Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony Starts Burbank’s 12 Days of Holiday Cheer

Mickey and Minnie entertain the hundreds of children who were on hand for the Mayor's Tree Lighting Ceremony in 2010 (Photo By Ross A. Benson)

Downtown Burbank brings you two weeks of winter wonderment with 18 family holiday events happening from December 1 through December 12. Called 12 Days of Holiday Cheer, each activity is sure to get you in a festive mood. From a communal tree lighting ceremony to spectacular décor, from strolling carolers to a pajama party for kids, from Holly Trolley sing-along tours to the Holiday Toy Express, Downtown Burbank will shimmer and sparkle with seasonal joy.

Mickey and Minnie entertain the hundreds of children who were on hand for the Mayor's Tree Lighting Ceremony in 2010 (Photo By Ross A. Benson)

Join in the Mayor’s Tree Lighting and Santa’s Downtown Wonderland on Thursday, December 1 at 6 p.m. in front of City Hall (275 E. Olive Ave.).  After Santa arrives and lights the tree, merrymakers will parade to San Fernando Boulevard for Santa’s Downtown Wonderland under magical snowfall lights. From Magnolia Boulevard to Olive Avenue, there will be scores of children’s characters, giant Macy’s-style balloons, vintage cars, strolling carolers, a community stage, face painting, fun holiday crafts, free treats and more from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.. Santa will on the AMC Walkway along with the giant walk-through Christmas tree. Be sure to bring new, unwrapped toys and sporting equipment for the Burbank Fire Department. All toys collected will go to Burbank kids in need.

Then, for the next 12 days Downtown Burbank will be brimming with holiday merriment. Here’s a highlight:

Sunday, December 4 – Join in some cool yule fun with the Polar Bear Pool Party at the Burbank Community YMCA (321 E Magnolia Boulevard). Includes movie screening, games and treats from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Monday, December 5 — Bring your furry or feathered friend to center court for Pet Night with Santa at Burbank Town Center, 201 E Magnolia Blvd. (Repeats December 12)

Tuesday, December 6 — See the best of Burbank’s holiday decorations at the Holly Trolley Tours while singing holiday tunes from an open-top, double-decker bus. Tours leave at 5:45 and 7:15 p.m.  Free hot chocolate.  (Repeats December  8).

Thursday, December 8 — Revel in an evening of old fashion fun with the Mystic North Pole at the Holiday Inn in Downtown Burbank. Includes caroling by the incandescent Van Bloem Singers, visits with Santa, hot cocoa and cookies from 6 to 8 p.m.

Friday, December 9 — Celebrate the season with the Polar Express Pajama Party at Barnes & Noble (731 N San Fernando Blvd.) Kids are invited to wear their pajamas and snuggle up with their pillows while listening to a reading of The Polar Express. Story time is followed by cookies, hot cocoa, and a fun holiday craft. Ideal for children ages 4 to 8 years old.

Saturday, December 10 — Enjoy music, games and lots of fun at Breakfast with Santa in the food court at Burbank Town Center (201 E Magnolia Blvd.). Plus, take in the Two Milk Minimum Family Comedy Show at Flappers Comedy Club (102 E Magnolia Blvd.).  Two Milk Minimum features a rotation of outlandish, zany, and outright amazing comedy magicians, jugglers, musicians, improv artists, puppeteers, and novelty acts. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. Free admission (a $10 value).

Sunday, December 11 — Join thousands of cheering families as they welcome the 450-ton Metrolink Holiday Toy Express from the platform at the Downtown Burbank Metrolink Station (201 N Front St.). Enjoy free entertainment, hot chocolate and cookies from 4 to 6 p.m.. Bring new, unwrapped toys and sporting equipment for the ABC 7 Spark of Love Toy Drive in cooperation with the Burbank Fire Department.  All toys collected will go to Burbank kids in need.

 Monday, December 12 – Witness the Centennial Time Capsule Dedication Ceremony at Burbank City Hall (275 E. Olive Ave.) at 4 p.m.  The capsule, filled with Burbank Centennial memorabilia, will not be re-opened until the City’s 200th anniversary in 2111! Then, check out the Free Movie Screening of “Elf” behind City Hall at 6:30 p.m.  After inadvertently wreaking havoc on the elf community due to his ungainly size, a man raised as an elf at the North Pole is sent to the U.S. in search of his true identity. Starring Will Ferrell, Edward Asner and Bob Newhart

Plus, from November 1 to December 24, the IKEA Foundation will donate $1 for every soft toy, children’s book, and kid’s meatball meal combo purchased at IKEA. The IKEA Soft Toy Campaign will benefit partners at UNICEF and Save the Children. For further information, please call 818-842-4532. And, on December 13, Call the North Pole from 4 to 8 p.m. at 818-238-1999.

    Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center