(credit: Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade)

Fireworks: They’re not just for the Fourth of July anymore. All across the Southland, there are plenty of opportunities to watch the winter sky light up with fabulous pyrotechnic displays. So get your warm jackets, your blankets, and your hot chocolate and prepare to be enthralled with these nighttime spectaculars:

(credit: Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade)

December 10

The Marina del Rey Boat Parade starts off with a bang – literally. A spectacular winter fireworks show lights up the sky before all of the decked-out boats sail through the marina. From Burton Chace Park, you’ll be able to hear the announcers and the music being played throughout the parade. If you want to grab a bite to eat, head over to Fisherman’s Village (13755 Fiji Way) where you can watch from one of the restaurants. The fireworks are on the jetty near the entrance of the main channel. Parking is free in 11 county lots; there is no street parking.

5:55 PM fireworks; 6:00 PM boat parade

Cost: Free

(credit: South Bay Sparkle)

December 11

One of the best light shows of the winter is free to all comers: Just head toward the Manhattan Beach Pier and you’re in for a one-of-a-kind winter treat. The best social viewing is along the Strand, where crowds mill from party to party throughout the evening. If you just want to take in the show, find a space on the hill as you go up Manhattan Beach Blvd., or bring your blanket and head for the beach. The fireworks start at 7 pm sharp, so pick your spot early.

3:00 PM – 8:00 PM; fireworks at 7:00 PM
Cost: Free

(credit: Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade)

December 18

Ready for some serious holiday lights? The Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade is a spectacular show, with some boat owners spending north of $50,000 to decorate their boats. Fireworks mark the culmination of this five-night-long boat parade, a Southern California tradition for 103 years. The fireworks start at 9:00 pm on Sunday night on the Balboa Pier and will be visible from all over the harbor.

6:30 PM – 9:00 PM; fireworks at 9:00 PM
Cost: Free

(credit: disneyland.com)

Daily Through December

Why settle for one night of fireworks when you can see them every night? Running through the month of December, Disneyland’s “Believe…in Holiday Magic” show will light up your night. In this 13 ½-minute show, Sleeping Beauty Castle magically transforms into a wintry wonderland adorned with twinkling lights, sparkling icicles and shimmering snow-capped turrets – all set to a holiday soundtrack. The best viewing locations are on Main Street, U.S.A., between Central Plaza and the Main Street Train Station; in front of “It’s a Small World”; and along the Rivers of America in Frontierland.

Hours: 8:45 pm

Cost: Free with park admission

Jeanne Ponessa Fratello blogs about kids’ nutrition at the Jolly Tomato: and about L.A. South Bay events and attractions at South Bay Sparkle.

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