A Holiday Shopping Guide for Los Angeles

Nov 22, 2010 by Lisa Newton

With Black Friday right around the corner, holiday decorations popping up everywhere, and the frenzy December is so well known for, I thought a quick list of some of the best holiday shopping in the Los Angeles area.

These days, Santa Claus is a regular feature in many shopping centers, but knowing when and where to find him, plus the elves that accompany him is helpful.

Shopping malls want to you visit them, so they have some great holiday happenings to keep you and your family coming back for more. I don’t know about you, but all of these events sound like fun.

Americana at Brand in Glendale is featuring “A Flurry of Winter Fun with the largest Christmas tree in the county. Standing 100ft. tall, this stunning and majestic white fir has traveled from the beautiful landscape of McLeod, California in the Mt. Shasta region. The fir tree is taller than the 70-foot tree at NYC’s Rockefeller Center and glows with 15,000 sparkling lights and 10,000 festive ornaments. Of course, Santa will be on hand for pictures, and not to leave out our furry friends, Wednesday night pets are welcomed. With strolling carolers, brass bands and melodic bell ringers, it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas at the Americana at Brand.

On Friday and Saturday, December 10th and 11th, the Avenues of Art and Design Holiday Walk will transform Melrose Avenue between San Vicente and Orlando in West Hollywood into a Winter Wonderland. There will be festive carolers, roaming Santas and refreshments and this year, the addition of some of LA’s popular gourmet food trucks. All of the action takes place on Friday from 6:00 to 10:00pm and Saturday from noon to 4:00pm. As the sign says, “Celebrate the season with a festive fusion of glamour, gifts and a good dose of holiday cheer.”

On Saturday, November 28th, the Hollywood & Highland Center welcomes you to start your “Holidays in Hollywood,” with a free evening of musical entertainment, celebrity guests, an appearance by Santa Claus, and the lighting of the Hollywood Christmas Tree. Kids get to visit Santa and create a holiday cookie at the Ralphs Cookie Decoration Station. Delicious hot holiday beverages will be served along with goodies provided by Lifeway Foods. The tree lighting ceremony is scheduled to start at 6:30pm.

In true California style, Main Street Santa Monica is celebrating the holidays with a Sidewalk Sale on December 4th and 5th. The tree lighting ceremony with be accompanied with holiday songs performed by the Samohi Choir at 6:00pm, at the California Heritage Museum lawn, located at 2612 Main Street. Santa will be at the Museum lawn at 5:30pm, Saturday, Dec. 4, to pose for photos with your kids– it’s free; bring your own camera; then he’ll lead the Candlelight walk after the Tree Lighting to the Shopping Cart tree at Edgemar, then he will stroll the street, again available for photos and with a hearty Ho Ho HO!!

Starting with the arrival of Santa Claus and the Christmas tree lighting at 6:00pm on Friday, November 26th, Old Town Pasadena has a jam packed holiday schedule for the entire weekend. If you bring your child’s letter to Santa and deposit it into Santa’s Mailbox, located in the One Colorado Courtyard, the “elves” at Pasadena Senior Center will make sure Santa answers them all on his personal stationery. Plus, a can of food donation will yield you a free photo with Santa. The weekend will continue with treats, live entertainment, sing-a-longs, giveaways, and tours.

On Monday, November 29th, Santa will be making his way from the Santa Monica Place to the Third Street Promenade via ICE at Santa Monica. Santa’s arrival is just one of many events taking place during the holiday season in Santa Monica. From December 11th to the 18th, Menorah lighting will take place at sundown and on December 7th and 9th, the American Youth Symphony will perform a free concert of holiday tunes from 2:00-5:00pm at the Santa Monica Place. For more information, check out the holiday calendar here. (pdf)

From now until Christmas Eve, The Beverly Center will be promoting the opening of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by recreating the world of Narnia with a three-story multimedia walk-through Ice Palace. As you stroll through falling snow, you’ll discover life-size characters and video scenes from the movie. Not to be left out, Santa will be available for photos and you can even be photographed sitting on the Ice Throne.

Today, from 5:00-6:00pm, The Farmers Market, located at 3rd and Fairfax, will host their tree lighting during The Salvation Army Kettle Kick-Off. This year’s celebration will pay tribute to the volunteers who dedicate their time and effort for red kettle collections throughout the city. There will be a Christmas sing-along and NBC 4’s weatherman, Fritz Coleman, will be on hand to light the tree. From December 18th-24th, The Farmers Market welcomes you to celebrate the Holiday Festivities the old-fashioned way with charming decorations and many holiday music offerings, including strolling carolers.

At The Grove, similar to the Americana at Brand, a 100ft tree with thousands of decorations and lights is on display. If you missed the Tree Lighting ceremony, The Grove has a cool time lapsed video highlighting the pre-event preparations. But, the festivities don’t stop with the tree lighting. Between 7:00-8:00pm, it will be snowing every night at the Grove. Plus, a strolling holiday brass band with carolers, and of course, Santa, will be in his cottage through Christmas Eve.

Beginning on Friday, November 26th, Universal City Walk CityRockin’ Holiday, features the CityRockin’ Christmas Tree Show. With shows starting at 6:00pm, everyone is welcome to watch. On November 26th, at 4:30pm you can join Universal City Walk and 98.7 FM, as they kick off the Rockin’-est holiday season ever with the lighting of the CityRockin’ Holidays Christmas Tree. City Walk also features nightly concerts all starting at 8:00pm. Check here for the dates and artists featured.

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