5 So Cal Holiday Experiences

Celebrate the holidays at Universal Studios Hollywood while enjoying an array of yule time festivities that include “Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” and “Grinchmas,” daily through Sunday, January 9, 2022. Highlights included in the price of admission are the dazzling “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle” nightly light show starting at 6 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Stroll through the village with roofs blanketed in snow and festive colorful lights, garlands and holiday decorations hung on window frames and doors.

Sip sweet Hot Butterbeer while listening to the Hogwarts students frog choir sing a cappella harmonized holiday-themed songs.

At dusk, stunning imagery and animation display are projected illuminating Hogwarts castle. The sounds of arrangement music from the Harry Potter film series fill the area.

Jill Weinlein

Also at Universal Studios Hollywood meet and greet with The Grinch, his faithful dog Max and Who-ville residents as they gather near the 65 feet high topsy-turvey “Grinchmas” tree. There is a nightly tree lighting accompanied with a snowfall flurry.

Visit the Who-vile Post Office to write a postcard to send to The Grinch. For every postcard mailed, Universal Studios Hollywood’s Discover a Star Foundation will make a donation to School on Wheels which benefits homeless youth in Southern California.

Radisson Blu Anaheim

The Radisson Blu Anaheim has launched a new holiday-themed ‘Home Alone’ guestroom package for families. Inspired by the nostalgic movie “Home Alone” and Disney+ “Home Sweet Home Alone” reboot, guests can book a special room now until December 31, 2021, and celebrate the holidays McCallister-style.

You won’t go hungry with this package that includes Kevin’s favorite ice cream sundae, mac and cheese and freshly baked cheese or pepperoni pizza. Soft drinks plus a jar of M&Ms and freshly baked cookies await your arrival. Guests also receive two turtle dove ornaments inspired by Mr. Duncan’s toy store in Home Alone 2 for a keepsake. 

This offer is available for stays from now through January 15, 2022, and rates are based on two people per room; a fee will apply for additional guests. 

Vanessa Tierney Photography

Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills is hosting its annual holiday high tea every Sunday in December until Christmas. Located in the elegant Lobby Lounge, the staff will be serving a finely curated selection of teas from around the world, plus an array of sweet treats and flutes of champagne. A classical harpist will entertain guests with soothing and sophisticated music.

“We are thrilled to welcome guests to Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills to share the joy of the holiday season and create cherished memories with loved ones,” said Antonio Bugarin, Hotel Manager at Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills. “From the special menus at our award-winning restaurants, Jean-Georges Beverly Hills and The Rooftop by JG, to the festive glamour and décor, guests can expect a curated, luxurious experience, while still enjoying the nostalgia of traditional holiday favorites.”

Reservations for the high tea is from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Prices start at $110 per person and $65 per child.

Jill Weinlein

Enchanted at Descanso Gardens offers 10 different light installations along a one-mile pathway. Stop to enjoy the mesmerizing colorful floral light display synchronized to music, and see swirling symphony lights in trees.

Stand in one of the many lit-up stained glass houses by contemporary sculptor Tom Fruin, and notice the patterns on the ground around the sparkling installations from HYBYCOZO on the Luminous Lawn.

The Ancient Forest transports guests to another land with its exquisite lighting effects. Enter the Garden of Good Fortune to be surrounded by hundreds of red lantern lights hanging in trees and reflecting off the stream and pond.

Enchanted entry tickets start at $25 and must be purchased in advance.

This review was also featured in JustLuxe.

Author: Jill Weinlein - Travel and Restaurant Reviewer

Read my blog to be enticed, enlightened and inspired about new events in Southern California and beyond.

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