Saturday, December 8, 2012

Local & Lovely: Hidden Gem Holiday Happenings for families in & around Los Angeles!

Well, hello there, and thank you for popping by on this wonderful weekend in December:)  Now I know most of you Juneberries aren't local to Los Angeles, but there is such a shortage of condensed good information out there for fun, family-centered activities that I thought I would take a weekend day every now and then to point out some local seasonal happenings!

As this is a massive expanse of a city, looking it up on traditional event websites makes for a long morning spent sifting through club openings and more adult-oriented fare.

A bit of the upcoming fun that has recently caught my eye, even though my babies are just a bit too little to truly enjoy these yet are:

Ice Skating Rink - ICE at Santa Monica

~ located at 5th and Arizona.  Every holiday season, Downtown Santa Monica brings a little ice skating to the beach side community and transforms the corner of 5th Street and Arizona Avenue into ICE at Santa Monica, a premier outdoor ice skating rink. The 8,000 square foot rink by the beach offers residents and visitors a little taste of winter without the bite, now through January 16th, 2012

Metrolink Holiday Toy Express

~ Santa’s glittering train, the Holiday Toy Express®, is once again preparing to travel from city to city to entertain families and collect toys for the less fortunate. This year the Holiday Toy Express will bring joy to all of the communities we serve as it marks its 16th year of operation. This 41 stop tour, which passes through six counties, brings a brightly packaged gift to Metrolink communities – a 450-ton train decorated with holiday displays and 50,000 twinkling lights – and delivers a live musical performance, Santa and community fun.  Join us, ABC7 and Southland Firefighters who will be collecting toys at the station stops as a key part of their overall annual “Spark of Love Toy Drive” in the region.

Glendale Americana Winter Wonderland

~ Watch a Winter Wonderland appear before your eyes. Witness an enchanting snowfall as Santa's helpers transform The Americana at Brand into a winter wonderland each night at 7pm and 8pm.  Strolling Carolers, Brass Bands and Melodic Bell Ringers... It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

Christmas Boat Parade

~ Join over a million viewers as you watch beautifully decorated yachts, boats, kayaks and canoes sail along the harbor in the 104th Annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade. Hosted by the Commodores Club of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce, we invite you to celebrate this year as we feature the theme "Surf, Sand and Santa!"

North Pole Express Fillmore
(Fillmore & Western Railway)

~ Kids can wear their pj's as they listen to Santa's elves read "The Polar Express." Santa will visit and cookies and chocolate milk will be served. Fillmore & Western Railway Company
For more info visit here:

Christmas Tree Train:
(Fillmore & Western Railway)

~ On weekends from November 26 through December 11 you can bring the entire family and start or continue a Christmas tradition by riding the train to the Christmas Tree Farm to select and cut the perfect tree. If a tree is not on your list, take this holiday train ride with Santa to shop at Loose Caboose Garden Center and Gift Emporium.   At Loose Caboose Garden Center and Gift Emporium you can choose from a variety of antiques, gifts and Christmas decor. Food and beverages (including beer & wine) will also be available onboard. For more info visit here:

Underwood Family Farms Christmas on the Farm

~ Big Wave Dave's *Christmas Trees bring Christmas to Underwood Family Farms.  Beginning on November 23 - December 17, fresh cut northwest trees as well as mistletoe, wreaths & all the fixings will be available for sale at the farm.  

Underwoods Farm Center & Farm Market Open will be open from 9am - 5pm weekends only from November 23 - December 16.  Admission to the Farm Center is $6.00/per person and children under 2 free. Tractor rides & the Animal Show are included with paid weekend admission. The Farm Center will close for the season December 17 until we open for the 2013 season on March 1.  Visit for more details.

The Magical Christmas Caroling Truck

~ This one is a hands-down, for sure for my family this year!!  Every year on Christmas Eve from 5-11 pm, the Magic Christmas Caroling Truck drives through the north Los Angeles neighborhood of Toluca Lake. Decorated like a holiday parade float, the festive flatbed is laden with volunteer musicians and singer who carol through the community.  Visit

I will definitely be popping back in with more during the weeks ahead and might even share a few pictures of our own experiences as we head off in search of new family traditions!  Enjoy your weekend!!


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