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Celebrating the Season on Land and Sea


Whether Christmas, Kwanzaa or Hanukkah is most significant in your household, the Southland is a virtual holiday buffet when it comes to things to do.

Following is just a sample of the season's offerings:

The drive-through Holiday of Lights at Del Mar Fairgrounds puts an animated Santa, snowman and a 100-foot tunnel of lights in your path through Jan. 3. Sunday through Thursday, 5 to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5 to 11 p.m. $8 per vehicle (up to five people); $13 for six or more; $40 per bus. 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar. (619) 793-5555.

The Rose Bowl Family Festival is four days of food, floats, flowers and fun. Don't miss the exhibitions by the marching bands and equestrians that will participate in the Rose Parade on New Year's Day. Festival hours are Dec. 28-29, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Dec. 30, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Dec. 31, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. The festivities take place outside the Rose Bowl, 1001 Rose Bowl Drive, Pasadena. Free. (626) 449-4100.

Little ones get an up-close look at Santa's reindeer at the annual Reindeer Romp at the Los Angeles Zoo, through Jan. 4. 5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles. Hours, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (213) 666-4090. Included in zoo admission, $8.25; ages 2 to 12, $3.25.

Also for kids 3 to 12, the Children's Holiday Craft Corner takes place at the Beverly Hills Farmers' Market, 200 block of North Canon Drive, on Dec. 20, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Materials fee is $1 to $1.50. (310) 550-4796.

Actor Billy Dee Williams and KCBS News' Kyra Phillips are grand marshals of the Rancho Cienega Park Parade, from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday. Spend the day at the Winter Wonderland Festival, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., where carnival rides, live entertainment, games, crafts and a toy giveaway are planned. The parade begins at Buckingham Road and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, and travels south to Crenshaw Boulevard. Rancho Cienega Park, 5001 Rodeo Road, Los Angeles. Free. (213) 694-2548.

Also Saturday, the 45th annual Whittier Christmas Parade gets underway at 10 a.m. Antique cars, marching bands, floats and community groups will march from Greenleaf Avenue and Hadley Street in Whittier to Joe Miller Field. Free. (562) 696-2662.

In Southern California, parades aren't limited to the streets. Starting Saturday, several lighted boat parades take to our waterways. The stately tall ships Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain will lead the way for the 36th annual Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade, on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. The parade begins with fireworks blasting off the south jetty. Dress warmly and find a seat at Fisherman's Village on Fiji Way, Burton Chace Park on Mindanao Way, or on the north and south jetties in Marina del Rey Harbor. Free. (310) 821-7614.

Also Saturday at 6 p.m., the Los Angeles Harbor Christmas Afloat Boat Parade, which can be viewed from the Ports O' Call Village, the Maritime Museum or Cabrillo Marina, has a "Jingle Boat Rock" theme. Free. (800) 831-PORT.

The Channel Islands Parade of Lights will send colorfully decorated boats cruising the harbor Friday and Saturday, beginning at 7 p.m. Channel Islands Harbor, Oxnard. Free. (800) 994-4852.

More than 150 decorated boats will light up the harbor during the 90th annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade. Boats set sail nightly during Dec. 17-23 for a two-hour show, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Free. (800) 94-COAST.

Shoreline Yacht Club's Parade of a Thousand Lights departs at 7 p.m. Dec. 19. The decorated boats will navigate the harbor around the Queen Mary, parading past Shoreline Village in Long Beach. Free to spectators. (562) 435-4093.

For those who prefer a seat from the water, the Huntington Beach Cruise of Lights shoves off Monday-Dec. 22, on the hour from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. The tours of the decorated waterfront homes benefit youth music programs. Monday to Thursday, $8.50; Friday to Sunday, $10; ages 2 to 12, $5. Reservations: (714) 840-7542.


Among the public events for Hanukkah, which begins Sunday evening, is the Skirball Cultural Center's Hanukkah Festival. On Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., the whole family can enjoy klezmer music, storytelling, food and dreidel-making and spinning. At 4 p.m., Len Lesser (Uncle Leo from "Seinfeld") will lead the candle lighting. Adults, $8; ages 11 and younger, free.

A Hanukkah Ceremony at Colorado One gets underway in the courtyard area in Old Pasadena on Sunday, from 3 to 5 p.m. Activities include face painting, clowns and menorah making for kids. The menorah--so big it takes a ladder to light it--will be lit each night at 5 p.m. through Dec. 17, at 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 18, and at 6 p.m. Dec. 19 and 20. Free. (626) 564-1066.

The fifth annual Tikkun L.A. Community Volunteer Day returns to Westside Pavilion on Christmas Day. The event, sponsored primarily by the Jewish Federation, provides an opportunity to work on volunteer projects including preparing and serving holiday meals and distributing toys. Activities begin at 9 a.m. on the third floor, Westside Pavilion, 10800 Pico Blvd., West L.A. Free. (213) 683-3433.

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