Friday, November 20, 2009

LA is White Hot for the Holidays

Los Angeles, California — Want to experience a white Christmas without committing to the cold? It’s absolutely possible in LA, the city where you can have your Christmas cake and eat it too this holiday season.

Play in real snow when you celebrate “Grinchmas” at Universal Studios Hollywood. Beginning in December, visitors can enjoy wintertime family activities in real snow, meet the Grinch and see Whoville come to life on the backlot of Universal Studios Hollywood during Grinchmas. Areas of the Theme Park and the Studio Tour are transformed to bring to life the settings, the music and, most importantly, many of the wonderful characters created by the beloved Dr. Seuss. Just next door, CityWalk is decked out for the holidays, and the shops and restaurants are always tempting.

Whip around or wipe out at LA’s newest ice skating rink. The new skating rink at The Nokia Plaza is the first of its kind at L.A. LIVE and will be open for winter fun through the end of December. Beginning 18 December, the hours will be 11 a.m. to midnight every day. Check for information on skate rentals and discounts.

Join in reindeer games. From Thanksgiving weekend through the New Year, reindeer will be playing at the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens at this year’s Reindeer Romp. A flurry of festivities and holiday entertainment will accompany this popular annual event and children can make their own reindeer antlers and join the herd. On weekends, meet Santa and friends for a photo opportunity. During the winter months, the zoo’s botanical gardens are as green and lush as they are in summer; it’s a beautiful time to explore!

Young ladies can act like the locals at American Girl Place at the Grove in Los Angeles. Besides being dolled up for the holidays, this iconic shopping, dining and salon destination for girls offers “Holiday Wishes”, a special holiday themed dinner celebration that includes a unique dinner menu with delicious treats and exciting gift bags. Dates: 6, 11 and 18 December. $52 USD per person. Reservations required.

Experience “ooh” and “ahh” worthy holiday decorations 4 – 30 December, at the 14th Annual Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Holiday Light Festival. This magnificent display of lights along a mile long segment of Crystal Springs Drive in Griffith Park has become a holiday tradition that attracts more than half million visitors each year. Wear comfortable shoes and see the sparkle on foot during the event’s eco-friendly pedestrian only days 4 – 17 December. The traditional mix of driving, walking and shuttles will run 18 – 30 December. Round-trip shuttle buses will be available 5-10 p.m. those nights at the L.A. Zoo. Walkers on those nights will enjoy the walking path. Both options are accessible from the Los Angeles Zoo parking lot.

On 12 December, visit Marina del Rey for the annual Holiday Boat Parade. The theme for this year’s parade is “Christmas in Paradise” and features Zac Sunderland, the youngest person to sail around the world solo, as the Grand Marshall. Creative locals captivate audiences with decorated boats circling the main channel on calm marina waters. Prizes will be awarded and fireworks kick off the event at 5:55 p.m. The parade goes until 8 p.m. and one of the best viewing points is Burton Chace Park, 13650 Mindanao Way in Marina del Rey.

This December, the Skirball Cultural Center is celebrating Hanukkah with a Latin flair. As part of the Skirball's ongoing initiative to commemorate Jewish life in Latin America, the annual Hanukkah family festival, 6 December at 11 a.m., invites families of all backgrounds to enjoy Latin Jewish music, art-making and storytelling, as well as tasty variations on holiday food. In addition, the Lights of Hanukkah Family Tour will take place 11 to 16 December. Focusing on the stunning display of Hanukkah lamps in the Skirball's core exhibition, “Visions and Values,” this gallery talk recounts the history and significance of Hanukkah, a Jewish holiday celebrating religious freedom.

For 12 days and nights Santa’s Wonderland is located in Downtown Burbank, which is filled with holiday events, music and treats! It all begins at 6 p.m. 1 December with the Mayor’s Tree Lighting Ceremony at City Hall with City Council, Santa & Mrs. Claus, special guests and a surprise emcee. After the Tree Lighting, it’s off to Santa’s Downtown Wonderland, 6:30-8:30pm along San Fernando Boulevard from Orange Grove to Magnolia. Bring your camera for a visit with Santa on the AMC Walkway and celebrate the holidays with children’s characters, face painting, holiday activities, free gifts and more.

A cold snap hit Big Bear Mountain in October, opening the slopes and kicking off the winter fun early this year. Big Bear Mountain Resorts have unmatched snowmaking systems providing quality snow for thousands of skiers and snowboarders in Southern California each season. Big Bear already started snowmaking at Snow Summit with Bear Mountain, Chair 5 and Central Park Run already accessible for downhill fun!

For more information about visiting LA go to for more details.

About LA INC.--LA INC. The Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau is a private, nonprofit business association whose primary mission is to market and promote Los Angeles as the premier site for meetings, conventions and leisure travel. Though not part of city government, LA INC. is recognized as the city's official tourism marketing organization. For more information, visit the official visitor information website of Los Angeles at

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