Go Behind the Scenes After the Award Shows

The final accolades of the LA awards season have been handed out.  But if you’re not quite ready to step away from the spotlight,  these special showcases will take you behind the scenes of the best in the entertainment industry. Get your fill of the celebrities and creative visionaries that make this town truly sparkle. Besides, who doesn’t love Hollywood?


The actors and creative teams behind some of today's best shows appear at PaleyFest

“Mad Men” stars Jon Hamm and January Jones at PaleyFest 2012 | Photo courtesy of Paley Center, Facebook

Located in Beverly Hills, the Paley Center for Media is the foremost public archive of television and radio programming, with an international collection of nearly 150,000 programs spanning almost 100 years. Throughout the year, the Paley Center celebrates television with a wide range of events that examine the creative process behind great entertainment. The 30th Anniversary William S. Paley Television Festival runs from March 1-15, 2013 at the nearby Saban Theatre. Paley Fest is a celebration of some of the best series on TV, and gives fans a chance to meet the stars and creative minds behind shows such as Mad Men and True Blood. This year’s PaleyFest lineup includes The Walking Dead, Revolution, Newsroom and Community.


Grammy Museum celebrates the best in the music entertainment industry

Good Vibrations: 50 Years of the Beach Boys | Photo courtesy of the Grammy Museum

For a fascinating journey into the history of music, don’t miss the GRAMMY Museum, located just steps from STAPLES Center. Four floors of cutting edge exhibits, interactive experiences and films provide a one-of-a-kind visitor experience. The GRAMMY Museum also hosts public events and educational programming that explore and celebrate the enduring legacies of all forms of recorded music. Current Special Exhibits at the museum include Good Vibrations: 50 Years of the Beach Boys (through September), The Columbia Records Story, and Whitney! Celebrating the Musical Legacy of Whitney Houston (through May). During February, get $10 admission to the GRAMMY Museum with this coupon. Regular admission price for adults is $12.95.

Need to get up-to-speed on this year’s GRAMMY nominees? Visit Amoeba Music in Hollywood to check out the nominated albums and receive $5 off a $20 purchase with this coupon.


Film Independent at LACMA weekly series brings the audience together with creative visionaries

Photo courtesy of Film Independent, Facebook

Film Independent at LACMA is a year-round weekly film series at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art that offers unique cinematic experiences for the LA creative community and the general public. The series brings together Film Independent’s creative community of filmmakers and a wide spectrum of audiences, with LACMA’s commitment to presenting cinema in an artistic and historical context. Film Independent at LACMA events include screenings of classic and contemporary films; conversations with artists, curators and special guests; international showcases; and guest-curated programs.


The 21st Annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design at the FIDM Museum

Costumes from “The Artist” | Photo courtesy of FIDM

The 21st Annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design exhibition is on view at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) Museum from February 12 to April 27, 2013. Celebrating the art and industry of costume designers, this exhibition presents dozens of costumes from films released in 2012. The exhibition includes this year’s Academy Award nominees for Best Costume Design as well as costumes from the 2012 Best Picture winner, The Artist.


The nation's largest exhibit of authentic Marilyn Monroe memorabilia is on display at The Hollywood Museum

Photo courtesy of The Hollywood Museum, Facebook

Though she was never nominated for an Oscar, Marilyn Monroe remains one of Hollywood’s most iconic stars. Marilyn Monroe: Hollywood Legend, the nation’s largest exhibit of authentic memorabilia celebrating the life of the legendary actress, is on display at the Hollywood Museum in the historic Max Factor Building on Highland Avenue. The exhibition opened last year in honor of the 50th anniversary of Monroe’s passing, and continues to run due to popular demand. Marilyn Monroe: Hollywood Legend includes Monroe’s million-dollar honeymoon dress; publicity gowns; jewelry from her films, special appearances, and personal collection; clothing and accessories from her personal wardrobe; original documents and private files from her home in Brentwood; original photographs; and many of Monroe’s personally owned artifacts. Buy Tickets →


Exhibit featuring the works of Stanley Kubrick is currently showing at LACMA

Stanley Kubrick on the set of “Barry Lyndon” | Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Stanley Kubrick: The Ultimate Trip is a free companion exhibit to the Stanley Kubrick exhibition currently showing at LACMA. Stanley Kubrick: The Ultimate Trip is now on view through March 3, 2013 in the Grand Lobby Gallery at the Academy’s headquarters in Beverly Hills. Based around Kubrick’s elaborate, multi-formatted advertising campaigns and movie posters, the Academy’s exhibition brings Kubrick’s on-set world to life with photographs, production designs, Dr. Strangelove screenplay drafts, correspondence and other original documents.

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is scheduled to open in 2016 within the iconic Wilshire May Company building, located on the southwest corner of the LACMA campus. Designed by renowned architects Renzo Piano and Zoltan Pali, the Academy Museum will celebrate all facets of the art and science of motion pictures. The museum will feature approximately 230,000 square feet of public programming space, including galleries, an education center, a state-of-the-art 650-seat theater, screening rooms, demonstration lab, and special event spaces.

(Article courtesy of DiscoverLA.com)


L.A. Rolls Out The Red Carpet For Awards Season

Every year during awards season, Los Angeles rolls out the red carpet for the entertainment industry, media and fans from around the world.  The best in film, television and music is celebrated through the end of this month.  But don’t worry if you have missed earlier events as highlights from entire season are included below.

#Hollywood celebrities walk the red carpet @goldenglobes award show.

Photo courtesy of Golden Globes, Facebook


The 70th Anniversary Golden Globe Awards took place on January 13th, bestowed by the 93 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) in recognition of excellence in film and television, both domestic and foreign. The night’s top movie honors went to Argo (Best Drama) and Les Miserables (Best Musical or Comedy). The big TV winners included Homeland (Best Drama) and Girls (Best Musical or Comedy). Co-hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler earned rave reviews, while former President Bill Clinton received a standing ovation when he walked onstage to introduce Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln.

GRAMMY AWARDS (Feb. 10, 2013)

#Awards were presented to the best in the #music industry @TheGRAMMYs 55th Annual Show.

Photo courtesy of The GRAMMYs Facebook

The 55th Annual Grammy Awards took place on February 10th at STAPLES Center, giving music fans and awards aficionados alike plenty to sing about at L.A. LIVE. The Grammy is the recording industry’s most prestigious award, presented by The Recording Academy to honor excellence in the recording arts and sciences. This year, Hilton Hotels is celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of its partnership with The Recording Academy as the Official Hotel for the Grammy Awards. The ceremony is an invitation-only affair, but fans can spot the stars from the bleacher seats outside STAPLES Center. Last year was the first time that the public could bid on bleacher seats through Grammy Charity Online Auctions, with proceeds benefitting MusicCares and the Grammy Foundation.


The #achievements of #independent #film makers are honored @filmindependent's annual #SpiritAwards in #SantaMonica.

2013 Beasts of the Southern Wilde Film Makers | Photo courtesy of Film Independent, Facebook

Los Angeles may have a long history of awards ceremonies, but there’s nothing traditional about the Film Independent Spirit Awards. The ceremony takes place under a lavish tent at Santa Monica Beach and recognizes the finest achievements of today’s independent filmmakers. Other than entertainment-industry members and sponsors, the Spirit Awards are closed to the public, though the ceremony will be broadcast live on IFC.

ACADEMY AWARDS (Feb. 24, 2013)

#Hollywood prepares for their biggest night of the year - @TheAcademy Awards.  Who will take home the #Oscars?

84th Academy Awards (2012) | Photo courtesy of The Academy, Facebook

On February 24th, a global audience of hundreds of millions of movie lovers will tune in to watch the 85th Annual Academy Awards, taking place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. The Oscars reward the previous year’s greatest cinema achievements as determined by some of the world’s most accomplished motion picture artists and professionals. Awards are presented for outstanding individual or collective efforts in up to 25 categories. Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane is this year’s host.

The first Academy Awards honored the best films of 1927 and 1928 and were presented on May 16, 1929, at a private dinner held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Since 1929, the Oscar ceremony has taken place at some of LA’s most famous and historic hotels and theatres. Read More →

(Article courtesy of DiscoverLA.com)

The Year of the Snake is Stirring Up Chinatown Los Angeles

Chinese New Year 2013 Fan Snake

Just when you thought your holiday festivities were over. Angeleno’s are gearing up for another New Year celebration, but this time it is for the Chinese black water snake.

 The Year of the Snake is a significant year in Asian tradition because it marks change, filled with contemplation, preparation and much reflection. The Lunar New Year is one of the most important holidays in Asia as well as for Asian Americans living in the U.S.—especially in Los Angeles, which boasts one of the most diverse Asian populations in the nation. The oldest and one of the most recognized New Years celebrations in America is LA Chinatown’s Lunar New Year Festival, drawing more than 125,000 for the weekend-long celebration.

Thien Han Temple Chinatown L.A.

By Yazoo54, Flickr

LA Chinatown kicks off the Year of the Snake celebration at Thien Hau Temple where attendees can experience traditional incense burning, make offerings to deities, watch traditional lion dancers, and witness 500,000 firecrackers in action along with Buddhist and Taoist monks and families of all generations. This ceremony takes place on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 11:00 p.m., the eve of Chinese New Year weekend.

The 15-day long celebration continues the following weekend with the 114th Annual Golden Dragon Parade and Chinese New Year Festival. Attendees can enjoy spectacular floats, decked-out cars, dancers and bands as they parade down the heart of Chinatown. This year’s Grand Marshals includes Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck.

The Chinese New Year Festival gets underway following the parade with cultural performances, children’s activities and hands-on cultural workshops for all ages. Additionally, there will be a live music stage and new for 2013, a unique singing competition that can only be witnessed in Chinatown. Attendees can expect to nosh on traditional Chinese cuisine offered at many Chinatown restaurants, street food and non-traditional dishes offered by food vendors and some of LA’s hottest gourmet food trucks. There will also be a craft beer garden curated by Eagle Rock Brewery featuring local breweries pouring their favorite brews.The Lunar New Year Festival will be held at Central Plaza at 943-951 N. Broadway on Saturday, Feb. 16 from 12-8 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 17 from 12-5 p.m. The 114th Annual Golden Dragon Parade is on Saturday, Feb. 16 beginning at 1 p.m.

Always popular, the 2013 LA Chinatown Firecracker 5/10K run follows the Chinese New Year Festival weekend on February 23 – 24, 2012. Visit the website for information on registration or get updates on Facebook & Twitter.

For more information visit ChinatownLA.com or call 213-680-0243.


Cafe Sierra Seafood and Prime Rib Buffet at Hilton Universal City Hotel - Crab Legs Can’t get enough of Chinese New Year? Visit Cafe Sierra for the Chinese New Year holiday Champagne Brunch and Seafood Buffet. Visit Saturday for sustenance before Lunar New Year’s eve or make your reservation Sunday to start the year with us! Live Chinese instrumental music and Lion dance featured both evenings during dinner.

Visit CafeSierraHilton.com or call 818.509.2030 to make your reservation.


The Best End-of-the-World Parties in L.A. this Friday

According to the Mayan calendar, the I-Ching and a range of biblical and secular prophecies, the world is supposed to come to an end on Friday. It’s probably not true but what if it is? You’re going to feel pretty dumb if you didn’t spend your last evening dancing, eating, drinking and being merry.


Antebellum Gallery – Paul Maler

So here, then, are our picks for the 12/21 parties that will be so amazing you’ll say, “I can die now. Literally.”

End of Days Armageddon Art Exhibit
Antebellum Gallery, 1643 N. Las Palmas Ave., 7 p.m.; $5

We all have fetishes, and in a way, Doomsday is one of them. America’s premier fetish-themed art-house, Hollywood’s Antebellum Gallery hosts a titillating and terrifying tribute to the “end of days” phenomenon. In celebration of the final hours of the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, this art exhibit promises to make you both happy and horrified to be alive.

Reid’s Doomsday B-Day Bash

HM157, 3110 N. Broadway Ave., 8 p.m.; free

An old-timey Victorian landmark in Lincoln Heights, HM157 hosts some of the best hippie-filled fêtes in the city, including craft fairs, square dances and more. Manning the mixing boards is a guy named Reid Maxwell, who’s having his birthday party on what may be the last day of human existence. Even if you don’t know him (we don’t), there’s no reason why you shouldn’t make your way to Lincoln Heights to check out HM 157, if you haven’t already. Just be sure to RSVP.

Duplex Doomsday Party

Duplex on Third, 8722 W. 3rd St., various prices.

And just in case you haven’t planned your last meal, the sumptuous and homey Duplex on Third invites you to sit back, relax and watch the world collapse with a specialty cocktail designed to ward off evil. A professional tarot-card reading provides a glimpse into your future, or lack thereof, as the case may be. Executive Chef Larry Greenwood of BOA, Boho and STK dishes out the organic fare, sending you to heaven (or hell) with a full stomach and a smile.

El Vez with DJ Jorge Dean

Los Globos, 3040 W. Sunset Blvd., 9 p.m.; $10 – $30.

L.A.’s own Mexican Elvis and erstwhile presidential candidateEl Vez has been a fixture in the SoCal music scene ever since Robert Lopez played guitar and sang vocals in the punk band The Zeroes. As El Vez, Lopez not only channels the King, he takes Elvis Presley out of the deep south and into a raucous Quinceañera, where your head feels like a piñata and the worm at the bottom of the tequila bottle suddenly becomes your best friend. El Vez rocks the house at Los Globos with DJ Jorge Dean in a festive party presented by the Pachuco Boogie Show.

The Edge of Forever

Philosophical Research Society, 910 Los Feliz Blvd., 8:30p.m.; $12

The Philosophical Research Society in Los Feliz houses its founder Manly P. Hall’s enormous library of ancient and esoteric texts, which could probably tell you all you need to know about Doomsday. Designed by Robert Stacey-Judd in the Mayan Revival style of architecture, the library is both an appropriate physical and spiritual backdrop to The Edge of Forever, a one-time-only chamber operetta performance with the wild Uporchestra. Elizabeth Cline is the librettist and director, working with her boyfriend Lewis Pesacov (Fool’s Gold), the composer. The project was crowd-funded entirely throughKickstarter.

Article courtesy of LAWeekly.com. Follow them on Twitter @LAWeeklyMusic, or like them at LAWeeklyMusic.

Have a Devilish Good Time This Halloween in LA

When it comes to Halloween, the City of Angels knows how to have a devil of a good time. From the world’s largest Halloween street party, to family-friendly Halloween events at museums and other cultural institutions, Los Angeles attractions, tours and parties offer fiendish fun and spooky scares for everyone.

October 7-31: Haunted Hayride at the Old Zoo

The theme for this year’s Haunted Hayride is “Through The Eyes Of A Child,” a frightening journey into the Old Zoo in the woods at Griffith Park. The twin daughters of zookeeper Ferdinand Clifton were rumored to suffer from violent nightmares, and their journals have provided the ghastly inspiration for an experience that includes 15-foot mascots of death, 400-year-old children, terrifying clowns, “The In-Between (Dark Maze),” and “The Human Menagerie” sideshow. The Haunted Hayride takes place Thursday-Sunday, October 7th through 31st. Hours are 7 p.m. to midnight on Friday-Saturday, and 7-10:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sunday & Halloween. Ticket prices vary, including options for Hayride only, Hayride & Dark Maze, VIP (front of line) and Group rates

Crime Scene Tours, Los Angeles

The newest offering from Starline Tours takes you to some of LA’s most infamous crime scenes, including the site of the North Hollywood bank robbery, the murder of Bonnie Lee Bakley (wife of Robert Blake), and the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. Each tour will be escorted by either off-duty or retired law enforcement personnel. In many cases, the person leading the tour investigated or responded to the original crime scene. The tour uses a custom-designed, 28-passenger bus equipped with video screens for viewing actual police and news helicopter footage of the event prior to arrival. The Crime Scene Tours bus departs from Grauman’s Chinese Theatre twice daily Thursday through Sunday, at 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Special evening Halloween Crime Scene Tours will run on Saturday-Monday, October 29-31. Tickets are $69, with Private Charter, Group rates, Student and Senior Citizen Discounts available.

October 29: Dead Celebrities Costume Ball at Madame Tussauds Hollywood

On Saturday, October 29th, Madame Tussauds Hollywood will host the Dead Celebrities Halloween Costume Ball, a one-of-a-kind event taking place on two floors, featuring hundreds of celebrity wax figures in a maze-like atmosphere. For one night only, Madame Tussauds Hollywood welcomes guests dressed as their favorite dead celebrities into a Halloween party complete with five open bars, complimentary dinner buffet, three dance floors, and VIP tables with A-list wax celebrities like Will Smith​, Angelina Jolie​, Justin Timberlake​ and more “seated” in their sections. DJs include SKAM artist Eric Cubeechee, Rico Rox (spinning House), and DJ Coolwhip with Hip Hop, Top 40 and Mash Up. Tickets available atWantickets.com.

October 31: West Hollywood Costume Carnaval

Each year, more than 500,000 people take to the streets of Santa Monica Boulevard to enjoy the largest Halloween street party in the world. Two of the evening’s highlights are the Halloween Costume Contest and crowning of an Honorary “Queen of the Carnaval.” Visitors can also expect live entertainment, food vendors, pumpkin-carving contests and children’s activities throughout the week previous. Admission is free and the event starts at 6 p.m. and runs until 11 p.m.

October 21-22: Día de los Muertos at Hollywood Forever

The 12th Annual Día de los Muertos festival returns to Hollywood Forever Cemetery on Saturday, October 22nd from 12 p.m. to midnight. This quintessential Los Angeles Halloween event takes place in the historic final resting place of Hollywood luminaries, and is based on the indigenous Mexican ceremony that celebrates life and ancient traditions, fused with modern culture. Featured performers include Astrid Hadad and Ruben Albarran (lead singer of Café Tacvba). The Ceremonial Altar Set-Up takes place on Friday, October 21st beginning at 5 p.m. General Admission is $10 per person; children under 6 years are admitted free.

October 23: Haunted Museum at the Natural History Museum

The theme for the 8th Annual Haunted Museum is “Fairy Tales and Scary Tales,” a family-friendly event taking place at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles on Sunday, October 23rd from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The museum invites guests to explore the enchanted exhibits and get lost in magical wonderlands and sinister woods. The Haunted Museum will also feature dancing men in tights, fairy face painting, and a scavenger hunt.

October 7-31: The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor

Unique among Halloween attractions, Dark Harbor takes you through the Queen Mary’s actual haunted areas. Thanks to the macabre minds behind some of Southern California’s biggest scream-fests, the scares clock in at over “45,000 per hour,” along with 160 monsters and 20-foot tall flames. Even if you survive the three shipboard and two onshore mazes, the food, drink and entertainment inside will ensure you’ll never want to leave.

October 22-23: Scarium of the Pacific

At this family-friendly weekend event, the Aquarium of the Pacific presents the annual children’s costume contest, the creepy coloring contest, magic shows, underwater pumpkin carving, spooky storytelling, kooky crafts, eerie animals in the Great Hall, and more.

Sept. 23-Oct. 31: Halloween Horror Nights

This year’s Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) at Universal Studios Hollywood brings together a Hollywood horror dream team to create the ultimate Halloween nightmare. Featuring six sinister mazes:

  • The Thing: Assimilation
  • Eli Roth’s Hostel: Hunting Season
  • Alice Cooper: Welcome to My Nightmare
  • Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses: In 3D ZombieVision
  • La Llorona: Villa De Almas Pedidas (“The Weeping Woman: Village of the Lost Souls”) imagined by Diego Luna
  • The Wolfman: The Terror of Talbot Hall

HHN also features five terror-filled “Scare Zones,” the return of “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure” and a fully re-imagined “Terror Tram” backlot studio experience, offering guests the chance to walk through Universal Studios historic movie sets. Universal’s most popular rides and attractions will also be open to guests, including “Jurassic Park In the Dark,” “The Simpsons Ride” and “Revenge of the Mummy – The Ride.”

Halloween Horror Nights kicks off on Friday, September 23 and continues on select nights through Halloween, Monday, October 31. The event will begin nightly at 7:00 p.m.; closing hours vary by night throughout the event.

Stay for all the screams and save!

Experience what fear fears the most! Book your Halloween Horror Nights Package today which includes 2 tickets to Halloween Horror Nights, Overnight Accommodations and Complimentary self parking.

For more activities not listed here, visit Discover La today! Our source for this blog.

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in LA 2011

May the “Luck Of The Irish” be with you this Thursday March 17th. Put on something green and grab the gang to celebrate St Patrick’s Day in LA because EVERYONE is Irish on St Patty’s Day! Where will you celebrate?

Downtown Los Angeles

St. Patrick’s Day Parade Downtown is an annual event. (2010)

The Young Dubliners will be providing a free concert in Pershing Square at noon.

The celebration continues at L.A. Live from 4-8-Irish Food & Drink, Mini Parade, and Irish Entertainment.

Universal Studios Citywalk has their “Green” on…

Howl at the Moon Hollywood is rocking Los Angeles! Our high-energy dueling pianos and amazing events make us the best seven-night party spot in party-focused Universal City Walk. Contact the local Hollywood Howl team at any time to book your next dueling pianos bash.

Start off your ST PATRICK’S DAY all weekend celebration
Thursday, March 17th at the RUMBA ROOM

No Cover Charge and drink specials all night long!!

When you have celebrated the whole night through,  a soft bed will waiting for you at Hilton Universal City. Check out the current hotel specials to truly make a night of it!

Local Irish Pubs in LA to Celebrate:

Molly Malone’s Irish Pub
575 S Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA‎ – (323) 935-1577

Tom Bergin’s Restaurant
840 S Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA‎ – (323) 936-7151

Irish Times Pub & Restaurant
3267 Motor Ave, Los Angeles, CA‎ – (310) 559-9648 b

Joxer Daly’s‎
11168 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA‎ – (310) 838-3745

Casey’s Bar & Grill
613 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA‎ – (213) 629-2353

Finn McCool’s
2702 Main St, Santa Monica, CA

Sonny McLean’s Irish Pub
2615 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA‎ – (310) 449-1811

O’Briens Irish Pub
2226 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA‎ – (310) 829-5303

4089 Lincoln Blvd, Marina Del Rey, CA‎ – (310) 821-6622

Ireland’s 32
13721 Burbank Blvd, Van Nuys, CA‎ – (818) 785-4031

Timmy Nolan’s Tavern
10111 Riverside Dr, Toluca Lake, CA‎ – (818) 985-3359

23rd Annual Hollywood Expo Returns on Wednesday, March 23rd

On March 23rd, 2011 the Hilton Los Angeles / Universal City hotel welcomes back the annual Hollywood Expo, hosted by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.

Hollywood’s top businesses, restaurants, hotels, and attractions will showcase their goods and services to hundreds of event planners, celebrity assistants, travel writers, concierges, and chamber members who are specifically looking for new and exciting services.

The Expo features menu samples from the area’s best restaurants, including the host venue’s signature restaurant, Cafe Sierra and executive Chef George Sit. Enjoy a variety of complimentary cocktails, and excellent networking opportunities!

The Hollywood Chamber is also currently seeking sponsors who would like optimum exposure at this signature event. As a sponsor, you will have a premium booth at the Expo, optimum signage at the Expo, and will be featured in all media and press releases. For more information on the 23rd Annual Hollywood Expo, please contact Kaylee Kiecker, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development.

Exhibit space is limited and available on a first come, first served basis.

When: Wednesday, March 23, 2011, from 5:00pm – 7:30pm
Where: Hilton Los Angeles / Universal City hotel, Sierra Grand Ballroom
Sponsorship Rates: Start at $500
Exhibitor Rates: Start at $375

Download Event Flyer

Staying in Los Angeles This Season? Check Out the Top 6 Things to do in LA for the Holidays

by F. Ron Smith on December 6, 2010 (TRAVEL TUESDAY)

“Stuck in LA for the Holidays?” You hear that phrase all of the time because people assume the best way to spend the holidays is back east where it is snowing or somewhere in a log cabin with a working fireplace.

The truth is, you can find many things to do in Los Angeles to get that good old holiday spirit while staying warm!  If you don’t want to make the drive to Anaheim and pay the admission price to celebrate the Holidays at Disneyland, check out six things to do in the local Los Angeles area that are just as fun and exciting.

tree1.  Grinchmas at Universal Studios Hollywood- Sing along with the Whos of Whoville in this musical festival full of holiday cheer. Experience Universal’s winter playground of real snow,celebrity readings of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, live performances and a spectacular tree lighting ceremony. Universal Studios Hollywood knows that the holidays are a time for giving, so they are currently offering a deal where if you buy a day, you get a 2nd day for free! For hotel packages, visit HiltonUniversal.com

2.  Outdoor Ice Skating- This is the 13th season for the LA“Downtown on Ice” skating rink at Pershing Square which is the heart of Los Angeles. You can ice skate in this beautiful outside skating rink every day through January 17th, 2011 for the amazingly low admission cost of $6.

3. The Grove- Enjoy the beautiful Holiday lights, enormous lit Christmas tree and Santa’s house at The Grove Shopping Center. Visit and take pictures with Santa (right in front of Barnes and Nobles) and listen to Christmas Caroling at the LA Farmers Market. This will help put you in the mood to do all of your Holiday gift shopping!

4.  Los Posada on Olvera Street– From December 16th to December 24th, you can participate in this historic and beloved Mexican Indian fiesta on Olvera Street. This is the perfect event for your entire family or a group of friends as you indulge in multiple cultures while enjoying a variety of holiday displays and entertainment. If you have children, make sure you do not miss the children’s piñata breaking, which begins at 6 p.m every night.

boat parade5.  Christmas Boat Parades- The cool thing about the holidays in LA is that we have more than just our houses to decorate…we have boats! Enjoy extravagant fireworks and amazing holiday light displays on the evening of December 11th at either the King Harbor Boat Parade in Redondo Beach, the Naples Christmas Boat Parade in Long Beach, or the annual Marina Del Rey Holiday Boat Parade where the theme for the boat parade is Christmas in Paradise.

6.  Bob Baker Marionette Theater- This is the perfect event to take your youngsters to during the holidays. Located in Silver Lake, the Bob Baker Marionette Theater has been operating since 1963 and is considered to be a true Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Landmark. Bob Baker, the ultimate puppet master, has been crafting his marionettes since the 1930s all over Hollywood and the big screen.  The show has been called the “Best Children’s Live Theatre.”

Now, why would you want to spend your holidays anywhere else besides LA when we have it all here? What are some of your favorite LA holiday activities and events? Please share your opinions below and share with us some other great ideas you may have. Cheers!

Photo courtesy of Kevin Cole’s Flickr and Falling Sky’s Flickr

Ron SmithF Ron Smith is a founding partner at Partners Trust Real Estate and lives with his family in Brentwood. He can be reached at Fron.smith@thepartnerstrust.com.

Celebrate ‘Grinchmas’ in the Entertainment Capital of L.A.

Grinchmas at Universal Studios Hollywood next to Hilton Universal City Hotel in CAFUN FRIDAY:

“Grinchmas” time is coming to Universal Studios Hollywood as The Entertainment Capital of L.A. prepares for a lively holiday season with the Grinch, his faithful dog Max, tons of fresh snow and a “Whoville Whobilation” at the original movie sets where the classic “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” was filmed.

Nightly tree-lighting ceremonies, celebrity readings of “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and encounters with a “Who’s Who” of Whoville characters will be part of the celebration, which expands this year to 18 days, beginning on December 11 and 12 and continuing daily from December 18 through January 2, 2011. “Grinchmas” is included in the price of theme park admission.

Grinchmas event at Hollywood theme park next to Hilton Los Angeles / Universal CityLarry Kurzweil, President, Universal Studios Hollywood, said: “‘Grinchmas’ has become a true holiday tradition, an event where families can enjoy a slightly irreverent approach to the season while still being thoroughly immersed in holiday spirit. Because we expect very strong attendance during Christmas week, we’re adding five dates to this year’s ‘Grinchmas’ schedule in response to the event’s growing popularity.”

Guests will find an immersive holiday atmosphere. A whimsical, curving “Grinchmas” tree will tower 60 feet above the center of a snow-covered “Grinchmas” winter wonderland and will be lit in a nightly ceremony that will feature a colorfully costumed “Whoville” choir caroling and spreading holiday cheer. The Grinch and his faithful dog Max will be on hand to meet fans and take memorable holiday photos. Families will also be able to enjoy traditional winter fun, romping together in a playground of snow and building their own snowmen.

“Grinchmas” will also provide fans of the blockbuster movie a close-up view of the original “Whoville” film sets, featured in the classic “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” aboard the world-famous behind-the-scenes Studio Tour. As the tram rolls to a stop amid the fanciful “Whoville” buildings, guests will experience a one-of-a-kind performance by “Whoville’s” residents re-enacting favorite scenes and songs from the film.

Guests who attend Universal Studios Hollywood‘s “Grinchmas” celebration will be able to stay at one of two local Universal City hotels.  Hotel packages and holiday deals enable each guest visit to become a full seasonal experience, with additional time to liesurely peruse CityWalk’s shopping and entertainment, among other treasured Hollywood highlights. The Hilton Los Angeles / Universal City hotel offers all the best of the Hilton brand in a convenient location with a complimentary shuttle to and from the theme park and nearby CityWalk.

More information, including holiday promotional offers and information regarding celebrity readings of “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” will be available at www.UniversalStudiosHollywood.com.

Still Making Halloween Plans? Here is a Few More Ideas

For those of us still planning their entertainment this week, here is a few more great locals ideas. In Los Angeles there is a little something for everyone, no matter what you are in the mood for. For more information on local theme park Halloween events and attractions  see the post on Halloween’s Best Haunted Attractions in Southern California.

  • KROQ’s Bleed It Out Blood Drive – Hosted in conjunction with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center at the Universal Studios Globe Theater, near the entrance to the theme park.  (10/28)
  • Griffith Park’s Haunted Hayride – Take your chances on a tractor drawn hay-filled wagon as it makes its way through the forest filled with scary surprises including the “Carnival of Souls” and “Haunted Haymaze.” (10/28 – 10/31)
  • Cinefamily Heavy Metal Halloween Party & Fundraiser – As is our yearly tradition on Hallows’ Eve, the Cinefamily’s sold its soul to rock n’ roll, and joined forces with our Dark Lord to throw the best Halloween party/Fundraiser ever — heavy metal style. (10/30)
  • Halloween Long Beach – Official Comic Con Costume Party hosted at the Shore Ultra Lounge in Long Beach. Entertainment from four different DJs and performances by d Too $hort, the Lowkeys, Shiny Toy Guns, & T Mills.
  • Dare to Bare III – Sexy Halloween Party and CD Release event presented by Exotifit and Maria Amor to benefit Lullalee’s Literacy for Children organization. Event includes red carpet entrance, fashion show and party after. (10/30)
  • 11th Annual “Dia de Los Muertos” celebration – This year’s family-friendly celebration coincides with the Mexican Independence Bicentennial and Revolution Centennial, so arrive dressed as your favorite icon from those eras for prizes.Located at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery (10/30)
  • Halloween Bash with DJ Julius – Presented by Hot Spot Entertainment and located here at the Hilton Los Angeles / Universal City hotel. Pre-sale cover is $20 per person to party all night long. Dress to impress and win prizes for best costume. VIP bottle service also available upon request. (10/30)
  • GHOULA & Million Dollar Theater – GHOULA (Ghost Hunters of Urban LA) and theater historian Nick Matonak want you to break on through to the other side. Document anything out of the ordinary & share your spooky findings. (10/30)
  • Old Town Pasadena Halloween Celebration – Bring your little ghosts and goblins to a fun and safe Halloween in Old Pasadena and at One Colorado. Join in on a frightfully good time with activities throughout the area. (10/30 & 10/31)

And because we are true fans of Universal City and Universal Studios… do not forget that the Halloween Horror Nights event is still running this week through Sunday. Stop by and visit us here at the Hilton Los Angeles / Universal City for a little respite from the terrror. Hotel packages are still available for those that would like to make a weekend of it.