Play, pose and pirouette as Huntington Beach’s Bella Terra celebrates the holiday season

Kids enjoy "Ballet with Mrs. Claus," led by Jenny Jones of Creative Parties for Kids at Bella Terra  in Huntington Beach.
Young children on Wednesday enjoy “Ballet with Mrs. Claus,” led by Jenny Jones of Creative Parties for Kids, at Bella Terra in Huntington Beach. The class is one of several free holiday events taking place at the center.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Mrs. Claus on Wednesday made the long journey from the North Pole to the Huntington Beach open-air shopping, dining and entertainment center Bella Terra, leading a ballet lesson for youth in the first of several holiday-themed events this month.

Young children lined up in an orderly fashion in an outdoor courtyard to receive the free lesson, which covered the ballerina basics — from plié to relevé to sauté — courtesy of Jenny Jones from Orange County-based Creative Parties for Kids, who fashioned Mrs. Claus’ signature red dress into a tutu style.

Afterward, participants posed with Santa’s better half as parents snapped pics in a free photo session. Cat Hansen, marketing manager for the shopping complex, said her team annually books several outdoor concerts, storybook readings and holiday events throughout December to entertain children.

“Bella Terra is a community center, so we like to provide community events for all children in Huntington Beach and the surrounding areas,” she said Tuesday.

 Jenny Jones, left, and Lisa Cohen lead a ballet class Wednesday at Huntington Beach's Bella Terra shopping complex.
Jenny Jones, left, and Lisa Cohen lead a ballet class Wednesday at Huntington Beach’s Bella Terra shopping complex. Other free events in December include live holiday music, concerts and storytime.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

For example, visitors can take advantage of a fun photo op this Friday through Sunday when Mrs. Claus returns to the center, this time with Santa in tow for pictures on the Green outside Century theater.

In “Let it Snow,” running Fridays and Saturdays at 5 and 6 p.m. through Dec. 18, children can hear stories from the Snow Queen and Snow Princess and enjoy the conjuring of wintertime snow flurries.

Fountain Valley School District middle schoolers will perform their own holiday program on Dec. 11 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. And on Dec. 13 from 10 to 11 a.m., children can make crafts and learn tricks during a special Kids Club event, “Elfas Parsley’s Holiday Magic Show.”

Other holiday characters scheduled to make appearances include Buddy the Elf, the Grinch, holiday Princess Bell, Spider-Man, Black Panther and Jack Skellington.

“It’s very festive and fun, and there’s a lot of great energy and lots of things going on,” Hansen said of the season’s offerings.

For full list of holiday events at Bella Terra and to RSVP online, visit

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