Southern California may not get the full winter chill as other areas of the country, but when it comes to the holidays, Los Angeles goes all out. With our constant sunshine and palm trees, we take the holidays very seriously, especially shopping. Because really, there's no better way to get into the spirit of the season than finding the perfect gift for that special someone. And if you happen to discover a gift for yourself along the way, just remember, you deserve it! Make your list, check it twice, then read on for our guide to holiday shopping in Los Angeles.
The Grove is one of L.A.’s most popular outdoor shopping malls, and during the holidays it transforms into a wonderland of festivities. As if the stores alone couldn’t put you in the spirit, The Grove is home to a fully lit 110-foot tree, a kid-friendly trolley, and many live music performances. Store highlights include Nordstrom, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Topshop Topman. Though you might not expect snow in L.A., The Grove has you covered - it “snows” there for an hour every night! Get ready to melt as you watch kids experience snow for the first time and squeal with delight.
Celebrate the Holidays in true Hollywood fashion at the Hollywood & Highland Center. Where else can you find a large holiday tree with the world-famous Hollywood Sign in the background? Home to the Walk of Fame and hundreds of celebrity handprints and signatures in front of the TCL Chinese Theatre, the Hollywood and Highland Center turns into a one-stop-shop for your all tourist and shopping needs during the holidays. From knick-knacks to high end fashion, there are shops galore. This is also where the Hollywood Christmas Parade kicks off the season every year, on the Sunday after Thanksgiving.
Situated between Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, the eight-story Beverly Center features more than 160 stores and services. Along with anchor tenants Bloomingdale's and Macy's, the Beverly Center offers familiar retail outlets such as Banana Republic, Victoria's Secret and Forever 21, as well as high-end boutiques such as Calvin Klein, Diesel, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Hugo Boss, Louis Vuitton and Prada.
Santa will land at Center Court in the Beverly Center for family photos Nov. 12 - Dec. 24, 2015. Pets are also invited to pose with Santa for a holiday portrait all season long. Several photo packages are available, priced at $26-46. Santa generally breaks for milk and cookies at 4 p.m. - photo hours vary. Adding even more convenience to the holiday shopping experience, there will be free self-parking all day on Black Friday, Nov. 27.
A total thrill for the entire family, Universal Citywalk Hollywood is brimming with holiday cheer. Combine a visit with a trip to Grinchmas at Universal Studios, or maybe even check out a family-friendly flick at their huge AMC Theaters. Either way, you're in for a treat. Along with street performers and numerous live concerts throughout the season, Citywalk has a huge tree covered in over 200,00 LED lights that pulse to the music. Santa appears daily, and there's “snowfall” nightly from November 28 through December 25. It's the perfect place to find gifts and stocking stuffers for your kids.
It doesn't get more spectacular than one of the world's most famous luxury shopping destinations during the holidays. With hundreds of thousands of lights lining the median of Rodeo Drive, you'll feel like royalty as you stroll the famed street. The elegant décor sweeps you into the season, where you can find a gigantic holiday tree at the intersection of Rodeo and Wilshire. While you enjoy stores like Cartier, Prada, and Brooks Brothers, your kids will be entertained by trolley rides, Santa and Mrs. Claus visits, and roaming carolers.
Westfield Century City
Located minutes from Beverly Hills in Century City, this popular open-air shopping mall features nearly 150 stores and services, and is anchored by Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Gelson’s and a 15-screen AMC multiplex. Of course, jingles fill the crisp air as sparkling decorations grace the stores and drape the skyline. Santa Claus will be at Westfield Century City Dec. 4-24. Find him and if you’re a good girl or boy, you may get a holiday surprise!
Santa Monica Place
The holidays can even make their way to the beach. Just blocks away from the Pacific Ocean, Santa Monica Place and the 3rd Street Promenade turn into a complete winter wonderland. With carolers, twinkling lights, Santa’s Holiday House, a large Menorah, and a even towering holiday tree, you can pop into stores ranging from Barneys New York to Tiffany & Co. and the Disney Store. Need a break from shopping? Refuel at Santa Monica Place’s sleek dining deck, then head over to ICE at Santa Monica, an outdoor skating rink just a few blocks away on 5th Street and Arizona Avenue, for the ultimate activity of the season.
Known as one of the “coolest” streets in the country, Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice is a prime destination if you’re looking to purchase unique gifts you can't find anywhere else. At this true artist community, indie retailers line the street selling funky clothing, hand-made furniture, one-of-a-kind gifts, and cutting edge art.
The Americana at Brand
Two incredible shopping destinations located right next to each other? That's better than a 2-for-1 sale, it's a shopaholic's dream come true! The Americana at Brand is a genuine outdoor winter wonderland, filling the chilly evenings with sparkling lights, a 100-foot Christmas tree, dancing fountains, and nightly “snowfall.” With stores ranging from kate spade to Lacoste and Barney's New York, there's a gift for everyone. And it doesn't end there.
Westfield Santa Anita
Located adjacent to Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, the sprawling Westfield Santa Anita spans more than 1.3 million square feet of retail space, including anchors JCPenney, Macy’s, Nordstrom and Forever 21. Its latest expansion was the addition of the $120-million, 115,000 square-foot outdoor Promenade, which is now home to Westfield Santa Anita’s many community events that take place year round. A highlight to your holiday shopping trip ends with a stop at Beard Papa, home to the best cream puffs in the world. Bring your wishlist and visit Santa for photos under the Christmas Tree! Santa will be at Level 1 in Center Court from Nov. 13 through Dec. 24, 2015.