Cutting out holiday entertainment this year due to the economy? Believe it or not, low-budget holiday entertainment options abound in Orange County for single parents and their children. Look no further than the next town for frugal—even free—merry making celebrations.
Starting November 28, admission to Knott’s Berry Farm Christmas Craft Village is free Monday through Thursdays until December 22. Sip a hot cider and enjoy old-fashioned charm and décor while village carolers sing Christmas tunes of centuries past. Children can visit with Santa while adults shop for jewelry, candles, lotions, soaps, and personalized gifts. Don’t forget to stop by the Bird Cage Theater for one of several Holiday classics performed live on stage before heading home with a chicken dinner to-go box. For more information, call (714) 220-5200.
Next, make plans this weekend to see the 44th Annual presentation of Handel’s Messiah performed by the Richard M. Riggs’ Memorial Choir at St. Matthews United Methodist Church in Hacienda Heights located at 15653 East Newton St. in Hacienda Heights. Chamber orchestra and soloists, directed by John Lamkin, will present this Christmas masterpiece on Saturday, December 3 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 4 at 3 p.m. According to long-time choir member, Lorrie Goff, Handel’s Messiah is a must-see event: “It’s an experience where you are connecting with Christmas and God. There’s an involvement in the music where you are connected to Christmas in a way that’s so fulfilling. Most people that come get hooked in to coming again and again, year after year.” A free offering will be given and the suggested donation is $20. For more information, call (626) 333-6656.
Finally, catch the Holiday Toy Express for free at an Orange County Metrolink station near you on Sunday, December 4 or Saturday, December 10. Children and adults will love this crowd-pleasing event featuring a colorful and brightly lit Metrolink train covered in more than 50,000 lights, a special appearance by Santa and Mrs. Claus, and an opportunity to donate a new toy to a less fortunate child. Share the holiday spirit by bringing a piece of sports equipment or a new, unwrapped toy when you come see the Holiday Toy Express. Catch the train on December 4 in Irvine at 5:00 p.m., Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo at 6:00 p.m., San Juan Capistrano at 7:00 p.m., San Clemente North at 7:45 p.m., and San Clemente Pier at 8:20 p.m. On December 10, come see the Holiday Toy Express in Fullerton at 7:15 p.m. and Buena Park at 8:00 p.m. For more information and schedules, see metrolinktrains.com.
With frugal entertainment options like these, single parents have no excuse for donning Christmas attire and joining the merry making throughout Orange County. After all, a penny saved on amusement means more money for the Christmas budget.