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Staying in town for the holidays? Check out this “Eat here and venture there” list for adults and kids!

Most Westsiders take off on vacation for Christmas and New Years, but there are a few of us that just have too much going on to get away.  Because all of our friends have left (with their kids who would play with our kids!), finding fun things to do can be a struggle.  Here’s a list of things we look forward to doing, besides catching up on work, over the holiday.

We suggest choosing an activity and then a new restaurant nearby.  We have a lot of great suggestions for Downtown LA that the kids will love.

The great thing about everyone being gone, it’s easier to get east of the 405 and try new things!

LA Times “101 Restaurants We Love” List

Last week the LA Times published not an article, but a full magazine on the best restaurants in town.  So many of our favorites are included so we are confident the ones we don’t recognize will be amazing.

On the Westside:

  • Rustic Canyon – Santa Monica
  • Cassia – Santa Monica
  • Felix – Venice
  • Gjelina – Venice
  • Gjusta – Venice
  • Melisse – Santa Monica

Our favorites you should try if you haven’t:

  • A.O.C. – WeHo
  • Angelini Osteria – WeHo
  • Bestia – Downtown
  • Broken Spanish – Downtown
  • Church & State – Downtown
  • Cut – Beverly Hills
  • Jon & Vinny’s – WeHo
  • Lucques – WeHo
  • Manhattan Beach Post – Manhattan Beach
  • Petit Trois – WeHo
  • Republique – WeHo
  • Spago – Beverly Hills

New places we can’t wait to try:

  • Gwen – WeHo
  • The Hearth and Hound – WeHo
  • Kali – WeHo
  • NoMad Hotel – Downtown
  • Le Comptoir – Downtown
  • Mozzaplex (4 Mozza restaurants next to each other) – Hancock Park
  • Odys + Penelope – WeHo
  • Park’s BBQ – Korea Town
  • Redbird – Downtown
  • Soban – Koreatown

Dover Street Market – Luxury Shopping Redefined

“Founded by Comme de Garcons mastermind Rei Kawakubo and partner Adrian Joffe, Dover Street Market helped redefine the department store. This month Kawakubo opens a sixth outpost in downtown LA.  The 20,000-square-foot space is a series of individual in-shops, including Gucci, Balenciaga, and Nike x CDG.  Angelenos are perhaps most excited about having the Parisan, vegetable-focused Rose Bakery.” – C Magazine

 

Mt. Baldy Snow Tubing Park

Angeles National Forest
Near the border of Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties
6777 Mt. Baldy Rd.
Mt. Baldy, CA 91759
Tickets
Hours: Four 90-minute sessions daily, from 8:30am-4pm
Prices vary by day ($40-$50); buying in advance online (before 9pm the night before) gives the best deals. Must be over 40″ to ride.

Multiple tubing lanes? Some as long as 150 feet? What’s not to love? Especially since it’s the closest skiing/tubing resort to LA.

 

Sand Sledding in Venice

Rumor has it that in other places people get cold and wet sledding, but this is Southern California; we sled at the beach. The Venice Beach sand berms are up again for the season, and they’re under attack by plastic saucers. For those not in the know, each year the city amasses giant hills of sand to protect the beach community from winter storms, and the beach community storms the hills.

The ideal sled type for use on the sand is the cheapest, smoothest saucer you can find—typically $10 or less at stores like Big 5 or Target—but a solid boogie board with a smooth plastic bottom can do the trick as well. The berms may not look very high from behind, but the water side is steeper; and the height is actually just perfect for repeating the ride over and over without getting sick of climbing up the sand hill. Kids from the very smallest up through adult can easily enjoy an hour or more sledding these berms.

 

Newport Beach Boat Parade

December 19-23, 2018
A Christmastime tradition celebrating its 110th year, the country’s oldest boat parade sets the harbor alight for five consecutive nights. Beautifully decorated yachts, boats, kayaks, and canoes sail along the harbor to “Seas the Holidays.” The parade starts and finishes off Bay Island, sailing against the backdrop of the Ring of Lights contest, in which bayside homeowners go all out with their holiday lights. (And if you’re heading down, we can suggest 25 things to do while you’re in Newport Beach.)

 

LA Zoo Lights

Los Angeles Zoo | Los Angeles, CA, Griffith Park

Until Jan 6 2019

After going dark in 2009, holiday lights have returned to Griffith Park—this time at the L.A. Zoo. Whereas the old DWP Holiday Lights brought motorists careening through the park’s windy roads, the zoo’s fest finds visitors trekking through the front half of the festively illuminated grounds on foot. Though most of the animals will be asleep, you will be able to see reindeer and sit for a photo with Santa. Standout displays include elephant statues animated with projection mapping, a twinkly light tunnel and festive interpretations of L.A. landmarks.

 

Grand Park’s Winter Glow

Grand Park, Downtown

Until Dec 25 2018

Touch, climb and explore 19 interactive, illuminated installations at Grand Park’s inaugural nighttime experience. The Downtown park is taking advantage of this time of year’s ever-shortening daylight with a light-up activation that brings a bit of warmth to the area.

 

Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square

Pershing Square Park, Downtown Financial District

Until Jan 21 2019

L.A. doesn’t typically seem like much of a winter wonderland, until, that is, you create an ice skating rink right in the midst of Downtown skyscrapers and L.A. icons. Come glide and pretend there’s snow on the ground at Pershing Square’s outdoor holiday skating rink—one of the biggest in the city. Look out for special events throughout the season, like curling lessons, a silent disco skate and DJ nights.