Just like that another year has come and gone as the homestretch of 2016 has quickly arrived. With temperatures starting to fall and decorations starting to go up, the holiday season is officially here. For Southern Californians, the holidays give most people added reason to get up and get out to explore the city and the many options of things to do and see.

Friday, December 2
(credit: The Albright restaurant on Santa Monica Pier)

(credit: The Albright restaurant on Santa Monica Pier)

Santa Monica Pier
200 Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 458-8900

Among the definitive landmarks within Southern California’s boundaries, easily one of its top ones of importance is the Santa Monica Pier. Spend an afternoon at the arcade or riding the iconic Ferris Wheel out above the water. The pier even offers docent led historical tours to help explain the history behind the destination. In close proximity are the shops and restaurants of Main Street, which can quickly turn an afternoon into a full day very quickly. This weekend in particular there will be a holiday party on Main that will include photo ops with Santa, live caroling, and plenty of free goodies for visitors wandering the streets. Just as important as the Hollywood sign, Sunset Boulevard, and even dodger Stadium, the Santa Monica pier is a must visit for any Southern Californian.

Saturday, December 3
(Credit: The Mission Inn)

(Credit: The Mission Inn)

Mission Inn Festival Of Lights
The Mission Inn
3649 Mission Inn Avenue
Riverside, CA 92501
(951) 784-0300

Now celebrating it’s 24th anniversary, the Festival of Lights at The Mission Inn has been nationally recognized as one of the best public holiday lighting displays in all of the country. In terms of numbers, the display includes some 4.5 million lights along with some 400 different animated figures including angels, carolers, and all of the holiday mainstays. Working in a Gingerbread theme this year, the Mission will be featuring delectable treats at each one of the four different restaurants and have brought in Casey’s Cupcakes to offer custom cupcakes to the 250,000 expected annual visitors. Combined with the historic setting of the Mission, the dazzling display is one of the most frequented in the Southwest and with the amount of effort, it’s plain to see why. Take a ride on the 91 and behold the spectacle for yourself.

Sunday, December 4
Los Angeles Clippers  v Indiana Pacers
LA Clippers Vs Indiana Pacers
Staples Center
1111 S Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Basketball has been hot ticket in Southern California this season and while the Lakers have been showing their energetic youth on the court, the Clippers still remain a very exciting team to watch. Considering the team’s recent courtside drama with coach Doc Rivers being ejected earlier this week, the squad has some added spotlight this week going into the home court appearance against The Indiana Pacers. With stars like Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan as well as Paul Pierce and J.J. Reddick, the team christened Lob City is well known for some theatrics on the hardwood. If you are looking for some fast-paced offensively driven basketball, Staples Center will be rocking this weekend.

Article by Ramon Gonzales.