Things To Do This Weekend in L.A. [12-1-2023 to 12-3-2023]

Venice Beach
Venice Sign. Photo by Christina Champlin.

Where did the year go… seriously? We’re on the doorstep on the final month of 2023 and we’re kicking things off with a treasure trove of terrific to-dos to consider for your social calendar.

This December 1-3 in Los Angeles, you’ll find First Fridays in Chinatown, Late Night! at Skirball, Holidays at Greystone, the Venice Sign Lighting, a Holiday Fest at Hollywood Park, CicLAvia in South L.A., an holiday block party in the Arts District, Art at the Airport in Santa Monica, and much more. Let’s get into the full list below! 


Make Metro Part of Your Weekend

First Friday in Chinatown – > L.A.’s Chinatown stays open late on Friday for an evening of exploring the unique small businesses and contemporary art and culture spaces that make up the historic neighborhood. West Plaza and Chungking Road will activate with 10+ local pop-up vendors, DJ-spun music, and area galleries with extended hours. The December edition of First Fridays runs from 6 to 10 p.m., and it’s free to attend. More info here.

Go Metro: Take the A Line to Chinatown Station.

More Things To Do This Weekend

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

Late Night! at SkirballTP >  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.

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.

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

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.

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 – > 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.

L.A. Comic ConM > 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.

Uptown Village MarketFA > 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.

Entertainment Workers Arts and Crafts Fair -> This Saturday is the Entertainment Workers Arts and Crafts Fair. Happening from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. at Riverfront Stages the fair features over 40 entertainment industry workers showcasing and selling crafts, art, and handmade goods. This is an excellent opportunity to support the industry community, shop small, and local all in one place. Attendees can also explore a soundstage, get sips from the coffee cart and enjoy a selection of food vendors.

Venice Sign Lighting and Holiday Block PartyFA > The Venice Sign is getting dressed up for the holidays this Saturday, marked by a celebration along Windward Avenue, which will be closed down for a street festival, staged entertainment, and family friendly activities. The event runs from 6 to 9 p.m. and is free to attend. Get more info here.

Holidays at Greystone -> This two-day activation brings a festive slate of activities to Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills this Saturday and Sunday. Expect holiday decore, live caroling, craft-making, storytelling, and more family-friendly activations. Tickets are $5 for BH residents, or $7 for non-residents. The experience runs in 90-minute blocks from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on both days. More info here.

Night Plant Market at Three WeaversM FA TP > This Saturday, Night Plant Market brings an outdoor pop-up to Three Weavers Brewing Company in Inglewood featuring a unique selection of vendors offering houseplants, home decor, pottery, gardening supplies and more. Plus, The Vegan Hooligans will be on-site with bites for purchase and you can enjoy vinyl tunes spun by Meowhaus. And of course, plenty of great beers on tap! The event runs from 5 to 10 p.m. and is free to attend. More info here.

Parachute Holiday Village -> Gather friends and family and head to the Parachute Holiday Village in Culver City. The event is taking place from Saturday through Sunday, inviting the public to explore 40+ curated brands in a European holiday market-inspired setting. There will be plenty of festive activities, hourly snowfall, a kids play area, seasonal food and beverages, and joyful entertainment. Tickets cost $8, and all proceeds will be donated to Baby2Baby. More info here.


Lunya x Little Lunch Coffee -> The L.A.-founded luxury restwear brand, Lunya, is marking the debut of their quarterly print newspaper, Nightstand, with an activation at Little Lunch Coffee in Venice on Saturday. Starting at 9 a.m. the initial 200 customers at Little Lunch will be treated to complimentary hot/iced lattes, and the first 50 will also receive Lunya’s best-selling silk eye mask, valued at $50. Each latte will be accompanied by a copy of Lunya’s Nightstand, presenting a curated collection of late-night musings and sacred bedtime rituals. More info here.

Hollywood Park’s Second Annual Winter Fest -> Winter Fest, Hollywood Park’s annual holiday celebration returns this Saturday with a free event for all ages that includes photos with Black Santa, a celebrity basketball game hosted by Baron Davis, activities from future Hollywood Park retail tenants and local businesses, food trucks, music from DJs, live performances, and more. Additionally, Hollywood Park’s monthly Farmers Market by FarmHabit will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. More info here.

South Lake HolidayfestFA > The  annual Holidayfest on South Lake Ave in Pasadena offers a day of family activities, shopping deals, holiday music, and a Santa’s Village. Runs noon to 6 p.m. this Saturday, and it’s free to attend. More info here.

Holiday Movie Night at Ivy StationM FA -> Culver City’s Ivy Station will host a Holiday Movie Night screening of Elf this Saturday. Bring a blanket and snag a spot on the lawn, snap a festive photo at their selfie station and enjoy complimentary popcorn courtesy of Motion Flix. Free to attend. Starts at 5:30 p.m. More info here.

Il Mercato at The Garibaldina Society -> The Garibaldina Society, the oldest Italian society in America invites you to their holiday market, Il Mercato, this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. A tradition since the late 60’s the public can purchase a pink pastry box ($25) and fill it up with 25 different Italian cookies baked by its members. Admission is free and there will be member sponsored tables selling goods as well as coffee poured by Arrvo. More info here.

Valley Cultural Foundation’s 3rd Annual Holiday Arts & Music FestivalFA > Enjoy some holiday fun this Saturday including free photos with Santa, snow play, small business shopping, food trucks and crafts for kids. Runs 1 to 5 p.m. More info here

Conscious MarketM FA > Conscious Market brings local, curated vendors to Santa Monica’s Third Street Market Promenade every first Saturday of the month, and come December they’ll be hosting a special holiday edition of the pop-up. The market runs 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.

San Fernando MarketFA >The San Fernando Outdoor Market hosts a special holiday edition of their monthly pop-up this Saturday. Expect 90+ vendors plus a classic car display, food, and other entertainment. Runs 5 to 9 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.

CicLAvia – South LA M FA > L.A.’s signature open streets event carves out 6 miles of walkable/bikeable road in South L.A. this Sunday, with a car-free route along Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd from Crenshaw to Central Ave. The day-long event features (per usual) multiple activity hubs and plenty of local gems to explore along the way. Runs 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Get more info here.

Art at the AirportFA > Art at the Airport is a gallery open house event happening on Sunday featuring the works of 20+ artists on display at an airplane hangar the Santa Monica Airport. The event is free to attend and will also include refreshments, music and free parking. Runs 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. More info here.

Our Shared Future Los Angeles at JANM M FA > On Sunday, JANM will host a free program titled “Cross Cultural Cuisine: The Art of Bringing People Together.” This afternoon event features engaging conversations with restaurateurs, chefs, entrepreneurs, and culture commentators, exploring cross-cultural influences on ethnic cuisine in America. Following the discussion, there will be a reception catered by The Park’s Finest. The event is free to attend but tickets are required. More info here.


Holiday Block PartyM FA > On the first Sunday of December, Makeshift Muse brings their brand of curated vendors to the Arts District for a block party holiday event, featuring food, music, and goods for purchase. Both Rose and Traction avenues will be closed and 50+ local brands will dot the streets ready for you to explore unique gifts. There will be festive bites and seasonal beverages at both Truly LA and Angel City Brewery. Free to attend. Runs 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. More info here.

Heritage Fire Los Angeles -> Get ready for a fiery culinary spectacle at Heritage Fire, happening on Sunday 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

Our Shared Future Los Angeles at LA Plaza de Culturas y Artes M FA > On Sunday LA Plaza will host “American Latinos in Hollywood: Struggles and Achievements in the Film and TV Industry.” The event will feature discussions by American Latino filmmakers and film artists about their careers in Hollywood and the creation of culturally impactful on-screen representations in today’s multi-platform media age. More info here.

Dining & Drinking

(picks by Christina Champlin)
Moonlark’s Dinette Snow in Southtown menu and cocktails. Photo courtesy of Boka Restaurant Group.

Holiday Snow Globe Pop-Up, “Snow in Southtown” -> Moonlark’s Dinette, the retro-inspired all-day diner in DTLA, transforms into “Snow in Southtown” a fictional town from the film “Year Without a Santa Claus.” This Friday, the restaurant’s North side patio undergoes a festive makeover with a snow globe-inspired setting, offering a seasonal cocktail menu from Frozen Espresso Martinis to Spiked Eggnog, complemented by Moonlark’s comfort food menu. Running from December 1 through mid-January, patrons have the option to reserve tables through Resy. Walk-ins are also welcomed.

Sugarfish 15 for 15 Menu -> Sugarfish commemorates 15 years in business with a unique 15-course menu available for 15 days, from November 29 to December 13, at all Los Angeles locations. Priced at $80, the menu features a blend of signature dishes and items created just for the milestone. Highlights include pink lobster sashimi, sardine nigiri, sunomono-style sashimi and gunkan style nigiri. More info here.

Lunetta Pizzeria Pop-up -> This Friday, Chef Michele Galifi brings his wood-fired pizza oven and specialty dough to Lunetta in Santa Monica for an exclusive, one-night-only pop-up. Stop by between 4 to 8 p.m. to savor three unique pizzas crafted collaboratively by Chef Lunetta, Chef Cuyuch, and Chef Galifi. Pizzas on the menu include a Bolognese Bliss, Seafood Symphony, featuring BBQ salmon and Farm-to-Table Feast a vegetarian pie.

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