Temperatures may still be in the seventies in Southern California, but Santa’s on his way and holiday cheer is everywhere. Here’s how some of our favorite venues and destinations are celebrating.

At the Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel, the grand lobby is being transformerd into a holiday wonderland with an ornate and edible life-size gingerbread house and a 12-foot Douglas fir. Bringing back a holiday tradition for the first time in 15 years, guests will be greeted with freshly roasted chestnuts at the property’s porte cochère while real snow falls from above. 

Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills has partnered with the Los Angeles Ballet and luxury tea blender Tealaves to offer a Nutcracker tea menu in the Lobby Lounge. The menu features chestnut and mushroom pie, pumpkin quiche, tea sandwiches, Gruyere popovers and an assortment of sweet treats. Guests can enjoy a special Nutcracker holiday package that includes an overnight stay for two guests, the holiday tea, dinner at Jean-Georges Beverly Hills and two tickets to The Nutcracker ballet.

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway will be offering free candy canes, photo opportunities with Santa, a “Sound of the Holidays” musical series and a special prix fixe holiday menu at Peaks Restaurant on Christmas and New Year’s days. 

The Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade will celebrate its 109th year during the five nights of December 13-17. One of the longest holiday traditions in the country, the “Ring of Lights” parade can be enjoyed from a variety of viewing locals in the new 10.5 acre Marine Park. Fireworks on opening and closing nights.

The Bai Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square has returned to downtown Los Angeles for its 20th anniversary season. Framed by skyscrapers and historical landmarks, the 7,200-square-foot Ice Rink welcomes more that 54,000 skaters and 450,000 spectators annually. Open through January 15, the rink is hosting a series of festive special events including sets by DJ HowLy on select Thursday nights, Aladdin-themed skates every Wednesday evening, curling lessons, silent skate parties and a Polar Bear Skate on New Year’s Day with a dress code of beach attire.

More than 1 million people visited Dilworth Park in December, up 14% from 2016. The fun isn’t over yet, as the attractions and activities at the Park continue through the end of February.


I love spring and especially the month of May. Flowers start blooming during my mom’s birthday month. It’s the official kickoff to summertime at the Up North cottage. I find myself outdoors more to enjoy bike trails that are slowly drying up for less-sloppy rides. And it’s the time when we host our annual Meetings + Events magazine Best of Michigan awards party.

So save the date — Wednesday, May 23 at Detroit’s Cobo Center. Party registration is now open online


In the Winter 2018 issue of Colorado Meetings + Events that will be released this December, I wrote a feature story about the Experience Economy. Instead of being hemmed in by four walls or one conference hotel, groups want local experiences. In my opinion, one of the best and simplest ways to get a real taste of local without going to a bunch of work and expense is scheduling in tandem with a destination’s event calendar.