Santa? He always makes a memorable entrance at the Hollywood Christmas Parade. Look for the Man in Red, and a host of stars, along the Boulevard and Sunset on Sunday, Dec. 1. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
Hollywood Christmas Parade: A ticketed pre-parade concert -- hello, Stevie Wonder, Goo Goo Dolls, and more acts -- and a free-to-watch, celeb-filled roll from the Chinese Theatre, down Hollywood Boulevard, down Vine, and back again on Sunset, are the major hallmarks of the long-running Tinseltown tradition. Oh, and we do mean long-running: This convertible-and-sleigh-bedecked event turns 82 this year. Will your favorite broadcaster or daytime drama star wave in your direction? Don your scarf and find some curb. Sunday, Dec. 1
Hanukkah Celebration at Farmers Market: It is difficult to choose what we love the most about the yearly family-sweet party at Third & Fairfax. The delicious latkes and briskets to be found within the landmark? The large menorah that glows every night during Hanukkah? Or the LEGO menorah that kids really get into building -- have the camera ready -- each and every year? All of them are wonderful. Be near the plaza on Sunday afternoon for all of the Festival of Lights sweetness.
Reindeer Romp: While a few antlered visitors'll be on view at the LA Zoo every day through Thursday, Jan. 2, the weekend is when things heat up. Or, erm, cool down? We are talking reindeer here. "Santa Claus photos, holiday crafts" and more convivial fa-la-la-ing'll go down every Saturday and Sunday during the reindeers' SoCal stay (well, through Dec. 22; they get busy near Christmas, after all). We're heading into weekend #1 of the reindeers' annual zoo sojourn, by the by.
Old Pasadena Holiday: True, it has snowed in the Crown City before -- you've seen the photos from the 1949 snow, yes? -- but "20 tons of sparkling snow" sounds like a bit of festive fantasy. And so it is: Old Pas is going to throw a ring-dinger of a bash on Friday, Nov. 29 to get the season going. The cold stuff'll be around, as will live music performances, Santa, and a photo booth complete with ready-to-be-donned ugly Christmas sweaters. You're doing it. Don't say you're not.
Mission Inn Lights: We've personally never seen Santa's workshop, but we're fairly sure it shares some of the whimsical-tower-turret-y energy found at Riverside's landmark hotel. It looks like a castle, is what we're saying, and when the Mission Inn is dressed in over three-and-a-half million lights come the holidays? Pure wow. The flip gets switched -- reverse that -- on Friday, Nov. 29 at dusk. And all of the bulbs? They'll glow night throughout the holidays.