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 2 to Friday, December 6, features L.A. County Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, The Contenders film series at The Hammer Museum, Blitzen’s holiday bar experience, Grand Park’s Winter Glow, The Echo Park Craft Fair 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 2nd, 2019
1. L.A. County Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at Music Center Plaza is a beloved annual holiday tradition featuring performances and free hot chocolate for all. This year the public will enjoy the sounds of chamber music ensemble Brass Pacifica and chorale performances. FREE
2. The Contenders film series returns to The Hammer Museum with 10 screenings curated by The Museum of Modern Art. The films selected are new films believed to stand the test of time in influence. This week (Monday through Thursday) they’ll screen Dolemite Is My Name (Monday) with a Q& A with Eddie Murphy and Wesley Snipes. The Palme d’Or winning film Parasite will also be screened this week (Wednesday) there’s a Q&A with director Bong Joon-ho after the screening.
3. 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)
4. Occidental College will host L.A. House & Home: New Paths in Housing Policy & Residential Architecture a discussion with policymakers and leading architects on the topic of L.A.’s homelessness, housing affordability and single-family zoning. FREE
5. 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.
6. The Scenario Studio is offering a free pop-up photo experience on Rodeo Drive daily through December 22. FREE
7. 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.
8. Nathan Johnson (composer) and Rian Johnson (writer/director) will appear at Amoeba Hollywood to meet fans and sign advance artwork for the “Knives Out Original Soundtrack”.
Tuesday December 3rd, 2019
9. 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.
10. Enter the Continent: The Witcher Fan Experience lands December 3 in Los Angeles for a one-night only event where you’ll step into the world of the forthcoming Netflix show followed by an exclusive screening before the official premier date Dec. 20. FREE
11. 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)
12. 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.
13. Its Holiday Tree Lighting time for the city of San Gabriel. Festivities begin at 6p.m. at Plaza Park across from City Hall. Live entertainment, dance lessons, food trucks, ornament making and more will be part of the event. FREE
14. 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)
Wednesday December 4th, 2019
15. 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.
16. 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)
17. Griffith Observatory offers a Sunset Walk & Talk one evening a month led by a Park Ranger and museum guide. FREE
18. Risk! the show where people tell true stories they never thought they’d dare to share, stops by The Virgil this Wednesday with jaw-dropping and hilarious stories.
19. 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.
20. Get into the winter spirit when ICE at Santa Monica returns with a 8,000 square foot ice skating rink. Running November 1, 2019 through January 20, 2020.
Thursday December 5th, 2019
21. Pasadena Playhouse Tree Lighting Ceremony will include live music, a performance by Bob Baker Marionette Theater, and possibly some snow to kick off your holidays. Bonus points if you bring a new, unwrapped toy or sports equipment to donate you’ll receive a complimentary cup of hot chocolate or coffee. FREE
22. 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.
23. Culver City Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration in Downtown Culver City will get the businesses on that street in the holiday spirit. They’ll be providing hot beverages, cookies and other treats to the public while a sledding experience and to other holiday activities entertain. FREE
24. The Bob Baker Marionette Theater pops up at The Santa Monica Pier Merry-Go-Round Deck for puppetry, singalongs and plenty of holiday cheer. Happening at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. FREE
25. Dress for Success annual Shop for Success pop up shop returns December 5-9 with nearly 200 top brands at up to 70 percent off retail price all to raise money for Dress for Success Worldwide-West’s career development and employment retention programs. Friday is a ticketed VIP night while December 6-9 is open to the public.
26. 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.
27. W Hollywood hosts their “Office Party” this Thursday, a free shindig with sounds by Mayer Hawthorne (DJ set) and Matt Suave, complimentary passed bites and more from 5:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.
28. A free Friends themed pop-up opens at the Santa Monica Promenade this Thursday, courtesy of AT&T. It’s called ‘The One in Santa Monica’ and includes a life-size recreation of the famed Central Perk coffee house built using over a million LEGO bricks. Entry is free, but you have to book a reservation for a time slot online. FREE
29. Gallery iam8bit’s 6th Annual Ornament Show returns December 5-22. Artists from around the world have crafted hundreds of original ornaments to help your Christmas tree stand out above the rest this holiday.
30. 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)
Friday December 6th, 2019
31. 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
32. Harvest Festival Original Art & Craft Show at the Fairplex Expo in Pomona is three days (Dec. 6-8) of original vendors showcasing handmade jewelry, blown glass, metalwork, photography, and much more just in time for the holidays.
33. The Griffith Observatory hosts a monthly forum where some of the most amazing phenomena in the known universe are explained and discussed. It’s called All Space Considered and it takes place on the first Friday of every month. FREE
34. The Echo Park Craft Fair returns to Mack Sennett Studios in Silver Lake on December 6-8. A perfect place for holiday shopping, this 5,000 square-foot fair features over 150 curated artist, makers and food vendors, with plenty of activities and entertainment to fill your afternoon.
35. Union Stations Cocoa Concerts continues with Latin sounds from The Conganas. Guests will also enjoy a free cocoa bar, Santa selfies, a “Candy Cane Lane,” photo-ops, holiday-themed arts & crafts and more. FREE
36. 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
37. Pick out your best black t-shirt and break out that eyeliner because Emo Nite returns this Friday at The Echo for an evening of nostalgic emo music and surprises to mark the milestone.
38. The Los Angeles LGBT Center will host a community wellness celebration in South Los Angeles this Friday at Leimert Park Plaza in honor of World AIDS Day (celebrated Dec. 1.) In partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health and dozens of local service agencies, the day known as South LA Connects, will provide HIV and STI testings; resources and information about local programs and services related to mental health, medical, housing, employment, and food subsidies; free yoga and Zumba sessions; live music concert featuring local artists and much more. FREE
UPDATE: The wellness celebration has been postponed.
39. Constitution Happy Hour at AMMO at The Hammer continues this Friday with guided, topical conversations about the US Constitution and its role in our democracy.
40. The Pacific Opera Project presents “La bohème,” or “The Hipsters” December 6-14 at The Ebell Club of Highland Park. Set to current times the show follows the story of several Los Angelenos during a cold SoCal winter as they tackle the city’s housing crises, love, jealousy and more.
41. 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.
42. Caltech Astronomy invites the public to sit in on a stargazing and lecture event this Friday at 8 p.m. FREE
43. 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.
Food Pick for the Week
This week’s pick by Christina Champlin, Co-Founder of We Like L.A.
This week Cassell’s Hamburgers celebrates their 70th Anniversary with a seven-day special guest chef series starting with the legendary Nancy Silverton on Wednesday, Dec. 4. Each night the chef creations will be available from 6 p.m. till closing while supplies last. Other guest chefs include Ilan Hall of Gorbal’s, Jude Parra of Majordomo, George Motz of Motz’s Burgers, and more. Part of the proceeds will be donated to non-profit No Kid Hungry.
The schedule of guests chefs is as follow:
- Wednesday, Dec. 4 – Nancy Silverton / Mozza
- Thursday, Dec. 5 – Burt Bakman /SLAB
- Friday, Dec. 6 – Jude Parra / Majordomo
- Saturday, Dec. 7 – George Motz / Motz Burgers + Ilan Hall / Gorbal’s
- Throwback Sunday, Dec. 8 – Sammy Monsour / Preux & Proper
- Monday, Dec. 9 – Luke Reyes / 9th St. Ramen (forthcoming) and Gitane + Chris Feldmeier / Love & Salt
- Tuesday, Dec. 10 – Bricia Lopez / Guelaguetza + David Kuo / Little Fatty
Cassell’s Hamburgers is located at 3600 W 6th St Los Angeles, CA 90020