We know Manhattan Beach is a happening, kid-friendly place during the summer, but who knew it’s even better in the winter?  Well, locals have known for years, and we’re spreading their secret –  the Manhattan Beach Holiday Fireworks Festival.  The pier is decked with Christmas lights and tons of fa-la-la-la activities complete (think snow slides, live entertainment, singalongs, a chance to meet Santa) and fireworks sparkling over the ocean light up the night.381982_10151182461873348_490060638_n

About the Festival
On December 8, 2013 at 3:30 pm, the City of Manhattan and Skechers will host their 24th annual Manhattan Beach Holiday Fireworks Festival at the Manhattan Beach Pier.  Santa’s grand entrance on a Chamber of Commerce float will kick off the festivities. A Skechers Snow Park complete with sled runs, snow play areas, and bouncy houses are the main daytime attractions. Then live entertainment and a spectacular fireworks display light up the night.

Insider Tip: Try to get here for lunch so that you can score a great parking spot and fireworks spot.  You can pack a yummy picnic or grab a warm, delicious lunch at Manhattan Beach Post or the ever-popular spaghetti and meatballs at Mama D’s Original Italian Kitchen.

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Schedule of Events
3:30 pm – Dixieland Christmas
4 p.m.-  Snow Park & Holiday Bounce Park open
4:30 p.m. –  Holiday Choir takes the stage
5 p.m. – Santa arrives his float
5:30 p.m. –  Jazz Ensemble
6 p.m. – 12 Days of Christmas Sing Along
7 p.m. – Fireworks over the ocean!

What to Bring
Be sure to bring a donation of canned goods, cash or a new unwrapped toy for admission into the Snow Park.  Also bring beach chairs, blankets, and coolers with plenty of drinks and snacks to keep yourself comfy while you watch the fireworks show.

Insider Tip: The pier is stroller friendly so be sure to pack those strollers to help the little ones save their energy to last through the fireworks. Public restrooms are located along the waterfront near the pier.

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Where to Park
The majority of the meters take credit card but there are some sections that still only take coins.  Check out this parking map to plan ahead to minimize any restlessness in the car with the kiddos.

Manhattan Beach Pier
2 Manhattan Beach Boulevard
Manhattan Beach, Ca
Online: mbfireworks.com

Any tips for an enjoyable (and tantrum-free) trip to the holiday fireworks festival? Share with us in the comment section below. 

–Sommy Rhee

Photos credits: INTVGene via flickr and Derrick Coetzee via flickr

To see what else is going on in Los Angeles this holiday season, click here!