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Things to do this weekend in SoCal

The Debbie Allen Dance Academy, & The Annenberg Foundation in association with The Music Center present
The Debbie Allen Dance Academy, & The Annenberg Foundation in association with The Music Center present "The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker" at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
The Music Center

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It's been a tough and trying week in Southern California, but there are still ways to enjoy the weekend with friends and family. KPCC's Leo Duran and Marielle Wakim from Los Angeles Magazine have some great ideas.

Marielle pick: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker

WHEN: Thursday, Dec. 7 -  Sunday, Dec. 10, various times
WHERE: Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center MAP
COST: $50 - $110

You’ve never seen "The Nutcracker" like this before. Legendary choreographer Debbie Allen returns with her annual "Hot Chocolate Nutcracker," which takes the classic tale and puts a spin on it. Written, directed and choreographed by Allen herself, it features an original score involving Mariah Carey. There will be some hip-hop, some Bollywood dancing, ballet (of course) and three wise-cracking rats who narrate the whole thing.

Leo pick: Winter Wonderland Holiday Event

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 10, 12  - 4 p.m.
WHERE: Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza MAP
COST: free

Winter is in full effect at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, where, despite warm SoCal temps, there will be a snow area for sledding and playing. You can warm up to some toasty s'mores, too, and sit in Santa's lap. Plus if you're hoping to stuff your stocking, there will be giveaways to lucky attendees.

Marielle pick: Pee Cast Blast

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 10, 3 p.m.
WHERE: The Theatre at Ace Hotel DTLA MAP
COST: $50 - $125

If you’re looking for a few hours of lightheartedness, head to the Theater at the Ace Hotel for this Monsters of Rock style smorgasbord of hilarious podcasts. There will be performances from Comedy Bang Bang, How Did This Get Made, Improv4Humans and more.

That means you’ll see the likes of Scott Aukerman, Paul F. Tompkins, Lauren Lapkus, Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael, and Jason Mantzoukas – all of whom will be doing their best to make you laugh for several hours

Leo pick: Artisanal L.A. Holiday Market

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 9, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
WHERE: Downtown Arcadia MAP
COST: free

Treat yourself and all the people you love with lovely, local gifts. Independent shops and restaurants will gather together to show off their latest and coolest stuff. Plus, Santa will be there, as will crafts, face painting for kids, music, food trucks and more. Bring your pooch, too. It's a dog-friendly event.

How are you spending your weekend? Let us know on Twitter @MarielleWakim and @LeoHasACat.