Los Angeles provides no limit of things to do, some awesome and some not so awesome. Since time is precious in this fast paced city, we decided to curate a list of things to do in Los Angeles every week end that’ll help you decide how you want to spend your limited supply of attention (not to mention dollars!).
This weekend (Dec. 2 to Dec. 4) includes The Los Angeles International Tea Festival, a holiday marketplace at Grand Central Market, a Festival of Carols, Foodie Con, a Mac & Cheese Smackdown, and LOTS more to choose from.
Also remember you can always go to our L.A. events calendar page to get an updated rundown of what’s happening around the city.
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Friday December 2nd, 2016
1. Enchanted: Forest of Light at Descanso Gardens will offer visitors a colorful one-mile path route through 10 distinct light displays at unique points within the garden. Happening now through Jan. 8. Check for Discount tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)
2. 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
3. The Contenders film series comes to The Hammer Museum this weekend. Curated by The Museum of Modern Art the films selected are new films believed to stand the test of time in influence. This weekend they will screen Nocturnal Animals followed by a Q&A with Director Tom Ford.
4. The Queen Mary’s signature winter attraction, CHILL, returns with a holiday theme of Alice in Winterland, promising an interactive and immersive experiences for the whole family to enjoy. Check for discounted tickets all weekend before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)
5. Sherman Oaks resident Mike Ziemkowski takes his Christmas decorating very seriously. Ziemkowski’s Lights on Display is a beloved local tradition worth driving to. Starts nightly at 5 p.m. through the start of the new year. FREE
6. L.A. Weekly Sips & Sweets will offer a bounty of the city’s best cocktails and desserts all under one roof at the Petersen Automotive Museum. Check for discounted tickets all week before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)
7. The folks at Quiet Clubbing are bringing their act to FIGat7th for a special holiday-inspired dance party this Friday. FREE
8. Largest outdoor ice skating rink returns to Pershing Square for its 19th winter run. The 7,200 square-foot Holiday Ice Rink® Pershing Square will be open every day of the holiday season through Jan. 16.
9. LA Zoo Lights is back! Now in its third year, the after-hours event showcases animal-themed LEDs, lasers, 3D projections, and animated displays throughout the zoo. Happening all weekend. Check for discounted tickets all week before making your purchase. DISCOUNT ED (via Goldstar)
10. Harvest Festival Original Art & Craft Show comes to the Pomona Fairplex with a huge selection of quality handmade arts and crafts just in time for the holiday shopping season.
11. This Friday-Sunday you can get discount tickets to Thrones!, a hilarious musical parody of Game of Thrones now playing at The Hudson Theatres in Hollywood. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)
12. There’s a free classic Movie Screening Series at Union Station this Friday they will screen the noir classic Too Late for Tears. FREE
13. The Herschel Supply Sample Sale is happening both Friday and Saturday at the California Market Center. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days.
14. Enjoy a little Christmas culture by grabbing discount tickets to the Westside Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker at The Broad Stage this Friday at 7 p.m. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)
15. El Capitan Theatre will screen Disney’s Moana. There will be a live concert of classic Disney music by The Side Street Strutters Jazz Band and a live appearance by Moana! Happening all week. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)
16. The Groundlings Holiday Show pokes fun at the holidays with all-new sketches and some improvisation.
17. Since its the first Friday of the month check out all the cool events happening around town including block parties and art walks for First Fridays.
18. Free admission days this Friday for: Norton Simon Museum (5 to 8 p.m.), Pasadena Museum of California Art (noon to 5 pm), Long Beach Museum of Art (3 – 8 p.m.) FREE
Saturday December 3rd, 2016
19. Los Angeles International Tea Festival (Dec. 3-4) returns to the Japanese American National Museum for a weekend of tea demos, classes, sample stations and retailers. Highlights include a Japanese tea ceremony, a panel on world tea origin, a tutorial on how to plan the perfect tea party, a tea and chocolate pairing, and much more. Check for discount tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)
20. Take a step back in time during Heritage Square Museum’s 22nd Annual Lamplight Celebration happening Saturday and Sunday. Hosts will guide you through a 1892 Victorian Thanksgiving to a 1915 Christmas celebration and end at a 1945 New Year’s Eve party.
21. The 3rd Annual Holiday Marketplace at Grand Central Market (Dec. 3-4) is a culinary pop-up offering seasonal delicacies, live music, and of course a visit from Santa Claus himself. FREE
22. On two special dates in December the Los Angeles Master Chorale will celebrate the 2016 holiday season with a Festival of Carols at The Walt Disney Concert Hall. This year’s program offers traditional favorites, new arrangements and rare gems, all curated by Artistic Director Grant Gershon.
23. A Current Affair: Pop Up Vintage Marketplace returns to The Cooper Design House for a two-day shopping bonanza featuring some 65 premier vintage retailers.
24. The Los Angeles Harbor Holiday Afloat parade is back for its 54th edition with a special 2016 theme of ‘Hollywood at the Harbor’. FREE
25. At Go Little Tokyo Holiday Marketplace you can shop for the holidays, enjoy live entertainment, workshops, demos, and special deals this Saturday and Sunday.
26. Foodie Con posits itself as a sort of Comic-Con for foodies. In short, two full days of shopping, eating, drinking, sampling, and learning, all taking place at The Reef in DTLA. Make sure to check for discount tickets to the event while supplies last. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)
27. Need a spot to find a few one-of-a-kind holiday gifts? Check out this weekend’s Unique LA Holiday Market coming to California Market Center. The $15 admission price includes unlimited re-entry all weekend long (both Saturday and Sunday.)
28. Get a rare inside look into artist studios during Open Studios Art Studio Tours in Altadena. The self-guided tours are hosted by the Altadena Library this Saturday and Sunday. FREE
29. Pasadena will host their annual Holidayfest featuring festive activities and promotions at 50+ local shops and restaurants along South Lake Avenue. FREE
30. Check out over 60 independent makers, crafters, and chefs at this Saturday’s Artisanal LA Holiday Market in Arcadia.
31. The Electric Dusk Drive-In is back at a new location on Fletcher Street at the LACCD Van De Kamp college campus complete with an astroturf outdoor seating area. This weekend they will screen Home Alone. Check for discount tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)
32. A surprise special guest will be doing stand-up at L.A.’s legendary Comedy Store on the Sunset Strip this Saturday. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)
Sunday December 4th, 2016
33. Time Out LA is hosting a Mac & Cheese Smackdown featuring some of LA’s best restaurants serving up everyone’s favorite comfort food at Downtown’s Bank of America Center Plaza this Sunday!
34. Doing your holiday shopping on Sunday? The Mosaic Craft Fair in Alhambra will feature 80+ crafters and artists all on hand selling handmade unique goods. FREE
35. Barnsdall Art Park in East Hollywood hosts their annual holiday sale this Sunday with sales of student and faculty work to benefit arts programming.
36. The Great Rock and Roll Flea Market takes over The Regent Theater in DTLA on the first Sunday of every month with an impressive selection of vintage, music memorabilia, vinyl and much more.
37. Ranger Ernie will lead an intermediate 5-mile hike to Cedar Grove in Griffith Park. FREE
38. ICE at Santa Monica is back! Get into the winter spirit by going ice skating, sip on hot chocolate and listening to festive tunes. Happening now till Jan. 16, 2017.
39. The NASA’s Pavilion sound experience is now of view at The Huntington Library. A “soundscape” experience that represents the movement of the International Space Station and 19 Earth Science satellites the shell like sculpture emits sounds each interpreting one of the satellites’ missions. Open to the public till Feb. 27, 2017.
40. Free admission days this Sunday for: Museum of Latin American Art and Craft and Folk Art Museum (pay what you can)
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Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article had mentioned Snow Los Angeles taking place near Elysian Park. After receiving reader feedback and investigating numerous reviews of the first two weeks of the event, we have decided to discontinue recommendations for this series.