Malls and shopping centers in LA pull out all the stops to bring you through their doors to spend your holiday money. They put on festive entertainment that gets bigger, better and earlier every year. From aerialist performances to concerts, strolling carolers, artificial snow fall and of course, visits with Santa, there's plenty of free entertainment to go along with your LA shopping spree. LA Santas often pose with pets as well as kids, so check the schedule at each location for special pet days with Santa.
For 2012, the Beverly Center, along with other Taubman malls across the US, will re-purpose the three-story multimedia walk-through Ice Palace created for The Chronicles of Narnia, now themed for the movie Ice Age: Continental Drift. Families can measure their prehistoric heights against Sid & Diego, go paw-to-paw with the herd, and track down Scrat’s missing acorns throughout the palace before sitting on Santa's lap for a photo opportunity. November 8 - December 24, 2012.
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2. The Grove
The Grove Tree Lighting ceremony for the Grove's 100-foot tree is Sunday, November 11, 2012 at 7:30 pm with musical performances, Santa Claus and snow.
Thereafter it will be snowing every night at the Grove at 7 and 8 pm. There will be holiday entertainment and Santa in his cottage through Dec 24, with pet night every Tuesday through December 18.
Additional evens throughout the month include visits with Santa, an Ugly Sweater Party at Barney's Beanery, Holly Trolley Caroling Tours, a Jingle Bells Jammie Fest at Barnes & Noble, Menorah Lighting Ceremonies, The Metrolink Holiday Express, and more. More Info
Americana at Brand in Glendale also has a 100-foot tree with an official Tree Lighting event November 18, 2012 at 7:30 pm with Cirque du Santa, a winter wonderland of magical elves, flying reindeer, dancing snowmen, plus Santa Claus and fireworks finale. Like the Grove, Americana at Brand brings on the snow at 7 and 8 pm every evening through Christmas Eve. They also have similar roaming musicians and singers around the tree. Santa will be on hand for photo ops.
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The Farmers Market is right next to the Grove, but they are having their Tree and Holiday Lighting the Monday after Thanksgiving, Nov 26, 2012 from 5-6 pm in conjunction with the The Salvation Army Kettle Kick-Off Celebration. December 20-24, 2012 strolling carolers and the Toy Soldier Band will be on hand to entertain shoppers. The Menorah Lighting is Sunday, Dec 9.
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On Friday evenings from Nov 23 to Dec 21, 2012, Santa will show up at Two Rodeo, accompanied by snow falling from the rooftops. Two Rodeo will also have holiday carolers on Saturdays from 3 to 6 pm, and live music Thursdays and Fridays from 4 to 7 between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Old Town Pasadena will have dozens of events and promotions Thanksgiving weekend alone, starting with Santa arriving amidst 20 tons of snow to light the tree Friday after Thanksgiving from 6 to 8:30 pm. Donating a toy to the holiday toy drive will get you a complimentary photo with Santa. The weekend and the season will continue with treats, live entertainment, sing-alongs, giveaways and tours. Pet Night with Santa is Dec 13, 2012 from 5 to 9 pm.
Pasadena Budget Hotels List
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More on El Pueblo de Los Angeles historic Site
Santa Monica will have two Tree Lighting Ceremonies, one at the Ice at Santa Monica Ice rink on November 8, 2012 followed by a tree lighting in the central plaza at Santa Monica Place on November 17, 2012 at 6 pm.
Breakfast with Santa Claus at Santa Monica Place Dec 8, 2012
Cookie Making and Story Time with Mrs. Claus at the Market at Santa Monica Place Saturday Dec 15, 2012.
Menorah Lightings will take place at sundown every evening Dec 8 to 16, 2012.
ICE at Santa Monica outdoor skating rink will continue into February.
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Christmas Caroling Events in LA. I also have a separate list of Hanukkah Celebrations and Menorah Lighting Events in LA.