If you need help getting into the holiday spirit, there’s a ton of local free and festive holiday-themed events the whole family can enjoy. Whether you’re looking for a picture with Santa, to give an elf your Christmas list, to marvel at bright lights, or play in the “snow,” here’s our top picks for neighborhood holiday happenings:
Santa Tour with LAPD, LAFD and the Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary:
If you hear sirens and see lights in December, it’s not necessarily a cause for concern because Santa may be riding on a sled along with his pals from the LAPD Pacific Division and Fire Station No. 5.
Santa and the LAPD will be hosting the following stops:
On Monday, December 5:
• 4 p.m. at Playa Del Rey Lagoon (Pacific Ave. at Convoy Ave.)
• 5:30 p.m. at 8030 Fordham Ave.
• 6 p.m. at W. 85th Pl., west of McConnell Ave.
• 6:45 p.m. at 81st and Emerson Ave.
• 7:30 p.m. at 7407 Agnew Ave.
On Thursday, December 8:
• 5:30 p.m. at Playa Vista’s Concert Park (Concert Park and Runway Rd.)
On Monday December 12:
• 4:30 p.m. at 5962 W. 75th Street
• 5 p.m. at 8880 Earhart Ave.
• 5:45 p.m. at Croydon between 83rd St. and 85th St. (Mid-block)
• 6:45 p.m. at 8327 Reading Ave.
• 7:45 p.m. at 63rd Ave. and S. Fairfax Ave. (northwest corner)
• 8:30 p.m. at 7414 Midfield Ave.
The Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club will host its 12th annual Santa Tour on Tuesday, December 13 starting at 5 p.m. Joining the club for one of its favorite traditions will be fire fighters from Fire Station No. 5. Santa will also be riding on the LAPD sleigh to help spread holiday cheer to the community.
Stops will be marked with “Santa Stop” signs posted at each location. In case of rain, Santa will be at Fire Station #5, located at 8900 Emerson Ave. in Westchester, between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to pass out candy canes and collect Christmas lists.
Santa’s route and approximate times on Tuesday, December 13 include:
Playa del Rey stops:
• 5:15 p.m. at 7412 Earldom Avenue.
• 5:45 p.m. at 79th Street and Berger
• 6:15 p.m. at 7583 Shore Cliff Drive
Kentwood Area Stop:
• 6:45 p.m. at 6502 Wynkoop Street
South Kentwood Area Stop:
• 7:15 p.m. at 84th Place and Alverstone
While Santa and his helpers try to stick to schedule, route times can vary depending on the amount of children at each stop, so listen for Santa’s trademark “Ho, Ho, Ho!” and sirens.
For more information, please call (310) 306-8525.
Santa at Playa Vista’s Runway.
Santa will be making a special stop at Playa Vista’s Runway on Saturday and Sundays in December (on the 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, and 18) from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Besides a chance to meet Santa and get photos, The Craft Camper will set up a teepee for DIY craft projects and some goodies will be available for snacking.
For more details, visit playavista.com/whats-happening.
Snow Wonder in Marina del Rey.
Snow Wonder is back again this year to help kick-off of the Marina’s holiday festivities and the boat parade. On Saturday, December 10 from noon to 6 p.m. the whole family is invited to Burton Chace Park, where you can enjoy real snow, sledding, arts & crafts, face painting, DJ, food trucks and more.
Burton Chace Park is located at 13650 Mindanao Way in Marina del Rey and parking is available for $8 in county lots located along Mindanao Way.
For more info, visit marinadelrey.lacounty.gov.
54th Annual Marina del Rey Boat Parade.
The 54th Annual Marina del Rey Boat Parade continues to be a community favorite with approximately 25,000 people viewing the parade from Burton Chace Park, Fisherman’s Village, their hotel rooms or a waterfront restaurant. This year’s parade will take place on Saturday, December 10 with the theme, “An Animated Holiday.”
Dozens of boats decked-out for the holidays with lights, inflatables and animatronics will circle the main channel of the Marina giving guests a chance to view the boats as they sail by. Festivities start at 5:55 p.m. with a fireworks show and the two-hour parade starts at 6 p.m. Viewing is recommended at Burton Chace Park and Fisherman’s Village, so spectators have the opportunity to listen to live announcements.
This year’s Grand Marshal is Water Polo Olympic Gold Medalist KK Clark.
For more info, please visit mdrboatparade.org.
Snow Day at Playa Provisions.
Playa del Rey’s Playa Provisions is helping bring some holiday cheer with its second annual Snow Day.
On Sunday, December 11 from 12 to 5 p.m. guests will get to play in a winter wonderland complete with a sledding hill, bounce house, DIY s’mores, hot chocolate and drinks for the parents.
A kid’s pass for the sledding hill and bounce house is $10 and drinks and food are available for purchase.
Playa Provisions is located at 119 Culver Blvd. in Playa del Rey.
Holiday Block Party at Runway Playa Vista.
Sunday, December 11 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. head on down to Runway Playa Vista Runway for a Holiday Block Party! Guests can enjoy sledding on a real snow hill, rock climbing, DIY gift making, music ferris wheel, face painting, and of course, a visit from Santa!
Runway Playa Vista is located at 12746 W Jefferson Blvd. The event is free. For more info, visit: http://playavista.com/whats-happening.
Santa at Sunday’s Westchester’s Farmers’ Market.
Bring your camera to the Westchester Farmers’ Market because Santa will be making a special appearance on Sunday, December 18 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Santa and his elves will be waiting on the LAPD sleigh for photos and to collect Christmas lists. Community booths, a kids’ story time and other activities are also planned.
The Sunday Westchester Farmers’ Market is located in the Westchester Triangle in the 6200 block of 87th Street and runs every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.