Residents take a break from cooking on Christmas Day, stop by restaurants, movies and parks

After opening presents, residents head to the movies, restaurants and parks on Christmas Day on Dec. 25, 2018. Tammy Murga/ The Signal

Christmas Day business closures did not keep Santa Claritans at home during the holiday as many found local ways to dine and entertain.

It was a very busy day at Coco’s Bakery Restaurant in Stevenson Ranch — the busiest day of the year, according to franchise owner Dinesh Suri.

“We’ve opened on Christmas Day since we opened in 2002 and it’s always very busy,” he said. “I’d say better than on Mother’s Day.”

From 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Suri estimated catering to around 700-800 customers.

“I think the climate is changing with the new generations,” he said. “I think fewer people want to cook on Christmas Day after they opened all their presents.”

Another heavy foot-trafficked restaurant was Valencia’s Buca Di Beppo. Some customers that stopped by for lunch said they wanted a break from cooking and were happy to see a local spot open during on Dec. 25.

Manager Manny Chavez said, “We’ve been busy all day and expect activity to pick up during the lunch hour. Today is definitely one of our busiest days of the year. Today is already showing to be busier than Christmas Eve.”

Chain diner Denny’s, with multiple locations across the Santa Clarita Valley, also saw hoards of customers throughout the day.

One of the most popular places residents stopped by for entertainment were the Edwards Valencia and Canyon Country theaters.

Lines quickly formed throughout the late morning and early afternoon hours outside the Edwards Valencia 12 location, some who said was a Christmas Day tradition.

“I call it a ‘Black Sheep Christmas,’” said Valencia resident Joseph Fowler. All of his family relocated to the east coast in 2014, leading to his own tradition of “untraditional Christmas activities,” like stopping by the movies or going out for dinner on Christmas Eve.

Several moviegoers stopped by to watch DC’s “Aquaman,” including Fowler, but perhaps the most popular film, according to a theater employee, was Disney’s “Mary Poppins Returns.”

Kay Bustetter was among those who purchased tickets to see the film with her grandchildren.

“We wanted to do something fun with the children and this was a nice way to switch things up on Christmas Day,” she said.

Despite windy conditions Tuesday, others appeared to have enjoyed the sun by spending time outdoors at local parks, riding bikes or running through the paseos.

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