Has it really been a full year already since you spun a dreidel? Or chowed down on a latke, extra sour cream please? Or gave a sweetheart a meaning-filled first night gift?
Two weekends of stories and family time and songs and dreidel-spinning and delish eats and the glow of candles are just ahead, with a few public observances of the holiday in the celebratory swing. Want to observe some of Southern California's beautiful and over-sized and quirky and picturesque menorahs as they're lit each evening for eight community-sweet nights?
Hanukkah opens on Sunday, Dec. 6, and a number of locations around the region will serve as spots for families and friends to come together. Including...
Downtown: Several holiday happenings will dot the downtown map, from the City Hall Menorah Lighting on Tuesday, Dec. 8 (look for performances by The Shira Orchestra and Cheder Menachem Boys Choir) to the music-laden lightings at Pershing Square and LA Live (on Dec. 7 and Dec. 10, respectively).
The Original Farmers Market: The landmark market at Third & Fairfax throws its annual daytime party a few hours ahead of sundown on Sunday, Dec. 6. Ever seen Hanukkah magic? There shall be a magician on hand in the Plaza area, and treats, and a huge LEGO menorah, in addition to the traditional menorah constructed each year on the north side of the market. If you want to be there for the lighting ceremony, that's at 5 p.m., but arrive early for face painting and more happy times.
Malibu: A number of special evenings are just ahead around the beach community, with an opening night lighting at Malibu Lumber Yard, complete with donuts and latkes and the MHS orchestra starting things out. A Point Dume Plaza celebration on Tuesday, Dec. 8 wax creations and raffles, and a glow-in-the-dark party heads for Malibu Pier on Saturday, Dec. 12.
Skirball Cultural Center: One of the liveliest and loveliest Hanukkah festivities in all the land unfurls, annually, on one of the Hanukkah Sundays at this exhibit-filled institution. The Hanukkah Family Festival happens on Sunday, Dec. 13 with dance presentations, stories, art activities, and an appearance by singer Lisa Loeb to boot. And are there many marvelous menorahs in the ongoing Visions & Values exhibit? There are; be sure to check it out during your visit.
Zimmer Children's Museum: Klezmer Juice'll be in the house at the Wilshire Boulevard kid-cute institution on Sunday, Dec. 6, and storyteller Julie Jacobs, too. There shall be activities exploring the fun and meaning of the Festival of Lights, and more merriment, too.
Winterlit: The nightly menorah lightings on the Third Street Promenade will be a delightful draw from Sunday, Dec. 6 through Sunday, Dec. 13, but if you want some vibrant tunes to enhance the nightly ceremony, be there on Thursday, Dec. 10 when Klezmer Juice performs.