By Michele E. Buttelman
Signal Staff Writer
The last two months of the year are filled with festive and fun activities in Southern California. It’s time to celebrate the season with annual seasonal events.
Before the hectic holiday rush begins, plan your visits to these truly memorable southern California holiday spectacles.
The 21st Annual Festival of Trees
Friday, Nov. 17- Sunday, Nov. 19
Canyon Country Community Center, 18410 Sierra Highway 91351
The Santa Clarita Valley’s kickoff event for the holidays is the annual Festival of Trees held to benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley.
For more than 20 years, Santa Clarita families have been creating memorable holiday experiences at Festival of Trees, a community-wide holiday event.
General Admission Community Days are Friday, Nov. 17, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 18/Sunday, Nov. 19 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The signature fundraising event of Festival of Trees is the Magic of the Lights Gala to be held Friday, Nov. 17 at 6 p.m. Buy your tickets now because this beautiful event always sells out. Enjoy a cocktail reception amid live auction large trees, silent auction gingerbread houses and tabletop trees, followed by live entertainment, a live auction of the large trees, drinks and gourmet gala dinner. Pre-purchased ticket or sponsorship required. Tickets are $150 each.
Volunteers are sought for a variety of positions at Festival of the Trees. For more information, visit scvbgc.org/volunteering.
Los Angeles Zoo Lights
Friday, Nov 17 – Sunday, Jan. 7
5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles 90027
Los Angeles’ wildest holiday tradition will feature “Animals Aglow” at the Los Angeles Zoo in Griffith Park.
Explore an immersive landscape filled with dazzling new lantern sculptures of animals among blooming flowers, towering trees and more. This year’s Zoo Lights experience will feature all-new seasonal wonders, including a magical Winter Wildlands with majestic pine trees, glowing ice crystals, snow-loving animals, views of the “northern lights” and spectacular photo spots.
VIP experiences and a sensory-inclusive evening are available.
Take a self-guided 60- to 90-minute stroll through a large area of the Zoo filled with wildlife-inspired lantern displays, interactive experiences and roaming live entertainment.
Discover all-new wonders such as the Dazzling Desertscape, magnificent scenes of native California wildlife and much more.
Dance along with motion-sensing cacti, play on luminous swings, challenge the family to a round of holiday hopscotch, enter a giant walk-in kaleidoscope and more.
Warm up with hot cocoa and other tasty treats available for purchase. Guests 21 and older can enjoy beer, wine and spiked hot chocolate.
Ticket prices vary with weeknights less than weekends. Parking is free.
The 91st Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade
Sunday, Nov. 26 at 6 p.m.
The parade starts near the Roosevelt Hotel and the Chinese Theater. It continues down Hollywood Boulevard, turns on Vine and then turns on Sunset.
The 91st Hollywood Christmas Parade is dedicated to promoting kindness and the thought of giving and helping others. Each year it features Toys for Tots as well as many other charitable organizations.
One of the best places to park is at the Hollywood/Highland shopping complex, 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood 90028.
From the SCV one of the easiest ways to get to the parade is via the Metro Red Line from the North Hollywood station at 11232 Cumpston St. 91601, to the Hollywood/Vine or Hollywood/Highland Red Line stations. Both stations get you directly onto the parade route.
Enchanted Forest of Light
Sunday, Nov. 19–Sunday, Jan. 7, 5:30–10 p.m.
Descanso Gardens, 1418 Descanso Drive,
La Cañada Flintridge, 91011
A shimmering nocturnal wonderland Descanso’s Enchanted Forest of Light is an interactive, nighttime experience featuring a one-mile walk through unique lighting experiences in some of the most beloved areas of Descanso Gardens.
Returning illuminated favorites include an entire town of magical “stained glass” creations on the Main Lawn by contemporary sculptor Tom Fruin; sparkling geometric installations from HYBYCOZO in the Rose Garden; Flower Power on the Promenade and exquisite lighting effects in the Ancient Forest.
Enchanted is a rain-or-shine event. Tickets are non-refundable, have timed entry and must be purchased in advance.
Ticket prices vary and range from non-member adult ($35) to non-member children at $30. Advance tickets are necessary.