What's up for the weekend of Dec. 15-17: a blizzard of holiday and ice events

Grab your parka because Santa, ice and decked-out boats seem to be everywhere next weekend.

Newport Beach

One hundred brightly illuminated and decorated boats of varied types, sizes and shapes follow a 14-mile course along the peninsula and islands of Newport Harbor at the 109th Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade. The armada passes the “Ring of Lights”: homes and businesses along the waterfront that are as lavishly festooned as the fleet.


When: Dec. 13-17

Cost, info: Free. Family-friendly. Dogs permitted in some areas. (949) 729-4400,

Long Beach

The Chill Ice Adventure Park at the Queen Mary offers ice skating on a long track, disco ice shuffleboard, ice tricycles, ice bumper cars and a two-story, 140-foot-long Matterhorn Mountain ice-tubing slide. The 38,000-square-foot temporary amusement park also showcases holiday traditions from Switzerland, Germany, Holland, Russia and China.

When: Dec. 13-Jan. 7

Cost, info: Adults (9 and older) from $29 plus fees, children (3 to 8) from $19 plus fees, children younger than 3 admitted free. No dogs. (800) 437-2934,


The Rink in Downtown Burbank is not only a chance to ice skate under sunny SoCal skies but also an opportunity to take beginner’s skating lessons on Saturday mornings or, on some Sunday mornings, a lesson in curling, a game that involves sliding “stones.”

When: Dec. 14-Jan. 7

Cost, info: $10 admission plus fees for skate rental and lessons. Skating not recommended for children younger than 3. No dogs. (818) 238-5180,


The Winter Wonderland and Holiday Marketplace at Ventura Harbor Village hosts holiday artisans, a European-style Christmas market, crafts for children, carolers in Dickensian costumes, a band dressed as Nutcracker Toy Soldiers, fake snow but real reindeer and Santa and Mrs. Claus. After sunset, carnival rides open. It was not clear, given the fire situation, whether the 41st Holiday Parade of Lights with illuminated and decorated boats will take place in the evening. Call or check website before going.

When: Marketplace Dec. 16 only. Boat parade (if it happens) Dec. 15 and 16

Cost, info: Free. Family-friendly. Dogs on leash OK. Activities are weather-dependent. (805) 477-0470,

Visitors munch at a convivial brunch during the eighth Pancakes With Santa at the Ranch. Kids can take photos with Santa, play in machine-made snow, decorate ornaments, go on a hayride, listen to live acoustic holiday music and eat pie.

When: Dec. 16

Cost, info: Adults $40, children 12 and younger $10 (plus tax and gratuity). Reservations required. No dogs. (949) 715-1376,


Los Angeles

The third Holly Jolly Day at LA Live starts with ice skating around a holiday tree followed by visits to dessert stations, including a large chocolate fountain. There’s a meet-and-greet and photo op with Santa at a life-size gingerbread house.

When: Dec. 16

Cost, info: Adults $35, $20 for children younger than 12 . No dogs. (213) 765-8600,

To suggest an event that’s cool and close to home, email at least four weeks before the event.