Happy New Year! The first week of the year brings some classic annual family traditions. One local favorite, of course, is seeing the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena in person—a bucket list item if ever there was one. Families spend the night staking out prime viewing spots along the 5.5-mile parade route. This year the parade is on Monday, a day later than usual, because New Year's Day fell on a Sunday. Following Monday's parade, and continuing through Tuesday, post-parade viewing of the floral-covered floats parked at the end of the route is another only-in-LA, only-this-week family outing.
The week ends with Los Tres Reyes Magos, Olvera Street's annual celebration of the traditional Christian holiday of the Epiphany of the Magi (visit of the Three Kings), with music and a procession followed by a colorful theatrical production and piñata in the Plaza. In Mexico and other Latin countries, many children receive their Christmas gifts on this day; around here it's more common to celebrate by recycling Christmas trees.
This last week of winter break also brings the last few days to catch the Discovery Cube's Winter Wonder Fest, Descanso Gardens' Enchanted Forest of Light, and The Queen Mary's CHILL.
For more ideas of activities and things to do, check out the Mommy Poppins Event Calendar, as well as our picks for the month in our January GoList. Read on for some favorites for the week.
Monday, Jan. 2
Rose Parade and Post Parade: A Showcase of Floats – Pasadena
The highlight of the parade is the dozens of floats, covered completely with flowers and other natural material, which seem to grow in ingenuity and complexity each year. The equestrian performances are also crowd favorites, and more than a dozen marching bands make the cut to participate. More than a million spectators are expected to line the route. If the crowd is too much, Post Parade offers the unique opportunity to get up close to the floats, which display at the end of the parade route immediately following the parade and on Tuesday as well.
American Girl "Girl of the Year 2017" Debut – Los Angeles
Your child can be among the first to learn about 2017's Girl of the Year at a free in-store debut event that continues Monday at American Girl Place at the Grove. Girls 8 and up are invited for a welcoming event that includes crafts, giveaways, and a sweet treat.
See all Monday events
Tuesday, Jan. 3
Free Day at the Natural History Museum – Exposition Park
The Natural History Museum offers free admission on the first Tuesday of most months; be sure to check out the Diamonds: Rare Brilliance exhibit now on view at the museum. And keep track of other upcoming free days with our list of free museum days in LA and OC.
Reindeer Romp and LA Zoo Lights – Griffith Park
This is the last week to visit these two LA Zoo events for the season; both end Sunday, Jan. 8. Reindeer Romp features two adult and two baby reindeer on view, and LA Zoo Lights is an evening display in select areas of the zoo featuring a musical laser projection show, glowing LED-light animals, 3D projections, giant illuminated snowflakes, a disco ball forest, glittering twinkle tunnels and more.
See all Tuesday events
Wednesday, Jan. 4
Cavalia: Odysseo – Irvine
Cavalia's Odysseo, featuring more than 60 horses and 40 performers, is a breathtaking Cirque du Soleil-style equestrian show under the big white tent (read our review). The Orange County run must close this Sunday, Jan. 8, so this week is the last opportunity to catch a performance.
A Cinderella Christmas - Pasadena
Pasadena Playhouse wraps the season on its annual Christmas panto with a special Kids Go Free offer: use the code SCHOOLSOUT when purchasing tickets for these last few performances. The musical comedy features stars of Disney Channel and Nickelodeon shows, singing and dancing their hearts out to songs that hit their marks with both kids and adults.
See all Wednesday events
Thursday, Jan. 5
Free Evening at Laguna Art Museum – Laguna Beach
The museum offers free admission, and docents are available for tours as a part of the larger First Thursdays Art Walk. The community event celebrates the diverse cultural art scene of Laguna Beach and is free to the public; more than 30 member galleries take part.
Skirball Family Film Screenings – Los Angeles
The last free screening of the holiday season for families visiting the Skirball Cultural Center is The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, which brings to life several chapters of A.A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner. Admission to the Skirball is free every Thursday.
See all Thursday events
Friday, Jan. 6
Los Tres Reyes Magos – Downtown Los Angeles
The Los Tres Reyes Magos procession and historical reenactment commemorates the three kings or wise men who arrived at the nativity with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh for the baby Jesus. The free celebration features music, costumes, prizes, and traditional food.
Let's Make a Comet – Griffith Park
A 25-minute demonstration program at Griffith Observatory features the mixing of common household ingredients with dry ice to make a small comet. The program explores the nature of water in all its forms –solid, liquid, and gas.
See all Friday events
Photo courtesy of Tournament of Roses – Rose Parade