How to keep warm in Los Angeles this holiday season

Find bright and seasonal things to do this winter using our guide on how to keep warm and feel cozy in LA.

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Turn LA into a Winter Wonderland this holiday season.

Turn LA into a Winter Wonderland this holiday season. Illustration by Jeff Lance


It's hard sometimes to feel cozy in sprawling LA. Even on the few winter days when it's actually cold here, warm, comfy spots are few and far between. But don't lose hope! You don't have to venture to freezing climes to find that comforting feeling—turn Los Angeles into your own Winter Wonderland with our guide on how to keep warm and feel cozy right here in the city.

Recommended: See more Christmas in Los Angeles

 

Rent a living Christmas tree

It seems a bit morbid to chop down a tree every year, then watch it die in your living room and discard it on the curb once you’re through with it. (Not to mention its negative effect on the environment.) Start a new tradition this year and rent a living tree—one that will be delivered to your door, then picked up again and replanted once the holidays are over. You can even rent the same tree year after year and watch it grow along with your family.

Sip some whiskey to warm your bones

There's no dearth of great whiskey bars in LA, but only a few have that rich, lodge-like feeling we look for on cold nights (all 8 of them). Seven Grand has all the prerequisites: plaid wallpaper, leather chairs, taxidermy, pool tables and more than 400 selections of whiskey (plus a knowledgeable staff to pour them). There's even a hot whiskey cocktail topped with marshmallows, just for the holiday season.

  1. Downtown
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If the carolers won't come to you, go to them

Okay, so maybe there aren't any chorus girls in muffs or mittens knocking on your door to bring yuletide cheer. But if caroling is what you're after, it does exist in LA. Check out the A Chanticleer Christmas or The Blind Boys of Alabama at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Sniff jars of holiday spices at the Spice Station

  • Price band: 1/4

This aromatic shop is stocked floor to ceiling with colorful jars containing more than 250 different spices, such as nutmeg, cinnamon, Tahitian vanilla and cloves. You could (and can) spend hours here, unscrewing jars, sniffing and tasting, or creating seasonal blends of your own.

  1. Silver Lake
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Go ice skating

Go ahead and glide on this ice-skating rink—the biggest in LA, right in the midst of Downtown skyscrapers and LA icons—and pretend there's snow on the ground at Pershing Square. Throughout the season, the square will play host to a plethora of free events, including a winter concert series, holiday festival and champion skating exhibitions, to name a few.

  1. Downtown 532 S Olive St
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Dine around a wood-burning oven

Milo + Olive is an ode to all things wood-baked. Think pizzas, porchetta and soul-warming dishes in cast irons. The hearty, rustic dishes here are ones you'll want to sink into on a cold day and the centerpiece of the open kitchen—sit at the bar for the best view—is the oven.

  1. Mid-City
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K&L Wine Merchants

Stock your wine cellar

Cozy up all winter with spicy California cabs, with the help of our list of the best wine stores in LA—also a great resource to find the perfect bubbly for your New Years celebration.

Take in the Downtown view al fresco (in December)

Order a glass of wine and sit fireside on Perch's trendy open rooftop, taking in a twinkling view of Downtown LA.

  1. Downtown
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Dig into hot comfort food on a cold day

Sometimes all you want to do on a cold day is heat up with some warm, gooey comfort food, and Tom Bergin's Tavern has it in spades—as soon as it reopens in late 2013. Try the anything that looks warm and comforting on the new menu, and top it all off with an Irish coffee, natch.

  1. Mid-City West
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