November & December 2016 Happenings From Santa Monica To Newport Beach
Santa wears shorts.
There are sunsets, not snow.
The sun is shining and it’s 70+ degrees.
Yes, the holiday season in L.A., is far different than in most places around the world. One could argue that pretty much anything is different in L.A., than in other places around the world and while that’s true to a large extent, it really stands out during the Christmas season.
But hey, it’s okay to be in L.A., for the holidays. Sure, it may be shorts weather when people go shopping – hey it did snow in Hollywood one year – but most of the residents here are transplants and will get enough freezing cold weather when they travel home to visit their families.
Before then, though, there are great events all over L.A., and Orange counties, including open street walks, multiple boat parades, a street parade, theme parties at local bars, even a spectacular fireworks show.
Here’s a look at the highlights of the Holidays in Los Angeles. Everything listed here is free and open to the public.
Manhattan Beach Holiday Open House 2016
When: Wednesday, Nov. 16, 6-9 p.m.
Where: Downtown Manhattan Beach
A stroll through blocked-off Manhattan Beach Blvd., and Manhattan Ave. There are carolers in the street, a petting zoo and a few hundred people seeking sales on high-end merchandise. Okay let’s be real. For single people, it’s all about getting out to mingle and finding the stores that are serving adult beverages.
Santa Monca Tree Lighting & Santa Parade 2016
When: Saturday, Dec. 3, 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Where: 1300 Block Third Street Promenade, just north of Santa Monica Blvd.
This is the highlight of the season in Santa Monica, which also includes an ice skating rink – yes, in L.A.! – open from Nov. 1-Jan. 18.
Belmont Shore Christmas Parade 2016
When: Saturday, Dec. 3, 6-9 p.m.
Where: Second Street in Belmont Shore, Long Beach
More than 100 entrants, including floats and of course Santa, along with several thousand people lining both sides of the street, make up this annual event. The single people are running in and out of house parties and/or the bars, the most notable of which are Panama Joe’s, the Acapulco Inn, Shannon’s Bay Shore, Legends and the A.I.
Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade 2016
When: Saturday, Dec, 10,
Where: Marina del Rey, 5:55-8 p.m.
The second-biggest boat parade and the largest in L.A. County, this is the 54th annual Holiday Boat Parade. It begins with a brief fireworks show and features boats and big yachts of MDR up and down the channels. Good viewing is along Fisherman’s Village, Burton Chase Park and while it’s a bit tight, at the Venice Beach/MDR border at Via Marina & Pacific Ave. If you’re on a bike the channel on the border of MDR and PDR is an excellent place to watch the parade. Be careful if you walk along the jetty. Parking at Burton Chase Park is $8 and Fisherman’s Village is $15 max.
Parade Of 1,000 Lights Boat Parade 2016
When: Saturday, Dec. 10, 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Where: Shoreline Village, Long Beach
A parade of boats featuring, well, at least 1,000 lights by downtown Long Beach. Put on by the Shoreline Yacht Club, it goes parallels Shoreline Village and the surrounding area and out to the Queen Mary. Good viewing restaurants with bars include Parker’s Lighthouse and Gladstone’s. A really good free place to watch is at the lighthouse across from Shoreline Village behind the Aquarium of the Pacific.
Manhattan Beach Holiday Fireworks 2016
When: Sunday, Dec. 11, 6-9 p.m.
Where: Manhattan Beach Pier
Those who go to and are involved in the Newport Beach Boat Parade may argue this statement but sorry – the Manhattan Beach Holiday Fireworks are the most spectacular event of the season in L.A. Set to music, it’s a show that will match any you will see anywhere on the Fourth of July. Add to this thousands of people in beach chairs sitting on Manhattan Beach Blvd., and along The Strand for more than a mile and house parties at every house with a view, and it’s a spectacular scene.
Newport Beach Boat Parade 2016
When: Dec. 14-18
Where: Newport Harbor
The biggest and most spectacular boat parade in the USA. This is the 108th annual parade and Newport Beach officials say more than a million people go to it during its five-day run. The starting and finishing point is located off Bay Island. Viewing is anywhere you can find a place tho there are three designated viewing areas, by the Balboa Pavilion and the American Legion Yacht Club (215 E. 15th St.) on the Balboa Peninsula and the Boy Scout Sea Base (1931 W. Coach Highway).
A restaurant or bar such as Billy’s At The Beach, the Rusty Pelican and The Winery on PCH are also good choices to enjoy it with food and drinks.
Naples Boat Parade 2016
When: Saturday, Dec. 17, 6-9 p.m.
Where: Alamitos Bay, Long Beach
This is the 70th annual parade that is a huge part of the Belmont Shore and Naples area of Long Beach. There’s great viewing along N. Marina Drive parallel to PCH, the canals of Naples and especially restaurant/bars along the Alamitos Bay’s “Restaurant Row.”