‘Tis the season for all things magical and joyous! Right? Okay, true the holidays are a particularly busy time of year but there is something about family traditions, twinkling lights and festive music that tends to bring out the merriment and cheer in all of us. Maybe these popular holiday events will be just what it takes to kick your holiday spirit into full gear!
Annual Festival of Lights: November 23rd through the first week of January
A six-week-long holiday extravaganza featuring one of the nation’s largest holiday light collections of its kind, the Festival of Lights at The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa in Riverside kicks off on November 23rd. Now in its 26th year, the festival was recently named Best Public Lights Display in the Nation by USA Today and includes 200 animated figures including angels, elves and Dickens carolers; appearances by Santa Claus, the world’s largest man-made mistletoe, horse-drawn carriage rides, elf tuck-ins, freshly fallen snow, elaborately decorated Christmas trees and much more.
Turkey Trot: Thanksgiving Day
A great way to burn calories before gorging on turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie, the Turkey Trot begins in the Dana Point Harbor and features a flat, scenic route comprised of a 10k, 5k and Kids Gobble Wobble. Now in it’s 41st year, the popular, family-friendly event is a annual tradition for thousands of OC families.
Sawdust Winter Fantasy: Five weekends throughout November & December
Situated in beautiful Laguna Canyon Village, the Sawdust Winter Fantasy is a magical outdoor art village transformed into a picturesque winter wonderland featuring 175 artisans, live music and entertainment, lights and decorations, glassblowing, a hands-on pottery wheel and complimentary art classes. There is even falling snow that will amaze the kids. Open five weekends only so mark your calendars for this special experience.
San Diego Food & Wine Festival: November 11-18
One of the largest wine and food festivals in the nation celebrates its 15th anniversary with selections from dozens of wineries, breweries, and purveyors of spirits, along with many of San Diego’s top restaurants. Cooking classes, tasting events and celebrity chef dinners also are on the menu.