Electric in LA
With all the folks clad in shorts and 80-plus degree weather, it can be easy to forget that it’s the holidays when you’re in Los Angeles. But as a hotspot for food, fashion, and entertainment, the city has no shortage of seasonal activities.
WHAT TO DO
The Broad (221 S. Grand Ave.): One of the nation’s most highly Instagrammed (and hard-to-get-into) museums. This holiday season, The Broad will play host to Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors exhibit, an immersive, kaleidoscopic environment. Be sure to reserve your spot online (tickets are released on the first of the month, and they go fast).
Miracle on Santa Fe (300 S. Santa Fe Ave.): Each holiday season, the downtown LA bar, Westbound, transforms into a wintery refuge serving up cheerful, holiday-inspired cocktails. Part of the pop-up will also be a toiletry drive for homeless families, so if you’ve got any leftover travel essentials, bring ’em on over.
Enchanted: Forest of Light (1418 Descanso Dr.): L.A.’s sprawling 150-acre botanical garden gets draped in a dream-like lightscape for the holidays. The exhibit is complete with eight different light installations scattered about the garden — the result is a beautifully executed display of the city in its glorious, natural splendor.
WHERE TO SHOP
Los Angeles Flower Market (754 Wall St.): This historic market, founded in 1921 by L.A.’s biggest floriculture pioneers, has remained a bustling hotspot for all things nature. In the winter, the market has expanded hours and an even larger selection of roses, lilies, and sunflowers that’ll make for a perfect host/hostess holiday gift.
Unique USA LA Holiday Market (110 E. 9th St.): Ditch the malls for your holiday shopping and instead hit this ultra-hip annual holiday market, which specializes in local, up-and-coming brands in jewelry, clothing, art, home décor, and more. In addition to shopping, there are seasonal drinks, interactive art installations, even a photo booth.
Alchemy Works (826 E 3rd St.): It doesn’t get more quintessentially L.A. than Alchemy Works, a retail space in the city’s art district offering unique, locally-made art, furniture, and other accessories that you likely won’t find anywhere else.
WHAT TO EAT
Grand Central Market (89 E 42nd St.): This downtown L.A. culinary landmark is a perfect blend of old L.A. meets new. Here, you’ll find decades-old pupusa and taco stands alongside juice bars, ice cream parlors, and ramen bars. It’s a great way to get a taste of the evolution of the L.A. food scene, all in one spot.
Night + Market (9043 Sunset Blvd.): This tiny, colorful spot is a favorite for crazy spicy Thai street fare, from papaya salad to larb (ground, spiced meat), all washed down with a beer and homemade coconut ice cream.
Sqirl (720 N. Virgil Ave.): A must-stop for any Los Angeles first-timer, Sqirl is chef/owner Jessica Koslow’s sunny ode to the bounty of California produce. Her breezy, white-walled café features iconic dishes like ricotta toast made with Sqirl’s homemade preserves, and a deeply flavorful sorrel rice bowl crowned with a poached egg.