Tired of shopping already? Ready to scrap the cyber Monday savings and ditch the deals for more “stuff” in favor of a few real life experiences? You’re in the right place.
This November 27 to December 1 in Los Angeles, you’ll find the L.A. County Tree Lighting celebration, MoMA Contenders screenings at The Hammer, Lights on Display in Sherman Oaks, the L.A. Comic Con in DTLA, Late Night at Skirball, and much more. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Let’s get into the full rundown below.
Things To Do This Week
M = Less than .5 miles from an L.A. Metro Station, FA = Free Admission, TP = Top Pick
L.A. County Tree Lighting – M FA TP > L.A. County’s annual tree lighting ceremony and holiday celebration comes to The Music Center’s Jerry Moss Plaza on Monday. The three-hour event (5 to 8 p.m.) is free to attend and includes live music, a holiday marketplace with local artisans, art activities, snow flurries, and complimentary hot chocolate for all. More info here.
Miracle, a Christmas Themed Pop Up Bar -> This holiday season, gather some friends and head to Miracle, a Christmas-themed pop-up bar located inside Neighbors at Runway in Playa Vista. Guests can indulge in seasonal craft cocktails within a festive setting that embraces maximalist aesthetics. Throughout the pop-up, exclusively at Neighbors, you can purchase Miracle mugs and glassware – the SanTaRex is a personal favorite. Reservations for Miracle are now open, and the pop-up will run daily through the first week of January 2024.
Enchanted: Forest of Light – > Descanso Gardens’ annual light is back 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 is open nightly. Adult tickets cost $35-$45 for non-members. More info here.
Blitzen’s Bar -> If you’re out shopping this week, stop by Blitzen’s Bar, a cozy daily pop-up in The Atrium of Westfield Century City. Relax in a cabana overlooking the festive Holiday Village as you enjoy handcrafted cocktails, tasty bites, scheduled snow fall, holiday activities and live performances from the Holiday Village cast. This all-ages pop-up, is presented by Fiji Airways, Starward Whisky and Peroni. More info here.
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 and through December 31. General admission, which includes skate rental, starts at $25 per adult. More info here.
Kia Forum Holiday Tree Lighting – FA > Celebrate the festive season at the Kia Forum Holiday Tree Lighting on Tuesday, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Northwest Triangle. The public is invited to enjoy complimentary holiday crafts and hot chocolate during the tree lighting ceremony. Arrive early or stay late to enjoy the snowzone, and some holiday games, as well as giveaways. Admission is free. More info here.
MoMA Contenders -> Starting this week, The Hammer Museum and the Museum of Modern Art team up their annual film screening series featuring potential award winners from the past year of releases. On Wednesday, the series opens with Oppenheimer, accompanied by Q&A with the film’s cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema. Then on Thursday, catch Hayao Miyazaki’s The Boy and the Heron. Screenings begin at 7 p.m., and tickets are $20 for general admission. More info here.
For The Record: Love Actually at The Wallis -> The multimedia adaption of the the holiday classic Love Actually returns to the stage of The Wallis in Beverly Hills on select dates through December 31. This week the show runs Tuesday through Sunday. Tickets start at $69. More info here.
Krampus Cove Pop-Up -> A Krampus-themed experience takes over Lost Property Bar in Hollywood Tuesdays through Sundays with a ticketed ($25) one-and-a-half-hour experience featuring macabre craft cocktails and an interactive experience with evil elves and Krampus himself. Throughout the week, seatings are available at 6 pm or 8 pm, and on the weekends, you can choose from 3 pm, 5 pm, or 7 pm. The bar will open to the public without tickets from 9:30 pm to 2 am, with Saturday and Sunday doors opening at 8:30 pm for un-ticketed walk-in service. Krampus Cove pop-up will be available every night of the week except Mondays and will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. More info here.
Fowler Out Loud – FA > This Wednesday, the Fowler Out Loud live performance series continues with a concert featuring the Game Music Ensemble, which will perform choir, chamber, and jazz renditions of some of the most iconic video game themes of all-time, all at the Fowler Museum on the campus of UCLA. The show runs from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and is free to attend. More info here.
Lights on Display – FA TP > 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 2023, 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 (weather permitting) through New Year’s Day. More info here.
Hikari – A Festival of Lights at Tanaka Farms -> Hikari a Festival of Lights at Tanaka Farms turns the 30-acre Irvine farm into a dazzling spectacle of lights. Go on a wagon ride or explore by foot a lantern lite field and meet some animals in the petting zoo, participate in crafts, grab some food, Santa for a photo and buy gifts a the market stand. Runs Wednesday through Sunday. Admission starts at $35 per adult. More info here.
Winter Fest OC -> Winter Fest at the O.C. Fair & Event Center is back with a slate of family friendly activities including an outdoor ice skating, 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 online for this weekend start at $34.99 for adults, or $29.99 for kids, plus fees. Winter Fest runs Thursday through Sunday this week, and continues on select dates through January 7, 2024. More info here.
L.A. Zoo Lights – M > 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. This week they’ll be open Wednesday through Sunday, then continuing on select dates through January 7, 2023. Adult tickets range from $29-$35, depending on the desired date to attend. More info here.
Santa’s Secret -> Voss Events presents Santa’s Secret, an adults-only Christmas experience at the Beverly Center. Visitors will journey through immersive and sassy holiday installations, encountering dancing Nutcrackers, sultry gingerbread ladies, rugged lumberjacks and an ice queen in a snow globe. The experience concludes with the revelation of Santa’s best-kept secret: a vintage speakeasy featuring a five-piece band and holiday-themed libations. Each night guests are treated to dazzling performances, including ballet, burlesque, and an X-Mas Barbie extravaganza, all hosted by Drag Queen superstar Asia O’Hara. Santa’s Secrets runs Thursday through Sunday this week. Tickets start at $58 on select nights. More info here.
The Nutcracker Suite – M > The American Contemporary Ballet is performing their annual one-of-a-kind version of the Tchaikovsky classic on select Thursdays to Sundays through December 24. Tickets cost between $70 to $135. More info here.
Astra Lumina: An Enchanted Night Walk Amongst The Stars – > Every Thursday through Sunday evening, the South Coast Botanic Garden morphs into a multi-sensory celestial pathway where guests will walk amongst the stars thanks to brilliant lights, cosmic visions, and astral song. The seasonal attraction runs on select evenings through December 31. Adult tickets start at $35 and there’s an additional fee for parking. More info here.
Tree Lighting at Pasadena City Hall – FA > On 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. More info here.
Late Night! at Skirball – TP > This Friday, Late Night! This Light is Ours offers a fun-filled evening of after-hours entertainment at Skirball Cultural Center, including live music by Serafia Blues Band, printmaking led by Self Help Graphics, in-gallery performances by BODYTRAFFIC Dance Company, plus food trucks and a cash bar. Guests can also explore Skirball’s trio of new exhibitions—This Light of Ours: Activist Photographers of the Civil Rights Movement, RECLAIMED: A Family Painting, and The American Library by Yinka Shonibare CBE RA. The event runs 6:30 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $10. Parking is free. Get more info here.
L.A. Comic Con – M > This weekend, L.A. Comic Con returns for its annual three-day mashup of meet-and-greets, panel discussions, exhibitors, gaming experiences, e-sports competitions, and cosplay, all taking place at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Single day tickets start as low as $34 and a weekend pass is $85 (plus fees). The con runs 4 to 9 p.m. Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, and 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. More info here.
Lightscape at The L.A. Arboretum -> The L.A. Arboretum lights up the holiday season with a one-mile trail of installations and twinkling displays, taking place at the garden after-hours on select dates. This week they are open Friday through Sunday. Lightscape runs through January 2, 2024. GA adult tickets range $29-$35, depending on the date selected for purchase. Get more info here.
Holiday Road -> Holiday Road continues this Friday through Sunday this week at King Gillette Ranch in Calabasas. Now in its fourth year the 1-mile walking trail feathers immersive scenes and holiday-themed activities for all to enjoy. The experience runs on select dates through December 27. Tickets range from $29.99-$39.99. Get more info here.
Ice Santa Monica – M > Ice Santa Monica is back with an 8,000 square-foot ice rink pop-up at the intersection of Arizona Ave and 5th St in Downtown Santa Monica. Skate rental and admission is $22. The rink is open daily through January 15. More info here.
Uptown Village Market – FA > This Friday, The Uptown Village Holiday Market puts the emphasis on handcrafted, offering everything from paper goods and clothing to jewelry, handbags, accessories, art, pottery, plushies, knit items, and more. This evening event takes place at the Expo Arts Center in Long Beach, and coincides with the Bixby Knolls First Fridays Art Walk. Runs from 5 to 10 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.
Pershing Square Holiday Ice – M > The annual 7,200 square foot skating rink in the heart of DTLA returns for the holiday season. GA tickets, including skate rental, cost $20 for adults. The rink runs daily from November 16 through January 7, 2024. More info here.
Dining & Drinking
(picks by Christina Champlin)
Eataly LA Debuts Tableside Panettone for the Holidays -> Indulge in the holiday flavors of Italy during Eataly’s Panettone Tableside Cart Experience. For a limited time, guests who dine at Terra, Capri, and La Pizza La Pasta, can request panettone served tableside customized with housemade toppings such as chocolate, chantilly cream, and mascarpone cream.
A Hanukkah Ice Cream Collab -> Launching this Friday, Genghis Cohen teams up with McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream for a special Hanukkah-themed treat. This year’s limited-edition flavor, named Babka Streisand features Brazilian coffee ice cream, decadent fudge swirls, and chunks of chocolate hazelnut babka from Cake Monkey Bakery. Indulge in a scoop for $7 when dining at Genghis Cohen or a pint for $14. The flavor will also be sold at McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams shops.
Heritage Fire Los Angeles -> Get ready for a fiery culinary spectacle at Heritage Fire, happening on Sunday, December 3, at The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites. Celebrate pasture diversity and family farming at this live-fire cooking competition. The event will showcase chefs and their skills at preparing mouthwatering bites over live fire, and attendees will vote for the ‘Best Bite of the Day’. Tickets start at $125. More info here.
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