Year-end events in and near L.A. that will have you shivering with delight


Dumpling art, ice tubing and Pasadena history can all be part of your last weekend of the decade.

Los Angeles

Santa’s North Pole Village has moved from the Arctic to Wisdome.LA, an Arts District event space composed of five domes. Explore the village’s life-size elf houses, collection of nutcrackers and Northern Lights show complete with snowfall and the smell of fresh pine. Also on your to-do list: a bubble wonderland, crafts in Candyland and a 360-degree Snowflake Adventure Ride.

When: Check website for daily opening times through Dec. 30 (closed Dec. 25)


Cost, info: $30. Family friendly. Dogs OK. (323) 689-6530,

Costa Mesa

Where to begin at Winter Fest at the OC Fair and Event Center? Tubing down a 150-foot ice mountain? Or maybe a sticky pudding with Charles Dickens in London Town? You could also stroll through a candy maze, try your luck at carnival games or ice skate with a view of two Christmas trees. Allow a full day of exploration to see musical performances, fireworks and snowfall.

When: Check website for daily opening times through Jan. 5

Cost, info: Tickets from $8. Family friendly. Only service dogs permitted;

Los Angeles

Dumpling and Associates is a series of interactive art installations celebrating the universally beloved food and its “associates,” including garlic, spicy dipping sauce and steamer baskets. Inside the Row DTLA exhibit, you can swing on a giant hanging garlic clove, kick back in a dumpling-filled whirlpool and take pictures in an anti-gravity kitchen. Reservations required.

When: 11 a.m. Check website for available dates through March 5


Cost, info: $32 for one hour. Family friendly. Only service dogs permitted. (424) 324-7911,


Leading up to Pasadena’s New Year’s Day events is Live on Green, a family festival with six pavilions of games, educational activities and performances at the Pasadena Convention Center. History fans can browse Rose Bowl Game memorabilia, equestrians can learn about the role of horses in the Rose Parade and kids can dabble in meteorology, cooking and gardening.

When: 10 a.m. Dec. 29-31

Cost, info: Free. Family friendly. Only service dogs permitted. (626) 793-2122,


New Year’s Eve in downtown Fullerton means stilt walkers, zip lining and carnival games at the 28th First Night Fullerton. Check out four stages of live music, food booths and a kids zone with inflatable obstacle courses before the fireworks show at midnight.

When: 7 p.m. Dec. 31

Cost, info: Free. Family friendly. Dogs OK at the festival but not recommended during fireworks show. (714) 738-6545,

San Pedro

Welcome 2020 with a chilly swim (or quick dip) in the Pacific at the Cabrillo Beach Polar Bears’ annual New Year’s Day Swim. The morning starts with the coronation of the Polar Bears’ new king and queen, who represent the swimming, fitness and community service club at events. Follow the leaders into the ocean, then celebrate with hot chocolate, cupcakes and a commemorative certificate.


When: 11:30 a.m. Jan. 1

Cost, info: Free. Family friendly. No dogs. (310) 548-7554,