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Things To Do

65 Of The Most Wonderful Things To Do In L.A. This December

By Ashlyn Davis December 2, 2020

Dust off those ugly sweaters and ring in the Yuletide with these magical experiences.

It’s that time of year when everything twinkles and sparkles—and not even a pandemic can pull the plug on the joy this season. Of course, some traditional holiday events have been canceled completely but the rest have been swiftly adapted to the times to bring you dazzling spectacles that are filled with festive cheer. From larger-than-life drive-thrus with gleaming ornaments to seasonal cocktails experiences that ooze holiday spirit, you’ll find tons of ways to make the last month of the year a memorable one.

1. Enjoy a taste of the 80s at the Auntie Anne’s store at the Stranger Things Drive-Into

No shopping mall would be complete without an Auntie Anne’s, which is why the city of Hawkins is proud to announce that they have just opened a branch of the nation’s favorite pretzel store at Starcourt Mall. You’ll be able to order delicious, fresh pretzels straight to your car. Whether you’re in the mood for something sweet or something savory, these super-soft, baked snacks are always a crowd-pleaser! Founded in the 1980s, Auntie Anne’s pretzels are the perfect nostalgic treat to transport you back in time to the Hawkins of the 80s at the Stranger Things Drive-Into Experience. After all, if you didn’t get Auntie Anne’s, did you even go to the mall? 

2. Enjoy A Boozy Garden Gnome Soiree At Home

Transform a room in your house into a woodland wonderland! Gnomes Of the Night hand-deliver a boozy, Gnome soiree for 2 directly to your front door. Complete with Gnome-approved libations, nibbles, decor, accessories, activities, and music. It’s the enchanting at-home event that every major entertainment publication has been raving about. Get your tickets and wait for the magic to come to you.

3. Dust Off Your Red Suit And Get Merry At The Virtual Santa Monica Bingo Pub Crawl

We’ve all been yearning for merry times with pals at our local watering holes and even more so now that it’s winter (well, according to calendars). So, what better way to toast to the season than a virtual version that raises funds for the Westside Food Bank while supporting local bars and restaurants? You’ll join Brian Thomas Smith (a.k.a. MC BS) from Big Bang Theory and DJ Kooleo of FREE SPACE for a 2-hour holiday party with music, interactive games, bingo, costume contests, trivia, home scavenger hunts, mystery challenges, and more. Get your tickets to the only pub crawl you won’t regret, here.

4. Get All Dressed Up For The Largest Speed Dating Event In The World Happening On Christmas Eve

There’s nothing stopping you from meeting your soulmate this holiday! Matzoball is bringing you a virtual speed dating event like no other this Christmas Eve. Get access to a night filled with the hottest singles in LA here.

5. Plan Your Post-Lockdown Bucket List

Although the smoggy city has managed to cement itself in our hearts for life, sometimes switching up the skyscrapers for cliffside havens and fresh air is the break we need to appreciate it all the more. And what better way to take in the awe-inspiring natural beauty along the West Coast, than with two of only three tidefalls in the whole of the United States? Find out more about these mesmerizing waterfalls here.

6. Invite The “Spirits” Of Christmas Past, Present, And Future To Your Doorstep

We all know the story, but this year, it takes a boozy turn as our favorite grumpy protagonist is visited by the spirits of Christmas past, present, and future. A Christmas Carol Cocktail Spectacular is an amazing virtual experience hosted by After Hours Theater Company. Sit back and relax at home while being transported back to the 1950s for an original retelling of the holiday classic. It’s a virtual and interactive musical that invites you to toast to a cranky Christmas TV host’s journey through time and space. Book tickets for this incredible experience here.

7-15. Roll Into One Of These Enchanting Winter Wonderlands

christmas in color
Credit: Christmas in Color

Fill your month with joy at one of these magical holiday drive-thru experiences. Hop in your four-wheeled sleigh and prepare to be dazzled by tunnels featuring millions of lights, gleaming larger-than-life ornaments and festive displays—each with unique features and themes. Here are 9 of our favorites:

16. Get Merry With These Hilarious Musical Drinking Games

It’s beginning to look a lot like Drinkmas! Which is why you get cozy and enjoy these festive drinking games from the comfort of your home. You’ll get to enjoy a range of live performances and jolly contests that will keep you social but from a distance. Dig out your ugly Christmas sweater and let the games begin!

17. Discover The Art Of Candle Making

Now you can freshen up your space with a rich, ambrosial fragrance of your own making! Stone Candles is bringing the soothing art of candle-making straight to your home with Live At Home Candle Making Class—which is best enjoyed with a good glass of wine, so you’re encouraged to BYOB!

18. Float Over The California Countryside With A Hot Air Balloon

Credit: Aaron Burden via Unsplash

Defy gravity and glide amongst the clouds above the scenic landscapes of Perris-Temecula Valley. Once your feet are firmly back on the ground, you’ll be treated to delicious snacks and coffee. Book your flight here.

19. Catch A Classic Movie On A 52-Foot Screen

Rooftop Cinema Club
Credit: Rooftop Cinema Club

The Rooftop Cinema Club is taking over the Santa Monica Airport with an incredible lineup of films. The cinematic experience will kick off with films shot or based in L.A. Then there’ll be a festive selection with some cult horror surprises to keep things fresh. Find out more here.

20. Find Your Center With An Online Meditation Class

We can all agree that this year has been filled with stress and anxiety. This class will guide you through holistic healing meditations that will help you reconnect with your higher self and find your balance again. It combines astrology and other shamanic practices that will take you on a magical journey of self-discovery. Book your session here.

21-30. Wander Through These 10 Technicolor Holiday Light Displays

Credit: The Mission Inn

The city is positively glowing with mesmerizing festive installations this year. Although some favorites like Candy Cane lane might not be available to the public this year, there are plenty of streets, parks and gardens with glittering decorations and lights to make up for it. From Buena Vista Street to Mission Inn, here are 10 of the best places to see holiday light displays around L.A:

31-36. Get Your Festive Foliage On At One Of These 6 Christmas Tree Farms

christmas trees

What would this time of year be without the ritual of decorating a tree with the fresh smell of pine filling the air? Luckily, The National Christmas Tree Association has swooped in to save this holiday tradition by releasing a set of guidelines to help Christmas tree farms stay up and running for the holidays. Here are 6 wonderful to find (or cut) your own prickly beauty to put up in your home for the season.

37-39. Fill Up Those Stocking By Shopping At These Wonderful Places This Holiday

Scott Attula via Flickr

The new safer-at-home order and tightening of restrictions have taken away outdoor dining, but shopping is still happening—albeit with limited capacity and additional health and safety protocols. Although, some might argue that it’s not such a bad thing when it comes to shopping. This year you can avoid elbowing your way to coveted items and enjoy retail experiences with more room to appreciate the ornate displays and decorations.

40-45. Catch The Last Of The Fall Foliage Around L.A. At One Of These 6 Natural Havens In L.A.

fall foliage

This stunning autumnal color palette happens a little later over here than it does on the East Coast. An while some may say L.A. doesn’t have real season, these breathtaking pockets of foliage prove otherwise. Whether you want to see red, orange and yellow leaves or you just want to enjoy the city’s outdoor landscapes, here are 6 of the best places to do it:

  • Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
  • South Coast Botanic Garden
  • Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanical Garden
  • Descanso Gardens
  • Franklin Canyon Park & Reservoir
  • Big Bear

46. Watch The Gorillaz Live On December 12

The world’s biggest virtual band will be gracing screens across the globe with their first live performance since 2018. Jamie Hewlett’s awe-inspiring visuals will elevate this performance to a whole new level. Frontman 2D, guitarist Noodle, bassist Murdoc Niccals and drummer Russel will be joined by Damon Albarn and the full Gorillaz live band, along with a selection of featured artists. Get front row tickets to this exclusive concert here.

47-53. Warm Up With These Luxuriously Festive Libations

Toast to the season with these festive offerings that will bring cheer straight to your home. The Bowery Collection has tailored a number of premium tastings experiences that can be enjoyed from home. Each spirit is carefully paired with decadent fare that will make for a tasteful celebration. Find your favorite below:

54. Craft And Design Your Own Holiday Decor With This Wood Workshop

Turn your house into a home with gorgeous signs and decor crafted by none other than yourself. At this DIY wood workshop, you’ll delve into the beauty of different woods and become familiar with knots and natural variations that make each design unique. Then, you’ll learn how to sand, distress and assemble your boards. After that, the real fun begins. Choose whether you want to paint or stain your board and personalize the using their custom stencils from incredible graphic designers. Book your session here.

55. Ride Through A Breathtaking Canyon

Ride through oak forests, grassy fields filled with wildflowers, and over dry arroyos. A beautiful bottle of wine (one per couple) and some snacks will be waiting for you upon your return to the ranch to complete this unique 2-hour experience specially created for Fever members only! Beginners and experienced riders welcome. Book your countryside escape here.

56. Go On A Cinematic Journey With This Floating Cinema In San Diego

Slide off the sofa and take in a magical sunset with a Dinner & A Movie On The Bay experience. If you love good food, good films, and spectacular views, then let us introduce you to the Holy Grail of date nights—even if you’re flying solo. While you won’t be leaving the San Diego Bay, this scenic event will still whisk you away on a luxurious escape. You’ll be served dinner under the stars with a side of cinema and fresh air. If you could do with a little break from drive-ins, then book yourself an unforgettable ‘cruise-in.‘

57-58. Enjoy A Family Classic Al Fresco At The Frida Drive-In

Come join us for a wonderful evening of classic movies under the stars from the comfort of your car! The Frida Drive-In is bringing you all the childhood nostalgia we deserve this holiday and there couldn’t be a better way to watch these films than a huge outdoor screen and the glittering night sky as a backdrop. Buckle up and take a trip to your childhood with one of these screenings:

59. Go On A Gondola Cruise Amongst The Enchanting Lights In Long Beach

Credit: Golda Getaways

Italy may be off-limits right now, but you can still go on a Venetian escape along the canals in Long Beach. Cruise under the romantic bridges filled with festive lights and stunning surroundings. Find out more here.

60. Step Into The 1960s With This Groovy Murder Mystery 

The Dainty Dames are known for delivering exhilarating—and hilarious— murder mystery events to prominent Hollywood venues. Now, they’re bringing you their most popular show straight to your home with this“Murder Without A Clue!” virtual experience.

61. Allow This Holiday Pop-Up To Bring Festive Spirits To Your Doorstep

Credit: Blitzen’s

Blitzen’s holiday pop-up returns and it’s served with a retro twist and a side of delicious puns—just like the year before. However, the month will be adapted to the current stay-at-home order with an “At Home” version featuring cocktails and food to go. From December 21, business will continue as usual with in-person dining at Here & Now. Find out more here.

62. Paint An Iconic Symbol Of The Holiday At This Live Class

Join a virtual painting party inspired by the Nutcracker! In this 1.5-hour virtual course, an expert artist will guide you through the creation of a fun and creative painting. Book your session here and bring the arts to life at home.

63. Support These Local Businesses With Takeouts And Deliveries

In the spirit of giving, there’s honestly nothing as rewarding as giving yourself a treat with these delicious offerings while knowing that you’re helping families get through this month. With the help of our audience we’ve put together a list of our favorite local restaurants, bars and wineries that you can still enjoy from home (or wherever you are).

64. Travel Back To The Future With An Online 80s & 90s Trivia Nights

Credit: Lorenzo Herrera via Unsplash

Fine, maybe being old is a weird flex but at least you’ll have something to show for watching Clueless 100 times by dominating this trivia night. Besides, it’s arguably the best period ever for movies, music, sports, pop culture, and television. Book your tickets here.

65. Hike Your Way To The Hidden Swing With Breathtaking Views

Credit: @gabriela_llopez via Instagram

The Humming Bird TRail’s hidden cave swing is a vividly graffitied window into Rocky Peak Park—but it’s not that easy to find or get to. While it’s only a 4-mile loop, it involves a continuous incline and some rock scrambling which can be both challenging and dangerous. Once you get to the cave thorough, you’ll see why it’s absolutely worth it for those sweeping views—and you get to rest your legs while you enjoy the swing. Find out more here.

[Featured Image: The Mission Inn via Facebook]

If you’ve already ticked these off your list for the month or you’re just looking for more ideas, you can check out a ton of other things to do in LA here!