Long Beach is a vibrant community all year long, but the holiday season brings opportunities to create new memories while enjoying the company of caring friends and family. After the COVID-19 pandemic caused so many people to cancel or curtail their holiday plans in 2020, many of us are looking forward to participating in beloved traditions or creating brand-new ones this year. To help with your plans, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite holiday events in Long Beach and Los Angeles County.
1. Dodgers Holiday Festival – Nov. 26-Dec. 31
This family-friendly celebration at Dodger Stadium features an outdoor ice-skating rink, nightly entertainment, holiday-themed refreshments, festive lights and an opportunity to take photos with Santa.
2. LA Kings Holiday Ice Rink – Nov. 27-Jan. 7
Lace up your skates and hit the ice at an outdoor skating rink directly outside STAPLES Center. What better way to get fired up for attending an LA Kings game than by taking a turn on the rink? Don’t forget to represent your favorite hockey player with a jersey!
3. Hollywood Christmas Parade – Nov. 28
Boasting the world’s largest red carpet, the 89th annual Hollywood Christmas Parade will welcome the season with balloons, floats, marching bands, celebrities, equestrians and an appearance by Santa Claus himself.
4. Holiday Events at the Music Center – throughout December
The Music Center in downtown Los Angeles houses four different venues, all of which will host a series of concerts and singalongs during December.
5. Handel’s Messiah – Dec. 3 & 4
This classic composition is an uplifting way to welcome the holiday season. Professional soloists from Long Beach Camerata Singers and Musica Angelica will bring this holiday oratorio to life for an all-ages audience.
6. Marina Del Rey Holiday Boat Parade – Dec. 11
Now in its 59th year, this free boat parade kicks off with a fireworks display over the water. Many people enjoy the festivities from popular viewing spots like waterfront restaurants, Fisherman’s Village or Burton Chace Park.
7. The Nutcracker – Dec. 17 through 19
The Nutcracker is a beloved holiday tradition for many families. The Long Beach Ballet, directed by David Wilcox, is celebrating its 39th year of performing this fanciful tale of a nutcracker who comes alive on Christmas Eve. Each performance will feature a full symphony orchestra with lavish costumes, scenery and special effects created by a well-known magician.
8. Las Posadas on Olvera Street – Dec. 16 through 24
This nine-night tradition reenacts the story of Joseph and Mary’s journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem and their search for shelter in preparation for Jesus’ birth. Las Posadas features a candlelight procession with caroling and piñata breaking, and is one of the oldest events in the city. Participants dress up as shepherds, angels or Mary and Joseph, and travel along the street requesting lodging at designated stops.
9. The Rose Parade – Jan. 1
The Rose Parade is many people’s favorite way to welcome the new year. The floral-decorated floats, bands and equestrian units travel more than five miles down Colorado Boulevard. Beloved actor and educator LeVar Burton will serve as grand marshal of the 2022 parade.
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