In spite of 100 mile an hour winds and their aftermath Altadena's Christmas Tree Lane shines on beginning tomorrow, December 10! The enormous, beautifully lit trees have become so popular that a community gathering has risen among them like mushrooms and you are invited to join the Pasadena Waldorf School Singers, the Blair IB Singers, the Altadena Children's Choir and vendors selling everything from jewelry to home goods for the 2nd annual Winter Arts and Crafts festival beginning at 2pm. This years festival (the 91st!) features food vendors and several food trucks as well as complimentary hot spiced cider, coffee and cocoa. Click here for information (including parking and street closings) and directions. Even if you're not free to see the first lighting tomorrow this is a lovely tradition and I encourage you to take the drive to Altedena. You don't even have to get out of your car - pack some cookies, put on a holiday story or some music and just drive up and down the lane a few times. You and your kids will feel like you've done something special. You can enjoy of beauty of the trees from December 10th - January 1st and then again on January 6th and 7th. The trees are lit from dusk until 10pm.
While it's true that there will be some great food at the Christmas Tree Lane Festival tomorrow something very special - food wise - is going on in Pasadena and if you are anything like me you are going to want to swing by on your way to see the trees.
It's Eat My Blog - the charity bake sale to benefit the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. Saturday, December 10th, 10am - 4pm at Pita Jungle - 43 East Colorado Blvd. The folks over there made this pretty map -
The list of participating bakers is mouthwatering and the available treats - oh, my fingers just did a little dance: pumpkin cake, s'mores, bacon caramel popcorn, sugar cookies, tea cakes, flat breads peanut brittle (love, love, love peanut brittle!) and the magical sounding truffle dust. The list goes on and on - lots of vegan, lots of gluten free and lots of fun for a great cause.
For handmade items of a different sort grab your tote bag and make your way to Los Angeles State Park for the second annual Renegade Craft Fair Holiday Market.
Featuring more than 200 artists as well as a slew of DIY workshops this is the perfect place to purchase something different or learn to make something special. Food trucks, music, a photo booth - it's a FREE, fun way to spend either Saturday or Sunday afternoon. The Renegade Craft Fair runs Saturday and Sunday from 10am - 5pm. It's here for information and directions.
Way over on the other side of town it's the 49th annual Marina Del Rey Christmas Boat Parade - Christmas Carnival - Saturday, rain or shine. Fireworks are at 5:55 and the parade begins at 6pm. Click here for all the details including suggested viewing spots.
On Sunday at Santa Monica's Bergamont Station Arts Center you can pick up something cool for your walls at the Popular Art Auction.
Included in the auction is original art, commercial art, illustrations, posters and other items. Take a look at the web site here for images (send the kids out - lots of breasts right off the bat!) The auction begins at 1pm and goes through the afternoon. Info and directions here.
The Skirball Cultural Center hosts their annual Family Hanukah Festival this Sunday, December 12th from 11am - 4pm.
The Festival features music, puppets, storytelling, drop in art workshops and a family dance jam. Tickets are 410 for adults, $7 for seniors and students, $5 for kids 2 - 12 members are Free. Get details and purchase tickets here.
While you are at the Skirball be sure to see Women Hold Up Half The Sky. This ground-breaking, multi-media exhibition, inspired by the best selling book Women Hold Up Half The Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, addresses the world-wide oppression of women as the human rights cause of our time. As you can imagine, some of the stories told are heartbreaking. This is not a time to let your kids explore on their own. But please don't let that put you off. This is an important exhibition, one that can and should be viewed, with your guidance, by those 12-13 and older ( as always, know your child.) Additionally, the Skirball has done a wonderful job of creating a family friendly exhibition map (suggested for those 8 and up) that focuses on positive action everyone can take to make a difference. It's a powerful exhibition, challenging and hopeful. You will leave better informed and permanently engaged in the cause.
Have a wonderful weekend.