As expected, this week is almost fully dominated by Christmas-specific events, but it’s also a pretty quiet one. There’s still plenty to do for the restless few, but that depends on you, of course. Would you like to fulfill your dream of doing nothing this week, or would you rather take advantage of some time off in a more active way? Some of you don’t have that choice either way, but I hope you’ll at least be able to spend time with the special people in your life and try to find joy where you can. Hey, you might even find that happy place at one of the events below… Merry Christmas!
Arts, Culture, and Christmas
Start your holiday weekend off right with a jumping, jiving, jingling night of holiday favorites at Arturo Sandoval’s Swinging Holiday concert at the Walt Disney Concert Hall this Sat, Dec 23. ′Tis the season to jazz it up and swing yourself right into the coming new year with the multiple Grammy Award winning Sandoval. And why not Enhance Your Experience at a Build Your Own Beverage bar pre-show at 7 p.m. Follow the festive music down to BP Hall, where a self-serve complimentary hot chocolate, coffee, and tea bar will be waiting. There will also be a cash bar to add a little spike to your punch. Tickets range from $49-$147. Concert starts at 8 p.m.
Christmas Dinner and a Movie, anyone? If you’re solo this year, or want to start a new holiday tradition with family and friends, consider going to a movie at the New Bev Cinema and maybe even lunch or dinner at The Cat & Fiddle to make a day of it. Catch an 80s Christmas classic, and one of my personal favorites, Die Hard on Christmas Eve, Sun, Dec 24, or a Marx Bros. Double Feature (A Night at the Opera + Go West) on Christmas Day, Mon, Dec 25 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., respectively, plus a screening of The Hateful Eight at 7:30 p.m. Bonus: All films are shown in 35mm and Tickets are only $13. Merry Christmas indeed! And if advance tickets have sold out online, some additional tickets will be available at the door on a first come, first served basis on the day of (1 hr prior). Check Bev’s full schedule here. Then head on over to the The Cat & Fiddle British Pub & Restaurant for a special Xmas Eve menu that includes beef wellington, nut roast wellington (veg), sticky toffee pudding, and mulled wine – yum! Reservation times are still available, but don’t wait! Or pre-order online by Dec 23 for takeout. The Cat will be closed on Christmas Day.
Or, how about Christmas Supper and a Movie at the Academy Museum instead? You’ve got a screening of The Polar Express in 3D – Oscar-winner Robert Zemeckis’ lavish adaptation of the popular illustrated children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg, about a skeptical young boy who finds himself on a magical train to the North Pole – at 2 p.m. and Fanny’s Sunday Supper service starting at 5 p.m., with a splendid museum to explore during the time in between. Every Sunday, Fanny’s hosts a weekly Sunday Supper with dishes inspired by The Godfather in conjunction with the Museum’s exhibit The Art of Moviemaking: The Godfather, that includes a family-style rotating selection of cheeky specials such as Connie’s Crispy Calamari, A Pasta You Can’t Refuse, and Sonny’s “Bada-Bing!” Ribs, along with a selection of Italian wines and other cinema-inspired craft cocktails. Christmas Eve Reservations are still available, so book now! Dinner service runs from 5-9 p.m.
And for those of you who love the film version of another modern classic (that I’ve yet to see), then you’ll probably love, or at least like, the special seasonal production of Love Actually Live! Now thru Dec 31, the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts will play host to this critically acclaimed theatrical experience, making its return to commemorate the film’s 20th anniversary. Set within a London cityscape, iconic scenes from the film are displayed on screens alongside all-star singers and a live orchestra, making film and live action seamlessly intertwine like magic! Have a looksee at the program >> HERE. Tickets range from $79-$159. Showtimes are at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Please note: this production features adult content and brief nudity and is not recommended for kids.
Finally, if you haven’t heard of, or been to, Frosty’s Pop-Up Christmas Bar yet – the time has come! This national Xmas Pop-Up was first established in Chicago in 2017, followed by NYC’s Times Square in 2022, and now it’s here in Hollywood! This spectacularly decorated Christmas bar will transport guests into a magical, over-the-top, winter wonderland with photo ops galore, seasonal craft cocktails, live DJ’s, and more. No Food will be sold or allowed inside, but there are plenty of great restaurants nearby. Tickets are $25-$83 and must be purchased in advance. Frosty’s is located at 6555 Hollywood Blvd and open in the evenings, now thru Dec 31. Entrance is off Whitley Ave. through the parking lot behind the building. 21+ only. Closed Christmas Eve/Day.
Seasonal Family Fun
Holding steady on this week’s ongoing entertainment list is a true legend. Bob Baker Marionette Theater’s adaptation of the Nutcracker has been delighting audiences of all ages since 1969, and this year, BBMT is thrilled to present even more magical merriment with new surprises and enchanting additions to its already endearing show. Go on an adventure through the wizardry of strings and into the enchanted world of Bob Baker’s Marionettes! Tickets are $25; kids 2 and under are free. Performances happening now – Jan 14. Saturday and Sunday showtimes: 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Weekday shows begin Wed, Dec 13.
And if you haven’t made it to the LA Kings Holiday Ice at L.A. LIVE yet, you’re missing out! Go with friends or bring the kiddos for a little taste of winter wonderland in DTLA. General Admission tickets are only available for purchase on-site at the ice rink box office during hours of operation. Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for kids, seniors, and military. A limited quantity of Fast Pass tickets will be also available, but online only for $45 per person. Open now open through Dec 31. Pricing includes skate rental. Hours now – Dec 18: Daily 5 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. (4 sessions); Dec 18-31: Daily 4 p.m. – midnight (4 sessions).
And more ice skating! Get in your favorite form of seasonal exercise/making a fool of yourself at the Holiday Ice Skating Rink in DTLA’s Pershing Square. Now – Jan 7, get as close to a winter wonderland in LA as you can, cruising along the ice among skyscrapers, while you picture yourself surrounded by trees, on a lake, in a forest, somewhere far far away. Anyhoo, back to reality now, be sure to lookout for special events happening throughout the month as well. Skate rentals are included in admission ($20 per hour). Lockers and skating aids for the kiddos are $5 extra. Rink opens at 11:30 a.m. daily; closing times vary. And will be open on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve/Day, and New Years Eve/Day.
Christmas and the new year is almost here, and the L.A. Zoo Lights: Animals Aglow experience is giving us all those holiday feels with another illuminating season of joy! Come explore an immersive landscape filled with dazzling new lantern sculptures of animals, blooming flowers, towering trees, and more, for a nature-focused holiday celebration. Ticket prices vary depending on day of the week, check website for deets (and see the Buzz’s cool photos here). Zoo Lights on display now – Jan 7.
Also lighting up our lives this season, is the third edition of Lightscape at the L.A. County Arboretum. Located a little east of LA in Arcadia, the Aboretum’s uplit trees and illuminated installations will once again dot the roughly mile-long pathway for the 2023 season, which has been “reimagined” this with an expanded trail. The light cathedral will, of course, make its return, as will the fire garden, one of events favorite highlights. Santa will also be there on select dates! Tickets range from $29-$35 and $14-$18 for kids (under 3 are free). Lightscape will be yours to behold from now – Jan 2.
And even more magical light displays for your sight to see. Now – Jan 7, you’ll have the chance to immerse yourself in a shimmering nocturnal wonderland at Descanso Gardens Enchanted Forest of Light; an interactive, nighttime experience, featuring a one-mile magical route through the garden. There will be returning favorites, including an entire town of “stained glass” creations by contemporary sculptor Tom Fruin; sparkling geometric installations from HYBYCOZO; Flower Power on the Promenade; and exquisite lighting effects in the Ancient Forest, as well as fresh delights to keep you in awe (click here for a preview). Advance tickets are required for entry and will NOT be sold on-site. Entry times start at 5:30 p.m. and end at 8:30 p.m. Gardens close at 10 p.m. Tickets are $35-$45 for adults and $25-$30 for kids ages 2-12.
Community and Local Government
And it’s just the Mid City West Neighborhood Council meeting this week, as their fellow NC across town – the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council takes a break for the holidays. So if you haven’t attended a MCW meeting before, now is as good a time as any. Come see what the Social and Racial Equity Committee is all about on Wed, Dec 27 at 6:30 p.m., and what the Executive Committee is up to on Thurs, Dec 28, also at 6:30 p.m. All in-person MCWNC meetings take place at the Pan Pacific Park Senior Center (lunch room) located at 141 S. Gardner St. Check Mid City’s website for more info.
Lastly, being the wonderful Angelenos that you are, I’m sure you’d like to help end homelessness in LA, and now you can! The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) has opened registration for the 2024 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count (January 23, 24, and 25) and they need people like you to volunteer. The data collected is an essential component in understanding the scope and nature of homelessness in LA County and helps LAHSA and its partners deliver services where they are needed most. This year, the agency needs 8,000 volunteers to cover the entire Continuum of Care, and will mark the second year that Esri’s Homeless Point in Time App will be used, helping to make The Count as accurate as possible. Homelessness is a humanitarian crisis that truly takes the support of an entire community to end. Register to Volunteer here: TheyCountWillYou.org.