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Things To Do

38 Totally Fun Things To Do in L.A. This Christmas Week You Need to Know About [12-24-18 to 12-28-18]

December 24, 2018 by We Like L.A. Staff

Every week in Los Angeles there are tons of great things to do (even before the weekend gets started) that we think you ought to have on your radar. With that in mind, we put together a list every Monday through Friday morning to keep you in the know about what’s happening in the city you love (or maybe just like).

This week, from Monday, December 24 to Friday, December 28, features L.A. County Holiday Celebration, opening day at Santa Anita, Pasadena Sip & Savor, Snow Days at Kidspace, and MUCH more.

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Remember you can always go to our L.A. events calendar page to get an updated rundown of what’s happening around the city.

Hope you find the rundown useful and, as always, enjoy your week!

LA County Holiday Celebration

The LA County Holiday Celebration. Credit: Gennia Cui, The Future Collective


Keep in mind that while we retain complete editorial control of our content, for some of the ticketing options provided we utilize affiliate links and receive a commission if you purchase through our links.

Monday December 24th, 2018

1. Take part in the official L.A. County Holiday Celebration taking place at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Featured performers include Infinite Flow dance company, the Los Angeles Chamber Choir, Tres Souls, Citrus Singers, Colburn Concert Choir and the Young Men’s Chorus, The Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, and much more. FREE

2. What could be more magical than Christmas in Hogsmeade? Guests to Universal Studios Hollywood will experience the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in full “winter” splendor, complete with nightly snowfall and a spectacular light show projected against Hogwarts Castle. Additionally, guests can check out Grinchmas, complete with a 60-foot tree, characters, and live performances. The park is open during Christmas Eve. and Christmas.

3. Grand Park’s Winter Glow is a free immersive art experience covering 12 acres of Grand Park in Downtown Los Angeles. The art, projection and light displays will illuminate paths and play off of the park’s most iconic elements, including the Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain. The holiday-inspired event will run nightly from December 1 to 25. FREE 

4. Here and Now transforms it’s newly opened space into a holiday bar called Blitzen’s from November 28 through December 31. Get transported to the the North Pole and enjoy a snow machine, themed entertainment like Bad Santa and carolers, and seasonal food and drinks.

5. Celebrate the holiday season during a Queen Mary Christmas (daily Nov. 23 – Jan. 6) The special occasion will see Christmas spirit lining the famous Long Beach vessel including an 80-foot Christmas tree, a variety of holiday activities, an outdoor staking rink, musical performances, a 4D showing of The Polar Express, and dinner shows on select dates.  Check for discounted tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)

6. Get fully immersed in the holiday spirit during Winter Fest happening at the OC Fairgrounds from December 20, 2018 through January 6, 2019. A festival of lights, outdoor ice skating, ice tubing, snowfall, a candy wonderland and Santa Claus are just a few of the magical things happening. Winter Fest will be open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

7. The Argyle will be the spot for MatzoBall an annual Jewish singles networking event. Though most attendees are Jewish, more singles of all backgrounds are now showing up for this hugely popular party.

8. The annual LA Kings Holiday Ice happening at L.A. LIVE’s Microsoft Square is a daily outdoors holiday skating rink. Open November 10, 2018 through January 6, 2019. The rink will be open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

9. Knott’s Merry Farm is a festive yuletide celebration where guests will visit Santa in his cabin, watch Snoopy and friends on ice, enjoy the musical It’s the Merriest Christmas Show Ever, Charlie Brown, crafts vendors, live stagings of A Christmas Carol and Gift of the Magi, tree lighting ceremonies and lighting spectaculars, and seasonal treats. Knott’s Merry Farm is open on Christmas Eve.

10. Enjoy a special performance of The Nutcracker (Dec. 1 – 24.) by the American Contemporary Ballet on the 18th floor of California Plaza in downtown. After the show, guests are invited by The Fairy for a celebration with live music, champagne, and more.

11. Sherman Oaks resident Mike Ziemkowski’s elaborate Christmas themed animatronic characters will return once again with Lights on Display a dazzling light show with a playlist of holiday tunes. Free to the public, the 13-minute show runs nightly 6 to 10 p.m. from November 23 through January 1, 2018. FREE

12. Shop Just One Eye’s winter warehouse sale starting Dec. 10 through Dec. 24. The boutique carries edgy luxury brands with collections from ready-to-wear, shoes and accessories up to 80% off during the sale.

Tuesday December 25th, 2018

13. Have a Merry Christmas Angelenos!

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14. It’s that time of the year to celebrate the holiday season, which is the main purpose of Fa La Land, a pop up museum at Row DTLA. Guests will enjoy a wide variety of installations like a Jingle Bell Toy Factory and a fluorescent “Fa La Forest.” Fa La Land runs Nov. 18 through Jan. 6, 2019. Happening Tuesdays through Sundays. Check for discounted tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)

Wednesday December 26th, 2018

15. It’s Opening Day at Santa Anita Park this Wednesday. To celebrate they’ll be hosting a Craft Beer & Cider Festival featuring samples of local brews and ciders. Food trucks will also post up at the event for folks who need a break from the sips.

16. From Wednesday through Sunday Kidspace Children’s Museum in Pasadena will host Snow Days with real snow, live entertainment, interactive story time, cookie decorating, crafts and a dance party.

17. Ya Filthy Animals is a pop-up bar inspired by holiday movies including Bad Santa, A Christmas Story, and, of course, Home Alone. Expect themed drinks, photo booths, movie-themed installations, an outdoor ice rink, falling “snow,” a Christmas tree farm, food trucks and a fire pit. Open now till January 6, 2019 on Wednesdays through Sundays. Check for discounted tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)

18. 260LA will host a JOIE, Equipment and Current/Elliott sample sale from December 26 through 30. Shop discounts on women’s fashion samples including apparel and accessories below retail.

19. Hotel Shangri-La launches Wednesday Steak Nights featuring prime rib from Snake River Farms in Idaho. The weekly special includes Caesar salad topped with boiled egg, double baked potato, heirloom carrots, sautéed broccolini, New York Cheesecake and a glass of wine for $39 per person. Call to make reservations.

20. Step into a retro-inspired winter wonderland during Miracle at The Everly: Ever Bar happening at The Kimpton Everly Hotel. The Christmas-themed bar open now through December 31 features a candy cane “selfie station,” a 15-foot inflatable Santa Claus, and a dedicated Hanukkah Hut.

21. One of L.A.’s most magical holiday traditions, L.A. Zoo Lights returns November 16, 2018 through January 6, 2019 with thousands upon thousands of LED lights illuminating the zoo. This seasonal event runs daily. Check for discounted tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)

22. Hang out at JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE’s Santa’s Tavern a functioning life sized gingerbread built bar.  Partake in seasonal cocktail tastings, enjoy festive photo-ops and baked treats inside of the edible watering hole. Free and open daily throughout the month of December.

23. For The Record presents the world premiere production of Love Actually Live at The Wallis. The musical will bring one of the most beloved holiday movies to life through an all-star cast and 15-piece orchestra. Playing December 4-31.

24. The Paley Center for Media celebrates the holidays with family-friendly experience PaleyLand. Guests can enjoy daily screenings of classic holiday TV programs, a Candy Cane Forest , arts and crafts, dreidel games, and free hot cocoa. No reservations are required. Open Wednesdays through Sundays till January 6, 2019. FREE

25. Since 1969 Bob Baker’s Marionette Theater’s adaptation of the Nutcracker has been warming hearts and delighting kids and adults during the holidays. The show includes over 100 handmade puppets at the Pasadena Playhouse. Running now until Dec. 30 Thursdays through Sundays.

26. The Paley Center for Media celebrates the holidays with family-friendly experience PaleyLand. Guests can enjoy daily screenings of classic holiday TV programs, a Candy Cane Forest , arts and crafts, dreidel games, and free hot cocoa. No reservations are required. Open Wednesdays through Sundays till January 6, 2019. FREE

27. The Los Angeles Arboretum and Botanic Garden presents Moonlight Forest, where crafted lanterns line the garden grounds, some depicting animals, shimmering exotic flowers, and figures from Chinese legends. Happening Wednesdays through Sunday. Check for discounted tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)

Thursday December 27th, 2018

28. A 35,000 square foot Entertainment Art Park opens in Downtown Los Angeles featuring five Samskara immersive domes that have made an appearance at Coachella, Burning Man, Lightning In A Bottle and more. Open Thursday through Sunday.

29. Game Night at Grand Central Market happens every Thursday from 6 to 10 p.m over on the Hill St. Platform.

30. Party With is Los Angeles’ new Instagram-ready experience. Opening it’s doors on Friday Nov. 16 in Westfield Santa Anita Mall, folks can expect 15 premium photogenic installations like an infinity rainbow and a room filled with sparkling disco balls. Party With runs through January 27 and is open Thursdays through Sundays. Check for discounted tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)

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31. Get into the winter spirit when ICE at Santa Monica returns with a 8,000 square foot ice skating rink. Running November 3, 2018 through January 21, 2019.

32. Free museum day: Museum of Latin American Art (5 to 9 p.m.), Japanese American National Museum (from 5 to 8 p.m.),  MOCA Grand & MOCA Geffen (from 5 to 8 p.m.), Skirball Cultural Center (noon to 5 p.m.) and Long Beach Museum of Art (3 to 8 p.m.)

Friday December 28th, 2018

33. The Pasadena Tournament of Roses will launch SIP & SAVOR a special food festival highlighting Southern California eateries and culinary brands. There will be live entertainment and up-close viewings of Rose Parade float decorating. The event takes over the Rosemont Pavilion/Jackie Robinson Memorial Field near the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena from December 28-30.

34. Humphry Slocombe celebrates it’s 10th Birthday with free scoops all day long. In the spirit of giving there is a suggested donation that will go to Homeboy Industries which provides community, free services, and job training to former gang-involved and incarcerated men and women.

35. There’s a Gilmore Girls experience coming to Warner Brothers Studios. From December 22 through January 6 fans can dine at Lorelai’s and then walk through sets like Lorelai and Rory’s home, the gazebo and town square all from the show.

36. The folks behind the Museum of Failure presents The Disgusting Food Museum (Dec. 9, 2018 through Feb. 17, 2019.) Some of the ‘delicacies’ include maggot infested cheese, bull testicles, and sheep eyeballs. If you’re brave enough, visitors will also get to smell and taste some of the creations at the end of the exhibit over at a tasting bar. Check for discounted tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)

37. The Foodie Space (Nov. 21- Dec. 30) is the latest interactive pop-up museum designed for serial foodie photo-taker’s. Located in Pasadena the museum claims to poke fun at society’s obsession with social media and #foodporn. Food-themed exhibits include a giant bowl of phở, glitter fries that you can marry and more. Happening Tuesdays through Sundays.

38. The Holiday Light Festival Train Ride at Griffith Park is a festive one mile ride on the tracks with tens of thousands of lights to get you in the Holiday spirit. Running daily Nov 23 through Dec. 23 and then again from December 26 to December 30.

Food Pick for the Week

This week’s pick by Christina Champlin, Co-Founder of We Like L.A.

There is still time to make reservations for Christmas Eve. and Christmas dinner. Here are my top picks that range from fancy to casual. Have a happy holiday everyone!

Tony’s Darts Away neighborhood beer bar and pub in Burbank will have Tony Yanow tending bar on Christmas Eve. to give his staff the night off.

Spring St. Bar in DTLA will host a Christmas Hot Dog Bar from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. They also have a Die Hard pop up with plenty of cocktails inspired by the holiday action film.

Plant-based pub Beelman’s in DTLA will host a Tiki Christmas Eve. party from 4 p.m. to midnight, with all Tiki drinks priced at $8.

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Sport your comfiest pajamas to Idle Hour on Christmas Eve or Christmas day and they’ll reward you with some free cookies. Christmas day hours are 7:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.

On Christmas night there will be a Halal Indo-Chinese dinner taking place at Revolutionario North African Tacos and Halal Restaurant. From 7 to 9 p.m. enjoy Indo-Chinese and Caribbean Chinese cuisine like Schezwan fried basmati rice, Hakka Chow Mein, Orange crack sauce chicken and more.

DTLA’s Hotel Figueroa will serve a “Christmas Feast” inspired by the Dr. Seuss classic ‘The Grinch Who Stole Christmas,’ at Veranda. Guests will dine on ‘Roast Beast’/Roast Rib Beef and Whole Roast Duck; ‘Who Hash’/Roasted Root Vegetables; ‘Red Fish, Blue Fish’/Whole Roasted Red Snapper and Blue Nose Bass with red and green mojos; Chicories – Hazelnuts with crushed pomegranate vinaigrette; Potato Purée; and ‘Stolen Christmas Pie.’ Reservations are available from 3 to 8 p.m. on Christmas Day at $55 per person.

On Christmas Day, Best Girl located at Ace Hotel in DTLA will be serving brunch alongside a special holiday menu featuring Oysters Rockefeller; Brandade De Morue with grilled bread, potato, cream; Christmas Cacciucco with shellfish, cod, tomato, garlic-rubbed crostini; Slow Roasted Prime Rib with Yorkshire pudding, fresh horseradish, roasted root vegetables, pan gravy; Gingerbread Trifle with rum pastry cream, winter fruit compote and more. Service runs 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Culina will host a holiday pavilion at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles in Beverly Hills on Christmas Day. The buffet style brunch will feature bottomless mimosas, live music, multiple food stations and a special addition of Christmas in Chinatown (after 3 p.m.) that includes peking duck, beef noodle soup and more. A special Children’s Buffet  ($69 per child ages 5 to 12 years) will also be available for the little ones. The regular buffet cost $135.00 per adult. Buffet service is available 11 am to 6 p.m.

There’s an all day Christmas buffet happening at Dekkadance inside the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown. Highlights include an elk roast, a fondue bar, mac n’ cheese station and more. The meal will also include bottomless sparkling rosé or mimosas. The buffet is availble noon to 6 p.m. A holiday a la carte menu will be offered after 6 p.m. with the last seating at 9 p.m.

Viale dei Romani located at La Peer Hotel in West Hollywood’s Design District will offer a three course Christmas dinner. The prefix menu includes amuse-bouches alongside entrées like Gnocchi with chanterelles, chestnuts, nutmeg, parmigiano; Wood Roasted Duck with Calvados gravy; Rotisserie Prime Rib Roast with caramelized cipollini, horseradish, beef jus; World’s Best Robouchon Potatoes and more. All guests will savor a traditional spiced layer cake for dessert. Dinner service is from 4 to 8 p.m. at $75 per person / $45 kids 12 and under.


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