21 Really Cool Things to do This December in Los Angeles (2016)

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Need stuff to do this December in Los Angeles?

We looked ahead on our calendar to focus in on some of the best events happening in December 2016 around Los Angeles that you should probably have on your radar. After all, better to get your tickets now than wait till the last minute and find out your favorite event is sold out.


December 2016 event highlights include a Christmas Concert at The Bradbury Building, the Los Angeles International Tea Festival, a Glow Sword Battle in Pershing Square, the Music Center Holiday Sing-Along, a Holiday Marketplace at Grand Central Market, and LOTS more to choose from.

Complete rundown starts after the jump.


[RELATEDHere’s a Cheat Sheet of Free Museum Days in L.A. For December]

Bradbury Building Top Floor View
Christmas Concert at The Bradbury Building 2015. Credit: Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

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1. The Contenders Film Series at The Hammer (Dec. 1-15)

The first half of December is filled with 10 days of Oscar hopefuls and future-classics at The Contenders Film series, to be shown at the Hammer Museum. Screenings include Q&A discussions with a principal member of the cast/crew including Tom Ford, director of Nocturnal Animals, Dev Patel, star of Lion, and Wernor Herzog, director of Into the Inferno.

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2. LA Weekly’s Sips & Sweets (Dec. 2)

LA Weekly‘s annual holiday extravaganza offering a bounty of the city’s choicest cocktails and desserts, all at the newly renovated Petersen Automotive Museum.

More information | Discount tickets (via Goldstar)

3. Los Angeles International Tea Festival (Dec. 3-4)

The Los Angeles International Tea Festival is back at the Japanese American National Museum for a weekend full of demos, classes, sample stations and retailers. Highlights include a Japanese tea ceremony, a panel on world tea origin, a tutorial on how to plan the perfect tea party, a tea and chocolate pairing, and much more.

More information | Discount tickets (via Goldstar)

4. 3rd Annual Holiday Marketplace at Grand Central Market (Dec. 3-4)

The Third Annual Grand Central Market Holiday Marketplace returns for 2016 with a weekend-long affair full of culinary pop-ups, seasonal delicacies, live music, and of course a visit from Santa Claus himself.

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5. Mac & Cheese Smackdown 2016 (Dec. 4)

Time Out LA is hosting the cheesiest smackdown of the holiday season featuring some of LA’s best restaurants serving up everyone’s favorite food duo at Downtown’s Bank of America Center Plaza on Sunday, Dec. 4.

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6. $1 Drinks on National Repeal Day (Dec. 5)

Sunday, Dec. 5 is the 83rd anniversary of National Repeal Day, and to celebrate the folks at the 1933 group will be offering dollar cocktails over a two-hour timeframe at nine Los Angeles bars. Cheers to that!

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7. Marina Del Rey Boat Parade (Dec. 10)

The 54th Annual Marina Del Rey Boat Parade is back on Saturday, Dec. 10! This season the boat parade will feature some 70 competitors entertaining onlookers and vying for bragging rights in categories such as best animation, best lights, best band, best overall, and more

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8. Thrillist’s Fest of the Best LA (Dec. 10)

Thrillist’s very first Fest of the Best LA will showcase the best of the Los Angeles food scene, all under one roof for one day. Restaurants picks include selections for Best Ice Cream (Carmela Ice Cream), Best French Cuisine (Le Petit Paris), Best Poke Shop (Mainland Poke), and lots more.

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9. Echo Park Community Parade (Dec. 10)

Join the crowd along Sunset Blvd. (between Vin Scully Ave. and Park Ave.) for Echo Park’s annual community parade, featuring more than 50 parade entrants showcasing this year’s theme: “Celebrating the Artists of Echo Park.”

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10. Bitchcraft Winter Faire at Kinship Studios (Dec. 10)

Founded in 2009, Bitchcraft Trading Post is a collective of makers of handmade goods, with a focus on the dark and magical. This year’s winter faire, held at Kinship Studios in Highland Park, will host 40+ vendors of apparel, accessories, jewelry, art and household goods.

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11. Christmas Concert at The Bradbury Building (Dec. 11)

The 2016 Christmas concert at the Bradbury aims to take guests on a “Christmas journey” through Mediaeval France, Italy, England and Provence. The event features The Boston Camerata, an early music ensemble based in Boston, Massachusetts, that has been praised as ““jubilant and inspiring” by The Boston Globe.

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12. Studio City Winter Family Fest (Dec. 11)

On Sunday, Dec 11 the Sixth Annual Winter Family Festival returns to Studio City featuring more than 80 tons of snow to enjoy via sledding and snowman making. This free event will also include gingerbread house decorating, holiday crafts, Santa Claus photo-ops, live music from local schools and community groups, dancing, face painting, food samples, and more.

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13. Music Center Holiday Sing-Along (Dec. 16)

Join a festive crowd for a grand sing-along under the stars, where you’ll belt out holiday classics like “Jingle Bells,” “O Christmas Tree,” and “Silver Bells.” No experience necessary.

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14. Winter Fest at the O.C. Fairgrounds (starts Dec. 16)

Winter Fest, the O.C. winter wonderland, is back from Dec. 16 through Jan. 1. This year’s holiday festival features a festival of lights, snow summit, outdoor ice skating, ice tubing, snowfall and the man of the hour, Santa Claus.

More information | Discount tickets (via Goldstar)

15. Glow Sword Battle LA (Dec. 16)

Want to (pretend) to fight like they do in a Galaxy far, far away? Join a throng of would-be heroes and villains at a glowing sword battle in Pershing Square.

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16. Holly Jolly Day at L.A. LIVE (Dec. 17)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and to celebrate The Mixing Room at the JW Marriott L.A. LIVE will host the annual Holly Jolly Day from 11 a.m. to  4 p.m. with exclusive access to the skating rink and a meet and greet with St. Nick.

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17. Alice’s Winter Wonderland Festival at Clifton’s Cafeteria (Dec. 30)

For one day only in December the folks at Creating Arts Co. are putting on a wintery experience featuring Princesses, Pirates, Superheroes, Fairies, Mermaids, and more, all at Clifton’s Cafeteria in Downtown Los Angeles. Perfect for kids!

More information | Discount tickets (via Goldstar)

18. Prohibition NYE (Dec. 31)

Prohibition NYE takes over Union Station for a roaring twenties extravaganza! Expect jazz, burlesque, a premium open bar, DJs and swankily dressed Angelenos all ringing in the new year at one of LA’s most historic venues.


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19. LA Zoo Lights (all month)

LA Zoo Lights, now in its third year, invites visitors to enter the zoo after-hours for an hour-plus stroll showcasing animal-themed LEDs, lasers, 3D projections, and animated displays. Runs through Jan. 8.

More information | Discount tickets (via Goldstar)

20. Enchanted Forest of Light (all month)

Enchanted: Forest of Light will offer visitors a colorful one-mile path route through 10 distinct light displays at unique points within Descanso Garden including the Oak Grove and the Japanese Garden. The forest runs through Jan. 8.

More information | Discount tickets (via Goldstar)

21. Lights on Display in Sherman Oaks (all month)

One of the finest, most intricate, and most joyous holiday lights shows in Los Angeles takes place at a suburban home in Sherman Oaks. It’s called Lights on Display and it runs nightly (for free!) at 5 p.m. through Jan. 1.

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Be sure to check the We Like L.A. Events Calendar for updates on fun things happening around the city throughout September. You can also sign up for our daily/weekly newsletter if you want events sent straight to your inbox. 


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