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Things To Do in Irvine Over the Holidays


The holiday season is upon us! Below are some fun things for you and your family to do here in Irvine.

Visit Tanaka Farms for their Hikari —which roughly means “Shine” in Japanese —Lights Festival. Enjoy a wagon ride through the farm while looking at the lights, followed by some hot cocoa and Santa’s village where you can take advantage of photo opportunities. This is a fun and extremely popular outing, so be sure to book a reservation online here.  

Check out the Holidayz at the Park lights display in the Palm Court Arts Complex at the Great Park for another nice photo opportunity. I recommend checking out the merry-go-round before taking a stroll through the Great Park walking trails. The lights are on daily from dusk until 9:30pm.

Another fun family outing awaits you at The District in Tustin where you can enjoy their free holiday light display. (This is yet another great photo op!) You can have dinner afterwards at one of the many restaurants at The District or catch a movie at the AMC theatre. The lights and holiday decorations are located in the middle of the shopping center by the movie theatre. 

There are a number of nonprofits in Irvine that are in need to help over the holidays. If you have some free time, please consider volunteering with organizations like Meals on Wheels, Families Forward, or Second Harvest Food Bank. Visit their websites for information on how to get involved. 

A number of movie theaters in town are re-releasing some holiday classics like Elf, Love Actually, Die Hard, and more. Check out their websites for showtimes as they are only offered at limited times over the next few weeks.

There are also some new holiday movies coming out like The Holdovers and Silent Night. My favorite theatres are the Irvine Spectrum and AMC at The District because there are so many great food options nearby. Find showtimes here.

Take a walk through one of Irvine’s master designed neighborhoods to check out your neighbor’s holiday light displays. For those that live in the northern part of Irvine, the Woodbury neighborhood off Jeffrey and Bryan is known to be extremely festive with their displays. Take a drive with 103.5 on the radio playing holiday music and check out some lights! 

Hannukah runs from December 7-15 this year. If you are in need of some baked goods, check out Irvine’s Kosher Certified bakery The Blessed Braid for traditional Challah bread, Kichel, and more. Visit their website here and Instagram page here.

Watch a holiday movie at home! There are a number of streaming services that have terrific holiday movies for you and the family to enjoy. A few of our favorites and where to watch them

Klaus and White Christmas on Netflix

Elf and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation on HBO

Miracle on 34th Street and The Holiday on Hulu

It’s a Wonderful Life and Scrooged on Amazon Prime Video

Make reservations at one of Irvine’s restaurants for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day!

There are several restaurants open over the holidays. Plan ahead and make a reservation. Some of our favorites: Izakaya Osen (Sushi), North Italia (Italian), Little Sister (Asian Fusion), All That BBQ (Korean BBQ), Goldfinch (American Restaurant), and Il Fornaio (Italian). Visit their websites or Yelp pages for reservation information.

Joel Smith


Irvine, CA
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