If you’re one of those gift-buying people who buys socks and coffee makers for people at the holidays, this column is not for you. You’ll have absolutely no interest in going to Laguna Beach’s annual “Winter Fantasy Festival” on the Sawdust Art Festival grounds because you would find too many amazing, creative and one-of-a-kind gift ideas for the people you love.
The Laguna Beach Winter Fantasy Festival is well underway with 170 artists’ booths and all sorts of other stuff (more on that in a minute). It’s only open three more weekends, so get this on your calendar!
Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the following dates:
Friday, Saturday and Sunday after thanksgiving
Dec. 7 & 8
Dec. 14 & 15
Pricing continues to be extremely reasonable: $6 adults, $5 seniors (65+), $3 kids ages 6-12, FREE for kids 5 and under. Or, buy a whopping $9 season pass to have access at any time over the 3-week period as your gift list grows.
NOTE – FREE Tickets! On Friday after Thanksgiving, I’ll be offering 4 Winter Fantasy Festival tickets to the person who can track down my Friday Holiday Palette! More details on the Contest here!
Honestly, I love the Winter “Sawdust” more than our summer affair – the Sawdust Art Festival (which I happen to like a lot). Now … granted … I’m an admitted Christmas/holiday freak. Throw me under twinkle lights with a hot cup of wassail and there can be no happier human being … but even if your more Ebenezer Scrooge-like or Grinch-like in your attitude over the holidays, you’re STILL going to find something to enjoy at the Winter Sawdust.
The Winter Fantasy Festival invites its summer artists back, and this year, they’ve added may new artists to the festival. The great thing, though, is that most of the artists focus on gift-giving items this time around. You’ll still have gargantuan paintings and sculptures here and there, but you’ll see a greater supply of handmade jewelry, scarves, reasonably priced framed photos and paintings, pottery and Raku, windmills, garden accessories and just about everything else creative under the sun. (I, for one, go to the Winter Sawdust to purchase beautiful hand-blown Christmas ornaments for my clients and friends – they make great hostess gifts, too.)
Aside from 170 different artists’ booths in this cool outdoor setting, you have a newly built “Towne Square (sorry grownups, this is kid-size only), jiving live bands and chorales, wandering carolers, plenty of hot, steamy drinks (along with quality beer and wine), food everywhere and, of course, Santa front and center for all those last-minute requests.
There’s more . . . lots of workshops and classes to learn how to make cool stuff as gifts, too. Just check the Festival Classes online for something that suits your fancy.
You just can’t lose at the Winter Fantasy Festival. Do me one favor, though! Bring a new toy with you for the Toys for Tots Holiday Toy Drive. (It’ll keep you off Santa’s coal list, too.)