Santa Anita Park's Opening Day: The day after Christmas, 'round Arcadia way? Manes'll be flying, flutes of bubbly shall be raised, and the historic racetrack where Seabiscuit and other equine icons have run will throw wide the gate, all to launch another season of spectacular pony power. As is tradition, Opening Day arrives with some special events, like the Craft Beer & Cider Festival. The general package? It's $32. The tradition clips and clops on Wednesday, Dec. 26.
Las Posadas: The annual nine-night tradition draws to a moving close on Monday, Dec. 24, when Mary, Joseph, and a large procession stroll through Olvera Street, all to find an inn. Beautifully vocalized songs of old, the glow of night, a piñata, and more signs of the season lend meaning to the event. It's all free to see, but be sure to arrive well ahead of the 6:30 p.m. start time to enjoy it all. Bonus? Free champurrado, mmm.
Christmas Lights: If your season seems less sparkly without a toodle outside to find some festive sights, best find some, pronto. Christmas Tree Lane in Altadena is one of the most historic displays and free to see, while the Magic of Lights in Fontana will glitter at the Auto Club Speedway and LA Zoo Lights will shine at the Griffith Park animal park. And shimmering in DTLA, through Dec. 25? It's the brand-new light installations at Grand Park (entry is free). Just check your chosen lights before you go to make sure they're open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Night.
What to do, where to go and what to see
Snow Days at Kidspace Children's Museum: Finding the frosty stuff in Southern California? You can head up your nearest mountain, for some tubing or snowball-making fun, or you can invite your favorite snowpeople to visit this Pasadena-based place for five days of "winter activities," beginning on Wednesday, Dec. 26. Educational info is woven through, too, about snow and water and such. One note? The museum is near the Rose Bowl, where, yes, a lot is happening, so plan your visit accordingly.
Special Wednesday Events: So you're a fan of the traditional Boxing Day, as often observed around the UK? Chez Melange will be marking the celebration on Dec. 26, with Pimm's Cup cocktails, Fish and Chips, and other beverages and foodstuffs that summon the spirit of the day (it all begins at 5 p.m.). And while the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on the Miracle Mile typically closes each Wednesday, it'll be open on Dec. 26, all to welcome people with some time over the holidays (and a love of art).