Ho-ho-ho boy, have we found some seriously fun ways to celebrate this weekend.   Whether traditional holiday fare (like the annual reading of A Visit From St. Nicholas, a tamale party or a British Panto production), Swedish flair or a break from holiday wear and tear (give it up for Mr. G or rock out with Disney on Ice), we’ve got something fabulous and new for kids of every age and interest this weekend.

boat parade


Celebrate St. Lucia
The Swedes have given us so much more than IKEA and meatballs.  Like glogg, jultomte and other St Lucia delights. Sun, Noon – 5 p.m. Downtown. $10 adults; kids free. All ages. Event details.

Disney’s Rockin’ Ever After
Merida, Rapunzel, Ariel and Belle take the ice and give you’re a break from all the fa-la-la-ing in this new Disney on Ice spectacular. Fri. – Sun, Various times. Downtown. $15-$80. Ages 3 and up. Event details.

Taste of Tamales Festival
For many, the holidays aren’t the holidays until there’s a tamale party.  And if throwing one yourself is too much darn work, come eat the fruits of others’ labors at this festival where there’s something for everyone. Sun, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Downtown. Free. All ages. Event details.


International Children’s Film Festival
The Los Angeles International Children’s Film Festival returns to LACMA with over one hundred films from around the world, including full-length, short-animation, live-action, and documentary films, organized by age group from toddlers on up. Sat. & Sun., Various times. Miracle Mile. Free.  All ages. Event details.


Mr. G’s in the House
Mister G is bringing a bilingual celebration of music and reading to our favorite guitar haven, McCabes, and this ABC Fiesta will rock the house with catchy tunes for kids in two languages. Sun., 11 a.m. Santa Monica. $10. Ages 2-8. Event details.

Pasadena Area

Aladdin and His Winter Wish (Panto)
It’s Aladdin as you’ve never seen it in this traditional British Panto for the whole family, with a cast straight out of Nick and Disney to delight the kids, and special appearances by Bruce Vilanch and Ben Vereen to tickle your funny bone. Fri. – Sun., Various times. Pasadena. $22-$100. Ages 4 and up. Event details.

Holiday Storytime at Huntington
Get into the spirit of the season with a reading of everyone’s favorite holiday poem, A Visit From St. Nicholas, then head to the kitchen to decorate some yummy holiday cookies to leave for Santa. Sun., 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. San Marino. $20. Ages 3-12. Event details.

Breakfast with Santa in the Garden
Enjoy a visit with the man in red and a gourmet breakfast created by the chefs of Patina. Kiddos can get more sugar than just pancakes and syrup when they decorate cookies after brunch. (For a girlier munch, Santa is also sneaking in a brunch at the American Girl Café this weekend.) Sat. & Sun., 10 a.m. & 11:30 a.m. La Canada. $19-$46. All ages. Event details.

Multiple Locations

Festive Floating Parades
‘Tis the season to parade pontoons by the seashore – and there are festive floating flotsam in harbors from Marina Del Rey to Redondo Beach, Huntington Beach to Dana Point.  Pick your favorite, and whatever you do, don’t forget the hot chocolate and extra warm jackets – it gets downright cold by the ocean.

The Santas & Nutcrackers were too numerous to name, but there are fabulous ones in every nook and neighborhood in town.  Find the perfect one for you with our hand guides.

-Meghan Rose

Photo credits: Kevin Cole via flickr and debaird via flickr