Hey there fellow travelers and welcome to my post where we will cover my 6 best things to do in Los Angeles at Christmas. From festive light displays to ice skating rinks, Los Angeles is a city that knows how to celebrate the holiday season.
One of the best things to do during the holiday season in Los Angeles is to check out the many light displays throughout the city. From the iconic Christmas tree at The Grove to the dazzling lights at the Los Angeles Zoo, there are plenty of places to get into the holiday spirit. Another must-see attraction is the Holiday Ice Rink at Pershing Square, where you can lace up your skates and glide across the ice under the twinkling lights. And if you’re looking for something a little more unique, head to the Venice Canals to see the charming holiday light displays that line the waterways.
Best Things to Do in Los Angeles at Christmas
Ok, so let’s have a look at everything Los Angeles has to offer at Christmas time.
1. Festive Light Displays
If you’re looking for some of the best festive light displays in Los Angeles, you won’t be disappointed. Here are two of the best displays to check out:
LA Zoo Lights
The LA Zoo Lights display is a must-see for anyone visiting Los Angeles during the holiday season. This event takes place at the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens and features thousands of LED lights, lasers and 3D projections where you’ll see everything from giant illuminated animals to a dazzling water show.
In addition to the light displays, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy inlcuding taking a ride on the zoo’s carousel, visiting with Santa Claus and even going ice skating. There are also plenty of food and drink options available, including hot cocoa and holiday cocktails as well.
Griffith Park Holiday Light Festival Drive-Thru
Another great option for festive light displays is the Griffith Park Holiday Light Festival Drive-Thru. This event takes place at Griffith Park and features over a million lights spread across a 2.5-mile route. The best part about this event is that you can enjoy it all from the comfort of your own car. Just tune your radio to the designated station and enjoy the holiday music as you take in the sights.
As you drive through the park, you’ll see everything from illuminated trees to animated displays and there are also plenty of photo opportunities along the way, so be sure to bring your camera.
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2. Holiday Markets
If you’re looking for unique gifts or just want to get into the holiday spirit, Los Angeles has plenty of holiday markets to explore. Here are two you won’t want to miss:
Unique LA Holiday Market
The Unique LA Holiday Market is a two-day event that features over 350 independent designers and artists selling their wares. You’ll find everything from handmade jewelry and clothing to artisanal food and home goods and it is a great place to find one-of-a-kind gifts for everyone on your list.
In addition to shopping, there are also workshops, photo booths and a kids’ craft area. Plus, there’s plenty of food and drinks to keep you fueled as you browse the stalls. The market takes place at the California Market Center in downtown LA and admission is $15.
Downtown LA Art Walk
The Downtown LA Art Walk takes place on the second Thursday of every month, but the December edition is extra special. In addition to the usual art galleries and open studios, there are also holiday vendors selling handmade crafts and gifts.
This is a great way to support local artists and find unique gifts for your loved ones plus, the festive atmosphere and holiday decorations will put you in the holiday spirit. The Art Walk takes place in the historic core of downtown LA and is free to attend.
3. Outdoor Ice Skating
When it comes to outdoor activities during the holiday season in Los Angeles, ice skating is a must-do. Here are two of the best outdoor ice skating rinks in LA:
The annual L.A. Kings ice skating rink is located at LA Live where you can skate around the dazzling Christmas tree that stands in the middle of the outdoor rink for $25. Take in an LED light show while you glide around the rink and enjoy the festive atmosphere. Skate rentals are available for an additional fee.
Santa Monica Ice Rink
The seasonal ice skating rink by the sea, ICE at Santa Monica, is a local favorite as well. Open from November to January, admission and skate rental cost $20. Enjoy the ocean view while you skate, or take a break and grab a bite to eat at one of the nearby restaurants. The rink also offers skating lessons and hosts special events throughout the season.
4. Christmas Parades
If you’re looking for a festive way to celebrate the holidays in Los Angeles, attending a Christmas parade is a must. Here are two of the most popular Christmas parades in the city:
Hollywood Christmas Parade
The Hollywood Christmas Parade is a beloved annual tradition that has been entertaining Angelenos for over 90 years. The parade features a variety of floats, marching bands and celebrities, and culminates with the arrival of Santa Claus. The parade typically takes place on the Sunday after Thanksgiving and runs along Hollywood Boulevard, from Orange Drive to Vine Street.
If you’re planning on attending the Hollywood Christmas Parade, be sure to arrive early to secure a good spot along the parade route. You can also purchase grandstand seating tickets for a more comfortable viewing experience. Keep in mind that traffic and parking can be challenging in the area, so consider taking public transportation or using a ride-sharing service.
Marina Del Rey Holiday Boat Parade
For a unique and unforgettable holiday experience, check out the Marina Del Rey Holiday Boat Parade. This annual event features dozens of boats decked out in festive lights and decorations, cruising through the Marina Del Rey harbor. The parade typically takes place on the second Saturday in December and lasts for about two hours.
There are several great spots to view the Marina Del Rey Holiday Boat Parade, including Fisherman’s Village, Burton Chace Park and the Marina Beach. You can also book a dinner cruise or charter a boat to participate in the parade yourself. Keep in mind that parking can be limited, so plan to arrive early or take advantage of the free shuttle service provided by the event organizers.
5. Holiday Shows and Concerts
If you’re looking for some holiday entertainment, Los Angeles has plenty of options to choose from. Here are two of the best shows and concerts to get you into the holiday spirit:
The Nutcracker Ballet
One of the most beloved holiday traditions is attending a performance of The Nutcracker Ballet. The Los Angeles Ballet puts on a stunning production of this classic tale every year at various venues throughout the city. With beautiful sets, dazzling costumes and Tchaikovsky’s unforgettable score, it’s a performance that’s sure to delight audiences of all ages.
Holiday Sing-Along at Walt Disney Concert Hall
For a more interactive holiday experience, head to the Walt Disney Concert Hall for their annual Holiday Sing-Along. This festive event invites audience members to join in on classic holiday tunes like “Jingle Bells” and “Silent Night” alongside a live orchestra and choir. It’s a fun and family-friendly way to get into the holiday spirit.
6. Christmas Dining
If you’re planning to spend Christmas in Los Angeles, you’re in for a treat. The city boasts an array of restaurants that offer special menus for the holiday season. Here are two options that you don’t want to miss:
Holiday Tea at The Langham
The Langham Huntington, Pasadena, is known for its luxurious afternoon tea service, and during the holiday season, it gets even more special. The hotel’s Lobby Lounge transforms into a winter wonderland with festive decorations and the tea service includes holiday-inspired treats like gingerbread macarons and peppermint bark. The tea service is available from November through January, and reservations are highly recommended.
Christmas Dinner at The Grove
If you’re looking for a more traditional Christmas dinner, head over to The Grove. The outdoor shopping center has several restaurants that offer special menus for Christmas Day, including The Whisper Restaurant and Lounge and Maggiano’s Little Italy. The menus typically include classic holiday dishes like roasted turkey and ham, as well as festive desserts like pumpkin pie and yule log. Be sure to make a reservation in advance, as these restaurants tend to fill up quickly.
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There you have it; 6 best things to do in Los Angeles at Christmas. I would be pleased to know how this article helped you, and as usual, let me know of your experiences here.
Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, or corrections or would like me to check anything else out for you.
Until next time.