The Best Things to do for Christmas Time in L.A.

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It’s true, we don’t exactly have the most stereotypical winter weather here in Los Angeles. But just because it never snows in L.A. like it does on the North Pole doesn’t mean we can’t be feeling the Christmas vibes all the same.

As we are now only a couple weeks from the big day, we figured it was as good a time as any to take a look and see what’s on the docket for those who really want to amp up their holiday spirit. To help, below is our list of the best things do for Christmas time in L.A.


Santa would most definitely approve. Hope you enjoy!

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

LA Live Ice Skating Rink
Photo of Holly Jolly Day via L.A. LIVE

Keep in mind for some of the ticketing options provided we utilize affiliate links and receive a commission if you purchase through our links (affiliates noted in parenthesis), however we retain complete editorial control of our content.

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

Willing to make a drive to enjoy something truly festive? 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)

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 himself.

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57th Annual L.A. County Holiday Celebration (Dec. 24)

The annual LA County Holiday fête returns to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at The Music Center in Downtown LA. This festive Christmas Eve afternoon event featuring a variety of multicultural musical acts is free and open to the public.

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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)

LA Zoo Lights (all December)

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)

Enchanted Forest of Light (all December)

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. Just remember it gets chilly at Descanso in the evenings so be sure to wear your wintry wardrobe.

More information | Discount tickets (via Goldstar)

Lights on Display in Sherman Oaks (all December)

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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Ice Skating  (all December)

If ice skating is the activity that puts you most in the holiday spirit then there’s numerous options available in the greater L.A. area including at skating at Pershing Square in DTLA, ICE in Santa Monica, and The Rink in downtown Burbank.

More Christmas Lights (all December)

Sherman Oaks is hardly the only place you can go around L.A. to find some amazing Christmas lights. A walk to take in the lights display at the Venice Canals is a must-do Christmas activity, and there are plenty of other options around town, from neighborhoods to annual events, that you’ll want to explore. Here’s our round-up.

More Sweet Deals on Christmas Shows and Attractions (all December)

Finally, there are plenty of other great deals on holiday-themed entertainment available around Los Angeles during the Christmas season. Here are few that caught our eye (via Goldstar):

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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