Hanukkah, oh Hanukkah! If you’re looking for something to do with your dreidel-spinning brood during the Festival of Lights (Dec. 12–20) we’ve got a list for you! Whether it’s lighting a menorah on a real, live battleship (say what?!) or grooving at a live concert with a few thousand friends at Universal CityWalk, there’s plenty to do around town. FYI: Hanukkah starts on a Tuesday this year, so several notable events start the preceding Sunday. Read on to get some ideas!
photo: Mercie Ghimire/ The Skirball Center
Sunday, Dec. 10
Hanukkah Festival at the Skirball Center
Feliz Jánuca! This year’s Hanukkah celebration at the Skirball celebrates the Festival of Lights through the diverse traditions of Los Angeles’s Latin American communities. Your kids will be able to hear the story of Hanukkah told in Spanish and English — then learn salsa, mambo and hip-hop with Latin American dance groups Mambo Inc. and Versa-Style. There will also be live performances by Latin Jewish bands Klezmer Juice and Pan Felipe, as well as Mexican chocolate gelt-decorating and plenty of jelly donuts in the museum’s cafe.
Cost: $12 general admission; $9 seniors; $7 children 2-12; free for children under 2
Time: 11 a.m.-2:45 p.m. (museum doors and Will Call open at 10 a.m.)
Skirball Cultural Center
2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd.
More information: skirball.org
Hanukkah Winter Wonderland in Pacific Palisades
The Chabad of Pacific Palisades’ Hanukkah celebration has everything a kid would want, including snow play, bounce houses, carnival rides, arts and crafts, yummy food and more.
Cost: Prepaid tickets are $15 per person, $50 for a family of four (valid until Dec. 9 at 10 p.m.); regular admission is $18/person, $65 for a family of four.
Time: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Chabad Jewish Community Center
17315 Sunset Blvd.
More information: chabadpalisades.com
Hanukkah at the Point in El Segundo
Kids can enjoy a scavenger hunt, play dreidel games and create fun holiday crafts while the whole fam noshes on jelly donuts and enjoys Hanukkah songs performed by the Congregation Tikvat Jacob children’s choirs.
Pro Tip: After the celebration, head to the beach. The City of Manhattan Beach is hosting its annual holiday fireworks festival from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m, featuring a snow sledding hill, live holiday music and a spectacular fireworks show (that was once voted the “Best Holiday Fireworks Show in the Nation” by The Travel Channel).
Time: 1 p.m.-3 p.m.
850 S. Sepulveda Blvd.
photo: The Chabad of the South Bay
Tuesday, Dec. 12
Hanukkah Aboard the U.S.S. Iowa
A menorah lighting aboard a real live battleship? That’s exactly what the Chabad of the South Bay has planned for this one-of-a-kind event aboard the U.S.S. Iowa in San Pedro. The event will feature live music, dreidel games, donuts, latkes, hot chocolate —plus a special tribute to the armed forces. Did we mention it’s on a battleship? Yeah. Enough said.
Pro Tip: If you want to check out the U.S.S. Iowa Museum, mention you’re attending the menorah lighting and get a 45 percent discount on museum admission which is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Time: 5 p.m.
Pacific Battleship Center
250 South Harbor Blvd.
photo: Calabasas Commons via Facebook
Wednesday, Dec. 13
Menorah Lighting & Chanukah Celebration at the Calabasas Commons
The Calabasas Shul hosts this annual event featuring fireworks, a live concert and complimentary donuts and latkes. Get there early to get your shopping done; stores close at 8 p.m.
Time: 6:30 p.m.
The Commons at Calabasas
4799 Commons Way
photo: The Grove
Thursday, Dec. 14
Menorah Lighting at the Original Farmer’s Market
Celebrate Hanukkah with live music, arts and crafts and a special menorah lighting ceremony. When you’re done (or before you get there), grab a meal, let your kids ride the free trolley, or just get some last-minute holiday shopping done at the Grove.
Time: 2:30 p.m.
The Farmer’s Market at the Grove
6333 W. 3rd St.
photo: Mostly Kosher via Facebook
Friday, Dec. 15
Celebrate Hanukkah with the Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure
Want to get some major Mom and Dad bonus points? Surprise the littles with a day at Disneyland in honor of Hanukkah! With California Adventure’s annual Festival of Holidays, fitting Hanukkah into the agenda isn’t such a stretch. The sprawling festival celebrates holidays from all over the world. That means (among other things) kids can make their own dreidels at the free craft area, enjoy traditional beef brisket and rugelach at the pop-up food booths, and get a little dancing time in with live performances from Mostly Kosher, a post-Klezmer band that calls itself “a global food-fight of Jazz, Latin, Rock, Hip Hop, and Folk.” (But who are we kidding: We had your kids at “Disneyland”).
Pro Tip: Mostly Kosher performs six shows daily at the World of Color Amphitheater.
Time: All day
Disney California Adventure
1313 Disneyland Dr.
More information: disneyland.disney.go.com
Saturday, Dec. 16
The Klezmatics – Happy Joyous Hanukkah
If you’ve got older kids who can appreciate a few hours of live music, it may be worth bringing them to this special performance from the world-renowned Klezmatics—the only klezmer band to win a Grammy. Not familiar with klezmer music? It’s a traditional style of music from the Ashkenazi Jews of Eastern Europe, generally known by its combo of the accordion, fiddle and clarinet.
Cost: $33-$68 online
Time: 8 p.m.
Valley Performing Arts Center
18111 Nordhoff St.
photo: The Shalom Institute via Facebook
Sunday, Dec. 17
Hanukkah Family Fun Day at the Shalom Institute
Pet a cow. Ride a zipline. Try some archery. Does that sound like Hanukkah to you? It does if you’re at the Shalom Institute, a sprawling Jewish retreat camp, farm and nature center located in the mountains of Malibu. The Institute’s annual Hanukkah Family Fun Day will include all sorts of hands-on activities including “pioneer living adventures”, nature crafts, farm visits, gardening, rock wall-climbing, Hanukkah candle-making, cookie decorating and more.
Cost: $10 per person; kids 6 and under are free
Time: 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
The Shalom Institute
34342 Mulholland Hwy.
Hanukkah Concert at Universal CityWalk
The CityWalk’s annual Hanukkah celebration feels a lot more like a rock concert than a simple menorah lighting. This year’s celebration, hosted by the Chabad of the Valley, is set to be the largest Hanukkah celebration in Southern California and will include performances by Jewish recording artists Yoni Z, operatic pop trio Kol Esperanza, and multi-instrumentalist singer Yehuda Glantz.
Cost: Free to the public. Parking charges apply
Time: 6-9 p.m.
100 Universal City Plaza
Giant Chanukah Celebration at the Hermosa Beach Pier
Want a little ocean air with your jelly donuts? Head down to Hermosa Beach pier where the Chabad of the South Bay presents its beachy rendition of the holiday. Enjoy free gifts for the kids, arts & craft booths, face painting, hot latkes and donuts, live music and a giant menorah lighting against the stunning backdrop of the beach at sunset. Get there before it gets dark; it’s worth it for the photos alone.
Time: 5 p.m.-10 p.m.
The Hermosa Beach Pier
1 Pier Ave.
photo: Chabad of Beverly Hills via Facebook
Monday, Dec. 18
Menorah Lighting at Two Rodeo
When 90210-ers want to celebrate Hanukkah, Rodeo Drive is the place to do it. Witness a giant menorah lighting smack dab in the middle of the iconic cobblestone street, brought to you by the Chabad of Beverly Hills. There will also be live entertainment, hot drinks, traditional Hanukkah food and crafts for the kids.
Time: 7:30 p.m.-9 p.m.
Via Rodeo at Two Rodeo Dr.
Annual Chanukah Bowl
Light the candles! Bowl a strike! You can do both at the South Bay Chabad’s annual Chanukah Bowl, where bowlers enjoy hot latkes, donuts, a light dinner — plus bowling all evening long and a menorah lighting at sundown.
Cost: $8 in advance; $10 at the door
Time: 5 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Palos Verdes Bowl
24600 Crenshaw Blvd.
Know of any other great Hanukkah events? Tell us about them in the comments below.
— Melissa Heckscher