Credit: Jamie Pham

10 Ways to Make January Less Boring in SoCal

Beat The January Blues With These To-Dos

The holidays have wrapped up. The days are shorter. The weather is chilly. It’s official: the January blues are upon us.

But, Southern California’s event scene is bringing us out of the January rut. From new theme parks, restaurants and interactive museums to world-class sporting events, the first month of the year is sure to be anything but boring. Plus, one of the best parts? No summer tourists and crowds! Instead, SoCal residents can enjoy a slew of fun events and hot spots on their own terms. Here’s what we’re looking forward to this January. 


Wander About at WNDR Museum

When: Opening Jan. 11


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We like a museum, but we love an interactive museum. Originally a Chicago pop-up, WNDR is an immersive contemporary arts museum heading to the Gaslamp Quarter this month. Head to one room to hear secret poetry whispered or pop into another to soak in the ultra-vibrant Northern Lights. You can witness art created by an automated machine or create art yourself with 360-degree digital canvases that allow you your own personal experience up close with the exhibits.

Location: Gaslamp Quarter (San Diego)


Cheer on the Los Angeles Lakers

When: Jan. 4, 6, 12, 15, 16, 18, 20, 24, 25

Credit: Tim Hart on Unsplash

Sport city pride with coveted tickets to a Lakers game at Arena. We recommend heading over early for dinner at a restaurant in LA Live before watching the pre-game warmup at the arena. And, while you’re cheering on LeBron James and Russell Westbrook while sporting your purple and gold, keep an eye out for celebrities–Lakers games are a known hotspot for Hollywood A-listers. 

Location: Downtown Los Angeles



Become a Film Buff at the Palm Springs International Film Festival

When: Jan. 5-16

Take a glamorous desert detour to one of the country’s biggest film festivals. Pick your poison among over 130 dazzling films and “Talking Pictures” Q&As hosted by the talent behind the big-screen. But don’t skip over the Film Awards and Gala on opening night. When donning your fanciest clothes, sipping on cocktails and spotting honorees like Austin Butler, Michelle Yeoh and Viola Davis, it’s almost as entertaining as the movies themselves. 

Location: Palm Springs


Light It Up at LA Zoo Lights: Animals Aglow

When: Jan. 1-22 (closed Mondays + Tuesdays)

Head to the Los Angeles Zoo for a true winter wonderland of lights, celebration of all things nature and, of course, plenty of photo ops. From bright tunnels with rotating lights and glittery towering trees to colorful lanterns, the zoo becomes a sensory paradise under the stars for all ages. Be sure to take an evening stroll through the Butterfly Garden, Sloth Forest and Koala Grove—the immersive lightscapes and realistic sculptures are breathtaking.

Location: Los Angeles



Sip Under the Sun at San Diego Brew Festival

When: Jan. 7

Credit: Julian Hochgesang on Unsplash

San Diego might as well be synonymous with beer, and you’ll certainly be toasting to the city’s moniker of “Craft Beer Capital” at its 12th annual San Diego Brew Festival. Sip on your choice of over 200 beers from more than 70 breweries while grooving to cover bands and crushing cornhole competitions with a gorgeous view of the harbor. Bring an appetite too–food trucks will be dishing up their best.   

Location: Liberty Station (San Diego) 


Par-Tee at The American Express Golf Tournament

When: Jan. 16-22

A trip to The American Express Golf Tournament will make you forget all about winter. Set under the desert sun, this golf tournament doesn’t just attract the best of the best in terms of golf; it brings the ultimate in entertainment. Head to the open-air Casamigos Deck or the iconic Michelob Ultra Beers for Birdies venue to catch a glimpse of your favorite players before heading to nightly concerts with Gwen Stefani and Darius Rucker. 

Location: La Quinta



Snag Tickets to Segerstrom Center for the Arts’ “To Kill a Mockingbird”

When: Jan. 1-8

California Events January
Credit: Segerstrom Center for the Arts

It’s time for a cozy, culture-filled night at the theater. Catch Academy Award winner Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of Harper Lee’s bestseller, “To Kill A Mockingbird,” at the start of the month in Orange County’s best performing arts venue. When you’re not admiring Emmy Award-winning actor Richard Thomas’ work as Atticus Finch, be sure to peep the venue’s unique firebird sculpture and snap a selfie in its signature wraparound mirror stairs. 

Location: Costa Mesa


Experience Super Nintendo World’s Universal Studios Opening

When: January

SUPER NINTENDO WORLD Opens at Universal Studios Hollywood on Friday, February 17, 2023

Universal Studios Hollywood is getting a nostalgic upgrade in 2023 with the addition of the new and colorful Super Nintendo World. Test your video game skills offline with special VR goggles and an interactive Mario Kart course before popping into Princess Peach’s castle. However, the rides and interactive areas aren’t the only fun to experience. Be sure to snag a signature character cream soda that’s just as delicious as it is photo-worthy. 

Location: Hollywood


Give Villa One Tequila Gardens a Shot

When: All month long!

Credit: Francisco Galarza on Unsplash

It’s always rooftop season in Southern California. This month, we’re headed to Nick Jonas and John Varvatos’ new tequila-centric rooftop destination named after their spirits brand: Villa One Tequila Gardens. With vibey natural textiles, greenery-covered walls and lush trees, it’s like dining in a special agave garden. Check the calendar for your favorite DJ and post up with your crew, a taco platter and margarita flights for the ultimate party to start the new year.

Location: Downtown San Diego


Take a Bite Out of the Mondrian’s Casa Madera

When: Opening Jan. 14


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Sip and savor on the Sunset Strip at the Mondrian Hotel’s new high-end Mexican and Mediterranean fusion restaurant, Mondrian’s Casa Madera. Between bites of tantalizing coastal-inspired food and a thoughtful cocktail menu, soak up the atmosphere and transport yourself to the Riviera Maya. Sandy touches, rustic off-white decor and light wood take you from the City of Angels to a luxe and remote paradise. For a true staycation moment, book a room at the hotel and soak up the view at the luxe Skybar pool.

Location: West Hollywood

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