Americana at Brand’s Free Christmas Tree Lighting Extravaganza Nov. 17!

It’s looking a lot like Christmas as Americana at Brand holds L.A.’s first major free Christmas tree lighting of 2011! That’s tonight, Thursday, Nov. 17 at 7:30PM.

It’s not just a tree lighting. The tree itself is a spectacular 100-ft green giant bedecked with thousands of ornaments and waiting for thousands of brilliant lights to illuminate it. But before the magical switching hour, by Santa himself, Americana at Brand hosts a whimsical holiday show called the Cirque du Santa.

Zen Arts creates the enchantment with aerial and acrobatic performances featuring sugar plum fairies, flying reindeer, dancing snowmen before a countdown by Santa to a crescendo of fireworks and the lighting of the tree. And it’s all free!

Joy to the free!

*No compensation has been received for this post.

Free to See the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree at the Autry in L.A. Sunday!

It’s a rare moment when folks in Los Angeles get a personal glimpse of the forest fir destined to become the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree. The free chance to see this magnificent 65-foot symbol of the upcoming holiday is this Sunday, Nov. 13, in the Autry National Center parking lot in Griffith Park.

“The People’s Christmas Tree,” will be available for viewing at the Autry, noon to 3PM. The special Sierra white fir chosen to stand in front of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., was cut from California’s Stanislaus National Forest last weekend. It’s been loaded onto a truck for a short tour through California before heading across the country.

Visitors to the Autry can see the tree for free in the parking lot. They can also sign a banner wishing everyone in the United States a Merry Christmas.

An official welcoming program for the tree begins at 11AM with L.A. Councilmember Tom LaBonge in the Autry’s Wells Fargo Theater. This program is also free. Afterward, guests can create their own holiday ornament from noon to 2PM.

Free Admission at the Autry

Admission to the the Autry museum itself is $10 but anyone age 18 or younger will get in free on Sunday! That’s a savings of $6 for students and seniors (60+) and $4 for ages 3-12. On this particular day you’ll get to see the opening of an unique art exhibit: a new creation of cardboard and paper sculptures titled Phranc & Co. Out West General Store. Phranc the artist will help children create ornaments and color a bandana, 2 – 3PM. The older folks get to meet Phranc at a wine & cheese reception at 3PM.

As always, parking is also free.

Can’t make it to Griffith Park to see the tree for free? The People’s Tree will stop in Santa Clarita the day before, on Saturday, Nov. 12, at the Saugus Speedway/Swap Meet, 22500 Soledad Canyon Road, noon to 2pm. On Monday, Nov. 14, the tree will make a three-hour stop at Victoria Gardens Mall, 12505 N. Main St., Rancho Cucamonga, 10AM to 1PM.

For extra free fun, track the movements of The People’s Tree with the online Capitol Christmas Tree tracker.

Four Free Fun Things to Do for the Fourth in L.A.

July 2, 2011 |  by  |  Holiday  |  No Comments

Where can you find free fun on the Fourth of July in Los Angeles? Right here! Check out our rundown for Monday, July 4:

4th of July Fireworks Extravaganza @ LA Memorial Coliseum

Free 60-minutes of fireworks bursting in air! Launched near the Coliseum, not inside, the pyrotechnic show can be viewed from areas around Exposition Park. Try Christmas Tree Land or the South Lawn near the Natural History Museum. lawn. Bring blankets or lawn chairs to enjoy the show. Show begins about 8:45pm or dusk. Bring a lawn chair or blanket. Besides fireworks, there will be free live entertainment and children’s games starting at noon. Parking at 39th & Figueroa St.; Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. & Hoover St.; and at USC.

Long Beach Kids’ July 4th Bike Parade

It’s family-friendly free fun before the big fireworks Monday evening. Kids and adults can decorate their bicycles (or tricycles) and themselves for these annual parade wheels down the beach bike path in Long Beach. Register by 9:15 a.m. Parade at 10 a.m. Free parking in Granada Beach Lot for the event.

Mr & Mrs Muscle Beach Bodybuilding and Figure Championships @ Venice Beach

Worship the golden rays of the sun as this annual event crowns its champions. Pumping up for competition, glistening, sinewy, limber contestants abound over a comprehensive contest that spans over 24 classes – from teens to ultra-masters age 60 +.   Pre-judging 10 am, finals at 1 pm.  Watch as  eight-time Champion of the Ms. Olympia title – Lenda Murray is inducted into the Muscle Beach Venice Hall of Fame. This honor includes the unveiling of a barbell monument for the inductee on the Walk of Fame which surrounds the foundation of the “weight pen” and includes such Venice Beach notables as Cory Everson, Mickey Hargitay and Rachel McLish.

Warner Center July 4th Fireworks & Concert

Have a blast at the biggest FREE 4th of July extravaganza in the San Fernando Valley. Part of Warner Park’s summer-long Concerts in the Park series, the evening begins at 6pm. Listen to the James Taylor Tribute band “Taylor Made” and a patriotic set by the 100-piece Los Angeles Pierce Symphonic Winds. Plenty of shade under the trees where visitors can stretch out and enjoy the FREE music before the evening finishes off in the grand tradition with an incredible 26-minute fireworks show that starts just after 9PM. The downside? Nearby parking is $15 to $20 so carpool!

Free L.A. Farmer's Market Mardis Gras this weekend Mar 5 - 6 & Fat Tuesday Mar 8

The Saints are Marching in!

Free L.A. Farmer’s Market Mardis Gras this weekend Mar 5 – 6 & Fat Tuesday Mar 8

Free Mutti Gras Los Angeles Farmers Market

The dogs go rolling in!

Celebrate free fun at the largest and longest Mardi Gras party in Los Angeles at the L.A. Farmers Market.

For three days: Saturday March 5, Sunday March 6 and Fat Tuesday March 8, the Farmers Market bursts with Mardi Gras free fun from parades to bands to kids crafts PLUS periodic bead tossing New Orleans style at the East Patio.

Highlighting Saturday’s events is the Mutti Gras parade and costume contest, featuring a pageant of pooches in three size categories. The off-beat event takes place at 1pm; contestants need to sign up earlier at the Three Dog Bakery.

Among the eight bands at the Mardi Gras fest is the 2nd Line Saviour’s Parade Band (top picture), who will lead revelers in a series of kerchief waving, umbrella festooned parades through the Market’s aisles and sidewalks.

The free party continues on Fat Tuesday with a performance by the Baytos band, 6:30 to 9:30pm on the West Patio.

Looking for some traditional New Orleans eats and drinks to go with the free fun? Check out the Cajun/Creole cuisine at The Gumbo Pot (love their red beans & rice and killer cornbread!). Order some Kings Cakes at Thee’s Continental Pastries. The Market’s bars will also have plenty of Dixie Beer on hand. (*Food/drinks are not free).

Validate your parking ticket with a Market merchant and get two hours of free parking, with a third hour costing only $3.

Free Golden Dragon Parade Celebrates 2011 Chinese New Year in L.A.

Free L.A. Golden Dragon Parade

Scare off bad karma for free!

Gung Hay Fat Choy! Celebrate the Year of the Rabbit at the free 2011 Golden Dragon Parade Saturday Feb. 5 and Chinese New Year Festival in Los Angeles, Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 5 – Feb. 6.

One of oldest Lunar New Year parades in the U.S., the Golden Dragon Parade at 1pm Saturday helps scare off evil spirits in the new year. Populated with the colorful Chinese dragons that weave through the parade route and manned by up to 20 performers, the dragons keep bad karma away.

Listen for the pop, pop, pop of 10,000 Chinese firecrackers! Also stepping off for the parade down Broadway are marching bands, Chinese acrobats, Miss LA Chinatown Queen and her court, elaborate floats and civic groups. Entertaining LA spectators for 112 years, the parade attracts about 110,000 onlookers.

Find free fun at the Chinese New Year festivities both Saturday 11am to 8pm and Sunday 11am to 6pm at the Central Plaza on North Broadway and the West Plaza on North Hill. Cultural performances, artisan demonstrations such as candy sculptors, ping pong tournaments. Need food? It’s not free, but the popular L.A. food trucks will be at the Central Plaza.

Parking is tough. Best bet is to park elsewhere and take the Metro Gold Line to L.A. Chinatown.

Free LACMA Admission MLK Day Monday Jan. 17

Give your mind a day of service with FREE admission to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on Monday, January 17, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Open from noon to 8pm, LACMA is free all day. Plus enjoy a live performance with the legendary jazz group the Pan Afrikan People’s Arkestra.

While LACMA is free admission this Monday, tickets are required. Just pick them up from the LACMA box office any time LACMA is open Monday.

The free admission day at LACMA is one of several sponsored by Target. Upcoming:
Presidents’ Day, Monday, February 21

Memorial Day, Monday, May 30
Labor Day, Monday, September 5

* Does not include free admission to ticketed exhibitions.

Enjoy Eve Fun With a Free Ride on L.A. Metro!

Finally, Los Angeles is getting a FREE ride — at least on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve!

The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) is offering Angelenos free rides on Metro buses and trains, making it easier to have fun on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

The free Metro rides are offered from 9pm to 2am, December 24 to 25 and December 31 to January 1. Be sure to check the holiday schedule at or call 1.800.COMMUTE.

Free Photos With Santa in Downtown Los Angeles

Free L.A. Santa Photos

Ho Ho Ho!

Looking for that last minute snap with the big elf himself? Wednesday Dec. 22 and Friday Dec. 24 are your last chances to get your photo with Santa for FREE at 7+Fig in Downtown L.A. Santa is ready for his photo op from noon – 2pm on those days. And it’s not just for kids — adults and pets welcome, too!

WHERE: 7+Fig,
View Larger Map“>735 S. Figueroa St. Los Angeles
WHEN: Noon – 2PM Dec. 22 & Dec. 24

Free Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade Dec. 15 to Dec. 19

This FREE 102-year-old Christmas Boat Parade of 200+ vessels shimmers for 5 consecutive nights for a 14-mile route around Newport Beach harbor. Designated one of the top 10 holiday happenings in the U.S. by the N.Y. Times, the free lighted holiday boat parade sets the harbor ablaze Wednesday, Dec. 15 and to Sunday, Dec. 19 from 6:30PM to 9PM.

Free Ring of Lights L.A.

Ring of Lights Newport Beach

Gaze at the dazzling display of gleaming multi-million dollar yachts, sleek sailboats, cute canoes and other small boats, many decorated with animated Christmas scenes accompanied by music and costumed carolers. Considered Newport Beach’s Christmas card to the world, the boat parade serves as the backdrop is the annual “Ring of Lights” — bayside homes and businesses surrounding the harbor featuring everything from roof-top animated scenes to dancing Christmas trees. View it all for FREE from surrounding public areas, including the Balboa Pier.

It’s a Free Snow Day in Burbank Saturday!

The sunny and sweet 80 degrees predicted for Saturday doesn’t call for mittens, but you’ll want to keep your hands warm to play in the 20 tons of snow expected in Downtown Burbank from 11am – 2pm.

The free Snow Day on the AMC Walkway Dec. 11 is a cool free way for the kids to play! Go sledding, build a snow man or make snow angels in the free frosty stuff. The snow fest features free live music, free mini crafts, and free refreshments.

Plus, watch sculptor Rex Covington carve blocks of ice into reindeer and snowflakes.

How cool is that L.A.?