Free: Union Station's Cocoa Concerts

Come for the sparkly south patio shows and a gratis hot beverage.

If you've ever dashed through Union Station clutching a beverage (and trying not to spill it as you hustled for your train), chances are good your drink was of the water or coffee ilk.

That's what plenty of commuters are busily sipping each morning at the Alameda Street landmark, a Art Deco-Mission Revival wonder that's been both a movie star and Southern California's main railway hub since its grand opening in 1939.

But the libation of choice at the tower-proud building will change up over three December nights, all Friday nights, when Union Station's first-ever Cocoa Concerts take the stage.

The free shows aren't fully comprised of songs about the sweet, seasonal drink (though there might be a few drinkly ditties in the mix); rather, the nights are all about great holiday-style songcraft from excellent regional acts.

Time each night? Six p.m. is go time, 8 p.m. is bow-thank-you-goodnight time.

As for the cocoa end of evening? There's a "cocoa bar" where the pay-nothing nomness will be on the chocolate-y flow. "Nomness," of course, means something that's full of nom, or deliciousness, and cocoa more than qualifies here.

Each of the nights is a bit different, with a holiday sing-along led by Music Companie on Dec. 9, some yuletide swing with the California Feetwarmers on Dec. 16, and La Picante's salsa-riffic Christmas rhythms on Dec. 23.


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This is all happening on the south patio, so bring a wrap or a jacket or hat; that cocoa may warm your hands, but your neck, arms, and head need some cozy love, too.

Also? Ugly holidays sweaters are encouraged attire (there's a contest, yep).

But do pack a cute hat, as the Naughty & Nice photo booth will record your outfit for prosterity. Also? Santa will be posing for selfies, so keep that in mind as you select your most chic stocking cap.

He'll be styling, of course. You should be styling, too.

Above all, show to all of this sweet freeness for a toy and help out the Spark of Love Toy Drive from the Southern California Fire Fighters. Nothing's sweeter than helping others out, not even a sweet seasonal drink.

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