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22 Fabulous Things To Do In Southern California This Almost Holiday Weekend

The 2018 Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade takes place nightly through Dec. 23. (Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade/Facebook)
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Christmas is just around the corner. Take the edge off that end-of-year stress with Tenacious D, Questlove, Johnnyswim or Metalachi. Watch wacky Christmas movies including Santa with Muscles and The Dorm that Dripped Blood. Learn about old school yule traditions or immerse yourself in a soundbath on the solstice.

Christmas Boat Parade
Newport Harbor -- Newport Beach
The holiday boat parade begins and ends at Lido Isle each night (start time is 6:30 p.m.) with great views any place on shore. If you want to get super fancy, you can watch the parade on a boat cruise or from one of Newport's fine eating and drinking establishments. On Sunday at approximately 9 p.m. (or when the parade ends), there's a fireworks show at Balboa Pier.

Mammoths & Mastodons
La Brea Tar Pits -- 5801 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire
Can you imagine the wooly beasts crossing Fairfax and Wilshire thousands of years ago? The museum unveils new components from a touring exhibition created by Chicago's Field Museum, including a 13-foot Columbian mammoth and other 3D replicas. The new additions will be interspersed among real Ice Age fossils currently in the museum's galleries, offering a closer look at their family tree and their modern-day relative: the elephant. The new exhibits, which are included in the price of admission, will be on view for about a year.
COST: $12 - $15; MORE INFO

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FRIDAY, DEC. 21; 7 p.m.
Tenacious D
Hollywood Palladium -- 6215 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood
The duo of Jack Black and Kyle Gass is on tour promoting its project Post-Apocalypto, which is both a six-part animated video series and a new album by the band. Each frame of the series was drawn by Black and all the characters were voiced by Black and Gass. The companion album features Dave Grohl on drums.
COST: Tickets start at $63.25; MORE INFO

Through MONDAY, DEC. 24; 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Las Posadas
Olvera Street -- downtown L.A.
This nine-night religious festival recreates the journey that Joseph and Mary made from Nazareth to Bethlehem in search of a safe place for the birth of their baby aka Jesus. Taking place nightly, the candlelight procession starts at Avila Adobe, the oldest residence in L.A., with carolers stopping at various locations to ask for room at the inn. After, there's entertainment, a pinata, free champurrado (Mexican hot cocoa) and pan dulce (sweet bread) served.

FRIDAY, DEC. 21; 8 p.m.
Winter Solstice Sound Bath
Center for the Arts Eagle Rock -- 2225 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock
On the shortest day of the year, immerse yourself in the restorative properties of a concert of symphonic gongs and crystal singing bowls. Please bring a mat, blanket or anything that will make you comfortable while lying on the floor for the hour-long experience.
COST: $20 - $25; MORE INFO

Questlove holds A Very Funky Holiday party at the Regent. (Photo: Questlove/Facebook)

FRIDAY, DEC. 21; 8 p.m.
The Regent Theater -- 448 S. Main St., downtown L.A.
The Roots' drummer and leader of The Tonight Show band presents, A Very Funky Holiday with Questlove. The annual holiday party features Quest on the turntables along with Cam Tang of Echoflex and DJ Pickpocket. Be prepared to dance as he spins sets from all funky genres.
COST: $28 - $50; MORE INFO

FRIDAY, DEC. 21; 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Cocoa Concert With Lil' Mo and The Dynaflos
Union Station, South Patio -- 800 N. Alameda St., downtown L.A.
Listen to doo-wop classics and originals as well as a holiday tunes at the Art Deco train station. The family-friendly concert is set against the backdrop of a light display and a white Christmas tree. The event features a cocoa bar with Elftenders, gingerbread house-making, a reindeer toss,a snowball slam and an Ugly Christmas sweater contest. Free cotton candy for guests.

FRIDAY, DEC. 21; 6 - 8 p.m.
Culver City Happy Hour and Flash Talk
The Wende Museum -- 10808 Culver Blvd., Culver City
Listen to a talk by Dany Naierman, the museum's gallery and special projects manager, who's also a performance and media artist. The piece, Not My Holiday, is a humorous observation about the power of holiday framing: "From national holidays to cultural and religious traditions, the state imposes holiday narratives and rituals. But creative and self-willed people always find ways to undercut directives and shape, or return to, their own celebrations." The talk begins at 6:30 p.m.

FRIDAY, DEC. 21 - SATURDAY, JAN. 5, 2019
Holiday Problems Anonymous
Theatre 68 -- 5112 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood
For its annual holiday production, the theater troupe presents a comedy that may double as group therapy for those stressed out during the "most wonderful time of the year." After a meeting in which members -- human and/or magical -- talk about their problems, listen to the kind of stories that David Sedaris could relate to. The show runs for three weekends.

SATURDAY, DEC. 22; 8 p.m.
The Observatory -- 3503 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana
This metal meets mariachi outfit presents its first METAL Merry-Achi Xmas. The night is a mix of heavy metal mariachi and rock music with a holiday twist. Special guests include Viernes 13 and Mariachi Manchester. This is an all-ages show.

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SATURDAY, DEC. 22; 1 - 4:30 p.m.
Eat, Drink, and Support
Los Angeles Regional Food Bank -- 1734 East 41st St., downtown L.A.
It's an afternoon of food and music for a good cause. Chefs ​Bruce Kalman ​​and ​Tyler Anderson ​​offer slices from their new ​Square Peg Pizza​​; executive chef ​Nick Shipp creates the sides and greens; Foo Fighters' ​Dave Grohl cooks up the meats from his ​Backbeat BBQ; and Duff Goldman of Charm City Cakes brings the sweet treats​​. Listen to music by the chef-led alternative rock cover band ​Foie Grock. All proceeds will benefit the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.
COST: $100 per person (includes food, music, beer, wine and beverages); MORE INFO

Freedman's Chinese Menu
Freedman's -- 2619 Sunset Blvd., Echo Park
The quintessential Eastside Jewish deli offers a special Chinese food menu for two days only. Go ahead and live your best lives -- or at least the ending of A Christmas Story.

'All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914' recounts a moment of peace during Christmas in the middle of WWI. (Photo: Allen Weeks, courtesy of The Broad Stage)

SATURDAY, DEC. 22; 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914
The Broad Stage -- 1310 11th St., Santa Monica
The play premiered on Dec. 21, 2007, on a live broadcast on Minnesota Public Radio. It recounts an astounding moment during WWI when Allied and German soldiers along the Western Front stopped fighting for Christmas in 1914. One German soldier stepped into No Man's Land to sing "Stille Nacht" ("Silent Night") and the sides laid down their weapons, shared food and drink, sang carols and played soccer. The play recounts 30 firsthand accounts from soldiers and includes patriotic tunes, trench songs and Christmas carols.
COST: Tickets start at $45; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, DEC. 22; 8 p.m.
Long Beach Symphony: Holiday Pops
Pacific Ballroom of the Long Beach Arena-- 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach
The Long Beach Camerata Singers and Long Beach Youth Chorus join the symphony for a rousing holiday program that includes Handel's iconic Hallelujah Chorus, Leroy Anderson's Sleigh Ride, selections from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite, and songs from Home Alone and The Night Before Christmas.
COST: General admission starts at $29; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, DEC. 22; 2:30 p.m.
Theatre Forty Holiday Show
Westwood Branch Library -- 1246 Glendon Ave., Westwood
Members of the theater's troupe read and perform seasonal poems, stories and essays from authors including F. Scott Fitzgerald and E.B. White. Christmas candies will be served.

SATURDAY, DEC. 22; 9 p.m.
Orpheum Theatre -- 842 S. Broadway, downtown L.A.
Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano, a husband-and-wife duo, play their blend of folk, soul and rock at this hometown Christmas show.
COST: Tickets start at $41; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, DEC. 22; 8 p.m.
The Last Comedy Show on Earth
The Bunker -- 2200 West Burbank Blvd., Suite B, Burbank
Watch alternative comedy at an underground comedy club. Hosted by Richard Sarvate and Aaron Mliner, the show features established and up-and-coming comics alike. Performers this week include Steven Briggs, Sierra Katow, Mona Arabshahi, Sean McBride and Agostino Zoida. The venue is BYOB and the show is 21+.

SATURDAY, DEC. 22; 6 - 8 p.m.
Nakatomi Terror Attack 30th Anniversary Candlelight Vigil
Fox Plaza -- 2121 Avenue of the Stars, Century City

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the deadly attack on Nakatomi Plaza, in which German terrorists led by Hans Gruber (who looks awfully like Alan Rickman) seized the Century City building to steal millions in bearer bonds. Although there were a number of casualities, NYPD detective John McClane (who looks awfully like Bruce Willis) saved the day with help from a limo driver. Candles will be provided for the ceremony, which takes place on the sidewalk outside the building. Never forget, Die Hard is a Christmas movie.

SATURDAY, DEC. 22; 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Holiday Sing-Along
Walt Disney Concert Hall -- 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown L.A.
Actor Melissa Peterman hosts and John Sutton conducts the Angeles Chorale in a sing-along of seasonal favorites in this annual L.A. tradition. The singing is accompanied by the hall's massive pipe organ and a jazz combo. (The Deck the Hall series at Disney Hall is in full swing this weekend. Check out the Arturo Sandoval Big Band on Friday and the White Christmas Sing-along on Sunday.)
COST: Tickets start at $39; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, DEC. 22; 1:30 p.m.
Yule in the Middle Ages: A Mix Of Pagan and Christian Winter Traditions During the Time of Knights
Bowers Museum -- 2002 North Main St., Santa Ana
In conjunction with the exhibition Knights in Armor (which closes on Jan. 13), the museum presents a lecture by author Al Ridenour, who discusses how medieval winter celebrations evolved into the consumer spectacle we have today. Ridenour is the author of The Krampus and the Old, Dark Christmas, and co-founder of L.A.'s annual Krampusfest and Krampuslauf.
COST: $9 - $12; MORE INFO

SUNDAY, DEC. 23; 7:30 p.m.
The Dorm that Dripped Blood and The Oracle
Egyptian Theatre -- 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood
The Cinematic Void film series presents a twisted holiday double-feature screened on 35mm. In Stephen Carpenter's 1982 filml, a group of college kids hanging around campus for Christmas break are, of course, targeted by a killer. It's followed up by Roberta Finlay's 1985 film, in which a woman's automatic writing device makes contact with a murder victim, and she begins investigating his death. The features are preceded by the 35mm short In The Wall (2007).

SUNDAY, DEC. 23; 9 p.m.
Horrible Movie Night Presents: Santa With Muscles Starring Hulk Hogan
Dynasty Typewriter -- 2511 Wilshire Blvd., Westlake
After a hiatus, the show that roasts truly terrible movies returns. Hosts John Mathot and Susan Wright present the 1996 Hulk Hogan classic, Santa with Muscles. The Hulkster stars as a millionaire who thinks he's Santa Claus after a blow to the head and goes toe-to-toe against an evil scientist trying to take over an orphanage. The best one-liners from the audience win prizes. There's also a stand-up set from Keith Carey.
COST: $10 - $15; MORE INFO

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

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