Celebrating the season! Our picks for the best family-friendly holiday events

If you’re looking to get into the holiday spirit, December is jam-packed with free and low-cost events that will have you humming Christmas carols and researching egg nog recipes in no time.
Whether you’re looking to take a family photo with old St. Nick, view some spectacular lights in Marina del Rey or play in the snow, there’s an event this month to help you celebrate the most wonderful time of the year. Enjoy the magic of the season with these festive holiday happenings in the HomeTown News community!

Santa in Playa Vista, December 5
Santa is coming to town on the LAPD sleigh! He’ll be making a special stop at Playa Vista’s Concert Park on Thursday, December 5 from 4:45 to 5:45 p.m. to spread holiday cheer and pose for photos. Guests are invited to get into the giving spirit by donating new, unwrapped toys for the LAPD Pacific Division Toy Drive during the stop.
In the event of rain, the sleigh will be canceled. Concert Park is located at Concert Park Drive and Pacific Promenade in Playa Vista.

LMU Christmas Tree Lighting, December 6
Head to LMU on Friday, December 6 from 5 to 8 p.m. for the university’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting! Now a neighborhood tradition, the event will feature photos with Santa, activities for kids, cookies and other treats, trackless train rides and more! Our favorite part of the event? Saying “hi!” to so many friends and community members.
Don’t forget to stop by the Community Relations’ table for a coveted Christmas Mug (supplies very limited) or a magnetic photo frame before the university’s mascot, Iggy, and friends turn the lights on for the community’s largest Christmas tree! Food trucks will have items for purchase and students will be selling light bulb necklaces for charity.
The event takes place on the LMU Campus (1 LMU Drive, Westchester) in the Alumni Mall.

A Very Merry Christmas, December 6
Join Westchester Lutheran Church & School for a Very Merry Christmas Celebration on Friday, December 6 at 7 p.m. The event will feature a Christmas tree lighting, carol singers, treats and more! Following the tree lighting, a Christmas Festival will take place in the school and church’s hall. All are welcome.
Westchester Lutheran is located at 7831 S Sepulveda Blvd. in Westchester.

Marina Lights, various dates
Make sure to take a stroll through Marina del Rey’s Burton Chace Park this month for a variety of festive displays and entertainment. Starting December 7, the park will be transformed with thousands of light strands glowing for the holidays from 4 to 10 p.m. Visit the park on Saturday, December 7 from 4 to 6 p.m. to hear live music from The Wonderelles, singing holiday songs with a retro vibe.
On Saturday, December 21 and 28 from 4 to 6 p.m., visitors will be treated to traditional carols courtesy of the Victorian-styled a capella Voices of Christmas. Free outdoor movie screenings of Gremlins on Saturday, December 7; Elf on Saturday, December 21; and Avengers: Endgame on Saturday, December 28 will also be shown. Movies start at 6 p.m.
Marina Lights will conclude on Tuesday, December 31 with a New Year’s Eve Celebration complete with a Glow Party, two firework displays and other festivities from 7 p.m. to midnight. Burton Chace Park is located at 13650 Mindanao Way in Marina del Rey. For more information, please visit mdrholidays.com.

Lunch with Santa, December 7
Santa Claus will be visiting Westchester for a free holiday luncheon hosted by the Westchester United Methodist Church on Saturday, December 7 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. While kids of all ages enjoy their meals with the jolliest of elves, guests can peruse unique handmade items for sale by the Westchester Crafters.
The lunch will take place at the Westchester United Methodist Church, located at 8065 Emerson Ave. in Westchester. For more info, please call (310) 670-3777.

Stephanie Younger Group Holiday Open House, December 8
Join the Stephanie Younger Group on Sunday, December 8 from noon to 4 p.m. for their annual Holiday Open House! Guests will be treated to photos with special guest Santa, music, carolers, letters to Santa and tons of treats–including a coffee bar and sweets. You’ll also have the chance to win some awesome door prizes.
The Stephanie Younger Group office is located at 7296 W. Manchester Ave. in Westchester.

Pacific Division Police Officers pose with Santa and the LAPD sleigh at the Westchester Farmers’ Market. Santa and the sleigh will be making numerous stops in the community throughout December.

LAPD Santa Stop, December 9 & December 10
Santa will be touring Westchester and Playa del Rey with help from his friends at the LAPD! Wait for the sleigh, complete with Rudolph leading the way, at any of the following stops to take a photo, tell Santa what you want for Christmas and get a candy cane!
Monday, December 9 stops:
• 4 p.m. at Playa del Rey Lagoon
• 4:45 p.m. at 8030 Fordham Ave.
• 6 p.m. at 6907 W. 85th Pl.
• 7 p.m. at 7511 Agnew Ave.
• 7:45 p.m. at 8040 El Manor
Tuesday, December 10 stops are:
• 4 p.m. at 5962 W. 75th St.
• 4:45 p.m. at 7825 Goddard Ave.
• 5:30 p.m. at 4821 W. 63rd St.
• 6:45 p.m. 8937 Fleetwing Ave.
• 7:45 p.m. at 8880 Earhart Ave.

Second Annual Gingerbread Competition, December 11
Feeling competitive this holiday season? Sign-up for Tripli-Kit’s second annual Gingerbread Competition and show off your candy design and architecture skills!
The cost to attend is $40 per person and all supplies, as well as snacks and libations, are included. For a competitive edge, you can bring additional treats to make your candy
house stand out from the crowd.
The event takes place on Wednesday, December 11 from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Tripli-Kit Pop-Up Workshop Space, located at 12775 W. Millennium Dr. #2120 in Playa Vista.
Visit playaprovisions.com/events for more information.

Holiday Party Pop Up Bar, through December 31
Tis the season to be jolly at the brand new Holiday Party Pop Up Bar open through December 31 in Playa Vista. Brought to you by the team behind Playa Provisions and Da Kikokiko, the tiki-themed holiday pop up will feature delicious cocktails (including Tiki Nog!), food from Da Kikokiko and a chance for a weekly hangout with Santa.
Events planned for the month include Santa Sundays with crafts and goodies, an Ugly Sweater Party on Thursday, December 12 and a New Year’s Eve Party.
The pop up is located at 12751 Millennium Dr. Ste B-135 in Playa Vista.
For more info, visit holidaypartypopup.com/events.

Snow Wonder, December 14
If you’re heading to the Marina del Rey Boat Parade, get to the area early to join in on the fun at Snow Wonder presented by the Department of Beaches and Harbors. Burton Chace Park will be transformed into a winter wonderland complete with real snow, sledding, arts & crafts, music, food trucks, face painting and more.
Snow Wonder takes place on Saturday, December 14 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Burton Chace Park is located at 13650 Mindanao Way in Marina del Rey. The event is free and attendees will need to fill out a liability waiver before they enjoy the activities.
To view the waiver or for more information, please visit beaches.lacounty.gov.

The Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade is celebrating its 57th annual event with the theme “Kids Make the Holidays Bright” on Saturday, December 14.
Courtesy MDR Boat Parade

57th Annual Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade, December 14
You’re invited to the Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade to view more than 40 spectacular boats and yachts ready to sparkle and delight spectators!
The two-hour parade kicks-off at 5:55 p.m. on Saturday, December 14 with a five-minute firework display before the boats circle the channel with their colorful display of lights, decorations, music and even a choreographed performance or two!
An estimated 25,000 people head to the area for the event, so make sure to plan ahead and get to the Marina early. Popular viewing spots include Burton Chace Park (13650 Mindanao Way) or Fisherman’s Village (13755 Fiji Way).
This year’s theme is “Kids Make the Holidays Bright” and kids from throughout the community will act as grand marshals. Ride sharing or taking the Beach Shuttle to the parade is recommended, but event parking is also available in county lots around the Marina for $5 to $15.
More info at mdrboatparade.org.

PetSpace Pawliday Market, December 15
If you’re looking for the purr-fect gift for your family and friends this month, the Annenberg PetSpace is holding a Pawliday Market on Sunday, December 15 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
In addition to finding great items for your pets, there will also be plenty of gifts for sale that the whole family can enjoy.
PetSpace is located at 12005 Bluff Creek Dr. in Playa Vista. For more info, visit annenbergpetspace.com.

Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Santa Tour, December 16
Join the Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary in wishing everyone a holly jolly Christmas at one of their Santa stops in Westchester and Playa del Rey on Monday, December 16. St. Nick and his merry elves will be riding on the LAPD sleigh and stopping at five locations to take photos and greet the community. Rotarians will also be at each stop handing out treats. Look for the “Santa Stop” signs at each location and wait to hear the sirens signaling the arrival of the LAPD sleigh! In case of rain, Santa will be at Fire Station 5 between 5 and 7 p.m.
This year’s Santa route is (times are approximate):
• 5:15 p.m. at 79th St. & Berger, Playa del Rey
• 5:45 p.m. at 7583 Shore Cliff Dr., Westchester (West Bluffs area)
• 6:15 p.m. at Kenyon & Chase, Westchester (Kentwood area)
• 6:45 p.m. at Stewart between 83rd St. & 85th, Westchester
• 7:15 p.m. at 8818 DeHaviland Ave., Westchester (Nielsen Field area)
For more info, call Gwen Vuchsas at (310) 963-9494.

Mix & Mingle Holiday Party, December 19
The LAX Coastal Chamber is hosting their most popular party of the year on Thursday, December 19 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The Mix & Mingle Holiday Party will feature a holiday photo booth with Venice Paparazzi, DJ Big Rob, appetizers & desserts, a champagne toast, opportunity drawings and prizes.
Organizers will also be collecting warm clothing items for People Assisting the Homeless (PATH). The cost to attend is $25 for members and $60 for non-members.
The event will be held at the H Hotel Rooftop on Century Blvd. in Westchester.
For more information and to RSVP, visit laxcoastal.com or call (310) 645-5151.

Breakfast with Santa, December 21

Enjoy breakfast with Santa courtesy of Boy Scout Troop 716 on Saturday, December 21 from 9 to 11 a.m. Stop by the Westchester United Methodist Church, located at 8065 Emerson Ave. in Westchester, for pancakes and to get your photo taken with Santa! The cost to attend is $5/per person or bring a toy to donate to charity. Tickets are available at the door or by RSVP at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0f4aa8a729a5fa7-breakfast3.

Beach Winter Wonderland, December 21

You’re invited to a Winter Wonderland celebration at Dockweiler Beach courtesy of the Department of Beaches and Harbor. Stop by the Dockweiler Youth Center, located at 12505 Vista Del Mar in Playa del Rey, for real snow on the beach, arts & crafts, face painting, live music and more. For more info, visit https://beaches.lacounty.gov.