The Thanksgiving Ham...

It’s the Holidays, and odds are you’re going to be stuck with family…and that family is going to be bringing kids along for the ride. So, you need something to do. Fortunately, SoCal Museums (whom I just talked about) has a list of offerings of Family Friendly activities for the Holidays in the General Southern California area.

Links to the Museums are provided, courtesy of the Press Release. Links to the reviews on this site are inserted where available.

Annenberg Space for Photography (
Visiting family and friends can view The Power of Photography: National Geographic 125 Years exhibit at the Annenberg Space for Photography. More than 500 print and digital images document National Geographic’s history from 1888 to the present. Multiple short films with interviews, images and behind-the-scenes footage are included. Open free to the public with validated parking. Visit for directions, special holiday hours and how to access seats for free IRIS Nights lectures. Some photographs contain graphic imagery, and may not be suitable for all visitors. Open through April 27, 2014.


Aquarium of the Pacific (
Winter Family Sleepover – December 29, 2013 5:00 p.m.-7:00 a.m.
$70/person, ages five and up.

Celebrate the winter season while partying with the fishes – bring the family to the Aquarium for this very memorable experience. Included in this program are a pizza dinner, snack, cereal breakfast, and t-shirt. RSVP: (562) 951-1630


Craft and Folk Art Museum (
Crystals & Snowflakes CraftLab Workshop December 8, 2013

Drop in between 1:30-3:30 p.m. $7 adults/$5 children/CAFAM Members FREE
Despite the 80 degree weather, you can still get ready for the holiday season by growing crystal forms and making paper snowflakes to hang around the home. Learn about how these structures are created in nature while making your own elegant examples.


The Grammy Museum (
Free Museum Admission – December 6, 2013

Celebrate The GRAMMY Museum’s 5th Anniversary on December 6, 2013 with FREE admission for everyone. The GRAMMY Museum features 30,000 square feet of interactive and multimedia exhibits located within L.A. LIVE, the downtown Los Angeles sports, entertainment and residential district. Through thought-provoking and dynamic public and educational programs and exhibits, guests will experience music from a never-before-seen insider perspective that only The GRAMMY Museum can deliver.


Hammer Museum (
Family Flicks Film Series: The Muppet Christmas Carol
Co-presented by the UCLA Film & Television Archive
December 8, 2013, 11:00 a.m.
Ages 6+
This rollicking and endearing take on Dickens’ Christmas classic is enlivened by the antics of all your favorite Muppets, including Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, and Fozzie Bear, plus Michael Caine as the hard-hearted Ebenezer Scrooge (1992, Dir: Brian Henson, 35mm, color, 87 min.)


Japanese American National Museum (
Target Free Family Saturday: Winter Wonderland
December 14, 2013
11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Join the museum for winter-themed fun at Winter Wonderland Target Day, including a presentation of “Star in a Glass Jar,” a winter-time story performed through kamishibai (paper drama), a Japanese art form of storytelling. Paper character craft will follow the performance. Generously sponsored by Target, these special Saturdays are filled with fun activities giving families unique ways to learn, play, and grow together.


J. Paul Getty Museum (
Illuminate the Holidays at the Getty Center
Saturday nights, November 16, 2013–January 4, 2014
Museum open until 9:00 p.m. on Saturdays
Enjoy luminous stained glass windows from Canterbury Cathedral, the sophisticated play of light in photographs by Abelardo Morell, and festive holiday lighting at the Getty Center on Saturday nights this season. Beginning November 16, visitors can sip complimentary mulled cider as they take in the twinkling lights of the city. Throughout the holidays, the Restaurant offers a special prix-fixe Canterbury-themed menu with steak, Yorkshire pudding and a warm apple crumble served with a glass of Ruby Port. The Museum store also has art-inspired holiday gifts, including replicas of the Canterbury stained glass to brighten anyone’s windows.


Kidspace Children’s Museum (
Snow Days
December 26 -30, 2013
9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day
Admission $10
Play in tons of real snow, make snow angels and snowmen, learn how snow is formed in nature, and enjoy creating winter art. Visitors can check out the live performances each day and discover the science of snow.


Laguna Art Museum (
Free Day at Laguna Art Museum
Sponsored by a Group of Community Leaders
December 29, 2013
11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
As a special holiday gift to the community, Rick Silver, Jim Burba and Bob Hayes, and Charles Walworth and Judson Slusser are hosting a free day for the public at the museum on Sunday, December 29 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Enjoy the museum’s exhibitions Adam Silverman: Clay and Space; ex·pose: richard kraft; Sea Change: Tanya Aguíñiga’s Bluebelt Forest, and selections from the permanent collection.


Muckenthaler Cultural Center (

Muckenthaler Cultural Center’s Holiday Festival
December 22, 2013
12:00-4:00 p.m.
The Muckenthaler’s annual Holiday Festival features various activities, including home and gallery tours, performances, and an arts & crafts fair. The family-friendly event also provides free art workshops for kids, a children’s play area, and a special appearance by Santa Claus.


Petersen Auto Museum (
Santa Photo Op
December 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 2013
11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Bored with mall Santa photos? Get your photo taken this year with Santa Claus in a classic 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible. Great for families and children of all ages. Purchase a photo package and parking is free.
A. $25 Includes one 4×6 photo and a choice of DVD or USB flash drive with your photos.
B. $15 Includes one 4×6 photo.
Museum admission not required for Santa Photo.


Reagan Library and Museum (
Holiday on the Hill
December 8, 2013
5:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
$34.95/child, $59.95/adult
Celebrate this magical season with family and friends with a spectacular evening of wonderful holiday performers, magnificent music, and delectable gourmet food. Enjoy special performances by Oak Park High School, Conejo Valley Youth Orchestra, and other local groups and entertainment. Enjoy an incredible holiday dinner buffet, hot cider, and warm cookies under the wings of Air Force One. Festive holiday attire is suggested. Reservations are required and seating is limited.


Santa Barbara Museum of Art (
All Wrapped Up: The Art of Giving
December 14, 2013
9 a.m.–3 p.m. Ages 5 – 12
$65 SBMA Members/$75 Non-Members
This one day workshop offers a unique art experience for children to gain inspiration from three original works of art in the Santa Barbara Museum of Art’s collection and create hand-made cards, prints, ornaments, and more. Workshop size is limited to 30 children grouped by age. Located at SBMA’s Ridley-Tree Education Center at McCormick House, 1600 Santa Barbara Street


Santa Monica Museum of Art (
GRACIE Holiday Boutique: Sleeping with SMMoA
November 23 – December 21, 2013
Free Admission
Each year GRACIE, the SMMoA gift shop, expands its retail space to accommodate a thoughtfully curated selection of gifts, art objects and specialty items for the holiday season. In conjunction with this year’s holiday boutique GRACIE presents Sleeping with SMMoA, a line of pajamas featuring original designs by contemporary artists Joyce Pensato, Raymond Pettibon, and Yutaka Sone with Benjamin Weissman. This spirited sleepwear collection was born out of a collaboration between the three artists, SMMoA’s Retail Curator Amy Coane, and Renee Claire Bertrand of BedHead Pajamas.


Skirball Cultural Center (
Hanukkah Family Festival
November 24, 2013
11:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
$10 General; $7 Seniors and Full-Time Students; FREE to Skirball Members and Children under 12
Don’t miss the Skirball’s popular Hanukkah Family Festival for a once-in-a-lifetime chance to celebrate Hanukkah and Thanksgiving together. This year the first day of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving fall on the same day, something that has never happened before and will not occur again for almost 80,000 years. Stop by for live performances, storytelling, Hanukkah-inspired crafts, treats, and more. Families of all backgrounds

Zimmer Children’s Museum (
Winter Wonderland
December 22, 2013-January 3, 2014
It’s always sunny in California, but the Zimmer Children’s Museum is welcoming Winter. Join the museum for special programs and workshops as they celebrate snow and the warmth of friends and families.