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Snowy and icy fun isn’t as exotic to Angelenos as you’d think, thanks to mountain ranges nearby and malls that pump in synthetic snow to help get people into the gift-giving spirit. Rugged sports or bougie shopping, here are seven cold-weather snow days you’ll want to experience ASAP.

RELATED: Your Guide to the Perfect Day in Highland Park 

los angeles winter snow
Facebook/Visit Big Bear

1. Frolic in the Snow with Fido in Big Bear (3 Hours from Los Angeles)

A pet-friendly Airbnb rental for the weekend with a fireplace (like this lodge) or a hot tub (like here) and nearby woods where you can exercise with your dog? Heaven. The area is known for its fishing, hiking, snowboarding and skiing, making it the perfect place to get outdoorsy (even if you’re more of the indoorsy type).

los angeles winter ice skaing
Facebook/Holiday Ice Rink Downtown Los Angeles

2. Go Ice Skating—Downtown or in Santa Monica

Through January 20, you can rent skates and take a twirl downtown in Pershing Square or at Fifth Street and Arizona Avenue in Santa Monica. There is a DJ on Thursdays from 7 p.m. until close at the downtown location—otherwise, you’ll have to content yourself with all that happy holiday music. In Santa Monica, live musical performances start at 11 a.m. every Sunday.

los angeles winter skiing
Facebook/Snow Valley Mountain Resort

3. Hit the Slopes of Snow Valley (2.5 hours from L.A.)

This sweet little family-run ski resort in the San Bernardino Mountains caters to all levels. It’s not going to wow you with breathtaking stands of aspen trees or mountain ridges, but it’s a great place for newbies of all ages to take ski and snowboarding lessons to learn skills before that big trip to Colorado or Utah.

Find out more

los angeles winter tubing

4. Go Tubing in Elysian Park

It’s called Snow Day L.A., and it’s just the thing to do with a houseful of hyper kids who are home on a school holiday. Long lanes of “snow” (actually a synthetic carpet-like material developed to teach kids to ski year-round) are set up on a bumpy hill. It’s outdoors, so it’s cold, and there’s also synthetic snow blowing through the air. What makes it feel even more magical?  You can walk through a forest of multicolored ten-foot crystals. Buy tickets at

GroveLA square
The Grove LA

5. Get Snowed On at the Grove in West Hollywood

At 7 and 8 p.m. daily, a fluttering of synthetic snow falls at the Grove. It’s not real snow, but it does have a real Nordstrom, so take this opportunity to take care of that last-minute shopping. 

Get the full details here.

SkiLA square

6. Go Nordic Skiing on Mount Pinos, 2.5 hours from Los Angeles

Real Old California charm (and backcountry adventure) awaits on Mount Pinos, the highest point in Ventura County. It’s a large area monitored only by a ski patrol, so take an experienced mountain person with you, even if it’s just to try the beginner routes.


7. Sit in a Hot Tub on Your A-Frame Cabin Deck in Idyllwild (3 hours from Los Angeles)

Maybe you don’t want to have anything to do with the snow. If that’s the case, enjoy a nice glass of red while admiring the views through the window of your cabin before getting really ambitious and taking a dip in the hot tub. 

RELATED: Not Feeling the Snow? Visit the 10 Best Beach Towns in SoCal Instead

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