Photo courtesy of Flickr user Karl Dahlquist/Creativecommons.com

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Karl Dahlquist/Creativecommons.com

The gifts have been opened, the food has been eaten and extended family members have returned home. But there’s still weeks left of vacation for the kids and plenty of winter activities to do around the area. Whether you want to look at lights, play in the snow, ice skate or even build a comet –here is a list of fun things to do this week:

L.A. Zoo Lights

5333 Zoo Drive

Los Angeles, CA 90027

(323) 644-4200

If you didn’t make it to see any holiday lights this year, you can still catch them at the Los Angeles Zoo. Most of the animals in residence will be asleep, but visitors can stroll through a winter wonderland filled with glowing creatures, lights, lasers, projections and interactive displays. The self-guided tour takes 60-90 minutes and includes a giant origami rhinoceros, singing elephants, and glowing monkeys. Kids can also get a chance to see real reindeer.

The Zoo is open nightly from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. through January 4th. It is advised to buy tickets ahead of time, and wear comfortable walking shoes.

For more information: http://www.lazoolights.org/

Downtown Ice Skating

L.A. LIVE

800 W. Olympic Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90015

(213) 763-5483

Pershing Square

532 S. Olive St.

Los Angeles, CA 90013

(213) 847-4970

It’s not a typical outdoor activity in Los Angeles, but if you hurry, there are still two places to enjoy ice-skating this holiday season downtown.

The annual LA Kings Holiday Ice brings outdoor skating to L.A. Live. The rink is open daily 3 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. through December 31st. You can also make an entire evening of it with a Supper and Skate offer, which includes dinner at a participating L.A. LIVE restaurant, ice skating, and skate rental all at a special price.

For more information: http://www.lalive.com/events/la-live/detail/la-kings-holiday-ice-rink-2014

At downtown’s historical Pershing Square the winter ice rink is open through January 19th; times vary daily. On New Year’s Day, there is a Polar Bear Skate, where skaters are encouraged to come in their favorite bathing suit and beach apparel!

For exact times and pricing: http://holidayicerinkdowntownla.com/

Tournament of Roses Parade Floats-

If you didn’t get a ticket or just don’t want to get up early New Year’s Day, you can still visit the floats up close and personal both before and after the parade.

Before the parade floats can be visited while still be decorated at three different locations in Pasadena, December 27-December 30.

Rosemount Pavilion                             Brookside Pavilion                               Rose Palace

700 Seco St.                                                                     Rose Bowl Stadium                                     835 S. Raymond Ave.

Pasadena, CA 91103                                 1001 Rose Bowl Dr.                                     Pasadena, CA 91103

Pasadena, CA 91103

After the parade, floats are parked along Sierra Madre and Washington Blvd. in Pasadena. Visitors are able to walk within a few feet of floats and see the creativity and detail of the floral displays.

Advance tickets are available, or can be purchased at the venue.

For more information: http://www.tournamentofroses.com/events/float-viewing

Snow Days at Kidspace Children’s Museum

480 N. Arroyo Blvd.

Pasadena, CA 91103

(626) 449-9144

Our East Coast friends don’t have the same idea about snow that we do. If you can’t make it to the mountains anytime soon, break out your mittens and boots and head to Kid Space for a day of fun. Play in real snow, make snow angels and snowmen. Check out live performances and discover the science of snow.

‘Snow Days’ continue through Tuesday, December 30. On New Year’s Day, Ring in the “Noon” year with live music, streamers, sparkling cider and a balloon drop to celebrate the end of 2014.

For hours and pricing: http://www.kidspacemuseum.org/hands-learning/eventlisting

Griffith Observatory

2800 East Observatory Rd.

Los Angeles, CA 90027

(213) 473-0800

The winter sky is amazing from the top of the hill each evening, and knowledgeable telescope demonstrators are available to guide visitors in observing. Lines for telescopes close at 9:45 p.m.

Through January 4th, families can also enjoy the 25-minute Let’s Make a Comet demonstration program that mixes common household ingredients with dry ice to make a small comet that’s just like the real thing. The program explores the nature of water in all its forms – solid, liquid, and gas – and discusses why water is so important to life on Earth.

Admission to the Observatory and Grounds is free. There is a nominal charge to see shows in the Planetarium

For more information: http://www.griffithobs.org/programs/calendar.html

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