Why dream of a white Christmas when you can sled the sand berms and skate on wheels instead of ice? Venice is a wonderland any time of year but it carries a unique sparkle come the holidays. What it lacks in illuminated town Christmas tree it makes up for in having Treeman at the Venice Holiday Sign Lighting. And while the weather outside is definitely delightful, you’ll only need to “bundle up” in lightweight scarves while strolling the canals at the annual Holiday Boat Parade.
Who better to show us the holiday way around Venice than resident bloggers and retailers, Nicole and Jeremy Reed, who make a living around digging up the local charm and creative makings of the Los Angeles neighborhood at their blog and retail space, Lincoln & Rose?
V E N I C E Holiday Sign Lighting
It’s no Rockefeller Center. In fact, there’s no Christmas tree at all, but we do have a grand lighting ceremony to kick off the season when we flip the Venice sign bulbs to holiday red and green. Celebrity guest and Venice local Alecia Moore (better known as pop rocker Pink) did the honors this year, and it was perfectly fitting since her October album release with Dallas Green was named Rose Ave, an ode to her neighborhood.
A shining star upon the highest bough, Treeman is a well-known and much-loved local character at the Venice Boardwalk who festooned his foliage for the Venice Holiday Sign Lighting.
“Snow” At The Beach
It (almost) never snows in L.A. and yet here we go sledding on boogie boards every winter. The city mounds these sand berms to prevent storm waves from flooding the area, but they’re much more entertaining when used as bunny slopes, and kids get to ride them until early February.
Venice Art Walls
Our version of fake snow in a can. STP, a non-profit organization that oversees the Venice Art Walls, added Christmas color and some DIY frost to the beach with murals including Charlie Brown, The Grinch and Santa himself wielding a can of spray paint. They make a great backdrop for family photo Christmas cards, too.
Venice Canals Holiday Boat Parade
Now in its 33rd year, the Venice Canals Holiday Boat Parade is one of the best seasonal events in L.A. and yet a hidden gem that remains entirely local. It’s probably because the canals are surrounded by walking streets and it takes some effort to get there, but once you’re sipping spiked cider under the Christmas lights and gondolas glide by with carolers, there’s nothing quite like it. This is truly a winter wonderland.
Cortados and Pie
Nevermind pumpkin spiced lattes, when you live in Venice, your cup runneth over with premium brews by celebrity baristas, and few things feel more festive than warming up with a rich cortado after a brisk bike ride. Add to that a slice of heirloom apple pie served up by national pie champ Nicole Rucker at the new Gjusta bakery, and your holiday season is in full swing, even if it’s still 70 degrees and sunny.
Gifting Local at Lincoln & Rose Pop-Up Gift Shop
Venice is nothing if not an ever-evolving community of artists. Whether you code or crochet, it’s all about staying creative and supporting local. When it comes to holiday gifts, everyone loves to give and receive something unique with a great story behind it. Now through the end of December, you can find dozens of handmade goods from more than 30 Venice artists, along with a side of cool vintage pieces, all in one spot at the Lincoln & Rose Pop-Up Shop.
Husband and wife duo Jeremy and Nicole Reed are the founding editors of Lincoln & Rose, a culture and lifestyle blog named after an intersection where they live in Venice, California. They also have an online marketplace of locally made goods with stories behind the artists. Now through the end of December, shop these items at their Lincoln & Rose Pop-Up holiday gift shop located–where else–at the corner of Lincoln Blvd and Rose Ave. (315 Lincoln Blvd. Venice CA 90291)