Santa's Village Re-Opens: If you were a SoCal tot with road-tripping parents back in the 1950s through the '90s, chances are good you paid a visit to this Lake Arrowhead-adjacent attraction. The attaction shuttered in the 1990s, but word arrived in 2014 that it would return, an announcement met with much regional glee. Now Mr. Claus and company are back with bells on, and several cocoa-cute pursuits, at their mountain-high retreat. Do note advance reservations are as important as a certain reindeer's red nose. Opening date? Listen for the "ho, ho, ho-ing" on Friday, Dec. 2.
Downtown Gifty Marketplaces: Those famously named post-Thanksgiving shopping days have wrapped up, but the neighborhood-specific, handmade-happy happenings are setting up the booths and tables over the next couple of weekends. Two biggies are blooming around downtown on Dec. 3 and 4, including the Go Little Tokyo Holiday Marketplace (Shogun Santa will appear) and Unique LA at the California Marketplace.
It's Holiday Time in PaleyLand: You'll probably find some of the festive classics you enjoying watching each December on the TV schedule, but you can make for The Paley Center for Media and see several of them on the big screen, for free. Something else seasonal and sparkly? The Wooden Soldier costumes famously worn by The Rockettes will be on display if you can make the NYC Paley (though Beverly Hills has its festive touches, too). (Note that the center is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.)
Lamplight Holiday: The Victorian abodes that sit just to the side of the 110 Freeway at Heritage Square have long been a spyglass to the past, one that modern Angelenos might use to observe how people lived in the way back when. Visit on Dec. 3 or 4 and discover how the holidays were celebrated at the end of the 1800s, in 1915, and in the 1940s. Period dress isn't required, but a ticket should be secured.
The Can-Tree Forest: Call it one of the most offbeat displays of giving-back-ness the season has to offer, and call it an Oxnard staple, one that appears in early December. Head for The Collection at RiverPark through Sunday, Dec. 4 to see trees made from donated canned goods, a bevy of them, and bring a few cans of your own to donate to the FOOD Share fundraiser. The building of the trees comes first, but they should be in full form by the final two days.