Before you settle into your own holiday traditions, this weekend is the perfect time to explore how others celebrate! So learn about Christmas past, Solstice present and lunar holidays of the future. You can also learn how to bake Challah for Hanukkah, honor the Solstice at the Satwiwa center, get ready for St. Lucia’s Day the Swedish way and light a candle for Diwali and Las Posadas at a children’s museum.

Pasadena Tree Lightingphoto: Pasadena Tree Lighting

Downtown

A Festival of Carols
Ring in the holidays at Walt Disney Concert Hall with your favorite carols and songs of the season performed by the Master Chorale. After the concert Santa will meet with kids (and you can remind them he’ll know who was naughty or nice during the concert!). Sat. Event details.

Mid-City & Beverly Hills

A Whimsic Alley Wizard’s Holiday Faire
With kids re-obsessed with the wizarding world thanks to Newt Scamander, this craft fair is loads of fun and a great place to stock up on unique holiday treats. Sat. & Sun. Event details.

The Great Challah Bake
They’ll have ‘loaves’ of fun rolling up their sleeves learning how to bake challah before Hanukkah. Sun. Event details.

San Gabriel Valley

Pasadena Tree Lighting
With hot chocolate, cookies, arts and crafts for the kids, Santa & the Mrs., a tree lighting and a scene with a sleigh where parents can take pics, this is one of our favorite tree lightings in town. Fri. Event details.

LA Ballet’s The Nutcracker
Nutcracker productions are everywhere, and if you don’t know where to start, one of the best in town is Los Angeles Ballet’s classic original production. It opens this weekend at the Alex Theatre, but makes 3 other stops across town before Christmas, so you can make plans to catch the show nearest you. Sat. & Sun. Event details.

Westside

Happy Trails Hike-A-Thon
Hike your heart out in support of kids in foster care, and then indulge in games, arts-n-crafts, face painting and In-N-Out. Sun. Event details.

Lunar Holiday Celebrations
In the future, the moon might be the ultimate holiday vacation destination. At this creative workshop, kids invent a new holiday and design a themed lunar resort. Sun. Event details.

South Bay

A Swedish Christmas Fair
Sip some Glögg while shopping for cookies, handcraft and decorations. Then be entertained by folk dancers, the St. Lucia pageant, choir performances, Santa and a crafting corner for kids. Sun. Event details.

Civil War & Victorian Christmases
See a Victorian Christmas at the Banning Museum with period entertainment, tours, refreshments, kid’s crafts, and a visit from jolly St. Nick and Queen Victoria. Then take the horse-drawn trolley ride to the Drum Barracks Civil War Museum for another throwback celebration. Sat. & Sun. Event details.

San Fernando Valley

Leonis Adobe’s Winter Celebration
Crafts, music and fun are the name of the game at this fest for the whole family at the old adobe.  Help Mrs. Claus feed the ranch animals, hear live music, do arts & crafts, have snacks and more. Sun. Event details.

Long Beach

Holidays at the Aquarium
There’s snow and Santa at the Aquarium! Snow falls, penguins walk, animals get their edible gifts, and costumed critters wander as kids catch underwater shows with Santa Diver, take part in crafts, snap selfies with Santa, play dreidel and hear Hanukkah stories. Sat. & Sun. Event details.

Santa Clarita Valley

An Electric Christmas
Performed in complete darkness with “lightwire” technology, moving sculpture and dance, the show features an electric Christmas tree and creatures that light up the stage. Come early to make your own glow-in-the-dark shirt for when the lights go out!  Sun. Event details.

Worth the Drive

Satwiwa’s Winter Solstice
Honor the change in season with Native American hand-crafted art, music, storytelling, dance demonstration and family fun. Sun. Event details.

Festivals of Lights
Celebrate international festivals of lights including Diwali, Hanukkah and Las Posadas at the La Habra Children’s Museum at this free festival. Sun. Event details.

—Meghan Rose

What are your favorite family holiday traditions? We’d love to hear about them in the comment section!