Wintertime in LA looks a bit different that the rest of the country and for that, we’re thankful. Luckily, despite the near-perfect weather, the sunny skies, and the lack of gray puddles of slush -- it’s still possible to enjoy a perfectly peppy holiday season! So, we’ve rounded up a list of everything cozy, festive, and fun to help you find winter in Downtown LA.
Visit the Holiday Ice Rink at Pershing Square The Holiday Ice Rink at Pershing Square is a must-see this season and features multiple themed DJ nights like an Icons Night and a Disco Night! Get your groove on with friends and family, strap some skates on, and grab a hot chocolate. Learn more here.
Indulge in a piping-hot sweet treat Take advantage of the unusually chilly weather and heat up your hands with a hot drink! There are countless spots in DTLA to find hot chocolate or coffee and our DTLA Coffee Trail can help you discover them all. Some of our favorite seasonal specialties right now are the peppermint hot chocolate at Fat + Flour, the cinnamon toast latte at Cha Redefine, and Redbird’s new holiday cocktail, the Boilo with Wild Turkey 101, lemon, orange, ginger, honey, bay leaf, clove, and black pepper, served warm.
Put on your coziest coat and take a festive decoration sightseeing walk Downtown LA has some absolutely gorgeous decorations this year, take a stroll to see them all and live out your inner Hallmark movie fantasy! Along the way, you can also earn points for our Holiday Adventure scavenger hunt and possibly win part of the $5,000 in prizes that we’re giving away. Learn more here. P.S. — one of our personal favorite spots for great decorations is the iconic Biltmore Hotel!
Grab brunch and get shopping Turn your holiday gift shopping from a chore into a fun day out on the town! Start off with a filling and boozy brunch at Bottega Louie or Cabra and then check out the amazing stores in DTLA. For a comprehensive gift shopping guide, take a look at our website here. End the day with a dessert for a job well done - perhaps one of the seasonal mochi donut flavors at Mochinut!
Warm up and try a new type of soup The diversity of DTLA’s cuisine is jaw-dropping in the best way possible, so why not expand your horizons and try a warm bowl of soup that you’ve never had before! Some of our favorites are the pho bo from Little Sister with rare beef, meatball, short rib, tendon, oxtail, and rice noodles, the caldo de res at Doña Inez stuffed with veggies and a bone broth you could drink, and the chewy noodles with perfectly seasoned umami broth at Marugame Udon.
Catch a holiday movie with friends Downtown LA theaters are going all out this season with several fun and festive movie showings and a host of exciting parties planned. We’re looking f orward to the Elf movie party at Alamo Drafthouse, an immersive, interactive experience for fans featuring fun props, themed drinks, and more. Grab your tickets here. Rooftop Cinema Club is also showing a collection of holiday favorites including The Nightmare Before Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life, and The Holiday.You can find the schedule here.
Explore all the different holiday markets No need to travel to Europe for bustling holiday markets - DTLA has several of its own! Whether you’re looking for unique, hand-made gifts for loved ones or you just want a fun weekend in Downtown, here are some markets to visit. Grand Central Market will be hosting their Holiday Wonderland Bazaar in their newly-renovated basement space, plus they will also have a revolving schedule of workshops and classes so you can make your own gifts! Smorgasborg will be hosting their weekly Holiday Markets with hand-made and vintage wares on Sundays. Plus, Unique Markets is back at the California Market Center with 150 vendors selling everything from home goods to children’s clothing.
Get dressed up and see The Nutcracker The LA Phil is back with their beloved rendition of The Nutcracker! Led by Dudamel, the performance was called “irresistible” and “reinvigorated,” by the LA Times, noting that it was a rare treat to experience Tchaikovsky’s score as the main attraction. This year, Dudamel conducts the holiday favorite with a twist, when he leads both Tchaikovsky’s original as well as Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington’s swinging re-imagination of the original. Put on your winter concert best and catch a performance at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Check out a cookbook and make a hearty meal for your friends The Central Library has an impressive collection of cookbooks including some recently featured on Eater’s list of best cookbooks. Find one that suites your tastes and head to Whole Foods to grab ingredients, Macy’s for any cookware, and Bring Something to the Party for decorations then host a winter dinner party for close friends.