For transplants especially, the winter blues are different in LA -- since there’s no snow, the blues can come from a lack of holiday cheer and winter vibe rather than actual gray skies. But there are plenty of places in LA to feel wintery -- which is why you should hit all the spots below if you’re feeling homesick:
The best new bar in LA has upped their train-themed ante with Miracle on Santa Fe, a seasonal popup running until New Year's Day that transforms the bar into a whimsical winter wonderland. Expect tinsel, twinkly lights, kitschy ornaments, and garlands, fresh falling snow, and a 2ft-tall menorah, as well as nightly events and Sunday roasts.
Milk Jar’s cookies are thick, rich, and the perfect balance of crispy and chewy -- and to celebrate the holidays season, the Miracle Mile shop has been decked out with lights, red bows, and wreaths, plus they’ve introduced a peppermint bark cookie that’ll make you wish you could enjoy it by a fire. But what you can do is wash it down with a nearly milkshake-thick glass of eggnog. Bingo.
This annual winter wonderland-y event at the Queen Mary runs until January 8th and features a full-on skate rink, as well as ice tubing, gingerbread house decorating, and, for some reason, an Alice in Wonderland-themed interactive experience.
This outdoor skating rink is right Downtown, and open until January 16th; various days include skating lessons and DJs, so check the calendar before heading over.
This gorgeous West LA bar is a favorite anytime of the year, but is especially charming in the winter months thanks to its massive fireplace flanked by leather lounge chairs -- the perfect place to sip a brandy (or, let’s be honest, a craft beer) and be glad that the worst you’re walking outside to is rain and not a blizzard.
The Westside’s annual outdoor skating rink also is open until January 16th, and has amenities like rentable cabanas and skating coaches who are former Olympians available for private lessons.
LA’s glitziest neighborhood always dolls itself up for the holidays, with Christmas lights, festive store displays, and a life-size snowglobe perfect for trolling for Instagram likes from your East Coast friends who are actually freezing their asses off instead of pretending like they are.
During the Holiday season, The Grove has one of the tallest lit-up Christmas trees outside of Rockefeller Center, roasted chestnuts carts (a personal favorite), enough twinkly lights to light a small city, and nightly “snow” showers at 7 and 8pm to momentarily coat the streets with a sheen of white (but, like, soap bubble white, not freezing rain white) magic.
OK, if you're an avid skier you may be a little disappointed by the lifts on these slopes in the San Gabriel Mountains -- but if you just want a quick fix and to be back to LA in time for dinner, it's worth heading here for some snow action: It's only a little over an hour out of LA, day tix are $69, and there are tubing parks as well to feel a little bit of that East Coast weather (and then get the hell out of it.)
This beloved, kitschy theme park about two hours outside of LA has been closed for decades but has reopened this year and hasn't lost any of its seasonal charm. You can hop on the Polar Express Train, visit a gingerbread house, and have an overall I'm-A-Kid-In-A-Candy-Store time (and that's all before you even end up in the Kandy Store).
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