Holiday cheer, cultural contemplation, a Mr. Spock doc, rare jewels, and live poetry. And that’s just for starters.
This week in Los Angeles, from Dec. 6-10, features a live talk from Zócalo Public Square, the City of San Gabriel’s tree lighting, a shiny new exhibition at NHM, For Love of Spock at Skirball, Home Alone in concert with the LA Phil, and much more.
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Monday / Throughout the Week
1. Holiday Cheer on the Pier -> Starting on Monday, Dec. 6, The Santa Monica Pier gets a seasonal makeover that including festive window display installations, plus a month of programming (on select dates) that includes a Bob Baker Marionette Theater performance, a holiday story time session, and roaming carolers. More info here.
2. Dodgers Holiday Festival -> Think blue this Christmas season by checking out a new holiday-themed fan fest taking over Dodger Stadium. Guests can explore the newly-renovated Centerfield Plaza and enjoy nightly entertainment options including ice skating rink, light displays, Santa photo-ops, plus holiday-themed treats and drinks. Tickets start at $16. Runs nightly through Dec. 31. More info here.
3. Enchanted Forest of Light -> Descanso Gardens’ annual illuminated, night-time experience is now open for the holiday season, offering an array of vibrant light displays and installations over the course of a one-mile walk at the garden grounds. Special for 2021, an entire town of stained glass creations has been erected in the Rose Garden by contemporary sculptor Tom Fruin. Standard tickets run $32-$35, depending on weekday or weekend reservations. Get more info here.
4. LA Zoo Lights -> The L.A. Zoo’s signature holiday experience is now open, featuring a plus special attractions including a pop-up storybook, the magical disco ball forest, giant glittering snowflakes, and a twinkling tunnel filled with dynamic swirls of color. Run nightly through Jan. 9, except for closures on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. Adult tickets start at $22. More info here.
5. Winterlit -> Winterlit transforms the Third Street Promenade into a festive experience featuring tens of thousands of colorful lights, decor and garland, all extending on to 2nd and 4th Streets. illuminating convenient shopping and cozy outdoor dining experiences. More info here.
6. SPARKLE DTLA-> This holiday installation at The Bloc in DTLA feature 18 million hues of lights synchronized to festive tunes alongside a 32-foot Christmas tree and a 16-foot holiday ornament. Runs nightly every hour from 5 to 9 .m. Free and open to the public. More info here.
7. Santa’s Speedway -> Now through Jan. 2, the Irwindale Speedway is hosting a nighttime drive-thu experience offering visitors a host of holiday treats for the eyes, including stables filled with illuminated race cars, Christmas Trees and Snowmen made from tires, a 200-foot long illuminated red Christmas bow, plus a massive tree over 100-feet tall, adorned with 100,000 programmable LED lights. Tickets start at $59 per car. More info here.
8. L.A. Kings Holiday Ice -> The city’s largest outdoor ice rink has returned to L.A. LIVE for the holiday season, with daily hours now through Jan. 22. General admission, which includes skate rental, starts at $25 per adult. More info here.
9. Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter -> Just in time for the holiday season, the village of Hogsmeade™ at Universal Studios Hollywood gets a special Christmas makeover, along with several seasonal entertainment options. The highlight is a nightly performances of “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts™ Castle,” a dazzling projection display and musical performance. More info here.
10. Snow Drops at The Grove and the Americana -> Both the The Grove and the Americana at Brand are hosting nightly snow flurries (7 p.m. and 8 p.m.) and Santa’s trolly rides now through Christmas Day.
11. How Do We Begin Again? -> In the midst of dynamic economic and social change, what do we need—individually and collectively—to start new chapters and rebuild? This Tuesday, Zócalo Public Square presents a special discussion tackling this question. The event, which takes place in-person and streams online, will be moderated by L.A. Times columnist Gustavo Arrellano and features three special panelists: Artist and co-founder executive director of Homeboy Art Academy Fabian Debora, TransLatin@ Coalition president and CEO Bamby Salcedo, and UCLA distinguished professor and department chair of psychology Annette L. Stanton. The event is free to attend, but RSVP is required. Starts at 7 p.m. More info here.
12. City of San Gabriel Tree Lighting -> Attention SGVers! The City of San Gabriel’s 45th annual tree lighting ceremony take place this Tuesday, Dec. 7 at Plaza Park starting at 6 p.m. Festivities include food trucks, refreshments, photo booth, ornament decorating and live entertainment by Dewey Elementary School, Roosevelt Elementary School Orchestra and Concert Band, Community Services dance classes and the Arcadia High School Choir. Events start at 6 p.m., tree lighting is at 7 p.m., and a visit from Santa to follow thereafter. Free to attend. More info here.
13. Elf on the Shelf Magical Journey -> Elf on the Shelf is back at the Pomona Fairplex, offering newly upgraded scenic displays, a Christmas village, ice-skating rink, and of course the signature walk-through journey of Christmas from an elf’s perspective. Tickets are $19.95 for children and $24.95 for adults. Runs on select dates through Jan. 2, 2022. More info here.
14. Lightscape at the LA Arboretum -> The LA Arboretum illuminated, nighttime attraction Lightscape, is now open for the winter season. The mile-long, self-guided walk features thousands of twinkling lights in various themed attractions including a Winter Cathedral, Star Tunnel and Fire Garden. Adults tickets start at $32. Runs on select nights through Jan 16, 2022. More info here.
15. For the Love of Spock at Skirball -> This Wednesday, as part of the programming for their Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds exhibit, the Skirball Cultural Center will screen of For the Love of Spok, a documentary on the life and career of Leonard Nimoy. The film will be followed by a special Q&A discussion with Nimoy’s son, Adam. Tickets start at $20 for non-members. More info here.
16. The Art and Science of Rare Jewels -> The Natural History Museum’s latest exhibition, Brilliance: The Art and Science of Rare Jewels, opens this Wednesday Dec. 8 and runs through Feb. 21, 2022. On display will be the largest green diamond in the world, one of the world’s largest pink diamonds, and over a hundred other necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings, and unmounted gems. Learn how gems play a role in scientific research, why they’re important to help understand the earth’s past, and how they end up at your jewelry store. NHM general admission tickets are $15. More info on the exhibition here.
17. Collection Plate Comedy -> This new monthly showcase comes to the Fourth Wall Cafe in Hollywood on Thursday with a lineup that includes Sasha Boggs, Brinan Weeks, Jenn Gonzalez, Mike Moody, Rebecca Rush, Ketra Long, and headliner Mateen Stewart. Early bird tickets are $5, or it’s $10 on the day of the show. More info here.
18. RUNWAY Wonderland: Holiday Movie Nights -> For the first three Thursday in December, head to Runway Playa Vista for a night of free Christmas movie screenings and complimentary popcorn. Guests are encouraged to bring blankets, lawn chairs, friends, family, and furry friends. The schedule features The Grinch on Dec. 2, Elf on Dec. 9, and Home Alone on Dec. 16. Events start at 6:30 p.m. on each Thursday. More info and RSVP here.
19. The Nutcracker Suite -> The American Contemporary Ballet is performing an immersive, one-of-a-kind version of the Tchaikovsky classic on Thursdays to Sundays through Dec. 24. Tickets cost between $25 to $140. More info here.
20. Home Alone in Concert-> As part of the LA Phil’s Deck the Hall holiday series, the Disney Concert Hall will host three screenings (Dec. 10-12) of the Christmas Classic Home Alone, with John Williams delightful score performed live to picture by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, as conducted by David Newman. Tickets range from $61 to $193 per seat. More info here.
21. Poetry O’Clock –> This Friday, Metro Art is hosting a poetry exchange pop-up inside the Union Station Information Booth where guests can stop by, share their story with a poet, and receive a short original poem written on-the-spot. Live works will be written by poets Taz Ahmed, traci kato-kiriyama, and féi hernandez. Runs from 1 to 7 p.m. More info here.
22. The Shell in the Clouds -> Self Help Graphics & Art latest exhibition, The Shell in the Clouds (El caparazón en las nubes), kicks off this Friday with a special opening event from 6 to 9 p.m. In the exhibition, artist Pavel Acevedo explores issues of migration and cultural adaption through a portrayal of Zapotec stories on a series linocut prints. The exhibition runs through Feb. 19, 2022. RSVP for opening night here.
23. Luminaria Nights -> Starting this Friday, The California Botanic Garden in Claremont will light up for the holidays over two special weekends (Dec. 10-11, and Dec. 17-18). Live musicians will provide a serene soundtrack as guests walk the garden trails and enjoy unique sculptures from the (Re)place exhibition created by Brandon Lomax. The evenings of art and nature run from 6 to 9 p.m. each night. Tickets are $15 for adults More info here.
24. Art of Tea Holiday Pop-up at Platform -> Eunbi Ceramics will pop-up at Art of Tea with an assortment of hand-crafted ceramics from local artisan Eunbi Cho for sale Friday through Sunday.
25. Bathtub Gin to Open in LA -> East Coast speakeasy Bathtub Gin just celebrated its 10 year anniversary in New York and is now opening its second location in Los Angeles on Dec. 7 with a dazzling opening night party. The speakeasy is hidden above Stone Street LA an all day cafe in West Hollywood which serves as the “front.” Once guests find the secret door and make their way up the stairs they’ll be transported to the Roaring Twenties from gin-focused cocktails, to the Victorian decor and live entertainment (happening nightly) from burlesque to live jazz and DJs. Reservations are now open. Bathtub Gin LA operates Tuesday through Saturday, 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.
26. Grand Central Market Hosts Fonduel -> For one night only, Grand Central Market brings New York City’s annual cheesemonger invitational and fondue competition, Fonduel, to Los Angeles. Happening on Tuesday (Dec. 7) Angelenos can vote for their favorite cheese shop’s take on fondue and experience a variety of decadent melted cheeses paired with over-the-top accoutrements. Fonduel will be hosting seven of LA’s best cheese shops, including: Lady & The Larder, DTLA Cheese, Cailloux Cheese Shop, Jimbo’s, Milk Farm, Cultured Slice and Cheese Cave. Tickets are $20 dollars and can be purchased here.
27. Hail Mary Pizza Vegetable Dinner Series -> Atwater Village’s Hail Mary Pizza will launch a Tuesday dinner series centered around vegetables dishes, bread and seasonal accoutrements served family style. The first dinner takes place on Dec. 7 and costs $103 per person with a minimum of two diners per table. Time slots are available from 6 to 8:20 p.m., and tickets can be purchased through Hail Mary’s online ordering tab under the Vegetable Prix Fixe tab.
28. A Love Actually Themed Dinner & High Tea Menu -> The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills current production Love Actually Live has partnered with L’Ermitage Beverly Hills to offer a festive hotel package during the show’s run from November 27 to December 3 as well as thematic culinary experiences at their restaurant Avec Nous. For a limited-time guests can enjoy a holiday Love Actually inspired dinner menu ($62 per person, served during show nights) or an English-inspired high tea service ($48 per person, served during matinee dates.) Reservation can be made through Open Table, tickets to the show are not required to enjoy the special menus.
29. ABSteak Re-Opens -> ABSteak reopened over the weekend with an all new Korean barbecue menu by Michelin-Starred Chef Akira Back. The modern KBBQ concept specializes in dry-aging meats in-house and offering smokeless grills at every table. Their on-site dry-aging room features cuts such as 30-Day, Camembert Cheese Aged New York Striploin and 30-Day, USDA Prime Ribeye. ABSteak also offers fine cuts of Wagyu Picanha, A5 Wagyu Olive Beef and Wagyu Ribeye as well as banchans and a number of elevated starters and shared plates.
30. New Taco Tuesday in the South Bay -> Enjoy Taco Tuesday specials at Vida Modern Taqueria in Redondo Beach. The newly opened South Bay taco shop is offering $3 tacos, $6 nachos, and $5 beers all day on Tuesdays.
Any notes or corrections? Want to suggest an event we should add to an upcoming list? Hit us up at [email protected].