Illustrations by Lisk Feng

Book soon for a trek through the limited-time “Enchanted: Forest of Light” installation at the beloved Descanso Gardens in La Canada Flintridge. In a first-time initiative, there will be 10 individual “lighting experiences” in the gardens, some of them interactive. Reserve a table at the Maple restaurant located on site to round off the night. The installation runs from Nov. 25 through Jan. 8.

(Camelia Forest Mockup)

Head over to the Santa Margarita Ranch near San Luis Obispo for a curated campout by glamping specialist Under Canvas. They will set up your luxury tent — complete with carpets and full-sized beds — for a five-day stay that will include a private chef, ziplining, wine tastings, horseback riding, a food tour in Paso Robles and a massage.

(Tiffany Rose)

A yearlong family membership to the L.A. Zoo is a great gift for a couple with a young child and comes with all kinds of perks, such as private walking tours and Breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus on Dec. 3, held before doors open to the masses.

(Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

Reserve this for someone obsessed with the fragrant, spicy treat. For them, book the Gingerbread Dreams Suite at the posh Mission Inn Hotel & Spa in Riverside where, over the holiday season, the luxury resort property will be decorated with more than 4.5 million lights and 400 animated figures. The suite will boast a gingerbread-themed tree and decorations. For a surcharge, an elf will arrive with presents. Call to book: (951)784-0300.

(The Mission Inn and Spa)

One of Van Gogh’s most popular and recognizable works — “The Bedroom” — will be on display Dec. 9 through March 6 in the breathtaking space that is the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena. You can buy tickets now for $12 a person and plan to make a day of it — just expect lines.

(Van Gogh)

Enjoy a local getaway and practice your pedaling at the same time with the Mr C Cycles package at the chic Mr C Beverly Hills hotel. The bundle includes the use of an Italian Colnago bike and a helmet from premium-brand Kask so you can safely dodge traffic as you jet around town, a daily bottle of juice from Pressed Juicery, $75 toward in-hotel dining and a “Ride Recover” treatment at the hotel spa, which includes an hour-long massage and steam with clove, eucalyptus and peppermint to soothe muscles.

(Colnago Bike )

Curious youngsters (and adults!) will never tire of traipsing through the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, one of the world’s largest collection of natural and cultural artifacts. Or checking out the nearby California Science Center, home to the Space Shuttle Endeavour (and the current exhibit, “The Science Behind Pixar,” which runs through April).

(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Hit the reset button with a visit to the Springs, a sunlit, almost-14,000-square-foot wellness spot in the heart of downtown Los Angeles’ Arts District. A gift certificate, available till the end of the year, for its Luxury Reset includes a glass of organic cold-pressed juice, yoga class, hourlong massage, 30 minutes in an infrared sauna and a lunch of entree, healthful dessert and kombucha.

(The Springs)

Love Christmas carols? Love choral music? A three-concert package for Saturday afternoons for choral music lovers at Walt Disney Concert Hall is $150 a person and will put you in the holiday spirit: The first concert in the matinee series is the Festival of Carols on Dec. 3.

(Richard Derk / Los Angeles Times)

Someone you know says their “chi” is blocked? Los Angeles feng shui expert Anjie Cho will work on their living or work space to improve the flow of money, enhance relationships, and generally elevate the ambience of the places people spend most of their time in. An in-person consult, which lasts two to three hours, also includes astrology and numerology analysis, recommended feng-shui based adjustments, and space blessings.

(Anjie Cho )

Hey, “Good Eats” fans, Alton Brown is back. The man who melds food and science to hilarious effect is coming to the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood March 17 and 18 as part of his “Eat Your Science Tour.” Ticket prices vary widely, but last we checked there were still some $29 ducats available, and prices go up from there.. Where you sit will hardly matter: You'll be laughing too hard to notice.

(Alton Brown Live)

Want to splurge on the winter sports fan in your life? Natural Retreats, a company that curates outdoorsy getaways, has on hand a concierge to arrange heli-skiing in Teton Valley, Idaho — which can be accessed now via direct flights from LAX. The Heli-Ski Getaway Package, available from Jan. 14 until March 26, includes a stay at the Teton Springs Lodge and Spa, guided heli-skiing, lift service and breakfast. Call (888) 451-0156 or e-mail

(Natural Retreats)

This one is for the gardening buff on your holiday gift list: A year’s membership to the Huntington for two adults is $139 and includes free admission for children and grandchildren and endless access to 12 unique and distinct gardens spread out over 120 acres.


Give the gift of knowledge with a lesson or two by A-listers such as Serena Williams, Aaron Sorkin and Kevin Spacey. They are some of the illustrious folk to have created online tutorials with MasterClass in subjects that include acting, screenwriting and filmmaking. Upcoming: Reba McEntire espousing her views on country music, and Annie Leibovitz on photography.


Private chef Gina Clarke will lead you past the cliffs of Malibu down to the Santa Monica Pier on a pleasant morning hike before returning to her home for a cooking lesson using fresh, locally sourced ingredients for an only-in-California spread, such as caramelized sea scallops or pearl couscous salad with sun-dried tomatoes.

(Gina Clarke)

Is there an L.A. history buff on your holiday gift list? Consider a membership to the L.A. Conservancy, which starts at $40 a person, and includes Historic Highlights Tour, taking you behind the scenes of five landmark buildings in DTLA, many of which will be decorated for the holidays.

(Larry A. Underhill )

Farm-to-table is given a whole new meaning with Outstanding in the Field, a movement to gather people around long tables with heaving platters of food on scenic farms, orchards, beaches, vineyards and fields around the world. Upcoming ones are in the San Francisco Bay area (on Dec. 3, and it likely to sell out, so don't delay), Hawaii, Mexico, Florida and New Orleans. Prices vary but figure on spending around $200 per person for the meal -- and getting there, of course.

(Jim Denevan )

Next: Pets

Credits: Illustrations by Lisk Feng. Credits: Ricardo DeAratanha, Vera Castaneda, Calvin Hom, Rene Lynch, Kathy Pyon, Steve Elders, Ruthanne Salido, Alice Short, Alene Dawson, Kavita Daswani, Roy M. Wallack, Melinda Fulmer, Jessica Ritz, Ben Muessig, Jeanette Marantos, Terry Gardner, Janet Kinosian, Davis Alexander, Amy Scattergood, Ingrid Schmidt, Kenneth Turan, Tre’vell Anderson, Amy Kaufman, Meredith Woerner, Glenn Whipp and Evan Wagstaff. Design and development by Lily Mihalik.