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Eye on LA celebrates the holidays in style

December 15, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Eye on L.A. is celebrating the holidays with festive outings for the whole family, unique local shops to find unusual and fun finds for the person who has everything, a holiday experience where you can actually lose weight and Donny and Marie!

The Americana at Brand

The Americana at Brand in Glendale is a very festive outdoor shopping complex. With strolling carolers, brass bands and a 100-foot Christmas tree, it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas! Witness an enchanting snowfall as Santa's helpers transform The Americana at Brand into a winter wonderland each night at 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

The Christmas Tree Train

This holiday season, take a scenic ride via the Fillmore & Western Railway Company to a real Christmas tree farm! The Christmas Tree Train departs from Fillmore on a vintage locomotive and takes you through the Santa Clara Valley, and the Topa Topa mountains, to a tree farm where you can have the tree of your choice cut down, and then take it back home on the train.

Long Beach Hydrobikes

Eye on L.A. host Tina Malave took in a holiday bike ride -- on the water! Riding a "hydrobike," Tina got a preview of the stunningly decorated million dollar homes on Naples Island in Alamitos Bay. It's not only an absolute blast for the whole family, but it sneaks in a great workout too! Hot chocolate, hot apple cider, Santa hats and holiday cheer are included! The guided tour lasts about 1 1/2 hours and costs $40 per rider. Weather willing, tours depart seven nights a week through Jan. 1 [Watch video].

Clockwork Couture

When shopping for holiday gifts, there are always those people who are just hard to buy gifts for. We found a few local businesses who offer some fun and unique finds that make perfect presents.

Tucked away in Burbank, with a replica of Dr. Who's time traveling TARDIS in front, is Clockwork Couture, a shop that will take you back in time! The genre of the store is "steampunk," part Victoriana, part sci-fi with an octopus thrown in here and there. It sounds strange, but somehow it all works and makes for very unique gifts!

Goodwill

Who doesn't like a good treasure hunt, and even better, a great bargain? Filled with designer and vintage items, Goodwill is the perfect place to find unique gifts and holiday items for your home and loved ones. Plus, every time you make a purchase or donate to Goodwill you are helping individuals with disabilities and disadvantages, transform their lives through the power of education and work.

Whimsic Alley

Whimsic Alley on Wilshire Boulevard is the place for all your "wizardly" gift giving! Whether young or old, boy or girl, fans of Harry Potter will love Whimsic Alley. Designed as if you're stepping into Potter's Diagon Alley from the popular series, every room is a different store. From Haber & Dasher where you can buy high quality Hogwarts School uniforms, sweaters, hats, robes and scarves in all the house colors, to a wand specialty shop, as well as all kinds of great gift ideas. In the back room is the "Great Hall," designed after Hogwarts, where Whimsic Alley throws some magical parties, including this year's Auld Lang Syne New Year's Ball. You can get more information about tickets and Whimsic Alley on www.whimsicalley.com.

Spark of Love Toy Drive

ABC7 and Southern California firefighters are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Spark of Love toy drive and have collected more than seven million toys over the past two decades! Every year, they collect new unwrapped toys and sports equipment for under-served children and teens here in our communities.

To find out what items are still needed or to find a location to make a donation, go to www.abc7.com/SparkofLove

You can also donate $10 by texting "ABC7" to 80100.

Disneyland for the Holidays

Disney's California Adventure gets merrier for the holidays with "A Christmas Fantasy" parade, and fireworks and snowfall return to Main Street at Disneyland Park through Jan. 6, 2013.

For more information about Disneyland Resort, visit www.disneyland.com/holidays. For ticket and hotel offers, go to www.disneyland.com/offers.

Holiday Lights

Candy Cane Lane has been a tradition in Woodland Hills since 1952, with residents doing bigger and better displays every season. Candy Cane Lane is put on by homeowners on Lubao & Oxnard streets, and lasts through the end of the year. Visitors are asked to drive by no later than 10 p.m. on weeknights, and 11 p.m. on weekends. For directions, visit www.woodlandhillscc.net/candy_cane_lane.

Share your favorite holiday lights displays with us on Facebook. Just "like" Eye on L.A.!

Huntington Harbour Cruise of Lights

Huntington Harbour Cruise of Lights is held Dec. 15-23 with times each night at 5:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Cost is $17 for adults and $10 for kids. The funds raised from the Cruise of Lights, brought to you by the Huntington Harbour Philharmonic Committee, support youth music programs in Orange County.

Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks

A festive family outing idea is at L.A.'s many holiday pop-up ice skating rinks including the L.A. Kings Holiday Ice at LA Live downtown, the original Los Angeles Outdoor Ice Rink at Pershing Square and Ice in Santa Monica.

Gingerbread Exhibit

For a sweet family outing, head to the Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana for their Gingerbread exhibit! The goal of this sugary display is designed to inspire families to get creative together! There are hundreds of unique gingerbread houses to explore, all made by local schools, businesses and families. You can check out the Science of Gingerbread exhibit through Jan. 6, 2013.

McMahon RV - Ultimate Family Gift

The holidays are all about making happy memories and we found the ultimate family gift that can create years of priceless ones! Eye on L.A. visited McMahon RV in Westminster and took a tour of their top of the line Winnebago Tour 2013, complete with all the bells and whistles!

Donny & Marie - Christmas in Los Angeles

So many Southern Californians have fond memories of the Osmonds, and with "Donny & Marie: Christmas in Los Angeles," theatergoers will experience the joy of remembering times past while creating new holiday memories to cherish for a lifetime. In the holiday tradition of the Osmond Family Christmas television specials, Donny and Marie invite you and your family to join them to celebrate the joy of the season as the iconic pair share the spotlight for the first time together at the legendary Pantages Theatre.

The North Pole Express

In search of Santa Claus, Eye on L.A. hopped aboard the "North Pole Express" train ride with the Fillmore & Western Railway Company, which takes families, all dressed in their warm pajamas, to the "North Pole" to find Santa Claus. This ride is surely a jolly one with elves who sing carols and read holiday stories to the kids, but the highlight comes when Santa jumps on board to handout treats and wraps up the trip with some one-on-one time with all the children [Watch video].

[Original air date: Dec. 15, 2012]

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