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Home / Life! / Fun things to do this week: Dec. 3-12

Fun things to do this week: Dec. 3-12

The Los Angeles Jewish Symphony
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With Thanksgiving coming to a close and Christmas suddenly just around the corner, cities all over Southern California are planning events to encourage residents to get into the holiday spirit. And even for those who feel it is still too early to do so, a multitude of non-Christmas-themed events are still happening that will satisfy your craving of getting out of the house and engaging with your community. Here’s an updated list of fun things you can do in LA County this upcoming week.

ANW’s ‘A Christmas Carol’

A Noise Within | 3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91107 | Dec. 3-23 | anoisewithin.org

This merry holiday classic returns with all new music to enchant and inspire viewers with the story of Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim and Scrooge.

No Duh

The Mixx | 443 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena CA 91101 | Dec. 3 | themixxclub.com

No Duh mixes the experience and energy of a live No Doubt and Gwen Stefani concert with nostalgic visuals, props and costumes. 

Parks After Dark

33 LA County Parks | Dec. 3-4, 10-11, 17-18 | parks.lacounty.gov

Parks After Dark returns to transform your local park into a snowy play area with 40 tons of snow, crafts, filled holiday stocking for every child (while supplies last), hot cocoa, food giveaways and a visit from Santa. 

How Magicians Think With Joshua Jay

The Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever | 5970 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90038 | Dec. 3 | eventbrite.com

Opening the evening with some magic tricks, magician Joshua Jay will then read from his new book, “How Magicians Think: Misdirection, Deception, and Why Magic Matters.” The session will end with a Q-and-A.

Street Food & Yuletide Cinemaland Present: ‘Elf’

Heritage Square Museum | 545 Pasadena Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90031 | Dec. 4 | streetfoodcinema.com

Welcome the season at Yuletide Cinemaland with a special screening of “Elf.” In addition to holiday movies, Yuletide Cinemaland features Victorian home tours, a light tunnel, piano sing-a-longs, food trucks, a tavern barn, and photo opportunities, including with Santa. Presented by Native, the personal hygiene brand, audience members will also enjoy on-site embroidery and free products, totes and scratch and sniff stickers. 

Downtown Arcadia Holiday Fair

Downtown Arcadia | First Avenue from Huntington Drive to Diamond Street | Dec. 4 | downtownarcadia.org

The street will be filled with free fun for kids, shopping booths, live music, beer and wine booths, DJ, Santa and raffles to win a one-night stay at Le Méridien with a $150 credit to Mélange, or a pair of tickets to the Lakers, Kings or Clippers. This is also an opportunity to donate food for hungry children, families, struggling seniors, disabled and unhoused individuals and pets.

Pico Rivera Holiday Festival

City Hall | 6615 Passons Blvd., Pico Rivera, CA 90660 | Dec. 4 | pico-rivera.org

The City of Pico Rivera marks the start of the holiday season by transforming the grounds of City Hall into a winter wonderland complete with a snow toss area and over 25 tons of snow. In addition to the tree lighting, there will be crafts, food trucks and vendors, a beer garden, Stan Express train rides, live music and fireworks. 

The Great Wall of LA

Museum of Latin American Art | 628 Alamitos AvenueLong Beach, CA, 90802 | Dec. 4 | molaa.org

Missing that blissful feeling you had on a field trip day morning? Well, MOLAA is taking visitors on an exclusive field trip to see the Great Wall of Los Angeles in the Tujunga Wash in the San Fernando Valley for a walking tour led by Pete Galindo, director of the Great Wall of LA Institute. The Great Wall of Los Angeles is Judy Baca’s half-mile-long masterpiece documenting the history of Los Angeles and its’ communities. Learn about the history of this project and future plans to continue documenting LA history. Transportation will be included to and from Long Beach.

Belmont Shore Winter Village

Belmont Shore Business Association | 200 Nieto Ave., Suite 200B, Long Beach, CA 90803 | Dec. 4 | belmontshore.org

A central stage location will feature local performers including high school bands, dance troupes, an eight-piece brass ensemble as well as a special holiday concert from Manuel the Band who will close out the evening. There will also be a visit from Santa. 

Navidad Mestiza

Downey Theatre | 8435 Firestone Blvd., Downey, CA 90241 | Dec. 4 | downeytheatre.org

Danza Artes de México presents Navidad Mestiza, a  striking performance of traditional Mexican dances.  

Pomona Swap Meet & Car Show

Fairplex | Gate Number 17, La Verne, CA 91750 | Dec. 5 | fairplex.com

The Pomona Swap Meet & Classic Car Show, held seven times a year, features hundreds of vendors, thousands of original and restored classic cars. General admission is $15, children 12 and under are admitted free. Parking is $15 per vehicle.

Rasa Kalaa: A Bharata Natyam Margam

A Noise Within | 3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91107 | Dec. 5-7 | anoisewithin.org

Experience Rasa (essence/sentiment) in Kalaa (performing arts) through a traditional dance repertoire. A Bharata Natyam (South Indian classical dance) “Margam” is a curated compilation of pieces that entertain and elevate through an artistic experience of percussive dance and theatrical story-telling that embraces mythology, drama, and the human experience. Tickets are Pay What You Choose, and to ensure equitable access to all, a limited number of free tickets are held for every performance.

Candlelight: Holiday Jazz and Soul Classics 

Candela La Brea | 831 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036 |  Dec. 5, 9 | feverup.com

Enjoy dinner and drinks as talented performers play holiday classics like Ella Fitzgerald’s “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” Louis Armstrong’s “Cool Yule,” Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Song,” and Stevie Wonder’s “That’s What Christmas Means to Me,” among others.

Studio Theater Workshop – “A Devising FIASCO!”

Little Theater, C-106 | 1570 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91106 | Dec. 6, 8 | eventbrite.com

A Devising FIASCO is the mash-up of the popular RPG, Fiasco, and a Devised Theatre process. Taking three thematic game sets, using the gameplay rules of Fiasco and through storytelling & improvisation, Studio Theater Workshop created 3 short plays: The White Hole of Ung, Blood Oath and Blazin’ Casinos.

Los Angeles Times 101 Best Restaurants Reveal

City Market Social House | 1145 San Pedro St., Los Angeles, CA 90015 | Dec. 7 | eventbrite.com

Witness the LA Times’ live reveal of its annual list of 101 best restaurants featuring bites from 30 of LA’s top eateries and beer, wine and spirits tastings. 

College Night at The Pasadena Comedy

The Pasadena Comedy | 1194 East Walnut Street Pasadena, CA 91106 | Dec. 8 | eventbrite.com

College Night is a safe and supportive atmosphere where working comedians try out new jokes alongside college students trying standup for the first time.

The Travel Photo Essay: Describing a Journey Through Images

Samys Camera Photo School Pasadena | 1759 East Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91106 | Dec. 9, 11, 13 | eventbrite.com

This is a three-part workshop including a live online lecture, a hands-on photoshoot and a live online photo review session. From establishing shots to environmental portraits, award-winning photographer Mark Edward Harris discusses and demonstrates the techniques and concepts necessary to create a professional-looking photo essay, a series of images that tell a cohesive story during the lecture portion of this workshop.

VxS: The World Is Yours (Live Pro-Wrestling in LA!)

American Legion Post 241 | 4725 Maine Ave., Baldwin Park, CA 91706 | Dec. 9 | eventbrite.com

The Traphouse Fight Club known as Violence X Suffering returns to the West Coast Thursday Dec. 9 at 8 p.m. for “VxS: THE WORLD IS YOURS.”


The Soraya | 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge, CA 91330 | Dec. 10-11 | thesoraya.org

Nothing says “Happy Holidays, LA-style!” like Nochebuena with the sound of mariachi and the swirling of folklorico dancers as Ballet Folklórico de Los Ángeles takes centerstage on a bill with Los Angeles’ own Mariachi Garibaldi de Jaime Cuéllar and special guest vocalist Lupita Infante.

Nutcracker al Fresco

Pasadena Civic Ballet | 253 N. Vinedo Ave., Pasadena, CA 91107 | Dec. 11-12 | pcballet.com

LA’s only outdoor Nutcracker experience, this one-hour performance promises to be packed with magic. Journey with Clara, the Sugar Plum Fairy and friends to the Kingdom of Sweets in an open-air gazebo stage. Each ticket includes a Sugar Plum Fairy picnic tea box.

Azusa Festival of Lights & Holiday Concert

Azusa City Hall Lawn | 213 E. Foothill Blvd., Azusa, CA 91702 | Dec. 11 | ci.azusa.ca.us

Enjoy a holiday concert from Cold Duck, watch the tree lighting and exchange your old holiday lights for new energy-efficient LED lights with proof of Azusa residency. 

LA Jewish Symphony: Violins of Hope

The Soraya | 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge, CA 91330 | Dec. 12 | thesoraya.org

The Los Angeles Jewish Symphony, conducted by Dr. Noreen Green, was scheduled to perform the “Violins of Hope” — a collection of rescued and restored musical instruments from the Holocaust — in March 2020 while the instruments were supposed to be in residence at The Soraya, but the pandemic disrupted those plans. Now, the violins return to The Soraya. The program will feature violinist Lindsay Deutsch and cellist Barry Gold performing John Williams: “Schindler’s List Suite”; Max Bruch: “Kol Nidre”; Ernest Bloch: “Baal Shem: Three Pictures of Hassidic Life”; and Sid Robinovitch: “Suite for Klezmer Band and Orchestra.”

Holiday In The Park

Beardslee Park | 2101 Buena Vista St., Duarte, CA 91010 | Dec. 12 | accessduarte.com

The Duarte Parks & Recreation Department is transforming Beardsleee Park into a snow play area with a reindeer petting zoo, Christmas tree lane, holiday boutiques, Santa’s Toy Workshop, holiday entertainment, and food trucks from 4-8 p.m. The event is free but additional fees may apply at some attractions and concessions.

Head Over Heels

Pasadena Playhouse | 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena, CA 91101 | Through  Dec. 12 | pasadenaplayhouse.org

“Head Over Heels,” fueled by music from The Go-Go’s, is finally premiering at the Pasadena Playhouse. The show follows a royal family searching for purpose, lovers in search of each other and a “kingdom in search of a beat.” The Playhouse is also transforming to create an experimental production allowing audience members to get in on the dancing as actors perform all over the theater.

Snowglobe LA

The Frankie | 300 S. Mission Road, Los Angeles, CA 90033 | Through Dec. 31 | truvariety-entertainment.ticketleap.com/snow-globe-la 

Snowglobe LA combines an immersive art experience, gourmet farm-to-table meals, roving entertainment, performances and a bar for the ultimate night out. 

Dodgers Holiday Festival

Dodger Stadium | 1000 Vin Scully Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012 | Through Dec. 31 | mlb.com/dodgers

Open nightly from 5-10 p.m. weekdays and from 3-10 p.m. weekends, the Dodgers’ Holiday Festival features professional photos with Santa, an illuminated ice skating rink across the outfield, other photo opportunities, light displays, live musical performances, bounce houses, and seasonally-inspired foods, including grilled entrees, desserts, cocktails, craft beers, wines, and hot chocolate.


South Coast Botanic Garden | 26300 Crenshaw Blvd., Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA 90274 | Through Jan. 17 | southcoastbotanicgarden.org 

The Garden Lights & Ocean Waters (GLOW) exhibit has been reimagined. Event organizers say visitors can expect a “better and brighter experience.” Grab a bite to eat, maybe a drink, and walk through thousands of lights as music plays throughout. This year’s exhibit also features interactive experiences and themed nights. 

Enchanted Forest Of Light

Descanso Gardens | 1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011 | Through Jan. 9 | descansogardens.org 

Live your fairytale dreams and enter the Enchanted Forest of Light, a one-mile walk featuring interactive light displays. New this year, Descanso Gardens has added an entire town of stained glass creations from sculptor Tom Fruin. 

The Elf On The Shelf Magical Holiday Journey

Fairplex | 1101 W. McKinley Ave., Pomona, CA 91768 | Through Jan. 2 | elfontheshelfjourney.com

Returning for the second year in a row, The Elf on the Shelf’s Magical Holiday Journey is an outdoor experience featuring dazzling scenery, lights, ice skating, trolleys, walking paths, treats and a Christmas village.

Reindeer Road

Santa Anita Park | 285 W. Huntington Drive, Arcadia, CA 91007 | Through Jan. 2 | worldofillumination.com

Santa will have no problem finding this light display that puts even Rudolph’s nose to shame.  From World of Illumination, producer of the world’s largest drive-thru animated light show, this display brings families face to face with elves, reindeer, the world’s largest animated toyshop and Santa himself.

The Obama Portraits Tour & Black American Portraits

LACMA | 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036 | Through Jan. 2 | lacma.org

 Kehinde Wiley’s portrait of President Barack Obama and Amy Sherald’s portrait of former First Lady Michelle Obama have become iconic since being unveiled at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in 2018. As part of the five-city tour of the portraits, LACMA will present Black American Portraits in conjunction at an adjacent gallery. The tour will feature teacher workshops, tours and an illustrated book.

Winter Frolic

Kidspace | 480 N. Arroyo Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91103 | Through Jan. 9 | kidspacemuseum.org

Winter has arrived in Pasadena as Kispace transforms into a space where children and families can share the magic of the season. Winter Frolic features a no-ice sock skating rink, “ice fishing” in the Kispace Arroy Stream, and snowflake decorating.


LA Arboretum | 301 N. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia, CA 91007 | Through Jan. 16 | arboretum.org

Following a sold-out run in London, Lightscape will transform the LA Arboretum with a one-mile illuminated trail featuring thousands of lights in various attractions like the Cathedral of Light, the Star Tunnel and the Fire Garden.

Santa’s Speedway Christmas Light Drive-Thru

Irwindale Speedway | 500 Speedway Dr, Irwindale, CA 91706 | Through Jan. 2 | santasspeedway.com

This year, Santa is bringing five new displays, twice as many lights, three full light tunnels and his signature 110-foot Christmas tree to a whole new course at the Speedway.

Ahmanson’s ‘ A Christmas Carol’

Ahmanson Theatre | 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012 | Through Jan. 1 | centertheatregroup.org

Tony Award-winners Jack Thorne and Matthew Warchus offer a new interpretation of Charles Dickens’ classic tale starring three-time Emmy-winner Bradley Whitford as Ebenezer Scrooge; Tony and Emmy Award-nominee Kate Burton as Ghost of Christmas Past; and Grammy, SAG Award, Critics Choice, and Hollywood Critics Association Award-nominee Alex Newell as Ghost of Christmas Present/Mrs. Fezziwig.

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