CicLAvia: The huge, streets-closed-to-cars event, a happening that regularly draws well over 100,000 participants, has explored a few Los Angeles neighborhoods quite thoroughly -- hello Wilshire, hello downtown -- and it is ready to add a new boulevard to its get-to-know-you list: Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, on Sunday, Dec. 7. The first-ever South LA CicLAvia will also take in a bit of Central, and, along the way, music, food trucks, community booths, and so many shops and spots to get acquainted with. Also? Hellooo, perfectly chill pedaling weather.
Grinchmas Debuts: We don't possess a map to Whoville, and we're fairly sure we don't have the right sleigh to get there, anyway, but Universal Studios Hollywood can help us find that enchanted, snowy land. Well, the snow at Grinchmas might be faux, but the songs, stories, and other Seussian convivialities are real. Plus, the Grinch in-person. Or in-Grinch, rather? And cute Max the dog, too. The trees start to twinkle on Dec. 6, and the final night? Jan. 3 (though check the calendar, as Grinchmas only runs on particular days).
Holiday Markets: Grand Central Market is filling its airy space with a bevy of food and retail pop-ups, plus music, too, on Saturday, Dec. 6 and Sunday, Dec. 7. And Artisanal LA is making its way to Holly Street in Pasadena on Saturday, Dec. 6. For sale? Handmade wearables, soaps, gourmet edibles, and more. Did someone just say "stocking stuffer"? Oh, wait: We did.
Downtown Excursions: Dig a lively scavenger hunt challenge but seeking a fresh twist? Escape Room LA marks its first weekend on 8th Street. The upshot? You're led into "a mysterious room, filled with both traditional and unusual objects." Then the door is locked -- eek! And at The Theatre at Ace Hotel, on Sunday, Dec. 7 at 2 p.m.? Comedian Louis C.K. appears at a "Putney Swope" screening (it's a fundraiser for Cinefamily).
Julefest Opens: You'd be hard-pressed to find a town, anywhere in this country, that looks more Christmassy on practically any ol' day of the year than most cities do in December, than Solvang. The windmill-whimsical Dutch burg, a wine country centerpiece, knows its cute factor, and ups it by at least 20 -- or maybe 30? -- come December. A tree lighting, decorations, a wine walk, and all of those delicious aebleskivers complement the cozy Christmas doings.