for Los Angeles (and beyond) 2009
The winter holidays season - Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, Solstice and beyond - is a time of family gatherings, crafts, celebrations and admit it... shopping. Often places re-make themselves into an old-fashioned world or create a picturesque fantasy to help with the mood.
Many places add the wonderful ambiance of Yuletide costumes to their holiday events. Here is a highlight of some of Los Angeles's events.
Whether you dress up or just want to go to watch costumed folks in Los Angles and celebrate. (Check Other Sources for hints on how to find more events.)
Historic dace can be the highlight of the entire holiday season. In costume, it certainly is the most romantic.
Most of these dances require tickets be purchased in advance and most require at least, an attempt at the costume of the period. However, first time out, most will allow modern formal wear. There are other dances throughout the year where you can learn.
Regency ballroom dances are charming, and not very difficult. Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven all wrote dance music. Select dances for all levels. West side of Los Angeles. Light refreshments.
English Country Dance - Monrovia
Dances for 1650 to present day are taught. Beginners welcome, no partner required.
English Country Dance - Annual Harvest Ball
Honoring this year’s bountiful autumn Harvest. Sup at a sumptuous feast and dance with our friends from villages near and far. Formal attire please.
Earlier in the day with be beginner and intermediate dance. Box lunches may be purchased.
"Experience southern California Christmas traditions from the 1840s, 1870s, and 1920s at an afternoon fair with music, historic house tours, theatrical performances, crafts, food, and much more. Santa Claus will also be on hand for the festivities!"
"Visitors to enjoy the period decorations by moonlight! Tours will focus on how the celebration of Christmas in southern California changed from the 1840s through the 1920s. Following the tour, visitors can enjoy cider and some sweet treats in the Pio Pico Gallery."
Heritage Square Museum Lamplight Celebration
This year's program includes a special 40th Anniversary theme. Guests will dance and experience an 1890s ball featuring the first Grand Marshall of the Rose Bowl Parade in the grand parlor of the Perry Residence, screen-test for silent movies in 1910 inside the beautiful Hale House, and see the beauty of other holiday traditions bringing families together in the 1930s inside the Valley Knudsen Garden Residence/Shaw House. Costumed hosts transport visitors from house to house while warm apple cider and tasty treats await museum visitors at the end of their tour.
Heritage House: A Southern California Christmas
"Join Heritage Square Museum as we chronicle how Christmas was celebrated in the Southland from the late 19th through the mid 20th centuries. Over fifty historic images offer a glimpse of the culture, commerce and art of Christmas in Southern California from 1880 to 1950, capturing the core details of holiday celebrations in each era".
Victorian Christmas, Fireside traditions - Banning House Museum
Canceled for 2009, back in 2010
Much research has been done to ensure that the Museum will reflect realism in decor and display a re-creation of "A Victorian Christmas, Fireside Traditions". In addition to tours of the Museum, you will enjoy free transport on a horse-drawn trolley between the Museum and Drum Barracks as well as specially planned old fashioned activities. Light refreshment provided, lunch available for purchase.
"Navidad in Early California" Christmas Candlelight Tours / Christmas Open House - Rancho Los Cerritos
"Christmas 1850 at Rancho Los Cerritos and explore holiday traditions and life in early California with the Temples, their guests and ranch workers. The 160-year-old adobe house will come to life with the sights and sounds of holidays past, including Christmas greenery and decorations authentic to the period." Holiday music and refreshments after the tour.
Gilded Age Holiday in the Mansion
Gather family and friends for a Gilded Age Holiday in the Mansion tour and enjoy the beauty and history of Edwardian-style holiday décor in the 100 year-old Fenyes Mansion, one of the few remaining grand residences that once lined Orange Grove Boulevard -- Pasadena's famed "Millionaire's Row." Trained docents will weave stories of long-ago holiday celebrations with details of the decorating styles of the early 1900s and the genesis of many of today's cherished traditions.
Complete your festive afternoon with a special tea beginning at 1:45 pm at one of the city's signature dining spots, The Raymond Restaurant. Originally the caretaker's cottage of the famed Raymond Hotel, the restaurant is located at 1250 S. Fair Oaks Ave.
Old Riverside Foundation Victorian 12th Night Celebration
Progressive Dinner in the Heritage Square Historic District, Riverside. Horse drawn carriages take guests to 3 vintage homes decorated in holiday splendor. Delicious gourmet food, elegant but fun. Live music and carolers. Victorian dress encouraged or dress festive, but for a carriage ride. Fundraiser for Old Riverside Foundation historic preservation group.
Ice Skating at Pershing Square
Looking for a chance to ice skate out doors???? Pershing Square Into a Winter Wonderland. Not quite a costume event, but you could wear your Victorian's for an old fashion skate. Youth hockey clinics, concerts and entertainment for kids are all at no cost. (See site for specific events.)
Musical entertainment includes weekday lunch shows, everything from disco to reggae, Friday evening is tribute bands, Saturday 1-3 is kids, Sunday afternoon is country, swing, jazz. Thursday evening is for rock bands.
Ships in Costume!
There are a couple of holiday spectacular in the Harbor. The boats will be all decked out in their best lighting. Dress on the crews will vary.
More Local City Street Fairs and Local Celebrations
I'm not going to try and catch these. Some communities with get elaborate during Yuletide, others leave it to the malls, while even others will quietly celebrate. Check your local paper for special events. (If you think your group merits singling out, contact us.)
Most of Southern Californian's theme parts will do a holiday makeup this December. If you're a regular to the parts, you know it's always fun to see the twist on the costumes. This is the only time of the year, the characters outfits are specially designed to help get you in the mood. Though 90 degree days do seem incongruous with the characters' winter wonderland dress! Here I'm only going to highlight the biggest costume changes.
Disneyland always remakes their amusement parks into a winter wonderland. Many of the costumed characters change costumes representing the season. Victorian Dress is a theme for many of the characters, street bands and singers. The stage shows, remade for the holidays, show some of the most magical revisions of the costumes of the entire year. I is well worth the crowds to enjoy.
Haunted Mansion Holiday is also billed as When Holidays Collide. Disneyland has remade over their famous Haunted Mansion in the style of "Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas". The somber New Orleans styled house has been redecorated as Jack Skellington and the other residents of his world descending for some delightful twists on the mix of Christmas and Halloween. Runs though January 6th only.
Giant Victorian-era crafts fair in the western Ghost town inside the park Snoopy Ice show and the rollercoasters for a bit more
Use search engines for events around Los Angeles. Note: no search engines have everything, so dig for info.