It’s December, which means holiday festivities are officially in full swing. But we think you should forget the stresses of this time of year with a little fun. Before 2023 ends, our days can be filled with festive outings, family memories, seasonal eats and drinks, friendly gatherings and more. Get started with a plan and fill your calendar with the holiday fun you can find below.
Eataly always has an excellent assortment of food, beverages and treats to take home, but they’ve stepped up for the holidays by offering a panettone tableside experience at its restaurants. Choose from toppings like chocolate, chantilly cream and mascarpone cream.
Until Jan. 1, you can delight in the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills’ Aprè Ski Experience in The Lounge. A winter-themed, chic gathering spot, it also features a special menu highlighting French and Alpine cuisine with options like chocolate fondue, almost-crusted brie, charcuterie, mulled wine, Negroni des Alpes and more.
The Garland’s restaurant has a number of holiday specials on the menu. Next time you’re in, consider the green garbanzo hummus and crudite, chipotle-pineapple-glazed ham and build-your-own apple crumble.
The Langham Huntington, Pasadena has a Teddy Bear Tea where families can enjoy holiday treats and kids can have fun meeting Santa, watching a puppet show and taking home a limited edition Paddington x The Langham bear.
The London West Hollywood at Beverly Hills has a holiday afternoon tea inspired by Willy Wonka. Taking place on the weekends between 12:30 and 3:30 p.m., delight in a selection of Rare Tea Company teas, champagne by the glass, sandwiches, scones and a number of sweet treats.
On Dec. 9 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., the Marina del Rey Hotel will host a happy hour featuring Kuelana Rum in honor of the boat parade. Come by for a discounted menu, festive cocktails, cocoa, goodie bags, 360-degree views and heaters. Reservations are open.
The Peninsula Beverly Hills presents a festive spin on its afternoon tea service in December. Featuring holiday treats and Laurent-Perrier Champagne, $5 of your booking also supports The Easter Seals Foundation.
The Conrad Los Angeles restaurant will have a special holiday menu in the days leading up to Christmas. Available Dec. 21 to 25, dishes include Black Mission Figs Stracciatella, Vermicelli Mac n’ Cheese, and a Raspberry and Black Sesame dessert.
On Dec. 10, The Strand House will host Light Up the Night, a six-course chef’s dinner with views of the Manhattan Beach fireworks. There will also be a live DJ and dancing at StrandBar from 6 p.m. to close for those not interested in a full dinner.
Take part in The Nutcracker Afternoon Tea on select weekends in December in the Waldorf Astoria’s Lobby Lounge. Alongside tea, you’ll be treated to music by a live harpist and a decadent assortment of creative confections.
Head to Westfield Century City to experience the first-ever Blitzen’s Bar in partnership with Starward Australian Whisky. Overlooking the Holiday Village in The Atrium, enjoy live performances in the village while enjoying bites and sipping festive drinks, such as Dasher’s Smash, Blitzen’s Spritz, Cupid’s Tonic and Comet’s Cold Brew Fashioned.
Experience the Hollywood rooftop’s Winter Wonderland between now and Dec. 30. Amidst festive decor, there is a gingerbread house bar and themed cocktails like the Cinnamon Old Fashioned, Hot Toddy, Sugar Plum with sake, Hot Buttered Rum, The Stinger with apple brandy and Smoky Paradise with mezcal and rum.
Hotel Erwin will host 12 Days of Venice at High Rooftop from Dec. 12 to 23. The 12 days of happy hour pairings will showcase views of the Pacific and 12 unique seasonal pairings like baked brie served with house-made focaccia and jams paired with a white wine flight; warm red velvet crinkle cookies, paired with a toasty hot toddy and lobster nachos paired with an Agua Magica mezcal tasting. Each special is only available for one day only.
Standing Room at Death & Co. has transformed into a festive pop-up in partnership with Beam Suntory. Called Seasons Greetings, stop in by Dec. 30 for festive lighting and decor and a specialty cocktail and food menu with highlights like Vintage Eggnog, fried chicken, tater tots with optional caviar and seasonal cream puffs. What’s more, Death & Co. is hosting a weekly rotating charity effort, including a coat drive, canned food drive and more.
The Los Feliz Mexican restaurant is shaking up its own version of traditional Mexican eggnog, Rompope. Stop in for a drink or order a takeaway bottle. You can also find last-minute gifts in the Mírate retail space that features rare tequila bottles and merchandise.
The retro-inspired diner in downtown has a holiday pop-up happening through mid-January. Called Snow in Southtown, stop in for a festive ambiance inspired by the movie Year Without a Santa Claus and winter cocktails like frozen espresso martinis, spiked eggnog and more.
Make your beachside adventure feel like the holidays at the Viceroy Santa Monica’s signature restaurant where they’re pouring up seasonal drinks like Golden Eggnog, a concoction of El Dorado Rum, homemade eggnog, nutmeg and vanilla.
STK at W Los Angeles has an impressive lineup of holiday cocktails. Feel merry and bright while sipping the tequila-based NAughty Claus, Santa’s Egg Nog and The Holiday Martini, a festive riff on an espresso martini.
Citizen Public Market will have its annual holiday market on Dec. 16 from noon to 6 p.m. Called the Holiday Sip & Shop on the Rooftop, the festive shopping experience offers original wares, gifts, specialty drinks and treats.
On Dec. 9 from noon to 5 p.m., Eckhaus Latta will host a holiday market in partnership with its Mandarin Plaza neighbors, including Cometees, Zizia Botanicals and Ikoiko. There will be more than 20 vendors selling ceramics, specialty foods, wines, clothing and more and a portion of proceeds will benefit local nonprofits, such as Downtown Women’s Center, Border Angels, Black Image Center and Chinatown Service Center.
Hotel Figueroa has a holiday market that showcases local woman-owned businesses. Happening Thursday through Friday, 5 to 10 p.m., and Saturday from noon to 10 p.m., shop from Simone the Label, LA’F.E.M. and Mona Rosa L.A. until Dec. 23.
On Dec. 9 from noon to 6 p.m., Gasoline Cafe and Wine Bar will throw its second annual Winter Holiday Bazaar with Fair Trade LA. Attendees will be able to shop fair trade gifts, sip on hot cocoa or a cocktail and enjoy live jazz.
At the hotel, you can visit a giant polar bear and shop from a curated collection of specialty children's gifts, which can be ordered through the hotel and delivered wrapped or unwrapped directly to your room.
On Dec. 9 and 16 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Shutters on the Beach will host its annual holiday market in The Courtyard. Highlights include holiday treats such as hot cocoa bombs and cake balls from the Flour Shop.
Seasonal offerings from the Santa Monica donut shop include the Naughty List, which is made with Hawaiian vanilla bean cookie glaze and charcoal streusel; Saffron Snickerdoodle spiced with saffron and rolled in cinnamon and vanilla sugar; Mission Chocolate Donut with Dandelion Chocolate, pasilla chile, spices, vanilla bean & toasted marshmallow and Dandelion's Mission Hot Chocolate beverage made with Holey Grail’s house-made cashew milk, Dandelion’s mission chocolate, warming spices and topped with coconut whip cream.
Milk Bar has new holiday treats fit for gifts, gatherings or just a fun goodie for yourself. Consider the peppermint bark cake, chocolate mint chip cake truffle dozen box, mini peppermint bark snap tin and the holiday sampler.
Now through Dec. 31, Osteria Mamma has take-out dinners and gift baskets available for the holidays. The selection includes dinners for two, dinners for four and bundles with signature dishes and a bottle of wine. The holiday baskets are available between Nov. 15 and Dec. 24 and include two bottles of wine, one bag of Cucci Coffee, one bag of Gragnano Pasta and a tomato sauce.
Available for pre-order until Dec. 19 for pickup from Dec. 22 to 24 or on a first-come, first-served basis until Dec. 24, Sweet Rose Creamery has a special lineup of holiday ice cream cakes and pies: vegan chocolate peppermint crunch cake, peppermint patty pie, Santa Pie, cinnamon rolls, chocolate chip cookies and more.
Load up on your favorite holiday treats at Valerie Confections, which has Homemade Peppermint Bark, a Baby Grand Assortment of favorite items, Brightland x Valerie Confections, Winter Wonderland Cake, Eggnog Cake and more this holiday season.
Seasonal-flavored pies (pumpkin, spices apple, etc.) are available for pick-up all month long and a hand-crafted Buche De Noel is available Dec. 12 to 24, for which you can order by calling 310.860.6705.
From Dec. 12 to 20, downtown restaurant Asterid will host a holiday toy drive in partnership with HealthRight 360. Those who donate a toy will be thanked with a complimentary drink: mint cold chocolate or clarified milk punch.
The lower level of Grand Central Market is decked out as a holiday winter wonderland for the month of December. Between feasting from its fantastic culinary lineup, partake in a number of festive events and activities like arts and crafts, a cocktail class, a charcuterie workshop, karaoke, shopping and Santa Claus visits every Sunday.
The recently debuted The Hill | Los Angeles has a holiday festival happening Dec. 7- 10 and Dec. 14- 17. A festive outdoor-market-style event, it includes fake snow, delectable treats, activities, games, photo moments, a Santa photo booth and shopping.
Immerse yourself and your loved ones in an enchanting illuminated experience at King Gillette Ranch in Calabasas. Happening until Dec. 27, Holiday Road features a scenic walking trail, photos with Santa, Christmas carolers, face painting, a winter market and more.
Hotel Bel-Air has a holiday movie series happening on the Front Lawn. In addition to themed snacks, cocktails and gourmet desserts, there are screenings of Polar Express, Scrooged, Elf and Christmas Vacation.
Now through the holidays, Hotel Dena in Pasadena is throwing a festive pool party called HoliDena! Happening Saturdays from 3 to 7 p.m., attendees can enjoy Top 40 music and holiday remixes by DJ Don Jon; holiday cocktails; reindeer and gingerbread pool floats and the chance to trade ugly Christmas sweaters for red swimsuits. In addition, the hotel’s Agents Only restaurant will hold Feel Good Friday from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. for some karaoke fun.
There is an ice rink for skating in downtown Santa Monica happening until Dec. 15, 2024. Be sure to check the lineup for themed nights like Taylor Swift on Dec. 13 and Beyonce on Jan. 3.
The Godfrey Hotel Hollywood rooftop is screening holiday movies until Dec. 21. Complement enjoying the likes of Office Christmas Party and Christmas Vacation with complimentary popcorn, cotton candy, blankets and additional holiday-themed cocktail specials.
Kimpton Every Hollywood has an immersive winter chalet in its lobby created in partnership with interior designer Corey Damen Jenkins and Grammy Award-winning musician Maren Morris. Alongside food and drinks, the large-scale wooden chalet features festive decor and experiences like a haikuist set to holiday music, letter-writing to Santa, a resident DJ spinning Holi-daze jams, Roofless Painters and classic wooden board games.
From the team who brought you Black Lagoon at Halloween, Krampus Cove dashes a dark twist on holiday celebrations. Here, you’ll encounter haunted-festive decorum seasonal sinister cocktails and more.
Prioritize a little R&R this month with a holiday treatment at The Langham’s Chuan Spa. Available until Jan. 14, 2024, consider the Deck the Halls Collagen Enhancement, Merry and Bright Winter Facial, Ginger Salt Glow and Warming Winter Stone Massage.
From Dec. 19 to 24, take part in the countdown to Christmas with carolers on the front drive of the hotel.
The outdoor movie experience is keeping things cozy with blankets, hot cocoa, hot tea and apple cider at screenings of Home Alone, El, It’s A Wonderful Life and more. There are also other events happening by Rooftop Cinema Club including an ugly sweater party with a silent disco, Wine Wednesdays at the Arts District, Tuesday Social Hour with live music and games and select pet-friendly screenings.
In addition to its superb shopping, Row DTLA has a number of upcoming community-minded, festive activities coming up: mini pom pom wreath making on Dec. 15 and holiday garland making on Dec. 22. There are also holiday cocktails at the Smorgasbar pop-up on Thursday through Saturday through Dec. 30.
Happening until Dec. 18, Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills is hosting a toy drive to benefit the PATH family program. Stop in and drop off unwrapped non-violent toys, books and/or games at the front desk of the hotel, which will be provided to children whose families are experiencing homelessness
Starting Dec. 22, Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood will have a festive flair. Attendees can expect to see iconic sets like the gazebo of Gilmore Girls and Luke's Diner; the holiday armadillo costume from Friends; the papa elf costume from Elf and more.
Available until Jan. 1, you can book the La Prairie Holiday Escape treatment at the hotel’s spa, which includes a 90-minute aromatherapy scrub, hot stone massage and a 60-minute La Prairie FAcial. Reserve by emailing [email protected] or calling 310.860.6740.
From Dec. 15 to 23, Street Food Cinema will take over Heritage Square Museum for Yuletide Cinemaland. Transforming the village of Heritage Square into an immersive winter wonderland with a light tunnel, snow flurries, live piano sing-alongs, a marketplace, photo opps and Santa Claus, each night features a screening of a holiday movie like Elf and Home Alone.
For the rest of 2023, Los Angeles will be illuminated by a festive spirit.
Photography by: Courtesy Death & Co.