Head to Red Lion Tavern in Silver Lake for an early celebration of St. Nick and Krampus. If you only drink for a good cause, you’re in luck: bring an item for Toys for Tots or the local org Miry’s List (which helps refugee families), and you’ll get a discount on drinks throughout the night. Costumes are encouraged, so don’t be a Scrooge and dig that half-goat, half-demon get up out of the back of your closet.
Festival of Carols
December 2 & 9
Any choir nerd (me) will tell you that Eric Whitacre is the Yoda of four-part harmony: Genius, he is. As the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s artist-in-residence, Whitacre is conducting their Festival of Carols at Disney Hall this weekend. Catch two performances of holiday classics—”Carol of the Bells,” “Joy to the World,” a “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer singalong”—as well as a handful of Whitacre’s engrossing original compositions, like his ethereal, haunting piece “Lux Arumque.” Whitacre (and Santa) are even doing a meet-and-greet after the show.
Museum of Failure
Opens December 2
Epic fails deserve to be canonized, too. DTLA’s A+D Architecture and Design museum is debuting the Museum of Failure, an exhibition dedicated to disastrous products. The idea started in Sweden and now is hitting the road for the first time, with L.A. being the launch of its US tour. Expect to see monstrosities like Bic for Her, frozen lasagna made by Colgate (yeah, the toothpaste people), the hula chair—whatever that is—and the Apple Newton (that old school PDA that never really took off, probably because no one ever knew what PDA meant. Personal Digital Assistant, if you’re wondering). The items hail from as far back as the 17th century and as recently as current day (sorry, Google Glass).
Indio International Tamale Festival
Indio is good for more than flower crowns and polo tournaments. This weekend, it’s really good for lots of delicious tamales. Some 200 vendors will be slinging steamed packets of masa in Old Town; unwrap yours in the beer or wine gardens or while rocking out at one of five stages. If you’re feeling really ambitious about your tamale consumption, consider hitting up the Oxnard Tamale Festival, too (December 2).
Now through January 14
Star Wars fans whose loyalties lie with the Imperial Army will want to hoof it to this pop-up Star Wars-themed bar on the third floor of the Hollywood and Highland mall, a black-and-red, neon-drenched homage to the franchise’s more sinister characters. (Indeed, Darth Vader and Storm Troopers might even be in attendance.) The $33 ticket gets you two custom cocktails, not to mention a front row seat for burlesque performances, trivia nights, alien speed dating, intergalactic dance parties, and immersive adventure games. It’s pretty much guaranteed to be a Sithshow.