Today is Black Friday, which means that a sizable portion of our readers have probably been up since dawn trying to snag the best deals in town or on the internet. But sometimes the best deals don’t mean the best gifts, and that’s where this guide comes in handy.
My goal this year, as in previous editions, is to help you give away unique Los Angeles experiences and (mostly) locally sold goods, from wine tours and cheese clubs to manual tortilla presses and limited-edition hot sauce. You know, things that show you thought a little more than asking for an In-N-Out gift card (not that there’s anything wrong with that!).
The list begins below starting with our specialty…things to do!
Experiences and things to do
Malibu Wine Hike at Saddlerock Ranch
Do you want to spend more time with a friend? Consider booking a two-hour wine hike for $49 per person at Saddlerock Ranch. Spend the day exploring the natural rock formations and the Cave of the Four Horsemen, which contains cave paintings of the Chumash Native Americans, before riding through the vines of Malibu’s vineyard. -> More information here
“Dumplings Janitor” by XCJ
The team that perfected the frozen soup dumpling (xiao long bao) has created a dumpling concierge service to help you give the gift of an authentic dumpling experience to your loved ones across the country. Go big with The Whole Shebang option that comes with two bags of dumplings, a trio of sauces, and a steamer basket. Shipping is free. Just submit your name and email on the gift page and a member of the XCJ team will help you put together a package. Prices range from $80 to $100. Learn more here.
Enchanted forest of light at Descanso Garden
Descanso Gardens’ annual light show is a great treat for families. The Enchanted Forrest of Light displays a range of immersive and sometimes interactive illuminated installations within a mile walk. Tickets are $34-$40 for non-member adults and children two and under are free. runs every day through January 8, except Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas days off. More information here.
Cheese of the Month Club Membership
Do you have a friend who really likes to make charcuterie boards? Sign them up for the cheese club! The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills has a three to six month cheese of the month membership for $40 per month. Three half pound cuts of cheese are delivered to your door every month. -> More information here
IN MY SEA
Give the gift of relaxation and the art of doing nothing with a visit to IntoMeSea. Recharge with a soak inside a galactic crystal intention tub, detox in a red light sauna, or float to serenity inside one of their unique floating suites. Prices vary, with some services like the sauna starting at $33 and the glass bath starting at $88. More information here.
Subscription to the wine club at Vinovore
Support women winemakers by signing up a friend (or yourself) with a subscription to the wine club at Vinovore. Receive two to four bottles of wine a month for $45. Personalization is available for strictly red or white drinkers, and if you like to be surprised, there’s also a mixed wine option. More information here.
Horseback Riding with Malibu Riders
Malibu Riders organizes guided rides through Malibu and Agoura Hills. There are several options, including a 45-minute ride through Zuma Canyon overlooking the ocean and a one-hour ride near Paramount Ranch. Prices range from $100 to $200. -> More information here
Cryo at Pause Studio
Do you have someone in your life who is interested in the latest wellness trends? So the best gift (literally) you can give is a $40 session at Pause Studios Arctic Chamber. The chamber goes down to temperatures of -140°F to -220°F and, if nothing else, offers a fun mental challenge on top of the supposed bodily benefits. yes that sounds also relax, opt for an introductory floating session starting at $69. And if you’re considering a gift, for a limited time, Pause is offering a free $20 bonus on $100 gift card purchases. Pause has locations in WeHo, Venice, and the South Bay. Learn more here.
gifts and treats
Local Mexican food and cookware company Masienda partners with hundreds of traditional Oaxacan farmers to grow and source traditional corn for their masa. This year, the company is offering a series of tortilla starter kits, including relic masa and manual tortilla presses. You can also buy the book of the founder of Masienda, Jorge Gaviria DOUGH, which teaches you the history and science behind corn dough, and teaches you how to use it at home. Masienda’s shop even offers a beautiful Molcajete (the traditional Mexican version of the mortar), made from fine-grained lava rock by artisan Don Enrique of San Salvador El Seco, Puebla. More information here.
Howlin’ Rays x Goodie Clothing Collab
California streetwear label Goodie has teamed up with the hot chicken-ruining Howlin’s Rays to create a scorching line of apparel including t-shirts, shorts, hats and socks. Prices range from $22 to $75. Our favorite tee is Nashville to Hell ($50), which is a light wash and a relaxed fit for a vintage feel. More information here.
Any hiking buttons on your gift list? SoCal-based, family-owned CALPAK recently launched an adorable line of shoulder bags made to hold a water bottle. Made of water-resistant ripstop nylon with an insulated interior and multiple pockets, this bag is so practical that you can easily use it out of the way in everyday life. The bag is $42 and comes in several prints, including unisex options. More information here.
Kiva is one of the top edible brands in the country, and this year they collaborated with local legends The Yeastie Boys on an Everything Bagel Seasoning chocolate bar and launched cannabis-infused tart fruit chews under the HUF skate brand. Both items are $20 each and are great stocking stuffers for adults. Kiva products can be shipped, delivered or picked up at select dispensaries. More information here.
Cloud Shelter Necklace
Cloud Haven creates stunning handmade necklaces with 14k gold filled beads, freshwater pearls and natural gemstones. The Dallas-based jewelry brand is tapping into the fashion world’s obsession with nostalgia through statement jewelry for the young at heart that’s designed to last a lifetime. Necklaces start at $110. A portion of all sales is donated to local and global animal welfare organizations. Cloud Haven provided us with a 25% discount code, use “WELIKELA” at checkout. More information here.
For the holidays, Eataly put together a Panettone Guide to help people find the perfect match. The Italian Christmas cake dates back to the 15th century and has come in many forms ever since. The guide suggests specific Panettones available at Eataly, from moscato-infused, baked chocolate to berry-sprinkled versions. Prices start at $25. More information here.
Gift sets selected by Prosperity Market
Prosperity Market founders Kara Still and Carmen Dianne have curated a series of special gift sets featuring local Black-owned businesses. Themes include Flavor, Snack, Self Care and Produce, all priced between $45 and $55. Online ordering launches on the Prosperity Market website on November 25 and closes on December 15. Local delivery (fee applies) and pickup will be available on December 17. More information here.
Trejo’s Tacos Limited Edition Hot Sauce
For the holiday season, Danny Trejo has created a limited-edition Trejo’s Tacos hot sauce that features Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Pepper. Considered the second hottest pepper in the world, the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Pepper registers 2 million Scoville units. Only 1,000 signed and numbered bottles are available to purchase online for $75 and come in an elegant box perfect for gifting. More information here.
Café Gratitude Gingerbread Christmas Cookie Kit
Café Gratitude Christmas Gingerbread Kits are back in stock starting December 7th. Cookie kits are plant-based and gluten-free, made with natural and organic ingredients, with no artificial colors or shortening. A great gift for a family with children or adults who love crafts. Available online and in store for $35. More information here.
LA Meekly’s 365-day calendar of Los Angeles history
Los Angeles history podcasters have created a new 2023 calendar ($35), listing an L.A. history event for each corresponding day of the year and featuring photos of iconic landmarks and vantage points from across the city. If you know a history buff who wants to hang LA on their wall, this is a solid gift. More information here.
Barker Wellness CBD Products
Got a Blink-182 fan on your list? Check out Travis Barker’s wellness line of CBD and vegan products, including a muscle therapy balm ($65), instant tinctures ($4), or tasty gummies ($11-$65) to help sleep through recovery. More information here.
Le Bon Garcon
AAPI-owned, Los Angeles-based candy maker Le Bon Garçon has launched eye-catching gift tins just in time for the holidays. the Oprah’s Favorite Things Approved French-style candies come in classic sea salt, lavender honey, tiramisu, and passion fruit mango. Cans start at $19. More information here.
Local nail polish company ORLY has launched a Lisa Frank collaboration featuring iconic characters in statement nail decals and nail polishes. Prices range from $11.99 to $12.50. You can also customize a nail polish color for $20 at their West Hollywood headquarters for a personalized gift. You will be able to name the polish and it comes in a box. More information here.