The first whisperings of the holiday season arrive in Los Angeles this week. From visiting with Santa to ice-skating in Pershing Square, cold weather lovers can relish the changing of the seasons. Don’t miss the annual AFI FEST, wrapping this week, as well as this month’s Downtown ArtWalk, focusing on street art and murals.
AFI FEST, LA’s longest running international film festival, is back, featuring nightly red-carpet galas, film screenings, conversations, and tributes to the best international cinema from modern and emerging filmmakers. Each day’s events feature dozens of screening opportunities mid morning through the evening; free tickets can be printed from home in advance.
Adventure to Santa
100 W Broadway #700
Glendale, CA 91210
It might only be the beginning of November, but Santa’s already in town and he, along with your family’s favorite Shrek and DreamWorks characters, can’t wait for you to visit. So much more than just another mall Santa visit, the immersive experience allows kids to build (and ride!) a virtual sleigh to visit Santa. Acrobats, stilt walkers, and live music help add to the festive theme. Parents will love that the free experience has an online reservation system so there is no waiting in line!
Restaurant Opening: Kye’s
1518 Montana Ave.
Santa Monica, CA 90403
For tasty, healthy, and convenient meals, consider stopping in at Santa Monica’s super-casual Kye’s, which opened last week on Montana Avenue. Don’t miss their one-of-a-kind KyeRito, a portable wrap that showcases a medley of premium, locally sourced fare in four categories: breakfast, deli style, classic comfort, and Asian-inspired. Vegetarian, vegan, macrobiotic, Paleo, raw, and kid-friendly options are available.
Celebrate National Pizza Day
Michael’s Pizzeria on Naples Island
5616 E. 2nd Street
Long Beach, CA 90804
This lesser known holiday reminds America to pay homage to one of its most popular meals: the pizza. Visit Michael’s Pizzeria today only, at either of the Long Beach locations, for a free dessert (including gelato, cannolis, pizzetta alla nutella, and tiramisu) after uploading a selfie with your favorite pizza with the tag #MichaelsPizzeria.
Seasonal Opening: Holiday Ice Skating Rink
Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square
532 Olive St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Opening tonight, the 17th annual Holiday Ice Rink at Pershing Square will be open through January 19, 2015. Skate under the sun, stars, and skyscrapers at LA’s largest outdoor skating rink, which also features the smallest admission price in the area. Throughout the season, don’t miss DJ Thursday nights, skating exhibitions, Snoopy on Ice, and themed skate sessions. #HolidayIceRinkDTLA
Art Walk Lounge
634 S. Spring St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013
This month’s Downtown ArtWalk focuses on murals and public art, including street art, a unique medium that has garnered as much criticism as respect. The Historic Core Mural Tour, which kicks off tonight, will take a look at great art pieces (and often overlooked ones) that adorn the city’s walls and buildings while interacting with the creators of many murals at the same time. 6pm.
CAFE del REY
4451 Admiralty Way
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
Head to Marina del Rey’s iconic waterfront restaurant for a one-night-only seaside feast featuring Healdsburg’s La Creme Winery, known for their cool-climate varietals including Chardonnay, Pino Noir, and Pinot Gris. Executive Chef Chuck Abair’s menu will feature hearty dishes such as the Lamb Loin with celery root, mushrooms, and verjus, and will finish on a sweet note with Smoked Pear, bread pudding, kataifi, and citrus sabayon.
Get Your PHIL
Walt Disney Concert Hall
111 S. Grand Ave.
Join the LA Philharmonic for their popular “Get Your PHIL” dinner and concert package, offered on select nights through the 2015 season. Tonight, make your choice of a prix-fixe menu at either Rivera, serving up a salmon steak with black lentils, or Faith & Flower, with roasted chicken breast with saffron flavored rice. After dinner, enjoy complimentary shuttle to the Walt Disney Concert Hall to enjoy an evening of Ravel and Elgar, including Ravel’s gorgeous evocation of Spain and Elgar’s much loved masterpiece.
The Lost Studio
130 South La Brea Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Marsha Norman’s gripping drama will keep audiences at the edge of their seats as they watch a mother attempt to keep her daughter from committing suicide. “Night, Mother” which won the Pulitzer Prize, is eloquent, and darkly humorous; it is considered one of the most powerful contemporary dramas ever written.
Los Angeles Master Chorale
Walt Disney Concert Hall
111 S. Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Join the Los Angeles Master Chorale, led by Artistic Director Grant Gershon, as they present an all-a cappella program of soaring Renaissance choral gems just perfect for the perfect acoustics of Disney Hall. Some of the pieces to be performed include William Byrd’s Sing Joyfully, Josquin des Prez’s Ave nobilissima creatura, John Taverner’s Western Wind Mass, Thomas Tallis’s If Ye Love Me and Orlando di Lasso’s O Crux Splendidior, and other 16th and 17th century works.