It’s that time of year when the happenings reflect the holiday spirit

Yep, that’s a real person, not a painting, next to artist Alexa Meade. Watch her cover more people in paint for her “Immersed in Wonderland” exhibit next weekend in Beverly Hills.
(Alexa Meade)

Something in the air calls for ice skating, gingerbread-house making and gazing at twinkly lights, which is good because they are all part of the weekend’s holiday fun.


Lace up a pair of ice skates for a full day at Winterfest in Santa Anita Park. After a few laps around the rink, take photos with Santa, play in faux snow, build gingerbread houses and ride in a horse-drawn carriage. The monthlong festival also has a petting zoo, pony rides, inflatable slides, ornament making, live music and seasonal food and beverages.

When: 3 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 11 a.m. weekends, through Dec. 23

Cost, info: $5. Family friendly. No dogs. (626) 574-6384,


Los Angeles

Trek to the chilly North Pole, fluorescent Fa La Forest and sweet Candyfornia — and be back by dinner — at Fa La Land, a holiday pop-up museum at Row DTLA shopping center. Tickets include photo ops with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, toy-making in Santa’s workshop and an exit through a souvenir shop so you can turn your own home into a mini Fa La Land.

When: 11 a.m. Tuesdays-Fridays, 10 a.m. weekends, through Dec. 26

Cost, info: $37. Family friendly. No dogs.

Los Angeles

Become part of Alexa Meade’s pop-up art installation at “Immersed in Wonderland” on Rodeo Drive. On Dec. 14, watch Meade paint directly onto live models so they blend in with the installation. Before and after the exhibit, hear live holiday music, take a lights tour on a motorcycle-drawn coach and write a message on a peace wall.

When: 5 p.m. Dec 14 for live painting, exhibit daily through Dec. 23.

Cost, info: Free. Family friendly. Dogs OK. (310) 248-1015,

Los Angeles

If your idea of a “fun run” includes a snack at every kilometer, the Tikim Filipino Food Fun Run is for you. Walk or run the 5K at Los Angeles State Historic Park while sampling bite-size sisig (a spicy fried pork dish), ube- (purple yam)-filled bread and other delights. A full-on Filipino food fest awaits at the finish line. Some proceeds go to Bantay Bata, which helps feed children in the Philippines.

When: 9:30 a.m. Dec. 15

Cost, info: Run is $20 to $50; festival is free. Family friendly. Dogs OK at festival. (650) 743-4718,

Long Beach

You’ll see scores of twinkling bulbs at the annual Long Beach Boat Parade of 1,000 Lights. Dazzlingly decorated boats and yachts will sail past the Pine Avenue Pier, through the Queensway Bay and by the Queen Mary, which will be decked out with an 80-foot Christmas tree and 45,000 lights. There are a few free viewing areas downtown, but the best spots are Rainbow Harbor and Shoreline Village.

When: 5:30 p.m. Dec. 15

Cost, info: Free. Family friendly. Dogs OK. (562) 436-3645,