Things To Do

Things To Do This Weekend in L.A. [12-8-2023 to 12-10-2023]

December 7, 2023 by Brian Champlin and Christina Champlin
Image via Echo Park Community Parade

Another festive weekend in Los Angeles? Heck yeah.

From December 8-10 in L.A. you’ll find a Winter Open House at Bergamot Station, the Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade, the The Echo Park Community Parade, the El Segundo Holiday Parade, Compton Christmas Parade, Jackalope in Downtown Burbank, a Hanukkah Festival at Skirball, and much more. We’ll get you started sorting it all out below!


Make Metro Part of Your Weekend

We Are Here: Poetry Along the K -> This Saturday, Metro presents We Are Here: Poetry Along the K, an afternoon of spoken performance presented in conjunction with Here: Arts & Culture Along the K, a free art exhibition currently on view at the Museum of African American Art at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. The program runs from 2 to 4 p.m. and is also free to attend. More info here.

Go Metro: Take the K Line to Martin Luther King Jr. Station.

More Things To Do This Weekend

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

Netflix Family NightsM FA > Beginning this Friday, Netflix Family Nights at Ice Santa Monica offers free skate sessions on Tuesdays and Fridays through December 26. The activation begins at 5:30 p.m. and is free to participate, but capacity is limited and will be first-come, first-served. 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. They also just launched Happy Hour Monday through Thursday from 3-6 p.m. with all cocktails 20% off. 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

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.

Winter Open House at Bergamot StationM FA TP > This Saturday, the Winter Open House at Bergamot Station features a full day of gallery receptions, artist talks, food, and live in-gallery musical performances. Special events begin at 10 a.m. More info here.

Marina Del Rey Holiday Boat ParadeFA > The Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade returns on Saturday for the 61st edition, offering musical entertainment, food trucks, and a pre-parade fireworks display. The public can enjoy from viewing spots at Burton Chace Park and Fisherman’s Village. The parade begins at 6 p.m., immediately preceded by the fireworks display. More info here.

The 68th Compton Christmas ParadeFA > On Saturday, the 68th Compton Christmas Parade runs along Compton Blvd from Bullis St to Alameda, with a 2023 theme fo “Around the World”. Happening this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. More info here.

LA 1871History of the Los Angeles Chinese Massacre -> Join the Chinese American Museum (CAM) on Saturday and Sunday, for LA 1871, a two-day symposium delving into the history of the Los Angeles Chinese Massacre of 1871. On the first day, speakers will provide valuable historical context, shedding light on this significant event. Day two features a musical performance by the award-winning composer, Nathan Wang. Free to attend. More info here.

Jackalope BurbankFA > The indie artisan market stops by Downtown Burbank on Saturday and Sunday, covering a stretch of San Fernando Blvd from Magnolia to Angeleno during the two-day event. Expect over 170 vendors offering hand-crafted artisan goods, visual art, photography, jewelry, paper goods, housewares, and more. Runs 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. both dates. Free to attend. More info here.

100th Annual Christmas Tree Lane Lighting Ceremony and Winter FestivalFA TP > Every year, Altadena’s one-mile stretch of Deodar Cedars gets decked out in holiday lights, and to mark the beginning of the 2023 transformation, this Saturday there will be family-friendly festival at Altadena Library featuring food, drink, and arts and crafts vendors. More info here.

The Echo Park Community ParadeFA TP > The Echo Park Community Parade returns this Saturday with a route on Sunset Blvd running from Vin Scully to Park Ave. The parade starts at 11 a.m. More info here.

Music & Design: Mid-Century Venezuela at The GettyFA > On Saturday, The Getty celebrates the exhibition Alfredo Boulton: Looking at Venezuela (1928–1978) with a free jazz performance, discussion event, and complimentary bites. Runs 3 to 5 p.m. More info here.


Creative Communal Holiday Market at Runway Playa VistaFA > Creative Communal brings its brand of holiday market to Runway Playa Vista this Saturday, offering  40+ vendors offering jewelry, leather goods, men’s apparel, fine art, home goods, and more. Runs 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on both dates. Free to attend. More info here.

Pawliday MarketFA > PetSpace’s Pawliday Market offers an array of pet-focused vendors plus sweet photo ops with Santa and your four-legged friends. Happening on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. More info here.

Canoga Park Block PartyFA > The December edition of the Canoga Park Block Party this Saturday features 50+ vendors, including special holiday programming. Runs 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., and free to attend. More info here.

Goddess MercadoM FA > The Goddess Mercado brings 50+ women owned businesses plus the East LA Farmers Market and live music to the East L.A. Civic Center. Happening this Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.

Broxton Nights Holiday Market FA > A special holiday edition of Broxton Nights pops up in Westwood Village this Saturday, offering local vendors, live music, special giveaways, and Hanukkiah Menorah Lighting, and Westwood’s “first snowfall.” Runs 5 to 9 p.m. More info here.

Hanukkah Festival at The Skirball -> Join the Skirball Cultural Center for a joyous Hanukkah Festival on Sunday. Immerse yourself in this annual multigenerational celebration that features live music, kid friendly activities, tasty traditional treats, and access to exhibition galleries. The Skirball Storytellers will also bring the Hanukkah story to life with a theatrical performance featuring music and puppetry. Then, as sundown approaches, there will be a community candle lighting ceremony. GA tickets start at $18. More info here.

A Snowy Wonderland in InglewoodFA > Crenshaw Imperial Plaza hosts a Sunday afternoon of snow sledding and snow play with a real snowman, angel painting and kids crafts, caroling choir, holiday family portraits, raffle prizes, free giveaways and more. More info here.

Holiday Pan Emoji Workshop with Okayama KoboM > Learn to create Okayama Kobo’s adorable “emoji” faces on their signature Japanese pan on Sunday. The tickets event cost $35 and includes four types of bread and a juice. More info here.

Filled Market at SmorgasburgM > Filled Market brings a Filipino Holiday Market & Celebration to Smorgasburg this Sunday with local artisans, brands, body artists, DJs, and more. More info here.

Holiday Ornament Workshop at MOLAA M FA > On Sunday Museum of Latin American Art in Long beach hosts a children’s Make Your Own Holiday Ornament complimentary workshop. Runs 1 to 3 p.m. More info here.

El Segundo Holiday ParadeFA > The 59th Annual El Segundo Holiday Parade returns this Sunday with the 2023 El Segundo Little League World Series Championship Team as Grand Marshals. Expect magical displays of festive cheer from local schools and organizations, to marching bands, vintage cars, businesses and floats. More info here


Breakfast with Santa at The Bloc -> This Sunday join The Bloc in DTLA for a festive holiday breakfast at Plaza Level Suite G630. Happening from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. guests can indulge in a hot breakfast buffet, complete with a hot cocoa and coffee bar. Santa will make a special appearance and children of all ages can share their wish lists with him. Reservations ($30 per person) are required, and seating is limited. More info here.

Celebration of HanukkahM FA > Ivy Station hosts a Celebration of Hanukkah featuring  giant menorah lighting, live klezmer music, face painting, games, hot latkes, donuts, chocolate gelt, dreidels, arts and crafts, and a free raffle. The event is free to attend and runs from 4:30 to 6 p.m. More info here.

Dining & Drinking

(picks by Christina Champlin)
Festivus Hanukkah BBQ Pop-Up flier. Photo credit Natasha Feldman’s Instagram.

Festivus, A Hanukkah BBQ Pop-Up -> Chef Jen Sills (Gjusta, Jon + Vinny’s, the quiet dumpling) and Natasha Feldman, the author of The Dinner Party Project, are hosting Festivus, a Hanukkah BBQ pop-up from December 9-13. The event will be held at Kiff Kaffe in the Sawtelle neighborhood andthe menu, (available from 5 p.m. until sold out) features Crispy Latke Sandwiches with smoked brisket, Apricot Glazed Chicken, Deviled Eggs, Chicken Liver with Potato Chips, Kugel Mac, and a Halva and Caramel Ice Cream Sundae. More info here.

Goodboybob 3rd Annual Pierogi Pop Up-> Goodboybob in Culver City is hosting their 3rd annual Pierogi pop-up on Saturday. The fun starts at 5 p.m., with the cafe located inside food hall Citizen Public Market offering a variety of specialty pierogies stuffed with Farmers Cheese & Potato, Sauerkraut & Forest Mushroom, and Green Peppercorn Beef. Other Polish goodies include a Pickle Soup and Sernik – a Polish sour cream cheesecake.

HOLY WATER x Project Angel Food -> For the holiday season, Holy Water in West Hollywood will highlight a charitable cocktail that donates $5 to Project Angel Food for every cocktail ordered. Available December 6, 2023, to January 31, 2024 the “Angel’s Share” cocktail ($16) is made with Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Amaro Ramazzotti, Giffard Banana Liqueur, and Pecan Bitters. Each purchased cocktail equals one meal donated to Project Angel Food. Established in 1989 to address the AIDS crisis, Project Angel Food now extends its mission to support individuals affected by serious illnesses across L.A. County.

Looking Ahead…

Ayara Thai Moo Krata BBQ Event -> Westchester’s Ayara Thai is hosting a Moo Krata dinner next week on December 11, 13, and 14. This unique Thai dining experience revolves around a charcoal-heated grill with a raised dome, resembling a mix of Korean BBQ and Chinese hot pot. The meal includes an array of meats such as wagyu ribeye and kurobuta pork loin from Snake River Farm, accompanied by a medley of vegetables, rice, noodles, dipping sauces, and a rich broth. As the weather cools, indulge in sesame dumplings bathed in ginger syrup for dessert. Tickets cost $200 for a table of four with seating available for 5 p.m. or 8 p.m. Secure your reservations on OpenTable. More info here.

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