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Home / Life! / Fun things to do this week: Dec. 23-Jan. 3

Fun things to do this week: Dec. 23-Jan. 3

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Merry Christmas and/or happy holidays to all our readers! With all the personal festivities and traditions that families all across Southern California will partake in over this week, maybe you want to try and find some time to do some community activities. Need suggestions? Read on for some of ours!

“The Nutcracker” at the Covina Center for the Performing Arts

Covina Center for the Performing Arts | 104 N. Citrus Ave., Covina, CA 91723 | Dec. 23 | covinacenter.com

This community ballet performance features local dancers of all ages. The theater’s mission is to support ballet tradition in our community while providing accessible ballet training, and education. This performance benefits student learning and helps support our school’s growth and development.

Hollywood Tequila Tasting

The North End Hollywood | 6423 Yucca St., Los Angeles, CA 90028 | Dec. 24 | eventbrite.com

Staff at The North End will introduce you to new and unique tequilas, including four tastings of their top-selling tequilas. 

35MM “It’s A Wonderful Life”

Million Dollar Theater | 307 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013 | Dec. 24 | eventbrite.com

Secret Movie Club presents this holiday classic starring Jimmy Stewart. Tickets are $14. 

Estilo! Latin Party … (With A Little Extra Thrown In)

Treehouse | 686 N. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90012 | Dec. 25-26 | eventbrite.com

Estilo! Is a Latin party playing the best reggaeton, cumbia and Latin pop to get you dancing. Enter for free with an RSVP before 10:30 p.m.

A Magical Cirque Christmas

Segerstrom Center for the Arts | 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626 | Dec. 26 | scfta.org

Experience the enchantment of Christmas as hostess Lucy Darling takes you through an evening of dazzling performers and breathtaking cirque artists, accompanied by holiday music performed live.

Rose Bowl Stadium Holiday Tours

Rose Bowl Stadium | 1001 Rose Bowl Drive, Pasadena, CA 91103 | Dec. 26 | eventbrite.com

Touring with a large group of football fans? Part of a club that enjoys history and architecture? Just in town for the holidays? Come enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of America’s Stadium!

Jazz Eclectic Night

Riviera 31 Lounge Bar | 8555 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048 (inside the Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills) | Dec. 27 | eventbrite.com

Cello maestro Ryan Cross and his band show you the best of jazz and blues with exceptional live music. Past surprise performers have included Stevie Wonder, Craig Robinson and Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds.

Cal Poly Rose Float Decorating

Rosemont Pavilion | 700 Seco St., Pasadena, CA 91103 | Dec. 28 | eventbrite.com

If you’ve always wondered how flowers and seeds can turn into the beautiful floats that parade down Colorado Boulevard on Jan. 1, then this is your chance to find out. Cal Poly schools are in need of volunteers to decorate their entry to the 2022 Rose Parade.

Avalon Hollywood Pre New Year’s Celebration

Avalon Hotel | 1735 Vine St., Hollywood, CA 90028 | Dec. 29 | eventbrite.com

Mayhem Events promises an intimate concert experience featuring house, deep house and techno music along with some new tracks from some of LA’s established DJs and producers. 

W&W and Nick Ledesma Presented By Insomniac

Exchange LA | 618 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90014 | Dec. 29 | eventbrite.com

Get a head start on your New Year’s celebrations with this dance party from Insomniac featuring W&W and Nick Ledesma.

New Year’s Eve “Eve” Party With Dean Mora Orchestra

Cicada Restaurant and Lounge | 617 S. Olive St., Los Angeles, CA 90014 | Dec. 30 | cicadaclub.com

Dance in the new year (a little early) as Dean Mora and his orchestra play great dance music from the ‘20s through the ‘60s. 

Britpop Night With Tributes to Radiohead & Oasis

The Mixx | 443 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91101 | Dec. 30 | themixxclub.com

Close out 2021 with a blast from the past. Supersonic LA and Body Snatchers pay tribute to Oasis and Radiohead, respectively. Indie Rock DJ Ané Uno helps pay tribute to Britpop’s best.

Arkham Asylum: NYE Break Out Cosplay & Karaoke

Westfield Santa Anita | 400 S. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia, CA 91007 | Dec. 31 | eventbrite.com

Get your favorite DC cosplay together and party it up like Gotham’s most villainous characters. In addition to live music, karaoke, and a private bar, each ticket receives a free unlimited game card to use on non-ticketed games.

Selena & Prince Tribute Show

Sage Restaurant and Lounge | 6511 Greenleaf Ave., Whittier, CA 90601 | Dec. 31 | eventbrite.com

The countdown to the new year begins at 7 p.m. with DJs playing reggaeton, hip hop, top 40s, ‘80s and Spanish favorites. You get your pick of three rooms with two dance floors and full bars in each. The Selena and Prince tribute kicks off at 10 p.m.

Gatsby’s Penthouse NYE

Capture Studios Penthouse | 59th floor at U.S. Bank Tower 633 W. Fifth St., Los Angeles, CA 90071 | Dec. 31 | eventbrite.com

Celebrate the new year like a guest at one of Jay Garsby’s notorious fictional shindigs. With a five-hour open bar, views of Downtown LA, live DJs and party favors, you’re bound to have a good time and, unlike Gatsby, hopefully you’ll be able to let go of the past.

Floatfest: A Rose Parade Showcase

E. Sierra Madre Blvd. & E. Washington Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91107 | Jan. 1-2 | sharpseating.com 

See up close the detail and craftsmanship that goes into a Rose Parade float. The two-mile showcase allows visitors to get within feet of each float. Be prepared to present proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the event.

On The Fringe

The Hollywood Roosevelt | 7000 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028 | Jan. 1 | eventbrite.com

The two-hour intimate, immersive performance explores different subcultures ranging from geishas to flappers to beatniks and more throughout the last century in an empowering and sexy manner. This high-energy, rock and roll, punk, cabaret-style show is a high-octane whirlwind that titillates as much as it inspires, with extraordinary dancers stomping on tables, hanging from ceilings, teasing and provoking both men and women.

Bottomless Bubble Brunch

Der Wolf | 72 N. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena, CA 91103 | Jan. 2 | eventbrite.com

Have your first brunch of the year at Der Wolf with live DJ and games like beer pong, Jenga, and cards. For $20, you get two champagnes, three juices (mango, pineapple, cranberry) and a fruit tray. 

LA: Food, History, Design Tour

Union Station | 800 N. Alameda St., Los Angeles, CA 90012 | Jan. 2 | eventbrite.com

Looking for a way to entertain guests from out of town? Or maybe you just want to learn more about this cosmopolitan city. This two-mile walking tour, lasting three hours, includes three to four food tastings, stops at historical landmarks like the Bradbury Building and the art nouveau lobby of a 1913 hotel. 

Hollywood True Crime And Haunted Tales

Hollywood Pantages Theatre | 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028 | Jan. 2-3 | eventbrite.com

Explored the dark underbelly of Hollywood on this two-hour walking tour with stops at reportedly haunted hotels, theaters and landmarks.

ANW’s ‘A Christmas Carol’

A Noise Within | 3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91107 | Through Dec. 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.

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.

Mixpantli: Space, Time, and the Indigenous Origins of Mexico

LACMA | 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036 | Through May 1 | lacma.org

LACMA is marking the 500th anniversary of the fall of Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital and site of Mexico City. According to LACMA, the exhibition “subverts the traditional narrative of conquest by centering the creative resilience of Indigenous artists, mapmakers, and storytellers who forged new futures and made their world anew through artistic practice.”

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