Fresh Angeles: Top 10 Holiday Events for Families in Southern California

Top 10 Holiday Events for Families in Southern California

There is so much holiday fun to be had for families in Southern California during this wonderful season! Whether you head down to San Diego, Orange County, or hang out in Hollywood, you can meet Santa,  go ice skating, watch the snow fall, or walk through an igloo. Doesn't sound like your typical Sunny Southern California winter, does it? Well you'd be surprised at all of the "cool" entertainment going on in So Cal during the holidays. We truly do have it all!

Each year I gather a holiday bucket list of activities for my family and try to do as many of them as time allows. We may not always get to all of them, the holidays are BUSY - but we have a blast trying! I wanted to share with you the top 10 places my family wants to go this holiday season and your family will too! We've already done some of them and the rest I hope to cross off the list before the kids go back to school after winter break. Wish us luck!

1. Disney Holidays at the Disneyland Resort:
You all know I'm a Disney girl through and through. It just wouldn't be Christmas if I didn't go to the Disneyland Resort during the holidays. Whether you prefer Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure, you can't go wrong with all the festivities that each Park has to offer. They've got the best firework show in town and a parade that will warm your holiday heart. With holiday themed attractions, gorgeous decorations, and now a healthy dose of Frozen experiences, the happiest place on earth, just got merrier! From November 13, 2014 through January 6, 2015, the entire Disneyland Resort transforms into a incredible winter wonderland. For a list of some of my families' 13 favorite things to do during #DisneyHolidays, you can visit my other blog Disney Sisters.

2. L.A. Zoo Lights:
My family could really get in to the holiday spirit with the nighttime holiday light spectacular now offered at the Los Angeles Zoo called, L.A. Zoo Lights. It's new this year and we can't wait to see it. Some of our friend's have already gone and they loved it! Buy tickets ahead of time online, so it doesn't sell out. Time slots are 6pm, 7pm, 8pm, and 9pm. November 28 through January 4th see an all-new holiday light experience that combines spectacular sets and lighting design with the enchanting environment of the L.A. Zoo. Stroll through areas of the Zoo that are transformed into a fantastical wonderland populated by glowing light animals. Sounds magical doesn't it? You can also take your children to meet Santa's reindeer during regular Zoo hours during Reindeer Romp. If you're a Zoo member, there's an exclusive member event, Breakfast with Santa to check out.

3. Holiday Snow Days and Winter Nights at Legoland:
My daughter is a Lego super fan! One of the things on her bucket list is to go to Legoland any time during the year. But after checking out all that Legoland has to offer at Christmas, it's seems even more awesome! During Holiday Snow Days and Winter Nights, you can build a snowman with LEGOs and throw real snowballs. Go ice skating and ride snow tubes down a hill. Experience the magic of Winter Nights with shows, music, and twinkling lights, and nightly fireworks over Miniland USA, December 26 - 30. Witness the lighting of a 30-foot tall LEGO Christmas Tree and enjoy live entertainment with LEGO Friends Live. There’s even a food truck with yummy treats served by Santa’s Elves. To remember your trip take the perfect family photo with a life-sized LEGO Brick Santa and Reindeer. This would be a dream come true for my Lego obsessed daughter!

4. Grinchmas at Universal Studios Hollywood:
One of our favorite stories to read as a family during the month of December is "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and going to Universal Studios puts us right in the middle of the storybook. This is the closest theme park to my family, so I have a special place in my heart for it. There's nothing like a 5 minute drive to and from a destination! We have enjoyed going to Grinchmas for years and it's always a highlight for our family. It's back again this year and we can't wait to see all of the Whos in Whoville singing their songs and spreading Wholiday Cheer! The Grinch and his dog Max are always there for the perfect photo opp while the Grinchmas Tree is lit and snow falls in Whoville. And don't forget to catch a Whoville Show on the Backlot. Merry Grinchmas and Happy Who-Year to all!

5. Winter Holiday Festival at Pershing Square:
You can celebrate the holidays with a local escape to downtown LA where tons of snow, sledding, Santa, live entertainment and ice skating get underway at the Winter Holiday Festival Saturday and Sunday, December 13, 14 from 12:00pm to 7:00pm at Pershing Square. Happenings include free pictures with Santa, a train ride, sledding on tons of snow, and the new Elf Olympics with interactive games and prizes. The park will be bustling with an array of exhibitor booths, free “make ‘n’ take” arts & crafts, and an outdoor stage with non-stop performances by local community groups. As a special surprise, event sponsor UNIQLO, the global clothing retailer, will be on hand Saturday giving away free skating admission and skate rental to the first 1,000 enthusiasts from 11:30am to 6:30pm. The winter frolic continues throughout the weekend with outdoor skating at Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square, LA's largest holiday rink with the lowest admission of $9 and $3 for skate rental.

6. Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Magic Mountain:
This is the very first year of Holiday in the Park and we want to experience it! The big kids probably prefer Magic Mountain because of all the thrill rides, but I am a big chicken who doesn't go on anything. But twinkle lights, that's my jam! And on select days during November 28 through January 4 you the park is transformed into a winter wonderland with millions of twinkling lights. Millions! Now that's a lot of lights! Holiday in the Park is filled with enchanting experiences to create special family fun during this magical time of the year. Enjoy a million dazzling lights, heartwarming shows, thrilling rides, special holiday activities and a wide variety of unique food and seasonal treats. Sounds fantastic!

7. SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration
This year, SeaWorld has a flurry of new festivities that include special holiday-themed animal shows, real snow, reindeer and more. New this year is the nighttime show Shamu’s Christmas Miracles starring none other than Shamu. Also new this year is Dolphin Island Christmas, a daytime Christmas-themed dolphin show with a tropical twist. Returning this year are the Pets Rule Christmas show, featuring animals adopted from shelters and Clyde & Seamore’s Christmas Special starring in this Christmas-themed sea lion and otter show. Santa’s Christmas Village is new this year where guests can mingle with Santa’s elves and Mrs. Claus, enjoy a sweet treat such as a waffle-on-a-stick and every day before Christmas get a photo with Santa. maybe even a Santa Selfie? Plus, Mrs. Claus invites everyone to join her in a sing-along to help her and the elves light a festive 40-foot animated tree. The marine park will be decked out more than ever before with over one million holiday lights and up to 35 inches of snow at SnowWorld. SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration runs Nov. 15th through Jan. 4th. 

8. Knott's Merry Farm:
My favorite holiday song has to be "Christmastime is Here"as sung by the whole peanuts gang. LOVE. I grew up watching "A Charlie Brown Christmas" as a child and there is one place that I know to experience Snoopy and the Gang, that's at Knott's Berry Farm. This theme park's old-fashioned charm gets even more delightful during the holiday season when it transforms into Knott's Merry Farm. With shows like, "Merry Christmas Snoopy, Ice Spectacular" and shopping at Christmas Crafts Village there's so much to do for everyone! Your children can also visit Santa at his Christmas Cabin and watch the snow fall to a melody of "Let It Snow" in Ghost Town. We especially like to hang out in Camp Snoopy for the kiddie rides and lots of festive lights all around! Knott's Merry Farm goes from from November 22 through January 4, 2015.

9. Chill at The Queen Mary:
The Queen Mary has once again been overtaken by a deep freeze for the third annual CHILL in Long Beach. Experience the frozen magic that will bring holiday celebration, wonderment and North Pole temperatures to families across sunny Southern California. Is it cold in here or is it just me? My family has yet to attend this incredible winter wonderland, but we have high hopes for this year! It looks like the not-to-miss activities are Ice skating, Ice tubing, and Breakfast with Santa. If you're really looking to cool off, step inside the frozen igloo and immerse yourself in an enchanting world of ice for a California Christmas - handmade entirely out of ice! Brrrr! In addition to all of those things, there's also lots of entertainment including North Pole Village, The Claus Cabin, Blizzard Boulevard, Rides and Stage Shows! CHILL will be open Dec. 4-7, Dec. 9 - Jan. 4 & Jan. 8-11.

10. Ice Skating at L.A. Live:
L.A. LIVE is known for its sports and music entertainment, but did you know it's also the best place to be during the holidays?! This holiday season come down to L.A. LIVE for fun and entertaining activities! The annual LA Kings Holiday Ice Rink brings outdoor ice skating to Nokia Plaza L.A. LIVE in Downtown L.A.! The rink is open now through December 31. Make the most out of the holiday season and enjoy outdoor ice skating at L.A. LIVE! Here's a guide to the other holiday events that are happening at L.A. Live this season including concerts and more - Holiday Guide to L.A. Live.

What are your favorite things to do in So Cal with your family during the holidays? 
Share with me in the comments!