How do you know the holiday season is in full effect? It’s the decorations, right? The lights. The trees. And if that’s the case, then this is the week Christmas truly arrives.
This week (November 28 to December 2) catch tree lighting ceremonies at The Music Center, Union Station, and Pasadena City Hall, plus free Nat Geo documentary screenings, Poetry in Color at LACMA, MOCA Together Thursdays, the Hot Chocolate Nutcracker, L.A. County’s Parks After Dark winter programming, and more.
Things To Do This Week
LA County Tree Lightning at the Music Center -> This Monday, the annual Los Angeles County tree lighting event returns live and in person for the first time since the pandemic, featuring a special performance by Urban Voices Project. Arrive early to this free public event to enjoy live music beginning 15 minutes prior to the ceremony, snow flurries and complimentary hot chocolate! Starts at 5 p.m. Get more info here.
National Geographic Documentary Films Spotlight -> Beginning Monday, American Cinematheque is hosting 4 days of free screenings of National Geographic documentaries taking place at the Aero Theater and the Los Feliz 3, beginning with The Territory at The Aero. The series culminates on Thursday with as screening of Fire of Love, the story of volcanologists Katia and Maurice Kraft, who perished in the 1991 Mount Unzen eruption. Also on this week’s bill are Retrograde (Tuesday at Aero), and The Flagmakers (Wednesday at LF3). Tickets can be RSVP’d but seating is not guaranteed and is based on first-come, first-served. All events include free popcorn and soda too! Get more info here.
Pershing Square Holiday Ice -> The 7,200 square foot skating rink in the heart of DTLA is back for the holiday season. GA tickets, including skate rental, cost $20 for adults. The rink runs daily through New Year’s Day. Get more info here.
Ice Santa Monica -> Downtown Santa Monic’a Ice brings 8,000-square-foot pop-up rink to the corner of Fifth Street and Arizona Avenue, running daily through January 16, 2022. Skate rental and all-day admission runs $20 per person. Get more info here.
Invincible at The Wallis -> The latest production at The Wallis is Invincible, a fresh take on Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, powered by the music of Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo. Preview performances run this Tuesday to Thursday, with official opening night set for this Friday. Tickets run from $29-$105. The production runs on select dates through December 18. Get more info here.
Union Station Holiday Tree Lighting -> This Tuesday, catch the 7th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at Union Station’s South Patio. Enjoy live music from the Kingston Ska Collective and Grupo Bella, plus live sketching by illustrator Joey Mason, family-friendly holiday activities, and a free hot cocoa and holiday cookie bar. Runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.
Enchanted: Forest of Light -> Descanso Gardens’ annual light is back this November with a range of wondrous, illuminated installations, including a magical “stained glass” creations built in the Rose Garden by contemporary sculptor Tom Fruin. The one-mile walk also features geometric installations from HYBYCOZO on the Main Lawn; Flower Power lights, and sparkling adornments added to Descanso’s Ancient Forest. The experience runs nightly through January 8. Tickets cost $34-$40 for non-member adults. More info here.
Glass Onion at The Hammer -> This Wednesday, The Hammer hosts a screening of Rian Johnson’s latest satirical detective story, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, with special introduction from director himself. The program begins at 8 p.m., and GA tickets are $20 for non-members of the museum. Get more info here.
Poetry in Color Live! -> On Wednesday, LACMA hosts a live edition of the virtual slam poetry event, Poetry in Color, at Smidt Welcome Plaza. The lineup of poet performers includes Jireh Deng, Kito Fortune, Fisseha Moges, Yesika Salgado, Yazmin Monét Watkins, and Avery R. Young. Free to attend. Runs 7 to 9 p.m. Get more info here.
Lights on Parade -> One of the most elaborate home lighting displays of the holiday season is back in Sherman Oaks. Resident Mike Ziemkowski has a brand new edition of Lights on Display for 2022, but per usual you’ll find an elaborate mix of computer controlled lighting, DMX controlled intelligent light, and a bevy of animatronic characters synched to a pre-programmed playlist of holiday tunes. The experience is free to check out, and will run Wednesday to Sunday through New Year’s Day. Get more info here.
MOCA Together Thursdays -> Both the MOCA Grand Avenue and The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA extend hours to 8 p.m. every Thursday, and on select upcoming dates they’ll also offer a free shuttle connecting the two campuses that runs every twenty minutes from 4 to 8 p.m. Special programming for this Thursday includes DJ’d spun tunes at Aileen Getty Plaza along with discussion panel on Energizing the Climate Movement. Admission to both museums is free. Get more info here.
Hot Chocolate Nutcracker -> This Thursday to Sunday, Debbie Allen Dance Academy (DADA) presents its award-winning production of Hot Chocolate Nutcracker at Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center. The highly-anticipated performance follows a young girl, Kara as she steps into a land of wonder journeying to fantastical places such as Candy Cane Land, Egypt, the Indian Rainforest/Bollywood, Jazzland, Russia and the Land of the Kimono Dolls. Tickets range $50 to $125. More info here.
Winter Fest in the OC -> Winter Fest is back the OC Fair & Event Center for 26 days and nights of family-friendly entertainment, including this Thursday to Sunday. Check out an outdoor ice skating rink, a nine-lane 150-foot-long ice tubing slide, ice bumper cars, and LED mini golf, plus nightly Holiday celebration featuring snow flurries and Santa appearances. GA tickets for adults start at $26.95 Get more info here.
L.A. Zoo Lights -> The Los Angeles Zoo’s brightest annual tradition will transform the zoo grounds into a world of light and holiday magic. The after-hours event offers brightly lit displays and festive family-friendly experience every night throughout the entire holiday season. Adult tickets range from $34-$39, depending on the desired date to attend. More info here.
Holiday Road -> Continuing this Thursday to Sunday, Holiday Road at King Gillette Ranch in Calabasas offers a 1-mile walking trail of immersive scenes and holiday-themed activities for all to enjoy. The experience runs on select dates through December 30. Tickets range from $29.99-$44.99. Get more info here.
Tree Lighting at Pasadena City Hall -> This Friday, Pasadena City Hall gets the holiday treatment with a special tree lighting ceremony hosted by the mayor of Pasadena. The celebration features local singers and dancers, crafts for kids provided by Armory Center for the Arts, light refreshments, and an appearance by Santa Claus. Runs to 5 to 7 p.m., with the lighting taking place at 6 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.
Winter Parks After Dark -> This week, L.A. County’s Parks After Dark program returns for the winter season with extended hours and free recreational activities at 31 LA County parks from December 2-17. The programing opens this Friday with family-friendly holiday activities at Col. Leon Washington Park, Bethune Park, Charter Oak Park, and Pamela Park. All of Friday’s events run 4 to 8 p.m. Get more info here.
Dining & Drinking
8 Nights at Birdie G’s -> Birdie G’s hosts a Hanukkah-themed chef series November 28 to December 1 and then again from December 5 to 8. The festive series features a different guest chef each night preparing their take on Hanukkah dishes. The lineup includes Sang Yoon of Father’s Office, Lee Wolen of Chicago’s Boka, Michael Solomonov of Philadelphia’s Zahav and Ana Sortun of Cambridge’s Oleana. Everything is à la carte and some of Birdie G’s signature Jewish dishes will also be offered. Reservations are strongly encouraged. More info here.
Congee Pop Up at Woon -> Woon will host Sanditas for a Congee pop up on Tuesday from 5 to 9 p.m. (or until sold out.) On the menu are congees made with crispy fish, grilled mushrooms and Peads & Barnetts sausage. Dine in only. More info here.
Black Panther Dinner & a Movie with Bridgetown Roti -> Fanny’s and the Academy Museum host a dinner and movie night on November 29 featuring a screening of the original Black Panther film preceded with a four-course tasting menu created by chef Rashida Holmes of Bridgetown Roti. Dinner will be followed by the movie screening at the museum’s theater. Tickets run $88 a person and reservations can be made on OpenTable. Movie tickets cost $10 and can be purchased through the Academy Museum website.
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