One of my favorite places in Irvine is the Irvine Spectrum shopping center. I've watched this outdoor mega-mall grow from just a few stores near the Edwards Cinemas theaters about 15 years ago to this amazing attraction for people of all ages. As a mom, it's also a great way for me to do some major walking outdoors with my little one, who is completely in awe of all there is to see and hear.
And boy, they sure go all out during the holidays! I went there this past Black Friday to check out the ambiance (I was able to refrain from any impulse shopping!) and get into the holiday spirit.
Just like in previous years, there are beautiful decorations everywhere! Christmas music is playing on the speakers that are placed around all the shops. Especially on Black Friday and weekends in general, there are plenty of families hanging out and walking around. The carousel is packed, the snack shops are busy with folks gobbling up funnel cakes, soft pretzels, or crepes (from the Crepemaker, home of the hand-held crepe!). And of course, there is an outdoor ice skating rink where children and adults can skate to popular holiday tunes...with palm trees and the big ferris wheel lingering in the background! Classic southern California right there.
And there are tons of stores to shop at, including Macy's, Nordstrom, Target, Urban Outfitters, Old Navy, just to name a few big name places. Not to mention, you have plenty of eating places to choose from, ranging from fast food places to nicer sit-down restaurants.
I'm so glad that we have a place like this essentially in our own backyard here in OC. And during the holidays, it's a great spot to visit with your family, friends, or just by yourself to help you stay in that wonderful holiday spirit.
Looking for more interesting places to visit in Irvine and around Orange County? Feel free to contact me or leave a comment to share your own personal experience.