A Dozen Shades of L.A. Winter Fun

By Michael Berick

snow activities

Enjoy some winter-time thrills at Discovery Cube L.A. PHOTO COURTESY DISCOVERY CUBE

Sometimes it’s hard to tell it is December in California. The skies remain sunny and the temperature touches 80. Sometimes you get the itch for a visit from winter, particularly when that doesn’t require driving on icy roads. This month offers several new spots that can cure your “lack of winter” blues as well as some continuing from November.

A Winter Wonderfest takes over Discovery Cube L.A. (11800 Foothill Blvd., L.A.; la.discoverycube.org, and Orange County, too) from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 17-Jan. 8. While you can find out about the science that goes into sledding and how snow angels are created, the real attraction for kids is getting to make snow angels, go sledding and snow tubing and frolic in snow play areas. Admission is $12.95 online; $17.95 adults, $12.95 children in person.

Kidspace (480 N. Arroyo Blvd., Pasadena; www.kidspacemuseum.org) offers a holiday gift for all kids who love wintry weather when Snow Days returns to the museum from 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 26-30. Children can bundle up and play in real snow, build a snowman and make snowballs. Admission is $13 for ages 1 and older and also features daily live performances, winter-related art projects and even cookie decorating (for an additional $3 fee).

Winter Fest arrives at the OC Fair (88 Fair Dr. Costa Mesa) Dec. 16 and stays through Jan. 1 with just about everything you could want from winter. There’s a large ice rink, a six-lane ice slide, a snow play zone, a holiday light display and visits from Santa, plus carnival games, live entertainment, bounce houses and other things you’d find at most festivals. There’s even a giant rocking horse and the world’s largest walk-through ornament. Get all the details about the festival’s hours, activities and ticket prices at www.winterfestoc.com.

Have you skated on a battleship? You can on the Battleship USS Iowa (250 S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro; www.pacificbattleship.com), which will be home to a Los Angeles Kings Holiday Ice Rink from 3-10:30 p.m. weekends through Jan. 8 for a fee of $15 per person. The Iowa, however, is offering more than just a winter rink. December weekends will also feature a free North Pole Village where you can ride down the Arctic Slide or write holiday letters to U.S. troops and Santa. There will be also an interactive onboard tour for $12 and, on Friday nights, a free holiday film series from 6-8 p.m. featuring “Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas” Dec. 2, “Elf” Dec. 9 and “Frozen” Dec. 16.

There’s more skating at The Rink In Downtown Burbank (N. 3rd Street and E. Orange Grove Avenue, Burbank; www.dtnbur.com/event/the-rink-in-downtown-burbank) from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sun.-Thur. and 10 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat. Dec. 15-Jan. 8. Admission is $10 for unlimited skating (but no re-entry) with skate rentals for $5 and, for those who need it, $6 Bobby the Seal skating aid rental. This rink is one of several seasonal skate spots. Others include Pershing Square’s Holiday Ice Rink (www.holidayicerinkdowntownla.com), ICE at Santa Monica (www.ICEatSantaMonica.com), Holiday Ice Rink at The Lakes (www.shoplakes.com/event/1676/) and the several LA Kings-sponsored rinks (www.kings.ice.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=114189).

Many other excellent attractions have been open since November and are still chilling. You can skate, ice tube and explore the frigid “Alice in Winterland” interactive experience at CHILL at The Queen Mary (1126 Queens Highway., Long Beach; www.queenmary.com/chill) on select days through Jan. 8. Snow tubing is the main event at Snow Day LA (Montecillo De Leo Politi, Stadium Way and Scott Ave., L.A.; www.snowlosangeles.com), which is open on select days through Dec. 23. Additionally, there is a duo of dazzling winter-themed light show installations, “L.A. Zoo Lights” (6-10 p.m. through Dec. 23, 5333 Zoo Dr., L.A.; www.lazoolights.org) and the new “Enchanted: Forest of Light” at Descanso Gardens (5-10 p.m. through Jan. 8, 1418 Descanso Dr., La Cañada-Flintridge; www.descansogardens.org). So much winter-time fun to fit into one season!

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