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8 Free Things to do to Start Your December in Los Angeles

November 30, 2023 by We Like L.A. with L.A. Metro
first-fridays-chinatown-chung-king-plaza
People gathering for Chinatown First Fridays at the West Plaza along Chung King Rd. Photo by Christina Champlin.

The last month of the year opens with a weekend, so you know what that means? We can slide into the December groove with a fistful of free things to do around the Southland.

First Fridays? Check. Movie screenings? Got two of those. A block party and an open-streets fest? Yes and yes. All free to attend, all easily accessible by Metro’s bus and rail service.

Kickstart your month by scanning our rundown below.

8 Free To-Dos to Start December

First Friday in Chinatown -> L.A.’s Chinatown stays open late on Friday for an evening of exploring the unique small businesses and contemporary art and culture spaces that make up the historic neighborhood. West Plaza and Chungking Road will activate with 10+ local pop-up vendors, DJ-spun music, and area galleries with extended hours. The December edition of First Fridays runs from 6 to 10 p.m., and it’s free to attend. Go Metro: Take the A Line to Chinatown Station.

Pasadena Tree Lighting -> Pasadena City Hall gets the holiday treatment this Friday with a special tree lighting ceremony hosted by the mayor of Pasadena. The celebration features local singers and dancers, crafts for kids provided by Armory Center for the Arts, light refreshments, and an appearance by Santa Claus. Runs to 5 to 7 p.m., with the lighting taking place at 6 p.m. Go Metro: Take the A Line to Memorial Park Station.

Night Plant Market at Three Weavers -> This Saturday, Night Plant Market brings an outdoor pop-up to Three Weavers Brewing Company in Inglewood featuring a unique selection of vendors offering houseplants, home decor, pottery, gardening supplies and more. Plus, The Vegan Hooligans will be on-site with bites for purchase and you can enjoy vinyl tunes spun by Meowhaus. And of course, plenty of great beers on tap! The event runs from 5 to 10 p.m. and is free to attend. Go Metro: Take the K Line to Westchester / Veterans Station.

Elf at Ivy Station -> On Saturday, Culver City’s Ivy Station will host a Holiday Movie Night screening of Elf. Bring a blanket and snag a spot on the lawn, snap a festive photo at their selfie station and enjoy complimentary popcorn courtesy of Motion Flix. Free to attend. Starts at 5:30 p.m. Go Metro: Take the E Line to Culver City Station.

The Grinch at Runway Playa Vista -> Runway Playa Vista screens The Grinch as part of their Movie Under The Stars holiday series on Saturday. They’ll offer complimentary buttery popcorn too! Event starts at 5:30 p.m., and admission is free. Go Metro: Take Line 110 to Jefferson / McConnell.

Holiday Arts & Music Festival -> The Valley Cultural Foundation’s 2023 Holiday Arts & Music Festival comes to Warner Center Park this Saturday for a festive day of photo ops with Santa, snow play, small business shopping, food trucks and crafts for kids. Runs 1 to 5 p.m., and admission is free. Go Metro: Take Lines 150/169 to Topanga Canyon / Marylee.

Holiday Block Party in the Arts District -> On Sunday, Truly LA, Angel City Brewery, and Makeshift Muse team up for a Holiday Block Party in the Arts District featuring a curated selection of 50 local brands, artists, and makers, plus live entertainment, and sips and bites for purchase. Runs 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and admission is free. Go Metro: Take the A or E Line to Little Tokyo Station.

CicLAvia – South L.A. -> The final 2023 installment of CicLAvia pops up this Sunday in South L.A., carving out a 6-mile, car-free route along Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd from Crenshaw to Central Ave, featuring multiple activity hubs and plenty of local gems to explore along the way. Go Metro: Access the route by stops along three different Metro lines, including the A, E, and K Lines.


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