It’s Not All About Work. Give Yourself A Holiday With These 12 SoCal Attractions

As 2015 begins to wrap up, Southern Californians are beginning to feel the excitement that comes with the end-of-year holidays. While there may not be snow or long months of orange and red leafed trees in our corner of the country, Southern Californians still feel the holiday frenzy in more than just visiting family, vacation plans, and parties.

No matter what industry you own a company in, or are employed at, the end of the year months mean wrapping up projects and loose ends, running reports, and looking towards new projects and career goals. It can mean longer hours for some, or an increase in seasonal work for others. While all these must be done to keep a company running, what is it that keeps employees running through the holidays?

So often work overrides time with our families and children, and in later years some may come to regret not taking moments to be with those whom they love during those particularly special months. Here are 12 things to do with your family, friends, or even by yourself across Southern California in these last three months of the year.


Looking for something spooky to share with your kids? The Discovery Cube in Santa Ana hosts Spooky Science where kids can learn about bones, x-rays, bugs, and all things creepy-crawly. There are even demonstrations with dry-ice and the magic behind its eerie fog!

The Pacific Ocean may not freeze over in winter, but Irvine still boasts an Ice Rink from October to January each year. Take your children for an evening skate across the Irvine Spectrum Ice Rink.


The Discovery Cube offers two fun events this month. After Halloween’s ghostly fun, it’s time to see what type of machine will make a record in the great Pumpkin Launch! Your kids can learn about catapults and trebuchets, and enjoy food from gourmet food trucks. As Christmas gets closer, your kids can enjoy a sweet science treat at the Science of Gingerbread. They can compete in a gingerbread derby, explore learning stations, and see over 200 award-winning gingerbread creations!

Ready to race off all those holiday pies before you eat them this year? Grab some friends and join the Plymouth Rock ‘n’ Run or the Dana Point Turkey Trot! Choose from a 5k or 10k, donate to great local causes, and stay in shape for the holidays. Don’t forget to don your best turkey costume!

Looking for something for the whole family? The Laguna Beach Sawdust Winter Fantasy Fair is coming. See local artists and crafters share their festive goods this year, while listening to great live music, eating delicious food, and sharing in the atmosphere of winter at the beach. It’s a great time to get those last minute gifts for everyone too!


Bundle up, grab some hot cocoa, and head to Newport Beach for the Annual Boat Parade: “Seas the Holidays!” Watch yachts, sailboats, and speedboats cruise through Newport Beach and Balboa decked out with decorations, lights, tinsel, music, and some holiday characters!

Gather up the kids or take your sweetie for a night out at the South Coast Repertory’s A Christmas Carol. This play is a Southern California tradition each December put on by a fabulous cast to get you in the holiday spirit.

For something a little different, the Pacific Symphony has teamed up with Cirque de Sole performers to bring you A Cirque Christmas. Acrobats, aerial artists, dancers, and others perform to holiday songs brought to you by the Pacific Symphony at the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.

As New Years approaches, take time to be with your family at Fullerton’s “First Night” event. This event’s change of pace from late night parties ringing in the new year offers live music and entertainment, great food, rides, and a carnival for the whole family to enjoy.

Whether you have plans to stay in Southern California or fly to another winter destination this holiday season, be sure to take some time away from your desk and job to enjoy time with your family. It is, after all, for them that you work so hard throughout the year. Be sure to enjoy the holiday parties at work too to unwind and celebrate another great year with your colleagues. Check out our article 6 Ways Your Holiday Party Could Ruin Your Year to find out what not to do at your end of year gathering.