Weekday Picks: Ice Skating, Circus, Cirque, and a Parade, Nov. 7-11

If the cold never bothered you or your kids anyway, you are in luck: ice skating rinks are starting to pop up ahead of the holiday season.

ICE at Santa Monica holds its official grand opening this week; Olympian Randy Gardner choreographs a performance by elite skaters and is available to meet and greet after the show. The Holiday Ice Rink at Pershing Square in Downtown Los Angeles also opens with an "ice breaker" celebration. Skaters glide in the shadow of skyscrapers at the area's largest outdoor rink.

After all that exercise, you can take in a couple of eye-catching performances. Circus Vargas finishes its run of iLUMINOUS at Santa Clarita, and Cirque du Soleil brings its Avatar-inspired TORUK – The First Flight to Staples Center.

Friday is Veterans Day—you can treat the kids with a parade on their day off school—and of course Tuesday is Election Day. Please make time in your day to vote, with or without kids in tow!

For more ideas, check out the Mommy Poppins Event Calendar, and our picks for the month in our November GoList. Here are some of our favorites for the week.

Monday, Nov. 7

Circus Vargas iLUMINOUS Santa Clarita
This is the last night in Santa Clarita for Circus Vargas iLUMINOUS, a high-energy, animal-free showing featuring aerialists, acrobats, stuntmen, and clowns that appear to glow in the dark. The Big Top is set up at Westfield Valencia Town Center.

Stargazing with the Sidewalk Astronomers - Sylmar
Families are invited to view the moon and the stars through telescopes belonging to and made by the Sidewalk Astronomers, during their monthly appreciation of celestial bodies.

See all Monday events

Tuesday, Nov. 8 (Election Day!)

Free Day at LACMA – Los Angeles
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art opens its doors with free admission on the second Tuesday of each month. The museum also offers NexGen, a free youth membership for anyone 17 years and younger who can make the museum a regular part of their lives. NexGen members can visit the museum for free any time and bring one adult guest for free general admission. Check out other free museum days in Los Angeles and Orange County.

CAAM After School Exposition Park
The California African American Museum plays host to this drop-in, after-school art workshop. Children ages 5 to 12 explore CAAM's exhibitions and express their creativity in such projects as building monsters, designing city blocks, and making puppets.

See all Tuesday events

Wednesday, Nov. 9

Return to the Forbidden PlanetVentura
Rubicon Theatre Company presents Return to the Forbidden Planet, a campy musical send-up of Forbidden Planet and other sci-fi film and TV shows of the 1950s. The show features 1950s and 1960s pop music classics such as Wipeout, Good Vibrations, and We Gotta Get Out of This Place. The show continues its run daily through Sunday.

LEGO Travel Adventure — Sylmar
We love the Discovery Cube, and we love LEGOs—so what's not to love when the two get together?

See all Wednesday events

Thursday, Nov. 10

ICE at Santa Monica Community Grand OpeningSanta Monica
The grand opening show to kick off the 10th season of the popular rink features a performance by elite skaters, choreographed by Olympian and world pairs champion Randy Gardner. The annual evening of free skating also includes a DJ and crafts and snacks for kids. The event is free.

Opening Day: Holiday Ice Rink at Pershing SquareDowntown Los Angeles
Los Angeles’ largest outdoor ice-skating rink celebrates its 19th season. The opening ceremony includes the smashing of an ice sculpture as an “ice breaker” to christen the season. The California Gold Synchronized Skating Team performs, and kids from San Pedro Elementary School are the first guests of the season to skate.

See all Thursday events

Friday, Nov. 11

Cirque du Soleil – TORUKDowntown Los Angeles
The latest production from Cirque du Soleil, inspired by James Cameron's Avatar, comes to Staples Center. TORUK – The First Flight is a mythical tale set thousands of years before humans set foot on Pandora. Cirque's mix of visuals, puppetry, and music help to create a major theatrical experience.

San Fernando Valley Veterans Day Parade Pacoima
The parade, which always takes place at 11:11 on 11/11, honors servicemen and women past and present and features veterans and high school marching bands. 

See all Friday events