Winter is a festive time of year, and Southern California has plenty of events and activities to keep you happily busy until spring. From L.A. to Long Beach, there’s one seasonal celebration after another.
Since 1959, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission has been producing an annual Los Angeles County Holiday Celebration that gets everyone in the spirit of the season. The evening is filled with instrumental ensembles, community and professional choirs, dance groups and more, and reflects the area’s diverse cultures and winter customs. This year’s 52nd Holiday Celebration will take place on December 24, 2011 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The event is free to the public, but if you prefer to watch at home, it will be televised live on KCET. Past performances have included Japanese drumming, the Palmdale High School Choral Union and the Harmonic Bronze Handbell Ensemble. Learn more about this beloved holiday tradition at www.lacountyarts.org/holiday.html.
For many kids, winter means it’s time to make a colorful and delicious gingerbread house. At Santa Ana’s Discovery Science Center
, however, these creations are more than just tasty works of art. The Science of Gingerbread
exhibit goes beyond the gumdrops to teach kids about kitchen tools and recipe science. Join in for hands-on activities and holiday cookie decorating, and don’t miss the award-winning Gingerbread Competition entries. On weekends, you can even create a cookie car and race in the Gingerbread Derby. Science of Gingerbread
is open until January 1, 2012; you can order tickets online at www.discoverycube.org/exhibits/event/science-of-gingerbread.
While Southern California may not experience the coldest winter temperatures in the country, there’s still plenty of well-groomed ice for skating. In Lakewood, Glacial Garden Skating Arena has three ice rinks, a training center, pro shop and party rooms. Drop in for Blackout Skating every Friday and Saturday nights –the lights are turned down and the music is turned up, so you’re in for a fun-filled night. Check out the rink’s party packages, private ice rentals and broomball events, too. Throughout December and January, you can watch speed skaters compete in several meets and time trials. Want to try your hand at speed skating? Ask about training sessions with Olympic coach William Boomstra. Schedules, prices and more can be found at www.glacialgardens.com.
Whether you want to learn about holiday traditions around the world or partake in a winter sport, Southern California has many seasonal festivities. Lean more at www.visitcalifornia.com.