Fun Things to Do in Orange County This Weekend

‘All For A Good Claus’ Toy Drive

The Huntington Beach Fire Department is teaming up with other community leaders for the city’s annual toy drive this year. The afternoon event will feature a Huntington Beach fire truck and a meet-and-greet with Santa Claus, as well as a holiday performance by the Orange County Song and Dance Company. Attendees are asked to bring new, unwrapped toys or sports equipment to donate. Free and open to the public

Pacific City at 21010 Pacific Coast Hwy. Huntington Beach. Saturday, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. For more information.

18th Annual ‘Christmas Together’ Toy Drive

Families Together of Orange County, a local nonprofit, will continue the tradition of giving away thousands of toys along with what organizers say will be an “unforgettable” experience for the community to enjoy. Last year, the charity donated over 20,000 toys at the event and expects to do the same this year. Festivities include carnival rides, games, raffles, entertainment, pictures with Santa, holiday meals, and a variety of food options free of charge.

Early registration is encouraged. Attendees must be Orange County residents. Upon registration, participants must provide an Orange County address along with proof of address on the day of the event.

Anaheim Convention Center, 800 West Katella Ave. Anaheim. Sunday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Free. To register.

Irvine Lake Trout Fishing Derby

Orange County Supervisor Don Wagner is inviting all local residents to his free inaugural Trout Fishing Derby. Festivities include gourmet food trucks, blind bogey drawings, and a chance to hook the first place prize! Registration begins at 5:00 a.m., and awards for best trout caught will be presented at 1:00 p.m. Free. Parking, $5.

Irvine Lake at 4621 Santiago Canyon Rd., Silverado. Saturday, 6:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Free. For more information.

‘Science of Gingerbread’ Holiday Competition and Wonderland

Guests of all ages are invited to see some of the most delicious and colorful gingerbread house creations from all over the county, while enjoying Discovery Cube’s festive Winter Wonderland. Attendees can also decorate the perfect holiday cookie, meet Santa Claus, participate in a special winter weather workshop, join story-time and interactive activities, and much more.

Discovery Cube Orange County at 2500 North Main St., Santa Ana. Saturday and Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Tickets: $14.95 to $19.95. For more information.

Visit Casa Romantica Historical Exhibition

Discover preserved historic Spanish architecture, ocean views and 2.5 acres of gardens this weekend, along with access to the landmark’s historic home and gardens with exhibitions about California history and Casa Romantica. Also included is access to the site’s art gallery that rotates award-winning artists and exhibitions seasonally, activity backpacks and sensory bins for children. Docent-led tours also available for groups of six or more.

Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens, 415 Avenida Granada, San Clemente. Saturday to and Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Tickets $5, children and military free. For more information.

Children’s Business Fair and Holiday Market

Ambitious children from all over Orange County are coming together to launch their own pop-up businesses and offer their goods and services to the public. The event also features live holiday musical performances by talented kids from a local artist development program.
Hosted by the Wonderstorm Academy’s Entrepreneurial Kids Development Program [CQ], the nonprofit empowers children to take an idea and turn it into a profitable business. These young entrepreneurs learn to develop a brand, create a product or service, build a marketing strategy, and then open for customers at this one-day-only marketplace. As a shopper, every dollar spent goes back to the nonprofit for future programming.

Union Market of Mission Viejo, 27741 Crown Valley Pkwy., Mission Viejo. Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Free. For reservations.

Pictures with Santa Claus at Irvine Great Park

Saint Nick is coming to Irvine Great Park this Sunday, where families with kids of all ages can get a photo with him to commemorate the day. Homegrown goods will also be available for purchase courtesy of the Orange County Park Farmers Market.

Orange County Great Park Farmers Market at 6950 Marine Way, Irvine. Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Tickets $20. For more information.

Scavenger Hunt Adventure

Looking for a way to turn San Juan Capistrano into a giant game board? Those interested can join an interactive scavenger hunt that combines the fun of the Amazing Race with a 2.5-hour sightseeing tour of San Juan Capistrano. Guided from any smartphone, groups can make their way among well-known and overlooked gems of the city historians call “the birthplace of Orange County.”
The adventure will begin in the Los Rios Historic District, California’s oldest residential street, where some adobe homes now operate as vibrant restaurants, and shops. Guests will learn about a ghost that still haunts the train depot, the story of the Mission, and the city’s famed swallows while solving clues and completing challenges about California’s history.

The tour requires approximately over one mile of walking. Offered at a fixed price for groups.

San Juan Capistrano Metrolink Station, 26701 Verdugo St., San Juan Capistrano. Friday to through Sunday, 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Tickets $44. For more information.

Carol Cassis

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