Arts & Entertainment

Free weekend? Check out these 8 events as the holiday season begins

Charity workers dressed as Santa Claus wave to pedestrians in New York.
Charity workers dressed as Santa Claus wave to pedestrians in New York.
John Minchillo/AP

You did it! You fought off that food coma and made it through the work week. But we all know the holidays aren't over just yet, so let's stay in the spirit with festive entertainment and lots and lots of local shopping.  

Here's everything you need to know: 

1. Shop UNIQUE LA's Holiday Show

(Photo: uniquelosangeles/flickr)

Adorable pet clothes, unusual jewelry and hand-made home decor — it's all available at Unique L.A. this weekend. Dubbed the largest "made-in-America shopping event in the country," attendees can peruse merchandise from over 350 hand-selected designers and artists. Here's a full list of participants. Ten percent of ticket sales go to the literacy organization 826LA

When: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 

Where: California Market Center, 110 East Ninth St. | MAP

Price: $10 at the door (cash only) or online; kids 12 and under are free | Admission includes a tote bag and cocktails 

2. "The Nightmare Before Christmas" at the Orpheum 

"The Nightmare Before Christmas" trailer

The Los Angeles Conservancy is hosting a special holiday matinee of the Tim Burton classic "The Nightmare Before Christmas." Watch Jack Skellington take over Christmas Town at the iconic Orpheum Theatre. Come early or stay late, and bring family and friends for ice skating at Pershing Square and discounts at nearby eateries. See special dining discounts here

When: 2 p.m. Sunday | Doors open at 1:15 p.m.

Where: The Orpheum Theatre | MAP

Price: $15 general public; $10 Conservancy members; $5 children 12 and under

3. Lots of Lego fun

(Photo: bdesham/flickr Creative Commons)

Construct cars and bridges out of hundreds of colorful Lego pieces at the Wilmington Branch Library. Fuel your kid's imagination and make playtime fun again. When you're all Legoed out, consider checking out the library's vast collection of children's holiday books perfect for that special bedtime story.

When:  Saturday, 3 p.m. 

Where: Wilmington Library | MAP 

Price: Free 

4. Peruse the Enchanted Handmade Holiday Boutique 

(Margarida/flickr Creative Commons) 

Sift through dozens of vintage gems, historic pendants and home goods crafted by creative locals from Eagle Rock. Meet and greet artists and crafters and be sure to bring your holiday checklist. Expect to find unique handcrafted doll pin cushions (don't be scared!), festive holiday-inspired jewelry and various ceramics. 

When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday

Where: Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock | MAP 

Price: Free 

5. Watch Santa get saved from the Snowflake!

Your kids will be swept away by this whimsical tale of 9-year-old Rickey, who has been chosen to rescue Santa Claus from the Crystal Blue Snowflake. Featuring original songs and puppets, this holiday play is fun for all ages. Click here for other shows and free workshops at the theater. 

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday | Performance schedule

Where: Casa 0101 Theatre | MAP

Price: $8 and up | Purchase tickets

6. Explore medieval artifacts at the Getty Center 

(Photo: l.conti/Flickr)

View masterpieces of medieval stained glass and illuminated manuscripts in this special one-hour overview of the exhibition Canterbury and St. Albans: Treasures from Church and Cloister. 

When: 1:30 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, through Dec. 23

Where: Getty Center | MAP

Price: Free 

7. Splurge on the BevMo! Holiday Beer Fest

Don't let the weekend rain spoil your mood. Use this time to your advantage and sample over 200 holiday and craft brews at Golden Road Brewery's warm indoor facility. Bring your friends, but leave your pets at home — sorry, they're not allowed. Homer Simpson would be jealous of the extensive selection of beer. Note: We can't guarantee there will be any Duff beer on tap. 

When: Noon to 5 p.m. Saturday

Where: Golden Road Brewing | MAP 

Price: $45 to $60 | Purchase tickets here. 

8. See Pasadena's annual tree lighting and one big Elf

Paseo Colorado in Pasadena is hosting its Annual Tree Lighting Celebration. Expect musical performances, Santa Claus and an outdoor screening of the movie "Elf." Enjoy free popcorn provided by ArcLight and warm apple cider from Bristol Farms.

When: 6 to 9:30 p.m. Friday

Where: Paseo Colorado | MAP

Price: Free

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