In my humble sentimental opinion, the best gifts are often the ones that you can experience together – whether it puts you out of your comfort zone, you pick up a new skill, or you fail and you get the opportunity to laugh at each other (let’s be honest, that’s usually the best part).
Luckily for those of us who reside in or near this great city of Los Angeles, there are SO many experiential activities and thus gifts to choose from. I’ve put together the list below to get you started – now go forth, and make those memories together:
Eatlay’s Century City outpost has a huge range of super fun (and delicious) cooking classes – so fun, in fact, I’ve already been to two classes! From pizza to pasta to tiramisu, there are so many different options to learn – and, let’s be honest, EAT. I can’t recommend this enough!
As if the swan peddle boats at Echo Park Lake weren’t cute enough for day, did you know they recently started offering nighttime rides? I KNOW. Starting at sunset, these little cuties get all lit up, and for $11 per adult per hour, you can take them for a spin with gorgeous view of LA. I highly recommend grabbing dinner at walkable Ostrich Farm or drinks at Bar Calo after to complete the night.
Perhaps the most fun I’ve ever had? This is truly an amazing gift to enjoy with anyone special in your life. Included in the price? 12 cocktail tastings and delicious tapas food throughout the experience – and it is truly an experience. The bartenders are practically part mixologist, part performer as they craft the most insane cocktails you’ve ever seen (or tasted).
Honestly, can you think of anything more Christmas-y and cute than watching She & Him perform Christmas music at the gorgeous Ace Theatre? You cannot. And I cannot. Grab a friend or significant other for an early Christmas gift / celebration!
The perfect gift for your mom, sister, or friend, treat yourselves to an authentic afternoon tea, without the expense of flying to London. This place is so damn charming I can hardly stand it. The best part? After you enjoy your tea, you can stroll the insanely gorgeous gardens.
The Dresden is one of my favorite unsung heroes of the east side, particularly if you go Tuesday – Saturday, when you can also enjoy the sweet sounds of Marty & Elayne, LA’s longest-running lounge act. Trust me, you just have to see those two. Make it a full night with drinks and a meal in the dining room, in its glorious 1960s-swank décor, which you may recognize from scenes in Swingers and Mad Men. It’s a goddamned LA institution.
Treat yourself and a friend to a wreath-making workshop at Rolling Greens Nursery. The teachers at Rolling Greens will lead you through a workshop to make a unique, artisanal wreath – not only do you get to bring the final product home, but you’ll both leave with a new skill (because seriously have you ever tried a YouTube tutorial on one of those? Nope).
Okay, okay, I might be hoping to find this present under my tree. Take a friend along for the truly magical experience of a (guided) ride through Griffith Park on horseback. If you splurge for the BBQ tour, you’ll get a sunset view and a delicious BBQ dinner (drool).
In town December 3 – January 5, tickets to this classic ballet are the perfect gift for one of your best girlfriends, mom, mother-in-law, or to tell your manfriend to take you to! The Music Center in Downtown LA is also gorgeous at night around the holidays, so be sure to take a pre- or post-show stroll around the grounds to enhance the night.