This week's events include ice skating, horse racing, and the greatest concert ever.
5. Holiday burlesque
On the sliding scale between "naughty" and "nice," Santa usually ranks as sweet as the cookies he gorges himself on. But as Peepshow Menagerie plans to prove, nothing changes that quite like candy cane G-strings — and Martians. The monthly burlesque showcase rings in the holidays with notable names from Oklahoma to Tokyo, all of whom will strip past their stockings for a show that matches the North Pole with the fourth planet from the Sun. Spoiler alert: 'Twas the Night Martians Invaded Burlesque lives up to its title. Santa's little helpers put on a ho-ho show in front of an extraterrestrial audience, things get weird, and people get naked(ish). Should you need a last-minute present idea, this gift keeps on giving: All proceeds benefit the Burlesque Hall of Fame Museum in Las Vegas. Café Club Fais Do-Do, 5253 W. Adams Blvd., West Adams; Fri., Dec. 20, 9 p.m.; $10; 18 and older. Faisdodo.com. —Kelsey Whipple
4. Greatest concert ever
Less "Don't Stop Believin'?" and more "Don't Stop Bleedin'," the Greatest Concert Ever is that one shining opportunity for comedians to become the rock stars they always wanted to be. It's not a delusion of mass hysteria, of course — all these comics know that rock stars secretly want to be comedians — and host Matt Besser gives them the holiday gift of release in this, a hidden L.A. tradition since ... 2006?! Mick Jagger, Billy Joel, Tom Waits — "they're" all here, backed by a crack commando unit of local musicians ready to overlook all the broken and flat notes vomiting past that noise you make in the back of your throat when you hear a joke. Past contenders include Horatio Sanz, Drunk History alum Michael Cassady, Key and Peele writer Colton Dunn, Eric Andre Show scribe Josh Fadem, Garfunkel & Oates and the proverbial "many others." UCB Theatre, 5919 Franklin Ave., Hlywd.; Sun., Dec. 22, 9:30 p.m.; $5. (323) 908-8702, losangeles.ucbtheatre.com. —David Cotner
3. A Christmas spectacular
It's Christmas Eve. You're angry. You're estranged from your family. You have nothing. What better way to spend this day than at the 54th annual Los Angeles County Holiday Celebration? For three magical hours, you'll enjoy some of the finest, cost-free, live music and performances, Emmy-nominated and produced for Angelenos and by Angelenos since 1959, courtesy of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors. You know, the ones who authorized the street-sweeping ticket you got and haven't been able to pay off. Consider it their attempt to make it up to you. More than 20 choirs, dance companies and music ensembles sing holiday favorites and take your breath away with this yearly tribute to the season of peace, love and understanding. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Tues., Dec. 24, 2:30 p.m.; free. (213) 972-0711, musiccenter.org. —D.C.
2. Go skating downtown
Christmas Day is one of those rare times when the city goes eerily quiet. Everyone is shut away celebrating, and those who aren't into the rite of celebrating an ancient birth have few options besides movie theaters and dim sum. Thankfully, Pershing Square has an option for Angelenos longing for colder climates or just in need of somewhere to drive to enjoy this day with no traffic. Downtown on Ice, the largest outdoor ice-skating rink in Los Angeles, is open from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Wednesday. Thanks to an under-rink Freon compressor, the ice will stay frozen and safe for skating through Jan. 20 (it's also open on New Year's Day; hours vary, so check the website). Complete with palm trees and fairy lights, it's the best approximation of a winter wonderland that Southern California has to offer. Pershing Square, 532 S. Olive St., dwntwn.; Wed., Dec. 25, 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; through Jan. 20; $8 general admission, $2 skate rental. (213) 624-4289, holidayicerinkdowntownla.com. —Sarah Diamond
1. Horse racing in Santa Anita
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Horse racing embodies what a lot of Americans really want from sports: outdoor yelling, large beers, readily accessible gambling and participants who can be shot if they underperform. There is no venue in California that has been offering those perks for as long as Santa Anita Park. The oldest still-functioning racetrack has picturesque views of the San Gabriel Mountains and warm enough temperatures to open the day after Christmas. (Let's see Saratoga try to do that!). But there's plenty to do at Santa Anita Park Opening Day, even for those who don't like the ponies. The place is an art deco marvel full of intricate details and gorgeous, horse-themed photo opportunities. And if that isn't enough, the Santa Anita Mall is right next door. Black Thursday, anyone? Santa Anita Park, 285 W. Huntington Drive, Arcadia; Thurs., Dec. 26, noon; $5-$10. (626) 574-7223, santaanita.com. —Sean J. O'Connell
Public Spectacle, L.A. Weekly's arts & culture blog, on Facebook and Twitter: