Weekend: Find Rosy Fun, Before the Rose Parade

Float decorating, Equestfest, and Bandfest summon the spectacle, days before the main event.

Rose Parade, Before the Rose Parade: Most parades, as a rule? They happen when they happen, after a good deal of behind-the-scenes prep. But the venerable Rose Parade, which began in the late 1800s, is so large that the party for the public begins well before the event. Happening in the days ahead of the famous procession? Float decorating, Equestfest presented by Wells Fargo (yep, the horsies), and Bandfest presented by Remo (yep, the music). Even the brand-new, food-packed Sip & Savor is on the stage, too. Can't wait for the big day? You're not alone, rosy peeps.

Kwanzaa 2018! Traditional seasonal celebrations may deliver joy and vibrancy, on several levels, but few Southern California cultural events can rise to the festive spirit of this annual offering from the Lula Washington Dance Theatre. The "highlight of the program" will be the Harambee Suite, "featuring students of the LWDT school," but look for several beautiful expressions of the holiday, made through movement. The dates? Buy your ticket now for Friday, Dec. 28, Saturday, Dec. 29, or Sunday, Dec. 30. 

Annenberg Community Beach House Polar Plunge: The final Saturday of the year is expect to be cool-ish, as winter days 'round LA go, but, even with that in mind, would you dare dash, while rocking your swimsuit, into the Pacific Ocean? Several adventurers shall, on Saturday, Dec. 29. That's free to join, but spend ten bucks beyond that and retreat to the Beach House's heated pool for a splash, a warm shower, games, and more convivialities. There'll be treats, too, for purchase. A reward for your ocean-based bravery? Let's call it that, okay.

Snow Days: There may be flakes to enjoy in our mountains, but down here, in the flattier section of Southern California? We're distinctly lacking in the cold stuff, as usual. There is a way to find it, though, if you venture to Kidspace Children's Museum through Sunday, Dec. 30. Snow to play in, a snowy storytime, live entertainment, and cookie decorating (for an additional three dollars) are on the schedule. Take note: Lots of Rose Bowl happenings are afoot nearby, so plan your journey in/out accordingly.

Pasadena Film Tour: You're all up in the Rose Parade excitement, and you've got several Crown City outings planned. But have you seen the many movie locations that dot the historic town? Hop on a bus and invite film-loving smartie Jared Cowan be your story-sharing behind-the-scenes guide to Pasadena's cinematic past. The stop-packed tour covers comedies ("Legally Blonde") to TV shows ("Parks and Recreation"), so surely something you love will be on the route. Tickets for the Dec. 29 tour? Find 'em here, Pas-obsessed movie lovers.

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