South Bay Gift Guide

Looking for that perfect last-minute gift? Why not buy local? You’ll save time and money on shipping, and you can support some great local businesses. Here are some of our top picks for just about everyone on your list:

Photo via Sol Baby

Little Rebel: For your favorite little rocker chick, check out this Sandbox Rebel Jimi Hendrix dress from Sol Baby in Hermosa Beach. It’s soft, comfy, durable – and handmade here in Los Angeles. $49. Sol Baby, 124 Pier Ave., Hermosa Beach

Young Chef: For young and old chefs alike, “Twist it Up” by Redondo Beach superstar Jack Witherspoon is a culinary treat. Jack, an 11-year-old leukemia survivor, will inspire you with his amazing story and his recipes. Keep it local by buying the book from Pages in Manhattan Beach. Pages, 904 Manhattan Ave., Manhattan Beach.

Photo via Ava + Aliria

Glamor Gal: For the woman on your list who loves to sparkle, check out this luxurious vintage bracelet from Ava + Aliria. These vintage strands of pearls are intertwined with rhinestone accents. $85. Ava + Aliria, 912 B Manhattan Ave., Manhattan Beach.

Photo via International Garden Center

Garden Lover: Does your favorite gardener have a good spot for planting? The International Garden Center sells 1/2 oak wine barrels, which are great for planting roses, citrus, and even creating small outdoor water ponds. $37.99. International Garden Center, 155 N. Sepulveda Blvd., El Segundo.

Photo via Mystery Reader

Mystery Reader: Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore in Redondo Beach has signed, first-edition copies of several new thrillers in stock. Check out Murder Season by Robert Ellis, a thrilling Hollywood murder mystery, available in-store. Mysterious Galaxy, 2810 Artesia Blvd., Redondo Beach.

Photo via Tabula Rasa Essentials

Dreamer: Something about this “Dream” sign makes us want to kick back and just…you know…dream the day away. Find it (along with other home, bath, and beauty accessories) at Tabula Rasa. $78. Tabula Rasa Essentials, 919 Manhattan Ave., Suite A, Manhattan Beach.

Photo via Uncorked

Wine Aficionado: Does someone on your gift list have every wine in the book? You might find something new at Uncorked in Hermosa Beach. Or you could just go ahead and give them a wine accessory like this shapely wine decanter. $29.99. Uncorked, 302 Pier Ave., Hermosa Beach.

Photo via South Bay Brewing Supply Company

Beer Drinker: Your favorite beer drinker has become a connoisseur of different flavors; would he ever want to make his own? Thanks to the South Bay Brewing Supply Company, you could get him started with his first brew-your-own beer kit for only $135. South Bay Brewing Supply Company, 1311 Post Ave., Torrance.

Image via Blowlux

Luxury Lover: Looking for a fun gift for that special someone who enjoys a luxurious lifestyle? Consider a gift certificate to the newly opened Blowlux, a blow dry bar by BE Beverly Hills. Whether you choose a luxurious blowout, makeup, or nails, all services at this eco-spa are just $35 ($25 for your “princess” under age 12). 13020 Pacific Promenade, Suite 7, Playa Vista.

Now go get that shopping done – and tell them South Bay Sparkle sent you!


Holiday Fun Runs

Too many holiday treats starting to weigh you down? It’s time to dust off those running shoes and start training for some of the most festive runs of the year. Check out these great holiday fun runs coming up in the South Bay:

Photo via MB Yuletide 5K

Manhattan Beach Yuletide 5K –  The 5:30 pm run bills itself as “the only night race in Los Angeles” and the course, along the beach, will be lit with luminarias. The race starts at the Manhattan Beach Pier, heads out to 45th Street, and then turns around and ends back at the pier. You can choose from two times – 3:00 pm or 5:30 pm (kids’ races to follow each running). Extra bonus: Glow necklaces (and t-shirts) for all registered participants. Registration is $25 for the kids’ races and $30 for the 5K; the price goes to $30 and $35, respectively, after December 9.

Photo via Operation Jack

Operation Jack Marathon – What – you don’t think a marathon sounds like a “fun run?” It probably depends upon how you define fun. The 2nd annual Operation Jack Marathon, to be held on December 26, starts in Manhattan Beach and runs through Dockweiler State Beach to Marina del Rey and back. The race benefits the Operation Jack Autism Foundation and Train 4 Autism. The registration fee is $65 for the marathon and $55 for the half-marathon; if you raise $150 for the cause you can race for free.

Photo via Torrance Centennial

Torrance Centennial New Year’s Day Run

This 10K run and 5K run/walk will be held on New Year’s Day, as part of Torrance’s centennial celebration (Happy 100th birthday, Torrance!). The races start (and finish) at the Sam’s Club, 2601 Skypark Drive, in Torrance. Registration is $30 for all races; $35 after December 15.

So let’s see…Nice weather? Check. Beautiful scenery? Check. A chance to run with friends and make new ones? Check.  Now you’ve got no excuse – so get out there and have some fun!

Holiday Fireworks

Want to watch the nighttime sparkle during the holiday season? Lucky for you, there are plenty of opportunities to see fireworks at this time of year in the South Bay and beyond. The two best-known in the South Bay are the Marina del Rey boat parade fireworks (set for December 10) and the Manhattan Beach holiday fireworks (held this year on December 11). Want more? For the full schedule and more information, check out our holiday fireworks story on CBS Los Angeles.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Photo via Morguefile

Santa Claus has a knack for covering a lot of territory, and this year is no exception. He’ll be making appearances all across the South Bay during the holiday season, so if you miss him in one place, you’re likely to spot him again soon.

El Segundo: Santa will be riding through the neighborhoods of El Segundo from Dec. 12 through Dec. 16, courtesy of the El Segundo Police Officers Association and the El Segundo Kiwanis Club. He will appear from 5:15 p.m. to 9 p.m. each night (see the El Segundo website for the complete schedule).

Manhattan Beach: Thanks to the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce, Santa will be riding through the neighborhoods of Manhattan Beach from Nov. 28 through Dec. 15, beginning at 5:30 p.m. each night. Download the map at the Chamber of Commerce web site to view the complete schedule.

Santa will also be posing for photos at the Manhattan Village Mall through Dec. 24. He will appear on Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (with lunch and dinner breaks).

Hermosa Beach: Santa is coming to Gum Tree (238 Pier Ave.) in Hermosa Beach on Dec. 2 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and on Dec. 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be free hot chocolate for the kids and photos will be available for a fee, with all proceeds going to the Hermosa Beach Education Foundation.

Photo via Morguefile

Redondo Beach: Instead of riding through the neighborhoods, Santa will make appearances at two parks this year. According to the Redondo Beach Patch, Santa will visit Alta Vista Park’s baseball diamond from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. Dec. 10 and Anderson Park’s baseball diamond from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. Dec. 17. The Redondo Beach Police Officers Association asks that families bring unwrapped toy or clothing item to give to a less fortunate child.

Rancho Palos Verdes: Santa will be riding through the neighborhoods of Rancho Palos Verdes on select nights from Dec. 4 through Dec. 23, beginning at 5:30 p.m. each night. See the city website for the full schedule.

Lomita, San Pedro, Palos Verdes Estates: Coordinated by the Lomita sheriff’s station, Santa will ride through these three cities, beginning with a tree lighting in Lomita on Dec. 2. The visits will continue through Dec. 18. See the schedule in the Daily Breeze for more information.

Holiday Boutique

image via morguefile

Let the holiday shopping events begin! First up for the season is a holiday boutique and bake sale, sponsored by the MOMS Club of Torrance SE.

The event will be held on Saturday, November 19 from 11am to 4 pm at Riviera Hall Lutheran School in Redondo Beach and will feature baked goods, original crafts and artwork, and raffle prizes. Boutique vendors will be offering everything from jewelry to baby blankets, holiday yard signs, and even a photo booth.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Mother-to-Mother fund, which provides monetary assistance to MOMS Club members affected by tragedies ranging from natural disasters (such as Hurricane Katrina) to personal emergencies (such as illness or injuries exceeding their medical coverage).

Shop early, shop often!

Full details: MOMS Club of Torrance SE Holiday Boutique and Bake Sale: Saturday, Nov. 19, Riviera  Hall Lutheran School, at 330 Palos Verdes Blvd. in Redondo Beach. 11am to 4 pm. Admission and parking are free.