Forget The Beach! L.A.'s Best Cooler-Weather Activities

While the majority of the country is experiencing sub-zero temps, we've got it pretty easy here in L.A. But, that doesn't mean we can't complain a bit whenever it dips below 60 degrees. The current cold streak sweeping through Lala may make skirts feel like a distant memory, but buck up, dear readers! We've got a roster of 13 of the coolest cold-weather activities to get you out of your crib and make this winter the best one yet.
Pining to see real snow? Head up the road to Mount Baldy. Want to warm up and relax on a cold, wet day? Get toasty at one of the many Korean day spas in town. Plus, we've got more than a dozen other ideas to kick your cabin fever to the curb. Start filling up your iCal now — weather report, be damned!
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Drink Hot Toddies
The reigning champ of alcoholic beverages for warming up on a winter night is the hot toddy. Add a fireplace, cozy atmosphere, and good company and you've got yourself a stellar winter evening. Our favorite L.A. spots for sipping the hot whiskey libation, plus all of the above? The super-cozy Dominick's and the recently opened Sassafras Saloon.

Dominick's Restaurant, 8715 Beverly Boulevard (at North Sherbourne Drive); 310-652-2335.
Sassafras Saloon, 1233 Vine Street (at Fountain Avenue); 323-467-2800.

Photography by Shawna Sellmeyer
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Visit The Watts Towers
Consisting of 17 major sculptures constructed on structural steels and covered with mortar, this art installation is the work of Sam Rodia. The unbelievable urban masterpiece is adorned with stunning mosaics of broken glass, sea shells, and ceramics — definitely a sight to see. Also, don't forget to check out the Watts Tower Art Center for exhibits from local artists.

The Watts Towers,1727 East 107th Street (at Santa Ana Boulevard); 213-202-5500.

Photo: Courtesy of Watts Tower
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Korean Day Spas
Real talk: Nothing is more satisfying on a cold and rainy day than hot tubs, saunas, and steam rooms! Cue the plethora of Korean day spas all over Lala that we can never get enough of. Spa entrance fees are super inexpensive ($15 to $25 for the day), and include access to pools, saunas, and steam rooms. If you really want to unwind, treat yourself to a body treatment for extra. Bonus: Entrance fees are typically waived with any treatment. Score!

Wi Spa, 2700 Wilshire Boulevard (at South Rampart Boulevard); 213-487-2700.
Natura Spa, 3240 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite B (at South Vermont Avenue); 213-381-2288.
Century Day & Night Spa, 4120 West Olympic Boulevard (at Crenshaw Boulevard); 323-954-1020.

Photo: Courtesy of Natura Spa
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Ice Skating at Culver Ice Arena
Relive your childhood dreams of becoming Michelle Kwan (or Nancy Kerrigan) at the Culver City ice rink. The full-sized arena is open year-round, so you can rent a pair of skates and practice your triple axels, or keep it low-key with casual laps. There are also outdoor rinks in Downtown at Pershing Square and in Santa Monica, but this weekend is your last chance to glide on over before they close for the season.

Culver Ice Arena, 4545 Sepulveda Boulevard (near Franklin Avenue); 310-398-5718.
Downtown on Ice at Pershing Square, 532 South Olive Street (at West 5th Street); 213-847-4970.
ICE at Santa Monica, 1324 5th Street (at Arizona Avenue); 310-461-8333.

Photography by Shawna Sellmeyer
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Tour L.A.'s Amazing Street Graffiti
Roam the streets (perhaps with Canon in-hand?) and enjoy our one-of-a-kind urban art scenery. It’s most likely something you drive by every day, so why not take the time to really examine it for some New Year's inspiration. Make it an afternoon activity of enjoying some of the sickest street art in the U.S. — and squeeze in some shopping. Here's our guide if you need a handy map!

Photography by Meryl Luzzi
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Mount Baldy Day Trip
Ever wonder what those snow-capped mountains are in the distance? That’s Mount Baldy, folks! Only an hour drive north of L.A., this is the spot to hit if you want to truly pretend it’s winter in SoCal. Enjoy snow tubing, skiing, snowboarding, or just some good old-fashioned sledding and snowball making. Tip: End your trip by hitting up the lodge for delicious grub.

Mt. Baldy Ski Lifts, 8401 Mt. Baldy Road, Mt. Baldy, CA; 909-982-0800.

Photo: Courtesy of Mt. Baldy Ski Lifts
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Detox/Retox Saturdays at Golden Road Brewery
What better way to start a cool Saturday morning than with a yoga session outside? Head on over to Golden Road Brewery — home of some seriously delicious brews — for a yoga class on the outside lawn followed by beer and breakfast. Umm, sun salutations and pale ale sounds like a dream weekend morning to us!

Golden Road Brewery, 5410 San Fernando Road West (near West Doran Street); 213-373-4677.

Photo: Courtesy of Golden Road Brewery
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Go to a Live Taping
Attending a live taping of a TV show is a rite of passage in SoCal — and now is the best time to go. The best part? Tickets to be in the audience are entirely free. You just sit back, relax, and clap on cue. From fave late-night shows (Conan, Chelsea Lately, and Jimmy Kimmel to name a few) to classics like Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!, take your pick of dates and you’ll receive an email or phone call confirming your seats.

For tickets to Conan, click here.
For tickets to Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson, and more, click here.
For tickets to Chelsea Lately, The Price Is Right, America’s Got Talent, Let’s Make A Deal, and more, click here.
For tickets to Wheel of Fortune, click here.
For tickets to Jeopardy!, click here.

Photo: Courtesy of Team Coco
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Urban Hike from Echo Park to Silver Lake
Urban-hiker enthusiasts, listen up! Tucked away between Echo Park and Silver Lake is a hidden path that follows the old Pacific Electric Red Car that ran from 1896 to 1955. Slightly under a mile, you’ll find staircases and remnants of the trolley line along the elusive tract of land. And, maybe if you’re lucky, you’ll spot the ghost train.

Begins at Allesandro Way and Lake View Avenue and ends at Corralitas Drive.

Photography by Shawna Sellmeyer
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Volunteer And Pick Fruit Outdoors
Reap in the benefits of living in an agricultural goldmine by volunteering at Food Forward. It’s a nonprofit that organizes volunteers to pick locally grown produce, then delivers the goods to food banks, as well as special events in the community. The opportunity happens throughout every month all over Los Angeles, so sign up and get to pickin'! It’s a shining example of fruitanthropy.

Photo: Courtesy of Food Forward
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Hike in Malibu
This may be the closest you’ll get to the beach in the ‘Bu until the summer, and it’s absolutely worth it. Whether you’re a hiking pro or a novice, you’ll enjoy every moment of the trek from Mishe Mokwa Trail to Sandstone Peak. The seven-mile journey has breathtaking views of the Santa Monica Mountains — just be sure to bundle up.

12896 Yerba Buena Road, Malibu; 805-370-2301.

Photo: Courtesy of National Park Service
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Museum Day at the Hammer
The Hammer Museum is our go-to spot for inspiration and a creative kick during the blah-worthy months. Located in Westwood, don’t miss out on the eye-catching mural exhibit of Meg Cranston’s work (shown until February 7th), the Game Room exhibition ending February 17th (a look at games from a bygone era), or the free weekly Mindful Awareness sessions to de-stress and relax every Thursday.

Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Boulevard (at Westwood Boulevard); 310-443-7000.

Photo: Courtesy of the Hammer Museum
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Hit Up the Farmers’ Market
Chilly weather is the best time to take full advantage of all the fantastic farmers’ markets. No matter what neighborhood you live in, there's most likely a stretch of sidewalk for shopping near you. Enjoy some tasty samples, stock up on your local produce, flowers, and so much more at these outdoor splendors. Find the one nearest you here.

Photo: Courtesy of FarmerNet
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