November 1st. That was the day I removed all of our Halloween decorations and that was the week we kicked off…”the holidays”. Yes, it’s THAT time of year. Thankfully, a much better year than last. We are not in lock down mode! We can actually have fun (safely)! I should’ve posted my list last week but I was too busy putting up our Thanksgiving AND Christmas decor. Yes, a double whammy. Gotta make up for last year, right?! We still have a few more weeks left of November so here’s my top 5 events to attend!
- Tree Lightings – Most cities do their annual tree lighting in November. Check your city for their date! These are the cities I have attended in the past and highly recommend. We used to go to the one at South Coast Plaza a lot! It is on November 18th at 7 pm this year. After moving to DP, we started going to St. Regis but it got way too crazy and crowded. Then they changed it to a ticketed event when it became the Monarch Beach Resort. Now it’s the Waldorf Astoria and they currently do not have a tree lighting ceremony listed. No worries though because Ritz Carlton is still doing their tree lighting on November 21st at 4 pm. (Just a heads up Dana Point and Laguna Niguel are both doing their tree lighting on December 4th!)
- Ocean Institute – Yeah, I wouldn’t normally have this on my list but the Ocean Institute is inviting CUSD students to visit at no charge through the end of November. The Ocean Institute provides hands on learning about marine science, maritime history, and promotes how the community can support a healthy environment. While you are at it, you can purchase tickets for their viewings of the Dana Point Harbor Boat Parade of Lights coming up next month!
- Diwali Festival of Lights – You didn’t think I wouldn’t include Bowers on my list, right? This is a great museum, but I really appreciate their cultural festivals. This one is on November 21st at 11 am. Diwali is a 5 day festival from India and is sure to be a really fun family event filled with live performances, food, and crafts!
- Volunteer – If you can give your time – it is priceless. I encourage everyone to volunteer year round but even more so during the holidays. My favorite organization is Family Assistance Ministries. I truly believe in their mission and how they help people in need. They do not just give hand outs. They take the time to assess a person’s situation and give them the tools to improve their life. They are also one of the few places that allow younger children to volunteer.
- Harry Potter Holiday Feast – Thanksgiving is cool and all but umm throw in Harry Potter and I know I am going to end the month of November on a much better note than EVER before! I am so excited that Balboa Bay Resort is putting on a Harry Potter inspired holiday feast. If you are a Potterhead, this is a MUST DO! Tickets can be purchased for November 27th or November 28th.
I know some people just “skip” Thanksgiving but I hope you and your loved ones take the time to reconnect, be thankful of your blessings and also give back to the community. Peace. Love. America.