Deck the halls because ‘tis the season—now we’re in the thick of it! Time to enjoy some old and make some new family holiday traditions. Make a sandman, catch a holiday boat parade, have dinner with Santa, see the Nutcracker, sing along with a Panto Cinderella or see A Christmas Carol, make gifts with your own hands, see some Christmas fireworks and more.

A Must See: Bob Baker Marionette Theatrephoto: Bob Baker Marionette Theater


Bob Baker’s Nutcracker
This LA Tradition is perfect for baby’s first introduction to this magical story and will also enchant the big kids who feel like it’s not Christmas until they see the marionettes (and get their annual cup of ice cream after the show with the performers!). Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Mid-City & West Hollywood

A Just-For-Kids 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. And we’re kidding when we say it’s just for kids; you’ll love it as much as them. Sat. & Sun. Event details.

Candle Making Workshop
Burn your candle at both ends at this family workshop at Au Fudge. Because Grandparents really just want something handmade by the kids! Sun. Event details.

Silverlake & Atwater

A Christmas Carol
This isn’t a full production of the play, but a kid-friendly and highly entertaining telling of the tale by one Mr. Charles Dickens. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

San Gabriel Valley

A Cinderella Christmas
Never seen a Panto? You’re in for a treat at this mash-up holiday show filled with characters you love, holiday cheer, comedy, magic, dancers from “So You Think You Can Dance” and music from everyone from Taylor Swift to The Bee Gees. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Dinner with Santa in the Garden
Share a jolly evening with the Santa; dinner includes a buffet with choices crafted to appeal to all ages and fun activities for the young ones while you linger and relax over something you didn’t cook. Sat. & Sun. Event details.


Marina Del Rey’s Boat Parade
Bring your thermos of cocoa and blankets, it gets chilly by the water! A fireworks display kicks off the evening before the boats begin circling the marina. Sat. Event details.

South Bay

A Dickens Christmas
Print Christmas cards & gift tags on vintage printing presses at the International Printing Press Museum and meet some Dickens characters like Fagin (watch your pockets), Miss Havisham and Mr. Dickens, too. A holiday lunch that would satisfy Oliver is included. Sat. & Sun. Event details.

Hermosa Beach Sandman Making
Do you want to build a Sandman? (Too 2013?) Bring shovels, scarves and mittens because in Hermosa Beach where you can’t make snowmen, you have to make a sandman. Or sandwoman. Or sandbaby. Sat. Event details.

Manhattan Beach Christmas Fireworks
The pier is decked, the Snow Park is open (with five 50’ sled runs, two snow play areas and snowmen for family photos), Santa is waiting to meet you, local bands lead a holiday sing-a-long and then the evening culminates in a fireworks show choreographed to seasonal music. Sun. Event details.

San Fernando Valley

Miles of Music Fun Run
‘Tis the season to be giving; jog over to the CBS Studios backlot for music, giveaways, food, exercise and fun, all in support of the organization Youth Mentoring. Sun. Event details.

Santa Clarita Valley

A Day in the Life of the Chumash
Take a break from holiday everything and go back to a simpler time. Learn how the Chumash lived 500 years ago, including how they gathered and prepared food, built their homes, played and more. Sat. Event details.

Inland Empire

IPB’s The Nutcracker
This dazzling traditional production ups the tutu ante with falling snow, a real sleigh on stage and a giant 40-foot dragon. Sat. & Sun. Event details.

What are your favorite family holiday traditions? We’d love to hear about them in the comment section!

—Meghan Rose

Additional image of baby and sandman by Danielle May Photography.