1. ‘The Nutcracker’
Create holiday memories for your family by sharing the magic of Festival Ballet Theatre’s production of “The Nutcracker,” featuring colorful scenery and dazzling costumes, which make this age‑old tradition sparkle like new. Irvine Barclay Theatre, Dec. 9-10, 16-17, 21-24, thebarclay.org.
2. Festival of lights
Experience Hikari, the festival of lights. Take nightly wagon rides to the Land of a Thousand Lanterns, where you will wander through the light displays with photo opportunities throughout. Tanaka Farms, 4:30-10 p.m. starting Nov. 24, tanakafarms.com/hikari.
3. Sketching in nature
Unleash your creativity at Bommer Canyon’s Cattle Camp Nature Garden. Take a guided walk around a historic site and then have time to draw or paint the natural scene of your choice. Registration required. 12:30-4 p.m. Nov. 29, letsgooutside.org.
4. Art exhibit
Discover a world where the ordinary is transformed into the extraordinary at the Irvine Fine Arts Center’s “Revision” exhibition. Immerse yourself in innovative artworks that challenge perceptions. 14321 Yale Ave., Nov. 18-Feb. 3, opening reception 2-4 p.m. Nov. 18, 949-724-6880.
5. Santa’s Village
Visit Santa’s Village to enjoy festive activities, including Ice Fishing, Blizzard Ball and Rudolph Racers. Irvine Regional Park, Nov. 24-Dec. 30, irvineparkrailroad.com.
6. Holidayz at the Park
Celebrate the holidays at the city’s monthlong winter celebration at the Great Park, transformed into a winterscape with holiday-themed art, music and decorations. Visit the Palm Court Arts Complex to enjoy interactive displays and festive photo backdrops. Dec. 2-Jan. 7, cityofirvine.org/great-park/holidayz-park.
7. Stand-up comedy
Catch Sheng Wang’s stand-up act at the Irvine Improv. Wang recently dazzled audiences with a Netflix special, in which The New York Times praised his inventiveness and “droll and relaxed delivery.” He’s also appeared on an HBO special and ABC sitcom. Nov. 30-Dec. 3, improv.com/irvine.
8. Living historian
Hear a Civil War historian detail how an 1853 Howitzer cannon made its way to Irvine Regional Park – and other historical facts about the park. 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 17, ocparks.com.
9. Train of Lights
Embark on Irvine Park Railroad’s Train of Lights, a 1-mile, nonstop train ride illuminated with thousands of festive lights. (Note: This is a separate event from the Christmas Train, which stops to see Santa.) Online reservations start Dec. 4. Irvine Regional Park, irvineparkrailroad.com.
10. Old Town walking tour
Step back in time to explore the rich history of Irvine and the Irvine family. This docent-led walking tour reveals what life was like in Irvine in the early 1900s with site tours of what was once the bean granary, boarding house, blacksmith shop and more. La Quinta Inn & Suites Irvine Spectrum lobby, noon-1 p.m., Dec. 10, yourirvine.org.