Weekend: Menorah Lightings and Hanukkah Celebrations

Menorah lightings begin at several SoCal destinations; look for celebrations at the Skirball Cultural Center and the Original Farmers Market in early December.

Vlad Fishman

What to Know

  • Hanukkah begins on the evening of Sunday, Nov. 28
  • Menorah lightings begin in Downtown Santa Monica, 2ND & PCH in Long Beach, and other local communities
  • "Hooray for Hanukkah" opens at Pretend City Children's Museum in Irvine, while the Skirball has several events just ahead

Happy Hanukkah: The spirit-sweet, hope-deep Festival of Lights begins on Sunday, Nov. 28, and families around Southern California will attend a public menorah lighting, stock up on traditional treats, visit exhibits honoring the ancient Jewish celebration, or call upon a local festival. Winterlit in Downtown Santa Monica will light its menorah starting on Nov. 28, while the Shul by the Shore Grand Chanukah Extravaganza takes place at 2ND & PCH in Long Beach from 4 to 6 p.m. on Nov. 28. Pretend City Children's Museum's "Hooray for Hanukkah" events launch in Irvine, while the Skirball Cultural Center has at-home, dreidel-making fun (plus in-person events soon to come).

Universal's Sparkliest Season: If you've been feeling a bit green as December approaches, chances are cheery that you're a true blue, er, green fan of the Grinch. Where, though, can you go to see the Dr. Seuss superstar, and his loyal pup Max, too? Why that would be Universal Studios Hollywood, which is also home to "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter." For sure, hot Butterbeer is on the festive flow, and that chorus of fabulous frogs will make their much-anticipated cameos. Both "Grinchmas" and the Harry Potter happenings, which include projections on Hogwarts Castles, will cast a magic spell through the holidays. Good to know? Your admission to the theme park covers your entry to both.

Dodgers Holiday Festival: Have you spent a good deal of time gazing upon the outfield of Dodger Stadium? You surely have, because that's where some of the most thrilling moments occur. But, in your visions, did you ever picture yourself pirouetting, gliding, and enjoying an icy adventure with friends? That can happen, thanks to the ice rink that will fill up some of the famous outfield during this seasonal spectacular. Eats, drinks, places to take photos in front of Dodger-themed yuletide backdrops, spots for shopping, and live entertainment is all part of the clubhouse-meets-Christmas scene. It opens on Nov. 26, and keeps the holiday hits coming through to Dec. 31.

"GLOW": South Coast Botanic Garden summertime roller-themed fest was one of the ultimate events of the warm-weather, get-snazzy, show-off-your-moves season. Now the Palos Verdes Peninsula land o' leafy wonders is embracing the ethereal, incandescent side of the season. "GLOW," by the by, stands for "Garden Lights & Ocean Waters," and visitors will encounter a magical kelp forest and other on-land illuminations that pay twinkly tribute to the big body of water that's just a few minutes from the 87-acre expanse. Bites, beverages, and other festive details are part of the happening, which glitters through Jan. 17, 2022.

Christmas on the Farm: It's weekend #1 for this fresh-and-festive festivity, a sweet and old-timey take on holiday charms of the past. That means a real farm setting, which is what visitors to Underwood Family Farms in Moorpark will find. A squee-sweet centerpiece? It's the Animal Center, where real goats, bunnies, and critters delight fans of furry love. Places to take seasonal snapshots, tractor-drawn wagon rides, and getting to say "hay," we mean "hey," to Santa Claus are woven through the farm-fun to-do. Note that Santa is appearing on the weekends, and you'll want to eye everything before you go (including weekend tickets, which can be purchased online).

Universal Studios and NBC-owned TV stations operate under the same parent company NBCUniversal.

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