Santa sightings, Boat Parade and other holiday festivities

‘Tis the season to be merry and bright! If you’re looking for fun, holiday experiences, there is a plethora of local events and activities happening this month that are sure to help bring the magic of the season to the community!

Read below to check out our list of the area’s best and most festive holiday happenings!

The Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade is back this year with the theme “On the Water.” Courtesy MDR Boat Parade.

Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade “On the Water”

Saturday, December 11

The 59th Annual Marina del Rey Boat Parade is back this year, and the event is ready to sparkle and delight spectators!

 The two-hour parade kicks-off at 5:55 p.m. on Saturday, December 11 with a five-minute firework display before the boats circle the channel with their colorful arrangements of lights, decorations, music and even a choreographed performance or two!

The parade is one of the Marina’s most popular events with an estimated 25,000 people gathering to view the creative displays. Popular viewing spots include Burton Chace Park (13650 Mindanao Way) and Fisherman’s Village (13755 Fiji Way).

This year’s theme is “On the Water” and doctors and nurses from throughout the community will act as the 2021 grand marshals. Event parking is available in county lots around the Marina for $5 to $15.

Visit mdrboatparade.org for more information.


Santa and his elves will be making their way through Westchester and Playa del Rey thanks to the Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary.

Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club’s Santa Tour

DATE CHANGE: Monday, December 20

Santa Claus is coming to town on the LAPD sleigh thanks to the Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club! Santa and his elves, with the help of Fire Station #5, will be making stops at 5 locations in Westchester and Playa del Rey to pose for pictures, collect Christmas lists and pass out candy canes. Different locations will also host goodies and other surprises. While the volunteers try to keep old St. Nick on a schedule, make sure to look for the Santa sighting signs and listen for the sirens to not miss the sleigh! In case of rain, Santa will be at Fire Station #5 from 5 to 7 p.m.

This year’s scheduled stops include:

• 5:15 p.m. 5801 W. 77th Place in East Westport Heights

• 5:45 p.m. at 8327 Truxton Ave. in Westport Heights

• 6:15 p.m. at 7901 Chase Ave. in Kentwood

• 6:45 p.m. 7583 Shore Cliff Drive in West Bluffs

• 7:15 p.m. 7530 W. 81st Street in Playa del Rey

For more information, please call (310) 963-9494.

Santa waits to greet visitors at Runway Playa Vista.

Photos with Santa and Pet Photos with the Grinch

Various Dates

Playa Vista is bringing the holiday fun with a full calendar of weekend events for the whole family. Santa will be making a special appearance in Playa Vista’s Runway Shopping Center on December 4, 11, 12, 19, 20 and 21 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and will be posing for photos. RSVP to reserve your 5-minute slot at runwayplayavista.com/events before spaces fill up! Looking for a holiday photo for your four-legged family member? Pawestruck! and Healthy Spot are hosting pet photos with the Grinch on December 5 from 1 to 4 p.m. RSVPs are a must, so reserve your spot on runwayplayavista.com/events.

Mr. and Mrs. Claus will also be at Runway on December 8 and December 22 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. to read some of their favorite stories as part of the Runway Kids Club.

Runway Playa Vista is located at 12775 Millennium Dr. in Playa Vista. For more information, visit runwayplayavista.com.


Holiday Movie Nights at Runway

Various Dates

Catch your favorite holiday movies at Runway Wonderland’s Holiday Movie Nights. Bring your blankets, lawn chairs, friends and family to enjoy the following classics:

• “The Grinch” on December 2 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

• “Elf” on Thursday, December 9 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

• “Home Alone” on Thursday, December 16 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

While supplies last, guests will also receive complimentary popcorn.

Runway Playa Vista is located at 12775 Millennium Dr. in Playa Vista. For more information, visit runwayplayavista.com.


Take a stroll through Burton Chace Park during Marina Lights for a chance to be transported to a winter wonderland. Courtesy visitmarinadelrey.com.

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 11, the park will be transformed with thousands of light strands glowing for the holidays from 4 to 10 p.m.

Marina Lights will conclude on Friday, December 31 with a New Year’s Eve Celebration with two firework displays. Enjoy the ten-minute shows at 9 p.m. and midnight.

Burton Chace Park is located at 13650 Mindanao Way in Marina del Rey.

For more information, please visit mdrholidays.com.


View some of the best lights in Westchester/Playa while supporting mental health during the second annual Holiday Lights Tour & Contest.

Holiday Lights Tour & Contest

December 12 through Dec. 26

Looking for the best lights in Westchester and Playa del Rey? The Westchester Mental Health Guild has you covered! This nonprofit group, which raises money to support mental health services at AMCS, is hosting their 2nd Annual Holiday Lights Tour & Contest and is looking for the community’s support!

For a donation of $10, guests will receive a map of some of the neighborhood’s best decorated homes. Pack up the family in the car, crank holiday tunes and cruise through the neighborhood enjoying the dazzling lights, inflatables and more. And don’t forget to vote for your favorite location for the Fan Favorite Award!

The event runs December 12 through December 26 from 5 to 9 p.m.

RSVP and buy your ticket at 2021guildholidaylights.eventbrite.com.


Coyote’s Christmas Carol

December 11

Join the students of WISH Academy High School for a performance of Coyote’s Christmas Carol.

Coyote’s Christmas Carol is an hour-long play being performed by juniors and seniors in the VAPA program at WISH Academy.

The play tells the story of a mean old man, Emilio Scrooge, who hates Christmas. Coyote pays him a visit on Christmas Eve and sends Mr. Scrooge on a magical journey to see his past, present, and future under the guidance of a monarch butterfly, a deer, and the ghostly figure of La Llorna. 

Performances are at 10 a.m. and noon on December 11 at Playa Vista’s Concert Park, located at Concert Park Drive at Runway Road.


Hundreds of toys are collected during the annual holiday toy drive.

18th Annual Toy & Animal Shelter Drive

December 4

Join Jane St. John, RE/MAX and Felicia St. Denis, Flowers by Felicia, for their annual toy drive benefiting Children’s Hospital L.A. Items to donate to the animal shelter are also being collected. Load your car with new toys and pet supplies and volunteers will be stationed at Triangle Park (Waterview and Trask Ave. in Playa del Rey) and the Flowers by Felicia parking lot (200 Culver Blvd.) on Saturday, December 4 from 9 a.m. to noon. Grocery gift cards or checks to Children’s Hospital L.A. are appreciated as well. Volunteers are also available to pick up donations.

For more info, please call Jane St. John at (310) 567-5971.


Get your spot for the Holiday Paddle Parade on December 11. Courtesy prosupshop.com.

Holiday Paddle Parade with Pro SUP Shop

December 11

Participate in the fun at Pro SUP Shop’s inaugural Holiday Paddle Parade and Toy Drive!

Dress in your best holiday gear and your ugly holiday sweaters to paddle  around the Marina in style and for a chance to win prizes.

During the event, paddle board instructors will give lessons and then take attendees on a guided tour of the beautiful Marina. Attendees who bring a new, unwrapped toy will receive a free Pro SUP Shop hat.

Some experience is required and the parade will start at 10 a.m.

Paddle board rentals start at $30. To RSVP for a spot in the parade and for more info, visit prosupshop.com.


Pawliday Market at Annenberg PetSpace

December 11

If you’re looking for the purr-fect gift for your family and friends this month, Annenberg PetSpace is holding a Pawliday Market on Saturday, December 11 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In addition to finding great items for your pets, there will also be plenty of gifts for sale for everyone on your list. Besides shopping, guests can enjoy crafts, kid-friendly activities and photo ops!

PetSpace is located at 12005 Bluff Creek Dr. in Playa Vista.

To RSVP and to read PetSpace’s COVID safety policy and visitor requirements, please visit annenbergpetspace.com.


Tag the HomeTown News and Zacha Homes in your photos by December 30 to enter the holiday giveaway.

Home for the Holidays Photo Contest with HomeTown News and Zacha Homes

Through December 30

 The HTN and Zacha Homes have teamed up again this year to help make spirits bright with a Home for the Holidays Photo Contest! By participating in the fun, not only will you have the chance to win a prize, you’ll also have the chance to support your favorite local nonprofit!

What do you love the most about the holidays? Baking cookies? Putting decorations on your Christmas tree? Spending time with your family? Take a photo of whatever your favorite holiday pastime is and upload it to Instagram. Follow and tag @thehometownnews and @zachahomes by December 30 to share your photos with us and be automatically entered for a chance to win a $100 gift card to your favorite local business! You can also email your photos to westchesterhometown@ yahoo.com. A lucky winner will be announced on December 31, and in the spirit of giving, we’ll also make a $100 donation to the winners’ local charity of choice (must be located in Westchester, Playa del Rey, Playa Vista or Marina del Rey).

For more details, please visit thehtn.com and zachahomes.com.

 Hosting a holiday event or donation drive this month? Let us know by emailing us at westchesterhometown@yahoo.com.

Posted December 2021.