Rochelle Stops By The Bite LA’s Holiday Event

The Bite LA is back for more sweet festivities this holiday season, allowing for a safe experience from your car with pre-packaged sweets to take home with you. So dress your car for the Ugly Sweater contest (the gaudier the better if you want to win a prize!) and come on down to Legg Lake in the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area in South El Monte.

Before we go into the details, we want to remind people that we are still within the thralls of a pandemic, and recommend people check out our article on ”If You Should Go Out” Here. In keeping with our promise within that article though, we want to cover what steps are being taken by the organization to keep the attendees safe. The event is distanced, as long as the people inside the vehicle are your family, but the employees of the event will be wearing masks. They have also forbidden convertibles, and motorcycles in an effort to increase safety. Attendees are only allowed to leave their car for the restrooms in emergency conditions and must wear a mask at all times outside of their car.

Wind your way down a dark trail. You may think that you’re in the wrong place since no lights are on and the hand-made signs are hard to read. But follow the road and look out for the signs and you’ll eventually find a small line of cars which are likely there for the event too. Check-in takes some time, but this allows the perfect opportunity for a potty break if you feel the need to use the public park restroom. Once at check-in they give you your “menu” and explain to you how the experience works. Each person selects various options from the “Nice”, “Naughty” or “Vegan/Gluten-free” list, for a total of 8 bites. The Naughty choices are slightly more adventurous than their Nice counterparts.

Turn your radio on the channel they tell you, and continue on your way to security and then for the final check-in where you get snowballs (cotton plush balls) for the big *Sno-ball* fight with a small number of characters. Each person receives 5 snowballs, but you have the option to purchase more in advance. At a steady 3 mph, pull forward into the frozen world of igloos and dodgeball, and let the snowball fight begin! The electric metal music on the radio is sure to add to the intensity of the fight. There are a few snowmen so don’t waste all your snowballs on the first one. The exchange really makes for a rollicking good (and safe) time. For me, this is definitely one of the biggest highlights of the event, and something we haven’t seen at any other drive-thru.

Once out of snowman country, wind your way through a quiet deer forest to the land of gnome people, otherwise known as the Winkles. Red and green Christmas dots blanket the area like a sparkling firefly forest, and you are tasked with finding the hidden mushroom people. The quirky Winkles squeak a friendly hello as you drive through, but the music from the new radio seems to clash with them.

At the end of Winkle town, you stop and receive a stocking that you can stuff your treats in. From there, you stop at eight different stations with various themes like Toy Shoppe, Abominable Snowman, Krampus, and Candy Girl. Although I didn’t make it to their Halloween event, some props and costumes scream a possible reuse from that event, which is all fine and good by me. It is like being a kid in a candy shop AND trick-or-treating from your car! The actors at each stop check your menu and deliver your choices to you in a basket, from a distance. They stay in character the entire time and really spark your curiosity. I reveled in their costumes. I was enchanted by their sets. I would have liked to venture through an entire land themed to these characters and end with the treat, but it was still a good time despite feeling a bit disjointed as these individual characters would never really be neighbors.

The final stop is getting your drink of choice (Hot Chocolate or Hot Apple Cider) and then pulling up to the Yule Log Stage for a Santa concert: think drive-in movie with an actor on stage. The total length of time for the finale is 24 minutes, but allow about 60-90 minutes for the entire event, including the check-in process.

Overall, this event has amazing potential. Their lack of lights, including the park’s, doesn’t contribute to those warm and fuzzy feels that the other holiday drive-thrus provide, which is fine by me. They could have used the darkness to their advantage, however, by creating a centralized theme, like Krampus. People, especially teens and adults, gravitate to this darker Christmas aesthetic, and when you add a fun immersive story to that, you have a hit! My favorite part, the *sno-ball* fight, would fit into said theme as well. The staff itself were friendly and seemed genuinely happy to be there, and it’s always a plus to interact with actors to feel like you’re a part of their world. Although these little bites to eat along the way is an added perk, diabetics beware. Since we ventured out around dinner time, I was hoping they would include some savory choices as well, but we ate our dessert first and dinner at home. The little one didn’t complain!

It is such a delight to take part of this experience home with you and to talk about your journey in how you acquired them. You will have sweets to eat for days, and now you also have a new stocking to hang! So if this sounds like your cup of tea (or hot cocoa or cider) buy your tickets today! You’re in for a treat!

The event is running Thursdays through Saturdays, now till December 27th. Info and tickets can be found Here!

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