Christmas Bucket List: LA Edition

Saturday, November 24, 2012

It is my humble opinion that no place on Earth does Christmas quite as well as Heidelberg, Germany.

Chicago hosts a pretty lovely holiday season as well:

And despite the fact that yesterday's official kickoff of the holiday season rang in at a whopping 80 degrees, Los Angeles offers plenty of things to do to get into the Christmas spirit.  Here are a few of my favorite ways to celebrate the season in LA and the surrounding areas, as well as a few new things I'm hoping to try this year!

1. Go see the Hollywood Christmas Parade: This Sunday (November 25th) 5:30 PM.  I have vivid memories of going here with my cousins and anxiously awaiting the float with Santa.  I also remember it being quite chilly! More info here
2. Ice skate at Pershing Square (right under the LA Times Building): Because seriously... nothing says Christmas like ice skating.  More info here
3. Visit Disneyland: If you can afford it, this is a no brainer.  There is no more magical time at the Happiest place on earth than the holidays. Do me a solid and ride the Haunted Mansion.  When  it's decked out like Nightmare Before Christmas, it's my favorite ride at the park.
4. Visit Mount Baldy: If your holiday season just isn't complete without snow, mount baldy is a perfect local fix.  Spend the day sledding down hills and grab dinner at the Mount Baldy Lodge.  Extra points if you're able to snag a seat by the fireplace!
5. Gawk at the Fashion Island Christmas Tree: Most years this tree takes the cake for the nation's tallest, and it's a tradition for my family to take a trip down here the week before Christmas.  There is also an ice skating rink, a place to take pictures with Santa, and of course tons of great stores and restaurants!
6. Shop at Renegade Holiday Market: (Dec 8 & 9) I was introduced to Renegade in Chicago and was immediately hooked.  I was over the moon when I found out they host craft fairs in other big cities as well!  Admission is free and the fair features handmade goods and original artwork from sellers all across the country.  More info here
7. Drive Through an Awesome Christmas Light Display: Here are a few that I have been to or heard about-
Rancho Cucomonga- Info here
Santa Clarita/ Saugus- Map here
El Segundo "Candy Cane Lane"- Info here
Altadena "Christmas Tree Lane"- Info here
Eagle Hills in Brea- Info here
8. Go See The Nutcracker: For just about every year since I can remember I was either in the ballet or went to see it.  Christmas just doesn't feel quite right without it! This year there are performances at Pepperdine's Smothers Theatre.  Tickets here
9. Listen to Live Christmas Music: LA has quite a few "sing alongs" which I think would be so much fun to go to! If singing isn't your thing there are also great choral and instrumental concerts throughout December.  More info  here
10. Take Part in Heritage Square's Lamplight Celebration: Take a tour of local Victorian mansions while A Christmas Carol is recreated live.  Does it get cooler? More info here
**Bonus for 2013 (hopefully) Walk Through Griffith Park's DWP Lights Display: This awesome tradition is on hiatus for another year due to the construction at Griffith Park, but log it away in your memory bank- it's worth it!

What are some of your favorite holiday traditions in your city?

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