Things To Do

Things To Do This Week in Los Angeles [12-4-2023 to 12-8-2023]

December 4, 2023 by Brian Champlin and Christina Champlin
Photo via City of San Gabriel

The sun sets a little sooner. The nights come in a bit chillier. The holiday lights are out and the traffic is… well, the same. December in Los Angeles is officially here.

As we kickstart the first full week of the new month, here’s what we have in view: From December 4-8 in L.A., check out Astronomy on Tap in Pasadena, a tree lighting in San Gabriel, the Hot Chocolate Nutcracker, DTLA ArtNight, The Monster Kid Club at Bob Baker Marionette Theater, The Silent Book Club of Death, the Halo Holiday Market, and much more. The full list starts below.

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Things To Do This Week

M = Less than .5 miles from an L.A. Metro Station, FA = Free Admission, TP = Top Pick


Astronomy on TapM FA TP > Astronomy on Tap returns on Monday with a pair of scientific talks (helped along by trivia, live music, and beer) at Dog Haus Biergarten in Pasadena. The evening features Caltech Research Scientist Dr. Mike Kelzenberg discussing “Beamed Energy for Earth, the Skies, and Beyond” plus Caltech PhD Candidate Sam Rose offer thoughts on “(Star)Dust to Dust: The Formation, Observation, and Impact of Space Dust.” The event is free and open to all ages. Runs 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. More info here.

MoMA Contenders at The Hammer -> Now through December 14, The Hammer Museum and the Museum of Modern Art are teaming up their annual film screening series featuring potential award winners from the past year’s releases paired with special Q&A discussions. This week, there are a four screenings on the slate, including The Taste of Things on Monday, The Zone of Interest on Tuesday, Priscilla on Wednesday, and Maestro on Thursday. Films begin at 7 p.m., and tickets are $20 for general admission. 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 through January 7 (closed for Christmas and Christmas Eve). 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.

City of San Gabriel Holiday Tree LightingFA > On Tuesday The City of San Gabriel hosts a Holiday Tree Lighting featuring photos with Santa, mini train rides, and live entertainment. Taking place in the Mission District the festive event will also include a Taste of San Gabriel experience with free food samples from Blossom Hall, Paris Baguette and more. Free to attend. 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.

The Monster Kid ClubTP > This Tuesday, The Monster Kid Club brings a holiday-edition of their spooky extravaganza to the Bob Baker Marionette Theater in Highland Park. Expect an evening filled variety acts, video clips from horror classics, and comedy sketches, plus special guests Molly Renze (aka Patty Longlegs), Conor Bright the Paranormal Pixie, Barry Under Your Bed, Psychic Buster, the Bob Baker Marionettes, and KRAMPUS. Tickets are $23 including fees. Show starts at 8 p.m. More info here.

Silent Book Club of Death M FA TP > The Silent Book Club of Death returns to Lawless Brewing in North Hollywood with a fresh edition of their mortality-themed meet-up and group reading event. The evening starts with a 30-minute mix and mingle at 6:30 p.m., followed by a quiet, hour-long reading of a death-centric book (your choice), then capped by a post-read chat/discussion. Bring your own book or grab one they have on hand. Free to attend. More info here.

Krampus Cove Pop-UpM > 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

First Wednesday at AoP -> The Aquarium of the Pacific’s monthly evening lecture series continues this Wednesday with guest Ashley Boren, CEO of Sustainable Conservation, who will dive into the topic clean water access and innovations used to mitigate the drought/flood implications of climate change. Per usual, the one-hour talk is to be followed by a meet-and-greet, cocktails, and music and crafts in in the Pacific Visions Art Gallery. Tickets are $5 if you buy in advance, or $10 the day-of. Parking is $6 for the for 2.5 hours in the Aquarium structure. Starts at 7 p.m. More info here. More info here.

Fowler Out LoudFA > This Wednesday, the Fowler Out Loud live performance series continues with a concert featuring the work of Global Jazz Studies students performing various styles of Afro Latin Jazz. The show runs from 6 to 8 p.m. and is free to attend. More info here.

Lights on DisplayFA 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.

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.

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.

L.A. Zoo Lights – > 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.

DTLA ArtNightM FA > DTLA ArtNight runs every first Thursday of the month, activating 25+ galleries all centered around Downtown’s Historic Core. Runs 6 to 9:30 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.

Hot Chocolate NutcrackerTP > This Thursday to Sunday, Debbie Allen Dance Academy (DADA) presents its award-winning production of “Hot Chocolate Nutcracker” at Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center. The highly-anticipated performance follows a young girl, Kara as she steps into a land of wonder journeying to fantastical places such as Candy Cane Land, Egypt, the Indian Rainforest/Bollywood, Jazzland, Russia and the Land of the Kimono Dolls. Tickets start at $50. More info here

Halo Holiday MarketM FA > The Halo Holiday Market is an all-day bazaar happening this Thursday featuring local makers, artists, and brands, right in the heart of DTLA. Shop one-of-a-kind gifts from handmade jewelry and artist prints to self-care products and gourmet sweets. Free to attend, the market runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 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.

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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

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.

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 start at $38 for adults, or $33 for kids. Winter Fest runs Thursday through Sunday this week, and continues on select dates through January 7, 2024. More info here.

Supper with Santa at The Ebell -> On Friday, The Ebell invites you to a supper with Santa and an evening filled with holiday cheer. Santa Claus is back in town, and he’s stopping by The Ebell too. The event will also include craft-making, photos (with and without the big guy), a dinner, and a performance by the Bob Baker Marionettes. Tickets cost $65 for adults, $30 for children ages 3-12, and $20 for toddlers age 2 and under. More info here.

Movie Fridays on Third Street PromenadeM FA > The Promenade’s free movie night series comes to close for 2023 with a Friday night screening of Die Hard. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the film begins at 7:30 p.m. More info here.

Drunk Theatre -> Bay Area import Drunk Theatre is exactly what it sounds like: A comedian downs five quick shots of whiskey and then sees if he/she/they can make through an improvised set with five sober counterparts. The fun is back this Friday at the Santa Monica Playhouse, with pre-sale tickets going $20 or $25 at the door. PLUS: You can use the code WELIKEFREE to get two tickets for the price of one. Show begins at 9 p.m. More info here.

Holiday Market at Ivy StationM FA > The holiday edition of Ivy Station’s monthly pop-up includes 25+ local vendors, food trucks, craft beer, games, music, and photo ops with Santa. Runs 5 to 10 p.m. this Friday. 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.

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Pershing Square Holiday IceM > 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)
good-clean-fun-convivium-imports-raclette-night
Raclette Night flier by Good Clean Fun. Photo credit Good Clean Fun Instagram.

Raclette Night at Good Clean Fun -> Convivium Imports will be stopping by DTLA natural wine bar, Good Clean Fun on Thursday to host a cozy Raclette Night. Originating from Switzerland, raclette involves heating a half round of cheese and then scraping it onto foods such as boiled potatoes, apples, and bread usually offered during the winter season. The pop-up event will run from 6 to 9 p.m. More info here.

Crustacean Beverly Hills Hanukkah Dishes -> Hanukkah begins this week on December 7 and Crustacean Beverly Hills is adding a Vietnamese twist to their special holiday menu with Matzo Ball Pho, Caviar Latkes and Raspberry Mandarin Sufganiyot. Available à la carte the dishes are available until December 15.

Aspeti Pop Up at Tabula Rasa Bar -> This Wednesday, Aspeti is making an appearance at Tabula Rasa Bar in Thai Town, featuring a Cali-centric Michoacán food menu. The tasty evening kicks off at 5 p.m., offering a selection of bites that include Mole Enchiladas, Cured Trout Tostada, and Potato Taquitos filled with leek, kohlrabi, and Oaxaca cheese. These items pair well with the Tabula Rasa’s selection of natural wine and beers. More info here.


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