LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- One of the best things about living in a creative place like Los Angeles is that it makes for a beautiful and exciting holiday season! Here's our 2018 guide to the best things to see and do, festive foods to eat, and great L.A.-centric gifts to give!
KNOTT'S MERRY FARM
Take a trip back in time to Christmas in the old west, where the bells are ringing and the carolers are singing once again at Knott's Merry Farm, now through Jan. 6, 2019! This year's twinkly transformation has more bling than ever, with their largest Christmas display ever. Be sure to check out this year's must-try holiday treats, including tamales and white chocolate mint-dipped cheesecake on a stick. Oh, and turkey balls -- deep fried full turkey dinner, including stuffing, cranberry sauce and gravy inside a fried ball! The Knott's Marketplace is also a great spot to do some holiday shopping.
8039 Beach Blvd, Buena Park, CA 90620
HOLIDAY LIGHTS AT THE REAGAN LIBRARY
The Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley is a truly fascinating place to bring friends and family any time of the year, but during the holidays, they're kicking things up a few notches! From the moment you step onto the property and walk through the snow-covered courtyard, until the moment you depart, their brand new Holiday Lights show will fill your senses with all things Christmas. Stop by during the day to explore their American Christmas tree displays, with trees decorated to tell the stories of America throughout each decade since our founding. Holidays at the Reagan Library is the perfect family experience for kids from 1 to 92, now through Dec. 31, 2018.
40 Presidential Dr, Simi Valley, CA 93065
THE MOONLIGHT FOREST MAGICAL LANTERN ART FESTIVAL AT THE L.A. COUNTY ARBORETUM
The L.A. County Arboretum in Arcadia has been transformed into an eye-popping, jaw-dropping visual feast, now through Jan. 6, 2019. The Moonlight Forest features lantern crafts that go back nearly 2,000 years in China, which have over time become more and more spectacular. This celebration of Chinese culture, which was customized for the Arboretum, is famous for their peacocks, but also features many other amazing creatures, and is a multi-colored adventure that dazzles around every turn. There's classic Chinese culture with terra cotta soldiers and a giant dragon, a children's world full of fairytale characters, plus an illuminated nod to nature.
301 N Baldwin Ave, Arcadia
ENCHANTED: FOREST OF LIGHT AT DESCANSO GARDENS
Enchanted: Forest of Light is a 1-mile interactive walk through Descanso Gardens that comes to life at night in a magical way that's sure to spark your holiday spirit. Walk through the lit-up forest and experience this show in a way you've never imagined! It's running now through Jan. 6, 2019.
1418 Descanso Dr, La Cañada Flintridge
BOLD HOLIDAYS, BEVERLY HILLS
Beverly Hills comes alive for the season with Bold Holidays! Friday and Saturday evenings through Dec. 22, 2018, Beverly Hills shows off stunning light displays and has special photo opportunities along Rodeo Drive, North and South Beverly Drive, Cañon Drive, at Beverly Cañon Gardens, Beverly Gardens Park and throughout the city. Don't be surprised to see ballerinas dancing along the sidewalks, unique motorcycles, live music in the streets, and a surreal exhibition by artist Alexa Meade. http://lovebeverlyhills.com/boldbh
130th ROSE PARADE
The Rose Parade, put on by the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, is our visually stunning New Year's Day tradition. But what you don't see in the weeks before the parade is equally fascinating! Fiesta Parade Floats is tasked with building some of the floats for the parade. These massive fantastical creations represent a variety of causes, from philanthropic to commercial, which range from vibrant concept art to 3D interactive displays, are a monumental undertaking. These floats can weigh up to 30 tons with the floral material equaling the weight of the steel because the flowers need so much water!
DISNEY ON ICE PRESENTS DARE TO DREAM
Celebrate what's possible as five Disney heroines spark the courage inside us all! In her Disney On Ice debut, see how far Moana goes on a quest with demigod Maui to save her island and find her own identity. Anna's devotion to her sister Elsa sets her on a journey to stop an eternal winter. Rapunzel goes to great lengths to realize her dream. Fearless Belle befriends the enchanted castle staff and uncovers the Beast's gentleness. With help from her friends, Cinderella is determined to make her wish come true. Along with Mickey and friends, discover your inner hero at Disney On Ice presents Dare To Dream! For dates, locations and tickets visit: https://www.disneyonice.com/dare-to-dream?h=1
MELROSE TRADING POST AT FAIRFAX HIGH SCHOOL
Every Sunday, the Melrose Trading Post offers a curated selection of handcrafted artisan goods, eclectic arts and crafts, vintage fashions, antique furniture and one-of-a-kind treasures. The market serves as an incubator to promote small community businesses and budding entrepreneurs, many of them professional artists, by providing affordable retail opportunities in a prime, high-traffic location. You can also feel good knowing that since the Melrose Trading Post's humble beginnings in 1997, it has provided over $7 million dollars in grants to Fairfax High School.
7850 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles
THIS IS (NOT) L.A.
A perfect gift for any Angeleno is 2018's ultimate L.A. book, "This is Not L.A." The subtitle describes the book perfectly: "An Insider's Guide to the Real Los Angeles, Debunking The Clichés, Crushing the Haters, and Generally Making You Wish That You Lived Here (Or Happier That You Already Do)."
TWO BIT CIRCUS
L.A.'s new high tech, micro-amusement park, Two Bit Circus in downtown L.A. is like walking into a giant iPhone that merged with a social supper club, from modern versions of old school carnival games to incredible virtual reality and interactive play. The best part is, when you buy a gift card, Two Bit Circus will give you a gift card too! Get a $25 gift cwhen you purchase a $100 gift card, a $10 gift card with a $50 gift card purchase or a $5 gift card with a $25 gift card purchase. Give the Gift of Play this holiday season and reward yourself as well! Even their robot bartender, Gearmo Del Pouro will tell you, it's a pretty cool deal!
634 Mateo St, Los Angeles
MAGIC UNIVERSITY AT THE MAGIC CASTLE
If there are any aspiring magicians on your gift list, you could give them the ultimate L.A. experience-- magic lessons at the world famous Magic Castle! Magic University offers multiple courses and levels of magic instruction. Courses are 2 hours, once a week for 6 weeks and cost $300. Visit the Magic Castle website for course descriptions and class schedules.
7001 Franklin Ave, Los Angeles
DINA COLLECTION: PAWNBROKER TO THE STARS
Splurging on the one you love this holiday? Well, here's a secret for ya that'll save you a ton of cash! Go check out the goods from the pawnbroker to the stars. You might recognize Yossi Dina from his reality show, "Beverly Hills Pawn." His store is a pawn shop wonderland for celebrities and high-end bargain hunters where you can find goods at a fraction of the retail cost or sell your own goods for cash on the spot. The Dina Collection offers great prices on designer purses, including otherwise unattainable bags, like the Herms Birkin bags, designer watches, art, celebrity memorabilia and jewelry from $20 to millions!
249 S Beverly Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90212
You've got a million things to do this holiday season, but Chase has your back, with your Chase credit card being capable of many more new things. It'll give you #onelessthing to worry about when it comes to getting the most from your money. Chase Financial Education Ambassador Brittney Castro introduced us to several innovative products from Chase plus great tips to save you money and time.
Download the Chase Pay and Chase Mobile Apps to take advantage of great new benefits.
Use Ultimate Rewards points to pay or to buy gift cards, directly from the Chase app.
Chase Offers can save you money with exclusive deals from retailers, restaurants, grocery stores and more, and you can access and use them directly from the app.
Use Chase Pay app as your new digital wallet, where you essentially use your card from your phone.
If you have a Samsung smart phone, you can link Chase Pay and Samsung Pay to use it at even more of your favorite stores this holiday season.
The next time you misplace your card, just go to the app and click on the lock/unlock feature to instantly block new purchases, advances and transfers.
Coming Soon: Chase is taking convenience to a whole new level by launching the industry's largest portfolio of contactless credit cards, which means you will have the power to tap to pay for an easier, faster and more secure way to speed through checkout.
Here are more tips to keep your money safe this holiday season:
1. Shop online for the best deal and use secured sites that start with https://
2. Never store credit card information on a website
3. Wait 48 hours before you click
4. Opt for a Secret Santa gift exchange
5. Use your credit card points to pay for gifts
6. Make a holiday budget and stick to it
7. Plan ahead for next year and open savings account for holiday spending and set up auto savings to it monthly so you have money ready to go for next year
This holiday, EYE ON L.A. is powered by Chase.