Forget the fact that this week’s forecast is expected to hit 70: LA is hellbent on pretending it actually experiences winter weather, even if that means busting out the holiday decor before Halloween is even over. If you, too, are ready to welcome Chrismukwanzakkah, we’ve rounded up where to ring in the gift shopping season at LA’s retail therapy centers.
From star-studded spectaculars to Mickey Mouse-powered festivities, check out the best tree lighting ceremonies and more free family-friendly holiday events in LA and beyond. Stay tuned as we’ll be updating this list as more happenings land in our inbox.
Sunday, November 13th
The Grove: Citi presents a star-studded musical spectacular hosted by entertainment multi-hyphenate Seth MacFarlane starting with a pre-show at 7pm. The live concert and tree lighting ceremony kicks off at 7:30pm and will include the arrival of Santa, a fireworks finale, and more.
Where: 189 The Grove Dr., Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, November 17th
Americana at Brand: This year’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony is set to the tune of Sammy Davis, Jr.’s “Christmas Time All Over the World,” and from 7 to 9pm guests will enjoy Santa Claus’ starry arrival, snow, fireworks, and holiday music from around the globe. In addition, Mrs. Claus will be in the house December 12th from 10am to 1pm interpreting for hearing-impaired guests at Santa’s House.
Where: 889 Americana Way, Glendale, CA 91210
South Coast Plaza: The luxury OC shopping center’s 35th annual tree lighting ceremony starts at 6pm at Town Center Park across the street. This year promises to be even more dazzling than before: expect 150,000 LED lights to deck out the tree (last year boasted 20,000 incandescent classic lights), a live band with carolers, a holiday production by the Orange County School of the Arts, and a synchronized light show. Of course, guests can watch Santa arrive and enjoy free seasonal drinks and bites during the event.
Where: Town Center Park (adjacent to the Westin South Coast Plaza), 686 Anton Blvd., Costa Mesa, CA 92626. Parking is located at 660 Town Center Drive, 625 Sunflower Avenue, and 602 Anton Boulevard.
Sunday, November 20th
Rodeo Drive: Although the lineup is still in the works, the luxury shopping stretch is hosting its annual Lighting Celebration starting at 5pm. The show kicks off at 6:30 and promises live musical performances by Broadway and SMASH star Megan Hilty (more guests to be announced), tasty treats from nearby restaurants, “holiday-themed theatrics” that will have a surprise interative element, and much more. There’ll be a do-gooder element, too: as part os #RODEOGIVESBACK, guests are encouraged to donate an old coat (or more) to their clothing drive, which will benefit The Salvation Army.
Where: 200 block of Rodeo Drive between Dayton Way and Wilshire Boulevard
Citadel Outlets: The world’s tallest live-cut tree (115 feet!) will be decked out in 18,000 LED sparkling lights and 20,000 ornaments at the Citadel’s 15th annual Tree Lighting Concert, which will be hosted by America’s Got Talent season 11 finalist Brian Justin Crum. From 4 to 7pm, enjoy live performances by Disney star Olivia Holt, boy band Before You Exit, and emerging artist John Lidahl.
Where: 100 Citadel Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90040
Saturday, November 7th & Sunday, November 8th
Fashion Island: In honor of Disneyland’s Diamond Celebration, Mickey Mouse and his pals will bring their magical world to the OC shopping center’s courtyard by Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s both days at 5:30pm. The family-friendly tree lighting festivities promises Disney music, character appearances, and “snow.” Can’t make it to the ceremony? The tree will light up every evening at 5pm to the tunes of Disney music.
Where: 401 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach, CA 92660