A Helping of Festive Food, Holiday Fun Awaits


The Ranch, 31106 S. Coast Highway, will host a plethora of holiday events over the next week, its first holiday season since its restaurant reopened after extensive remodeling under new ownership.

Setting the table  at The Ranch’s Harvest restaurant.
Setting the table at The Ranch’s Harvest restaurant.

Beginning Sunday, Dec. 18, from 8-11 a.m., the Ranch restaurant will offer Wonderland Pancakes with Santa; $40 for adults, $10 for children 12 and under. Besides a pancake bar, there will be ornament decorating, snow fun, holiday music and children’s pie eating contest where the winner receives a full-ride scholarship to the Ranch’s after-school Junior Golf Academy or two complimentary days in the Jr. Rangers Camp. Locals enjoy 10 percent off.

Other events include: Campfire carols and photos with Santa on Wednesday, Dec. 21; ugly sweater party and happy hour with kids on Thursday, Dec. 22; gingerbread cookie decorating on Friday, Dec. 23. And on Christmas Eve, monitors in the Harvest restaurant will track Santa’s progress with displays from the NORAD website from 5-10 p.m. and there will be a reading of “The Night Before Christmas” by one of Santa’s elves at 8 p.m.

On Christmas morning, kids can wear their best holiday-themed pajamas to breakfast and win prizes. The Harvest Restaurant will be open with a limited menu on Christmas day with reservations available between noon and 8 p.m. Check The Ranch website for more children’s activities at the Holiday Junior Ranger Program and call 949 715-1376 for reservations.

A New Year’s Eve party starts at 9 p.m. and offers dinner, dancing and music by Ronnie Hudson & the Bad Azz Band. Tickets are $300 per person. Dancing, late-night snacks, party favors and the midnight toast is $100 per person. Call 855-286-1388 for reservations.



At the Montage resort on Christmas Eve, The Loft restaurant offers a four-course menu from 5-10 p.m. for $125 per adult and $40 for children ages 4-12, and a four-course tasting brunch menu on Christmas Day from 9 a.m. until noon, similarly priced.

The Studio Restaurant will serve a five-course holiday tasting menu both Christmas Eve and Christmas night for $150 per person, $235 with wine and $50 for kids 4-12. Studio also offers a vegetarian tasting menu available with wine pairings for $130-$315.

The outdoor Bistro serves its regular menu from 3-10 p.m. on both days.

The Masterpiece Holiday Celebration, a 12-station buffet with live entertainment, family photos and a champagne toast, takes place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for $140/adult and $45 for children. Visit the hotel website to make reservations and view children’s activities including Santa’s workshop, Christmas Eve stories, s’mores and cider and more.

The Loft and Studio also offer five-course tasting menus, live music, dancing and a champagne toast at midnight on New Year’s Eve from $200-$475 per person. A children’s party runs from 6 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. for $150.


Hotel Laguna

The Hotel Laguna will offer a Christmas buffet with pastries, cheeses, salads, turkey, sea bass, short ribs and all the sides plus dessert on Christmas day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for $49 per person, $19 for children under 12. Make a reservation at [email protected] or call 949-494-1151.


Monarch Beach

The Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point also hosts myriad holiday activities in their family activity lounge, from crafts, story telling and cookie decorating on Fridays and Saturdays at 6:30 p.m., gingerbread house decorating this weekend, a holiday themed tea on Saturday, Dec. 17 and 24, and photos with Santa and your pet on Sundays. On Fridays at 3:30 p.m. guests can cook with hotel chefs.

A Polar Express adventure includes a ride to the North Pole, story-time and cookie making on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 23 and 24. Christmas brunch will be served at Aveo Table and Bar from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for $125 per person, $39 for children ages 5-12. For reservations and additional information about all events visit:monarchbeachresort.com. or call 949-234-3900.

For New Year’s Eve, the resort package includes champagne, canapés, a live band with DJ and dancing from 10:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Tickets are $250, or $199 for those who dine in the resort that evening. Check hotel website for overnight packages.

Splashes restaurant at the Surf ‘n Sand resort serves up jewel-like seasonal cocktails.
Splashes restaurant at the Surf ‘n Sand resort serves up jewel-like seasonal cocktails.


Splashes restaurant at the Surf and Sand Resort, 1555 S. Coast Highway, will serve lunch on Christmas day from noon until 3:45 p.m. for $80 and dinner from 4-8 p.m. for $95. Reservations at: surfandsandresort.com.

The Ritz

The Ritz-Carlton-Laguna Niguel will offer a holiday buffet in their ballroom on Sunday, Dec. 25, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for $115 for adults, $57.50 for kids 3 to 12. The Raya Restaurant will have a four-course menu from 3-9 p.m. also, $115 for adults and half price for children. EnoSteak, also at the hotel, offers a special menu on Dec. 25 from 5-10 p.m.


Jewish Traditions

On Wednesday, Dec 21, the Chabad Jewish Center of Laguna Beach, 30804 S. Coast Highway, welcomes all to a Chanukah event for children ages 3-13. Kids can enjoy menorah making, dreidle spinning, latke munching, gelt giving and gift unwrapping from 4:30 to 6 p.m. for $7 per child. Starting at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 25, Chanukah events at Main Beach include dancing with a DJ, crafts, cookie making and street performers. The first two lights on the surfboard menorah will be lit at 4:50 p.m.

The Montage will also light their menorah each night of Hanukkah, Dec. 24-31.

At the Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, Rabbi Eli Goorevitch from Laguna’s Chabad Jewish Center will perform a menorah lighting ceremony each evening at 7 p.m. from Saturday Dec. 24 to 31 (3:30 p.m. on Dec. 30) in the fireside lounge, 33° North. The public is welcome. On the last day of Hanukkah, a larger ceremony will include cookie decorating, singing and some kosher food.


Locals’ Favorites

The well-known 370 Common Kitchen fried chicken Sunday will be held on Sunday, Dec. 18, this month for $42 per person. On Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, the bar opens at 4:30 p.m. and a full dinner menu with seasonal specials will be served from 5-10 p.m. The restaurant at 370 Glenneyre will be closed on Dec. 25.

K’ya Bistro in the Hotel La Casa del Camino, 1287 South Coast Highway will open at 4:30 p.m on Christmas Eve. Special menu additions for the holidays include braised beef short ribs and herb roasted check breast. Reservations are available on Christmas day from 4-8 p.m.

At Sapphire Laguna, 1200 S. Coast Highway, a three-course prix-fixe Christmas Eve dinner including prime rib and lamb will be offered starting at 5 p.m. for $65-87. A traditional turkey dinner can also be pre-ordered.

Reservations can also be made for New Year’s Eve dinner from 5-11 p.m. And, the restaurant will serve brunch on Sunday and Monday, Jan. 1 and 2 ,from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Reservations are required call 949-715-9888 or email [email protected].


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