Sharing the holidays with friends and families builds traditions and memories. A visit with Santa, singing Christmas carols, decorating the Christmas tree and spending quality time together is what the holidays are all about. This year, Los Angeles offers multiple options for fun and festive family time.
55th Annual Los Angeles County Holiday Celebration
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at the Music Center
135 N. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Perfect for the entire family, Los Angeles’ largest public holiday celebration presents a diversity of music, dance numbers, choirs and other performing arts every year at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at no cost to the audience. This year, more than 20 music groups, choirs and dance companies from around LA will come to celebrate the season during this three hour holiday show.
Dana Point IlluminOcean
Dana Point Harbor
34624 Golden Lantern St.
Dana Point, CA
Date: Now through Jan. 4, 2015
A mile-long walk starting at Dana Point Harbor, Dana Point IlluminOcean, features ocean-themed holiday light displays and sculptures including marine species and habitats significant to Dana Point’s dedication to preservation. Local resorts including Ritz Carlton, St. Regis, Laguna Cliffs Resort & Spa, and Doubletree Resorts invite visitors to walk through Light Tunnels with over 22,000 feet of light strands and over 45,000 bulbs to see 22 larger-than-life LED sculptures including the Blue Whale and the Tall Ship, and to be in awe of the 50-foot Tree of Lights featuring 1,800 color-changing bulbs.
ICE at Santa Monica
Corner of 5th St. and Arizona Ave.
Downtown Santa Monica, CA
Date: Now through Jan. 19, 2015
Where else could you find beachside ice skating besides Los Angeles? Santa Monica kicks off the holiday season by inviting residents and visitors to skate at a premier outdoor ice skating rink. Bringing a taste of winter to the beach, ICE offers young and old an 8,000-square-foot rink to hang out with friends and family, host a private holiday event, skate holding hands on a first date, beginner hockey skater clinics with the LA Kings or take skate lessons. Admission with skate rental is $15 per person.
Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade
Burton Chace Park
13650 Mindanao Way
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
Date: Dec. 13, 2015
For more than 50 years, Angelenos have been coming to the Marina for nautical holiday cheer. The evening kicks off with a traditional fireworks display — if you’ve ever seen the Marina’s Fourth of July show this will be just as spectacular. At 6 p.m., thousands of festive boats are lit up and decorated with Santas, reindeer and snowmen and strings of lights, while they float their way through the main channel. Burton Chace Park is easily accessible for viewing, picnicking and lots of ooh-ing and aah-ing. Holiday music is played throughout the parade via loud speakers.
Adventure to Santa
100 W. Broadway
Glendale, CA 91210
Date: Now through Dec. 24, 2014
Dreamworks Animation and Glendale Galleria mall are giving kids of all ages an adventure to visit Santa. Offering up no lines to visit Santa this year, the brand new interactive Shrek-themed Santa visit is going to wow everyone this holiday season. By booking reservations on the mall’s website, you can enjoy the 15-minute journey featuring five rooms that engage guests including design-your-own Santa sleigh, a virtual flight on a customized red sleigh with leather cushions to the North Pole and games. Photos with Santa are also available for various prices.
Walt Disney Concert Hall
111 S. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Date: Dec. 20, 2014
The Holiday Sing-Along really puts you in the mood with a big jolt of holiday music. After all, few things get you in the holiday spirit like a great sing along of merry holiday songs. That is what the audience is encouraged to do at the Holiday Sing-Along organized by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, which this year presents Drew Carey as he joins in on the fun during the jolliest holiday sing-along in L.A. Together with the Walt Disney Concert Hall’s big pipe organ, a choir and a jazz combo, you’ll get to sing along to favorites like “Jingle Bells,” “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer” and more! On hand will also be a winter wonderland featuring free hot chocolate, coffee, photos with Santa and much more. At this concert, the audience is given lyric sheets with the words to some of the best-known carols, and the historically sold-out concert turns into a great event for the whole family. Andrews will recite holiday poems during the show.
Sheryl Craig is a writer with a passion for interesting finds and treasures in Los Angeles. She has a background in journalism and public relations. A mother of two daughters, Sheryl integrates her healthy lifestyle into raising her children. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.