Huntington Beach

Weekend: The Big Holiday Boat Parades Set Sail

Dana Point Harbor, Huntington Harbour, and Marina del Rey will be all aglitter as gussied-up vessels take to the waves.

Dana Point Harbor Boat Parade of Lights

What to Know

  • The Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade starts at 6 p.m. on Dec. 11 (with fireworks beforehand)
  • Huntington Harbour's Boat Parade takes place on both Dec. 11 and 12
  • The Dana Point Harbor Boat Parade of Light begins nightly at 7 p.m., Dec. 10-12

Holiday Boat Parades: It isn't uncommon to spy a ship in the distance, when you're near the water, but come December? The cheery chance that the vessel you see will be decked out in vibrant lights grows far, far brighter. There will be a number of shore-close spectaculars around Southern California in the days to come, with Dana Point Harbor's fiesta-themed Boat Parade of Lights sailing nightly from Dec. 10-12, the Huntington Harbour Boat Parade taking to the waves Dec. 11-12, and the Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade delivering oohs/ahhs on Dec. 11. They're all free to see, though boarding a sightseeing boat, or doing dinner nearby, will be additional (of course). Looking for Newport Beach's famous parade? Hold tight: That starts Dec. 15.

"LOVE ACTUALLY" LIVE: Huge Christmas flicks with oodles of characters and crisscrossing storylines have become more common over the last two decades, but "Love Actually," which will turn 20 in a couple of years, remains one of the standard-bearers of the genre. This big-feeling'd stage show incorporates clips from the holiday classic, but a host of shimmering songs, and emotion-driven performances, put a surprising and fresh spin on the story people know. It's become a hit over the last few years, one that merrily and movingly melds movie magic and the intimacy of live theater. Love is, indeed, all around, at The Wallis, through Dec. 31.

Caroling in Little Tokyo: The most festive time of the year feels extra ebullient in some parts of the city, especially those neighborhoods that approach the season with several uplifting events on the schedule. Little Tokyo has long been one of those celebratory areas, and there are a number of twinkly to-dos still to come later in December. But if you're getting your shopping down in the DTLA district on Dec. 11? Stop to savor the "Jtown Jingles," as carolers stroll through Little Tokyo from 2 to 4 in the afternoon. The songful sweetness concludes at JANM Plaza at 5 o'clock. Also sweet? It's free to see/hear/enjoy.

Holiday Family Faire: Will Geer's Theatricum Botanicum feels a bit like a fairyland, pretty much all year long, so a seasonal celebration will surely only add to that enchanted, among-the-trees vibe. And that vibe will be vivacious on Dec. 11 when this afternoon-long, enjoy-the-outdoors event shines brightly, with the singing of madrigals, a Claus-cute stop-by, and a performance of Harry Nilsson's "The Point" with Kiefo Nilsson and John C. Reilly. Eager to add an authentic and atmospheric Topanga-esque dimension to your December? Tickets to this community-cool come-together are $10 to $20.

Dog Volunteering, Adoptions, Events: So much will be afoot, or apaw, around Southern California on Dec. 11, and pup people will have as many events to consider as a cute pooch has kisses to give (okay, maybe not that many events). Best Friends will have free adoptions, courtesy of MINI, Art Dogl will celebrate tunes and art in DTLA, The Dodo is hosting a Bark N' Brew at Golden Road Brewing, and there's a virtual volunteer information session for puppy raising (oh our hearts) at Guide Dogs of America.

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