Tournament of Roses Time: Is it exactly, to the hour, time for the Tournament of Roses? Well, no. That happens, famously, on New Year's Day, but the thing about being a world-famous celebration is this: You've got to get the party revved early. And so this party shall be, with horses trotting at Equestfest by Wells Fargo on Dec. 29, Bandfest presented by REMO getting brassy on Dec. 29 and 30, and volunteers covering floats in flowers during Deco Week, which is on now.
Winter Fest: It's still winter out there (cue the emphatic "oh, is it ever" responses). We're in turtlenecks and scarves and we're looking for ways to find frosty high jinks and flakeful fun. Where can we turn our sleigh, at least through Sunday, Jan. 5? In the direction of Costa Mesa, where a large-scale happening devoted to the icier pleasures of the coldest season are on full and delightful display. Rides, an ice rink, ice-tubing at Snowflake Summit, and other not-hot to-dos are now holding cold court.
Whale Watching Season Opens: The beautiful Pacific Gray Whales don't need to keep a sizable eye on our human calendars, no sirree. But we can be mindful of when these magnificent mammals are ready to cruise on through the Santa Barbara Channel on their eons-old migratory journeys. A number of Oxnard tour companies are ready to observe these giants on their watery trek, which means, yes, whale watching season has opened in the area. It's on from Dec. 26 through the end of April, so book your spot soon.
Snow Days at Kidspace Children's Museum: Still dreaming of a white Christmas, or at least a white weekend-after-Christmas? You can find some snow-tastic sweetness at this Pasadena spot, which will again feature super-cute opportunities to build snowmen and make snow angels (and, yes, the fashioning of old-school snowballs is in the merry mix, too). There's a lot going on at the Rose Bowl-close destination through Dec. 30, so flurry there soon.
Open the Pod Bay Doors, Hal: If the year 2020 suddenly sounds quite far in the future to you, and you're thinking thoughts of the most expansive and far-reaching variety, perhaps spending a few hours with Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" is just the ticket. The genre-changing, film-changing, everything-changing movie will be presented in 70MM at the Egyptian Theatre on Friday, Dec. 27. So don your spacesuit and fly for Hollywood for a cosmic trip just before the dawn of 2020. The group behind the screening? Hello there, American Cinematheque.