Let It Snow Returns to Four Seasons Westlake Village [Giveaway]

Let It Snow, the special holiday event at the Four Seasons Westlake Village, is back for its fifth season and better than ever.
Let It Snow night

Southern Californians enjoy “snow” at the Four Seasons

Check into a wonderland at the far end of the Four Seasons Lobby. When you step outside the big glass doors you and your children will encounter:

  • Snoopy and Charlie Brown greeting you and high fiving and happily posing for photos
  • Santa waiting for you in his little house, with Rudolph outside bouncing around
  • A holiday train which might take you past the Grinch
  • Twinkly lights everywhere
  • Hot chocolate with mini-marshmallows
  • S’mores by the fire pit
  • Snow every 15 minutes!
  • Ice skating for young and young-at-heart ⛸
  • A food-for-purchase snack bar including pizza and popcorn
  • A cookie-decorating room with Mrs. Claus

We have brought our boys to this event a few times now, and even as they are getting older, they still enjoy it. Their favorite is the ice skating, even though it’s faux-ice. I would say a close second, for my older son, is the cookie-decorating activity. He is starting to master it! My own favorite is the snow itself. Okay, yes, it’s faux snow, but the way it flurries around amid the twinkling lights at the already stunning Four Seasons makes the moment truly wondrous, and the fact that it happens every fifteen minutes means that as soon as it’s over, you can expect it to happen again soon.

Let It Snow cookies

Decorating cookies with Mrs. Claus. She said he should get an internship at the North Pole.

Your pass gets you access to all of these activities, and a discount on dinner in Mercato Restaurant inside. What’s not to love? You can only get this experience if you are an overnight guest at the Four Seasons, or if you managed to score some tickets during the recent Conejo Deals purchasing window, OR if you are the lucky winner of a four-pack of tickets that I’m giving away here in this post! (Read to end.)

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Holiday train

If You Go

I have a few tips for you if you go. First, this event is just perfect for little kids, or bigger kids who still have a love of whimsy, crafts, Santa, magic, snow, or even just the Four Seasons itself, which can definitely be a thing among children. I mean, have you seen it there? The grounds alone are worth a visit. Let It Snow is placed outside on the terrace in the back of the hotel, and you have to walk down the grand staircase toward the waterfall to get to the ice skating area. It’s a truly breathtaking sight, and you’d never know this place exists so close to the busy 101 freeway or the hustle and bustle of Lindero Canyon Blvd. My 9-year-old sighed wistfully as we entered the doors that were held open for us by a cheerful doorman, “I miss this place,” he said. “When are we going to stay overnight?”

(This is funny because we live basically right around the corner.)

Let It Snow skating

Seating: during the rest of the year, the terrace is known as The Lookout, an outdoor bar seating area. For Let It Snow, they have moved the seating out of the way so you can walk around easily, but if you want to sit, the couches and fire pits have been moved to the lawn. Just follow the sign and pathway to the little holiday train depot and you’ll see them arranged on the grass. If your kids like to skate, that’s a good time for you to sit and rest too.

let it snow sign

Another tip: the line to get in to see Santa Claus can back up, so if you can come with more than one adult who can wrangle smaller children, that would be ideal. But Rudolph and other characters are around to entertain while you wait. And it’s worth it:

Let It Snow bombshell mommy

This adorable family is not mine. Abigail Blank of Bombshell Mommy was kind enough to let me show you hers because we missed our photo op. She is a local writer I have followed on Instagram for a while for her great pics and thoughtful words. Check her out.

These are the best family photos I could come up with this year. My husband, Stewart, was there but declined to be photographed.

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Let It Snow has become one of our favorite local holiday traditions. Once we’ve been to the Four Seasons, had our cocoa, danced around in the snow, and decorated cookies, it truly feels like the season has begun. Happy holidays!

Let It Snow
Four Seasons Westlake Village
2 Dole Dr
Westlake Village, CA 91362

Giveaway – Let It Snow Tickets!

I’m giving away four tickets to Let It Snow at the Four Seasons Westlake Village. Remaining dates are December 9, 10, 16, and 17. The event runs from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM. (Kids 2 and under are free to enter so you don’t need a pass for them.) To enter, leave a comment here by 11:59 PM on Thursday, December 8, with your favorite local holiday tradition, like where to see great holiday lights, etc. One comment per person please. Additional entry available (each) if you “like” Agoura Hills Mom on Facebook or follow on Instagram. (Just leave a note in your comment with your Facebook name and/or Insta handle to qualify). Winner will be chosen at random from qualifying entries. Winner will be notified via email on Friday morning, December 9. Tickets will be held under the name given at the concierge desk at the hotel.

My family attended Let It Snow as guests of the Four Seasons. All opinions are my own.

GiftYou: An Easy Way to Say “Here’s What You Can Get For Me”

giftYou is an easy new way to share wish lists and gift ideas – complete with sizes, color preferences, and more – with your friends and family.

giftyou socks

These socks are on my giftYou list

Now that we’re in holiday season, family and friends keep asking me for gift ideas for my kids. What sizes are they now, including shoes? What clothes do they especially need? I have the same questions about my sister’s kids and she is terrible at getting back to me. (I am also terrible at getting back to people, but it’s more fun to throw her under the bus.)

But what if there was a central place you could keep all this information? Not just for you and your own kids, but for all the people you love to shower with gifts throughout the year? This is one of those things I didn’t know I needed until it popped up in my life: giftYou!

giftyou logo

giftYou is an online tool that makes it easy to create and share gift wish lists with friends and family. Creator Richard Fields says he and his techie partners “wanted to make the gift giving process easier on ourselves (and in turn, easier for everyone else, too)!  Most of us love giving and receiving gifts… but, quite frankly, it can sometimes be a bit stressful.”

Wish Lists For Everyone!

giftYou goes beyond Amazon’s wish lists (although it uses Amazon links to populate your list easily) by allowing you to easily share wish lists among groups of family and friends. “At giftYou, you simply create a group, invite everyone you want to join, and that’s it,” says Fields.  “Everyone in the group will have their wish lists shared with each other automatically, instead of each person having to manually share each separate wish list with one another.”

giftyou wish list

Plus, giftYou can add links to any online retailer, AND indicate your general preferences and the kinds of things you like, so that people can choose their own gifts for you instead of picking something directly off your wish list. You can use it for this season’s gifting holidays and keep it around for birthdays and other occasions.

When you log in (for free!) and create you own account, you are prompted to start a wish list for yourself. You can also create a wish list and preferences for a dependent or someone else in your family. giftYou is easy to use on your mobile phone too – it’s optimized for that format so you don’t have to download a separate app to use it.

Other cool functions: when someone wants to buy something for you from the wish list, they can “claim” it, but you won’t see who it is! And, the site makes sure gifts aren’t claimed more than once. It’s kind of like an awesome group gift registry.

There’s Still Time

So if you’ve been meaning to gather some ideas for your family to send presents for the kids that you know they would love, instead of blindly ordering the latest hot toy from the internet, try out giftYou.com. And make a wish list for yourself while you’re at it!

I promise you this post is not just a giant hint for you to click through and send me presents. The wish list I posted above is just for an example. (I already asked Santa for these things, so since I’ve been a good girl this year, I think I’m all set.) What I really want is a shiny new car. I wonder if that can go on a wish list? Hmm…

Many thanks to giftYou.com for partnering with me on this post. Shout out to Fairy Season for the photo and the existence of the awesome socks. Happy holidays!

Santa HQ by HGTV Is Already Open at The Oaks

Santa HQ at The Oaks

Curious shoppers asked the staff why Santa HQ was being constructed by The Oaks Mall elves as early as the first weekend in November. It did seem a bit early to see Christmas decor and candy and gifts put out on the shelves of stores that soon. But in this case, while yes, The Oaks is getting into the spirit nice and early, they wanted to provide families a meeting place with Santa soon enough to get those priceless photo memories in the works for holiday cards and gifts.

Seems legit to me.

Santa HQ entrance

It’s no ordinary mall Santa setup, either. HGTV’s Santa HG installation, which appears at 15 locations around the country (so glad they came to Thousand Oaks!), features Santa’s actual workshop where visitors can see the blueprints for toys and an observatory where elves monitor the sleigh’s ride around the world.

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Santa HQ Naughty Nice meter

There’s a naughty/nice meter that kids can stand in to be scanned, and then immediately added to the appropriate list. Finally, Santa himself is happily sitting on his sleigh waiting to meet with children and have their photo taken together.

Santa HQ photo opportunity

But that’s not all! There’s an awesome interactive element to this whole situation: Elf-Ray Vision. It’s an augmented reality app that you download for free (luckily the wifi at the mall is strong enough). Then you point your smartphone camera at an “Elf Trigger” to activate hidden delights: elves making toys, the ceiling of the observatory transforming before your eyes, and more.

Santa HQ boy playing app

Santa HQ Elf-Ray Vision

Santa HQ opened last weekend in the JC Penney court (near the food court and kids’ play area) and it will be there until Christmas Eve at 6pm. You can bring your 4-legged pet, too, on Wednesdays through December 7 from 5-8pm. Visit ShopTheOaksMall.com for daily posted hours. Visits to the HQ are free, and photo packages for photos with Santa include 11 prints plus a digital download for a fee, plus you can order photo gifts online.

There will be a charity toy drive and special guests throughout the season, so check it out while you are at the mall getting holiday gifts and supplies, or go there just for Santa HQ alone. It’s a lot of fun, and got my big boys into the spirit of Christmas nice and early. I needed no help in that department!