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No snow? Take in these SoCal Christmas events
If you're looking for a White Christmas, don't look in Southern California -- except maybe at Big Bear and a few high-altitude destinations -- but what you will find in SoCal is an interesting mix of special events that offer a healthy dose of holiday spirit.
Here's a partial list of some of the more spectacular ways to enjoy the Christmas holidays in Southern California:
Mission Inn Festival of Lights
If you've been to the Mission Inn, you know this is one of the most regal hotels in the state -- in fact, it has hosted past presidents of the United States -- and the Festival of Lights is in keeping with that classic tradition.
A good way to start is to just walk through the hotel where you can enjoy the many original decorations. Take the kids with you and take their pictures with Santa or enjoy the small ice skating rink outside the hotel. All of this is combined with great holiday food and an ornate hotel that is one of the most picturesque in the country.
Chill Ice Kingdom at the Queen Mary
If ice sculptures are your thing, you'll find tons of them in the dome next to the Queen Mary. Imagine taking the kids through a display of ice sculptures that include animals, a walk-through ice castle and 24-foot replica of the Queen Mary. As you might expect it's not exactly warm in the Ice Kingdom -- seven degrees to be exact -- so dress accordingly. Outside there is ice skating and tubing, so the atmosphere is definitely Christmassy.
Ice Skating in L.A. or San Diego
The Pershing Square Ice Rink is right in the middle of Los Angeles and is not in its 15th season of providing a fun Christmas atmosphere in a city that is almost always warm and sunny. There are special events, including Christmas concerts and you can skate for just $6 an hour. Down in San Diego there is a rink at the famous Hotel Del Coronado. Nothing like going to the beach to ice skate.