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13 Immersive & Offbeat Things to Do in L.A. for the Holiday Season

13 Immersive & Offbeat Things to Do in L.A. for the Holiday Season

If ready in line for a mall Santa isn’t fairly your factor, perhaps you’d choose strolling by means of a mesmerizing backyard of lights or taking to the streets with a Krampus or two. Or maybe you’d want to go to with the ghosts of Christmas previous, current, and future in digital actuality.

Either method, should you’re wanting for one thing totally different to do that month, listed here are 13 methods to get immersed in the vacation season in and round Los Angeles (numbered for reference, listed in no specific order).


Chained: A Victorian Nightmare  Photo: Aaron Sims Creative

1. Chained: A Victorian Nightmare

Nineteenth-century Victorians used to collect spherical to inform each other ghost tales on Christmas Eve. The most well-known story of all of them is arguably Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, which has been reimagined in myriad methods since its unique publication in 1843. But it’s by no means been completed fairly like this.

From MWM Immersive and Here Be Dragons, director/creator Justin Denton (Legion FX HoloLens expertise), and Ethan Stearns (producer of Carne y Arena) comes Chained: A Victorian Nightmare, a part-VR, part-immersive theater retelling of the basic Dickens story that locations one viewers member at a time in the position of Scrooge. Well, type of: you’re in Scrooge’s position, however the solutions you supply to questions on your life and legacy might be your personal. This spooky self-discovery expertise begins by knocking on a foreboding chamber door in actual life, however friends will quickly discover themselves utilizing a VR headset to entry the spirit realm. While the VR element permits for fantastical digital sights, you’ll even be interacting with actual actors and objects at the similar time. To obtain this impact, movement seize tracks a reside actor who speaks to and guides the visitor, all whereas showing as a foreboding spirit. It’s very cool, and one thing lots of people have possible by no means skilled with this know-how earlier than. The general aesthetic is creepy, harking back to gothic horror tales, with chilling paintings from Aaron Sims Creative (who additionally created Stranger Things‘ Demogorgon). But, it’s not particularly a horror expertise, so don’t anticipate to be shrieking at bounce scares or gore.

Tickets for the first wave of Chained are bought out, however new tickets shall be launched every day by means of December. Sign up for their mailing record for updates.

When: Nov. 29-early January
Where: The Great Co., 1655 Beverly Blvd., HiFi
Cost: $40

2. X-Mas for One

Things take a darkish flip when three staff are pressured to present the leisure at their firm’s annual Christmas social gathering in the darkish comedy X-Mas For One. In this immersive staging, the viewers is forged as co-workers of the trio, sometimes getting “roped into workplace drama” as chaos ensues. The present is written and carried out by Lucas Coleman, Will Huse, and Pablo Rossil, the similar staff behind Blowfish: A Horrific Immersive Experience. This occasion just isn’t appropriate for youngsters.

When: Sunday, December 9, Eight p.m. (doorways at 6:30 p.m.)
Where: Rockwell Table and Stage, 1714 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz
Cost: $18-35, plus a 2 meals/drink merchandise minimal.

Krampuslauf 2017 Photo: Paul Koudounaris

Three. The Los Angeles Krampuslauf

In Austrian folklore, Krampus is the counterpart to St. Nick. He roams the night time wanting for dangerous youngsters to whip with switches, toss in a frozen lake, or drag to the underworld—so, worse than a lump of coal. The Krampuslauf (or Krampus Run) is an annual parade of the horned beasts, and Los Angeles may have its personal on December 13, coinciding with the Downtown Art Walk. The monsters shall be out to swat the naughty whereas St. Nick will make sure that they don’t get too wild. Also, anticipate an genuine steam automotive from the 1800s to make an look. Then, head to The Lash for a efficiency from Hammerstein Musik Bavaria. And, when you’ve got your personal Krampus go well with (who doesn’t, proper?), ship an image to Krampus Los Angeles by December 12 to take part. More information right here.

When: Krampus Lauf, Thursday, December 13, Eight p.m. After get together to comply with at 9 p.m.
Where: Winston St., between Main and Los Angeles, DTLA. The Lash is at 117 Winston St., DTLA.
Cost: Free

four. Nightmare Before Christmas Beer Festival

The Queen Mary will host a beer fest impressed by The Nightmare Before Christmas, that includes over 20 totally different brews from native favorites; an immersive HalloweenTown with character interactions and photograph ops; karaoke with Oogie Boogie, and stay music.


When: Friday, December 14, 6:30-10 p.m.
Where: The Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Hwy, Long Beach
Cost: $42 and up

Descanso Garden’s Enchanted: Forest of Light Photo: Cal Bingham

5. Descanso Gardens’ Enchanted: Forest of Light

Enchanted: Forest of Light is one among the most lovely and revolutionary vacation mild shows you’ll discover in L.A. County. The expertise eschews  red-and-green cliches for a one-mile journey via otherworldly installations like singing Oak timber, fields of illuminated, color-changing tulips, and a Japanese backyard lit with pink lanterns.

When: Nov.18-Jan.6, 5:30-10 p.m. Closed Dec. 24 & 25.
Where: Descanso Gardens, 1418 Descanso Gardens, La Cañada Flintridge
Cost: $28-30 (Members get $5 off)

Here and Now transforms into Blitzen Photo: Juliet Bennett Rylah

6. Blitzen

Here & Now in the Arts District has turn into Blitzen, a vacation pop-up that includes seasonal decor, reside performances (like a roving Bad Santa), and a full menu of seasonal choices. Food consists of potato latkes; the Leftover Turkey Sandwich with turkey, cranberry chutney, and mashed potatoes, and bread pudding. Cocktails embrace Oh Holy Nog (Cognac, Avua Cachaca, Becherovka, Amontillado, Egg, Coconut Cream) and Eight Crazy Nights (Plum Brandy, Vanilla infused Palo Cortado, Amaro Montenegro, Strawberry Rosemary Compote, Powdered Sugar). For added immersion, linger outdoors in the bluster of their snow machine. Additionally, garner a free cup of punch for each quart-size plastic baggie of toiletries you convey alongside to be donated to nonprofit People Assisting the Homeless (PATH).

When: Nov. 28-Dec. 31
Where: Here & Now, 300 S. Santa Fe Ave., Arts District
Cost: Free

Immersed in Wonderland Photo: Alexa Meade

7. Immersed in Wonderland

If you possibly can’t afford something on Rodeo Drive, you possibly can a minimum of go see artist Alexa Meade’s pop-up set up, Immersed in Wonderland. Meade has painted a collection of Three-D work that place visitors inside a vacation vignette and that, when photographed, current the phantasm that you simply’re truly inside the portray. The set additionally features a piano, which visitors are free to play.

The exhibit is a part of Beverly Hills’ BOLD Holidays programming, which additionally consists of stay music, artwork, and ice sculpting, vacation artwork walks, and extra. See extra info right here.

When: Now via Dec. 23, Mon.-Sat., midday to Eight p.m.; Sundays, midday to 6 p.m.
Where: 262 N. Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills
Cost: Free

Mission Inn’s Festival of Lights Photo: Mission Inn

Eight. The Mission Inn’s Festival of Lights

The Mission Inn’s 26th Annual Festival of Lights celebration is one among the most intense vacation mild shows you possibly can see in Southern California, if not the nation. The sprawling show incorporates over 5 million lights, 400 animated dolls, a life-size gingerbread home, stay performances, and extra.


You don’t have to be a visitor of the lodge to take a look at the lighting show, however in case you do determine to keep in a single day, you possibly can wander round and take a look at the mismatch of structure that makes up this historic property. The lodge started as an adobe visitor home with simply 12 rooms in 1876, however became the behemoth it’s as we speak underneath the management of proprietor Frank Miller. The lodge was by no means a mission, merely “mission-themed,” and in addition served as a spot for Miller to retailer and show artifacts acquired throughout his travels. This consists of his assortment of lots of of bells.

When: Nov.23-Jan. 6
Where: 10705 Magnolia Ave., Riverside
Cost: Free

Miracle at The Everly Photo: Melissa Horn

9. Miracle at The Everly

Miracle is a Christmas cocktail pop-up bar launched in 2014 in NYC, nevertheless it’s since unfold to over 80 places round the world. Miracles are marked by enjoyable, vacation decor; artistic seasonal cocktails served in kitschy glassware, and heaps of Instagrammable nostalgia. Guests will discover Los Angeles’ solely Miracle this season on the fifth flooring of the Kimpton Everly Hotel in Hollywood. Cocktails embrace the Run Run Rudolph (prosecco, gin, mulled wine puree, lemon, cane syrup) and a scorching milk punch titled Bad Santa. At the Kimpton’s personal Ever Bar, discover further seasonal cocktails from their group of mixologists.

When: Nov.23-Dec.31
Where: 1800 Argyle Ave., Hollywood
Cost: Free admission, meals + drink for buy 

Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Photo: Universal Studios Hollywood.

10. Universal Studios Hollywood

What might be extra magical than Christmas in Hogsmeade? Guests to Universal Studios Hollywood will expertise the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in full “winter” splendor, full with nightly snowfall, vacation decor, an a cappella Frog Choir, vacation merchandise and seasonal choices (scorching Butterbeer!), and a light-weight present projected towards Hogwarts Castle.

Additionally, friends can take a look at Grinchmas, full with a 60-foot tree, characters, and stay performances, every day Dec. 1-2, Eight-9, and 14-30.

When: Nov. 17-Jan. 6
Cost: $99 and up

11. Ya Filthy Animals

Ya Filthy Animals is a pop-up bar impressed by vacation films together with Bad Santa, A Christmas Story, and, in fact, Home Alone. Expect themed drinks, photograph cubicles, movie-themed installations (together with a collage that explains the greatest booby traps for defending your property from burglars), and an outside ice rink and winter wonderland with falling “snow,” a Christmas tree farm, and a fireplace pit. Food is accessible by way of onsite vans.


When: Dec. 1-Jan. 6. Weds-Sun., four p.m. to midnight.
Where: Hollywood & Vine, Hollywood
Cost: $40 in advance/$50 day-of. Includes admission, ice skating, and a customized cocktail.

Knott’s Merry Farm Photo: Knott’s Berry Farm

12. Knott’s Merry Farm

The monsters and ominous fog of Knott’s Scary Farm are gone and a festive yuletide celebration has taken its place. Guests to the family-friendly theme park will take pleasure in visits with Santa in his cabin, Snoopy and buddies on ice, the musical It’s the Merriest Christmas Show Ever, Charlie Brown, carolers, crafts distributors, reside stagings of A Christmas Carol and Gift of the Magi, tree lighting ceremonies and lighting spectaculars, and seasonal treats.

When: Nov. 16-Jan. 6
Where: 8039 Beach Blvd., Buena Park
Cost: $50+

13. Madame Tussauds

Madame Tussauds is providing a winter wonderland on their second flooring that includes a ball pit product of “snow” for all of your Instagram wants. They’ve additionally recruited the Hollywood Men dancers (that’s L.A.’s personal model of Magic Mike) to pose as attractive Santas with friends on December Eight from 1-Three p.m. So, if you’d like your loved ones again in the Midwest to know you’re actually dwelling life, there you go. Guests can even take pleasure in a 15-minute Polar Express expertise in 4D, full with complimentary Ghiradelli treats.

When: Through Dec. 31
Where: Madame Tussauds, 6933 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood
Cost: $16.99 and up


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