Fireworks get the Christmas countdown started at two beachside spots this weekend while Hanukkah ends at the Skirball with a bang. If you’re in the mood for some celeb characters, your kids will adore meeting Frozen princesses on ice, Star Wars characters a week early and Peter Pan and friends in a pirate panto. Or perhaps you just want to sit back and catch some ZZZZZs, er, flicks, at the kid friendliest film fest in the world.

disney on ice presents frozen


Mele Kalikimaka Means Merry Christmas
Celebrate the holidays island-style at the Japanese American National Museum by decorating a paper palm tree, building a Hawaiian-style snowman and hearing music & stories. Sat., 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Little Tokyo. Free. All ages. Event details.

A Star Wars Galactic Experience
Use the Force to battle your opponents, build a TIE Fighter with LEGO Master Builders, journey through Star Wars history, and much more as excitement builds in your young Jedis for next weekend’s big opening. Sat. & Sun., 10 a.m-10 p.m. Downtown. Free. All ages. Event details.

Disney on Ice Presents Frozen
Whisk away to wintry Arendelle to see dazzling special effects and astonishing skating to favorite songs including “Let It Go.” Join Anna & Elsa, Mickey & Minnie and some beloved Disney Princesses on a chilly adventure. Fri.-Sun., Various times. Downtown. $30 & up. All ages. Event details.


Los Angeles International Children’s Film Festival
Forget Cannes and Sundance. This is our pick for can’t miss film fest: with one hundred films from around the world, including full-length, short-animation, live-action, and documentary films, screenings are organized by age group and all entertain adults right alongside kids. Sat. & Sun., Various times. Miracle Mile. Free. All ages. Event details.

Born to Be Awkward
If getting one baby to sit and smile in a photo is nearly impossible, imagine what will happen if there are a hundred babies!  Bring your own awkward baby to join in the historic fun and get a sweet gift bag and treats. Fri., 10 a.m. Mid-City. Free. Ages 3-24 months. Event details.

San Gabriel Valley

Tree Lighting on Christmas Tree Lane
See the oldest large-scale Christmas lighting spectacle in the US! This weekend is the grand lighting with Santa, performances, choirs, marching bands and more activities at the afternoon Winter Arts & Crafts Festival before the switch is flipped. Sat., 6 p.m. Altadena. Free. All ages. Event details.

Peter Pan & Tinkerbell: A Pirate Christmas Panto
Tinker Bell, Wendy and Peter Pan embark on a wild quest to foil the pirates’ plot to kidnap Peter for Captain Hook’s Christmas present in this flying, singing, swashbuckling adventure, which features comedy, magic, dancers from “So You Think You Can Dance” and contemporary music from Taylor Swift to the Bee Gees. Fri.-Sun., Various times. Pasadena. $34-$75. Ages 4 & up. Event details.


Marina Del Rey Boat Parade
A fireworks display kicks off the evening, then the boats begin circling the Marina. You’ll see all kinds of boats decked out in holiday lights and decorations, blasting music and boasting very spirited sailors. Sat., 5:55 p.m. Marina del Rey. Free. All ages. Event details.

Hanukkah Family Festival
Bid adieu to Hanukkah at the Skirball. All families are welcome to celebrate with music, dance, art making, storytelling and other activities that explore the light of hope, courage and perseverance that burns in each of us. Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m. West LA. $5-$10. All ages. Event details.

South Bay

Sing Along with Surfin’ Santa
What could be more California at Christmas time than a sing along with Santa by the beach?  Grab a hot cocoa and sing along to all of your holiday favorites with Surfin’ Santa. Sat., 3-5 p.m. Redondo Beach. Free. All ages. Event details.

Manhattan Beach Has Snow and Fireworks
The Snow Park is open with sled runs, two snow play areas and snowman making. There’s also a moon bounce, a chance to meet Santa and a holiday sing-a-long before the evening culminates in a fireworks show choreographed to seasonal music. Sun., 4-7 p.m. Manhattan Beach. Free. All ages. Event details.

A Dickens Day Holiday
Go back in time at the International Printing Press Museum where you can print Christmas cards & gift tags on vintage presses then meet up with some Dickens Characters like Fagin, Miss Havisham and Dickens himself before an English holiday lunch of bangers, cider and gingerbread. Sat. & Sun., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Carson. $20, or $70 for a family of 4. Ages 5 & up. Event details.

Long Beach

Holidays at the Rancho, Times Two
Visit Rancho Los Alamitos on Saturday for a Holiday Hoedown, complete with a breakfast buffet, holiday games, arts and crafts, activities and a photo with Santa, all to the sounds of the California Cowboy Band. $12-$20. Ages 1-12. Event details. On Sunday you can visit Rancho Los Cerritos where costumed living history docents will share their memories of Victorian-era holidays at the Rancho after music, activities and a visit from Santa. $5. All Ages. Event details.

If you’re looking for more holiday fun with the perfect Nutcracker or Lights display, we’ve found those, too! What are you doing to celebrate the season this weekend?

—Meghan Rose

Photo credits: Skirball Cultural Center and Feld Entertainment