Dec. 1, 2019

Best Winter Weekend Getaways near Los Angeles

 

 

 

When people think LA, they immediately think about the year long sun and mild weather. A rarely discussed perk of living near Los Angeles is the proximity to world class mountains. Simply drive 2 hours and you have left behind the noise and warm LA weather, for freshly fallen snow. Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or a week long retreat, we have the best ski resorts to explore this winter. 

 

 

 

Snow Valley

 

Pack up the car and drive 2 hours and 30 minutes from LA to the Snow Valley Mountain Resort, tucked into San Bernadino National Forest. Snow Valley operates under a special permit from the United States Forest Service and is the oldest continually operating ski resort in Southern California. 

 

Nearly 100 years ago, the site was developed as a lumber mill and roadside resort — by the 1930s, slopes were developed for tobogganing and skiing. Snow Valley featured one of the first overhead cable ski lifts in the country, and today the mountain boasts 240 acres of skiiable terrain, including 12 lifts and two terrain parks.

Lift ticket pricing: $69–$85 for adults (ages 22–64); $59–$75 for young adult (ages 13–21); $29–$39 for children (ages 7–12); $59–$75 for seniors (ages 65–69).

 

 

 

Mountain High

 

Just 2 hours and 30 minutes from LA, Mountain High is a great option for a weekend getaway! According to Timeout Los Angeles, Hikers and skiiers began using the area currently known as Mountain High, along the CA-2, back in the 1920s, with extra attention being paid in 1929 when construction began on the world’s largest ski jump at the time in an attempt to attract a bid for the 1932 Winter Olympics. 

 

The resort has changes quiet a bit since its first year of operation in 1937, skiiers were hauled up the mountain with a rope tow. Today, the resort is split into three different areas, with lift tickets valid at each area and shuttles running between them.

Lift ticket pricing: $79–$84; free for children 6 and under and seniors 70 and older.

 

 

 

Bear Mountain & Snow Summit

 

Two of the more popular mountains near LA, are sister mountains Bear Mountain and Snow Summit, which are just 3 hours away from LA.

 

Snow Summit has a mid-sized resort, with 1,209 feet of elevation and 240 acres of skiable terrain. A majority of the runs at Snow Summit are Blues, but small beginner area is a great place to start for anyone who’s just learning.

 

While Snow Summit is for the beginners and the moderate skiiers, Bear Mountain nicknamed “the Park” for its irregular terrain. The mountain also offers an additional 24 traditional runs, mostly comprised of intermediate blues and blacks (only 15 percent of the mountain is designated for beginners). Bear Mountain boasts three main peaks, including Bear’s Peak, Southern California’s highest peak, served by a lift at just over 8,800 feet. 

Lift ticket pricing: $71–$109 for adults (ages 18–64); $58–$89 for teen (ages 13–17); $28–$44 for children (ages 5–12); $58–$89 for seniors (ages 65–79).

 

Nov. 25, 2019

Hanukkah Events in Los Angeles

 

 

 

Believe it or not, Los Angeles is home to a larger Jewish population than that of Jerusalem, which means that every single year we see a plethora of events to celebrate Hanukkah. This year, the holiday falls on December 22nd through December 30. Below, find a list of events to attend and fun things to do to celebrate Hanukkah!

 

 

 

Skirball Hanukkah Family Festival
The Skirball Hanukkah Family Festival, which takes place Sunday, December 15, honors the light of creativity with holiday with music, dance, and storytelling. 

 

Guests can get in the holiday spirit with musical performances by Klezmer Juice, hear classic Hanukkah tunes and folk music by fiddler and accordionist duo Zingarella, and be dazzled by capoeira performed by Dana Maman and Friends.The family friendly event also offers arts and crafts to keep your kiddos entertained. 

 

 

 

Menorah Lighting Ceremony

 

Head to Newport Beach on December 22nd for a free candle lighting to celebrate the holiday. 

 

Guests are invited to celebrate Hanukkah with festive traditions and sweet treats at a Menorah Lighting Ceremony hosted by Chabad Center for Jewish Life. The festivities include dreidels, Holiday donuts, balloon animals, face painting, gifts, crafts, and treats for children.

 

 

 

Hanukkah Fun at the Farmers Market

 

Bring your family to see a one of a kind menorah at the Farmers Market at The Grove. This giant Lego Menorah is a sight to see, especially for the family! Celebrate the first night of Hanukkah with music, story time, arts and crafts on the Market Plaza.  

 

On December 22nd, join the TNT Dunk Squad for a on of a kind menorah lighting. The TNT Dunk Squad features high flying trampoline acrobats, aerial stunts and spectacular slam dunks to entertain the entire family. In edition to the acrobats, the Hanukkah celebration on Hermosa Beach Pier features children's activities, holiday crafts, hot latkes & donuts, and a giant menorah lighting. 

 

 

 

Hanukkah Concert and Celebration

 

On December 6, the Malibu Jewish Center is celebrating its 20th annual Hanukkah concert celebrating the Festival of Light with a concert. This concert, which is open to the public, features the MJC&S Choir & Orchestra and special guest magician Eric Buss.

 

Nov. 18, 2019

Food Banks in Los Angeles to Donate to this Holiday Season

 

One in five people in Los Angeles County experiences food insecurity. This holiday season, help ensure that no one goes hungry by giving back to the community. Below, we have listed some of the best food pantries and food drives in Silicon Beach and Beyond to donate to!

 

The LA Food Bank

The Los Angeles Food Bank has been fighting hunger since 1973. Over the past 4 decades, The LA Food Bank has given over 1.1 billion pounds of food to those in need. With the help of 37,000 volunteers annually and an agency network of more than 600 partner agencies, the food banks serves more than 300,000 people on a monthly basis. 

 

Approximately one-quarter of the food donated to the LA Food Bank goes to children, and roughly one-fifth goes to older adults. It is estimated that only 10% of the food goes to the homeless, instead, the majority of the food going to low-income families and individuals who sometimes struggle to make ends meet in the expensive Los Angeles County.

 

Just $100 provides $400 meals to those in need! To donate to the LA Food Bank and help keep bellies full this holiday season, click here! 

 

World Harvest Food Bank

The World Harvest Food Bank is different from others in the area because it acts just like a supermarket. For $40, people and need can receive up to two carts full of groceries. Don’t have the $40? No problem. The owners exchange 4 hours of work for the cost of the groceries. 

 

World Harvest Food Bank operates one branch facility in Downtown Los Angeles, with 200+ partner agencies, including food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and after school programs for children. The Food Bank assists families and individuals in 58 counties within the state of California and they currently distribute an average of 25 million pounds of food.

 

To donate to Work Harvest Food Bank, click here! 

 

The Westside Food Bank 

Westside Food Bank is an independent, non-profit corporation that was founded in 1981. The goal of the Westside Food Bank is to provide food to social service agencies on the Westside of Los Angeles County.

 

According to the Westside Food Bank website, the food donated “often enables low-income people to stay in their homes, deterring the problem of homelessness, because it saves them from having to make the agonizing choice between paying for rent or food when they can’t afford both.”

 

The Westside Food Bank accepts both monetary and food donations! To learn more about both click here! 

Nov. 11, 2019

Best Restaurants for Thanksgiving Dinner in Santa Monica

 

Don’t feel like cooking this year? That’s okay! We have a list of some of our favorite restaurants in Santa Monica to go to on Thanksgiving — and one that’s a great treat for Mom if she doesn’t feel like cooking the day before Thanksgiving too! 

 

Huckleberry Bakery and Cafe

Looking for a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner but don’t feel like cooking? Then Huckleberry Bakery and Cafe is the place to go! They are offering a full-scale Thanksgiving menu to pick up the week leading into the holiday. For entrées, sides and starters, Huckleberry is serving Creekstone Farm braised brisket, sweet potato mash, Chimichurri roasted carrots with breads, rolls and biscuits to name a few. Huckleberry is also serving an assortment of sweets, such as pumpkin pie, double crust apple pie, gluten-free vegan apple berry crumble pie, chocolate pecan pie, turkey-shaped ginger cookies and more. All Thanksgiving catering orders must be placed by 5:00pm Thursday, November 21st and picked up on Thursday, November 28th 9am-12pm. You can also order pieces À la carte so grandma will never know you didn’t make that turkey stuffing! 

 

1 Pico

Don’t feel like eating at home this year? Then head down to the beach and enjoy dinner with a view at 1 Pico. The prix-fixe menu is $110 and features your choice of Appetizers, Entrees, and Desserts. The menu includes, but is not limited to, roasted delicata squash, organic heritage turkey, braised short ribs, pumpkin cheesecake, and chocolate pecan cake. For a full list of the Thanksgiving offerings, click here! 

 

Stella Barra Pizzeria

Okay, let’s face it, no one *really* wants pizza on Thanksgiving, and Stella Barra knows that. They also know that no one really wants to cook the day before the largest cooking holiday of the year! That’s why Stella Barra has a happy hour on Wednesday, November 27th that will make your wallet, and your stomach, very happy! From 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM get their famous Thin Sin Pizzas, Sicilian Focaccia Pizza (by the slice!) and Garlic Truffle Fries for discounted prices, $3-4 beers, $5 wines by the glass, and $6 drink specials. Order $20 Bottles of Awesome Wine and the new Really Big Cocktail which serves 2-4 friends for $30. Please note, Stella Barra will be CLOSED on Thanksgiving Day, November 28 — which is fine because we have plenty of other places on this list to go to on Thanksgiving Day! 

 

 

Nov. 3, 2019

Small Business Saturday Shopping in Silicon Beach

 

Small Business Saturday in Silicon Beach. Do not forget about "Main Street" Store while shopping this Holiday Season in Silicon Beach.

 

This year, forget about Black Friday and Cyber Monday! Instead of supporting big corporations, give your money back to the community with Small Business Saturday. Below, we have listed some of our favorite little shops in Silicon Beach to support on Small Business Saturday!

 

About Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday is this Saturday, November 30th. Founded by American Express as part of their “Shop Small nationwide movement”, Small Business Saturday has become a staple holiday shopping day in most communities. The day dedicated to supporting small businesses and and giving your money back into the community. Silicon Beach is home to many of amazing small, independent businesses, and is the perfect place to celebrate Small Business Saturday! 

 

 

Stone Candles

There is always one person in your life who is impossible to buy for! Whether it is your boss, a child’s teacher, or your mother in law — you can always find a gift at Stone Candles in Santa Monica. Stock up on hand-crafted candles, melting oils with aromatherapy benefits and soaps designed to look like crystals. And if you prefer to personalize your gift, Stone Candles hosts workshops where you can design your own candle label and choose from hundreds of oils to create a custom candle scent! 

 

Stone Candles
1660 Lincoln Blvd, Ste 200
Santa Monica, CA 90404
310.559.0133

 

The General Store

Looking for that one unique gift for the person in your life who has everything? The General Store is the ultimate spot to pick up thoughtful and creative items for everyone on your gift list! If you can’t find the perfect gift to give, buy a gift certificate so that your friends and family can shop local and pick out their own clothing, plants, books household items and more, from The General Store! 

 

General Store
1801 Lincoln Blvd
Venice, CA 90291
310.751.6393

 

Montana Avenue 

Okay, this might not be a “small business” but every year, Montana Avenue in Santa Monica hosts #SmallBusiness Saturday. The Montana Avenue Merchants Association, Buy Local Santa Monica and Santa Monica Travel & Tourism are coming together to bring you the perfect holiday gifts. Don't miss holiday shopping and sidewalk sales in many small shops in Santa Monica.

 

For a full list of local businesses in Santa Monica, visit the Buy Local Santa Monica website.

 

Oct. 30, 2019

Everything You Need to Know About Whale Watching this Fall

 

 

 

From October through mid-March more than 25,000 Gray Whales swim along the California coastline. Gray whales migrate 6,000 miles south every October from their feeding grounds in the Bering Strait to mate and calve in the warm lagoons of Baja, Mexico. This means that if you take a whale watching tour in the Fall or Winter, you’re far more likely to get a glimpse at these majestic creatures. Below we have listed some of the best places across the California coast to see the Gray Whale migration.

 

 

 

Newport Landing

 

Newport Landing offers year round whale watching cruises multiple times daily departing from Newport Bay, Newport Beach. The Newport Landing website gives a comprehensive guide to what kind of whales you could expect to see depending on the month you are going whale watching. The website states “Although a little early, later in the month may be the fist viewings of gray whales as they head south on their annual migration.” You can also see other amazing creatures this time of year including Blue Whales and Finback Whales which according to the site “can be quite numerous” throughout November. For tickets and more information on whale watching excursions, click here! 

 

 

 

LA Waterfront Cruises

 

The closest to us here in Silicon Beach, is LA’s premiere whale watching company “LA Waterfront Cruises.” The company offers daily cruises with courteous, experienced crew and knowledgeable Aquarium of the Pacific marine mammal educators. According to their website, this time of year feature “Blue whales, the largest living animal on the planet.” We are also just starting to being the Gray Whale migration which will begin to pass the Southern California coastline throughout the end of Fall. Throughout the year, you can also expect to see Fin Whales, Orcas, Minke Whales and more! To learn more about this tour, and order tickets online, click here. 

 

 

 

Davey’s Locker

 

Davey’s Locker in Newport Beach provides whale watching and deep sea fishing excursions year round. Located approximately 40 minutes from downtown Los Angeles and just minutes from most of Orange County, Locker is the most popular option for those considering whale watching in Southern California. “Along with viewing the giant blue whales and the annual gray whale migration, finback, minke, humpback, and even killer whales can be viewed on one of Davey’s Locker 2- 2 ½ hour whale watching cruises,” state’s their whale watching site.  To purchase tickets to their whale watching cruise click here! 

 

Oct. 23, 2019

All you need to know about Venice Afterburn

 

 

Photo via Venice Afterburn Facebook Page

 

This November, gather for the yearly “Venice Afterburn” — the official Burning Man regional event. Below, is everything you need to know about this years festival. 

 

 

 

When and where is this year’s festival?

 

This years festival takes place at Windward Plaza in Venice Beach on Friday, November 1 through Sunday, November 2. On Friday the event begins at 6:00pm. On Saturday and Sunday the event begins at 11:00am. The festival ends at 10:00pm each day. 

 

 

 

What is the Venice Afterburn?

 

The Venice Afterburn is a daytime art and music festival that takes place every September in Venice Beach, California. Artists are invited to bring their art, cars, burner bikes, interactive installations and more for three magical days by the beach. The event is free and family friendly, and runs each day until 10:00pm. 

 

 

 

How do I participate?

 

The Venice Afterburn is currently accepting submission for the 2019 festival. Submit your art car, installation, performance, sculpture and any other form of visual art to werockvenice@gmail.com and they will get back to you! 

 

If you are interested in volunteering, you can fill out a form here. 

 

 

 

Can I sponsor this event?

 

The Venice Afterburn is a sponsor free event. If you wish to donate instead, go to https://www.veniceafterburn.com/ and click on 'Donate'.

 

 

 

What if I have never been to Burning Man? Can I still attend this event?

 

Absolutely! The Venice Afterburn is open to everyone that enjoys art, music and being part of a community. 

 

 

 

Why do people celebrate Afterburn each year? 

 

People love Burning Man and everything that it represents. Each man Burning Man creates a temporary city in the Nevada desert dedicated to community, art, self-expression and self-reliance. The Regional Networks, such as Afterburn, aim to keep the Burning Man culture alive all year round.

 

Oct. 13, 2019

All you need to know about Trick-or-Treating in Silver Strand

If you live in Silicon Beach, then you already know that Silver Strand is the place to be for trick-or-treating. Each year the entire area transforms into a spooky, halloween celebration, complete with witches, ghosts and ghouls. If you don’t know anything about Silver Strand’s Halloween spectacular, then keep on reading as we break down everything you need to know.

 

About Silver Strand 

The Silver Strand is a coveted area of Marina del Rey that spans only 2 blocks wide and 10 blocks long. Locals have grown to cherish this unique little neighborhood. Accessed from Via Dolce by car and the Light House Bridge by foot this little neighborhood is one of a kind. 

 

History of Silver Strand Halloween

 

The Annual Silver Strand Halloween Celebration began 3 decades ago when homes on the Strand were few and far between. Many of the new residents lived too far away from traditional trick or treat sites to take their children to, so they figured out a way to bring the fun to Silver Strand. 

 

At the request of his young daughter, homeowner John Conner took initiative and decorated his garage as a haunted house — a tradition that other homeowners quickly adopted. 

Eventually the event became the annual extravaganza that it is today, attracting families not only from the Silver Strand, but from adjacent communities as well. 

 

Why is Silver Strand so Popular?

 

Apart from the Halloween extravaganza which attracts people from all over, Silver Strand’s popularity stems from the fact that it is a safe place for families and their children to explore and trick or treat. The safety paired with the abundance of things to see and do in the neighborhood in October creates a perfect storm for Halloween. 

 

When do the festivities begin? 

 

Each year festivities begin appearing on Halloween night around 5:30pm. The crowd usually begins as a trickle, then a stream and finally a mass of people. The night typically ends around 9:00pm. 

 

Dress Code?

 

You can dress spooky or pretty, princess or ghoulish, dead or alive — it doesn’t matter as long as you don’t come as you are! Instead, come as you want to be! 

Oct. 6, 2019

Top 5 Reasons To Visit Los Angeles in the Fall

 

 

Los Angeles is gorgeous all year long, but there are definitely some perks of visiting in the Fall as opposed to other seasons! Below is our list of reasons why you should check out LA in the Fall!

 

1) It’s the perfect temperature

Los Angeles is known for it’s beautiful sunny skies, but it definitely packs on the heat in the summer time. By the time Fall rolls around, the heat begins to subside and we are left with gorgeous, sunny days in the 70’s and 80’s. 

 

Whether you decide to take a hike or enjoy a day at one of the local amusement parks, you will be thankful that you decided not to come to LA in the dog days of summer.

 

2) It’s the perfect time of the year to go to the theme parks

There are 2 reasons why the Fall is the perfect time of the year for the local theme parks! First of all, kids are back in school, so the lines at Universal and Disney are much shorter.

 

Secondly, from mid-September through early November both Universal and Disney are decorated for Halloween. And if you come in after the second week of November, then the parks are both decorated for Christmas! 

 

Universal Hollywood is also known world-wide for it’s Halloween Horror Nights, where they add terrifying haunted mazes throughout the park. Come for the shorter lines, stay for the scares!

 

3) It’s the Gray whale migration season

Though many different types of whales swim along the California coastline, the most common are the Gray whale. Gray whales migrate 6,000 miles south every October from their feeding grounds in the Bering Strait to mate and calve in the warm lagoons of Baja, Mexico. This means that if you take a whale watching tour in the Fall you’re far more likely to get a glimpse at these majestic creatures. 

 

4) Oktoberfest is taken very seriously

There are plenty of Oktoberfest events in Los Angeles, but Alpine Village’s festival is the most talked about. The oldest Oktoberfest celebration in Southern California, Alpine Village knows how to celebrate this month-long event. From October 4 through October 27, expect HofBrau beer (imported directly from Munich), pork schnitzel, sausages, German baked goods, and all the Bavarian singing and dancing you could ever want.

Sept. 29, 2019

The Best Halloween Events in Silicon Beach

 

 

Halloween is just around the corner, and we have a list of some of the best and spookiest events happening in Silicon Beach and the surrounding Los Angeles area! Check out below for more details. 

 

Santa Monica Halloween Masquerade

On October 26, head to Senator Jones for on of the most talked about Halloween parties in Santa Monica. 

 

Grab a mask, throw on your best costume, and spend your night dancing to hits from the 90s through today. 

 

General Admission tickets are just $20, VIP packages also offered. The Silver VIP Package includes a reserved table, admission for 5 people, and 1 premium bottle. The Gold VIP Package includes a reserved booth: admission for 8 people, and 2 premium bottles. The last package, the Platinum VIP packages, includes a large booth, admission for 12 people and 3 premium bottles.

 

To get your tickets to this one of a kind halloween party, click here. 

 

 

Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood

Open on select nights now through November 2nd, Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood is one of the most frightening events in all of Los Angeles.

 

Universal Studios created the Horror Genre, so you know that when they say its intense, they mean it. This year, the theme park brings Academy Award-winning filmmaker Jordan Peele’s recent horror flick, Us, to life with a terrifying maze. Other spine-chilling maze themes include Stranger Things, Ghostbusters, Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, Killer Klowns From Outer Space, Creepshow, Holidayz in Hell, and AMC’s The Walking Dead Attraction. 

 

To buy your tickets, click here!

 

Freeform’s Halloween House

The TV network behind the iconic “13 Nights of Halloween” is bringing favorites like Hocus Pocus and Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas to life! 

 

Guests will first step through the Halloween Town tree portal to enter the event. There guests will be able to gamble with Oogie Boogie and pose in front of the spiral hill while mingling with the Sanderson Sisters’ cottage in the Addams Family living room. 

 

Tickets are $27 from 4:00pm to 5:30pm and $37 from 6:00pm onward (21+). For more information about the event, click here.

 

Los Angeles Haunted Hayride - Griffith Park Old Zoo

The legend goes that the area surrounding the "Old Zoo" and "B Rock" in Griffith Park is one of the most paranormally active sites in California. This year, it is once again the site of the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride. 

 

From Saturday, September 28 through Saturday, November 2, enjoy a reimagined haunted hayride through the park. This year’s theme is Midnight Falls, an eerie and mysterious village set in 1985, where it is always Halloween. The event features the “Midnight Falls Town Square”, “Midnight Mortuary Haunted House”, “Roadkill Ranch”, “Trick-or-Treat”, the popular “Haunted Hayride”, and three short-play escape rooms.

 

For more information about the event, click here.