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December 12th, 2017

Winter in Marina del Rey — 5 Ways to Celebrate the Coziest Season of the Year

It may feel like summer every day of the year in Marina del Rey, but don’t let that fool you—we definitely know how to do winter right. Sure, you can still SUP across the water and meditate on the beach, but you can also cozy up in a sweater and sip hot chocolate, take in beautiful holiday lights at the park, practice your figure 8s on the ice and toast s’mores by the fire. Boy, that all sounds pretty marvelous, doesn’t it? No wonder the song goes: “it’s the most wonderful time of the year”—it really kind of is!

Here are 5 indulgences that will instantly make you agree. Enjoy the season, everyone!

1. HOLIDAY LIGHTS AT BURTON CHACE PARK

One of the coolest new holiday traditions in Marina del Rey is the launch of Marina Lights, a brand-new seasonal program at Burton Chace Park. If you went to Snow Wonder last weekend, you saw the twinkling magic unfold and you have to admit, it’s pretty special. Good news is, you can enjoy the lights through December 30, plus every Saturday of the month, the atmosphere will be livened up by festive entertainment and refreshments from Churro Boss. As if that’s not awesome enough, there will also be outdoor movies at 6 pm (and a warming station in case there’s a chill in the harbor air). This Saturday, the feature outdoor film is Home Alone; December 23, the hilarious A Christmas Story will be on the big screen; and on December 30, you can enjoy the classic—It’s a Wonderful Life. How perfect is that?

2. INDULGE IN (SOME KIND OF) HOT CHOCOLATE

Yes, hot chocolate is synonymous with winter happiness. It’s just an unwritten rule that you have to indulge in some form of its goodness at least once this season. And the wonderful thing is, nowadays, it comes in so many delightful forms—there’s something for everyone! There’s the grown-up kind—like the Salty Hot Chocolate at SALT (Baileys, Godiva White, Hot chocolate caramel sauce and a sprinkling of sea salt—-yaaas, please). Or the Euro-inspired kind like Tanners European Hot Cocoa. Or the healthier kind like the sugar-free hot chocolate at Peets. Or the vegan-friendly kind—such as a Starbuck’s hot chocolate with almond or soy milk, or their new amazing Toffee Almond Milk Hot Cocoa (just remember to hold the whip on both!). SO. MANY. CHOICES.

3. GO ICE SKATING

Obviously, you must take a jaunt up to ICE Santa Monica for a day of skating—I mean, that’s just a SoCal winter no-brainer. Scrounge up $15 for skate rentals and admission, grab a friend for balance and show off your mad skating skills. Remember, the rink closes January 15th so get up there soon!

4. DO BONFIRES WITH S’MORES

Bonfires up at Dockweiler Beach may feel like a summer to-do, but trust us, it’s equally tantalizing in the winter—you may just need to add a knit cap, a sweater, and maybe a thermos of hot toddys to the mix! Plus, you can’t forget the marshmallows, chocolate and grahams…no winter bonfire is complete without the ooey gooey childhood treat. (Bonus tip for vegan s’mores lovers—grab your marshmallows at Trader Joe’s!)

5. SAND SLED AT VENICE BEACH

So, you know those sand berms you see at the edge of the beach right now? Officially, they’re supposed to protect from winter storms and big surfs—but unofficially, they’re a major playground for the sled-inclined. So, if you’re looking for some winter-style fun (and this is especially great for the kids in your life), stroll up to Venice with sled in hand and have at it!

Tell us—what is your favorite winter activity in and around Marina del Rey? We want to know!