December is here and with it a hectic whirl of holiday demands. Just remember that it’s the journey – not the destination – that life is all about. So why not take advantage of the great family-friendly events around town – an opportunity to “stop and smell the roses” with your kids? This weekend offers a smorgasbord of festive offerings, from a screening of the classic Miracle on 34th Street at an historic downtown venue to a cheeky and star-studded rendition of Snow White in NoHo. Plus, read on to find out how to secure free tickets to a show at the Walt Disney Concert Hall…

Los Angeles

A Snow White Christmas 
An irreverent twist on a childhood classic, El Portal Theatre’s rendition of Snow White is a modern musical with the aim of bringing families together via entertainment. Enacted in the wildly fun British Panto tradition, replete with audience participation, lavish sets and costumes, and a cheeky infusion of pop culture. Starring Neil Patrick as the Magic Mirror, Lindsay Pearce as Snow White, and Marina Sirtis as the Evil Queen. Fri., Sat., and Sun., See Listing for Showtimes, North Hollywood, $34 to $99 Family 4-Pack. Event details.

Dance Party and Sing-Alongs at the Zimmer  
Visit L.A.’s only children’s museum for a zip-a-dee-doo-dah time singin’ and dancin’. Beyond the stimulating and inspiring kid-centric exhibits, the museum offers a very tuneful schedule on Fridays – at 11:00 am in the Mann Theater, little ones can gleefully join in a Sing-Along of classic children’s songs. At 1:00 pm the entire museum transforms into a dance party – where fun and silliness flourish with wild abandon. Fri., 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, Los Angeles, Free with Museum Admission ($8/Adults, $5/Childre 2-17).  Event details.

Miracle on 34th Street Screening
A matinee of the classics – the quintessentially Christmas film, Miracle on 34th Street (1947) is showing on the big screen at the historic Million Dollar Theatre (1918) on Broadway. Starring Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O’Hara, John Payne, and a nine-year-old Natalie Wood, it makes for an enchanting family outing. Hint: Pershing Square and it’s ice skating rink is just around the corner for a bit of pre or post-theater activity. Sun., 2:00 pm, Downtown, $15/Adults, $5/Children.  Event details.

World City Music Performance
A free family show at the Walt Disney Concert Hall – music to your ears! The outdoor Children’s Amphitheater will host two performances of “Kitka” – a-cappella vocal music from Bulgaria, Hungary, and Ukraine, as well as Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre, featuring puppetry from the Czech Republic. Tickets are free and are are distributed first come, first served, on Grand Avenue at 2nd Street before show times. Arrive at least an hour beforehand to secure your seats. Sat., 11:00 am and 12:30 pm, Los Angeles, Free. Event details.

West Side

Palisades Holiday Ho!Ho!Ho!
The sparkling Pacific ocean, a sparkling clean main street, and sparkling holiday decorations all combine to create a Norman Rockwell-esque family Christmas event. Santa and the town’s Honorary Mayor, Sugar Ray Leonard, will arrive on local firetruck #69 at 5:00 pm, as you sip free hot chocolate with festive Movies in the Park playing while your munchkins wait their turn to chat with the “jolly old elf” himself. Each child will receive a small gift and parents can take photos to their heart’s content. Fri., 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm, Pacific Palisades, Free. Event details.


Bob Baker Marionettes at the Kidspace Children’s Museum
Just another great reason to head to this fantastic museum, with all of the adventure and education it has to offer – the very popular Bob Baker Marionettes will be performing a special holiday puppet show in the Stone Hollow Amphitheater. Don’t forget to stop by Flutterby’s Art Center between noon and 4:00 pm to create your own puppets using natural materials to continue the magic at home (perhaps a festive viewing of The Sound of Music’s famous puppet show scene is in order?). Sat., 2:00 pm, Pasadena, Free with Museum Admission ($10/Person, Under 1, Free). Event details.


Leonis Adobe Holiday Open House
This idyllic historic hotspot is hosting a free family event including a visit with Santa, homespun crafts, a lighting ceremony, music, games, living history demonstrations, animals, and refreshments. Experience California ranch life at this charming country home and farm, as it was over 150 years ago. Parking is free and the museum is located just next door to the Sagebrush Cantina, which has plenty of seating and is very kid-friendly, should you need some tasty vittles for your little buckaroos. Sun. 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm, Calabasas, Free. Event details.

— Kameron DeWulf