A Big List of Things To Do This December in L.A. [2023]

L.A. County Holiday Celebration. Photo by Timothy Norris

December to remember? Maybe. Depends how you spend.

Fortunately, there are tons of ways to allocate your month in Los Angeles, from tree lightings, holiday markets, and block parties to signature events like Marina del Rey’s holiday boat parade, the Community Parade in Echo Park, Deck the Hall concerts at Walt Disney Concert Hall, the L.A. County Holiday Celebration, New Year’s Eve in Grand Park, and much more. Let’s see about making you a few memories by scanning through the rundown below.


M = Less than .5 miles from an L.A. Metro Station, FA = Free Admission, TP = Top Pick

Tree Lighting at Pasadena City Hall (December 1) – M FA > Pasadena City Hall gets the holiday treatment 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. More info here.

First Friday in Chinatown (December 1) – M FA > L.A.’s Chinatown stays open late 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. More info here.

Late Night! at Skirball (December 1) – TP >  Late Night! This Light is Ours offers a fun-filled evening of after-hours entertainment at Skirball Cultural Center, including live music by Serafia Blues Band, printmaking led by Self Help Graphics, in-gallery performances by BODYTRAFFIC Dance Company, plus food trucks and a cash bar.  Guests can also explore Skirball’s trio of new exhibitions—This Light of Ours: Activist Photographers of the Civil Rights Movement, RECLAIMED: A Family Painting, and The American Library by Yinka Shonibare CBE RA. Tickets are $10. Parking is free. Get more info here.

L.A. Comic Con (December 1-3) – M > L.A. Comic Con returns for its annual three-day mashup of meet-and-greets, panel discussions, exhibitors, gaming experiences, e-sports competitions, and cosplay, all taking place at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Single day tickets start as low as $34 and a weekend pass is $85 (plus fees). More info here.

Venice Sign Lighting and Holiday Block Party (December 2) – FA > The Venice Sign is getting the holiday treatment, and to celebrate the occasion a portion of Windward Avenue will be closed down for a street festival, staged entertainment, and family friendly activities. Get more info here.

Hollywood Park’s Second Annual Winter Fest (December 2) – FA > Winter Fest, Hollywood Parks holiday celebration is a free event for all ages that includes photos with Black Santa, a celebrity basketball game hosted by Baron Davis, activities from future Hollywood Park retail tenants and local businesses, food trucks, music from DJs, live performances, and more. Free to attend. Additionally, Hollywood Park’s monthly Farmers Market by FarmHabit will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. More info here.

Night Plant Market at Three Weavers (December 2) – M FA TP > 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. More info here.

South Lake Holidayfest (December 2) – FA > The  annual Holidayfest on South Lake Ave in Pasadena offers a day of family activities, shopping deals, holiday music, and a Santa’s Village. Runs noon to 6 p.m. , and it’s free to attend. More info here.

San Fernando Market (December 2) – FA >The San Fernando Outdoor Market hosts a special holiday edition of their monthly pop-up, featuring 90+ vendors plus a classic car display, food, and other entertainment. Runs 5 to 9 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.

Movie Under The Stars at Runway Playa Vista (December 2, 9 & 16) – FA >Runway Playa Vista screens The Grinch, Elf and Home Alone as part of their Movie Under The Stars holiday series. Each film screens at 5:30 p.m. and is free to attend (with free popcorn too!) More info here.

Valley Cultural Foundation’s 3rd Annual Holiday Arts & Music Festival (December 2) – FA> Enjoy some holiday fun including free photos with Santa, snow play, small business shopping, food trucks and crafts for kids. More info here

Holiday Movie Night at Ivy Station (December 2) – M FA -> 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. More info here.

CicLAvia – South LA (December 3) – M > L.A.’s signature open streets event carves out 6 miles of walkable/bikeable road in South L.A. this December, with a route along Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd from Crenshaw to Central Av. Runs 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Get more info here.

Art at the Airport (December 3) – FA > Art at the Airport is a gallery open house event featuring the works of 20+ artists on display at an airplane hangar the Santa Monica Airport. The event is free to attend and will also include refreshments, music and free parking. More info here.

Holiday Block Party (December 3) – M FA >Truly LA, Angel City Brewery, and Makeshift Muse team up for a Holiday Block Party in the Arts District. Both Rose and Traction avenues will be closed and 50+ local brands will dot the streets ready for you to explore unique gifts. There will be festive bites and seasonal beverages at both Truly LA and Angel City Brewery. Free to attend. More info here.

City of San Gabriel Holiday Tree Lighting (December 5)- M >The City of San Gabriel hosts a Holiday Tree Lighting featuring photos with Santa, mini train rides, and live entertainment. Taking place in the Mission District the festive event will also include a Taste of San Gabriel experience with free food samples from Blossom Hall, Paris Baguette and more. Free to attend. More info here.

Fowler Out Loud (December 6) – FA > The Fowler Out Loud series continues this December with a concert by the UCLA Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra featuring the work of Global Jazz Studies students performing various styles of Afro Latin Jazz. Runs 6:30 to 8 p.m. More info here.

DTLA ArtNight (December 7) – M FA > DTLA ArtNight runs every first Thursday of the month, activating 25+ galleries along Downtown’s Historic Core. Runs 6 to 9:30 p.m. More info here.

Hot Chocolate Nutcracker (December 7-10) -> Debbie Allen Dance Academy (DADA) presents its award-winning production of “Hot Chocolate Nutcracker” at Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center. The highly-anticipated performance follows a young girl, Kara as she steps into a land of wonder journeying to fantastical places such as Candy Cane Land, Egypt, the Indian Rainforest/Bollywood, Jazzland, Russia and the Land of the Kimono Dolls. Tickets start at $50. More info here

Halo Holiday Market (December 7) – M FA > The Halo Holiday Market is an all-day bazaar featuring local makers, artists, and brands, right in the heart of DTLA. Shop one-of-a-kind gifts from handmade jewelry and artist prints to self-care products and gourmet sweets. Free to attend, the market runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. More info here.

Supper with Santa at The Ebell (December 8) -> The Ebell invites you to a supper with Santa and an evening filled with holiday cheer. Santa Claus is back in town, and he’s stopping by The Ebell too. The event will also include craft-making, photos (with and without the big guy), a dinner, and a performance by the Bob Baker Marionettes. Tickets cost $65 for adults, $30 for children ages 3-12, and $20 for toddlers age 2 and under. More info here.

Movie Fridays on Third Street Promenade (December 8) – FA > The free movie night series comes to close this year with a screening of the action packed holiday movie Die Hard. More info here.

Marina Del Rey Holiday Boat Parade (December 9) – FA > The Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade returns for the 61st edition, offering musical entertainment, food trucks, and a pre-parade fireworks display. The public can enjoy from viewing spots at Burton Chace Park and Fisherman’s Village. The parade begins at 6 p.m., immediately preceded by the fireworks display. More info here.

The 68th Compton Christmas Parade (December 9)- FA > The 68th Compton Christmas Parade runs along Compton Blvd from Bullis St to Alameda, with a 2023 theme fo “Around the World”. Runs 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. More info here.

Music & Design: Mid-Century Venezuela at The Getty (December 9)- FA >The Getty celebrates the exhibition Alfredo Boulton: Looking at Venezuela (1928–1978) with a free jazz performance, discussion event, and complimentary bites. Runs 3 to 5 p.m. More info here.

100th Annual Christmas Tree Lane Lighting Ceremony and Winter Festival (December 9) – FA TP > Every year, Altadena’s one-mile stretch of Deodar Cedars gets decked out in holiday lights, and to mark the beginning of the 2023 transformation, there will be family-friendly festival at Altadena Library featuring food, drink, and arts and crafts vendors. More info here.

The Echo Park Community Parade (December 9) – FA TP > The Echo Park Community Parade returns with a route on Sunset Blvd running from Vin Scully to Park Ave. The parade starts at 11 a.m. More info here.

Creative Communal Holiday Market at Runway Playa Vista (December 9 & 16) – FA > Creative Communal brings it’s brand of holiday market to Runway Playa Vista on two Saturdays in December, offering  40+ vendors offering jewelry, leather goods, men’s apparel, fine art, home goods, and more. Runs 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on both dates. Free to attend. More info here.

Pawliday Market (December 9)- FA > PetSpace’s Pawliday Market offers an array of pet-focused vendors plus sweet photo ops with Santa and your four-legged friends. Runs 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. More info here.

Jackalope Burbank (December 9-10) – FA > The indie artisan market stops by Downtown Burbank in December, covering a stretch of San Fernando Blvd from Magnolia to Angeleno during the two-day event. Expect over 170 vendors offering hand-crafted artisan goods, visual art, photography, jewelry, paper goods, housewares, and more. Runs 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. both dates. Free to attend. More info here.


Canoga Park Block Party (December 9)- FA > The December edition of the Canoga Park Block Party features 50+ vendors, including special holiday programming. Runs 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., and free to attend. More info here.

Goddess Mercado (December 9) – M FA > The Goddess Mercado brings 50+ women owned businesses plus the East LA Farmers Market and live music to the East L.A. Civic Center. Runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and free to attend. More info here.

A Snowy Wonderland in Inglewood (December 10) – FA > Crenshaw Imperial Plaza hosts an afternoon of snow sledding and snow play with a real snowman, angel painting and kids crafts, caroling choir, holiday family portraits, raffle prizes, free giveaways and more. More info here.

Holiday Pan Emoji Workshop with Okayama Kobo (December 10) – M > Learn to create Okayama Kobo’s adorable “emoji” faces on their signature Japanese pan. The tickets event cost $35 and includes four types of bread and a juice. More info here.

A Celebration of Hanukkah at Ivy Station (December 10)- M FA > A Celebration of Hanukkah at Ivy Station includes a giant menorah lighting, live klezmer music, face painting, games, hot latkes, donuts, chocolate gelt, dreidels, arts and crafts, and a free raffle. More info here.

Filled Market at Smorgasburg (December 10) – M > Filled Market brings a Filipino Holiday Market & Celebration to Smorgasburg with local artisans, brands, body artists, DJs, and more. More info here.

Holiday Ornament Workshop at MOLAA (December 10)- M FA >Museum of Latin American Art in Long beach hosts a children’s Make Your Own Holiday Ornament complimentary workshop. Runs 1 to 3 p.m. More info here.

El Segundo Holiday Parade (December 10) – FA > The 59th Annual El Segundo Holiday Parade returns with the 2023 El Segundo Little League World Series Championship Team as Grand Marshals. Expect magical displays of festive cheer from local schools and organizations, to marching bands, vintage cars, businesses and floats. More info here

The Hanukkah Celebration at the Beverly Center (December 11) – M > The Hanukkah Celebration at the Beverly Center will offer an evening of live entertainment, arts and crafts, traditional treats and more. Free to attend. More info here.

Die Hot Burlesque (December 12) Head to The Three Clubs in Hollywood for The Hollywood Jane Revue’s sultry send-up of the greatest Christmas movie of all-time (it’s Die Hard, and yes that is totally a Christmas movie). Tickets are $20. More info here.

Deck the Hall Holiday Concerts at The Walt Disney Concert Hall (December 13 – 31) – M TP > There’s something for everyone at LA Phil’s annual holiday programming at the Walt Disney Concert. Attend a Holiday Sing-Along (December 16), see Home Alone set to a live score (December 20-22) or spend New Year’s Eve with Pink Martini. Come early for pre-concert events. More info here.

How Do We Hear America? (December 14) – M FA > How Do We Hear America? is a special evening of music at Zócalo Public Square featuring compositions from Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, artist, and 2023 MacArthur fellow Raven Chacon. Come early, Zócalo will also host a pre-event performance of Chacon’s Echo Contest in the Herald Examiner Building’s historic lobby, and a post-event reception with complimentary food and beverage to celebrate the closing of Zócalo’s 2023 event season. More info here.

Yuletide Cinemaland  (December 14-23) -> The Holiday series put on by Street Food Cinema offers a festive outdoor movie screening experience a Heritage Square Museum with holiday inspired cocktails, a Yuletide Market, live piano sing-along, guided Victorian home tours and more. Tickets cost $39.99 for adults and $19.99 for kids 6-11 years-old. More info here.

Eataly LA’s Holiday Notte Italiana (December 15) > Eataly’s holiday edition of their signature market place roaming event returns this December with a late evening event filled with delectable Italian food, beverages, and lively entertainment. Tickets are priced at $125 and grants you access to 10+ stations of chef-curated bites and 15+ stations of Italian wines and cocktails. More info here


The Queer Mercado (December 16) – M > The Queer Mercado brings queer product and food vendors to the East L.A. Civic Center every third Saturday of the month. In addition to shopping the market will also feature drag performances, DJ, and other live entertainment. Runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. More info here.

Shogun Santa (December 16-17) – M > Little Tokyo’s Shogun Santa makes his annual appearance in Japanese Village Plaza ready for photo opps with kids, families, pups and adults. The event runs 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. More info here.

LA County Holiday Celebration (December 24) – M FA > The 64th annual L.A. County Holiday Celebration returns live to The Music Center with a diverse lineup of L.A.-based artists performing holiday favorites. If you can’t make it out for the show, remember the performance will also be broadcast on PBS SoCal and streamed live on pbssocal.org. Runs 3 to 6 p.m. More info here.

Kwanzaa Celebration (December 30) – M FA > Ovation Hollywood hosts a Kwanzaa Celebration featuring a performance from the Ujima dance & drum troupe, free cookies, crafting, and more. Runs 1 to 4 p.m. More info here.

New Years Eve Fireworks & GLOW Party at Marina del Rey (December 31) – M FA > Celebrate the New Year with fireworks in Marina del Rey. Enjoy a ten-minute fireworks show, at 8:59 p.m. and 11:59 p.m. The shows will be shot from the Marina’s south jetty and can be viewed from virtually anywhere in Marina del Rey. The free family-friendly Glow Party takes place at Burton Chace Park, 7 p.m. to midnight. More info here.

Night Dive New Year’s Eve (December 31) – M > The Aquarium of the Pacific rings in the New Year with a special edition of their adults-only, Night Dive program. The evening includes live music from Loud as Funk, DJ-spun tunes in the galleries, a silent disco, and karaoke, plus a confetti countdown at midnight. Tickets run $94.95 person. More info here.

Grand Park New Years Eve Celebration (December 31) – M FA TP > Take part in Los Angeles’ flagship NYE celebration with music across two stages in Grand Park, 3D light projections and a light show projected onto City Hall. More info here.

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