What you should know
- Friday, December 24th at 3pm; only virtual
- For free; Stream online or watch on PBS
- Several local dance groups and music groups are featured
LA County Holiday Celebration: A gift to the city from the LA County Board of Supervisors, this cheery presentation features multiple Southern California dance troupes and musical groups in three spirited, song-filled, and perfect hours. The personal audience was canceled a few days before Christmas Eve, but you can still stream it for free or watch it on PBS local on the afternoon of Friday December 24th. It is the 62nd year of this long tradition. one that highlights some of the best and most heartwarming cultural offerings our region has to offer.
The inns: This nightly procession, retelling Mary and Joseph’s search for an inn, has been a must see on Olvera Street for many years. To give the traditionally sweet festival an additional sparkling note? A piñata starts the night, while treats like champurrado help seal it off tasty. The last Las Posadas of the 2021 season is scheduled for December 24th from 7pm, but arrive earlier at 6.30pm if you want to see the piñata in action. Participation is free.
A snowman in Santa Monica: The Pacific Wheel, the solar-powered ferris wheel in Pacific Park on Santa Monica Pier, has festive light shows throughout the calendar. But when the winter mood comes? There’s something particularly appealing about the jubilation, especially when you see “snow” on a huge attraction that draws its swing from the sun. You can watch it every evening, in person or on the livecam, from sunset to midnight until December 30th. As always, it’s free.
Go for the glow: Would you like to play a slow role in some glittery decorations? A California landmark, Christmas Tree Lane in Altadena is lit every night for the entire holiday weekend, and entry to the drive-by amusement is free. There are a number of glitzy places, some of which are admission tickets and some are free, that you can see lights and decorations in Los Angeles and beyond. Just check times and dates as some locations are closed on Boxing Day and see if you need a pre-sale card.
Beginning of the gray whale watching season: You can’t set a clock precisely on it, but if it’s the day after Christmas it is just the right time to start the bubbly-richest time of the year off the whale-wonderful coast of the Golden State. Island Packers, the Channel Islands National Park’s official concessionaire, begins its gray whale season on December 26th. But will you see a whale? That’s always the question, but I’ll bet you’ll spot loads of spectacular seabirds, all kinds of barky pinnipeds, and not infrequently, dolphins. However, keep your eyes open to avoid spills that could indicate that a gray whale is on its migration path, not far from your boat. An exciting end to the year, without a doubt.