Odds are your holiday weekend is already scheduled down to the last minute. However, we recommend keeping this list of events on hand in case plans go awry (oh, you and the kids are staying at our house?) or a bout of cabin fever ensues (I said leave that ornament on the tree!). Read on for some handy-dandy ideas for family-friendly outings that run the gamut from Christmas to Hanukkah to car seat cleaning…

Los Angeles

Christmas Bird Hike
Crisp winter air, verdant vistas, and a vigorous walk through Franklin Canyon make the Bird Hike a natural choice of activity for Christmas Eve. Head to the Sooky Goldman Nature Center to meet up with Naturalist Paul for an exciting stroll about the grounds in search of some feathered friends. Sat., 8:00 am to 10:00 am, Beverly Hills, Free. Event details.

LA County Holiday Celebration
The 52nd Annual LA County Holiday Celebration is a free three hour event featuring community and professional choirs, music ensembles, and dance companies performing in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at the Music Center. Broadcast live on KCET, about a million Southern Californian households tune into the broadcast and more than 5,000 people attend each year. No tickets are required and parking is also free! Sat., 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm, Los Angeles, Free. Event details.

Lights of Hanukkah Family Tour
This holiday tour for families focuses on the stunning display of Hanukkah lamps in the Skirball Cultural Center’s core exhibition, Visions and Values, while teaching the history and significance of Hanukkah – complete with a chance to spin a dreidel and “meet” Judah Maccabee. Arrive early to take part in the family Winter Drop-In Art Studio at noon on Friday or the simulated archaeological site, Dig It! starting at 10 am on Saturday. Fri. & Sat., 1:00 pm, Los Angeles, Free With Museum Admission ($10/Adults, $5/2-12, Free for Under 2). Event details.

West Side

Local Author Storytelling at Books & Cookies
The always-delicious Books and Cookies children’s store will be serving up a special reading of “Christmas with Norky: The Adventure Begins” with Santa Monica local author, Steve Allgeier. Storytime will be followed by a spirited game of Polar Ball. Fri., 4:00 pm, Santa Monica, Free. Event details.

Valley

CleenBeeBaby at the Pump Station
Lately it seems that you’ve nearly been in and out of every store this side of the Mississippi – ensure that the nasty germs your kiddos may have picked up (strep! staph! eek!) and icky conglomerations of cookie crumbles and goldfish are expertly removed from their car seats and strollers by making an appointment with CleanBeeBaby. Their team of pros uses eco-friendly products and even re-install your car seats using a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician. Cleaning times vary from 10 to 90 minutes, so enjoy the excuse to shop at the Pump Station while you wait. Fri., 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Westlake Village, $20 and up. Event details.

Santa and Free Goodies at Magnolia Park
Last minute shopping have you in a tizzy? Don’t fret, this Friday Magnolia Park is offering free holiday entertainment to complement your eleventh-hour purchases at their assortment of fantastic boutique stores. Santa will be making appearances and photos with him are free! The Lake Street Creamery Mobile Ice Cream Parlor will be dishing up heaps of artisanal ice cream – including signature donut, pancake breakfast, and seasonal flavors – and the event promises free candy canes, hot chocolate, and Christmas music to round out the yummy yuletide offerings. Sat., 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm, Burbank, Free. Event details.

— Kameron DeWulf

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