Home for the holidays in the SCV

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It goes without saying for longtime Santa Clarita Valley residents, the holiday season around town has traditionally made the month of December one of the most unique times of the year.

Ushering in the holiday season with thousands of residents gathering on Main Street for a tree lighting and bookending with a wave of Santa Clarita families volunteering at Bridge to Home on Christmas day and New Years Eve, Santa Clarita has set itself apart as a Christmas-season type of town.

If you’re new to Santa Clarita or have just recently decided to see what all the hubbub in your town is all about around this time of year, here is the 2018 SCV “Holiday Starters Kit”:

 

Winter Wonderland:

Every year, the families on Wakefield Lane in Saugus offer Santa Clarita residents a free trip to their “Winter Wonderland.”

Since 1993, the neighborhood of Wakefield Lane has worked as a collective in order to set up one of the longest-standing, most-visited Christmas tree light displays in all of Santa Clarita.

Each Winter Wonderland house comes with a new elaborate holiday theme, from penguins to pigs to pigskins and not one house on the block fails to showcase that family’s favorite animals, themes or teams.

People looking to view a neighborhood transformed into a spectacle of Christmas lights  without leaving Santa Clarita, can visit the Wakefield Lane ‘Winter Wonderland’ 2018 Christmas nightly from 5:30-10:30 p.m. until Dec. 30.

 

Heritage Junction Holiday “Mogul Train”:

Tucked away in the corner of William S. Hart Park sits Heritage Junction Historical Park and it’s “Mogul Train.”

Likely to catch Newhall Avenue commuters’ eyes this time of year, the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society has once again continued in the tradition of transforming the train with holiday decorations.

With bright strands of Christmas lights giving the appearance that the wheels are moving, giant ornaments and wreaths donning the train’s sides and Santa Claus sticking his head out the conductor’s cabin window, the Heritage Junction “Mogul Train” has become a staple tradition for Santa Clarita.

And with Heritage Junction open to the public for free on the weekends this time of year, Santa Clarita families have been known to take their holiday family portraits using either the festive train or decorated museum homes at William S. Hart Park as their photo props.

Heritage Junction volunteers are set to open the grounds every Saturday and Sunday (except holidays) from 1-4 p.m. and tours are available every first Sunday of the month from 1-4 p.m.

Tour guides are available at the Saugus Train Station inside the park, and have said “they are ready to answer your questions” on the history of the holidays in Santa Clarita Valley.

 

Westfield Town Center

Whether shopping or simply perusing, the Westfield Valencia Town Center is visited by thousands of residents every holiday season since it first opened in 1992.

According to the Westfield Town Center’s official website, it’s 212 stores covering over 1 million square feet offers shoppers a variety of options for gift-buying wrapped up in a single location.

Shoppers can walk by glass windows filled with holiday displays, sample the various scents and tastes only available in stores during the last month of the year or even enter Santa’s Workshop and chat with Santa himself.

Events such as the Dec. 14 movie night will not only give families an opportunity to watch “Elf” on the big screen on Town Center Drive, but reservations and admission is free of charge.

Or attend one of the free holiday arts and crafts events being held inside the mall on Dec. 8 and 15. From 10 a.m. to noon, Westfield officials have scheduled free cookie decorating sponsored by Lady Di’s Cookies, ornament making sponsored by Bitter Root Pottery and writing letters to Santa, sponsored by House of Bounce.

Whether window or last-minute shopping, the Westfield Town Center has for decades given Santa Clarita residents a place to shop, stroll and be joyful. (For more information, visit Westfield.com/valencia/holiday)

 

Church communities

While a number of religious communities and denominations have services on the holidays themselves, many churches around the Santa Clarita Valley host seasonal events that are open to community throughout the month of December.

For instance, Faith Community Church plans to host it’s 13th annual Festividad for Christ Community Christmas Celebration in Newhall on Dec. 15. Free for the entire community to attend, this annual event has in the past given children the opportunity to play in the “snow,” and receive presents while their families receive free clothes and a turkey to go home with for Christmas dinner. (For more information, visit faithcommunitychurch.com)

Or residents can join HIs Way Community Church this Sunday, Dec. 9 from 10 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. for their free “Santa’s Village” holiday event. Event organizers have left the invite open to the public, offering Santa Clarita families an opportunity to fill their time with free food, pony rides, a petting zoo, crafts, games, pictures with Santa and more. (For more information, visit ehisway.org)

Or rein in the holidays by mixing drive-thru and theater at the 2018 Santa Clarita United Methodist Living Nativity event. Hoping to follow in the success and level of impact it’s had in previous years, the Living Nativity drive thru event is scheduled for Dec. 16. From 6-8 p.m., hundreds of cars will slowly drive through the live action series of sets, jumping from scene to scene, watching volunteer performers lay out the “nativity narrative.”  (For more information, visit scumc.org)

With Hanukkah ending Monday evening, the CBS Sisterhood at Congregation Beth Shalom of SCV has invited paid Sisterhood Members to join them in their annual Hanukkah Party.

The event is free for all Sisterhood members, but if you wish to participate in the gift exchange, event organizers have asked that you bring a wrapped gift of $15 or less. Additionally, visit the event page to learn more on “What to Bring.” (For more information, visit cbs-scv.org.)

 

The arts

Each year, the Canyon Theatre Guild on Main Street puts on a holiday-themed show perfect for the whole family, and this year is no exception. This year, the local players are putting on the beloved classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

For showtimes and ticket information, visit canyontheatre.org/shows.

For more information about other holiday events events planned for the Santa Clarita Valley this holiday season, you can visit signalscv.com, and also santa-clarita.com/calendar.

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