Skating and Irish music, holiday fair and farms are on for the weekend near L.A.

Expect music, Santa and lots of sparkle at the Grove's 18th tree lighting.
Expect music, Santa and lots of sparkle at the Grove’s 18th tree lighting.
(Joshua Tousey Photography)

The weekend’s nearby events are your chance to tour an alpaca farm, make latte art and get into the holiday spirit with gift shopping, music and ice skating.

Santa Monica

Ice at Santa Monica’s 8,000-square-foot ice rink on Fifth Street and Arizona Avenue is open for the holiday season. Go on Sundays for a live soundtrack to your skating. You’ll hear six-time Grammy winner Daniel Ho performs ukulele tunes, followed by the Bracken Band’s Irish music on guitar and violin.

When: 2 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. weekends. Through Jan. 20

Cost, info: $15 includes admission and skate rental. Family friendly. No dogs. (310) 260-1199,



Shop to the sound of live holiday music at the 37th Irvine Fine Arts Center Holiday Faire. More than 100 local artists offer festive decorations, handmade crafts and fall desserts served in collectible ceramic dishes. Proceeds support the arts center’s classes and other programming.

When: 5 p.m. Nov. 8 and 9 a.m. Nov. 9

Cost, info: $2 admission, free for kids 12 and younger. Family friendly. Only service dogs permitted. (949) 724-6880,

Ventura County

More than 15 farms offer free tours, educational activities and food samples during the seventh Ventura County Farm Day. Learn about sustainable farming at Houweling’s Tomatoes, play with furry animals at Alpacas at Windy Hill and stroll through Earthtrine Farm’s 12 acres of culinary herbs, greens and 100 other crops. Attendees drive themselves to each location, some of which require reservations.


When: 10 a.m. Nov. 9

Cost, info: Free. Family friendly. No dogs. (805) 901-0213,

Los Angeles

Learn how to craft latte art and coffee cocktails at the Los Angeles Coffee Festival at Magic Box at the Reef. Between espresso shots, check out coffee-inspired artwork, music performances and baristas as they show off their skills in brewing, blending and signature drinks in a global competition called Coffee Masters.

When: First sessions at 9:30 a.m. Nov. 9 and 10


Cost, info: $27 (when purchased online before the event) for one three-hour session. Family friendly. Only service dogs permitted.

Los Angeles

Shop for beadwork, carvings and other handmade goods made by artists from 40 Native American nations at the Autry Museum of the American West’s American Indian Arts Marketplace. You can also snack on fry bread, take a hoop-dancing workshop and watch short plays by the Autry’s resident theater company.

When: 10 a.m. Nov. 9 and 10

Cost, info: $15, with reduced admission for children, students and seniors; free for active military personnel and veterans. Family friendly. No dogs. (323) 667-2000,


Los Angeles

Gather with fellow film and TV fans for live podcasts, cast reunions and pop-culture-themed fun at Vulture Festival. In the lineup are “Anatomy of a Performance,” with Elisabeth Moss, a conversation with Manny Jacinto and D’Arcy Carden from “The Good Place” and an eating demonstration with David Chang and a special guest. Event tickets are sold separately but all ticket holders have access to the poolside Vulture Lounge at the Hollywood Roosevelt.

When: Check website for event dates, times and locations. Nov. 9 and 10

Cost, info: Events range from free to $40. Family friendly but some material may not be suitable for children. No dogs. (212) 508-0400,

Note: Always check before you go because weather or other factors can affect events. Children should always be accompanied by an adult. Assume dogs must be on a leash. To suggest an event that’s cool and close to home, email at least four weeks before the event.