Many Angelenos celebrate the yuletide season by attending midnight mass or carrying out last-minute gift wrapping sessions. But for those who don't observe Christmas, and those who are looking for something else to do this holiday, there are alternatives that are just as festive. From Jewish comedy to some of the best Chinese food in town, here are some other options.
Elon Gold and other Jewish comics will take the mic at the Laugh Factory on Thursday evening for its Merry Erev Christmas event. The next day, the venue will host its annual free Christmas comedy feast for people in need and others looking for something fun to do. Comics and celebrities will dish out the food (first-come, first-serve, so come an hour early) followed by a comedy show. To receive four free tickets to a show, contribute to the Laugh Factory's holiday toy drive with a toy valued at $20 or more.
When: 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Dec. 24 | 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 25
Where: 8001 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood
Price: Merry Erev Christmas tickets are $25+ | Christmas Day feast is free
2. Eat Chinese food
For many people, eating Chinese food on Christmas is a sacred tradition. Our recommendation: Yang Chow, which is known for its addictive slippery shrimp and has locations in Chinatown, the San Fernando Valley and Pasadena. We called the Chinatown restaurant and they said that you don’t have to make reservations, but do expect a line.
Craving dim sum instead? Head to Monterey Park's NBC Seafood, which does take reservations, or San Gabriel's Wang Xing Ji for juicy pork dumplings. Plum Tree Inn in Chinatown is already getting reservations, so get to it. Our Twitter friend Juan Vargas suggests the sweet and pungent chicken or the beef with scallops.
For other dining options on Christmas Eve, our pal Jonathan Gold made these suggestions:
Get into an empire state of mind on Dec. 25 with a visit to Vincent Laforet's "Air" photography exhibit at the Fahey/Klein Gallery. The exhibit showcases Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas, Miami and London, along with other big cities across the globe, through the lens of Laforet. The cityscapes take you into the sky as you look into the bright lights and breathtaking views of some of the world's most renowned cities.
When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 18 to Jan. 30 | Open Christmas Day
Where: Fahey/Klein Gallery | 148 N La Brea Ave., Los Angeles
Looking for a party this holiday season? Matzoball is a bash designed for Jewish singles, and the fun gets underway at 9 p.m. on Dec. 24. People ages 21 to 49 have been gathering for Matzoball for 29 years. The tradition got started with young Jewish people home on Christmas Eve with nothing to do, and most places closed. Thus, the Matzoball party was birthed. The fun takes place across the nation, with locations from Los Angeles to New York City and everywhere in between. Matzoball anticipates that tickets will sell out, so get them now to make sure you don't miss out on the festivities.
When: 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Dec. 24 for people ages 21 to 49
Where: The Room Hollywood | 1626 N Cahuenga Blvd., Los Angeles
Price: Tickets are $30
5. Catch a movie
Escape the Christmas chaos with a movie — or two! There are several big releases on Dec. 25, and whether you are looking to see "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" for the third time or you need a little more J-Law in your life, there's a movie out there for you.
Movies opening Dec. 25:
- "Joy" starring Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro
- "Daddy's Home" starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg
- "Concussion" starring Will Smith and Alec Baldwin
- "The Danish Girl" starring Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander
- "Point Break" starring Luke Bracey
6. Spend a day at the beach
Take a day trip out to the beach on Christmas Day. Point Dume in Malibu is always a great spot to visit if you are looking to spend your Friday off by the shore. With weather forecasts in the high 50s in Malibu on Dec. 25, the day should be clear for some outdoor fun. Pack a thermos of hot chocolate and a winter picnic, or when you start to get hungry, head over to Cholada Thai Beach Cuisine for some pad thai. See the map for directions to Cholada Thai.
What are your favorite things to do on Dec. 25? Where are your favorite places to eat? Let us know in comments, on Facebook or Twitter.