Just because Los Angeles lives in a close-to-perfect climate boasting very mild winters that don’t require dealing with constant snow and sleet, doesn’t mean there is a lack of winter activities in and around the Southland. In fact, plenty of the typical fun activities associated with this season can be enjoyed right here. Following are five adventures to consider when you want to get out while getting in on winter action.
Woodland Hills Ice
6100 Topanga Canyon Blvd.
Woodland Hills, CA 91367
Over the hill and through the canyons, The Valley hosts Woodland Hills Ice for eager ice skaters wanting to show off their skills (or learn them) in sunny Southern California. For the sixth year in a row, this rink located in the Westfield Promenade (yes, a rink operating at an outdoor mall) gets plenty of action all the way through until after the new year where you can skate all day if that’s your passion (a day pass is $20). No matter how long you choose to navigate the ice, know that the show (in this case, the rink) will go on even in rainy conditions unless the downpour gets out of hand and presents dangerous rink terrain.
Dockweiler Youth Center
12505 Vista del Mar
Los Angeles, CA 90245
The beach hardly seems like the ideal place to go for snow, but on one particular day this season — December 20; mark your calendar — the snow will hit the sand during a day entitled “Beach Winter Wonderland.” And yes, that snow is made of real flakes meant for frolicking and all sorts of other innocent fun like snowball throwing and snow angel making. Talk about a unique take on a cold weather tradition.
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
1 Tram Way
Palm Springs, CA 92262
Even though Los Angeles isn’t traditionally an outdoor town in the winter months as far as winter activities are concerned due to all of the sunshine and warm temperatures, the surrounding areas do offer the real thing. Consider Palm Springs where the Palm Springs Aerial tramway (the largest rotating aerial tramway in the world) takes you up, up and away from desert floor until you reach the top where snow is abundant and so are the outdoor activities, up to and including snowshoeing and snow camping. Be sure to bring an extra layer of clothing (including a warm coat) as well as a scarf and mittens in order to partake.
880 Summit Blvd.
Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
Looking down on the City of Angels, Big Bear’s Snow Summit is always ready for winter sports enthusiasts like boarders and skiers. If the snow isn’t sufficient, the snow machines will just make more. Whatever the situation, this particular winter outpost is said to be the best place to go no matter how proficient you happen to be when it comes to careening down a mountain via the footwear of your choice.
Los Angeles Zoo
5333 Zoo Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
So the weather might not be so frightful but the Los Angeles Zoo is definitely delightful with holiday spirit in the form of what is called the annual Reindeer Romp. Sleigh bells ring between November 28, 2014 and January 4, 2015 at this favorite Griffith Park haunt where those famous animals that pull the weight for Santa on Christmas Eve wait out their time by mingling with guests who come to visit these doe-eyed beasts with their red harnesses, a real bow in all ways to Christmas present.
Related: A Guide to Outdoor Skating in SoCal
Los Angeles freelance travel writer Jane Lasky, contributes to publications such as Travel + Leisure, Vogue and Esquire. Her weekly sojourning column ran in 40 newspapers for 20 years. Jane is anything but an accidental tourist. Check out her articles on Examiner.com.