The Festival of Lights: The Best Hanukkah Happenings in LA


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Do you know where you’re going to spend your Festival of Lights? It begins on December 24 this year.  Whether you’re a Valley family or a brood in the South Bay, there are plenty of latkes and jelly donuts to go around. Here’s our rundown of hot Hanukkah happenings.

skirball-hanukkahphoto: BeBe Jacobs, courtesy of Skirball Cultural Center

The Valley

Hanukkah Family Festival: Light for the People
This year’s annual Hanukkah Family Festival at the Skirball honors “the light of creativity and hope.” Families of all backgrounds are invited to get into the spirit of the holiday through music, dance, printmaking, storytelling, and more. There will be live music, dreidel demonstrations, and songs. Visitors can also participate in a printmaking workshop and contribute to a community art installation. Tickets at $7-$12. Dec. 18 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd.
West LA

Menorah Lighting and Hanukkah Celebration at Sherman Oaks Galleria
Join the Chabad of Sherman Oaks in celebrating the first night of Hanukkah with fabulous (and free!) Hanukkah activities and treats. The Menorah Lighting will take place in Fountain Plaza in front of The Cheesecake Factory. Dec. 24 from 6–8 p.m.

15301 Ventura Blvd.
Sherman Oaks

Macabees, Miracles, and Magic! A Chanukah Celebration at Temple Judea (Tarzana)
Join Temple Judea’s JSTY Jr. for a Hanukkah celebration complete with a magician, cookie decorating, dreidel competitions and more. Presented by the congregation’s third through eighth grade students. Dec. 11 from noon-2 p.m.

Temple Judea
5429 Lindley Ave.

hanukkah-citywalkphoto: Chabad of the Valley’s Facebook page

Hollywood/ Mid-City

Hanukkah at Universal Citywalk
Is this a concert or a holiday festival? It’s a little of both! Join Chabad of the Valley as they celebrate their annual Hanukkah concert at CityWalk—one of the biggest Hanukkah celebrations in Southern California—featuring a 1,000-pound menorah. Rock out to the music of Jewish rock bands Pardes Rock and 8th Day. While you’re there, pick up a few last-minute Hanukkah gifts from the fab CityWalk shops.  Dec. 24 from 8-10 p.m.

100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City
Online: or Chabad of the Valley’s Facebook page.

Hanukkah at the Zimmer Museum
Celebrate Hanukkah at this Miracle Mile children’s museum, where kids can enjoy special light & shadow themed exploration and activities for the holiday, including glow-in-dark paper dreidels and a special guest performance by Klezmer Juice. The museum closes at 4:30 p.m., so be sure to get there before the event so your kids can explore the two floors of hands-on exhibits and play space. Dec. 18 at 3 p.m. 

6505 Wilshire Blvd.
Miracle Mile

hanukkah-grovephoto: Original Farmers Market

Hanukkah Celebration at The Original Farmer’s Market
Celebrate Hanukkah with live music, crafts and a special (LEGO!) menorah lighting ceremony at the Grove. Dec. 27 from 2:30–5:30 p.m.

6333 W. 3rd St.
Mid-City LA

Festival of Lights at the Silverlake Independent Jewish Community Center
The JCC of Silverlake celebrates Hanukkah with woodworking workshops in Side Street Projects’ amazing repurposed school bus, plus special performances on stage. There will also be games and sports by Super Soccer Stars, T-shirt decorating, donut eating contests, shrinky dink making, face-painting and a bake sale. Kids 2 and up are $15. Adults get in free. December 10 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

1110 Bates Ave.

shalom-instututephoto: Shalom Institute via Facebook 


Hanukkah Family Fun Day at the Shalom Institute
Looking to celebrate a summer camp-style Hanukkah? Head to the Shalom Institutute in Malibu, the 220-acre home of Camp JCA Shalom. The all-day event is broken up into two parts: Families can spend the morning at the Shemesh Organic Farm, with activities including crafts, tomahawk throwing, cider-making, farming fun for toddlers, tree planting, and farm animal encounters. Afternoon activities include archery, zip line, climbing wall, giant swings, crafts, and games, as well as Hanukkah cookie decorating. Admission is $10; kids 6 and under are free. (Fee includes all activities, snacks and kosher lunch.) Dec. 18 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. 

34342 Mulholland Highway
Online: Tickets can be purchased online.

Menorah Lighting at the Third Street Promenade
Join local synagogues as their members celebrate the Festival of Lights and light a giant menorah on the Promenade every night after sundown. Dec. 24-Jan. 1 at Sundown.

Third Street Promenade (near Arizona Ave.)
Santa Monica

Menorah Lighting at Two Rodeo
The Chabad of Beverly Hills & Two Rodeo will host Beverly Hills’ annual menorah lighting event on Via Rodeo. Enjoy live music, Hanukkah food and more. Dec. 27 from 7:30-9 p.m.

Two Rodeo (located at the intersections of Rodeo Dr. and Wilshire Blvd.)
Beverly Hills

terranea-holidaysphoto: Terranea Resort

South Bay

Hanukkah Dinner at Terranea Resort
Looking for an upscale spot to enjoy a Hanukkah dinner? Dress your kids in their December best and head down to the gorgeous Terranea Resort, where you can enjoy a traditional Hanukkah dinner that includes matzo ball soup and latkes (after dinner, be sure to grab a black-and-white cookie from the Sea Beans cafe before you leave). Take a walk around the grounds after dinner and enjoy the thousands of twinkling lights adorning the property for the holidays. Fixed price dinner is $36 for adults; $36, children 5-10; $20 for kids under 5. Dec. 24-Jan. 1, seatings from 5-9 p.m.

100 Terranea Way
Rancho Palos Verdes

Chanukah On Ice at the Toyota Ice Rink
Join the JCC of the South Bay for a community skate session celebrating the first night of Hanukkah. Enjoy kosher food, Jewish music, and special treats for the kids. Admission is $10 per person. Dec. 24, 6:30-8:30 p.m. 

Toyota Sports Center
555 N Nash St.
El Segundo

Menorah Lighting at The Point in El Segundo
Join Congregation Tikvat Jacob of Manhattan Beach for a public menorah lighting at the Point featuring Hanukkah-themed games, crafts, yummy snacks, photo opportunities (with Hanukkah props), a scavenger hunt, and festive music. Select Point restaurants will be donating special Hanukkah treats, while participating stores will offer coupons so Hanukkah shoppers can make sure they’ve got all eight nights checked off their shopping lists. Dec. 18 at 3 p.m. 

850 S Sepulveda Blvd.
El Segundo

pretend-city-hanukkahphoto: Pretend City

Worth the Drive

Hooray for Hanukkah at Pretend City
Spin the dreidel and light the Menorah at Pretend City’s annual Hanukkah celebration. Little ones will learn about the holiday through fun activities, games, and crafts. Dec. 24 – Dec. 30, activities vary daily, check the website.

29 Hubble

Do you know of any other cool spots to celebrate the Festival of Lights? Let us know in the comment section below!

—Melissa Heckscher

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