LOS ANGELES—There are few ways to get a better sense of LA's stunning diversity than to explore its dozens of holiday-season celebrations, parades and other events. From the pageantry of boat parades and Victorian-era exhibitions to the stomp of a rock and blues concert, LA's November and December events are sure to get locals and visitors alike into the holiday spirit. And many of these events are free!
32nd Annual Spirit of San Pedro Holiday Parade (Dec. 2): Let the holidays give you an excuse to explore one of LA's oldest and most authentic neighborhoods by checking out the Spirit of San Pedro Holiday Parade, which is hosted by the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce and the San Pedro Historic Waterfront Business Improvement District. Free. 310.832.7272. www.sanpedrochamber.com/
Victorian Christmas House Tour (Dec. 2): Take a trip back in time for the holidays with a tour of the 1898-build Grier Musser Museum near Downtown. $6 – $12. 213.413.1814. http://griermussermuseum.org/calendar.html
GrinchmasTM (Dec. 8-9/15-31): He may have stolen Christmas, but the mighty Grinch more than makes up for it at Universal Studios Hollywood, where the Grinch's faithful dog Max, nightly tree-lighting and the original sets of the classic film "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas" as well as celebrity readings of that classic give visitors a true voyage into Whoville. Festivities included with admission. 800.UNIVERSAL. www.universalstudioshollywood.com/
Candy Cane Lane (Dec. 8 – 31): Woodland Hills' Candy Cane Lane comes alive every holiday season, when the eight-square-block neighborhood near Lubao Avenue and Oxnard Street go full bore with their home-lighting decorations as well as elves, artificial snow and other holiday goodies. Candy Cane Lane has been a Valley tradition for 60 years. Free. www.woodlandhillscc.net/candy_cane_lane.html
Los Angeles Ballet Presents The Nutcracker (Dec. 22 – 23): Northridge's Valley Performing Arts Center presents the timeless holiday classic about Clara, her Nutcracker and the magical Land of Snow and Palace of the Dolls. $30 – $95. 818.677.3000. www.valleyperformingartscenter.org/
Victorian Christmas (Dec. 1 – 2): Wilmington's Banning Museum gets festive for the holidays with its annual Victorian Christmas weekend, which includes horse-drawn carriage rides, wreath making instructions and visits from both Queen Victoria and St. Nick himself. Free. 310.548.7777. www.thebanningmuseum.org/.
12 Days of Holiday Cheer (Dec. 1 – 12): Downtown Burbank gets into the holiday spirit every year with its 12 Days of Holiday Cheer celebration, which includes live entertainment, a tree-lighting and a Santa's Wonderland for the kids. Most events free. 818.238.5209. www.downtown-burbank.org/events.php.
Las Posadas (Dec. 16 – 24): Journey to the birthplace of LA, where Olvera Street presents the reenactment of Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem in their search for shelter on Christmas Eve. Songs, a candlelight procession and the breaking of a piñata are part of each night's festivities. Free. 213.285.8372. http://www.ci.la.ca.us/elp/elptourevents.htm.
53rd Annual LA County Holiday Celebration (Dec. 24): Choirs, dance companies and live bands show LA's true diversity at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion's LA County Holiday Celebration, a local holiday tradition since 1959. Free. 213.202.5858. www.lacountyarts.org/holiday.html.
50th Annual Los Angeles Harbor Holiday Afloat Parade (Dec. 1): About 60 boats will mark the Golden Anniversary of the LA Harbor Holiday Afloat Parade, where viewers can kick of festivities at Banning's Landing Community Center and finish the night off with Fanfare Fountain's holiday program. Free. 310.SEA.PORT. www.portoflosangeles.org/newsroom/
The Lights of Hanukkah Family Tour (Dec. 2/8/9/13/15/16): The Skirball Cultural Center highlights the Jewish holiday with an exhibition of Hanukkah lamps and a presentation of the history and significance of the annual event in addition to dreidel spinning and a chance to "meet" Judah Maccabee. Free with museum admission. 310.440.4500. www.skirball.org/programs/title222.
Chanukah at Universal CityWalk (Dec. 9): The Festival of Lights just got a little brighter with Chabad of the Valley's annual Chanukah 8th Day Concert at Universal CityWalk. Free.818.758.1818. www.chabadofthevalley.com/.
Stevie Wonder's 17th Annual House Full of Toys (Dec. 15): The iconic Stevie Wonder comes back to the Nokia Theatre at L.A. LIVE for his annual holiday benefit concert, which always features other special musical guests. Last year's version included Justin Bieber and Drake. $45 – $149.50. 213.763.6000. http://nokiatheatrelalive.com/events/
Rufus and Martha Wainwright: Christmas 101 (Dec. 21 – 22): The musical Wainwright family brings in guests such as Emmylou Harris, Van Dyke Parks and Carrie Fisher to continue their eight-year tradition of performing eclectic holiday carols in French and English at UCLA's Royce Hall. $20 – $60 (ticket revenue goes to the Kate McGarrigle Fund for sarcoma research). 310.825.2101. http://cap.ucla.edu/calendar/event_detail.asp?id=241
Brian Setzer: Christmas Rocks! Extravaganza (Dec. 22): There's no better way to disturb the holiday peace than with Brian Setzer and his utterly rockin' orchestra, playing the Christmas classics at the Gibson Amphitheatre at Universal CityWalk loud. $79.75 –$99.75. 818.622.4440. www.ticketmaster.com/Brian-Setzer.
Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board is a private, nonprofit business association whose primary mission is to market and promote Los Angeles as the premier site for leisure travel, meetings and conventions. Though not part of City government, LA Tourism is recognized as the City’s official tourism marketing organization. For more information, visit the official visitor information website of Los Angeles at www.discoverLosAngeles.com, facebook.com/LosAngelesFan or go to Twitter @discoverLA.