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Seussical, Shopping and Sustenance: The Holiday Season In Ojai

Poster for seussical, The Musical! celebrating the holiday season in Ojai


“Oh, the thinks you can think” when Dr. Seuss’s best-loved characters collide and cavort in this unforgettable musical caper during this holiday season in Ojai. From the imagination of beloved California resident Theodore Seuss Geisel comes Seussical, The Musical! The holiday classic that debuted on Broadway in 2000 will take center stage at The Ojai Art Center Theater for four weekends starting November 22 through December 15, with a matinee each day starting at 2:00 pm. Share in a moment of pure holiday magic with the inter-generational cast assembled by Director Gai Jones.

“Working with ages 8-70 in a production is joyous,” said Jones, “And reminds us all that life is continuous; we teach each other.”

This is your chance to bring your kids or grandkids to watch as some of their favorite Dr. Seuss characters come to life. They include Horton the Elephant, The Cat in the Hat, Gertrude McFuzz, Lazy Mayzie and a little boy with a big imagination: Jojo. 

With the distinction of being one of the most performed shows in America, Seussical has become known as a fantastical, magical, musical extravaganza. Written by Tony winners Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Lucky Stiff, My Favorite Year, Once on This Island, Ragtime), the performance features its colorful characters transporting the audience from the Jungle of Nool, to the Circus McGurkus, to the invisible world of the Whos.


Besides being the home of the award-winning Ojai Art Center Theater, a centerpiece of the holiday season in Ojai, the charming town is known for offering visitors a variety of recreational activities, spiritual and yoga retreats, and art galleries. It’s also happily devoid of shopping malls and large-scale development. It makes sense since the word Ojai means “the nest” in Chumash.

According to local folklore, Ojai Valley is a sacred land originally sought out for its energy and healing powers. Visitors say the valley’s beauty and environmental peacefulness provide an ever-present positive calming force.

The good news for Santa Barbara residents is that this tranquil haven is only about a one-hour drive. And it’s well worth the trip, especially over the holidays when the town is filled with twinkling lights.

While you’re there to see Seussical, why not take a little time to experience the magic of the area? Shop for those hard to find special gifts in Ojai’s delightful village center, hike the hills, or bike along Ojai’s scenic paths. Relax with a glass of local organic wine, indulge in a luxurious spa treatment, or dine at one of the amazing restaurants.

Awesome Ojai Restaurants

Chef at The Oak Pouring wine for happy customers

Thanks to the near-perfect climate, Ojai is an ideal place for growing fruits and vegetables, and you’ll see that reflected in restaurant menus all over town, many of which feature produce grown down the street. This is a laid-back community; the perfect place for a family outing. Here are some of my favorite spots to dine during this holiday season in Ojai — or anytime year-round:

  • Nocciola
    Looking for a charming Italian restaurant? Then Nocciola is a perfect choice. Enjoy the great outdoors by sitting on the porch, the perfect location to catch Ojai’s famous sunset across the Topatopa Mountains. The fantastic Italian menu includes favorites like house-made pasta, fresh salads and expertly prepared proteins such as duck, Berkshire pork chops and grass-fed steaks. 
  • Hip Vegan
    Vegans are more than welcome in Ojai. One of the most popular places for vegans is Hip Vegan. Even non-vegans can get their veg on with the restaurant’s fresh salads, sandwiches, wraps and more. This is the perfect spot to get refueled. Try the popular date shake. Yum!
  • Ojai Tortilla House
    If you’re craving some Mexican while in Ojai, head to Ojai Tortilla House for a belly-busting burrito. This tiny eatery offers a big bite with customized toppings. The steak burrito is the most popular, but the veggie burrito has many followers as well. I suggest you eat here before you head to a Seussical matinee because the eatery is known to run out of food before closing time at 3 p.m. 
  • Ojai Deer Lodge
    As the oldest restaurant and tavern in Ojai, the Deer Lodge has long served as a meeting place where weary adventurers from all walks of life come together to fill their bellies and lift their spirits. That’s not surprising since there’s a little something’ for everyone here at the Deer Lodge. Featuring classic Californian cuisine, along with a wide selection of craft beers and spirits, the menu also has vegetarian and vegan-friendly options, This is a place where you can bring the whole family during the day or dance with your friends into the night.
  • Farmer and the Cook
    Farmer and the Cook is a hip spot for a tasty meal where you can also get a little shopping in. Serving an eclectic menu that includes vegan Mexican, pizza, and breakfast, you can’t go wrong with the raw tacos, Swiss chard enchilada, veggie burger or a huevos plate. They even have a salad bar if you want to customize your meal. The market side is stocked with organic vegan eats and fresh produce.
  • Azu & Ojai Valley Brewery
    What a concept: a restaurant and taproom in one. California has a deep history with Spain and Mexico, and we have blended these culinary styles together to give our menu that special California flavor. Simply put, Azu serves Mediterranean dishes with a California twist. A local favorite, this tapas restaurant is renowned for whipping up amazing craft cocktails. Beer fan? Then there’s the restaurant’s taproom where you can grab a cold one and hang out in the Biergarten.
  • The Oak, Ojai Valley Inn
    Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, The Oak is an indoor-outdoor restaurant with a picturesque view. The Oak overlooks a championship golf course and a striking mountain range, replete with centuries-old oak trees lining the entrance. Menu offerings include fresh and original valley cuisine. If you decide to stay overnight, why not book a room at this property inspired by the gentle hues of the Mediterranean. The luxurious accommodations embody the style, spirit, and warmth of contemporary Spanish hacienda design.

As you can see, a trip to enjoy this holiday season in Ojai should definitely include Seussical and a bit of sustenance. That will definitely put you in the holiday spirit! If you’re looking to move to Santa Barbara where you will be within driving distance to the charming town of Ojai as well as other gems, please check out the buyers and sellers sections of my website. See something you like? Then give me a call at +1 (805) 886-9378 or email me at As Dr. Seuss says, “Sometimes the questions are complicated, and the answers are simple.” That’s why you need to bring the whole family to Ojai and join Horton, the Grinch, and the Cat in the Hat as they weave their way through a cast of musical characters.


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