Our picks for the best local holiday events

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and we can all be thankful that there are tons of events and activities this month to help celebrate!

Santa will be making special appearances all over town, so we’re confident that this year, Westchester/Playa is on the good list! And the Marina will once again be hosting some of the area’s most festive events full of lights, music, wonder and even (literal) tons of snow!

Whether you get your photo taken with jolly old St. Nick, enjoy carolers, make holiday crafts or take in a holiday movie, this month you’ll have plenty of chances to enjoy the magic of the season!

Mark your calendars for this month’s best holiday happenings:

The Marina del Rey Boat Parade will feature 50 boats and yachts, decked out for the holidays, that will make a two-hour loop around the marina to wow spectators. Photo courtesy visitmarinadelrey.com.

56th Annual Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade, Dec. 8th

If you’ve never had a chance to attend the Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade, we recommend checking out this magical event! Fifty boats and yachts bedazzled with lights, decorations and holiday spirit participate in the two-hour parade taking place on Saturday, December 8. The parade will kick-off at 5:55 p.m. with a five-minute firework display.

Get to popular viewing spots, Burton Chace Park (13650 Mindanao Way) or Fisherman’s Village (13755 Fiji Way) early to stake out your perfect viewing location to catch the boats sail by with the other approximately 25,000 people who make their way to the Marina for the event.

This year’s theme is “Holiday Water Wonderland” and grand marshal, County Supervisor Janice Hahn, will be helping judge the entries in categories including “Best Spirit,” “Best Live Music,” and “Best Lights.”

Ride sharing or taking the Beach Shuttle is recommended, but event parking is also available in county lots around the Marina for $5 to $15.

For more info, please visit mdrboatparade.org.

Burton Chace Park will be turned into a winter wonderland at the Snow Wonder event. Photo courtesy visitmarinadelrey.com.

Snow Wonder, Dec. 8th

The Department of Beaches and Harbors will make your winter wonderland dreams come true with Snow Wonder on Saturday, December 8th from 12 to 6 p.m. in Burton Chace Park (13650 Mindanao Way, MDR).

At the event, kids can enjoy tons of real snow, sledding, arts & crafts, face painting, live music and more. 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 info, visit beaches.lacounty.gov.

Marina Lights, various dates

Burton Chace Park is merry and bright throughout the month of December thanks to festive light displays glowing every night from 4 to 10 p.m. On select Saturdays in December, there will also be special entertainment, a warming station, refreshments for purchase and the chance to get your photo taken in a giant snow globe photo booth (4 to 8 p.m.)!

On Saturday, December 15 from 4 to 6 p.m., the Voices of Christmas will stroll through the park dressed in Dickensian costumes and delight guests with a capella holiday classics. Afterwards, stay for an outdoor movie screening of “The Santa Clause.”

On Saturday, December 22 from 4 to 6 p.m., The Wonderelles will perform holiday music in a throwback style. Then at 6 p.m., there’s a screening of “A Nightmare Before Christmas.”

Marina Lights wraps up on Saturday, December 29th with a final performance from Voices of Christmas from 4 to 6 p.m. and a “Frozen” sing-along starting at 6 p.m.

For more information, please visit mdrholidays.com.

Stephanie Younger Group Holiday Party, Dec. 9th

The Stephanie Younger Group (SYG) is inviting the community to celebrate the holidays and the first anniversary in their new offices with a holiday open house on Sunday, December 9 from 12 to 5 p.m. Get your photo taken with Santa, enjoy the music from carolers, seasonal treats, champagne, coffee, arts & crafts, raffles and more! RSVPs are encouraged at syghoh2018.eventbrite.com.

The event will take place at the SYG offices, located at 7296 W. Manchester Ave. in Westchester.

Visitation Sings, Dec. 9th

All are invited to Visitation Parish’s Family Christmas Sing-Along on Sunday, December 9 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Guests will enjoy music, crafting, food, fun and a chance to sing their favorite Christmas songs.

For more information, please email Religiouseducationvc@gmail.com. Visitation is located at 8740 Emerson Ave. in Westchester.

Santa in Playa Vista, Dec. 11th

Santa Claus is coming to town on the LAPD sleigh! He’ll be making a special stop at Playa Vista’s Concert Park on  Tuesday, December 11 from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. where he’ll pose for pictures and collect Christmas lists.

In the event of rain, the sleigh will be canceled. Concert Park is located at Concert Park Drive and Pacific Promenade in Playa Vista.

Avalon enjoys breakfast and sharing her Christmas list with Santa at last year’s Troop 716 event.

Breakfast with Santa, Dec. 15th

Pancakes with Santa? Count us in! Boy Scout Troop 716 is back this year hosting Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, December 15 from 8 to 11 a.m. Enjoy a pancake breakfast, fun activities and get your picture taken with St. Nick for $5 or a donation of a new unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots.

RSVPs at troop716bsa@gmail.com are appreciated.

The breakfast will take place at the Westchester United Methodist Church, located at 8065 Emerson Ave. in Westchester.

Santa and his elves will be heading out on the LAPD sleigh to spread holiday cheer at numerous spots in the neighborhood this month.

Rotary Santa Tour, Dec. 17th

Santa will be making his merry way through Westchester and Playa del Rey on Monday, December 17. With the help of volunteers from the Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club, Santa and his elves will be handing out candy canes and posing for photos at a variety of stops. Look for the “Santa Stop” signs at each location where hosts will be passing out cookies and drinks, while patiently waiting for the arrival of the LAPD sleigh! In the case of rain, Santa will be at Fire Station 5 between 5 and 7 p.m.

This year’s Santa route is:

• 1st stop at 5:15 p.m., 79th St. and Berger Ave. in Playa del Rey

• 2nd stop at 5:45 p.m., 7901 Chase Ave. in Westchester

• 3rd stop at 6:15 p.m., 8368 Stewart Ave. in Westchester

• 4th stop at 6:45 p.m., 8818 De Haviland Ave. in Westchester

• 5th stop at 7:15 p.m., 5600 W. 79th St. in Westchester.

For more info, call (310) 963-9494.

Winter Fest, Dec. 19th

The Wednesday Westchester Farmers’ Market will be hosting a Winter Festival on Wednesday, December 19th from 2 to 7 p.m. Grab your local produce and join in the festivities that include photos with Santa, a holiday egg nog and craft beer garden, activities for the family, gift wrapping, live music and more!

The market is located at 7000 Manchester Ave. in Westchester (corner of Manchester Ave. and Lincoln).