There's something magical about this time of year, even more so once you become a mom. While taking a walk in our neighborhood Augusta saw a large tree with twinkling lights in the dusky hour and was in complete utter awe. I suppose we all sort of forget what it must be like to see the holidays through a child's eye. Lucky for us, we live in a community full of opportunities to entice and encourage that holiday awe and wonder. We rounded up as many family-friendly holiday activities the westside has to offer (please let us know if we've missed anything!). Here's to eggnog, ugly sweaters, menorahs and family bonding.
Ice Skating (Tot Spot Rink)
Santa Monica (1324 5th St at Arizona)
Now - Jan. 16
Time varies on day, see website
$15 skate rental fee
Glide on this lively ice rink with twinkling lights and festive music. There's a Tot Spot for little ones under the age of six. With a concession stand you will be able to buy snacks and hot cocoa for the whole family.
Santa at the Paley and Mrs. Claus on the Jolly Trolley
The Paley Center (465 N. Beverly Dr.) Jolly Trolley (Corner of N. Rodeo Dr. and Dayton Way)
Weekends Nov. 26- Dec. 18, 2016
Jolly Trolley $5 adults, $1 children 12 and under, Paley Center FREE
Take the kids on a historic Beverly Hills trolley ride with Mrs. Claus! Sing songs, hear holiday stories and take in the neighborhood decor. The trolley ride will drop you at the Paley Center to meet Santa! Inside the Paley Center enjoy special holiday screenings and family photos with the man himself.
Santa Monica Xmas Tree Lighting
1300 block Third St. Promenade
Dec. 1, 2016
Music, Kid's Craft Station, Special appearances by Santa and Mrs. Claus and more.
Culver City Xmas Tree Lighting
Culver City (Town Plaza)
Dec. 1, 2016
Come see a 22ft tree lit up with 7,500 twinkling lights, live choir music, shopping, hot cocoa, hot cider, cookies and a visit from Santa!
Montana Ave. Holiday Walk
Montana Ave. (Santa Monica)
Dec. 2, 2016
Walk the festive Montana Avenue filled with live music, food, holiday shopping, Santa and Mrs. Claus visits and more!
Lighting of the Venice Sign
Winward Ave. and Pacific Ave. under the Venice sign
Dec. 2, 2016
6pm festivities start, 8pm lighting of sign
Hear live music and enjoy family fun while the famous Venice sign lights are changed from white to red and green. Festivities begin at 6pm and the lights are unveiled at 8pm.
Main Street Holiday Event
Santa Monica (Main St.)
Dec. 3, 2016
Stroll Santa Monica's Main Street for holiday music, food, crafts, tree lighting, Santa visits and more!
Breakfast with Santa
Santa Monica Place (Santa Monica, Food Court Play Area)
Dec. 3, 2016
$5 per child, Adults Free, Must RSVP
Little ones of all ages are welcome to breakfast bites and a visit with Santa! There will be crafts, music and holiday cheer. Bring your camera to capture candid photos of you child with Santa. Make sure to RSVP ahead of time.
Abbot Kinney Blvd. Holiday Stroll & Snow Day
Abbot Kinney Blvd. Venice
Dec. 4, 2016
Enjoy real snow sledding, face painting, holiday crafts, storefront specials and Santa Claus while strolling Abbot Kinney.
Pico Holiday Hop
Santa Monica (16th and Pico, Santa Monica)
Dec. 5, 2016
Enjoy music, food, holiday shopping deals, santa and much more! It's fun for the whole family.
Holiday Kids Club
Santa Monica Place (3rd Level, Food Court Play Area)
Dec. 7, 2016
Join Santa Monica Place for a special holiday Kids Club. Enjoy story time and activities with Mrs. Claus.
Santa Monica-Venice Xmas Run 5k/10k
Dec. 10, 2016
Put on your running shoes for the most popular 5k/10k run in all of Los Angeles. For the 39th year you can enjoy a scenic run along the iconic Venice boardwalk. There's also a 1k Kid's Fun Run at the Venice Pavilion and make sure to enter the special costume contest!
Burton Chace Park, Marina Del Rey
Dec. 10, 20161
2pm - 6pm
FREE (Register HERE)
Bring your children to Burton Chace Park for real snow, sledding, arts & crafts, face painting, live DJ, food trucks, and more! Plus stay after the event and enjoy the 54th Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade starting with fireworks at 5:55 pm and Holiday Boat Parade from 6:00 - 8:00 pm. Event parking is available for $8 in County lots #77 and #4, located at 13650 and 13500 Mindanao Way respectively.
Marina Del Rey Boat Parade
Marina Del Rey, Fisherman's Village
Dec. 10, 2016
Celebrate the 54th anniversary of the Marina Del Rey Boat Parade. Grab a blanket and head to Fisherman's Village at the Burton Chace Park to take in boats decorate with holiday lights and decorations. It's a contest with categories such as; Best Theme, Best Animation, Best Band, Best Lights and more. The boat parade begins at 6pm, (rain or shine).
Beach Winter Wonderland
Dockweiler Beach Youth Center- Playa del Rey
Dec. 17, 2016
Enjoy family fun with real snow on the beach! There will be bouncers, sledding, crafts and special appearances by Olaf and Frosty the Snowman.
Santa Monica Sundown Menorah Lightings
1300 Block of Third St. Promenade
Dec. 24th - Jan. 1
Celebrate the Festival of Lights with local synagogues nightly after sundown.