How To Fake a Real Winter in Sunny Southern California

We just have to improvise a little.

joymode snow ball

A hot toddy by a roaring fire.

Twirling over the ice, your breath escaping like a cloud of smoke in the frigid air as you land a perfect triple-axel.

Beaning your best friends with snowballs...

You just love winter in L.A.

That’s right. Just because you made the totally kickass decision to spend your life in this sunniest of states doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the finer parts of winter. You know, the not freezing-your-butt-off part where you still have lots of fun with friends, lovers and family members in the cold.

It’s all possible. Allow us to show you how in our simple guide to the most enjoyable winter activities in temperate Los Angeles.


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We don’t have to tell you there exist places with giant frozen bodies of water called ice rinks where you can skate and play hockey and strut around to Billy Squier songs in a glittery unitard.

But did you know you can learn how to curl at these places, too? Yes, curling: that weird Olympic sport with the giant round stone and furious ice shavers. Just stay on top of Hollywood Curling’s online schedule to see where they’re offering lessons next. They’re eager to spread the gospel... of curling.

Ice Water


Cold enough for you? Wait, it’s not? You really mean that? Ok. We prescribe your inner member of the Polar Bear Club to get naked and hit Koreatown’s Wi Spa. It has an ice bath that will test your fortitude. And an ice sauna that you can sit in as long as you like. Just... chilling. Oof.

Two Words: Snowball Fight


Sure, you could always make the 2-hour drive to Mountain High and start some kind of snowball battle with your favorite road trippers. Or you could invite them over, make some hot drinks and order our Snowball Fight bundle. It comes with fabric snowballs that fly like the real thing, as well as an inflatable snow fort with its own electric pump. Not convincing enough for you? Just add on our Snow Flake Machine and let it snow, let it snow, let it blossom, let it flow.

Hot Toddies


A warming dram of alcohol would be the perfect way to wind down your snowball fight. If you don’t want to stay at home, you’re going to need a great bar with a greater fireplace. On the Westside, we’re fond of Old Man Bar in Hatchet Hall, which feels like you’re in Sharp Objects, in a good way. Tam O’Shanter is arguably the most transporting study to not study in, complete with stately fireplace, if you’re in the vicinity. And Downtown’s Clifton’s and the Perch both have great cocktails and great fireplaces. And for that, we thank them.

Hot Chocolate


If you’re enjoying this ersatz winter with the family, congratulations, you’re getting hot chocolate. Excellent versions abound, from the lavender hot chocolate at the Demitasse chain ( to Lady Chocolatt’s ( thick Belgian brew just below Brentwood. We’re big fans of the frozen hot chocolate at ChocoVivo, the cinnamon-kissed Mexican hot chocolate at La Monarca Bakery ( and the rich Spanish-style chocolate with churros at Churros Calientes ( in West L.A.

Ice Chamber


Since no odd fitness trend ever bypassed LA, naturally one can pay to enter a cryogenic chamber and be frozen in this city. It’s called cyrotherapy and is available at places like Coast Cryo in Venice and Downtown’s Cryo Spa, intended to treat inflammation post-workout and more serious conditions. Like not being frozen enough in your daily life.

Sunsets on the Beach


All of this wouldn’t be worth it if you didn’t give yourself the ultimate reminder that you can still visit the beach in January. So call someone you like to cuddle with, head over to the sand before it gets dark, bring a blanket and curl up under a setting sun. Trust us, it will be cold enough for your Californian ass. And don’t forget to snap a photo for your friends freezing back in Brooklyn. Suckers!

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