, boarding glass of champagne and four-course seated meal set for Dec. 14 and 15 from 7:30-10:30 p.m.
Another traditional happening is Crystal Cove Historic District’s 19th annual Tree Lighting & Holiday Bazaar Dec. 5 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Here you’ll find fun for the entire family, including a tree-lighting ceremony with strolling carolers and a beach-front appearance by Santa at 4 p.m.; hot cocoa, apple cider and homemade cookies at The Beachcomber Café; and a holiday art sale with lots of hand-crafted gifts for sale and a fine art show and sale featuring recognized California plein air artists. You can even try your hand at making your own piece of one-of-a-kind jewelry or ornament during a free lesson on wire-wrapping sea glass.
There’s always the Corona del Mar Christmas Walk, too, taking place Dec. 6 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. all along Pacific Coast Highway. There you’ll find merchant promotions, live entertainment, the popular Fireman’s Grill BBQ, restaurant tastings and celebration parties, and kid’s activities from bouncy houses to a petting zoo.
Shop ’til you Drop
Still need a holiday gift? Make your way to Fashion Island, an outdoor shopping Mecca filled with more than 125 shopping selections including a great mix of boutiques, department stores and designer outposts. Satiate all your gifting needs, and then fill up at hot dining spots like Red O, Fig & Olive, and Sushi Roku. Top off the evening with a visit to the Santa House and photos with everyone’s favorite jolly ol’ fella (Nov. 13- Dec. 24). The mall’s towering tree also comes to life nightly at 5 p.m. through Jan. 3 in the Neiman Marcus-Bloomingdales courtyard with Disney holiday music and glittering lights.
The Roger’s Gardens’ Christmas boutique is also a great place not only to shop but also to walk through and check out all of the fabulous holiday decorations and decor — including 24 magnificent themed trees sure to spark anyone’s decorating imagination.
Branch Out a Bit
Explore more than just the area’s holiday offerings with ample visual and performing arts activities. The Orange County Museum of Art presents “R. Luke Dubois — Now” from Nov. 7-Feb. 28, a solo exhibition featuring the New York-based artist’s musical compositions, performance, large-scale public installations, film and computer works; Balboa Island Museum and Historical Society will hold a Museum Store Champagne Shopping Night Dec. 3 from 5-9 p.m.; and ExplorOcean features themed, interactive Science Saturdays for families throughout November and December from noon-3 p.m. in its galleries and courtyard.
Feel like taking in a show? Visit The New Port Theater, a luxurious, boutique-style movie house complete with nautical design touches; leather recliners, sofas and chairs with side tables; two full bars; and a kitchen where a chef cooks up tasty specialties like made-to-order pizzas and the famous Port Dog daily. Or try Lido Live Theater, which offers up daily movies with a side of live music (including Warren Miller Entertainment’s 66th annual film, “Chasing Shadows,” set for Dec. 2 and 3).
If your interest is piqued, then please join us in Newport Beach to experience all this coastal fantasyland has to offer. For additional details on all of the holiday happenings and other events in the area this season, log on to visitnewportbeach.com.