Ready or not, Christmas week has arrived in Los Angeles. With it comes a few last minute opportunities to get into the holiday spirit, including must-see festive light displays, unique holiday food and drink opportunities, and live holiday performances and events for the whole family. Here’s some of this week’s best entertainment and dining options, Los Angeles. Merry Christmas and happy holidays!
Monday, December 22
Festival of Lights
3649 Mission Inn Ave.
Riverside, CA 92501
Before the holidays are over, make a worthwhile trek to the Inland Empire to visit one of the nation’s largest light displays at The Mission Inn in Riverside. With over 4 million dazzling lights, this SoCal tradition (22 years running), displays the spirit of the season with lights, art, history, and festive decorations. Over 400 animatronic characters span the hotel and its city block, making this free event a must-see for the entire family. Keep warm with one of the unique holiday cocktail beverages including the Twelve Drummers Drumming, made of Starbucks Liqueur, Godiva Chocolate, and Hot Chocolate, or their Partridge in a Pear Tree, with Absolut Pears, Lime Juice, Pear Nectar, and Baileys Caramel.
Tuesday, December 23
Klezmatics: Happy Joyous Hanukkah
111 South Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
The Grammy® winning Klezmatics kick up their heels tonight at the Walt Disney Concert Hall as they bring to the stage a unique mixture of traditional klezmer music with Eastern European, Latin, Celtic, Afro-Caribbean, and folk-flavored influences. The whole family is invited to the Hanukkah themed event; tickets for kids under 12 are 50% off regular price. L’chaim!
8764 Melrose Ave.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Chef de Cuisine Alessio Biangini, of Cecconi’s in West Hollywood, will be commemorating the season by offering Timpano as a nightly special. The iconic Italian domed pasta dish made famous in the Stanley Tuccci film “Big Night,” features rigatoni with ragu bolognese and meatballs baked together in a handmade dough crust, “pot pie” style. Sale of this limited-time-offering will take place tonight through Christmas.
Wednesday, December 24
L.A. County Holiday Celebration
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at The Music Center
135 N. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles 90012
The 55th Annual L.A. County Holiday Celebration, featuring seasonal music and dance spectucular, takes place tonight at The Music Center downtown. With over three hours of holiday cheer, this free show is perfect for the whole family. Music ensembles, choirs, and dance companies from the many neighborhoods and cultures of LA with take to the stage including Trio Ellas, a blend of mariachi, jazz, and country; the Greater LA Cathedral Choir; Western Standard Time, a 20-piece Jamaican jazz big band, performing holiday classics with a ska twist; and Latin/jazz fusion ensemble Buyepongo, presenting cumbia infused holiday music. Dance highlights include Los Angeles Ballet, performing the “Arabian dance” from The Nutcracker; JazzAntiqua Dance Ensemble, collaborating with Maetar to present “The Gathering,” a boundless wave of energy, rhythm and melody; and Hālau Keali`i O Nālanis, who perform traditional Hawaiian dance to Grammy Award®-winner Daniel Ho’s “Soon It Will Be Christmas.” Can’t make the event? It will be streamed live on PBS SoCal and at pbssocal.org.
Thursday, December 25
Celebrate Christmas Day
If the concept of cooking a feast on Christmas Day is getting you down, consider heading to one of these great L.A. restaurants instead for a meal filled with holiday tastes, cheer, and no dirty dishes.
Holiday Ice Skating
ICE at Santa Monica
Corner of 5th St. and Arizona Ave.
Downtown Santa Monica, CA
Open on Christmas Day, bring the whole family or head down to Santa Monica with friends to skate outside. After all, where else are you going to find beachside ice skating around LA or anywhere in the world? Bringing a taste of winter to the beach, ICE offers young and old an 8,000-square-foot rink to hang out with friends and family, host a private holiday event, skate holding hands on a first date, beginner hockey skater clinics with the LA Kings or take skate lessons. Admission with skate rental is $15 per person. The rink will be open on Christmas day from 11am to 10pm.
Friday, December 26
Rockin’ The Holidays Musical Review
74-855 Country Club Dr.
Palm Desert, CA 92260
With one last chance to enjoy the holiday season, head to Palm Desert for a post-holiday getaway and magical holiday musical review. The Rockin’ The Holidays Musical Review Spectacular, a first of its kind for the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort, features Broadway talent singing and dancing to your favorite classic holiday tunes with a rock n’ roll twist. Closing this weekend, the show has been a festive success for the entire region and gives LA residents the perfect chance to de-stress and enjoy the last remnants of this year’s Christmas season; a cocktail reception kicks off each show!
Holiday Hangover Festival
House of Blues
8430 Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Sean Healy presents a Holiday Hangover Festival, an evening of live entertainment featuring local LA artists. Live music from The Mozzies, Bent Jetty, Cody Ray Mendoza, Juic2x, The 666, Gaucho Balboa, Fosho, Sammatik The Rebel, Pablo, LowDown DirtyGame, Ease, and A Plus Certified will rock the night from doors open at 6:30pm through midnight. Grab dinner before the event at Crossroads.
Saturday, December 27
For the Record: Baz
7969 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90046
After a three-month sold-out run, the hit “For The Record” series has extended their critically-acclaimed evening inspired by the films of Baz Luhrmann at West Hollywood’s DBA through Sunday. Narrated by Harold Zidler and his Diamond Dogs, the audience journeys through the musical mind of Baz Luhrmann in a mash up inspired by “Romeo + Juliet,” “Strictly Ballroom,” “Moulin Rouge” and “The Great Gatsby.” Iconic moments and songs from the films come together in an immersive experience for every member of the audience that truly can’t be missed.
Sunday, December 28
8400 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
La Boheme, located in West Hollywood is finishing their year with changes including new management, and a new Executive Chef, Martha Esquivel. With the transformation comes a brand new Sunday Brunch offering, just in time for the post-holiday, tired-of-cooking afternoons. Enjoy brunch highlights including Lemon Curd French Toast; Chicken Chilaquiles with arbol salsa, queso fresco, fried egg, cilantro; and Mediterranean Omelet with spinach, goat cheese, caramelized onions, breakfast potatoes as you sit by the rustic fireplace this winter. Bottomless sparkling mimosa and Bellinis can be added for just $9.
Katie Bodell is the Blog Editor for Trekaroo, the largest family travel website in the U.S. She is also a freelance writer, a happy wife to her best friend, and a mom to three sweet California girls. See more on: Trekaroo | CheapOair | Google+ | Twitter.