Holiday Boat Parades: There's so many ways to describe December in Southern California, but if you're not dropping the words "holiday" and "boat" and "parade," you're not telling the full story. For we do so love to see on-the-water vessels in full shimmer 'round these parts, and we'll have ample opportunity to do so in the coming weeks. The grand Newport Beach affair is still some days out, but yachts, kayaks, and more will motor by appreciative on-lookers in Dana Point and Marina del Rey. Dana Point sails on Dec. 7, 8, 14, and 15, while Marina del Rey's big night is Saturday, Dec. 8.
Menorah Lightings: Finding a place to come together with other revelers, all to share a special moment during the Festival of Lights? There are so many beautiful menorahs currently flickering around Southern California, from the menorah on Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade to the Original Farmers Market to Pretend City Children's Museum in Irvine. And a Hanukkah Festival at the Zimmer Children's Museum by Sharewell will summon the dreidel-making sweetness, in Santa Monica, on Dec. 9.
Santa Cares at Citadel Outlets: The 5-adjacent shopping center will once again welcome "... families with special needs children," creating "a photo environment supportive of their sensory, physical, and developmental needs." This means that the volume on overhead music will be turned down and lights on Santa's cottage lowered. Also? Reservations are available, meaning shorter wait times to see Santa, so definitely look into those before you go. The free event is happening on Sunday morning, Dec. 9.
What to do, where to go and what to see
Christmas Tree Lane Lighting: While plenty of SoCal events have pomp, and some have splendor, and a lot boast historical significance, few have what this Altadena tradition has, plus some very large deodar cedars. It's one of the best-known thoroughfares around, and it is ready to wear its shimmery holiday lights, for a few festive weeks, beginning on Saturday, Dec. 8. There's a community festival, too, beforehand. The bulbs'll glow on the big trees of Santa Rosa Avenue, right through to Jan. 1, 2019, and again on Jan. 7, Orthodox Christmas.
Free Cocoa Concert: Picture a trio of Friday nights, in December, and one grand train station, and lots of good tunes, and sippable chocolate of a tum-warming nature. You're imagining the Cocoa Concerts, at Union Station, but it is no dream: They're real, and they'll be dancing on Dec. 7, 14, and 21. The Brazilian beats of Môforró are up first, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7. A Holiday Craft Zone, an ugly holiday sweater contest, and more high jinks of a joyful nature will be on tap. Details? Swing by the site now for more this on this December dazzler.