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Holiday events in and around Los Angeles


The holidays are primetime for cozying up together while watching lights sparkle, listening to jingle bells ring, and generally getting in the spirit of the season. Here are some upcoming events where you can do all three:

The Marina del Rey Boat Parade:  Celebrate holidays in paradise by attending the Marina del Rey 2009 Holiday boat parade and fireworks display.  Boats will be decked out in their best decor and themes for the season to compete for your affections and win this year's grand prize.  Enjoy carols and special effects as you watch the parade.  The event will take place this Saturday, December 12, rain or shine.  Fireworks begin at 5:55 pm; Parade from 6-8pm.  View from along the channel or from one of the local waterfront restaurants, like Cafe del Rey.  Parking is waived in all county parking lots for this event.  For more information:

Downtown on Ice:  Start your own icecapades at the largest ice skating rink in California.  Located in downtown Los Angeles in Pershing square, across from the historic Biltmore hotel, the western version of a Rockefeller Center holiday awaits.  Cost is only $6 per hour and $2 for skate rental.  Open seven days a week through January 18.  Go for the Winter Holiday Festival this weekend, December 12 and 13, 11am - 6pm both days. For more info:

The DWP Light Festival:  Venture to Griffith Park where a sparkling array of light displays awaits to  guide your way now through December 30.  Currently, the park is hosting "vehicle free" nights so pedestrians can stroll through the park and be awed at their own pace.  Visitors may park at the L.A. Zoo where a shuttle is available to take walkers to the start of the route which is a mile each way.  From December 18 - 30 driving nights begin.  Between the hours of 5 and 10 pm take a romantic drive amidst the merriment.   Bring your own snacks, a hot beverage (or a naughty toddy) and your good cheer along for the ride.  Shuttle service is also available if you prefer.  For more information on the festival:

Reindeer Romp at the L.A. Zoo:  Through the New Year, Reindeer will take top billing at the L.A. Zoo.  Visit these festive furry friends, sip hot cocoa, enjoy live music and holiday entertainment.  The zoo also has its own ice skating rink and is adjacent to Griffith Park to allow easy access to the DWP festival of lights.   Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.  For more information:

Downtown Art Walk and Christmas Bazaar – Meander, shop and become inspired. The monthly Art Walk is a perfect place to wander and find uniquely personal holiday gifts, and admission is free. Enjoy an eclectic display of art, writing, live music, wine and food while discovering the vivacious downtown art scene. Truly an event for all the senses and a wonderful celebration of creative expression.  Thursday, December 10  For more information:  For an art walk map:

Holiday Champagne Tasting For an elegant way to toast the season, carol your way over to the romantic arms of Bellavino Wine Bar for their 6th annual champagne tasting on Friday, December 11, 7pm.  Taste twelve unique bubbly favorites and stay for a gourmet meal and live jazz.  To make reservations and to view their menu:

For other date ideas in L.A.: 
Gordon Ramsay at the London:  a heavenly meal in L.A.
Recession dating 101:  dates on a dime in L.A.
Sweet Spots in the valley

Check out some of my favorite examiners:
Andrea Kittleson, LA Comedy Examiner
Autumn Millhouse, SF Wine Country Travel Examiner
Mona Holmes, LA Healthy Dining Examiner