Welcome to another week of the Holidays & Nights newsletter! Parents, I hope your little elves on the shelves don’t scare you for the time being. I don’t have kids, but I do have young nieces, nephews,, and cousins,, and I’ve been told that those scary little Santa tattletales can be overwhelming this time of year.
Fear not, it’s only 18 days until Christmas,, and that elf nose will soon be gone for a year.
If you want to keep yourself and your kids distracted in the meantime, there are a ton of holiday-themed events happening at Southern California theme parks.
Frumpy Mom reporter and beauty columnist Marla Jo Fisher has a quick look at what’s going on at Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood, Knott’s Berry Farm, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Legoland California,, and SeaWorld San Diego.
Theme parks reporter Brady MacDonald took on the task of tasting a variety of food and drinks from Disney’s Festival of Holidays, which runs through Sunday, January 7 at Disney California Adventure.
The food is inspired by cultural traditions tied to Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Diwali, Navidad, and Three Kings Day. Guests can get a Sip and Savor pass for $61 for general guests and $56 for Magic Keyholders. The prepaid card includes eight tabs that are good for individual tastings at food and beverage stands.
Brady cuts through 12 foods and ranks them from best to worst, starting with the Mad Santa Macaron ($7.50), for which he gives an “OMG!” review. The worst—well, you should check out his list here.
You know those Disneyland candies your passholder bestie loves? They are back this year! Can you get one? Likely. Is it worth it? Eh.
You will undoubtedly have to wait in long lines, but this cult classic that is more than half a century old will be available on December 10, 12, 17, 19, and 24 at the Candy Palace and Candy Kitchen in Disneyland and on December 11, 13, 18, 20, and 25 at Trolley Treats at Disney California Adventure. Brady has more on signing up for the mobile waitlist system to get your hands on one of these hot-selling candy canes here.
Knott’s Berry Farm—excuse me, Knott’s Merry Farm—treats guests to a Wild West version of the classic “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. The show, called “A Calico Christmas Carol,” will take place at various times at the Bird Cage Theater and is included in the price of admission until January 7.
The show brings Ebenezer Scrooge to Calico Ghost Town and contains many references to familiar Knott’s Berry Farm fare, including the famous boysenberry pie. Brady has more about making theater fun and what else the seasonal event has to offer here.
Although his name is The Grinch, he is actually quite happy. His heart grew three sizes, and he was full of holiday cheer as he bounced around Universal Plaza at Universal Studios Hollywood.
He happily takes pictures with guests, cracks jokes, and always dances. He is also the star of the nightly show, tree lighting, and snowfall inside Whoville. He joins a colorful cast of Whoville residents, including Cindy Lou Who, who is reading “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” too.
There are all kinds of sweet treats, hot and cold holiday-flavored drinks, and activities for the kids. In The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, holding a warm cup of butterbeer is a necessity within the Three Broomsticks. Then head over and see the nightly show called The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle, complete with fireworks.
I’ve reviewed all that Universal Studios Hollywood has to offer in terms of seasonal entertainment, and you can read all about that here.
Last week, I shared my article about the Miracle and Sippin’ Santa pop-up Christmas experiences that are taking over Southern California restaurants and bars this season.
I have had these experiences before and had such a wonderful time. This year is no exception. I decided to try my luck and see if I could get into The Ordinaire in Long Beach on Saturday since I was already hanging out with a friend downtown.
As luck would have it, we only waited in line without a reservation for about 10 minutes and then waltzed up to the bar and ordered drinks. The crew at The Ordinaire went all out with decorations, from floor to ceiling, and even decorated the bathrooms. It’s amazing and instantly puts you in a festive mood.
While I’ve had other Miracle cocktails on the menu over the years (the Snowball Old-Fashioned, Carol Barrel, and ode to “Die Hard” hero John McClane, the Yippee Ki Yay—yes, you know the rest), I decided to try two new cocktails.
Marshmallows & Unicorns is a gin-based drink with cherry liqueur, velvet falernum, cardamom, black pepper, marshmallow, lemon, egg white, Tiki bitters and soda. It’s deliciously good, served in a cute unicorn mug and topped with fluffy strawberry marshmallows and cherries. Rudolph’s Replacement is a delicious dessert drink, with vodka, coffee liqueur, white creme de cacao, orange curacao, chai, almond milk and aromatic bitters. This one is served in a super cute Santarex Tiki-style mug.
The atmosphere in these places is very immersive and Christmas, the drinks are really worth it ($15.95-$17.95 per cocktail, but a pretty unique cocktail). The food at The Ordinaire is also amazing. When you hit the Long Beach Miracle location, you have to get the Chicken Pot Pie Bites, served with the most delicious gravy.
Here is a list of Miracle and Sippin’ Santa locations in Southern California.