So many ways to celebrate the holidays in Orange County, here’s a list of community events and activities

The holidays are here – whether we are ready or not – and our communities are planning lots of ways to add to the festive spirit.

There are tree lighting ceremonies in several cities, Christmas concerts are on the books and there are several chances to catch that holiday classic, “The Nutcracker.”

  • Decorated boats float down Serrano Avenue during the annual Villa Park Dry Land Boat Parade, which is planned again this year. (Register file photo)

  • Families watch as the tree is lighted on the corner of Orange Avenue and Parkview Street during annual West Anaheim Holiday Tree-Lighting event, which will be held again this year. (Register file photo)

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  • Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus will again be at the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony in the Old Towne Orange Plaza. The event features music, food, youth activities and entertainment for people of all ages to enjoy. (Register file photo)

  • The tree shines bright in Old Towne Orange Plaza in Orange in 2017. A tree lighting ceremony will be held again this year. (Register file photo)

  • Anaheim Ballet performs the Nutcracker story during the annual Anaheim Nutcracker Christmas Tree Lighting & Holiday Shopping Village in 2016. (Register file photo)

  • The annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade will float again this holiday season. (Register file photo)

  • Costa Mesa’s Snoopy House display is open again at the Costa Mesa civic center. (Register file photo)

  • Santa Claus waves to the crowd as he drives through the streets during Hospitality Night in downtown Laguna Beach in 2016. (Register file photo)

  • Volunteers decorate the Christmas tree each year for the Cystal Cove community holiday event. (Register file photo)

  • Santa waves to kids from the stern of the Dana Pride at the Dana Wharf Docks in 2016. (Register file photo)

  • Santa Claus will again be visiting with folks during Buena Parkâ’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting and Toy Drive held at City Hall. (Register file photo)

  • Guests walked the candle lit paths and past lighted deer during the 2016 Luminaria Stroll held at the Fullerton Arboretum. (Register file photo)

  • Local school children always perform during the city of Brea’s holiday tree lighting event at the Civic & Cultural Center. (Register file photo)

  • The lead boat of the 30th Holiday of Lights Boat Parade at East Lake Village in Yorba Linda in 2017. (Register file photo)

  • A detailed view of an ornament honoring service members killed in war during the Nixon Foundation’s Hometown Heroes Christmas Tree Dedication at the Nixon Presidential Library in 2017. (Register file photo)

  • Snow falls during Irvine’s 2017 Winter Wonderland tree lighting ceremony at the Civic Center, which will be held again this year. (Register file photo)

  • Dancers perform during Irvine’s Winter Wonderland tree lighting ceremony at the Civic Center in 2017. The event is planned again this year. (Register file photo)

  • The Tustin Dance Center, seen here in 2016, will again perform at the annual Christmas tree lighting. (Register file photo)

  • The Tustin Police Department is again arranging for Santa Claus to visit Tustin neighborhoods. (Register file photo)

  • Irvine will again light a community Christmas tree at the Civic Center for the holidays. (Register file photo)

  • Carolers sing outside The Serrano Adobe during the annual Victorian Christmas in 2015 at Heritage Hill Historical Park in Lake Forest. The event is planned again this year. (Register file photo)

  • San Juan Capistrano will celebrate its annual tree lighting in Historic Town Center Park again this year. (Register file photo)

  • Snow falls over the crowd as the Christmas tree at Historic Town Center Park was lit up by Santa and Mrs. Claus in 2014. The event will be held again this season. (Register file photo)

  • Two real camels are part of a scene in which the three wise men follow the Bethlehem star to the Christ child in Mount of Olives Church 19th annual drive-thru Nativity. The event will be open to the community again this year. (Register file photo)

  • Students from the Pave School of the Performing Arts will perform a rendition of The Nutcracker at Kaleidoscope’s Tree Lighting on Dec. 7. (Courtesy of Kaleidoscope)

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Santa has a very full dance card, he’ll be making appearances at almost all the community events – it’s magic, we don’t ask questions.

See below for a listing of ways to celebrate the holidays with your neighbors. And happy holidays to all.

ALISO VIEJO

All is Bright Holiday Celebration: Usher in the holiday season with this annual event Nov. 29 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in Aliso Viejo Town Center.  Enjoy holiday cheer, train rides, ornament making, Christmas caroling, “snowfall” and a visit from Santa as the 22-foot Christmas tree is lit. Information: cityofalisoviejo.com

ANAHEIM

Express fun: Muzeo Express, a holiday model train exhibit, is open through Jan. 20 at the Muzeo Museum and Cultural Center. The model trains travel through carefully detailed miniature scenes. The exhibit also features “Treasures from Carolwood,” highlighting Walt Disney’s love of trains and featuring artifacts from his Carolwood Barn in Los Angeles. Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for children. Information: muzeo.org

West holiday: The West Anaheim Neighborhood District is hosting its annual Christmas tree lighting Dec. 7, featuring photos with Santa Claus and crafts. There will be Polar Express train rides, and you can keep warm by the bonfire and listen to holiday music. Food will be for sale. The event will  start at 5 p.m. at Twila Reid Park, 3100 W. Orange Ave. 714-609-8070

Holiday party: The lighting of a 50-foot Christmas tree will cap a day of free holiday fun Dec. 8 at Center Street Promenade in downtown Anaheim during the 24th annual Nutcracker Christmas Tree Lighting and Holiday Village. Starting at 10 a.m., there will be snow to play in, pictures with Santa, free kids crafts, entertainment and train rides. The tree lighting starts at 6 p.m. Information: DowntownAnaheim.com

Holiday lights: If you think your home shines a little bit brighter, you can enter it for judging in the annual Anaheim Beautiful Holiday Lights contest. Nominations must be received by Dec. 14. There are several categories. Winners will be presented at a City Council meeting.  anaheimbeautiful.org/holiday-lights-contest

On stage: The Chance Theater will stage the holiday classic “A Charlie Brown Christmas” from Dec. 7- 23. Preview performances are Dec. 7-9 and the regular performances are Thursdays-Sundays through Dec. 23. Tickets are $21-$35. Box office and information: ChanceTheater.com

“The Nutcracker”: Anaheim Ballet will celebrate its annual performance of “The Nutcracker” with shows in partnership with the Orange County Master Chorale, Southern California Children’s Chorus and Southern California Brass Consortium at 4 p.m. Dec. 16 at Chapman University’s Musco Center for the Arts and with Symphony Irvine at 12:30 and 5:30 p.m. on  Dec. 23 at the City National Grove of Anaheim. Ticketing and information: anaheimballet.org

Community brunch: The 10th annual holiday brunch returns to downtown Anaheim on Dec. 24. K&A Downtown Cafe, Anaheim Fire, St. Joseph Heritage and local sponsors are providing the brunch to feed local families and anyone who might need some extra help during the holidays. In addition to food, there will be face painting, arts and crafts, entertainment and a visit from Santa Claus with gifts. The brunch will last from 9 a.m. to noon. Drop off gift donations by Dec. 14 at St. Joseph Heritage or K&A Cafe. 714-878-3343

BREA

Holiday scholars: The Brea Glenbrook Women’s Club will raise money for its high school scholarship fund with its 48th annual craft bazaar Dec. 1. Crafts and gifts will be sold from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; a $1 donation is requested at the gate, 1821 E. Greenbriar Lane, for the fundraiser.

Tree lighting: The annual tree lighting at the Civic & Cultural Center will occur at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 6. Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus will stop by to greet folks. Local schoolchildren will entertain. Admission is free.  Pictures with Santa Claus cost $5. 714-990-7771

Christmas with the Alleycats: The Alleycats return to the Curtis Theater with their doo-wop styling of Christmas classics for shows at 8 p.m. Dec. 15 and 3 and 7 p.m. Dec. 16. General admission is $36. curtistheatre.com

Attention, Santa: Children can drop a letter to Santa – with the expectation of getting a reply – at a special mailbox in the Community Center through Dec. 12. Or mail the letter to Santa Claus, North Pole, c/o Brea Community Center, 695 E. Madison Way, Brea, CA 92821. Include a self-addressed, stamped return envelope. Members of the Brea Olinda High School Girls’ League will be helping Santa get those letters read and responded to.

RELATED: Holiday gift guide 2018: Wrap up these presents for everyone on your list

BUENA PARK

Candy Caneland and Craft Faire: This free, family-friendly winter celebration marks its 48th year with shopping, activities and decorations. The fair will run 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 1. Activities include a snow slide, entertainment, a petting zoo and more than 100 artisan craft booths at Ehlers Community Center, 8150 Knott Ave. 714-562-3860 or buenapark.com

Sugar Plum: The annual Sugar Plum Festival runs Dec. 5-9 at Buena Park Downtown on the mall’s lower level. The festival offers an array of holiday-themed merchandise and edible delicacies for sale. For hours and more information, visit sugarplumfestivals.com.

Christmas tree: Santa will be on hand for the city’s annual Christmas tree-lighting celebration at 6 p.m. Dec. 7 at City Hall, 6650 Beach Blvd. There will be musical performances and storytellers along with visits from Snoopy, knights, princesses and pirates. Santa will arrive via firetruck. 714-562-3860 or buenapark.com

Shining bright: The city’s Beautification-Environmental Commission will recognize the winners of the 2018 Holiday Decoration Awards Program with bragging rights and a lawn sign. Nominations are due Dec. 10. Find the form at buenapark.com.

CORONA DEL MAR

Christmas Walk: For the 40th year, the Christmas Walk will feature entertainment, food, prizes, a petting zoo, children’s activities, a beer and wine garden and more from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Dec. 2 at 2855 E. Coast Highway, Corona del Mar. 949-673-4050 or cdmchamber.com

COSTA MESA

Tower of light: First United Methodist Church will stage an inaugural lighting of the historic bell tower at 6 p.m. Dec. 2. There will be caroling, cookies to decorate and photos with Santa. CostaMesaFirstUMC.com

‘Nutcracker for Kids’: The Pacific Symphony presents this annual Christmas ballet performance that finishes with a sing-along and a visit from Santa Claus. Created for ages 5-11. 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Dec. 8. Tickets start at $45. At the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Costa Mesa. pacificsymphony.org

‘Handel’s Glorious Messiah’: A beloved tradition, Handel’s oratorio will be performed by the Pacific Symphony with the Pacific Chorale at 3 p.m. Dec. 9 at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. Tickets start at $44. 714-755-5799 or pacificsymphony.org

Doghouse: The city’s beloved Snoopy House display will be open from 5:30 to 9 p.m. nightly Dec. 14-23 next to City Hall, 77 Fair Drive. Opening night will feature a formal presentation beginning at 5. Santa will make a special visit and will take photographs with families.

ABT’s ‘The Nutcracker’: American Ballet Theatre brings its production to Segerstrom Center for the Arts. The Pacific Symphony plays the music. Various times Dec. 14-23. Tickets start at $29. scfta.org

Winter Fest OC: Activities include outdoor ice skating, ice tubing down Snowflake Summit, a snow play area, SoCal Dicken’s Village and winter wonderland. The Festival of Lights has a stroll-through display and a nightly tree lighting ceremony. Tickets start at $10. Winter Fest is open Dec. 20-Jan. 6 at the OC Fair & Event Center, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa. winterfestoc.com.

‘A Christmas Carol’: South Coast Repertory will present the Charles Dickens’ classic holiday story for its 39th year. Various showtimes through Dec. 24. Tickets start at $30. 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. scr.org

DANA POINT

Winter Festival & tree lighting: Free holiday family event sponsored by the city includes Santa visits, carnival games ($1), craft fair, Dana Point Police Services Kid Print ID, face painting, cookie decorating ($2), holiday crafts, Lego Santa’s Village Workshop, the Mini Express Train, petting zoo and pony rides. Most activities are free. Tree lighting at 5:15 p.m. Dec. 1 at La Plaza Park, Pacific Coast Highway, north of Golden Lantern. 949-248-3530

Boat Rides with Santa: On Dec. 1-2 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., guests can come aboard for a harbor cruise with Santa and his helpers at the Dana Wharf docks. The El Camino Real Junior Woman’s Club will be on hand to take photos for a small donation.

Santa Paws: The Pet Project Foundation will be hosting the sixth annual Santa Paws event 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. Dec. 1. People are invited to bring their pets down to El Torito Courtyard to have their photo taken with Santa. All proceed will go to support the Pet Project Foundation, which supports the San Clemente-Dana Point Animal Shelter.

Boat Parade of Lights: The 44th annual Boat Parade of Lights will take place Dec. 7, 8, 14 and 15 and features the theme “A Western Wonderland.” OC Parks will host free family activities throughout Dana Point Harbor, including games, crafts, live entertainment and selfies with Santa. Festivities begin each day at 4:30 p.m. and the Boat Parade of Lights starts at 7:30 p.m. Free trolleys run nightly from 3:30 to 10:30 p.m. at select locations throughout the city. Information: danapointharbor.com

RELATED: Gingerbread exhibit at Discovery Cube OC hits the sweet spot between science and fun

FULLERTON

Winter Market: The annual festival in Fullerton’s Downtown Plaza, which will take place from noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 1, will features photos with Santa along with an array of vendors and food booths, entertainment and a beer and wine garden. Bring a toy for donation. New this year, the event also will offer a paper shredding (no more than five boxes) and e-recycle event. 714-738-6545

“It’s a Wonderful Life – A Live Radio Play”: This holiday story is performed as a 1940s radio broadcast at STAGEStheatre Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 22. Check online for times. General admission is $22. Stages is at 400 E. Commonwealth Ave. 714-525-4484 or stagesoc.org

Santa landing: Santa Claus will arrive via helicopter as part of Santa Day on Dec. 9. He’ll hand out candy canes and toys and pose for photos. Airplanes will be on display at the 9 a.m.-2 p.m. event at Fullerton Municipal Airport. Santa arrives about 11 a.m. 562-587-4050

Holiday play: The Muckenthaler Cultural Center will feature a staging of “It’s a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play,” the telling of station’s struggle to produce the live show in the 1940s. The show will begin ats 1 p.m. Dec. 9. Tickets are $25 general admission. themuck.org

“The Nutcracker”: The annual holiday production of “The Nutcracker” by the Nouveau Chamber Ballet, based in Fullerton, will be [performed at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15 and 2 p.m. Dec. 16 at the Fullerton College Campus Theatre. Tickets are $28-$35. Information and tickets: ouveauchamberballet.com

Evening walks: The Fullerton Arboretum is hosting “Winter in the Woodlands,” a holiday luminaria-lit stroll through its botanical garden, at 5 p.m. Dec. 14-15. The Heritage House will be decked with vintage decorations. Make an ornament, shop in the small winter market or explore the garden. The cost is $15 each; it is a fundraiser for the arboretum and its educational and conservation programs. Get tickets at fullertonarboretum.com.

Holiday Festival: The Muckenthaler Cultural Center’s annual Holiday Festival, which will take place from noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 16, features family-friendly activities, an arts and crafts fair and live performances. Santa will be in attendance. Admission is free. themuck.org

New year: The First Night Fullerton New Year’s Eve Celebration will run from 7 p.m. to midnight Dec. 31. Admission is free; some activities have a small fee. The evening will feature children’s activities, food and merchandise booths, roaming entertainment and band concerts. A fireworks show caps the night at midnight. Activities will take place along Harbor Boulevard in Fullerton’s downtown. cityoffullerton.com

  • Jenny Monroe, a member of the Porsche Club of America Orange Coast Region, rides in her holiday decorated sports car during Laguna Niguel Holiday Parade in 2016. ROD VEAL/CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

  • Santa waves to kids from the final float in the Laguna Niguel Holiday Parade on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017. (Photo By Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

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  • Darby Daniels, 5, from left, Mina Pour, 4, and Niko Emmons, 4, speak to Santa’s elf during the Santa’s Village by the Sea holiday festivities in San Clemente on Saturday, December 02, 2017. (Photo by Ana P. Gutierrez-Garcia, Contributing Photographer)

  • Elliot and Camila Rubright stand in front of the Christmas tree during Aliso Viejo’s “All is Bright Holiday Celebration” in Town Center on Thursday, November 30, 2017. (Photo by Bill Alkofer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The 44th annual Boat Parade of Lights will take place Dec. 7, 8, 14 and 15 at Dana Point Harbor and features the theme “A Western Wonderland.” (File photo)

  • Julian Kenney, left, smiles as he meets Santa during a boat ride through the Dana Point Harbor in Dana Point on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017. (Photo by Foster Snell, Contributing Photographer)

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GARDEN GROVE

Community celebration: The city is combining Winterfest and the community tree lighting into one celebration: Winter in the Grove. There will be children’s activities, a snow slide, a visit by Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus and the lighting of the tree from 4 to 8 p.m. Dec. 1 at Village Green Park, 12732 Main St. Free admission, slow slide is $5. ggcity.org

On stage: The Gem Theater’s “The Holiday Gem” will run through Dec. 16 and is meant for the whole family. The holiday review features classic songs from the season, tap-dancing elves backing up Santa Claus and scenery that will transport you to Victorian England for a snowy Christmas. Live musicians provide the soundtrack. Shows are Thursday-Sunday at various hours. Tickets are $30 general admission, $26 children and seniors. onemoreproductions.com

Holiday concert: The Christ Cathedral Choirs will perform a holiday concert Dec. 14. Under the direction of John Romeri, they will offer classic carols and Vivaldi’s “Gloria” during the 7:30 p.m. concert that is open to the community in the Christ Cathedral Arboretum. General admission is $25. christcathedralmusic.org

HUNTINGTON BEACH

Light a Light of Love Pier Lighting Ceremony: A family-friendly event with a children’s parade, live music, classic cars and Santa and Mrs. Santa Claus arriving on a Huntington Beach fire engine. At the end, more than 80 giant snowflakes on the pier will be lit. The 3:30-7 p.m. event on Dec. 2 is free at the Huntington Beach Pier Plaza at Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway. surfcityusa.com

‘Nutcracker’ Ballet: Ballet Etudes’ cast of more than 100 will present the holiday classic at the Huntington Beach High School Theater. Performances are 7 p.m. Dec. 1 and 8 and 2 p.m. Dec. 1, 8 and 9. Tickets start at $25. balletetudes.com

Cruise of Lights: The Huntington Harbour Philharmonic Committee presents its 56th annual 45-minute narrated boat tour to see holiday lights. Adults pay $21, children $14. Shuttles leave from the Huntington Harbour Mall parking lot, and cruises depart hourly each evening at 5:30, 6:30, 7:30 and 8:30 Dec.14-17 and 20-23. cruiseoflights.org.

Seasonal sounds: The Huntington Beach Union High School District’s Academy for the Performing Arts will present “Sounds of the Season” at 7 p.m. Dec. 13-14 in the Huntington Beach High School auditorium. Tickets are $22 for adults, $16 for students and seniors. Information/box office: hbapa.org/see. Audience members are encouraged to bring an unwrapped gift for a toy drive.

RELATED: Here’s when the Grinch, Rudolph, Frosty and other classic Christmas TV will air in 2018

IRVINE

Winter fun: The Civic Center will become a Winter Wonderland for the community from 3 to 7 p.m. Dec. 2. The city has a 25-foot-tall tree that will be decorated, and there will be children’s activities, a puppet show, stories with Mrs. Claus and carols. At 5 p.m., the tree will be lit and snow will fall in the piazza. Santa will also join the festivities. Bring an unwrapped gift to donate for the children of Marines. cityofirvine.org

Lighting event: The Rohr Chabad at UC Irvine is hosting a menorah lighting from 4:40 to 6 p.m. on Dec. 3 at the UCI Student Center Terrace. There will be musical performances, dreidels and treats.

Visits with Santa: Santa is planning to visit Pretend City Children’s Museum on Dec. 5, 12, 17, 19 and 21 to hear children’s holiday wishes. Christmas carols will be sung and lights will glow. From 9:30 t0 11:30 a.m. Museum admission is $13.75. 949-428-3900 or pretendcity.org

‘The Nutcracker’: Enjoy this favorite holiday ballet performed by Orange County’s resident dance company, the Festival Ballet, at the Irvine Barclay Theatre. There are various performances Dec. 8-24. Tickets are $45-$60. 714-309-1280 or festivalballet.org

Holiday village: Tanaka Farms’ Holiday Santa Tour and Sanrio Village are open weekends through Dec. 16. Take a wagon ride around the 30-acre farm and learn about its crops and history and take photos with Santa and at other holiday sets during one of the stops. Visit the specially decorated village. Wagon tour costs $18; entry to the farm and village only costs $4. tanakafarms.com

Shelter Christmas: The Irvine Animal Care Center will host its 12th annual Home for the Holidays pet adoption fair from  10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 9. It will feature about 600 homeless dogs, cats, rabbits and small animals for adoption. There will be pet-related vendors, gourmet food trucks, a silent auction, low-cost microchipping and an opportunity drawing. The suggested donation for the event is $2 per person or $5 per family.  irvineanimals.org

LAGUNA BEACH

Hospitality Night 2018:  The festivities begin in the Peppertree Lot (Lot 2), where Santa Claus will arrive to greet holiday revelers before the tree lighting at 6:10 p.m. From there, the activities move to lower Forest Avenue with entertainment, photos with Santa and merchant open houses. 5-10 p.m. Dec 7. 949-497-3311 or lagunabeachcity.net.

Winter festival: The Sawdust Art & Craft Festival will host its Winter Fantasy on weekends through Dec. 16. Along with shopping there are holiday performances, demonstrations, classes and decorations. General admission is $8. sawdustartfestival.org

On stage: “Beauty and the Beast: A Christmas Rose” will be staged at the Laguna Playhouse from Dec. 5 to Dec. 30. The classic fairytale will have modern twists in this staging, which also will encourage participation from the audience. Check online for dates and times. Tickets range from $41 to $76. lagunaplayhouse.com

LAGUNA HILLS

Breakfast with Santa: Join the jolly old elf for breakfast, photos and crafts at the Laguna Hills Community Center, 9-11 a.m. Dec. 8. Children must be accompanied by a paying adult. Residents pay $10, nonresidents $15. Registration closes at 10 p.m. Dec. 8. ci.lagunahills.ca.us

Christmas lights: Free event hosted nightly from 5 to 9 from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve. Christmas Lights and Home Decorating show featuring over 100,000 lights dancing to festive music plus snow village displays with hundreds of houses and giant hand sculpted mountains. 25473 Nellie Gail Road, Laguna Hills. Information: orangecountychristmaslights.com

Holiday concert: The Orange County Women’s Chorus, based in Laguna Hills and now in its 21st season, is planning its holiday concerts featuring music written, performed or inspired by nuns. Cellist Karen Linkletter will perform. Works from Mendelssohn, Cozzolani, Tavener and Szymko are among the lineup. Concerts will begin at 7 p.m. Dec. 8 at Newport Harbor Lutheran Church in Newport Beach and 3 p.m. at St. Wilfrid of York Episcopal Church in Huntington Beach. General admission is $30. 949-451-8590 or ocwomenschorus.org

LAGUNA NIGUEL

Holiday parade: The 20th annual Laguna Niguel Holiday Parade will take place at 10 a.m. Dec. 8 on Crown Valley Parkway between Nueva Vista and Central Park Drive. Film and television actor Richard Burgi, best known for his role as Karl Mayer on “Desperate Housewives,” will be grand marshal. Nickelodeon stars Ashley Argota and Tommy Hobson will appear as celebrity guests. Information:  lagunaniguelparade.com

Other city events: Laguna Niguel’s annual Christmas tree lighting will occur 5-7 p.m. Dec.1 at City Hall, followed by the Hanukkah wonderland and menorah lighting at 4 p.m. Dec. 2.

LA HABRA

Breakfast with Santa: The Children’s Museum at La Habra will host its annual Breakfast with Santa at 8:30 a.m., 9:45 a.m. and 11 a.m. Dec. 1-2. This holiday tradition includes a continental breakfast, crafts and photos with Santa Claus. Admission to the museum, 301 Euclid St., is included with the ticket. Tickets are $13 for adults and $11 for children over age 2. Reservations are required. 562-383-4240

Holiday decorating contest: The 18th annual Holiday Home Decorating Contest is accepting nominations during business hours through Dec. 7 at the Community Center. Judges will view the homes the week of Dec. 9-15, and the winners will be announced Dec. 17 at a City Council meeting. Winners get a yard sign, medal and gift card. Forms are available at lahabracity.com or at city facilities.

Shopping: Kid entrepreneurs will be selling their wares, from handcrafted jewelry to bath bombs, at a pop-up market from 10 a.m. to noon Dec. 8 at the Children’s Museum at La Habra. Note: Some vendors won’t be able to take credit cards. lhcm.org

Holiday show: The Mysterium Theater will present “When Christmas Comes to Town” at 8 p.m. Dec. 13-15 and 3 p.m. Dec. 16 at The Depot Playhouse. The holiday musical review is meant for families. General admission is $20. mysteriumtheater.com

Visits with Mrs. Claus: The Children’s Museum at La Habra, 301 Euclid St., is hosting Cookies & Stories with Mrs. Claus at 10:30 a.m. Dec. 20. Call 562-383-4236 to reserve a spot.

LAKE FOREST

33rd annual Candlelight Walk: Experience the historic park decked out for the season during Heritage Hill’s Candlelight Tours. More than 1,000 luminaries will light pathways as strolling carolers and instrumentalists fill the air with music. $5. Ages 3 and under get in free. 5:30-8:30 p.m. Dec. 8 at 25151 Serrano Road, Lake Forest. 949-923-2230 or ocparks.com

Winter songs: The Festival Singers of Orange County will perform “Songs of Winter” at 3 p.m.  Dec. 9 at the Lake Forest Sun and Sail Club, 24752 Toledo Way. The performance opens the group’s 2018-19 season and will celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah and the winter solstice. Tickets are $15. festivalsingers.net

Holiday run: The Lake Forest Chamber of Commerce is hosting its second annual charity 5K on Dec. 15. The communtiy is invited to walk run or skip at 9 a.m. at the Lake Lake Forest Sports Park. Register online at Active.com or questions, 949-770-1133.

LA PALMA

Tree lighting: The city’s annual holiday tree-lighting festivities will take place from 4 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 5 at the Central Park Amphitheater. There will be musical performances from local schools, a community sing-along and a craft area. Santa will be taking pictures, and there will be a chance to write him a letter. Rain will cancel the event. cityoflapalma.org/treelighting

Help others: The La Palma Kiwanis Club is staging its annual holiday food basket drive through Dec. 12. Donations of canned and boxed food items are being collected at City Hall and the Police Department. The effort helps about 45 families a year.

MISSION VIEJO

Light Up a Life tree lighting: Honor a loved one by placing a special ornament on the tree and enjoy an uplifting program with seasonal harp music and refreshments. Donations will support hospice and palliative care services at Mission Hospital. 5 p.m. Dec. 2 at Mission Conference Center, 26726 Crown Valley Parkway.

Laguna Ballet’s ‘The Nutcracker’: Join Clara and her Nutcracker prince to experience the enchanting “Nutcracker Ballet” presented by the Laguna Ballet in its 11th season at Saddleback College.  Over 75 Orange County students come together each year, under the direction of Artistic Director Shery Gilbert. Dec. 13-16 at Saddleback College McKinney Theatre. Tickets $22/24/26. saddleback.edu/fa/all-arts-events

Drive-Through Nativity at Mount of Olives Church: Drive through or walk to experience a live retelling of the Christmas story. Enjoy live actors, animals, music and narration via your car radio. Attendees are encouraged to bring nonperishable food items to donate at the very end of the living Nativity to support families and singles in need., 6-10 p.m. Dec. 8-9. Free. Mount of Olives Church, 24772 Chrisanta Drive in Mission Viejo. 949-837-7467

Tree lighting: Kaleidoscope in Mission Viejo is hosting its Cheery & Bright Tree Lighting from 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 7 with crafts and kids activities, a visit by Santa and a holiday show. GoKaleidoscope.com

RELATED: Where to see Santa at Orange County malls this holiday season

NEWPORT BEACH

Vintage Christmas: Crystal Cove Conservancy will conduct its 22nd annual tree-lighting and holiday bazaar Dec. 1; it will feature vintage ornaments, lights and a tree on the beach. The lifeguards will help Santa arrive in one of their vehicles at 4 p.m.. The bazaar will last from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and the tree lighting will begin at 5:15. Information: crystalcove.org

For kids: The Newport Beach Library will host two performances by the Festival Ballet Theatre of “The Nutcracker for Kids” at 2:30 and 4 p.m. Dec. 1. The performances in the Central Library Friends Room are free.

Menorah lighting: The Chabad Center for Jewish Life-Newport Beach and Fashion Island will host a public menorah lighting ceremony Dec. 2. The event will start at 3:30 p.m. and will feature performances, crafts and kids activities and a toy drive. Eight Holocaust survivors will be honored.  It will be in the Atrium Garden Court. JewishNewport.com

Island lighting: The Balboa Island Christmas tree will having a lighting ceremony at 4 p.m.  Dec. 2 at the First Station at Marine and Park avenues. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be in attendance. There will be caroling and snow. visitnewportbeach.com

Resort lighting: The public is invited to enjoy the Balboa Bay Resort’s Christmas tree-lighting ceremony Dec. 2 featuring live musical performances. Santa also will pay a visit. The 6 p.m. event is free. visitnewportbeach.com

Home tour: The 22nd annual Balboa Island Home Walking Tour on Dec. 9 will feature nine decorated homes and cottages. Tickets are $35. The tours last 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Purchase tickets at: balboaislandnb.org.

Boat Parade of Lights: Hundreds of decorated boats will sail around Bay Island and Newport Harbor during the 110th annual event. The parade runs nightly Dec. 19-23, starting about 6:30 p.m. It starts and ends at Tip of Lido Isle. Information and map: christmasboatparade.com

ORANGE

Christmas Train: Irvine Park Railroad’s Santa’s Village is open daily Nov. 30-Dec. 23. Children can visit Santa and enjoy storytime with Mrs. Claus. There are other activities, such as carnival games, blizzard ball and a moon bounce. 714-997-3968 or irvineparkrailroad.com

Books for gifts: The Friends of the Library will have a holiday boutique sale of books that are new or nearly new and suitable for gifting from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 1 at the Orange Public Library and History Center, 407 E. Chapman Ave. Proceeds will support the library.

Tree lighting: The 24th annual tree-lighting ceremony and candlelight choir procession will occur Dec. 2, with events starting at 3:30 p.m. in the Old Towne Orange Plaza. Santa Claus, food, youth activities and entertainment will be available for all to enjoy. At 5:15, the city will light the tree, and the choir candlelight procession will begin. The event is free and open to the public. 714-744-7278 or cityoforange.com

Hanukkah celebration: Temple Beth Sholom will have a Hanukkah lighting each evening during the Festival of Lights Dec. 2-9 in the traffic circle of the Orange Plaza. Different leaders and groups from the temple will participate in the event for the community each night at 6, except on Dec. 2, when the lighting will be at 4:45 p.m. during the city’s annual holiday event. Temple Beth Sholom serves a large population in Orange. 714-628-4600

Holiday concert: Chapman University’s very popular 55th annual Holiday Wassail Concert will take place Dec. 7-8. The concert will start at 8 p.m. in the Musco Center, where Chapman’s orchestra and choirs will perform holiday music. Concert tickets are $25. Discounts are offered for seniors and students. 714-997-6812

Library visits: Santa Claus will stop by the Orange Public Library and History Center, 407 E. Chapman Ave., to visit with children from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4. Parents are encouraged to bring cameras to get photos of their children with Santa during the free event. Santa will be at the Taft Branch Library, 740 E Taft Ave., from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Dec. 10, and at the El Modena Branch Library, 380 S. Hewes St., from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Dec. 12. 714-288-2454 or cityoforange.org

Holiday music: St. John’s Lutheran Church of Orange’s “The Sounds of Christmas” concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7 and 2 and 5 p.m. Dec. 8. It will feature The Jubilate Choir, Cathedral Bells and a festival orchestra. There is no admission, but a freewill offering will be acepted. Child care is available. St. John’s is at 185 S. Center St. stjohnsorange.org

Zoo celebration: Even the animals at the zoo celebrate the holidays. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 15, guests are invited to meet Santa Claus and watch the zoo animals get delicious holiday treats. Kids can read and enjoy crafts or storytime with Mrs. Claus. The event costs $2 per person; parking is $5 per vehicle. 714-973-6847

RELATED: 25 ho ho holiday concerts coming to Southern California this season

PLACENTIA

Tamale Festival: The Placentia Santa Fe Merchants Association will host its annual Tamale Festival and Las Posadas from 4 to 10 p.m. Dec. 5 on the 100 and 200 blocks of Santa Fe Street in Old Town Placentia. The free event will feature a performance by the Grammy Award-winning Mariachi Divas and caroling. Children can take a picture with Santa Claus. A variety of tamales may be purchased from downtown restaurants.

Tree lighting: The Placentia Community Holiday Festival and Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 6 at the Civic Center Plaza, 401 E. Chapman Ave. Get into the spirit with holiday performances, kids’ activities and a special visit from Santa Claus. placentia.org

  • The Gem Theater presents the holiday review “The Holiday Gem,” through Dec. 16. (Courtesy of The Gem Theater)

  • The Santa Fe train passes winter wonderland scenes in the Muzeo Express Holiday Model Trains exhibit at Anaheim’s Muzeo Museum and Cultural Center in 2016. (File photo by Cindy Yamanaka, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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  • Ruben Ortiz stands in front of the Christmas tree for a picture by his wife during Buena Park’s fifth annual Christmas Tree Lighting celebration held at City Hall on Friday, December 8, 2017 (File photo by Frank D’Amato, Contributing Photographer)

  • Avery Levin plays the trumpet with the rest of the Marina High School Viking Band in the annual Light a Light of Love benefit at the Huntington Beach Pier in 2015. (File photo by Steven Georges, Contributing Photographer)

  • Christ Cathedral will host a holiday concert by the Christ Cathedral Choirs on Dec. 14. They will perform classic carols and Vivaldi’s “Gloria.” (File photo by Bill Alkofer, Contributing Photographer)

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SAN CLEMENTE

Santa’s Village by the Sea: Ring in the season in downtown San Clemente on Dec. 1, beginning at 5 p.m., when Santa arrives by firetruck down Del Mar Avenue. From 5 to 7:30 p.m., there will be crafts for kids, carolers, cookies and cocoa at The Casa and from 5 to 8 p.m. a holiday hoopla at the Community Center, with Santa, sledding and an outdoor movie. On Del Mar, enjoy holiday music, train rides, beer & wine garden and merchants. Information: san-clemente.org

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO

San Juan tree-lighting ceremony: University students will give musical presentations at Town Center Park beginning at 4 p.m. Free. Tree lighting will take place at 5:45 p.m. Capistrano Valley High School’s marching band will lead a procession downtown after the ceremony, where families can enjoy holiday activities until 9 p.m. Dec. 1. 31852 El Camino Real. 949-493-5911 or sanjuancapistrano.org

Capistrano Lights 2018: The Mission’s new nightly tree lighting and music program will begin at 5 p.m. Dec. 2-Jan. 6 (except Dec. 24, 25 and 31). Guests must be on the grounds before closing at 5 p.m. to enjoy the lighting experience.

SEAL BEACH

Beach parade: For the 40th year, the Seal Beach Christmas Parade will march down Main Street on Dec. 7. This year’s theme is “A Ruby Red Christmas” and more than 100 entries are expected to participate. The parade starts at 7 p.m.

TUSTIN

Escorting Santa: The Tustin Police Department’s Santa Sleigh has been traveling through neighborhoods each holiday for about two decades. It departs the police station and visits various streets each weekday night Dec. 3-21. Check the city calendar at tustinca.org/cals for which streets the sleigh will try to visit each night, weather permitting.

Tree lighting: The city’s ceremony at 6 p.m. Dec. 7 will include holiday carols and other entertainment at the Tustin Library Courtyard, along with lighting the community tree. 714-573-3326 or tustinca.org

District holiday: The District at Tustin Legacy introduces this year its Wonderland Holiday House, which will be open daily Dec. 1-31 outside Union Market. From noon to 2 p.m. Dec. 1 at The Promenade, Santa will arrive and there will be activities for children, a kiddy train and more. On Dec. 8, pets can visit Santa for a photo from noon to 2 p.m. On Dec. 15 from 6 to 8 p.m., there will be a “magical snowfall,” photos with Santa and entertainment. thedistricttl.com

VILLA PARK

Santa’s tour: Santa Claus is coming to Villa Park for his annual sweep of the city Dec. 8 – and as usual for the city, he won’t be riding a sleigh but a fire engine. Each year for Santa’s tour, the fire engine makes stops all throughout the city so Santa can meet with residents and their children. A tour route and full schedule of stops is available at vpcsfoundation.org.

Boat parade: The beloved Dry Land Boat Parade will return to Villa Park on Dec. 9 this year with a “Rolling into the Holidays” theme. Each year, residents decorate their trailered boats – and just about anything else with wheels – to join in a citywide display of holiday cheer. After the 5 p.m. parade, participants will gather at the Villa Park Town Centre to celebrate with friends, food and entertainment. A parade route and schedule is available at vpcsfoundation.org.

WESTMINSTER

Sunken Garden tree lighting: The annual holiday tree-lighting ceremony will occur at the Civic Center Sunken Gardens with carol sing-alongs, a visit from Santa Claus and, of course, the tree lighting at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 3. Bring donations for restock food closets for those in need. westminster-ca.gov

Dine with Santa: The city is hosting Santa for breakfast, and families are invited at 9 a.m. Dec. 8. Reservations are required and go quickly. There also will be crafts to make. Tickets are $8. Sign up through the recreation department at westminster-ca.gov. 714-895-2860

YORBA LINDA

Holiday on Main Street: For the 29th year, the community will have a chance to visit with Santa Claus and enjoy festive music throughout the night. The event, which is hosted by the Main Street Merchants Association, is set for 3-8 p.m. Dec. 2 along Old Town Yorba Linda’s Main Street, just north of Imperial Highway and Yorba Linda Boulevard.

Heroes: The Nixon Foundation will host its annual Hometown Heroes Christmas Tree Dedication at 10 a.m. Dec. 8, honoring Southern California troops who lost their lives in Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam. Each will be recognized by name, and families will receive ornaments for the tree at the Nixon Presidential Library & Museum. Families must RSVP to be included. ixonfoundation.org

Boat parade: East Lake Village homes are decorating for the holidays, and the community is having its annual boat parade – with the boats decorated as well – at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 8-9. Food trucks will be available from 5 to 7 p.m. at the East Lake Clubhouse. The community can watch from the public streets around the lakefront neighborhood. 714-779-0657 or elvca.com

Food drive: Have overdue book fines with the Yorba Linda Library? Pay with food donations through Dec. 15. The Food for Fines program will accept canned goods at the library or virtual donations online to benefit the Community Action Partnership of Orange County  Food Bank. Find out more at ylpl.org.

Nixon holiday: The Nixon Presidential Library & Museum is hosting through Jan. 8 “All Aboard, America,” a holiday model train display. The trains travel through snow-capped mountain and towns and cities in three different layouts. Check ixonfoundation.org for admission costs and hours.

Each Wednesday night through Dec. 19, the Nixon library will stage candlelight evenings after the museum closes. The evening will feature photos with Santa in the replica Oval Office, musical entertainment, crafts and cookie decorating. General admission, which provides entry to the galleries, is $29.

The Pat Nixon White House gingerbread house also will be on display through part of the season. It was created by The Cookie Element in Yorba Linda. Check ixonfoundation.org.

Holiday cards: The Yorba Linda Public Library, 18181 Imperial Highway, is gathering people to make holiday cards for local assisted living centers. It’s open to all ages, and materials will be provided. It will take place the library’s Community Room from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Dec. 8. ylpl.org

Breakfast with Santa: St. Nick will be paying a visit to the city at 9 a.m. Dec. 8. There will be activities for children, entertainment and breakfast at the Yorba Linda Community Center, 4501 Casa Loma Ave. Children will be able to meet with Santa. Preregistration is required; no walk-ins. Tickets are $20. Information/registration: 714-961-7181 or ylreconline.com

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