Category: Holidays

Tustin Tree Lighting

Image courtesy of City of Tustin facebook page
Image courtesy of City of Tustin facebook page

The City of Tustin 31st Annual Christmas Tree Lighting will take place at the Tustin Library courtyard. Come celebrate with Santa at this very popular event.

The celebration includes dance performances, a Christmas sing-a-long, kids crafts and much more! Be sure to bring your camera for pictures with Santa and arrive early. Refreshments will be sold by Tustin Community Foundation.

  • When: Friday, December 4, 2105 at 6:00 pm
  • Where: Tustin Library Courtyard, 345 E. Main St., Tustin, CA 
  • Cost: FREE
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Winter Wonderland

Image courtesy of City of Irvine Facebook page
Image courtesy of City of Irvine Facebook page

Celebrate the season as the Irvine Civic Center transforms into a Winter Wonderland. The City’s newest FREE event will feature a 25-foot-tall tree adorned with ornaments and holiday lights; a Joyful Jingles holiday concert; children’s activities; and train rides.

Come and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and a festive tree-lighting as “snow” gently falls over the piazza. Children are in for a special treat when Santa stops by for a visit.

211 Marine Logo-FinalAlthough the event is FREE all guests are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped gift suitable for infants or children up to age 12 to support 2/11 Marine Adoption Committee Holiday Toy Drive. The 2/11 Marine Committee provides charitable and educational activities and support for the benefit and welfare of the United States Marines and their families assigned to Camp Pendleton, with special emphasis on the Marines and families of the 2nd Battalion, 11th Marines.

 

  • When: Sunday, December 6, 2015 from 5:00 – 8:00 pm
  • Where: The Irvine Civic Center, 1 Civic Center Plaza, Irvine,CA
  • Cost: FREE

For more information, call 949-724-6606 or visit www.cityofirvine.org.

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Artisan Marketplace

Image courtesy of encenter.org
Image courtesy of encenter.org

Looking for some unique gifts for Christmas? Environmental Nature Center is giving you the most awesome opportunity to get some shopping done while walking the family friendly trails, enjoy some music and attend a few workshops at their Artisan Marketplace.

Only ENC would give you the chance to walk their gorgeous trails while you shop for handmade gifts from 50 local artisans offering a variety of eco-friendly, sustainable, arts and crafts. If you work up an appetite grab some food from one of the food vendors.

Your friends and family will love that you cared enough about them to think about their planet when you purchased their unique gift. Be a positive part of the local economy!

  • When: Sunday, December 6, 2015 from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Where: Environmental Nature Center, 1601 E. 16th Street, Newport Beach, CA 92663
  • Cost: $2 entry fee, kids 10 and under are FREE (All fees go directly to the ENC’s environmental education programs)
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Mission Inn Festival of Lights

MissionInn1

It’s that time again when I start talking about Christmas lighting and related events and again I must begin with my favorite Christmas light display: the Festival of Lights at the Mission Inn located at Riverside, CA.

ProjectRefinedLife.Com
ProjectRefinedLife.Com

The Riverside Festival of Lights kick-offs on Friday, November 27th, 2015 at noon followed by the 23rd Annual Festival of Lights Switch-On Ceremony presented by Duane and Kelly Roberts, owners of The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa at 4:30 p.m.

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

Be prepared to be dazzled by more than three and a half million twinkling lights and spectacular fireworks! The switch-on show is stunning.

ProjectRefinedlife.com
ProjectRefinedlife.com

At the entrance to the Mission Inn, you are greeted by giant nutcracker and displays in the gardens that lead you into the lobby where you’ll find a gorgeous Christmas tree. There are several restaurants that host stunning outside eating areas as well as the historic Presidential Lounge.

ProjectRefinedlIfe.com
ProjectRefinedlIfe.com

The beautifully decorated courtyards outside the Mission Inn offer plenty to see and do. Visit one of the many shops in Downtown Riverside, eat at one of food vendors, visit one of the local restaurants, Go Ice Skating, grab a cup cake at the original Casey’s Cupcakes while listening to some live entertainment,  go for a horse-drawn carriage ride or find that book you’ve been searching for (or never knew you needed) at Downtowne Book Store, an awesome used book store.

ProjectRefinedlife.com
ProjectRefinedlife.com

My favorite thing to do is to go inside the Mission Inn and marvel at the beauty of this place. The mission Inn holds a special place in my heart. The architecture is absolutely beautiful. After visiting the Mission Inn, we go across the street and grab coffee and some hot cocoa and enjoy the view of the Mission Inn’s dazzling light display.

ProjectrefinedLife.com
ProjectrefinedLife.com
  • The Festival of Lights runs from Friday, November 27, 2015 through Wednesday, January 6, 2016.

  • The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa is located at 3649 Mission Inn Avenue, Riverside, CA 92501

  • The event is free, parking is $5.00 at most parking lots. Vendors and restaurant fees vary.

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Christmas Train Giveaway WINNER!!!

A winner has been randomly chosen by Rafflecopter for the family 4 pack to the Christmas Train at Irvine Park Railroad.

Image provided by Irvine Park Railroad
Image provided by Irvine Park Railroad

I want to thank everyone who entered to win the prize. You can still visit the Christmas Train by purchasing tickets online, tickets are on sale now. Tickets for the Christmas Train can not be purchased in person.

  • When: Friday, November 27th through Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015
  • Where: Irvine Park Railroad at Irvine Regional Park, 1 Irvine Park Road, Orange, CA 92869
  • Cost: $12.00 per person to ride the Christmas Train, children under 24 months ride free. Parking is $3.00 per vehicle on weekdays & $5.00 per vehicle on weekends. If you arrive after 5:00 pm parking is free.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cindy H. Please email me at Projectrefinedlife@gmail.com for your prize. 

The Giveaway is open to US Residents who are 18 years of age and older. The winner will be notified via email and on this blog. The winner will have 48 hours to respond. If there is no response within 48 hours a new winner will be chosen. The Prize will be fulfilled directly by Irvine Park Railroad. Any information provided is strictly the purpose of fulfilling the prize. I never sell or share your information. This blog is not liable for any unclaimed prizes. One entry per person. All opinions are strictly my own and have not been influenced by any form of compensation received by this blog.

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Veterans Day Ceremonies & Parades

In honor of all of our active and retired Veterans, there are some great Veterans Day Ceremonies & Parades taking place on Wednesday, November 11, 2015. Here’s a list of some of great events taking place locally as well as link to Vetfriends.com, they offer a list of ceremonies and /or parades throughout the country.

In Orange County

Image from nixonfoundation.org
Image from nixonfoundation.org

Richard Nixon Library – Yorba Linda – Get FREE admission to the Nixon Library all day for a A patriotic celebration to honor all veterans who have served our nation.

On Display All Day: An 80% scale replica of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier – the largest such mobile historical replica of its kind.

1 PM: Patriotic Concert with the Placentia Symphonic Band The renowned 90-member Placentia Symphonic Band will perform in the East Room. The concert is free and open to the public.

7 PM: Veterans Day Ceremony with SSG Travis Mills

  • Keynote remarks by SSG Travis Mills Formal
  • Presentation of the Colors by 1st Marine Intelligence Battalion
  • Invocation by Navy Chaplain Roilynn Williams
  • Remarks by Yorba Linda Mayor Gene Hernandez
  • Performances by the Villa Park High School Jazz Ensemble, Orange High School Concert Choir, Santa Ana College Singers and Orange Community Master Chorale

Please  for the Event.

Anaheim Veterans Day Celebration – Join in the celebration on Wednesday, November 11, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. for a special ceremony honoring our veterans. The celebration takes place at the Anaheim Veterans Plaza in Downtown Anaheim (next to MUZEO). Parking is FREE and available in the parking structure behind Anaheim City Hall at 200 S. Anaheim Blvd., or on Center Street.

Costa Mesa – A Free community celebration with live music, care package collection drive and food drive for veterans, children and adult “Thank You” art projects, historic military vehicles on display, free hot dogs and veteran organizations connecting veterans to jobs and other programs.The celebration takes places at OC Fair & Event Center – Main Mall, Lot A (Enter at Gate 1 off Fair Dr) from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

City of Fullerton – The observance, hosted by Fullerton American Legion Post 142, Fullerton Emblem Club 469, and the City of Fullerton will begin at 10:30 a.m. with a parade in Fullerton’s historic downtown. Event takes place on Wilshire Avenue, east of Harbor Boulevard and adjacent to the Fullerton Museum Center, go North on Harbor Blvd. and end at Hillcrest Park, which is located at the intersection of Harbor and Valley View Drive.

Huntington Beach – First, join the City of Huntington Beach and the American Legion Post 133 on Wednesday, November 11, 2015 at 11 a.m. at Huntington Beach Pier Plaza for a special Veterans Day program. The event will feature Mayor Jill Hardy, several Veteran speakers and the Huntington Beach High School Band. See more information here.

Afterwards, Surf City Veterans Day Car Show returns with over 500 woodies, hot rods, muscle cars, exotics, VWs, and rat rods. Donations benefiting US Combat wounded veterans from Iraq & Afghanistan will be accepted at locations throughout the show. The event begins at 9 am with an opening ceremony, then a salute to POW’s MIA at 12 pm. Free to spectators. www.SoCalCarCulture.com

City of Irvine – Veterans Day Ceremony at Colonel Bill Barber Marine Corps Memorial Park on Wednesday, November 11, 2015 from 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.. Irvine Mayor Steven S. Choi will speak at the City’s traditional Veterans Day Ceremony. The ceremony will also feature remarks by Michelle De La Cruz, Commander, American Legion Post 838; and Lt. Col. Christian Ellinger, U.S. Marine Corps. The day will be highlighted by presentations from the 2nd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment Color Guard and the Irvine Police Department Honor Guard. Colonel Bill Barber Marine Corps Memorial Park is located at 4 Civic Center Plaza, Irvine.

City of Orange – Join the City of Orange as we honor past veterans and current military with patriotic music and inspirational speeches. This event is open to the general public and all veterans, current military, friends and family are encouraged to attend. Depot Park is located at 100 Atchison St. Orange, CA  and begins at 2:00 p.m.

Parades and ceremonies outside of Orange County

Image from reagan.utexas.edu
Image from reagan.utexas.edu

Ronald Regan Presidential Library, Simi Valley  – To honor the men and women who serve in the United States Armed Forces, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library will be hosting its annual Veterans Day Event on Wednesday, November 11. The day’s activities include a live musical entertainment, a civil war encampment, a military vehicle display and a program honoring all branches of our military.

The program, which begins at 11:00 a.m., includes an honor guard and remarks by retired U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills of the 82nd Airborne. Staff Sergeant Mills is a wounded warrior, motivational speaker, and international advocate for veterans and amputees. He is one of only five servicemen from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan ever to survive his injuries as a quadruple amputee. He started the Travis Mills Foundation, which benefits and assists wounded and injured veterans, www.travismills.org. Following the program, Staff Sergeant Mills will be signing his brand new book Tough as They Come: A Memoir (release date November 3, 2015). Books must be purchased in the Reagan Library Museum Store to receive signature.

Outdoor events and the program are free to attend, however reservations are recommended to attend the program. Reserve seats and to pre-purchase books, please . Muse register here. Museum admission rates apply to visit the Reagan Museum and Air Force One Pavilion, including our special exhibit, Football! The Exhibition. Veterans with valid ID will receive free admission to the Museum on November 11. Active military members with valid ID are always free.

City of Redlands – The 2015 Veterans Day Parade & picnic takes place tomorrow, November 11, 2015.The Veterans Day Parade begins at 9 am at the intersection of Citrus Avenue and Redlands Blvd. and ends at Jennie Davis Park.

The picnic starts at 10:30 am at Jennie Davis Park. Activities for the day include airplane flyovers, military vehicles, bands, floats, classic cars, local ROTC units, service clubs, veterans organizations, government leaders, vendor booths, kids’ zone and more.
(Redlands Blvd. & New York Street)

San Diego Veterans Day Paradde Open to all, and free of charge to view or to participate. the San Diego Veterans Day Parade recognizes the contributions of all of our Veterans from every branch of Armed Forces in all eras of service. The parade begins at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, November 11, 2015, on N Harbor Drive. The Start Line is in the vicinity of the Fountain Plaza in front of the County Administration Building.

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Christmas Train Giveaway

Image provided by Irvine Park Railroad
Image provided by Irvine Park Railroad

I don’t know about you but I may possibly be in denial about Christmas being 50 days away. So…to get me ready for the season, I am scheduling a night for my family and I to ride the Christmas Train at Irvine Park Railroad.

Image from Irvine Park Railroad
Image from Irvine Park Railroad

The Christmas Train rolls into Irvine Park Railroad from Friday, November 27th through Wednesday, December 23rd when Irvine Park Railroad is beautifully transformed into Santa’s Village.

Take a ride on the Christmas Train to visit the North Pole. When you arrive, the kids can visit with good ole’ St. Nick with their wish list in hand. While you’re there grab a picture of your own or purchase a 5 x 7 a photo to capture the magical moment.

Image provided by Irvine Park Railroad
Image provided by Irvine Park Railroad

In addition to the train ride and visit with Santa, the kids can enjoy storytime with Mrs. Claus, cookie decorating, carnival style games, bounce houses, coloring corner, Ice Fishing and more. Some activities do require a fee, for additional information and costs visit IrvineParkRailroad.com

After telling St. Nick your Christmas wish list, you’ll jump back on the train and take a ride through the“Tunnel of Lights to come back to the train station.

Image from Irvine Park Railroad
Image from Irvine Park Railroad

To ride the Christmas Train, you must purchase tickets online. You can pick the perfect time and date to visit to Santa’s Village and ride the Christmas Train.

Christmas Train tickets are on sale NOW! Tickets can only be purchased online. A one-time, online ticket fee will apply to each order. Tickets may not be purchased in person. When you purchase tickets to ride the train at a specific time, you may pick your tickets up at the train station ticket window. Then, get in line and board the train at any time during the hour for which tickets are purchased.

  • When: Friday, November 27th through Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015
  • Where: Irvine Park Railroad at Irvine Regional Park, 1 Irvine Park Road, Orange, CA 92869
  • Cost: $12.00 per person to ride the Christmas Train, children under 24 months ride free. Parking is $3.00 per vehicle on weekdays & $5.00 per vehicle on weekends. If you arrive after 5:00 pm parking is free.
Image provided by Irvine Park Railroad
Image provided by Irvine Park Railroad

Before heading off on the Christmas Train, you browse through the Christmas Tree Ranch where you’ll find Noble, Grand, and Douglas fir trees in all shapes and sizes. The Christmas Tree Ranch will be open daily from November 27th – December 23rd at 10:00 am – 8:00 pm.

 

****NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY!!!****

Irvine Park Railroad has graciously provided a Family 4 pack to one lucky family. The Prize includes:

  • 4 Christmas Train Tickets

  • 4 Activity Tickets

  • 1 Wheel Fun Rentals at Irvine Park Bike Rental (excludes the double surrey)

The prize is valued at $93.00!!! To enter make a comment on this blog post about why you’d like to visit Irvine Park Railroad’s Christmas Train. The winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter. The Giveaway will end on November 12, 2015 at 11:59 PM PST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
The Giveaway is open to US Residents who are 18 years of age and older. The winner will be notified via email and on this blog. The winner will have 48 hours to respond. If there is no response within 48 hours a new winner will be chosen. The Prize will be fulfilled directly by Irvine Park Railroad. Any information provided is strictly the purpose of fulfilling the prize. I never sell or share your information. This blog is not liable for any unclaimed prizes. One entry per person. All opinions are strictly my own and have not been influenced by any form of compensation received by this blog.

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Viva La Vida

Image from Viva La Vida Santa Ana facebook page
Image from Viva La Vida Santa Ana facebook page

Viva La Vida is a free, family friendly festival. Participants in past events have dedicated altars to their parents, siblings, and friends as well as present causes such as soldiers who have died in war, women who have made an impact in history, and people who have died of illnesses such as AIDS, cancer, or diabetes.

In addition to viewing beautifully created altars, attendees will be able to buy local artwork from vendors while being entertained by cultural performances and live music. As our cultural awareness continues to grow through art and traditions; Viva La Vida takes us to a time when friends, family, and communities came together to celebrate life with all of our senses.

This FREE festival takes place today, Sunday, November 1, 2105 at the Santa Ana Train Station from 11:00 am – 9:00 pm., The Santa Ana Train Station is located at 1000 E. Santa Ana Blvd., Santa Ana, CA 92701

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Dia De Los Muertos at Bowers

Image from Bowers Museum Facebook page
Image from Bowers Museum Facebook page

Día de los Muertos is one of the most celebrated holidays in Mexico. With the belief that on October 31 and November 1 the spirits of our beloved family members come to be with us once again, it is a time of remembrance and a celebration of life.

The Bowers and Bowers Kidseum will celebrate today, Sunday, November 1, 2015 with a free family festival and FREE museum admission. Festivities will include live music and dance performances, face painting, and sugar skull decorating.

At Bowers Kidseum, there will be a special exhibition of “Casa de las Calaveras.” Celebrate the nuptials of José and Gloria, the couple from the hereafter! Then join them on a multicultural adventure as they travel the world on Día de Los Muertos!

Schedule of Events:

John M. Lee Court
11:00 AM – 3:30 PM Joel Aceves, classical guitarist, plays the romantic music of Latin America
Margaret and Cleo Key Courtyard
11:00 AM – 4:00 PM Face painting and Sugar Skull decorating
12:00 PM Martin Espino
1:00 PM Ballet Folklorico, Las Estrellas of Orange County School of Arts
1:30 PM OC Mariachi with the Mariachi Kids, under the direction of Maestro Gabriel Zavala
2:45 PM Xipe Totec, Danza Azteca

Bowers Museum is located at 2002 N.Main Street, Santa Ana, CA 92706

This free festival and museum admission are generously sponsored by The James Irvine Foundation, the Nicholas Endowment, and Bank of America.

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