The six days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve feel like they exist in a sort of social limbo. Some people are on vacation, others report to work as usual. Some museums and art institutions go on hiatus. Others extend hours. Most restaurants and event spaces prep for New Year’s Eve, and in general there isn’t a lot of new happening before that final night of the year. But there are a few things on our radar…
This week in L.A., from Dec 26-30, you’ll find opening day at Santa Anita, a free day at the Japanese American National Museum, a 90s/2000s night at the Tiki No, 70mm films at The Aero, a unique walking tour in Pasadena, and more. Hope you make it a good last week of 2022!
Things To Do in Los Angeles
Santa Anita Opening Day -> A new season of horse racing starts at Santa Anita Park on Monday, and to kicks thing off their will be an opening day beer and cider festival on the West Apron. A $40 GA ticket to the the festival includes admission and parking, 6 tastings, and a $5 Wagering Voucher. Get more info here.
Santa’s Speedway -> A holiday walk built around real-life Nascar track in Irwindale, filled with series of Christmas vignettes and lighting displays, including a Santa’s Village, a 30-foot high Teddy Bear, and a 110-foot free standing Christmas tree. Tickets range $29-$35 for adults. The experience runs every day this week, through New Year’s Day. Get more info here.
Enchanted: Forest of Light (various dates through January 8) -> 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. Enchanted runs daily through January 8. Tickets cost $34-$40 for non-member adults. More info here.
L.A. Zoo Lights Animals Aglow -> 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. Zoo Lights runs every day this week. More info here.
Holiday Road (various dates through December 30)-> Holiday Road returns to King Gillette Ranch in Calabasas for its third year, bringing a 1-mile walking trail of immersive scenes and holiday-themed activities for all to enjoy. The experience still has some spots available for this Monday and Tuesday. Tickets range from $29.99-$44.99. Get more info here.
Totally! Comedy -> This weekly comedy show pops up every Wednesday at Bar Lubitsch in West Hollywood, featuring a lineup of stand-ups with credits from HBO, Netflix, and Comedy Central. This week, catch appearances by Jamel Johnson, Sandra Sumner, Chris Thayer , Macey Isaacs, Feraz Ozel, Paige Weldon, and Geoff Plitt. Tickets are $5 for early bird, or $10 on the day of. More info here.
Beastie Boys EXHIBIT at Beyond the Streets -> Beyond the Streets and CONTROL Gallery have teamed up to create the most comprehensive Beastie Boys exhibition ever assembled in Los Angeles, which includes never-before-seen historical artifacts, ephemera, and photographs. EXHIBIT recently opened at the BTS flagship location on La Brea Ave and will run through January 13. This week, the exhibition is open Wednesday to Saturday. Reserve free advance tickets here.
Free Admission at JANM -> The Japanese American National Museum offers free admission on Thursday, giving visitors prime chance to check out BeHere / 1942: A New Lens on the Japanese American Incarceration before it departs the museum on January 8. BeHere / 1942 is a stirring documentation of the forced relocation and imprisonment of Japanese Americans living in Little Tokyo during World War II. Highly recommend. Get more info here.
70mm NYE Weekend -> Santa Monica’s Aero Theatre rings in the New Year in a 5-day lineup of iconic films all screened in 70. The film slate includes Lawrence of Arabia (Thursday and Friday), 2001: A Space Odyssey (Saturday), Phantom Thread (Sunday), and Malcom X (Monday). All shows are $15. More info here.
New Year’s in Pasadena Walking Tour -> This Friday and Saturday mornings, Los Angeles Walking Tours leads a 2-hour jaunt around portions of the Tournament of Roses Parade, detailing the history of float decorations, showcasing viewing spots, and providing insights on Pasadena’s most famous annual event. The route is about 1.8 miles. Tickets are $28 for adults. Both morning walks start at 9:30 a.m. Get more info here.
Be Kind Rewind at The Tiki No -> This Friday, Be Kind Rewind pops up at North Hollywood’s Tiki No for a 90s/2000s themed evening of entertainment featuring tunes from the the era, board games, and an N64 set up so you can test your Mario Kart skills. Fun starts at 9 p.m. Get more info here.
F*ck This Year -> Was 2022 just not your year? Would you love to see your worst experiences lampooned for sake of comedy as catharsis? This Friday, UCB players improvise sketches from audience stories of woe from the year that was in the hour-long F*ck This Year. Tickets are $15. Show starts at 8:30 p.m. More info here.
Dining & Drinking
(picks by Christina Champlin)
Before it gets too late in the game to make New Year’s Eve dining plans, we thought we’d share some of the special menus and dining deals on our minds for the final night of 2022. Some ideas below, and remember if you want a full event guide check out our big list of NYE events in L.A.
No Cover NYE Party at Tabula Rasa Bar -> Tabula Rasa Bar in East Hollywood is throwing a no-cover NYE party with free food and bubbles at midnight. Then on New Years day the bar will host a gumbo party with proceeds going to the LA Food Bank. Bottles to-go will also be half off that day. More info here.
An OTOTO NYE Steakhouse -> The Silverlake sake bar and restaurant created a NYE Steakhouse inspired a la carte menu for the special evening. Guests can dine on Oysters with wasabi ponzu; Beef Tartare with mustard ponzu, uni and baguette; Shrimp Cocktail with yuzu kosho cocktail sauce and Ribeye Steak for two with thyme brown butter tare served with a watercress salad and onion rings. The team will also host a complimentary sake barrel at midnight. Bowls of o-zōni (soup with toasted mochi) will also be distributed around last call. No reservations, walk-ins only. More info here.
New Year’s Eve at Employee’s Only -> Celebrate 2023 in Hollywood style at Employee’s Only in West Hollywood. Play dress up (Black Tie is encouraged) enjoy an open bar and tray-passed hors d’oeuvres then dance the night away and capture the night in a photo booth. Tickets cost $130 per person. More info here.
Heritage NYE Dinner -> The zero-waste fine dining concept in Long Beach is offering a six course prix-fixe dinner for $95 a person inside a historic 100 year old craftsman house. On the menu for that evening includes a Grilled Mushroom Tartlett, Ember Roasted Beets, Cast Iron Cannonball Cabbage, choice of all-natural Prime Short Rib or Wild Striped Bass, Mont Blanc, and Mignardise. More info here.
NYE Omakase for Two at Sushi Roku -> Sushi Roku’s Pasadena location will offer a special NYE Omakase menu for $195 for two along with drink specials, party favors and a complimentary Champagne toast at midnight. The regular dining menu will also be available a la carte at all locations of Sushi Roku. More info here.
BOA Steakhouse NYE Prix-Fixe -> BOA Steakhouse in Santa Monica and West Hollywood will offer a special prix-fixe menu along with live music, complimentary party favors and a champagne toast at midnight. Two seats will be available for the NYE menu, first seating between 5 to 7 p.m.; second seating between 7:30 p.m. to close. Both cost $125. More info here.
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