Best Activities for the Weekend Before Christmas with LA Kids

Things To Do Christmas Week in Los Angeles, Hollywood, Santa Monica, Anaheim, Long Beach, & Newport Beach

Congratulations, folks; we're almost there. 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 our hard work is about to pay off. The holidays are upon us. This weekend offers one last shot to complete any unfinished business: buy a tree, meet the big guy, maybe string a few lights around the house.

Or, you could just look at other people's lights. (Soooooo much easier.)  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's no better time than the present to catch a Nutcracker performance. And while sometimes you may feel like a nut, there are other times you don't, so we've offered up some alternatives as well.

Whatever you're celebrating this weekend, keep reading for some of our favorite picks...

ALL WEEKEND

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.

Alpine Village Holiday Faire - Torrance
Alpine Village becomes a traditional German Christmas market,  (including the traditional snow).
 
Cirque du Soleil - KURIOS - Echo Park
Just when you think they have amazed you every way you can be amazed, the Cirque du Soleil folks come up with a few more ways.
           
Winter Fest - Costa Mesa
I’m dreaming of an Orange (County) Christmas, with ice tubing, ice skating, holiday film viewings, carnival rides, and nightly snowfall.

Arctic Lights at the Moorpark Teaching Zoo - Moorpark
America’s Teaching Zoo celebrates the season with holiday-themed animal performances and children’s activities, plus real snow on Saturday.  

A Snow White Christmas - Laguna Beach
Boo the villains and cheer for the triumph of true love as Lythgoe Family Productions takes on Snow White, panto style.   
 
Disney on Ice Presents Frozen - Anaheim
The Honda Center is about to get Frozen: Disney’s latest ice skating extravaganza moves on to Anaheim.

Peter Pan and Tinker Bell, A Pirate Christmas - Pasadena
Peter Pan gets the panto treatment, (complete with stars of stage and screen) in the latest Lythgoe Family Production at the Pasadena Playhouse.

Holiday Fun at the Farmers Market - Fairfax
The Farmers Market offers five days of holiday fun, including a Holiday Hula show, Einstein's Caribbean Christmas, and a Merry Latin Christmas, plus caroling and crafts.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Hollywood
We all know you’re gonna see it. All I ask is no spoilers, please. 

It's a Wonderful Life - Hollywood (Sat.)  and Santa Monica (Sun.)
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 Sunday).

Santa on Ice - Woodland Hills
Kids can take to the ice for some “cool” photos with Santa Claus at Woodland Hills Ice
 
Cruise of Lights - Huntington Beach
It’s an inverse boat parade: the boats are watching the (festively decorated) houses!

 SparkleBlob's Holidays on Icing: A Christmas Cookie Crumble - Chinatown
SparkleBlobs annual musical puppet show extravaganza  brings the magic of Christmas to life with pushing and shoving. And apparently potatoes as well.

The Nutcracker (Long Beach Ballet) - Long Beach
The Long Beach Ballet’s production of the seasonal classic is performed with a full symphony orchestra, over  200 dancers, pyrotechnics, and a live horse on stage.

Christmas Tree Train & North Pole Express - Fillmore
Board a vintage train to choose your own Christmas tree or get some shopping done, or for a visit to the North Pole.

Christmas at Old Town Music Hall - El Segundo
The Christmas celebration at Old Town Music Hall features a selection of classic Christmas comedies, Christmas carol sing-alongs, and the 1922 silent film Scrooge.

SATURDAY DECEMBER 19

Santa's Candy Cane Drive - Santa Monica
Santa Claus hitches a ride on a fire truck to visit multiple parks in Santa Monica.
 
Holiday Sing-AlongDowntown
This year the seasonal sing-along features special guest Melissa Peterman.

Debbie Allen's Hot Chocolate Nutcracker - Downtown
Debbie Allen’s take on the classic ballet features music by Mariah Carey, James Ingram, and others destined for fame.  

Musical Performances & Peruvian Textiles Print Art Workshop  - Exposition Park
The Natural History Museum presents performances and activities inspired by the Mummies exhibition. Also on Saturday, Critter Club checks out Radical Reptiles, Junior Scientist investigates a Fossil Story, and Nature Navigators work on the Southern California Squirrel Survey.

Family Fun Snow Day - Simi Valley
Simi Valley Town Center carts in 15 tons of snow for your snow playing fun. Plus: cookie decorating!
 
Saturday Morning Concerts - Santa Monica
Books and Cookies throws its annual Holiday Bash, with music, crafts, and face painting, plus a visit from Tinker Bell (from Peter Pan and Tinker Bell A Pirate Christmas).

Holly Jolly Day - Downtown
Santa pays a visit at LA Live, where his guests get some pre-public time on the outdoor ice rink, holiday sweet-making opportunities, and a little face time with characters from Kung Fu Panda 3.

Beach Winter WonderlandPlaya Del Rey
Bundle up for the beach! Dockweiler Youth Center has bouncers, activities, and real snow! (Brr!)
 
Club MomMe Holiday Party - Anaheim
Families can opt for mini photo shoots at Club MomMe’s annual Holiday Party.

Cocoa With Santa - Long Beach
On Santa’s visit to Rancho Los Cerritos he pauses for a cocoa break, as well as crafts, stories, and house tours.

Meet Santa Claus and his ReindeerMalibu
Santa Claus visits the Malibu Country Mart - with his reindeer near at hand in case he needs to fly off.
 
Santa Claus at the Country MartBrentwood
Santa's at the Brentwood Country Mart: free photos and treats!

American Girl Welcomes SantaThe Grove
Santa Claus takes a break from shopping to join kids for breakfast at the American Girl Store.

Family Program: Ken Frawley - Christmas & Hanukkah Family Fun!  - Downtown
Singer/storyteller Ken Frawley shares winter holiday stories, songs, and silliness at the Central Library.
 
Holiday Open House - Long Beach
The Rancho Los Alamitos is decorated for the season at its holiday open house.
 
 SUNDAY DECEMBER 20

Breakfast with Santa Claus at Descanso Gardens  - La Canada Flintridge
Santa Claus makes time for one more breakfast, this time at the beautiful Descanso Gardens.

Family Field Trip Beach Walk - Santa Monica
Seaweed and sand crabs and kelp oh my! Annenberg Community Beach House invites families to explore the flora and fauna of the beach.
 
Family Snow Day - Valencia
Ice Station Valencia's Family Snow Days give the entire family a chance to play in snow, ice skate, drink hot cocoa, meet Frosty the Snowman, and have a fun family holiday experience. Free beginning skate lessons at 2pm.
 
Holiday Craft Workshop at CAAM - Exposition Park
You could go shopping for last minute gifts, or you could make some at the California African American Museum.

Skirball Playdate: Celebrating “Me” and “We” - West LA
Kids explore how the addition of another person can make things better.
 
Handel's Messiah - Downtown
Hallelujah! The Los Angeles Master Chorale performs Handel’s Messiah at Walt Disney Concert Hall. 

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.