The big weekend is here. In between figuring out how best to stuff those stockings, there are plenty of cool ways to get into the spirit this weekend. Even if you are entertaining family from out of town, most of these are great ways to ensure everyone enjoys some quality time.
Friday, December 22
The Rink In Downtown Burbank
Burbank City Hall
Corner of Third St. & Orange Grove Ave.
Burbank, CA
www.rooftopcinemaclub.com

There is nothing like spending some time on the ice with the sun shining. For visitors looking for a reason to bundle up and go a few rounds, The Rink transforms Downtown Burbank into a winter playground. In addition to the 90-minute free skate sessions, this weekend The Rink will offer skate lessons on Saturday and competitive curling on Sunday.

4th Fridays On Fourth Street
Retro Row / 4th Street
4th Street between Hermosa and Temple
Long Beach, CA 90814
(562) 686-2707
www.4thstreetlongbeach.com

Chances are there is at least one person on your shopping list that has been making gift buying difficult. Transforming shopping into more of a social sport, 4th Fridays on Fourth Street in Long Beach turns Retro Row into what feels like a block party. Live music, pop-up shops, food and drink specials as well as extended hours and themed events added extra incentive to keep cruising. Combined with a collection of stores that offer a stylish assortment of goods, this is ultimate alternative to braving the malls.

See Life Size Gingerbread Houses!
Various Locations

There are several places to see incredible life-sized gingerbread houses around L.A.! The Beverly Wilshire features a 8×12 foot gingerbread house in the lobby made from wood but covered in gingerbread. To make that much gingerbread, executive pastry chef Chris Ford started baking in August! The JW Marriot L.A. Live also features a great gingerbread house to see. Step inside this life-sized one where they have a bar and cocktail tastings daily from 4 to 5pm. Anaheim’s Great Wolf Lodge created a huge gingerbread house as well. Weighing in at over 600 pounds, it has 50 pounds of icing and 135 pounds of candy!

See “The Nutcracker”
Long Beach Ballet, Long Beach
www.longbeachnutcracker.com

Experience this Christmas classic in Long Beach today, or throughout the weekend! It’s fun for the entire family.

Saturday, December 23
Long Beach Santa Crawl
Belmont Shore
1 Granada Ave.
Long Beach, CA 90803
www.facebook.com

Nixing the stress of the holidays, the folks behind the Santa Crawl have combined dressing like jolly old St. Nick with the fun of a traditional pub-crawl. Bouncing from restaurants and watering holes along the 2nd St. drag, participants will be dawning boots, red velvet, and big white beards as they enjoy themed drink specials and plenty of holiday treats. Save your dough for the bar, this is a free event.

CHILL At The Queen Mary
Queen Mary, Long Beach
www.queenmary.com

Experience plenty of holiday fun at CHILL at The Queen Mary! The 38,000-square foot ice park features ice skating, bumper boats, a zip line, shuffleboard, ice tubing, and much more.
 
Holiday Lunch and Tour
Reagan Presidential Library, Simi Valley
www.reaganlibrary.govm

A holiday lunch fit for a president will be served by a Presidential Chef at this year’s Holiday Lunch and Tour (reservation required), followed by a docent led tour of the museum and Air Force One Pavilion. Also on display is An American Christmas, featuring 25 decorated trees defining moments of America’s road to greatness.

Ice Skating In Pershing Square
Pershing Square, downtown LA
holidayicerinkdowntownla.com

Glide across the ice at one of L.A.’s top outdoor ice skating rinks! Open until January 15, 2018, this rink is set in the middle of downtown LA and is surrounded by an impressive skyline.

Lights On Display
3901 Longview Valley Rd
Sherman Oaks, CA
www.lightsondisplay.com

Running until January 1, 2018, Lights of Display features elaborate Christmas themed animatronic characters, as well as a thrilling light show with holiday music. The show, which has been put on for years, is put on by Sherman Oaks resident Mike Ziemkowski.

ICE At Santa Monica
Santa Monica
www.downtownsm.com

Located on the corner of 5th and Arizona in Santa Monica, ICE is back again this year, and offers 8,000-square-feet of skating pleasure at an outdoor rink strung with holiday lights. With a concession stand serving up cocoa to warm icy fingers, it’s a great spot to rent skates and take off for an icy holiday ride around the cavernous rink. The cost to skate is low, and it includes skates!

Sunday, December 24
58th Annual L.A. County Holiday Celebration
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
135 N Grand Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90012
www.lacountyarts.org

Marking it’s 58th year, the holiday gathering at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion hosts an afternoon of performances that range from traditional choirs, to Dixieland blues ensembles. Over the course of the free, open to the public afternoon, the Korean, Chinese, Mexican, Filipino, and Cuban communities of Los Angeles will all be represented with highlighted performances, showcasing their own cultural celebration of the holiday season.

The Festival of Lights
The Mission Inn
3649 Mission Inn Ave
Riverside, CA 92501
www.missioninn.com

There are so many places in L.A. to enjoy the labor of love that is a holiday light display but few hold a candle to Riverside’s historic Mission Inn. The numbers alone are enough to make you shake your head. With over 400 animated figures and more than 4.5 million lights stretched across the display, this spectacle is also chiefly stylish. More than bright and bold, the tasteful work of art is enough to shake the scrooge out everyone. It might be a drive for those out of L.A., but the sight is well worth it.

Matzoball
The Spare Room, Hollywood
www.matzoball.org

Not into the Christmas thing? No problem! Head to Hollywood’s Spare Room for one of the nation’s biggest Jewish singles events!

Article by Ramon Gonzales.
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