Is it us, or did 2013 fly by?  It’s the last weekend of the year, so if there’s anything you meant to accomplish, visit, eat, do or see this year, now’s the time.  Carpe Diem!  How about a beach walk, a kiddie concert full of pop, a bibliofile’s NYE countdown, a trip to the Silk Road or even a play for kids that will make you smile and sniffle.  And don’t forget to celebrate Kwanzaa and go behind the scenes of the Rose Parade. Enjoy every last minute of this wonderful year, and see you in 2014!

aquarium sleepover


Kwanzaa Heritage Festival
Celebrate Kwanzaa at the festival full of fun, a parade and a candle lighting ceremony. There will be live music, traditional dancing, a drum circle, food and a Children’s Village with face painting. Sat, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Leimert Park. Free. All ages. Event details.

Traveling the Silk Road at the NHM
The Natural History Museum is hosting a bundle of holiday activities (like stringing beads to make jewelry, hearing some environmental music performances and some Silk Road storytelling) to fete their new show, “Traveling the Silk Road.” Sat. & Sun, 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Exposition Park. $10-$20. All ages. Event details.

Countdown to the New Year at the Central Library
It’s here in 3…2…1… days. Count down to 2014 with stories, songs, poems, noisemakers, and a puppet show at this beautiful and historic library. Sat, 2 p.m. Downtown. Free. All ages. Event details.


Your kid is already a master at making noise with everyday objects – now they can see how to make a career of it (or at least music, instead of a cacophony of pure noise).  Matchboxes, brooms, garbage cans, Zippo lighters and more fill the stage at “Stomp!”. Fri. – Sun., Various times. Beverly Hills. $28-$103.  Ages 5 and up. Event details.

Pasadena Area

Behind the Scenes at the Rose Festival Parade
Take tots to get an up close and personal look at the floats which will be featured in the Rose Parade, as they get their finishing touches and decorations in their final stages of preparation.  There’s also Equestfest, where you can meet the horses (and see some crazy riding stunts) and Bandfest, too.  Check the website for times, locations and ticket prices; these events are all fun for the whole family and kids 5 and under are free.


The Pop-Ups Pop Up at the Skirball for the Holiday
Celebrate winter break at an indoor, family-friendly concert that will keep you warm and toe-tapping with tunes and an electronic pop sound kids of all ages enjoy. Who wouldn’t love a show filled with colorful props, coordinated costumes, and puppets? Sat., 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. West LA. $5-$10. All ages. Event details.

Velveteen Rabbit
This play, with a cast of mimes, clowns, robots, and toy horses, rabbits and china dolls, is perfect for kids. It’s a fun and interactive theater experience for even the littlest thespian, and one that will have parents alternating between smiles and sniffles.  Sat. & Sun., 2 p.m. West LA. $10. Ages 3 and up. Event details.

Family Field Trip to the Beach
Sign your permission slip for fun when the whole family heads to the beach for a guided winter field trip to explore slimy seaweed, sand crabs, beach hoppers, kelp strands, gulls, snowy plovers and grebes. Reservations required. Sun., 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Santa Monica. Free. Ages 4 and up. Event details.

South Bay

Tidepooling With Tots
Families with young kids are invited to bring them on this special presentation to see what lives in a tidepool and then walk to discover what they can find for themselves as they poke along the rocky shore.  Reservations required. Fri., 10:30 a.m. & 12 p.m. San Pedro. $5. Ages 2-5. Event details.

Long Beach

Winter Sleepover at the Aquarium
Have you ever wanted to sleep with the fishes?  Spend one of the last nights of the year with your whole family, taking a watery scavenger hunt, meeting sea creatures, helping with a fish feeding and even painting your own souvenir T-shirt. Sun. – Mon., 5 p.m. – 7 a.m. Long Beach. $70. Ages 5 and up. Event details.

What are you doing to bring 2013 to a close?  Let us know!  And you’re looking for New Year’s celebrations, don’t forget to check our guide to a family NYE.

-Meghan Rose

Photo credits: Rose Parade facebook page and OCHorse Photo via Creative Commons