It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  With Thanksgiving a mere memory, nothing stands between your family and some serious holiday cheer. Many of this weekend’s ideas are so nice, they do them twice (at different places around town, in case you don’t feel like a drive!). There are two trains, two holiday Cinderellas, and two Victorian Christmas celebrations! For something a touch more unique, we have a holiday classic movie that will leave you in stitches, a CARnival of fun, a tree lighting and parade, an historic holiday house, a toddler show, and of course one of the best Hanukkah celebrations in town (because the festival of lights starts next weekend!).

Los Angeles

Travel Town’s Holiday Train to Santa
Just the right size for your train obsessed tot, you won’t want to miss the L.A. tradition of a trip to Travel Town for a train ride that stops at Santa’s Village. (If you feel like more of an all-day train adventure, there’s also the Christmas Train at Irvine Park!) Fri – Sun., 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Griffith Park. $7. All ages. Event details.

CARnival Family Fun
You don’t have to go to Rio for this CARnival – the fun filled afternoon of games, arts and crafts, storytelling, tours, and more takes place right here at the Petersen Museum. Sat., 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Miracle Mile. $3-$11. Ages 2-10. Event details.

A Christmas Story
Ralphie is right up there with Virginia on the iconic Christmas kid list… Kick off the holiday season with the Los Angeles Conservancy’s seventh annual holiday family film matinee. Sun., 2:00 pm. Downtown. $25-$15. Ages 7+. Event details.


Americana Hanukkah
The Skirball’s annual Hanukkah family festival includes performances by the Story Pirates, The Macaroons singing Hanukkah pop/rock tunes, crafts, exhibits and more. Sun., 11:00 am – 4:00 pm. West L.A. $10 Adults, Kids free. All ages. Event details.

Story Pirates Toddler Show
Even the littlest kiddos to get involved with the action with stories and songs that are specially calibrated for the tiniest of attention spans. Sat., 11:00 am. Westwood. $13-$15. Ages 2-5. Event details.


Cinderella’s Christmas
On Christmas Eve, Cinderella dreams of her handsome Prince Charming, and kids in the audience get to be Cinderella’s mouse friends who help her holiday dreams come true. (If you’re closer to the Westside, you don’t have to drive to see Cinderella – there’s another show taking place in Santa Monica!) Sat., 11:00 am. Sierra Madre. $12-$18. Ages 3+. Event details.


Holiday House at Leonis Adobe
Step back in time this holiday season with the kids at this idyllic historic spot for a family event that includes a visit with Santa, crafts, a lighting ceremony, music, games, living history demonstrations, animals, and refreshments. Sun., 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm. Calabasas. Free. All ages. Event details.


Tree Lighting and Santa’s Wonderland
After Santa arrives and lights the tree, head down the street under magical snowfall lights to see scores of children’s characters, giant Macys-style balloons, vintage cars, strolling carolers, performances, face painting, fun holiday crafts, free treats and more. Sat., 6:00 pm. Burbank. Free. All ages. Event details.

Worth The Drive

A Victorian Christmas
See what it was like to celebrate a Victorian Christmas! Complete with Victorian period entertainment, crafts, a visit from jolly St. Nick and the Queen. (Would you believe there’s another Victorian Christmas celebration in Fullerton this weekend?) Sat. & Sun., 11:00 am – 4:00 pm. Wilmington. Free. All ages. Event details.

Are you ready for the holidays?  Is this the weekend you get your tree or are you waiting another week or two to deck the halls? And what exactly are your favorite traditional holiday events? Let us know in the comments!

 — Meghan Rose