Santa sightings, lights tour and holiday events to celebrate the season

Dec 5, 2022

It’s the holiday season, and there are plenty of local events and activities that are bringing the cheer and holiday magic to the Westchester/Playa and Marina area!

Whether you’re looking for a photo with Santa, a chance to see some dazzling lights or an opportunity to give back, you won’t be disappointed with our top picks for holiday happenings to round out 2022!

Supervisor Holly Mitchell will serve as the Grand Marshal for the 60th anniversary of the Marina del Rey Boat Parade on December 10th. Photo by Venice Paparazzi.

Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade “Sparkle on the Water”

Saturday, December 10 | 6 to 8 p.m.

If you’ve never been to the Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade, it’s a magical experience you should definitely add to your December calendar! This year, the parade is celebrating its 60th anniversary of delighting spectators with its colorful entries decorated with twinkling lights, complete with boat crews ready to entertain the crowds with songs and choreographed dance routines.

 The two-hour parade kicks off at 5:55 p.m. on Saturday, December 10 with a five-minute firework display, before the boats circle the channel until 8 p.m. This year’s theme is “Sparkle on the Water” with L.A. County Supervisor Holly Mitchell serving as the Grand Marshal. Cedars-Sinai is the presenting sponsor.

Every year, an estimated 25,000 people head to the Marina to enjoy this festive event. Organizers recommend viewing the parade from Burton Chace Park (13650 Mindanao Way) or Fisherman’s Village (13755 Fiji Way) to enjoy a party-like atmosphere and be able to hear live announcements. Check out for an interactive map with recommended parking and viewing locations. Parking is available in county lots surrounding the event for $5 to $15.

Interested in entering your boat in the parade? Boaters have until Friday, December 9 to sign up to participate.

Visit for more information.     

The Westchester Mental Health Guild is hosting their Third Annual Lights Tour & Contest from December 10 to 26 to raise money for AMCS. Photo by Zsuzsi Steiner.

Third Annual Holiday Light Tour & Contest

December 10 through December 26

If you’re looking for the best light displays in town, the Westchester Mental Health Guild has made the search easy, thanks to their Third Annual Holiday Lights Tour & Contest.

For a $10 donation, community members will receive a map of more than 25 homes in Westchester and Playa del Rey that have worked hard to create the most beautiful and merry displays in the neighborhood!

Get a map of the community’s best decorated homes for a small donation to raise money for mental health services at AMCS.

Once you have your map, pack up your car with family and friends and go on a self-driving tour of the area. As part of the fun, each map comes with the opportunity to vote for a “Fan Favorite” home and the winning decorator will win a prize basket.

To purchase your ticket, visit Proceeds from the event benefit mental health services at AMCS.

Get all the items you need to make a yummy customized gift basket at Cantalini’s upcoming holiday mercato!

Holiday Mercato at Cantalini’s

Saturday, December 10 | 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Cantalini’s Salerno Beach is bringing back their holiday mercato on Saturday, December 10 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Stop by the PdR restaurant to create your customized gift baskets with items imported from Italy, including olive oil, assorted antipasto, salami, specialty wines, candies, pastries and more.

While you shop, guests 21+ can enjoy complimentary spiced sangria, and pizza by the slice will be available for purchase. Cantalini’s is located at 193 Culver Blvd. in Playa del Rey.

Santa will be at the Westchester Farmers’ Market for Winter Fest on December 11.

Winter Fest at the Westchester Farmers’ Market

Sunday, December 11 | 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Visit the Westchester Farmers’ Market on December 11 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for Winter Fest!

Santa will be making a special appearance at the market for photos during the event, courtesy of The Stephanie Younger Group!

The festive market day will include holiday arts and crafts, a 12 p.m. storytime with The Book Jewel, complimentary gift wrapping courtesy of the Westchester Rotary and caroling. The market will also be hosting a toy drive and collecting items for Food Pantry, LAX.

The Westchester Farmers’ Market is located in the Westchester Triangle at 6200 W. 87th Street in Westchester. Follow the market on social media @westchesterfarmersmarket for more details.

Thousands of lights transform Burton Chace Park during December. Photo courtesy Marina del Rey Tourism Board.

Marina Lights & New Year’s Eve Fireworks & Glow Party

Various Dates

Marina del Rey’s Burton Chace Park will be merry and bright starting December 1. Take a stroll in this popular park during the month of December to view thousands of glowing lights, once the sun sets.

On December 31, Burton Chace will be transformed into a Glow Party just in time for the New Year. Festivities run from 7 p.m. to midnight and include a DJ, live entertainment, face painting, photo booth, food trucks and more. To ring in 2023, 10-minute firework shows will be held at 8:59 p.m. and 11:59 p.m.

Burton Chace Park is located at 13650 Mindanao Way in Marina del Rey. For more information, please visit

Santa will be at Runway Playa Vista taking photos on Saturdays and Sundays. Walk up photos may be available if time permits. Photo by Venice Paparazzi.

RUNWAY Wonderland at RUNWAY Playa Vista

Various dates

When it comes to holiday events and activities, RUNWAY Playa Vista is a must-visit location in December! The shopping, dining and entertainment center, with shops like Whole Foods Playa Vista, Bull & Butterfly and Free Market, has tons of family and pet-friendly fun this month that is sure to put you in the holiday spirit.

On Saturdays and Sundays through December 18, Santa will be stopping by RUNWAY for photos. Limited space is available (as of press time), so RSVP for a five-minute time slot at Photos are complimentary with a suggested toy donation.

On December 10 and 17, RUNWAY will be hosting a Holiday Artisan Market from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Get in all your holiday shopping at more than 40 small business vendor booths, and enjoy live music, kids’ activities and more.

The community is also invited to celebrate Hanukkah on Sunday, December 18 with a ceremonial lighting of the Menorah at 5 p.m. next to Bull & Butterfly.

RUNWAY Playa Vista is located at 12775 Millennium Drive in Playa Vista. Visit for a full list of holiday fun.

Chabad of Playa del Rey is hosting a Menorah lighting on December 18.

Food Drive & Hanukkah Celebration in Playa del Rey

Food drive: Sunday, December 11 3 to 5 p.m. | Menorah Lighting: Sunday, December 18 at 5 p.m.

Grass Roots Neighbors is hosting a food drive on Sunday, December 11 from 3 to 5 p.m. Stop by their location during the drive to drop off donations of unopened, shelf stable food items and have the opportunity to have your photo taken with Santa! Monetary donations are also appreciated and will be matched by Legado, which is sponsoring the event.

On Sunday, December 18 at 5 p.m., Chabad of Playa del Rey will celebrate the start of Hanukkah with the lighting of the Menorah. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Both events will be held at Legado’s building at 200 Culver Blvd. in Playa del Rey.

Santa and his helpers from Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary will be making five stops in Westchester and Playa del Rey.

Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club’s Annual Santa Tour

Monday, December 19 | 5 to 7 p.m.

Santa Claus and the Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club have teamed up once again to wish the community “Happy Holidays!” On Monday, December 19, Santa Claus, his elf security detail and Rotarians will be making visits to five spots in Westchester/Playa with the help of Fire Station 5 and the LAPD sleigh! At each location, Santa will be stopping for pictures, passing out treats and accepting Christmas lists! Each location is unique, with some addresses hosting goodies and other surprises. While the volunteers try to keep jolly old St. Nick on time, please plan for the North Pole team to potentially run behind schedule. When you see the lights and the sirens, you’ll know Santa is coming to town! In case of rain, the event will be moved to Fire Station #5 (8900 Emerson Ave. in Westchester) from 5 to 7 p.m.

This year’s scheduled stops include:

• 5:15 p.m. 5801 W. 77th Place in East Westport Heights

• 5:45 p.m. at 8327 Truxton Ave. in Westport Heights

• 6:15 p.m. at 7901 Chase Ave. in Kentwood

• 6:45 p.m. at 7328 W. 90th Street in Loyola Village

• 7:15 p.m. at 7530 W. 81st Street in Playa del Rey

For more information, please call (310) 963-9494.

Hosting a holiday event or donation drive this month? Let us know by emailing us at

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