Add these activities to your must-do list of activities this winter.
People will argue that L.A. doesn’t really have a winter, and while we may still be hanging out in short sleeves in mid-November it doesn’t mean the city hasn’t already fully embraced the (slightly) chillier months with a flurry of twinkling holiday lights, hot cocoa and winter activities. Of course, we don’t really get a natural sprinkling of snow in the main city, but nothing is stopping you from getting your fix of icy fun in the mountains or a magical holiday experience.
So whether you’re looking to make snow angels or you’re just hoping for a mix of exciting things to get you in the seasonal spirit, here’s a list of must-do experiences in and around L.A.
While the weather may not signify the beginning of winter in L.A., the glittering kaleidoscope of holiday lights blanketing the city sure is. The city has no shortage of twinkling lights and illuminated installations synchronized to joyous holiday tunes. From botanical gardens and the Venice canals to historic inns and iconic neighborhoods, Angelenos are spoiled for choice when it comes to the eye-popping seasonal shows. Here are 10 of the best places to see Christmas lights and displays.
Just a few miles away from Santa Barbara, nestled amongst the lush hills, you’ll find this stunning outdoor spa. These cascading thermal pools known as the Montecito Hot Springs can be reached with an easy trek and are filled with sulphur which is known for its healing properties. Is there anything better than rewarding yourself with a free, hot soak after a long week?
Yes, our favorite holiday activity is here for the winter so you get to hobble across the ice while listening to holiday hits and working up an appetite for all those festive treats. This year, L.A.’s largest and most popular ice rink is back along with one installed at the Dodger holiday festival for the first time ever. Here’s where you can find them:
The magical SoCal Polar Express Train is back this year bringing the beloved film to life with a journey filled with storytelling, dancing chefs and enchanting sights to view through your window. It’s the express route to a North Pole fairy tale accompanied by the iconic film soundtrack. Find out how you can get your golden ticket here.
Every Thursday to Sunday through January 9, you can stroll through the lavender fields and olive groves draped with 1 million twinkling lights to enjoy festive food, ride in a horse-drawn carriage, toast S’mores, browse the Xmas Village with unique handmade goods and even pose for photos with Santa. Find out more here.
Contrary to popular opinion, Santa is actually a huge fan of the sunny West Coast. In fact, him and his elves have been bringing that North Pole magic to Lake Arrowhead for years. Adventurers of all ages will find an alpine adventure with gingerbread men, candy and seasonal decorations filling this festive village. Partake in workshops, find souvenirs, take hikes and so much more at Skywalk Santa’s Village. Find out everything you need to know about Santa’s Village here.
Surfing in the summer to skiing in the winter, SoCal really does have it all. While you may have to venture out to partake in this exhilarating sport, but the picturesque setting of Big Bear makes it well worth it. For the active romantics, you may even consider going for an enchanting night ski down the snow-covered slopes. So make sure you keep an eye on the weather and be ready to book yourself a wonderful winter weekend away. Get all the details for your skiing getaway here.
Italy may be out of reach for some, but you can still go on a Venetian escape along the canals in Long Beach. During the holiday season, you can cruise under romantic bridges filled with festive lights and stunning surroundings. Find out more about the Long Beach lighting activities here.
9. Celebrate The Season With A Holiday Candlelight Concert At One Of L.A.’s Most Incredible Locations
Step out of the chilly winter nights and into the most exquisite spaces to experience the most treasured holiday classics. The beloved Candlelight series is bringing talented musicians to perform at venues, illuminated with hundreds of candles this season. Wrap yourself in seasonal nostalgia with awe-inspiring renditions of classics across genres. Find all of these special Christmas Candlelight editions here.
Blitzen’s, the beloved holiday pop-up, has a very shiny, tinsel-wrapped bar and even without the boozy beverages, it absolutely glows. Upon arrival at this holiday haunt in DTLA, you’ll be sprinkled with a bit of snow before you pull up next to Santa at the bar, sip on decadent drinks like Hallelujah! Holy Sh*t! before you’re served up a menu of carolers, drag queen bingo, re-gift your sh*t games, and a holiday puppy pageant. Then of course there’s a delicious fare to keep you filled up for holiday shenanigans. Find out more about the holiday pop-up bar here.