Hopefully, everyone got through Thanksgiving without incident (or pepper spray). The holiday season is now officially in full swing, as evidenced by the choice entries in this week’s picks of best Southland activities and events:
Monday, November 28
Holiday Winter Wonderland
1660 N Highland Ave
Hollywood, CA 90028
The former Max Factor studio as gotten the December treatment by the stars’ favorite holiday decorator,“Dr. Christmas,” who has installed 18 Christmas trees decorated in the spirit of your favorite Christmas movie classics, like “Miracle on 34th Street,” “It’s A Wonderful Life,” “A Christmas Story,” “Meet Me in St. Louis,” “Home Alone,” and “White Christmas.”
Tuesday, November 29
Santa Anita Park
285 W. Huntington Dr.
Arcadia, CA 91007
The circus is back in town, in the parking lot of Santa Anita racetrack: That’s where Circus Vargas has pitched its Big Tent for an engagement through December 5. This modern take on the traditional entertainment is family owned and operated, and does not include animal performers.
Wednesday, November 30
A Snow White Christmas
El Portal Theater
5269 Lankershim Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91601
One of England’s most enduring Christmas traditions is annual opening of the pantomime; a theatrical fractured fairy tale played for family laughs. Last year, the Lythgoe family (of American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance fame) adapted this very British tradition for Southern California tastes, and it was so successful that they’re doing it again. This year’s production is a modern take on Snow White, starring Glee Project runner-up Lindsay Pearce in the title role, Marina Sirtis (Star Trek: The Next Generation) as the Evil Queen and the voice of Neil Patrick Harris in the Magic Mirror.
Thursday, December 1
Fight Club OC
Orange County Fair & Event Center
88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa, CA 92626
The Hangar (Building 18)
This may be the antidote to competitive holiday shopping: Southern California’s innovative bi-monthly exhibition of boxing and mixed martial arts finishes a successful first year at the Hangar at the Orange County Fair and Event Center.
Friday, December 2
Pomona Harvest Festival: Original Art & Craft Show
LA County Fairgrounds
1101 W McKinley Ave.
Pomona, CA 91768
Fairplex Building 4
Does your gift list include someone who’s hard to shop for? Chances are you’ll find something totally unique at the Pomona Harvest Festival. This traveling showcase for local artisans is celebrating its 39th year with over 200 exhibitors showing some 24,000 handmade originals — one of which is bound to make the perfect gift for that person who seems to have everything.
Saturday, December 3
Christmas Cookies and Tree Lighting
Malibu Country Mart
3835 & 3900 Cross Creek Road
23410 Civic Center Way
Malibu, CA 90265
It’s starting to look a lot like Christmas at the Malibu Country Mart, where your kids can meet Santa and engage in other holiday-themed activities every Saturday in December. This week, the shopping center is hosting a Cookie Decorating Party at 1:00 and Tree Lighting Ceremony at 5:00 p.m. Come back on December 17 for a Live Reindeer Encounter: the opportunity to pet, feed and take a photo with Dasher, Prancer and Vixen.
Sunday, December 4
Santa Walk for Variety – The Children’s Charity of Southern California
One of the newest – and nicest – holiday traditions is the Santa Walk fundraiser, where participants walk the mall in red suits to raise money for worthy charities.
“The Santa Walk is a great way for both individuals and families to have a lot of fun and get excited about the holidays while raising money for children that need help this Holiday Season,” says Elizabeth A. O’Neil, Executive Directory of Variety – the Children’s Charity of Southern California, of this second annual event.
Variety will issue the one-size-fits all Santa suits to participants, who are being urged to raise a minimum of $100, with prizes awarded to the walkers who bring in the most money. At any rate, it should be fun to watch these real life Santas help make the holiday special for needy local kids.
Donna Schwartz Mills publishes the blog SoCal Mom.