Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade begins tonight

The 102nd Annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade kicks off
Wednesday, Dec. 15, in Newport Harbor and continues each
night through Sunday, Dec. 19.

On average 100 boats participate in the festive event. Find the route map and more information at: Final evening fireworks on Sunday around 9 p.m. at the Balboa Pier, weather permitting.

Frommer’s has named Newport Beach as one of the TOP 10 destinations for World’s Best Holiday Lights:

For some great hotel deals in Newport Beach check out:

Holiday classics hit stage in Seattle

reputation as a thriving theater town is well deserved as resident productions of holiday classics hit stages all over the city.

the 5th Avenue Theatre, A Christmas Story: The
, based on the classic
holiday film, takes the audience into the Indiana home of Ralphie Parker, a nine-year-old
kid who is desperate for the ultimate Christmas present: an official Red Ryder
BB gun. A Christmas Story: The Musical!
is on stage throughDec. 30. Visit
for tickets and more information.

Celebrating its 35th anniversary of the
production, A Contemporary Theatre (ACT) presents the classical Charles Dickens’
A Christmas Carol, through Dec. 26. Visit for tickets and more information.

The award-winning Intiman Theatre
presents Black Nativity, a holiday gospel
celebration based on the works of Langston Hughes and accompanied by dance, Dec.
10-26 at the historic Moore Theatre. Visit
for tickets and more information.

photo by Ben VanHouten

Downtown Seattle’s Benaroya Hall hosts holiday-themed
musical performances throughout the month of December, ranging from the renowned
Seattle Symphony Orchestra to visiting symphony orchestras and the Seattle Men’s
Chorus performance of Holiday Glee, Dec. 12, 19 and 20. Visit and for tickets and more information.

At the Seattle Center, Seattle Children’s Theatre presents Lyle the Crocodile, Nov. 19, 2010-Jan. 9, 2011, based on the book
The House on East 88th by Bernard Waber.
Visit for tickets and more information.

Through Jan. 23, 2011, Teatro ZinZanni, located across from the Seattle Center,
presents Hearts on Fire, a combination
of cirque, comedy and cabaret with a full-course dinner. Visit for more information.

Few holiday show traditions boast the generational
appeal of The Nutcracker. Pacific Northwest
Ballet’s rendition dates to 1983 and features the now-famous collaboration
between the ballet’s founding artistic director and choreographer Kent Stowell
and renowned children’s book author and illustrator Maurice Sendak. The Nutcracker runs now through Dec. 30 at Marion Oliver McCaw
Hall on the Seattle Center campus. Visit
for ticket and schedule information.

For more performing arts events during the holiday season, visit

Downtown Los Angeles offers many holiday events

Now you can discover Downtown Los Angeles on foot through an
“Amazing Race” style game. The Downtown Center Business Improvement
has created a holiday-themed shopping
hunt just for Downtown on SCVNGR, the mobile gaming application that offers
quick-and-fun challenges at different locations. The holiday shopping hunt is
available between now and Christmas.


Playing is simple:

On iPhone or Android phones – Download the
SCVNGR application

Select the Treks tab and go to the
“Downtown LA Gift Hunt” game

Follow the clues and instructions on the game to
eight different shopping destinations in Downtown L.A.

Each location will
feature a single “challenge” – an interactive activity that
involves typing the correct answer on the phone. If successful, gamers will
earn discounts or promotional offers at each location as well as points toward
completion of the trek.

Contestants who
successfully complete each challenge at all locations will be entered into a
grand prize drawing for a memorable weekend stay at the historic Millennium
Biltmore Hotel in Downtown with an Afternoon Tea for Two at the Biltmore, plus
dinner for two at Caf Pinot.


For other phones, participants can text the keyword
“DOWNTOWNLA” to 728647 to begin playing (standard carrier rates


While visitors are learning about Downtown L.A., they can also
experience nine other holiday adventures (below) for a memorable season. More
ideas at


Light up the Holidays

With Christmas tree lightings at the Biltmore
and L.A. LIVE, a Chanukah Menorah
at Pershing Square, and Las Posadas on Olvera
, celebrate the holidays with light.


Join the Holiday Cheer

From the Walt Disney Concert Hall to the Nokia Theatre, there are
plenty of festive performances to choose from this season: Rejoice! Messiah,
, Go Tell It
on the Mountain: The Blind Boys of Alabama
, the Radio City
Christmas Spectacular Starring THE ROCKETTES
, Holiday
Organ Spectacular
and more.


Escape the Cold

Batten down the hatches! It’s 60 degrees in L.A.! Stay warm
indoors by visiting Downtown’s museums and exhibits like Suprasensorial:
Experiments in Light, Color, and Space at MOCA
, Re-Designing
History: FIDM Museum Study Collection, 1850-2000
, Strange
Kozmic Experience
at The Grammy Museum, or Forty Years
of Sesame Street Illustration
at the Central Library.


Or Just Pretend it’s Cold

Who needs snow when you’ve got Santa at 7+Fig
and ice skating at Pershing
and L.A. LIVE?
There’s also Winter
Afternoon Tea
or a reading of the children’s
The Polar Express
, at Rendezvous Court at the Millennium


Invite your relatives to stay – at one of Downtown’s
fantastic hotels

Holidays are about family – so invite them to stay, without the
downside of a crowded house. The historic Biltmore hotel, Wilshire Grand,
Sheraton Downtown L.A. and more are offering special holiday packages with
discounts on shopping, museums, nightlife and more. Get more info at


Give More than Season’s Greetings

If you would like to give more than season’s greetings this
holiday, there are plenty of opportunities for charitable giving in Downtown
Los Angeles: Volunteer with the Union Rescue Mission or LA Mission, donate to
one of several holiday gift drives, or have your child write a letter to Santa
at Macy’s and Macy’s will send $1 to the
Make-A-Wish Foundation
. Additionally, you can give a gift to the Salvation
Army Angel Tree Gift Drive
at the historic Biltmore Hotel or the LA Fire Department.


Treat Your Loved Ones to a Holiday Feast

What’s a fete without a feast? Whether it’s with the
office, friends or family, make merry with these Downtown restaurants
offering holiday specials: Border Grill, Nick & Stef’s, Zucca and
more. Kids will especially enjoy Breakfast
with Santa
at the Music Center.


Get in the Spirit with L.A. Sports

Kings, Lakers or Trojans? Take
your pick with games scheduled throughout the holiday season at the STAPLES
Center and Coliseum, with the bonus of plentiful bars and restaurants
throughout Downtown to help you celebrate your win.


Celebrate New Year’s Eve

It’s the end of a decade. Celebrate in style in Downtown L.A. Kristen
is performing on New Year’s Eve at the Walt Disney Concert
Hall and the historic Biltmore
is hosting an elegant celebration with dinner, live music and more.
Get more info at