Fun & Free Activities for the Weekend Before Christmas with LA Kids
Congratulations, folks; we've made it. We've spent weeks preparing, planning, shopping, making our lists and checking them twice, posing for holiday pictures and sending missives to our entire address book, and finally our hard work has paid off. The holidays have arrived. This weekend gives you one last shot to complete any unfinished business, and then it’s nothing but candy canes and tinsel until the new year. By the way, if your unfinished business includes buying gifts, you should check out our Biggest Holiday Giveaway. You could score awesome prizes, like Mike the Knight and Thomas toys, a $150 Dunkin Donuts gift card, a Mongoose BMX bike, or a battery-operated ride-on bulldozer. Sure, you might not win, but the odds are better than MegaMillions, and besides, someone already won that.
No doubt many of you plan to spend Christmas Day home with friends and family. For those of you looking for activities outside the home, good news: we're here to help. First up, we offer 12 Things to Do on Christmas Day. And if your kitchen closes on Christmas Day, we present a list of Restaurants that are Open.
For holiday cheer that continues on into next week, might we suggest some of LA's finest Christmas Light Displays (and, if you're willing to hop on the freeway, More Christmas Light Displays outside of Los Angeles). There are even a few Nutcracker performances left to catch this week.
Take a break from wrapping (or unwrapping) your presents, and continue reading for some of our favorite picks for this holiday weekend.
TOTEM by Cirque du Soleil - Irvine
You'll believe humans can fly! The latest production from the Cirque du Soleil nears the end of its Orange County run.
Aladdin and His Winter Wish- Pasadena
The classic tale gets the British panto treatment, with hit songs, an all-star cast (Ben Vereen is the genie!), and raucous audience interaction. (Click through to find a special two-for-one offer for select shows this weekend - and check out our review of the show while you're at it!)
Holiday Fun at the Farmer's Market -
The Farmers Market offers 5 days of holiday fun, including performances by Jim Gamble Marionettes and Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band, plus ornament decorating, gingerbread man decorating, and carolers.
Las Posadas - Downtown
The traditional recreation of Mary and Joseph's search for a "room at the inn" at Olvera Street continues through this weekend.
Newport Beach Boat Parade - Newport Beach
This is the weekend to catch the nation's oldest boat parade lighting up the harbor and getting all Christmas-Sea.
Daisy Avenue Entertainment Nights - Long Beach
There's free family-friendly entertainment on Daisy Avenue.
SATURDAY DECEMBER 21
Holiday Sing-Along - Downtown
What’s better than a chance to sing along with the holiday classics? How about a chance to sing along with holiday classics and hear Julie Andrews recite classic poems?
Enchanted Fairytale Holiday Interactive Theatre - Santa Monica
It's one day only, for the interactive parent and kid workshop at the Santa Monica Playhouse, with story-telling, sing-a-longs, face-painting, and theater games.
"Frosty's Magic Hat" Holiday Puppet Show - Santa Monica
There must have been some magic in that old top hat he found, because when Frosty put it on his head, he came to life at the Santa Monica Library.
It's a Wonderful Life - Hollywood
The Christmas classic will warm your heart all over again at the Egyptian Theatre on Saturday (also at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica on Friday and Monday).
Public Run Day Southern California Live Steamers - Torrance
What do you say? One more train ride before the year is out? Choo choo!
Santa Claus at the Country Mart Brentwood
Santa's at the Brentwood Country Mart: free photos and treats!
Meet Santa Claus and his Reindeer - Malibu
Santa Claus visits the Malibu Country Mart - with his reindeer near at hand in case he needs to fly off!
Let’s Do Cookies - West LA
Mamas can swap cookies (home made or store bought – no one’s judging) while kids enjoy supervised fun at Pamper & Play.
Santa Monica Pier Presents A Heartfelt Holiday - Santa Monica
Santa Monica Pier welcomes families for a holiday open house. Catch a ride on the carousel!
Dodger Meet and Greet with Kenny Landreaux and Sweet Lou Johnson - Baldwin Hills
Root, root, root for the Dodgers, with a meet and greet at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. Also:
this week's BHCP Kids Club is Kwanzaa-themed. Kids can weave a mkeka mat and learn the seven principles of the holiday.
Family Day at the Movies - Downtown
Regal Cinema at LA Live turns a trip to the movies into an afternoon of family fun. Saturday's events are built around the screening of Walking with Dinosaurs in 3D.
Unsilent Night - Echo Park Lake
Families can help composer Phil Kline put on a show of seasonal music, in which the attendees create the orchestra.
Lawrence of Arabia - Santa Monica
Bid a fond farewell to the late great Peter O’Toole at a screening of the epic class.
Winter Wonderland & Holiday Marketplace - Ventura
Snowfall, carolers, The Clauses (Mr. and Mrs.), and their reindeer bring holiday fun to Ventura Harbor Village.
Naples Island Annual Holiday Boat Parade - Long Beach
The small island of Naples hosts its annual Boat Parade, with this year's theme: Vintage Christmas.
A Christmas Carol with California Shakespeare Ensemble - La Canada-Flintridge
California Shakespeare Ensemble performs a dramatic reading of the Dickens holiday classic A Christmas Carol at Descanso Gardens.
Ventura Harbor Parade of Lights - Ventura
The annual Boat Parade of Lights and Fireworks display kicks off the holidays in Ventura Harbor with a "Seaside Tinsel Town" theme. (Also Friday)
SUNDAY DECEMBER 22
Zimmer Sunday Family Programs - Mid-Wilshire
Puff the Magic Dragon is told as a musical puppet show at the Zimmer Children's Museum.
“Charlie Bubbles” Holiday Book Reading -Los Feliz
Actor/ writer/ director Paul Carafotes reads from his children's book series Charlie Bubbles at Dragonfly DuLou.
Family Snow Day - Valencia
The weather outside might be frightful, but you’ll find the snow at Valencia’s Ice Station to be absolutely delightful. Kid’s admission includes snow play and skating, plus free lessons for beginners.
TUESDAY DECEMBER 24 - CHRISTMAS EVE
53rd Annual L.A. County Holiday Celebration - Downtown
LA Country offers up an early Christmas gift to the people of Los Angeles - a free concert featuring performers who reflect the diversity and excellence of Angelenos.
WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 25 - CHRISTMAS DAY
Opening Presents - Your House
If you were a good little girl or boy all year, then the fun is at your house Christmas Day. Reap the rewards of 12 months of making your bed, putting away the dishes, and getting good grades as you sit by the tree enjoying hot cocoa and cookies. Or, if not, that coal in your stocking will come in handy on a cold night.
The Zimmer's Open on Christmas! - Mid-Wilshire
Zimmer Children's Museum is open for limited hours on Christmas Day.
Frozen (PG) - Hollywood
Don't be left out in the cold! Catch Disney's Frozen at the El Capitan Theatre now through early January... including Christmas Day!
Disney on Ice: Rockin' Ever After - Ontario
Ariel, Rapunzel, Belle and new arrival Merida skate on over to the Citizens Business Bank Arena.
Christmas at the Santa Barbara Zoo - Santa Barbara
The Santa Barbara Zoo stays open for limited hours on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
As always, there are more activities listed on our daily events calendar. Whatever you choose to do this weekend, we hope you are gifted with much joy and surrounded by love.