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Where to Play in the Snow—without Leaving LA

Who knew you could go sledding, build a snowman and make snow angels—all right here in Los Angeles? Grab your mittens and boots (and flip flops to change into afterward) and keep reading for a list of our favorite snowy winter wonderlands around LA.

Snow Day! at the Pier

Take your winter-wannabes to the beach on Sat., Nov. 30 for Santa Monica's first-ever Snow Day at the Pier (admission is free)! They are bringing in over 4,000 square feet of actual snow which is just perfect for making snow Angelenos and it will all be set up, fittingly, on the merry-go-round deck. Can't get merrier than that! Event details.

Merry Go Round Deck
Santa Monica
Online: santamonicapier.org/cheeronthepier

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photo: Rachael Brandon

Pershing Square's Winter Holiday Festival

This Downtown hotspot (or, er, cold-spot?) is known for its seasonal ice skating rink that would make Elsa proud. And on Sat., Dec. 7, things get even chillier with a Winter Holiday Festival hosted by LA Parks and Recs. There will be piles of snow for sledding, a trackless train, entertainment, craft booths, free Santa photos, and food vendors. All of this festive fun is free (with the exception of ice skating) so throw a sled in the sleigh, grab your chilly cherubs and make a day of it playing in skyscraper-surrounded snow! Event details.

Insider Tip: If your tots get tired of all that ice and snow, have them chill out on one of the two playgrounds on-site before heading home! 

Pershing Square
532 S. Olive St.
Los Angeles 

Online: holidayicerinkdowntownla.com

Snow Wonder in Marina Del Rey

There's no business like snow business and on Sat., Dec. 14 , the white stuff will be falling at Marina Del Rey's Burton Chase Park! Not only will your pint-sized popsicles get to enjoy boatloads of snow, but there will also be sledding, arts & crafts, face painting, a live DJ, food trucks and lots more. If everyone is still thawed out after a day of snow play, stick around for fireworks and a holiday boat parade in the marina! Event details.

Insider Tip: If you've got some picky eaters on your hands who aren't food truck fans, load up on some picnic items at the brand new Trader Joe's just down the street from the park before your arrival! 

Burton Chase Park
13650 Mindanao Way
Marina del Rey
Online: visitmarinadelrey.com/events/christmas

photo: Courtesy of Kidspace

Snow Days at Kidspace

The snow will be a'falling at Kidspace for their 5-day annual Snow Days event! Toasty tots can pull out hats, gloves, and scarves to play in real snow, make snow angels and snowmen, learn how snow is formed in nature, and enjoy traditional winter crafts. Truckloads of real snow will be delivered fresh and clean, so come ready to play. There is a flurry of festively frosty activities for those that need to warm up fingertips and tootsies. Event details.

Insider Tip: Make a whole day of it and check out the Rose Parade floats as they get their final touches Dec. 28-31 outside at Rosemont Pavilion right next to Kidspace. Tickets are required for entry. Find more information here.

480 North Arroyo Blvd.
Pasadena 91103
626-449-9144
Online: kidspacemuseum.org

Beach Winter Wonderland a the Dockweiler Youth Center

For another beach-turned-frost fest (this time a little closer to Christmas), bring your brood to Dockweiler Beach on Sat., Dec. 21 for bouncers, live music, face painting, winter activities and real snow! Cold-a-bunga, dudes!

Insider Tip: Admission is free but you will need to pay $8 to park. Also, best to register in advance for faster entry to the event. 

Dockweiler Youth Center
12505 Vista Del Mar
Playa Del Rey
Online: beaches.lacounty.gov

Snow Day LA

Talk about a local option that is totally tubular! This seasonal, “snow tubing park” is just a few miles from Downtown Los Angeles. Spread across nine acres and just a snowball’s throw from Dodger’s Stadium, this place is covered in the white stuff. Ok, this isn’t real snow falling in small swirls, it’s synthetic snow projected from small blowers perched above. The winter tube lanes are also not made of actual frozen water but instead are created from PowderPak (a non-toxic, synthetic snow material). This eco-friendly snow play spot is a fantastic spot to feel frosty without all the water waste of generating the real deal. 

Aside from winter tubing, be sure to check out their new Enchanted Winter Crystal Garden featuring giant glowing crystals (some as tall as 10 feet!) and interactive light show!

Snow Day LA is open on weekends beginning Nov. 8 through December 29. Tickets start at $12.

“Cool” Tip: Snow Day LA sells out every year (the first weekend is already sold out) so if you are planning to go, get your tickets ASAP.

The Old Lodge (Montecillo De Leo Politi)
2010 Stadium Way & Scott Ave.
Elysian Park 90026
Online: snowlosangeles.com

Worth the Drive

Winter Fest OC

Beginning Dec. 19 through Jan. 5, SoCal's largest winter experience, Winter Fest OC, located at the Orange County Fair & Event Center, opens its fifth year with the always exciting ice tubing down a 150 foot, eight-lane slide at Snowflake Summit. Of course, to get into the real snow hit up Penny's Snow Play for the biggest snow play attraction in SoCal that's been divided into two areas—one dedicated especially to toddlers. 

This year there is so much more to explore once you have had your ice skating and snowball fight fill. Check out high tea at SoCal Dicken's Village, visits with the Clauses (through Christmas Eve), a candy-cane carnival (that will give your little elves a reason to jingle) and even Santa's petting zoo! Also on site is the expanded Alpine Village (food trucks, inflatables and craft tent) and the Festival of Lights (a 100-foot-tunnel of two million lights and animated displays) with optional trackless train ride. 

"Cool" Tip: Fast Pass wristbands are available for Snowflake Summit, starting at only $10 to skip the general admission line. Ticket prices vary and tend to be cheaper if purchased online

88 Fair Dr.
Costa Mesa 92626
Online: winterfestoc.com

–Jennifer O’Brien, Shahrzad WarkentinAndie Huber

featured photo: Mariob via flickr

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