Every week in Los Angeles there are tons of great things to do (even before the weekend gets started) that we think you ought to have on your radar. With that in mind, we put together a list every Monday through Friday morning to keep you in the know about what’s happening in the city you love (or maybe just like).
This week, from Monday, December 16 to Friday, December 20, features Astronomy on Tap, an Ugly Sweater Party at Bluebird Brasserie, free days at botanical gardens, a Messiah sing-along at Disney Concert Hall, Yuletide Cinemaland, and MUCH more.
Remember you can always go to our L.A. events calendar page to get an updated rundown of what’s happening around the city.
Hope you find the rundown useful and, as always, enjoy your week!
Keep in mind that while we retain complete editorial control of our content, for some of the ticketing options provided we utilize affiliate links and receive a commission if you purchase through our links.
Monday December 16th, 2019
1. Astronomy on Tap hosted by Caltech Astronomy happens once a month at Der Wolf in Pasadena. Professionals will give informal talks about a variety of topics while enjoying German beers with the public.
2. Grand Park’s Winter Glow is a free night time art experience covering 12 acres of Grand Park in Downtown Los Angeles and the newly renovated Music Center Plaza. Whimsical artistic projections and light displays will illuminate paths and play off of the park’s most iconic elements. The holiday-inspired event will run nightly from Dec. 6 to 25. FREE
3. The Contenders film series concludes this week at The Hammer Museum with screenings curated by The Museum of Modern Art. The films selected are new films believed to stand the test of time in influence. This Monday they’ll screen Judy, followed by Q&A with Renee Zellweger, moderated by Raj Roy. On Tuesday Monos will be screened followed by a Q&A with director Alejandro Landes, moderated by Raj Roy.
4. Since 1969 Bob Baker’s Marionette Theater’s adaptation of the Nutcracker has been warming hearts and delighting kids and adults during the holidays. The show includes over 100 handmade puppets at the Pasadena Playhouse. Running now until December 29.
5. Descanso Gardens’ Enchanted Forest of Light returns for another installment with a host of interactive displays and nighttime activities from November 17 through January 5, 2020. Check for discounted tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)
Tuesday December 17th, 2019
6. Kevin Smith and Marc Bernardin will perform a live version of their Fatman Beyond podcast this Tuesday at Scum & Villainy Cantina. There is a $20 minimum bar purchase.
7. NELA Tiki Tuesday returns to Sonny’s Hideaway for another monthly installment of tropical drinks and aloha gear.
8. 260LA will host a Reformation sample sale from December 17-22 in their Beverly Hills location.
9. Skyspace is holding a toy drive from December 2-20. Partnered with the YMCA the annual drive asks guests to bring an unopened, unwrapped toy valued at $5 or more to the Skyspace box office and receive a free Skyslide ride in return.
10. The Bai Holiday Ice Rink returns to Pershing Square from Nov. 14, 2019 to Jan. 2, 2020 featuring a 7200 square foot outdoor ice-skating experience. A wide variety of events will take place throughout the duration of the rink.
11. Corey Helford Gallery’s sixth annual Art Collector Starter Kit group show highlights affordable 12” x 12” works from 100 top New Contemporary artists, giving new art collectors and enthusiasts a chance to buy an original piece from artists. The show will be on view through January 18, 2020.
12. The team behind LA’s award-winning series For The Record has a new production coming to The Wallis’ Bram Goldsmith Theater. Richard Curtis’s Love Actually will be transformed into a one-of-a-kind multimedia screen and stage event starting November 27. The film and live music blend together as the story unfolds throughout the London setting. Performances continue through December 29. Check for discounted tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)
13. Free museum day: South Coast Botanic Garden, Descanso Gardens, and Los Angeles County Arboretum. Note that advance online reservations are required for Descanso Gardens and the L.A. Arboretum free days. FREE
Wednesday December 18th, 2019
14. Head down to The Walt Disney Concert Hall for the 39th Annual Messiah Sing-Along, with you as the performer! The event invites the audience to participate and sing along to the performance with the LA Master Chorale.
15. Here and Now transforms it’s space into a holiday bar called Blitzen’s from December 3-31. Get transported to the the North Pole and enjoy 15 festival cocktails, a seasonal food menu with offerings like Christmas poutine, themed entertainment and more.
16. The W Los Angeles West Beverly Hills location will host a free movie screening of Elf on the WET Deck with complimentary popcorn from STK Los Angeles as well as hot toddies, spiked cocoa and drinks from the fun outdoor Airstream bar. FREE
17. The Los Angeles Arboretum and Botanic Garden presents Moonlight Forest, where crafted lanterns line the garden grounds, some depicting animals, shimmering exotic flowers, and figures from Chinese legends. Happening Wednesdays through Sunday from November 9 through January 12, 2020. Check for discounted tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)
18. Head to Brouwerij West in San Pedro for Trivia Nights hosted by King Trivia every Wednesday starting at 7 p.m. it’s free to play!
19. Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group presents an all new holiday-horror-theatre attraction titled Dark Dark Ride Ride Holiday Nightmare. It’s a “wild ride through winter wonderHELL” that takes place Wednesdays through Saturdays from December 4-21.
20. The annual LA Kings Holiday Ice happening at L.A. LIVE’s Microsoft Square is a daily outdoors holiday skating rink. Open November 30, 2019 through January 12, 2020.
21. WISHLIST, Gabba Gallery’s annual holiday show runs November 16 through December. Now in its seventh year, the event is a great way for folks getting into art collecting. Prices start at $50 and nothing is over $1000. Artworks are a mixed bag of local and international artists. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, from noon to 3 p.m. or by appointment.
Thursday December 19th, 2019
22. There’s an Ugly Sweater Party at Bluebird Brasserie featuring happy hour beer prices all night for those in sweaters. A sweater contest at 9 p.m. and a new barrel aged beer from sister brewery, 6th & La Brea.
23. LACMA welcomes the public for a meditation and slow-looking exercises in the exhibition “Thomas Joshua Cooper: The World’s Edge.” The meditation will be led by educator Alicia Vogl Saenz. Tickets are required for this event. FREE
24. The Eli and Edythe Broad Stage in Santa Monica welcomes National Geographic Live on December 19-20 with award-winning filmmaker and photographer Andy Mann as he looks back at his over 100 days (each year) at sea, documenting cutting-edge marine science and telling the story of rapid changing on our planet.
25. Barney’s Beanery in West Hollywood will open up all the games for free play this Thursday night with hosted drink and food specials.
26. CAGES is a brand new pop-rock musical from duo Woolf and the Wondershow that pushes the boundaries of what can be done on stage using elements of performance, projection, and sound. Shows run through Dec. 21.
27. There’s a Winter Bazaar Holiday Night Market at Yamashiro Hollywood featuring a craft fair and market to get your holiday shopping done, a dazzling light festival, live music, food, seasonal cocktails, Santa photos and much more. All ages are welcome. Free admission.
28. It’s Trivia Night at Three Weavers Brewery in Inglewood from 7 to 9 p.m.
29. Enjoy a special performance of The Nutcracker (November 29 to December 24) by the American Contemporary Ballet at Metropolis Los Angeles. Occurring Thursdays through Sundays.
30. Free museum day: Japanese American National Museum (all day), MOCA Grand (from 5 to 8 p.m.), Skirball Cultural Center (noon to 5 p.m.), Long Beach Museum of Art (3 to 8 p.m.) and USC Pacific Asian Museum (5 to 8 p.m.)
Friday December 20th, 2019
31. Street Food Cinema and Heritage Square Museum team up for Yuletide Cinemaland. Enjoy a festive outdoor movie screening experience in a Victorian town square surrounded by Christmas carolers, food trucks, a Holiday Light Tunnel, Scrooge’s Dance Hall and more. This week they’ll be screening Home Alone on Friday and Gremlins on Saturday.
32. One of L.A.’s most magical holiday traditions, L.A. Zoo Lights returns November 15, 2019 through January 5, 2020 with thousands upon thousands of LED lights illuminating the zoo. Check for discounted tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)
33. It’s Freaky Fridays over at New Beverly Cinema, this week they’ll screen John Carpenter’s 1982 film The Thing in 35mm.
34. Union Stations Cocoa Concerts continues with the tropical Latin sounds of QUITAPENAS. Guests will also enjoy a free cocoa bar, Santa selfies, a “Candy Cane Lane,” photo-ops, holiday-themed arts & crafts and more. FREE
35. Get up close and personal with sharks at the Aquarium of the Pacific during Shark Lagoon Nights. Guests will have the opportunity to touch bamboo sharks and view large sharks in an after hours setting. FREE
36. The Magical Chinese Lantern Festival returns to Fairplex starting Nov. 21 with a new theme for 2019-2020: Blooming Seasons. This year’s festival offers lantern displays as large as 30-feet high and 85-feet wide, highlighted by a 100-yard-long breathtaking Ceramic Chinese Dragon. Check for discounted tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)
37. Here and Now transforms it’s space into a holiday bar called Blitzen’s from December 3-31. Get transported to the the North Pole and enjoy 15 festival cocktails, a seasonal food menu with offerings like Christmas poutine, themed entertainment and more.
38. Dive into the holiday season with a Queen Mary Christmas! The special event will see Christmas spirit lining the famous Long Beach vessel until January 1, 2020. Activities include a 26 feet tall Christmas tree, variety of holiday activities, an outdoor skating rink, live entertainment and much more. Occurring Thursdays through Sundays.
39. The Holiday Light Festival Train Ride at Griffith Park is a festive one mile ride on the tracks with tens of thousands of lights to get you in the Holiday spirit. Running November 29 through December 30.
40. The Scenario Studio is offering a free pop-up photo experience on Rodeo Drive daily through December 22. FREE
Food Pick for the Week
This week’s pick by Christina Champlin, Co-Founder of We Like L.A.
Highland Park neighborhood pub The Greyhound Bar & Grill recently expanded to Glendale. To celebrate the new location they’ve launched Wing Wednesday, which offers 50-cent wings from 6:30 to 10 p.m. on hump day. Plus, you’ll be able to choose from some 20 house-made sauces. Vegetarians can get in on the promotion too, the cauliflower wings will also be 50 cent a piece. This is one happy hour everyone can be happy about.
The Greyhound Bar & Grill is located at 933 S. Brand Blvd. Glendale, CA 91204
Want to get our to-do lists straight to your inbox every week? Sign up for our email program. Have an upcoming event you’d like suggest for listing? Drop us a line at [email protected]