The California Bucket List: Your daily guide to the best adventures and experiences in the Golden State

Calendar: Holiday events for December 2007 to January 2008

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer


Winter Solstice Festival

Fairbanks welcomes winter with live bands and other music makers in two locations downtown, with storytelling, holiday movies, cocoa, cookies and fireworks. A treasure hunt with clues at 10 locations leads to a prize, the nature of which organizers are keeping secret.

When, where: Dec. 21 in downtown Fairbanks.

Cost: Free.

Info: (907) 452-8671,


Mountaintop Full-Moon Snowshoe Tours

Squaw Valley ski resort in northern Lake Tahoe launches moonlight snowshoe tours of the upper mountain elevations this winter. Guided groups will take in views of the Sierra. Snowshoers will have hot chocolate and apple cider before heading back. You can add on an après-snowshoe dinner at Alexander's Restaurant at the resort.

When, where: Dec. 23 and 24, Jan. 20 to 22, Feb. 21 and 22, March 21 and 22. Tours start at 5 p.m. at High Camp at the resort at 1960 Squaw Valley Road.

Cost: Without a lift ticket, $29 adult, $24 ages 13 to 18, $19 for those 12 and younger. With a lift ticket or season pass, $15 per person. With dinner, $55 per person.

Info: (530) 583-6985,

Christmas Day Open House

Dec. 25 is one of the busiest days of the year at Mendocino's Ford House Museum. The 1854 house that serves as the visitors center for Mendocino Headlands State Park ( sets the holiday mood: The fireplace is lighted, the tree is decorated, and sweet rolls and hot spiced apple cider are served. A volunteer is on hand to talk about the history of the museum and Mendocino Village.

When, where: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 25 at the museum at 735 Main St.

Admission: suggested $2 donation per family.

Info: (707) 937-5397.

Kung Pao Kosher Comedy

It's the 15th year of a San Francisco comedy tradition: A roster of Jewish comedians entertains a Christmastime crowd at a Chinese restaurant. This year, comedians include Shelley Berman, Scott Blakeman, Esther Paik Goodhart and Lisa Geduldig.

When, where: Dec. 22 to 25, New Asia Restaurant, 772 Pacific Ave.

Cost: Dinner shows are $60 per person and include a seven-course sit-down Chinese meal; cocktail shows are $40 and include vegetable egg rolls.

Info: (415) 522-3737,


The Great Fruitcake Toss

During this 13th annual event in Manitou Springs, fruitcakes (some of which are "vintage," reused year after year) become projectiles. Teams compete in different categories: The fruitcakes are tossed by hand; hurled by mechanical devices -- which in the past have included a golf club, an oversized mechanical slingshot, and bow and arrow; or by air-powered device. The record throw, using an air-powered cannon, was 1,451 feet. One interesting note: In years past, fruitcakes have been hurled so far that they've become problems, so organizers have met with Boeing engineers to devise strategies to keep the fruitcakes within the boundaries of the park where the event takes place.

When, where: Jan. 5, Memorial Park, off Manitou Avenue in Manitou Springs.

Cost: Free. Participants bring canned goods for charity.

Info: (800) 642-2567,

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