The Best Things To Do In LA And SoCal This Weekend: Dec. 3 - 5
Dust off your bike for the latest CicLAvia. Shop at half-a-dozen holiday markets. Up your cosplay game at L.A. Comic Con. Celebrate the last night of Hanukkah with a storytelling and food festival. Check out an exhibition of Hypercars most of us will never be able to afford. Chow down on tamales, tiramisu, pudding, vegan gumbo and Japanese-influenced holiday cocktails.
With COVID-19 variants still out there, it's best to check ahead of time to make sure of vaccine/testing requirements.
Friday, Dec. 3 - Sunday, Dec. 5
L.A. Comic Con
Los Angeles Convention Center
1201 S. Figueroa St., downtown L.A.
L.A.'s largest pop culture and comic celebration showcases 800 exhibitors and artists selling thousands of items. In addition, there are several meet-and-greets with celebs including John Leguziamo, Zachary Levi, Ming-Na Wen, Giancarlo Esposito and Frank Miller, as well as the casts of Arrow and Lucifer. Digital tickets are also available.
COST: $20 (digital tickets), starting at $35; MORE INFO
Friday, Dec. 3; 8 p.m.
Tokyo Godfathers / Black Christmas
The Secret Movie Club Theater
1917 Bay St., 2nd Floor, downtown L.A.
The Secret Movie Club continues its Movie Holiday party with a screening of Satoshi Kon’s animated 2003 film in 35mm. A reworking of the John Ford movie Three Godfathers, this film follows three homeless people who find an abandoned baby during the holidays in Tokyo. It’s followed by the 1974 movie Black Christmas — about a serial killer and sorority — directed by Bob Clark and screened in 16mm.
COST: $14 - $25; MORE INFO
Friday, Dec. 3; 8 p.m.
Joshua Jay: How Magicians Think
The Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever
5970 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood
This is a book release event for How Magicians Think: Misdirection, Deception, and Why Magic Matters, written by magician Joshua Jay. He’ll perform then read from his book and finish with a Q&A session.
COST: $30 - $100; MORE INFO
Fridays and Saturdays, Dec. 3 - 18; 11 p.m.
Cabaret Macabre Christmas
ZJU Theatre Group
4850 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood
Zombie Joe presents a Christmas burlesque show featuring sexy dancers who walk the line between thrilling and the macabre. The show is directed and choreographed by Brittany DeWeese. Ages 17+.
COST: $20 - $25; MORE INFO
Friday, Dec. 3 - Saturday, Dec. 4; 8 p.m.
1234 W. 7th St., downtown L.A.
Veteran L.A. punk band X plays two holiday hometown shows with Soft Kill opening. If you can’t make these dates, they play the Observatory in Santa Ana on Dec. 18.
COST: $35+; MORE INFO
Friday, Dec. 3 - Saturday, Dec. 4; 7:30 p.m.
La Virgen de Guadalupe, Dios Inantzin
The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
555 W. Temple St., downtown L.A.
The Latino Theater Company returns to in-person performances with the company’s signature holiday pageant. Adapted for the stage by Evelina Fernández from the mid-16th century text, The Nican Mopohua, and directed by José Luis Valenzuela, the show shares the story of a peasant who in 1531 was visited by the Virgin Mary. Performances are in Spanish with English supertitles.
COST: FREE - $45 (premium seats), reservations required; MORE INFO
There are a number of holiday markets happening this weekend, including:
- Craft Contemporary’s Holiday Marketplace takes place on Saturday - Sunday, featuring work from L.A. artists and makers.
- Coucou Los Angeles hosts a French market in Silver Lake on Saturday, 1 - 6 p.m.
- Come Up Markets showcases Black brands, creatives and entrepreneurs at FIGat7th in DTLA on Saturday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
- FIDM Holiday Market is an open-air shopping event that highlights the college's alumni and creative brands. Music, food trucks and Santa will be on hand. Check it out Saturday, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. in downtown L.A.
- Hundreds of artists and crafters return to the Pomona/Ontario Harvest Festival Original Art & Craft Show, Friday - Sunday. It's at a new location, the Ontario Convention Center.
- The Union Station Holiday Festival & Artisan Market takes place on the station’s South Patio on Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
- Conscious Night Market pops up on the Promenade in Santa Monica on Saturday, 4 - 9 p.m., hosted by Fit Girl LA. Shop wares from 40 local vendors and sustainable brands. There will be live music and free kombucha.
Saturday, Dec. 4 and Saturday, Dec. 11; 2 p.m.
Los Angeles Master Chorale: Festival of Carols
Walt Disney Concert Hall
111 S. Grand Ave., downtown L.A.
Though the weather outside is (un)frightful, the holiday season is delightful. Listen to festive music, folk songs from around the world, and both modern and traditional carols. Grant Gershon conducts this weekend and Jenny Wong conducts next weekend.
COST: Tickets start at $43; MORE INFO
Saturday, Dec. 4 - Sunday, Jan. 2
Hoof-Prints On History: A Krampus Tale
3015 Glendale Blvd., Atwater Village
Krampus, the half-man, half-goat creature who punishes naughty children during the Christmas season, says he’s been getting a bad rap. Hear from Krampus himself in this 30-minute, kid-friendly show as he explains to audiences why he’s been judged unjustly. The show features treats, songs, entertainment and puppetry. This is an outdoor show held rain or shine.
COST: $60 per time slot (for up to 6 guests); MORE INFO
Saturday, Dec. 4
Hypercars: The Allure of the Extreme
Petersen Automotive Museum
6060 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire
The new exhibition explores the exclusive and expensive world of hypercars. Over the next 18 months, up to 30 vehicles will rotate through the museum. Cars on display will include the Aria FXE concept, Bugatti Veyron 16.4, Caparo T1, Devel Sixteen and Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta, among many other. It also includes two motorcycles, the Lotus C-01 and Aston Martin AMB 001. The Czinger 21C will make occasional, brief appearances, and will be on display for the last two weeks of December. The second set of vehicles arrives Sept. 17, 2022, and leaves May 14, 2023.
COST: $12 - $17 admission; MORE INFO
Saturday, Dec. 4; 8 p.m.
Don’t Tell Comedy
Secret location, Santa Monica
This is a live comedy show at a secret indoor location with a secret lineup. Purchase tickets and you'll get the venue info at noon on the day of the show. The lineup remains a surprise until the comics hit the stage. There’s no two-drink minimum (it’s BYOB) and the show is 21+.
COST: $25; MORE INFO
Saturday, Dec. 4; 7 p.m. PST
In 2014, The Speakeasy Society presented an immersive adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. For our current times, the theater troupe has created a virtual version of the play. Audiences are encouraged to explore the classic holiday story and familiar characters in new ways. Play charades with Scrooge’s nephew Fred, sip a beer with Bob Cratchit, hang with the Ghost of Christmas Future or follow Ebenezer's journey as he confronts his mortality. All profits will be donated to the community organization Mutual Aid LA. The production is recommended for those 14 and older. Additional dates include Dec. 9, 10 and 12.
COST: $20 (limited, need based), $35 general and $55 for pay it forward tickets; MORE INFO
Saturday, Dec. 4; 5 p.m. PST
WriteGirl, the youth creative writing and mentoring organization, celebrates the launch of its new online literary journal. Threads showcases creative writing from WriteGirl teens and alums in poetry, fiction, songwriting, screenwriting, journalism and other literary forms. The first issue’s theme of “My Hometown” will focus on locales around the world, including L.A. During the kickoff event, several WriteGirl participants will perform their work along with special guests. The last half-hour is dedicated to a creative writing activity led by WriteGirl staff.
COST: FREE, but donations accepted; MORE INFO
Saturday, Dec. 4 - Thursday, Dec. 30 (select days)
Mission San Juan Capistrano
26801 Ortega Hwy., San Juan Capistrano
The festive lights return to the mission's grounds, along with Santa, community-designed Christmas trees and a large-scale nativity scene in the ruins of the church (circa 1806). Dickens-era carolers and a nightly 30-foot tree lighting take place at 5 p.m. Visit the Serra Chapel, which stays open after hours. Kid activities, sweets vendors and surprise performances will occur on select days.
COST: $9 - $14 admission; MORE INFO
Saturday, Dec. 4 - Sunday, Dec. 5
Tom of Finland Art & Culture Festival - Tom of Finland 101: Raw Anatomy
1370 N. Saint Andrews Place, Hollywood
The festival of eroticism returns, bringing together patrons, artists and vendors to network, buy and sell works. Held in an indoor-outdoor space, it features art installations, performances and presentations in select pods for safer distancing. Exhibitors include David Kordansky Gallery, Edward Cella Art and Architecture, Simon Haas, Rick Castro and Rubén Esparza Projects. Highlighted artists include Mike Kelley, Michael Hossner, Dynasty Handbag, Chivas Clem and Bruce LaBruce, among others.
COST: $20 - $30; MORE INFO
Saturday, Dec. 4; 12 p.m.
Post-It Show (COVID style)
Giant Robot’s Post-it Show 17 returns this weekend in the same online format as last year. Selected artists have been asked to make 10"x10” works accompanied by art on a Post-It Note. The art goes online at noon on Saturday and will remain available through Dec. 12.
COST: Varies; MORE INFO
Sunday, Dec. 5; 2 - 6 p.m.
Skirball Cultural Center
2701 N Sepulveda Blvd., Brentwood
Join an afternoon and evening celebration with music, storytelling and art-making. Music provided by Dublab DJ Callie Ryan, folk troubadours Zingarella and klezmer group Yale Strom and Hot Pstromi. Hear the age-old story of Hanukkah, enjoy traditional treats and holiday drinks, and watch a sunset candle lighting. Advance reservations required.
COST: $13 - $18; MORE INFO
Sunday, Dec. 5; 10:30 a.m.
90th Guadalupe Procession and Mass
Our Lady of Solitude Parish
4561 East Cesar Chavez Ave., East L.A.
All are welcome to attend a procession and Mass to commemorate the 490th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe. This is the oldest religious procession in L.A. It's followed by mass at 1 p.m. with Archbishop José H. Gomez at the East L.A. College Stadium in Monterey Park. Due to the ongoing pandemic, there will be limited attendance at the stadium.
COST: FREE; MORE INFO
Sunday, Dec. 5; 6 - 9:30 p.m.
Culver City Location
On the last night of Hanukkah, enjoy an original storytelling event in which guests take to the stage to share personal food-related tales. Then, everyone tastes the dishes behind the stories. Storytellers include Iranian Jewish cook Tannaz Sassoni, “Jeopardy” Tournament of Champions host Buzzy Cohen and producer Nancy Spielberg.
COST: Tickets start at $54; MORE INFO
Sunday, Dec. 5; 5 p.m.
Passing + Q&A
328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica
The film follows the lives of Irene Redfield (Tessa Thompson) and Clare Kendry (Academy Award nominee Ruth Negga), two Black women, one of whom can “pass” as white, living on opposite sides of the color line in 1920s New York. A chance reunion leads to the upending of their realities. Passing marks the directorial debut of Rebecca Hall, who adapted the screenplay from Nella Larsen’s celebrated 1929 novel. Q&A follows with Hall, moderated by film critic Claudia Puig.
COST: FREE with RSVP; MORE INFO
Sunday, Dec. 5; 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
CicLAvia – South L.A.
Hop on your bike or board or use your feet to experience the neighborhoods of Exposition Park, Leimert Park and Crenshaw. Much of the 5.3-mile route takes over Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. No motors are allowed except for motorized wheelchairs and related vehicles for people with disabilities. Remember to wear a helmet when you're riding a bike, skateboard, or skates — and if you're under 18, it's the law.
COST: FREE; MORE INFO
OC Parks staff and volunteers hold free, introductory archery courses at Mile Square Regional Park in Fountain Valley. The sessions include technique and safety instruction. All archery equipment will be provided. There are sessions on Dec. 4, 11 and 18. Registration is required.
A Clüsterfünke Christmas
Comedy Central is getting into the Christmas movie business with A Clüsterfünke Christmas, written by and starring Rachel Dratch and Ana Gasteyer. This parody follows a real estate exec (Vella Lovell) from New York City who heads to a small town to buy the local inn and transform it into a mega-resort. First, she must convince the spinster owners (Gasteyer and Dratch) to make the sale. Cheyenne Jackson plays a hot lumberjack. The film debuts on Comedy Central on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Dine and Drink Deals
Check out the 411 on restaurant, bar and food happenings in SoCal this weekend:
- The first Long Beach International Tamales Festival takes place on Sunday. Enjoy tamales and other dishes from different regions of Latin America, as well as tequila tastings, live music and art workshops. This is a ticketed event.
- Baba’s Vegan Cafe recently opened in South L.A. (6619 S. Western Ave.), bringing more plant-based cuisine to the area. Open Tuesday - Friday, 2 - 7 p.m., the menu features Mama’s Gumbo, vegan mac 'n' cheese, banana pudding, sunflower seed paté, lentil fritters and rice and beans.
- Pudding maker pudu pudu has a new Silver Lake location (3820 Sunset Blvd.). As with its flagship on Abbot Kinney, the pudding is made from locally sourced organic milk with added superfoods and flavors including turmeric, spirulina and chocolate orange. The dessert shop also features European-style hot and cold coffees and electrolyte water.
- On Sunday at 9 a.m., Bagel+Slice in Highland Park (4751 York Blvd.) debuts its gluten-free wheat bagels. Owner and chef Brad Kent has spent the past year figuring out how to make a tasty bagel using a proprietary blend of gluten-free wheat starch, gluten-free buckwheat flour and sunflower flour.
- Gemini Bakehouse’s sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts) are available for pre-order ($5 each) for pickup this Friday through Sunday.
- Fred Segal continues its holiday dessert pop-up series at its Sunset location on Saturday, 11 a.m. - 7 p.m., with Giovanni’s Tiramisu, made by 73-year-old Italian master chef Giovanni Bolla.
- Take the Hatch Holiday Mixology Class on Sunday, 2:30 - 4:30 p.m. at HATCH Yakitori + Bar in downtown L.A. Learn how to create two Japanese-influenced holiday cocktails while enjoying appetizers and a delicious dessert. This is a 21+, ticketed event.
- Enjoy tea-infused cocktails and a selection of sweet and savory bites at the Loews Santa Monica Hotel on Saturday. Listen to performances from Elemental Music, a Santa Monica nonprofit that works with young musicians.
- The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles teams up with TableMation Studios to launch Le Petit Chef: An Immersive Dining Experience on Friday. It’s an animated dinner experience that takes over the 24th floor of the hotel. The dinner and show costs $145, not including tax and gratuities, with an optional wine pairing for $35 per person. Reservations through Open Table.