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.

Holiday Bite LA Drive-Thru

I brought my teenage daughter with me last Sunday to The Bite LA: Winter Holiday. It’s a drive-thru experience around Legg Lake at the spacious Whittier Narrows Recreation Area (about 20 minutes downtown LA).
We excitedly saw holiday lights and igloos in the distance reflected in one of the lakes, while following the direction signs to play, eat and enjoy the merry decorations.

Our first stop was to check in and receive a menu of ‘Naughty, Nice and Vegan/Gluten Free Bites. Think popcorn balls, holiday cookies and chocolate and caramel dipped pretzel sticks.

With a pen in hand, we put a number next to the item we wanted to taste for a total of 8 bites per person. Since we had 3 people in out car, we selected 24 bites.

Next we stopped at an igloo to receive nylon bags filled with soft fluffy “sno-balls” with instructions to throw them at dancing snowman and penguins. Some had a really good arm, and were able to throw some back right into our open window.

Our daughter thought this was great fun! We drove over a narrow bridge to Winkle-land, a Holiday Gnome Village filled with psychedelic dancing mushrooms
This Covid-safe outdoor activity is from Meyer2Meyer Entertainment, the creators of The Bite LA: Halloween Food Crawl. They put a seasonal twist on this drive-thru experience offering  immersive Winter Holiday fun appropriate for kids and adults alike!  

Next stop to pick up complimentary stockings to fill with all the goodies. They come in glittery red, green and gold.

​The most fun is stopping at each village and picking up our goodies. One stop is Father Christmas, another a prancing reindeer, a beautiful ornament and Jack Frost. The costumes are exquisite and each character has an engaging personality.

With stockings filled with treats, we finished at a beverage stand and were handed hot cocoa and hot apple cider. Next we drove to a drive-in movie setup and parked. Looking over all our bites, we tasted a few, sipped our warm beverages and watched a 20 minute film with Santa onstage entertaining passengers sitting safely in their cars.

EVENT ADDRESS: Legg Lake, 751 Santa Anita Ave, South El Monte 91733. Tickets start at $38 per person.

Dazzling Dodgers Holiday Festival

Celebrate the holidays at Dodger Stadium with lights, music and surprise appearances throughout the evening. Nightly the stadium is celebrating LA’s World Series winners.

Photo by Jill Weinlein

The drive-thru event runs through Christmas Eve from 5 to 10 p.m. Admission starts at $55 to $100+ per vehicle. The ticket cost is determined by the time and day of the timed ticket.

Photo by Jill Weinlein

Ticket holders can bring new or gently-used baseball of softball equipment to benefit Dodgers RBI. The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation is also requesting pairs of new socks to give to LA Family Housing, and a new toy for RaiseAChild. Donations are optional and must be unwrapped. A Dodgers elf is near the donation bin near the entrance gates at Stadium Way Downtown Gate E.

Photo by Jill Weinlein

Dodger fans will enjoy seeing images of their favorite players, championship trophy, ring and memorabilia. There is a waving bobblehead, replica of Elton John wearing a sparkling Dodgers uniform while playing the piano, and colorful lights synchronized to holiday music.

Photo by Jill Weinlein

The speed limit is under 5 miles an hour. Try to arrive 30 minutes before your ticket time. Guests are not allowed to exit their vehicle and must wear a mask when their car windows are down. There are no public restrooms available.

Courtesy of Dodgers Holiday Festival

Bring your own picnic dinner and non alcoholic beverage, as there is no food or drinks available at this venue.

Photo by Jill Weinlein

For all event details and guidelines please visit Dodgers.com/holidayfestivalor email holidayfestival@dodgers.com.

Gelato Festival Tasting Party at Home

The 2020 Gelato Festival is hosting COVID-friendly and socially distanced competitions, as well as adding a new coffee making competition.

#SaferAtHome families and individuals have the opportunity to purchase a sampling box and be the judge of the world’s best gelato. These cool gelato boxes are filled with 12 different artisan gelato flavors, and are available for purchase for $69 until December 9th. Boxes will be shipped to your door shortly thereafter.

Each box includes four QR codes that allows gelato fans to have a gelato taste testing party at home and vote for their favorite flavor, and ultimately take part in picking the winner of this year’s tournament, to be announced in January.

Here are the 12 flavors I received and who created them:

1. Figs Pecan and Chocolate – created by Carlo Piccinini of Gelato Italyano – Fiordilatte with figs, pecans and dark chocolate.
2. Fior di Mandorla by Fabio Vota of Guess & Marciano Family Private Kitchen – almond gelato and lemon zest
3. Dama Pistachio Vegan by Joseph Maatouk of Paradise Ice Cream made with Oat Pistachio Gelato, orange blossom and rose water
4. Hazelnut and Honey Truffle Stracciatella made by Luca Moriconi of Culina Restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills. Hazelnut with truffle and Acacia honey
5. Lavender Honey by Peter Macias of La Peer Hotel
6. Banana Pudding Gelato by Theresa Black of Amore Congelato
7. Mimosa Siciliana by Vincenzo Grasso of Likery – Blood orange and almonds (vegan)
8. Drunken Chai by Vinn Brooks of Coffee Manufactory – oat vanilla chai gelato drizzled with chocolate and caramel
9. Gianduia Gelato and Amarena Cherry by Michael Miranda of Gelato D’Oro – Giandula gelato with crushed hazelnut and whole Fabbri Amarena cherries
10. Cardamom and chocolate pear gelato by Samantha Santiago Torres of Saint Clair Inn – Cardamom, pear and crunchy chocolate
11. Blueberry Basil by Mike Guerrero (American Champion in 2019) – organic blueberries, fresh basil leaves, a squeeze of lemon and water (vegan)
12. Texas Pecan Salted Caramel by Diego Comparin of Paciugo Gelato Cafe (Silver Award Americano Championship 2019) creamy salted caramel gelato with swirls of organic pecans roasted in Dallas, Texas.

Gelato Festival is open for purchases of gelato at 8906 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles (424)249-3966.

Holiday SoCal’s WonderLAnd Drive-thru

Last night we drove to Warner Center for the preview of WonderLAnd a sparkling Cover safe drive-thru holiday experience.

Experiential Supply Co., transformed the former Westfield Promenade parking lot into a festive holiday adventure that is fun for all ages. This Covid-safe experience offers holiday music, colorful twinkling lights, sparkling snowflakes and a visit to Santa’s workshop. It opens on Nov. 30 through Dec. 23 and continues Dec. 26 through Dec. 30.

Your drive begins to the snow-capped North Pole mountains through colorful tunnels with nearly 1 million lights to WonderLAnd Village. Count how many polar bears you see while cruising to Santa’s workshop to see some of his comical elves busy wrapping holiday gifts.

There are two lanes of decorated houses in WonderLAnd Village decked out for every winter holiday and some dancing elves wave and shout holiday greetings as you drive by.

Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves will be on hand with a special present at the end to place in the back of your trunk.

Tickets are $70 per vehicle and available now for timed tickets starting at 5 p.m. Go to SoCal WonderLAnd. 6100 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Woodland Hills.

This review is also featured in the Beverly Press.

Covid-safe Haunt’oween LA 2020

Now at Warner Center through October 31, 2020

Experiential Supply presents Haunt’oween LA, a family-friendly drive-thru experience open nightly in Woodland Hills at The Promenade Mall parking lot.

Highlights include driving through a pumpkin tunnel of lights and a tunnel of shadows. The Jack-O-Lantern Tunnel is a 90-foot installation featuring more than 1,000 pumpkins.

Live music performing nightly.

Scenic Paths decorated to drive by and enjoy traditional Halloween decor along a mini-maze route, to see skeletons at play, giant pumpkins, headless horsemen, and numerous spider webs.

Each car receives one good size pumpkin from the “Life is Gourd” themed patch. Additional pumpkins are available for purchase.

“Door to Door” Trick or Treating – drive down two streets with live costumed actors coming out of their “homes” with enough candy for everyone.

Pricing is $70 per car, tickets on sale at the Haunt’oween website.

6100 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Woodland Hills 91367

Dunkin’ donates to help with Coronavirus

Yesterday I went to a Dunkin’ Donuts for an iced coffee and coconut donut after a walk along the LA River. Today, I discovered that The Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation is activating $1.25 million in emergency funding to support health and hunger relief organizations on the frontlines of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) response.

This Dunkin Foundation is encouraging Health and Hunger Relief Organizations to apply for Emergency Grants to Aid Efforts in the Wake of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic.

This includes a $250,000 donation to the Boston Resiliency Fund which was established by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh to provide essential services to Boston residents whose health and well-being are most immediately impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation, the charitable foundation supported by Dunkin’ and the generosity of its franchisees, guests, vendor partners and employees, provides the simple joys of childhood to kids battling hunger or illness. The Foundation partners with food banks, children’s hospitals and nonprofit organizations to fund joyful environments and joyful experiences for kids when they need it most. Since 2006, the Joy in Childhood Foundation has granted more than $25 million to hundreds of national and local charities across the country.

Many of the Foundation’s grantees, which include health and hunger relief organizations, are seeing a huge uptick in the volume of clients they serve and are facing unprecedented and costly challenges in the wake of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Emergency grants from the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation are meant to provide flexible funding for organizations so they can apply for the support they need.

“At Dunkin’, we care deeply about the neighborhoods we serve. In these unprecedented times, I want our community partners to know that Dunkin’ has their backs,” said Dave Hoffmann, Dunkin’ Brands CEO. “I’m proud that our Foundation can make a difference at the heart of the relief effort where our communities need it most.”

Knowing hospitals are preparing for unprecedented numbers and food banks and pantries are experiencing disruptions to their supply chains, volunteer bases and delivery systems, the Foundation has decided to open flexible funding to respond to grantees’ needs.

“Dunkin’ is made up of thousands of independent businessmen and women who care deeply about the communities they serve and demonstrate that care by supporting our Foundation in addition to hundreds of other local charities,” said Alex Smigelski, Dunkin’ Franchisee and Co-Chair of the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation. “The Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation has been working with hunger relief organizations and hospitals for many years, and we know that now, more than ever, they need resources and flexibility to be able to help those most impacted by the pandemic. We are happy to be able to give this support and want to encourage everyone to step in to help our communities during this time of great need.

Donations to the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund can be made at www.joyinchildhoodfoundation.org.

Nonprofits are invited to apply for a grant at www.joyinchildhoodfoundation.org/covid19grants. Grants will be reviewed on a rolling basis and donations will be made immediately upon approval.

For more information, please visit www.bringjoy.org.

 

Free Tinkergarten Class in LA

Recent studies show that kids ages 8 through 12 years old spend 35% to 50% less time outdoors as compared to their parents. They are spending almost five hours a day using screen media, and are being labeled the “indoor nation” generation.

How can parents get their kids outside and play? Some of my favorite outdoor play spots are Descanso Gardens, Griffith Park, The Huntington,  LA Memorial Park and The Arboretum.

Early childhood research shows that time for outdoor play is critical for physical, cognitive, and emotional well-being for everyone. To keep families unplugged and connected – Tinkergarten has a solution. “The research is clear: two hours a week outside is all you need to start seeing wellness and learning benefits,” said TInkergarten co-founder, Meghan Fitzgerald. “We believe in the power of outdoor play; it’s the foundation on which our program is built.”

Starting March 8, Tinkergarten is having a “Spring Forward” Daylight Saving Day, offering over 1,600 complimentary classes across the nation, and continues through March 31, 2020.

Click here for Tinkergarten locations in the greater Los Angeles area.

“It’s important for the development of our children that we balance our indoor time and time with technology,” said co-founder, Brian Fitzgerald. “Spring Forward is the perfect excuse to offer families a chance to take advantage of their extra hour of daylight and experience Tinkergarten.”

Families can find information about free classes in their area at tinkergarten.com/springforward, in addition to tips on how to help their children manage the transition to daylight saving time.

Join the conversation and share experiences and ideas of how you discover fun outdoor play opportunities on Instagram and Twitter tagging @tinkergarten and #springforward. Join the #OutdoorsAll4 Facebook Group to share ideas and celebrate outdoor play all four seasons.

The Ultimate Holiday Gift – A Virtual Reality experience at Dreamscape in LA

Now Los Angelenos can live out the fantasy of free-flying at the newly launched Dreamscape “DreamWorks Dragons Flight Academy.” This new immersive virtual reality interactive experience is now at the festive Westfield Century City.

Officially opening on December 13, it’s a thrilling storytelling experience for friends, date night or family fun activity during the holidays.

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Inspired by DreamWorks Animation‘s critically acclaimed film trilogy – “How to Train Your Dragon”, this interactive experience allows eight VR participants a reserved time to experience the 20 minute journey together.

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It begins the minute you walk into the flagship Dreamscape in Century City, near Eataly and Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse. Step inside a replica of a train station, and choose your DreamWorks Dragons Flight Academy avatar rookie self.  You will be enlisted in the world’s first dragons flight academy led by famed dragon riders, Hiccup and Astrid, and their loyal dragons, Toothless and Stormfly. Snacks and souvenirs are available to enjoy while waiting for your swooping, swerving, free-flying rescue mission to the Hidden World.

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Since the public opening of Dreamscape’s Westfield Century City location in December 2018, the company has sold out experiences, and continues to have repeat visitors on a consistent basis to be part of the different immersive storytelling experiences.

“At Dreamscape, our goal is to create the ultimate immersive experiences that allow our customers to enter into, and in this case fly into, worlds that they never dreamed possible,” said Walter Parkes, Chairman, Dreamscape and Producer, DreamWorks Dragons Flight Academy. ”

Bruce Vaughn CEO Dreamscape Immersive is living his dream of animation and movie magic. Ever since he was 12 years old watching the first Star Wars movie, he knew he wanted to create stories and experiences for people. Now he has taken his dream to a new level with his Dreamscape vision, creating virtual 3D environments, enabling people to become the star of their own movie adventure.

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No longer are audiences just watching Hiccup and Toothless take on a group of ruthless poachers, but now they can fly alongside them on their very own dragon to protect the Isle of Berk. Riders leave their belongings in a secured locker room and enter a VR room to become a dragon rider.

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The adventure kicks off as you put on fingerless gloves and sit on a metal saddle seat. Dreamscape experience staff instruct riders to rest their hands on metal handle bars. Push down to soar downward, lift the bars up to fly high in the air. Similar to riding a motorcycle, you can lean to the right and left as you maneuver on your “dragon.” Last put the VR helmet on your head. It covers your eyes and rests on the bridge of your nose. There are two ear pads to pull over your ears to hear further instructions throughout the ride.

Riders start at Berk, a village featured in the films that teeters high on the cliff tops of a rugged North Sea island. This is home to fierce Vikings and every known species of dragon. In Berk, Dragons and Vikings live together in playful harmony, but poachers pose a constant threat.

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Master dragon riding skills by dodging flaming arrows, going underwater through a bloom of jellyfish, maneuver near collapsing ice caverns and rescue the most adorable baby dragons.

At the beginning you and your group are rookie riders, and by the end you proudly feel a sense of accomplishment, as you and your team collaborate in restoring harmony.

Christina Lee Storm, Producer, DreamWorks Dragons Flight Academy, DreamWorks Animation said, “The thrilling adventure will bring guests to new heights in a fun, wondrous way that will inspire repeat visits.”

Dreamscape recently opened its second location at Dallas’ famed NorthPark Center alongside partner and investor AMC Theatres, the world’s largest cinema exhibitor. The entertainment leaders will open additional Dreamscape VR destinations in key markets, including Columbus, Ohio and the New York/New Jersey metro area later this year and into 2020.

Click here to reserve your Dreamscape ride.

Wild Kratts now at Discovery Cube LA

When my daughters were in preschool, we couldn’t wait to watch Chris and Martin Kratt on PBS with their lovable lemur sidekick Zoboomafoo.

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Kratt Brothers Company is the creative force behind such hit shows as Emmy-winning preschool series Zoboomafoo, live-action adventure series Be The Creature and the new animated hit, Wild Kratts.

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These American educational nature show hosts have a Wild Kratts: Creature Power! museum exhibit at the Discovery Cube Los Angeles. It’s in partnership with the Minnesota Children’s Museum and Kratt Brothers Company Ltd. Together they are bringing the popular Wild Kratts world to life to families in Southern California.

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“We invite fans of the popular Wild Kratts characters to be transported to the Wild Kratts world,” said Joe Adams, CEO, Discovery Cube. “The Wild Kratts exhibit will engage our young guests in wide-ranging STEM experiences that will inspire, educate and impact young explorers.”

There are four habitats that include penguins in Antartica, the tropical rainforest where visitors can sneak through the forest using the stealth of a jaguar or swing through trees like a spider money, and hop like a kangaroo in the Australian Outback Desert.

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Animal experts Chris and Martin Kratt and a cast of heroes and villains explore and learn about the secret lives of extraordinary creatures including Orcas, an ant-eating, desert-dwelling Thorny Devil, a propelling platypus, Leopard Seal and loud calling Laughing Kookaburra and see a life action science collaboration, where children will help the team solve problems and protect animals.  The diverse animal environments immerse children and families in explorations of animals and the relationships between them.

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Along the way, join the Wild Kratts team to undermine villains Zach, Donita, Gourmand, and Paisley’s nefarious plans, using Wild Kratts technology and the powers of science and teamwork to learn about and help animals.

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Join the Wild Kratts team at the Discovery Cube Los Angeles at the Wild Kratts: Creature Power! museum exhibit. General admission tickets or memberships are required to participate. Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.discoverycube.org or at the science center. The exhibit will be open in Los Angeles from May 25 – September 8, 2019.

Discovery Cube LA – 11800 Foothill Blvd, Sylmar, CA 91342 – Phone: (818) 686-2823

Festive St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations in LA

Wear some green and head outside to join others in drinking green beer, while enjoying special St. Patrick Day fare. Here’s a slew of lucky spots to celebrate this weekend:

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Ike’s Love & Sandwiches – On St. Patrick’s Day Ike’s Love & Sandwiches is offering $7 sandwiches all day long. There are over 500 sandwich combinations that can be made with meat, or to  create vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. Be sure to bring in the coupon featured on their Facebook page. 302 N San Fernando Blvd. (818)562-7223 and 1151 Westwood Blvd. (310)208-0770.

St. Patrick’s Day and March Madness at Dog Haus – The gourmet hot dog, sausage, burger and beer concept Dog Haus, is offering a variety of food and drink specials during the month of March. On St. Patrick’s Day participating locations are offering specials on tots. There are three varieties of ‘Loaded Tots’ that include Reuben Tots, Southwestern Tots, and BLT Tots. Also they will serve Green Beer. At the Biergarten locations they will serve Jameson Shots and Pickle Backs. Throughout March Madness starting March 19 through April 8, all three varieties of Loaded Tots are available at all participating locations including 3817 W. Olive Ave. (818)566-4287 and 4929 Lankershim Blvd. (818)505-1033 and 105 N. Hill Ave. (626)577-4287.

St. Patricks Day DonutsTrejo’s Coffee & Donuts – Now through St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, Trejo’s Coffee & Donuts offers four St. Patrick’s Day-themed doughnuts. The Pot O’ Gold doughnut features a blue buttermilk glaze with Lucky Charms cereal. The Over the Rainbow is a raised doughnut with rainbow buttermilk glaze and fluffy royal icing clouds. The Shamrock is a raised green doughnut with simple glaze, and The Leprechaun is a raised doughnut with dark chocolate glaze and green sprinkles. 6785 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, (323)462-4600.

Birds & Bees – The 1950s-themed underground speakeasy in downtown Los Angeles offers a classy St. Patrick’s Day celebration on March 15-16. Bar manager Jake Larowe will serve The Celtic Knot cocktail made with Tullamore D.E.W., Oloroso sherry, honey syrup, lemon juice and mint for $13. It’s a play on the classic Irish Gold Rush cocktail. The bar will be closed on Sunday, March 17. 207 S. Broadway, (213)537-0510.

Public School Restaurant & Bar is serving green Mama’s Little Yella Pils lager all weekend to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at the Culver City, downtown Los Angeles and Sherman Oaks locations. 612 S. Flower St., Los Angeles, (213)622-4500. 9411 Culver Blvd., Culver City, (310)558-0414. 15300 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, (818)728-9818.

Brennan’s – On Sunday, March 17, join the St. Patrick’s Day party at the beloved Irish pub Brennan’s for no cover fee from 6 a.m. to noon. Afterwards, its $5 to get in until closing at 2 a.m. Guests ages 21 and over can enjoy food and drink specials, live music, bagpipers and good times. 4089 Lincoln Blvd., Marina Del Rey, (424)443-5119.

Tavern and The Larder at Tavern – On March 17, brunch at Tavern and The Larder at Tavern includes house-made corned beef brisket with sunny-side up eggs, braised cabbage, and potatoes and parsley-mustard sauce. The menu also features Guinness-battered pollock with fried potatoes, tartar sauce and malt vinegar. Wine director Caroline Styne recommends Christiaan Röllich’s Irish Kiss cocktail made with Jameson Irish Whiskey, Murphy’s Irish Stout and rosemary. The restaurant also offers a whiskey flight with Jameson, Powers, Bushmills and Murphy’s Stout. Finish the meal with a green velvet cake with cream cheese frosting and Guinness ice cream. Brunch is from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The same menu will be offered during dinner from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Take-out orders from The Larder at Tavern must be ordered by Friday, March 15, at 5 p.m. 11648 San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles, (310)806-6464 and (310)806-6460.

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Ashland Hill – Dress in your best green gear and head to Ashland Hill between noon and 6 p.m. on St. Patrick’s Day. Celebrate the third Shamrock Social with green beer, Jameson whiskey, and corned beef and cabbage. The event will also include a DJ spinning tunes and a giant beer pong tournament – the winner gets bragging rights for the year and their team name inscribed on the axe trophy displayed in the bar. Come out and drink for a noble cause, with proceeds benefiting Heal the Bay. Tickets are $20 for admission and two tickets for food or drinks. A VIP ticket includes four drink and food tickets and a commemorative 2019 T-shirt for $45. Additional food and drink tickets will be available for $5 each or $20 for a five pack. T-shirts will be sold for $20. To purchase tickets, visit shamrocksocialah.eventbrite.com. 2807 Main St., Santa Monica, (310)392-3300.

California Sun – Silver Lake’s newest pizza spot is offering 35 percent off six-packs of Guinness beer on March 17. The eatery also offers a special green pesto pizza pie, New York-style slices, 20-inch pies, Detroit deep dish pizza and seasonal salads. Choose from 14 rotating taps and over 140 different cans of beer to enjoy with the meal. 3903 Sunset Blvd., (323)800-2456.

Rise-N-Grind – Come into the Rise-N-Grind Coffee & Juice Bar in Hollywood on St. Patrick’s Day for a green eggs and ham sandwich on a croissant. Enjoy it with an Irish cream latte prepared with Stumptown Hair Bender coffee beans for a blend of creamy, nutty, chocolate and vanilla flavors. 6501 Hollywood Blvd., (323)464-4100.

Bacari PDR and Bacari GDL – In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, Mediterranean-inspired restaurants Bacari PDR and Bacari GDL will serve a special An Irish Kiss Goodnight cocktail made with Irish whiskey, Baileys, house cream, shaved chocolate, coffee and chocolate ice cubes. 6805 S. Vista Del Mar Lane, Playa Del Rey, (310)439-2100. 757 Americana Way, Glendale, (818)696-1460.

The Henry – Celebrate St. Paddy’s Day with the Green Tea Press cocktail made with Charbay Vodka, clover honey, lime, cucumber and mint. To keep with the green theme, order the smashed avocado toast. 120 N. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles, (424)204-1595.

Corner Cantina – Head to the Corner Cantina for Irish nachos on March 17. The dish is made with seasoned fries, queso, jalapeño, pickled onion, sour cream and corned beef. Also try the pretzel bites, which arrive in five pieces and are served with mustard; the corned beef sandwich on a potato bun with cabbage, pickled onion and mustard; or the patty made with wagyu beef, cheddar, onion, pickles and aioli. 630 W. Sixth St., Los Angeles, (213)614-1900.

Mohawk Bend – Visit the vegan-friendly restaurant and bar in Echo Park on St. Patrick’s Day for traditional corned beef hash, Reuben sandwiches and vegan corned beef hash with Impossible meat. Drinks include Girl Scout Cookie shots, the California Car Bomb and whiskey flights for $15. 2141 W. Sunset Blvd., (213)483-2337.

Granville will serve up a shot of Jameson with any draft beer for a festive boilermaker for $10 on March 17. The special is available all day at the restaurant’s locations in West Hollywood, Studio City, Glendale and Burbank. 8701 Beverly Blvd., West Hollywood, (424)522-5161. 807 Americana Way, Glendale, (818)550-0472. 121 N. San Fernando Blvd., Burbank, (818)848-4726. 12345 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, (818)506-7050.

The Abbey Food & Bar’s famous drink menu on St. Patrick’s Day includes festive cocktails like the Lucky Mule made with Jameson, fresh limes and ginger beer; Pickle Backs made with a shot of Jameson and shot of pickle juice; and the Pickle Martini made with Absolut Vodka, pickle juice and dry vermouth with sliced pickles. For those wanting something less green, there’s also a grapefruit martini made with grapefruit-flavored Absolut Vodka, fresh lemon juice, triple sec, house-made syrup and grapefruit peel, or the Malibu Hurricane made with the traditional Malibu Black rum, banana-flavored Malibu rum, coconut-flavored Malibu rum and fresh fruit. 692 N. Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood, (310)289-8410.

The Garland –  St. Patrick’s Day, The Garland will serve the special cocktail Irish Bar Fight for $7. It’s made with Jameson, Amaro Nonino, orange-flavored Curaçao liqueur, lime and simple syrup. 4222 Vineland Ave., North Hollywood, (818)980-8000.

25 Degrees – The Hollywood Roosevelt’s 24-hour diner 25 Degrees is grilling a festive new burger called The Mad Irishman. It’s a delicious ground beef burger topped with corned beef, braised cabbage, Dijon aioli and fried egg, and served with a side of fries and a pint of Breckenridge Nitro Irish Stout for $28. Order the meal on St. Patrick’s Day or during any March Madness viewing party. 7000 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, (323)785-7244.

Humphry Slocombe – Celebrate the holiday at Humphry Slocombe with the boozy Get Lucky Sundae. It’s made with two scoops of Fort Point Animal IPA ice cream topped with bourbon caramel, marshmallow fluff and Lucky Charms cereal. The flavor is available all month. 1653B Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, (424)387-8161.

Head on over to the Grand Central Market for some fun St. Patrick’s Day fun:

Golden Road will offer $5 pints of Irish Red Ale and Nitro Stout as well as food specials. Whiskey Sunday will perform from 12-3pm.

Knead Pasta will offer The Italian Irishman ($13), a featured dish of arugula campanelle, pesto, corned beef hash, and a fried egg.

Belcampo will feature house-made corned beef for your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. The beef comes from their own farm in Mt. Shasta, and is organic, ethically raised and harvested, and third-party humane-certified grass fed.

 

Jurassic World Theme 5K Run at Universal Studios

Today I learned the upcoming ‘Running Universal Day’ is scheduled for November 16, 2019. Take advantage of the 5K Early Bird pricing before it ends on July 14 2019.

The soon to open Jurassic World™ – The Ride at Universal Studios Hollywood is more real, more intense, and an experience like nothing ever before.

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Chris Nelson, Sr. Vice President & Chief Financial Officer at Universal Studios Hollywood, dreamed up this run, after the success of the family friendly Minions run. This new run has a Jurassic theme to tie in with the opening of the new Jurassic World -Summer 2019.

The 5K adventure begins through the Front Gate and Upper Lot of the Theme Park, before crisscrossing through parts of the Universal Backlot, past iconic film sets. The picture-perfect finish ends at the 5 Towers on Universal CityWalk with live music, food and post-race swag to commemorate the dinosaur theme event.

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Universal swag

To Register for the STANDARD  PACKAGE $75  – Before July 14 – $65

  • REGISTER NOW
  •   Collectible Jurassic World 5K finisher medal
  •   Jurassic World 5K Bib with timing chip
  •   Running Universal™ 5K T-shirt
  •   Jurassic World cinch bag
  •   Collectible Jurassic World pin
  •   Post-Race beverages & refreshments
  • Complimentary General Parking*
  •   Digital finisher certificate
  • Opportunity to purchase entry to Universal Studios Hollywood™ Theme Park at an exclusive Running Universal price

VIP PACKAGE  – $145. Before July 14 – $135

  • REGISTER NOW
  • All items in the Standard Registration package, PLUS:
  •   Exclusive VIP check-in
  • Complimentary Preferred Parking
  •   Post-Race VIP breakfast with Photo Op
  •   Running Universal water bottle

For kids there is a new Kids’ 1K Raptor Run is for ages 4-12. The cost is $30 and includes Collectible Kids’ 1K Raptor Run finisher medallion; Kids’ 1K Raptor Run T-shirt; Digital finisher certificate; Complimentary General Parking; Opportunity to purchase entry to Universal Studios Hollywood™ Theme Park at an exclusive Running Universal price – REGISTER NOW

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