Winter breakout: Festivities to frequent

by Mellisa Mulia

Although some students’ plans for a dream Winter break may consist of Netflix and sleep, there are a multitude of activities, from ice-skating to firework gazing, that can ‘light’ up the holidays and make long-lasting memories.

Local events that are free to attend are “Holiday Cheer & Tree Lighting” today from 5-9 p.m on George Hensel Drive in Montebello. Food, arts and crafts will be offered, as well as tree lighting and games. More information is available at (323) 887-4577.

Those who wish to see snow and holiday lights can visit “Snow Los Angeles” in Elysian Park, which costs $15, or “Snow and More!” in Echo Park, which is free with a reservation on the website eventbrite.com. “Snow and More!” will be presented tomorrow from 5-8 p.m. and “Snow Los Angeles” will be shown Dec. 15-17, 22 and 23. Tickets can be purchased on snowdayla.com/tickets.

Ice skating rinks to visit include ICE in Santa Monica and Woodland Hills Ice. In Santa Monica, the outdoor skating rink costs $15, which includes admission and skate rentals. At Woodland Hills Ice, prices are $13 for children 8 years and under and $15 for ages 9 and over. Skates cost $5 for every 30 minutes.

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Graphic by Jayden Liu

Star-gazing can also be done during the winter break at Griffith Observatory. Free events are scheduled regarding the Winter Solstice, and a public star party where the whole family has a chance to view the Sun, Moon, visible planets and other objects.

Watching classic holiday movies is available at Marina Del Rey’s free screenings at Burton Chace Park starting at 6 p.m., which include “Home Alone” on Dec. 16, “A Christmas Story” on Dec. 23, and “It’s A Wonderful Life” Dec. 30.

Visitors to Grand Park in Los Angeles can see “holiday décor with a 45-foot tree perfect for use as a backdrop of the annual family holiday photo,” according to grandpark.org. At Citadel Outlets, shoppers may take pictures with the “World’s Tallest Live-Cut Tree.”

Besides viewing holiday lights and visiting displays, various New Year’s activities will be held.  New Year’s Eve in Los Angeles (NYELA) at Grand Park is a free event Dec. 31 with a 3D digital video mapping on City Hall, a countdown, music performances and food, according to nyela.grandparkla.org. Marina Del Rey New Year’s Eve is also a free event with a countdown and fireworks from 8:59-11:59 p.m. A “Glow Party” will be offered from 7-12 p.m. with food trucks, face painting, free giveaways and music.

The Pasadena Rose Parade is another traditional event to attend to view colorful floats, marching bands and equestrian groups on Jan. 1 beginning at 8 a.m. Reserved grandstand tickets are available online at tournamentofroses.com, or viewers can line the curbs of Colorado Boulevard beginning at noon Dec. 31.

With so many events occurring during Winter Break, students may find reasons to limit sleep and make some plans with family and friends.

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