Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Judging by the '90s holiday hits that have been blasting at CVS since last week, Chrismukwanzaakkah has arrived. If your idea of merrily starting off the fall/winter(ish) season involves show-stopping festivities and retail therapy, there are a handful of celebrations invading LA's shopping centers.
From Rockefeller Center rival The Grove's light-filled spectacular to the Citadel Outlet's grand debut of its record-breaking Christmas tree, we've rounded up some of the best holiday happenings taking place at LA's shopping centers this month and next. Check back often as we'll be updating this list.
Malibu Country Mart
Where: Malibu Country Mart, 3835 Cross Creek Rd.; 310-456-7300
What: The coastal shopping center will be transformed into a winter wonderland—complete with a Christmas tree, menorah, and festive lights—for the entire month of December. Bring the entire family Saturday, December 5th from 12 to 4pm and enjoy kid-friendly activities like stocking and dreidel decorating and face painting; on Saturday, December 12th from 12 to 4pm, take selfies with Santa and enjoy a cookie decorating sesh; and on Sunday, Dec. 19th from 12 to 4pm, expect a visit from Santa's reindeer, photo ops, and holiday tunes from strolling carolers.
Where: Westfield Topanga, 6600 Topanga Canyon Blvd.; 818-594-8732
What: Join Chabad of West Hills during the SFV mall's Chanukah menorah lighting Monday, December 7th from 5 to 7pm. It's all happening on level two near American Eagle Outfitters; expect DIY activities for kids ages 2 to 13, free latkes and donuts, music, and a swanky menorah lighting ceremony. See more details here.
Where: The Beverly Center, 8500 Beverly Blvd.; 310-854-0070
What: Pamper your photogenic four-legged friends Thursday, November 12th when Santa, celebrity couple Cara Santana and Jesse Metcalfe, and their pets welcome the holiday season in the Center Court. Shoppers can take snaps at the upscale mall's Art Deco-inspired holiday set and treat their pups to pet portraits through December 24th.(Update 11/9: More details have been added.)
Where: Downtown Santa Monica, 5th Street and Arizona Avenue; 310-260-1199
What: Ice at Santa Monica's 8,000-square-foot skating rink lands just north of Third Street Promenade and Santa Monica Place from November 1st through January 18, 2016. The grand opening festivities take place Thursday, November 5th from 6 to 10pm with free skating and food, live music and performances, kid-friendly activities, a photobooth, and more. Attendees are encouraged to bring a new unwrapped gift, gift card, or a cash donation to benefit the Police Activities League's Annual Best Gift Ever Drive. Regular skating admission is $15 and includes rentals; see the rink's hours here.
Where: Westfield Topanga, 6100 Topanga Canyon Blvd.; 818-854-4151
What: Woodland Hills on Ice invades the Valley shopping mall for its seventh holiday season starting Wednesday, November 11th. The grand opening festivities take place Saturday, November 14th with a host of kid-friendly activities and $10 admission for two hours of skating. From 11am to 2pm, enjoy free pizza (with paid admission while supplies last), face painting, and bounce house fun; from 4 to 4:15pm, watch a live show featuring the Hollywood Ice Theater and pro skaters Danielle Kahle and Jamila Berranda; and from 7 to 10pm, enjoy a rave-themed party with free glow sticks, a live EDM DJ, and more. The rink will be open through January 24th, 2016; two-hour skating seshes include rentals ($13 for kids 8 and under, $15 for ages 9 and up, and $20 for an all-day pass); click here for hours.
Where: The Americana at Brand, 889 Americana Way; 818-637-8982
What: The outdoor Glendale shopping center's fancy tree lighting ceremony takes place Thursday, November 19th from 7 to 9pm; early arrival at 5pm is recommended. Presented by BMW and sponsored by ABC Family and Reddiwip, the holiday soirée will feature live show by supergroup Band of Merrymakers (Natasha Beddingfield, Mark McGrath, Tyler Glenn, Alex Kinsey, and Sierra Deaton), dance performances by former So You Think You Can Dance contestants, festive snowfall, fireworks, and of course, a glitzy Christmas tree lighting spectacular with an appearance by Santa.
Where: Rodeo Drive, 200 block between Dayton Way and Wilshire Boulevard
What: Former '80s teen star Molly Ringwald headlines the luxury shopping stretch's holiday extravaganza Sunday, November 22nd. The festive block party starts at 6pm and includes a sneak preview dance show of "The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker", a laser light show with projected animations, live beats by celeb DJ Michelle Pesce, a tree lighting ceremony, and snowfall.
Where: The Promenade at Westlake, 100 Promenade Way; (805) 497-9861
What: The Westlake Village shopping center's winter wonderland-themed extravaganza takes place Friday, November 20th beginning at 7:30pm. Presented by UCLA Health, the sched features a tree lighting ceremony, a song-and-dance-filled performance, live holiday tunes, an appearance by Santa and his reindeer, snowfall, and fireworks.
Where: Citadel Outlets, 100 Citadel Drive; 323-888-1724
What: The home of the world's largest Christmas bow presents its 14th annual holiday tree lighting ceremony Saturday, November 7th from 4 to 7pm. Hosted by Mario Lopez, the family-friendly free event will debut the Commerce outlet center's record-breaking live-cut tree and its 18,000+ LED lights. In addition to a "colorful explosion of streamer cannons," the festivities include performances by Justin Bieber-faved singer Madison Beer and Disney stars Sabrina Carpenter and Laura Marano. Partygoers are also encouraged to bring unwrapped toy donations to benefit KidWorks.
Where: The Grove, 189 The Grove Drive; 888-315-8883
What: As mentioned, The Grove's Christmas with Seth MacFarlane kicks off the holiday season Saturday, November 14th (7 to 9pm). The free annual tree lighting ceremony includes a swanky unveiling of the shopping center's 100-foot fir tree and its 15,000 lights; musical performances by the Family Guy creator-turned-crooner, Grammy-nominated singer Meghan Trainor, and Katharine McPhee; a grand fireworks spectacular; and more.