The Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation’s first-ever Parks After Dark winter season will begin today and run through Jan. 5 at 33 county parks, with free programs and holiday-themed events planned for children and families.

The winter PAD programming ranges from snow days to sports, movies and dancing, among other activities. PAD will be available in communities across the county from the Antelope Valley to South Los Angeles and will coincide with school holiday breaks.

PAD activities will take place from 4-8 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, and 2-6 p.m. on Saturdays.

PAD started with three parks in 2010, then expanded to 23 and grew to 33 this past summer.

“We open our parks and invite everyone to participate in our nationally recognized PAD program,’’ said John Wicker, director of the Department of Parks and Recreation. “It’s the first time we launch PAD during the winter season with fun activities for all ages at no cost. The program encourages healthy living and provides safe havens during extended hours of park operation.’’

More information about the PAD program, including a list of participating parks and PAD programming, can be found online at