SNOW IS FOR SUCKERS: CLASSIC LA WINTER GEMS WITHOUT THE FROSTBITE

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Yeah, yeah, we’ve heard it all before: LA doesn’t have winters and for Angelenos, the idea of cold falls somewhere at about 60 degrees. Beanies and layering may not be a necessity, but don’t count us out for winter-appropriate-slash-festive activities. Check out how we at LA CANVAS enjoy our city this season with the classics, holiday booze, quality scenes and choice people to indulge with  — true Angeleno style.

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SKYBAR’S BOOZY HOT CHOCOLATE
WHAT: Liquor in our hot chocolate isn’t usually our norm, but it’s about time we moved on from the powdered version to a more refined one. Our favorite is out of the Mondrian Hotel’s open-air lounge’s new winter-themed cocktails. Skybar’s boozy hot chocolate adds a kick to a classic, with Don Julio Anejo tequila and Grand Marnier but doesn’t shy away from the creamy, chocolatey goodness that we crave on these “chilly” LA winter nights. While you’re at it, try the other lodge-inspired cocktails — the Spiced Apple Cider and Irish Coffee — on your next visit. Nothing warms us up like a little alcohol | More Info
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HEN: Seasonal
WHERE: Skybar | 8440 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069

LA DOWNTOWN ON ICE
WHAT: Let’s keep it real, going ice-skating is probably the closest we’ll get to having a real winter in Los Angeles – nothing freezes (outdoors) in downtown. While it’s not exactly be Rockefeller Square, you’ll be beneath the city’s skyscrapers. Our concrete jungle mixed in with a little ice is actually quite magical. | More Info
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HEN: November 14th – January 18th
WHERE: Pershing Square | 532 South Olive Street, Los Angeles, CA 90014

VOLUNTEER
WHAT: As much as day trips to the snow, hot chocolate, and ice skating are part of the winter holidays, so is giving back, and the notion always was: ‘giving is more rewarding than receiving.’ There are a number of ways to give back to the community, whether it’s donating money, goods or your time, volunteering at your local shelter is always rewarding. | More Info
WHEN: Always
WHERE: Fred Jordan Missions | 445 Towne Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90013

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HOT TODDIES AT DOMINICK’S
WHAT: Lodi dodi, we like to party… and stay warm simultaneously. Perhaps next to the boozy hot chocolate, our other favorite hot cocktail is a hot toddy — think of your favorite tea, add some honey, lemon, cinnamon, and your favorite whiskey and voila! We particularly like the toddies conjured up at Dominick’s in West Hollywood, and with this drink in hand next to a fireplace, you have a “cold” night that is complete | More Info
WHEN: Seasonal
WHERE: 8715 Beverly Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90048

LIGHT DISPLAYS ON RODEO DRIVE
WHAT: During the holiday season, our fair city’s beauty is magnified two-fold by the amount of light displays that go up: from the big tree at The Grove, the beach display in Long Beach, to the Tunnel of Lights in Reseda.  Our recommended display are the lights on Rodeo Drive. Not like Rodeo isn’t a vision all year around, but the lights make spending your hard earned cash on others that much more cheerful. The other upside to these lights are they make Angelenos actually appear merry and bright. | More Info
WHEN: November 24th – Mid January
WHERE: Rodeo Drive, between Santa Monica and Wilshire Boulevards

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BIG BEAR DAY TRIP
WHAT: Truth be told, Los Angeles weather is a gift and a curse — actually, it’s more of a gift than anything and the only curse is that those who enjoy having seasons, miss out. Luckily, for those that revel in anything other than beach weather, your white powder is only a two hour drive north. The peak is prime for skiing and hikers, and has several lodges for visitors to claim home for a weekend getaway | More Info
WHEN: Seasonal
WHERE: 43101 Goldmine Dr., Big Bear Lake, CA 92305

KOREAN DAY SPA
WHAT: Really, who is going to argue a day at the spa? The traditional Korean day spas — otherwise known as jjimjilbangs — takes guests through a thorough soaking, scrubbing and series of specific health-benefit treatments that include mineral saunas that contain natural elements and wellness properties. We know you have treated everyone around you, so what better way to treat yo’self than a day at the spa | More Info
WHEN: Always
WHERE: Wi Spa | 2700 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90057

POUR IT UP: NYE PARTIES, LIBATIONS AND DELICIOUS FEASTS

It’s that time of year again – when we Angelenos freak out about the weather and realize we’ve only got three weeks to achieve the new years resolutions we completely forgot about once our post-NYE hangovers hit. But never fear, with each new year comes a fresh opportunity to make resolutions-we-won’t-keep. So, let’s toast to 2014 the only way we know how: by eating, drinking and partying to our hearts delight. Scope our list below to pick your poison.

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OMFG! NYE Los Angeles w/ Boys Noize, Madeon & More
WHAT: If EDM and electro music sound like your idea of a good time,OMFG! will be the place to be to. Prepare to display your fist pumping talents in front of many.
WHEN: Tuesday, December 31st | Doors open at 4pm
WHERE: Shrine Expo Hall | 655 W. Jefferson Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90007
COST: $40 – $60

The Bazaar by Jose Andres
WHAT: If you can’t decide on an intimate dinner, or a raging party come NYE, get the best of both worlds. The 3rd Annual New Year’s Eve “Spanish Masquerade” will allow you to take part in traditional NYE festivities, but with a little less commitment to blackouts and more award winning food options.
WHEN: Tuesday, December 31st | 8pm – 1:30am
WHERE: 465 South La Cienega Boulevard
COST: $250 | limited number of advance-purchase tickets are available for $150 before December 26th | VIP table packages available.

Grand Park NYE
WHAT: Contrary to popular belief, LA has a park and this year it is adorned with large scale projections, art installations, food trucks and performances to satisfy your NYE cravings. You can also test your rebellious side by drinking in company with City Hall.
WHEN: Tuesday, December 31st | 6pm-12:30am
WHERE: Grand Park | 200 North Grand Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90012
COST: FREE

n/naka
WHAT: An ELEVEN course traditional Japanese New Year’s inspired menu with a complimentary clinking of champagne glasses at midnight – n/naka throws a party with a side of culture.
WHEN: Tuesday, December 31st
WHERE: 3455 S. Overland Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90034
COST
: $225 per person | $85 optional wine pairing | Call 310.836.6252 for reservations

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Chaya presents a Monte Carlo NYE
WHAT: As if you won’t be spending enough money on attire, alcohol, and appetizers, you can add a side of gambling to the mix.
WHEN: Tuesday, December 31st
WHERE: 525 S. Flower st. Los Angeles CA 90071
COST: $85 per person

Dustbowl Revival w/ The Record Company
WHAT: If you can’t be convinced to go to this event by the great performers, there is an open bar.
WHEN: Tuesday, December 31st | Doors open at 8pm
WHERE: The Mint LA | 6010 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035
COST: $80 adv | $90 day of | $280 (Package of 4 tickets)

KCRW Presents: The Black and White Ball
WHAT: If you spent your last NYE on the couch in sweats, stop being lazy and make a little effort. KCRW gives you music, dinner, and a reason to rock your best monochromatic look.
WHEN: Tuesday, December 31st | 9pm – 1:30am
WHERE: Viceroy Hotel | 1819 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401
COST: $175 General Admission | VIP Cabanas available

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RHONDAPOLIS at The Standard, DTLA
WHAT: The Standard is transformed into a polysexual playhouse with 13 floors, 4 discotheques, and 180 rooms  of pure party. Also, if you decide to book a room, you get to nurse a hangover by day drinking on The Rooftop.
WHEN: Tuesday, December 31st |  8pm- ???
WHERE: The Standard, Downtown LA | 550 S. Flower St. Los Angeles, CA 90071
COST: $30 – $50 | Rooms starting at $295 

Gordon Ramsay NYE Dinner
WHAT: Choose your level of gluttony, with an early three-course meal and a five-course availability for later in the evening. You still get the chance to hit up that downtown loft party after for a kiss with a stranger come midnight. But, if Gordon Ramsay’s vibes are right, there is an option to join in on a champagne toast right at your dinner table.
WHEN: Tuesday, December 31st | Three-course menu 5-8pm | Five-course menu 8:30-11:30pm
WHERE: 1020 N. San Vicente BLVD., West Hollywood, CA 90069
COST: $95 per person | $145 midnight champagne toast

Belle Epoque at Skybar
WHAT: What’s NYE without a little naughtiness? Get a skyline as a backdrop for the burlesque dancers, live music and DJs that will serve as your entertainment. But don’t take too much advantage of the open bar, we don’t want to be held responsible for any tragedies that could occur if you suddenly believe you could fly.
WHEN: Tuesday, December 31st | 8pm – 2am
WHERE: Mondrian Hotel | 8440 Sunset Blvd. West Hollywood CA
COST: $125 – $150

Boys Noize photo cred: Jerry Lin