It is officially the holiday season which means even more fun than usual in the city of Los Angeles. This week we bring you arts & crafts, holiday shopping options, music, ice skating, Santa Claus and even a little opera for you. Without further delay, your L.A. Weekender:

Photo courtesy of papaija2008 from freedigitalphotos.net

First Fridays on the Westside: First Friday on the Westside is always a festive event, but the first weekend of December brings a little extra holiday magic to the array of food vendors, art galleries and street performers that gather on Abbot Kinney in Venice. Holiday treats and shopping specials abound while the Venice Holiday Sign Lighting Ceremony is happening just down the street beginning at 6 p.m. Twinkling lights and Christmas trees will make you feel as though you’ve stepped into winter, despite being that gorgeous view of the sunset over the ocean. Meanwhile, over in downtown Long Beach, Santa Claus is coming to town to celebrate First Friday and a number of stores will be selling their best holiday goods. Enjoy a dinner on the harbor and support local bands as they perform on streets throughout the city.

Harvest Festival: The 2013 Harvest Festival Original Art & Craft Show is spending its final weekend of the year at Fairplex. Thousands of talented vendors will have their best wares on display, just in time for the holiday season. Jewelry, photography, clothes, home decor and a number of other unique items will be on sale. The festival is open this Friday-Sunday. For more information visit www.harvestfestival.com.

Downtown on Ice: Imagine skating under a dark blue winter sky, accented by the unique architecture of downtown Los Angeles. Downtown on Ice is the traditional ice skating rink set up in Pershing Square from November – January. The crowds will be coming in a furious flurry as the holiday season amps up so hitting the rink now would be wise.

The Magic Flute: Mozart enthusiasts should opt for the LA Opera for their Sunday Funday. A classic love story of good vs. evil, The Magic Flute has finally come to Los Angeles. The show starts at 2 p.m., ideal for those wishing to enjoy a leisurely brunch before settling in for an afternoon of bright costumes, beautiful set design and talented vocals. Tickets are available at www.laopera.org

Pomona Swap Meet & Classic Car Show: Over on our side of Los Angeles County, the Pomona Swap Meet & Classic Car Show is happening on our grounds. This antique auto show features Corvettes, Porsches, street rods and an assortment of other classic cars. It is truly a car-lover’s paradise. The fun starts early (5 a.m.!) on Sunday morning. For more information, visit www.fairplex.com

The Fairplex L.A. Weekender highlights events throughout Los Angeles County, from the heart of downtown to the beach cities to the IE. Additional information about all listings can be found at the event’s official website. If you have suggestions for an event, leave a comment in the box below or email us at tanji@fairplex.com

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