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The Best Things To Do In LA And SoCal This Weekend: Dec. 17 - 19

A tree in the front yard of a home is illuminated with lights at night.
Homes are decorated with Christmas lights in the neighborhood of Hastings Ranch, Pasadena.
(Frazer Harrison
Getty Images)
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Take part in the Christmas tradition of Las Posadas. Laugh along with Ron Funches. Catch La Santa Cecilia in concert. Visit Shogun Santa. Don those ugly sweaters for a pair of SoCal pub crawls.

With COVID-19 variants still out there, it's best to check ahead of time for event updates and vaccine/testing requirements.

Friday, Dec. 17; 8 p.m.

La Santa Cecilia 
The Novo
800 W. Olympic Blvd., downtown L.A.
With powerhouse vocalist La Marisoul, the L.A.-based outfit performs its blend of rock, Latin music, jazz and klezmer. Also on the bill: Los Abandoned and Cumbia Fever. This is an all-ages show.
COST: $24.50; MORE INFO 

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People walk through holiday lights on trees and other structures at night.
This family-friendly experience allows guests to immerse themselves in twinkling lights as they around Heritage Hill Historical Park.
(Courtesy of OC Parks)

Friday, Dec. 17 - Sunday, Dec. 19; 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Holiday Lights
Heritage Hill Historical Park
25151 Serrano Rd., Lake Forest 
This family-friendly experience allows guests to immerse themselves in twinkling lights as they walk along the grounds. Take pictures at holiday-themed photo opportunities along the route. Pets are welcome if they are on leashes no longer than six feet.

Friday, Dec. 17; 8 p.m.

Black Pumas
YouTube Theater 
1011 Stadium Dr., Inglewood 
The Austin duo (songwriter Eric Burton and producer Adrian Quesada) brings its psychedelic soul to the SoFi Stadium-adjacent theater. They’re currently on tour in support of their self-titled debut album.
COST: Tickets start at $25; MORE INFO 

Friday, Dec. 17; 7 p.m.

Queer Art Show and Open Mic Poetry Night
Couplet Coffee
Echo Park
The soon-to-launch community roaster hosts a night of art and poetry. The new art series is meant to be a safe, sober space for attendees. It features live music, DJ sets and art by queer artists, along with Couplet espresso drinks and snacks from local sponsors. Location will be sent upon RSVP.

A drawing of a black cat with fangs and the words "Seasons Screamings"
Organizers of Midsummer Scream’s Halloween convention return with a holiday horror convention.
(Courtesy of Season's Screamings)

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Friday, Dec. 17 - Sunday, Dec. 19

Season's Screamings 
Pasadena Convention Center
300 E. Green St., Pasadena
The producers of Midsummer Scream’s Halloween convention return with a holiday horror convention, showcasing more than 200 vendors and artisans. The spooky Hall of Yuletide Spirits features mini-haunts, attractions, live entertainment, panels and presentations. The event kicks off Friday night with Poltergeists and Paramours Christmas Spooktacular, a diabolical variety and fashion show. Each day will also feature a Krampus Procession, coordinated by Krampus L.A.
COST: $30 - $35 for single-day admission; MORE INFO

Spike Lee wears a purple and yellow jacket and a purple cap.
US director Spike Lee attends the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party following the 92nd Oscars at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills on February 9, 2020.
AFP via Getty Images)

Friday, Dec. 17; 5 - 7 p.m.

Spike Lee Signing Event
The Academy Museum Store
6067 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire
The director signs copies of his new book, SPIKE, which features rare photographs and commentary on his films, from She’s Gotta Have It (1986) to Da 5 Bloods (2020). Tickets to the event include a copy of the book.
COST: Tickets $75; MORE INFO

Through Friday, Dec. 24; 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Las Posadas
Olvera Street, downtown L.A.
This nine-night religious festival re-enacts the journey that Joseph and Mary made from Nazareth to Bethlehem in search of a safe place for the birth of their son, Jesus. Taking place nightly, the candlelight procession starts at Avila Adobe, the oldest residence in L.A., with carolers stopping at various locations to ask for room at the inn. Afterward, there's entertainment, a piñata, free champurrado (Mexican hot cocoa) and pan dulce (sweet bread).

Saturday, Dec. 18; 8 p.m.

Ron Funches & Friends
Dynasty Typewriter
2511 Wilshire Blvd., Westlake 
The stand-up comedian, actor and writer brings a few funny friends to celebrate A Very Funchie Christmas Show. 18+.
COST: $20 - $25; MORE INFO

Stevie Wonder sits at a keyboard on a stage. He wears sunglasses.
Stevie Wonder performs onstage at Q85: A Musical Celebration for Quincy Jones at the Microsoft Theatre on September 25, 2018, in Los Angeles.
(Kevin Winter
Getty Images)

Saturday, Dec. 18; 8 p.m.

Stevie Wonder: House Full of Toys
Microsoft Theater
777 Chick Hearn Ct., downtown L.A.
The music legend returns to the stage for his 23rd benefit concert, which supports children, people with disabilities and families in need. Concertgoers are asked to bring an unwrapped toy to donate. This marks Wonder’s first holiday concert since 2018.
COST: $44 - $95; MORE INFO

Saturday, Dec. 18; 1 - 9 p.m.

Do Something’s 2nd Annual Toy Giveaway 
1756 Naud St., downtown L.A.
The nonprofit organization Do Something provides underserved Angelenos with free, high-quality toys during the holidays. This year, they have enough toys for 4,000 kids. The toys have been selected for children ages 3 months to 16-years old, with play and education in mind. The pick-up site features live music from DJ Tuff Ghost, inflatables and light displays. Each guest will also be able to select a book from the pop-up bookstore.

A woman wearing a large poofy black dress sits on the floor
Shoshana Bean and friends perform on Saturday, Dec. 18 at Immanuel Presbyterian Cathedral.
(Maxwell Poth)

Saturday, Dec. 18; 8 p.m.

Shoshana Bean: Sing Your Hallelujah 
Immanuel Presbyterian Cathedral
3300 Wilshire Blvd., Koreatown
The singer, songwriter and actress brings a live holiday concert to L.A., along with some of her talented friends including Cheyenne Jackson, Jarrett Johnson, Kojo Littles, Stevie Mackey, Jason McGee & The Choir, David Simmons and tap dancer Sarah Reich.
COST: Tickets start at $49; MORE INFO

Visit with Shogun Santa in Little Tokyo this weekend.
(Courtesy of Go Little Tokyo)

Saturday, Dec. 18 - Sunday, Dec. 19; 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Shogun Santa
Japanese Village Plaza in front of Nijiya Market
335 E 2nd St., Little Tokyo
Visit and take photos with your favorite Shogun Santa this weekend. Please note that because of COVID-19 protocols, there will be a safety barrier in place and sitting on Santa’s lap will not be permitted.
COST: FREE, donations welcome; MORE INFO

Saturday, Dec. 18 - Sunday, Dec. 19; 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Makers Market LA
1966 Hillhurst Ave., Los Feliz
Organizers say it's their biggest market ever with more than 30 designers, creators and makers. It’s a perfect way to shop small for holiday gifts, plus the outdoor market is kid- and dog-friendly, and wheelchair accessible. Food and drink will be available for purchase.

  • On the other side of town, Hotel June’s 1st Holiday Bazaar in Westchester features vendors Old Pal Provisioners, Parker & Clay, Labamba NYC, Dady Bones, Calle De Mar, Morvay Vision & Poppy. Holiday cocktails by Yola Mezcal.  

Saturday, Dec. 18; 7 p.m.

The Holidays are a Drag Christmas Party!
Detroit Vessey’s 
2028 East 7th St., downtown L.A.
The queer-centered cycling cafe holds a night of dinner, drag and dancing. Watch performances by Siri, Lorelei, Serena Infinity and DJ Johnny Gentleman (bring singles!) at 7:30 p.m. Then, stay for dancing at 8:30 p.m. All tables will be reserved for those who are dining. First-come, first-served.

a woman stands behind a glass display case filled with merchandise
People's Dispensery
(Los Angeles People's Dispensery has its opening celebration on Saturday, Dec. 18.
Courtesy of People’s DTLA)

Saturday, Dec. 18; 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.

Los Angeles People’s Dispensary Grand Opening
1149 S. Los Angeles St., downtown L.A.
Unrivaled Brands’ latest licensed dispensary opens to the public with a celebration that features live art and customization by female muralist Mr B Baby, tacos and drinks from The Taco Cartel, snacks from D.R.E.A.M. Donut Truck, custom latte art from Coffee Dose, nail art by Planty of Nails, laser etching, screen printing, a gift wrap station and a terp bar.
COST: FREE admission with RSVP; MORE INFO

17 people in black robes and red or green scarves stand on a stage and sign while holding black folders
Pacific Chorale presents 'Tis the Season!", a family-friendly program replete with festive carols, holiday favorites and even a visit from Santa Claus on Dec. 19 and 20, at the Reneé and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa.
(Courtesy of Pacific Chorale/Drew Kelley)

Sunday, Dec. 19 - Monday, Dec. 20

Pacific Chorale: Tis the Season!
The Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall
600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa 
Artistic Director Robert Isad leads the chorale’s 85 voices through a repertoire that includes favorite holiday carols and traditional tunes. There will be two shows.
COST: $29 to $150; MORE INFO 

Sunday, Dec. 19; 7 p.m.

A Southern California Christmas
Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University
415 North Glassell, Orange 
The holiday concert features music and dance performances by the Orange Community Master Chorale, Southern California Brass Consortium, Anaheim Ballet, conductor Michael Short and the Musco Center family.
COST: Tickets start at $33; MORE INFO

TV/Streaming Pick

The modern western drama Yellowstone gets a prequel set in 1883, following the Dutton family across the Great Plains. The new streaming-only series, from Taylor Sheridan, is led by Sam Elliott, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, while Billy Bob Thornton guests. 1883 streams on Paramount+ beginning on Dec. 19.

a small brown bird sits on a branch
Bird walk with the L.A. Audubon Society this weekend.
(Franco Folini, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0)

Outdoor Pick

Bird Walking 
The L.A. Audubon Society holds a bird walk on Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon at the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area. Take a guided walk through the park, around an artificial lake and Coastal Sage Scrub habitats within Baldwin Hills. Keep an eye out for resident birds including Black Phoebe, Cassin's Kingbird, Red-tailed, Red-shoulder and Cooper's hawks. Enter the park off La Cienega Blvd. between Rodeo Rd. and Stocker St. Binoculars will be provided. There’s a $6 parking fee.

bright red noodles sit in a white bowl. they are topped with a dam of white cream and chopped chived
Cento officially opened earlier this week in the West Adams neighborhood, featuring inventive dishes including the beet spaghetti.
(Liam Brown)

Dine and Drink Deals

Check out the 411 on restaurant, bar and food happenings in SoCal this weekend:

  • Chef Avner Levi (Mignon, Bestia) has made his pasta pop-up permanent with Cento, which opened earlier this week in West Adams (4921 W. Adams Blvd.). The menu features chicken liver crostino, sweet corn carbonara with pancetta, squid ink paccheri, cedar smoked salmon and his signature beet spaghetti.
  • Gusto Green, helmed by Janet Zuccarini (Felix Trattoria) and chef Michael Magliano (The French Laundry, Quince and Jon & Vinny’s Animal), opens to the public on Saturday. With a focus on healthful eating, it’s purportedly the only restaurant in America using the federally-approved purveyor of hemp leaf for food. Find it in DTLA's Green Street Building, where all of the businesses are related to cannabis.
  • Sweetgreen opened a new location in Westwood (10922 Kinross Ave.) this week. The location offers seasonal fall menu offerings, such as a chicken and brussels bowl, as well as core items including the elote bowl.
  • Recently opened Ocean Island in Monterey Park offers casual dim sum including steamed shrimp dumplings, seafood congee, beef stew noodle soup, roasted duck fun and crisp roasted pork. The restaurant is open daily, 7:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. (h/t Eater LA
  • The 13th Annual SANTA Monica Pub Crawl takes place on Saturday at 5 p.m. All attendees must show proof of vaccine or a negative COVID-19 test at check-in to obtain a wristband. The charity event features more than 20 participating bars and restaurants. Tickets include access to $5-$8 food and drink specials, priority entry into bars, one free drink, free cover charges and entry into Santa's Secret After Party.
  • Hotel Figueroa in downtown L.A. holds a festive Naughty or Nice cocktail pop-up from Friday through Christmas Eve. The Bar Magnolia lobby bar features both cocktails (the naughty list) and nonalcoholic, botanical spirit-based mocktails, featuring Three Spirit (the nice list).
  • Long Beach's Ugly Sweater Pub Crawl takes place on Saturday, 4:30 - 9 p.m. in downtown Long Beach. Tickets ($12 - $20) include drink specials, no cover charge at participating locations and food specials. There will also be contests, games and prizes at designated pubs.
  • Milk Bar’s final Holiday Lab Drop is a limited-edition Candy Cane Cornflake Ice Cream Cake (its first-ever ice cream cake). It features chocolate chip cake, cornflake frosting and cornflake crumb. Order online ($110 for a 9-inch cake) or grab a slice for $10 at the L.A. location.
Got an event in Southern California you want us to consider for one of our event roundups?
Send us the basic info — who, what, when, where, cost, URL and event description — at least a week in advance. We can't guarantee your listing will make it to publication but we'd love to read your pitch.

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