It's the holiday season, and the city of angels is quickly becoming the city of lights. No matter how you celebrate, it's impossible to avoid the holiday spirit - so you might as well let it move you. Here are 25 things to do in December in Los Angeles.
Attend a Sober Curious Party
Get a head start on Dry January and lose the booze but not the fun at this Sober Curious Party in West Hollywood. Tickets include two drinks and a cocktail gift bag to take home. The event takes place at 7 p.m. on December 3rd at Alana's Coffee Roasters. Tickets are $30.
Visit a Holiday Wonderland
Grand Central Market in Downtown Los Angeles will be transforming itself into a Holiday Wonderland starting on December 3rd and running until the end of the month. Each day will feature family-friendly programming like Santa Meet and Greets, Ugly Sweater Karaoke, and Cookie Decorating. Follow their Instagram to find out what is happening each day.
RUNWAY Playa Vista is serving up cups of holiday cheer with their Cocoa & Carols event taking place on December 2nd, 9th, 16th, and 23rd from 6 to 8 p.m. Be among the first 100 guests to enjoy complimentary cocoa plus toppings and beautiful carol music right next to the Gingerbread House. The event is free.
Next, in Downtown Los Angeles, sing Carols with the Los Angeles Master Chorale during Carols on the Plaza. It’s a free 30-minute concert taking place on December 19th at 6 p.m. at the Music Center. No reservations are required.
Shop at Local Holiday Markets
If you're really looking for a unique holiday gift, put down your phone, and take advantage of these Holiday Markets instead.
- On Sunday, December 4th, from Noon to 4 p.m., head to Broken Shaker’s Rooftop Holiday Market. It features local vendors, drink specials, and a live DJ.
- Next, on December 10th and 17th, from 10 to 3 p.m., get yourself to the Creative Communal Holiday Artisan Market at Runway in Playa Vista for a market with forty local makers, music, and a brunch BBQ.
- Also, on December 10th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Come Up Markets will be at FIGat7th in DTLA with over 50 Black brands and entrepreneurs.
Get all Lit Up
Here's where you can enjoy a city all lit up at night:
- Lightscape at the L.A. Arboretum in Arcadia features a complete garden takeover and is going on now until January 8th, 2023. The Winter Cathedral walk-thru is a must-see.
- Enchanted at Descanso Gardens in La Cañada, Flintridge offers a nightly light-up of the botanical gardens and a chance to feel what it’s like to walk a forest at night. The event ends January 8th.
- L.A. Zoo Lights features light up animals at night while the real animals sleep tight. Enjoy it until January 23rd.
- There's also a newcomer, Illuminate Silverlakes presented by Pluto TV in Norco, California which promises lightscapes, a holiday market, and much more family fun. Get tickets and information here.
Light the Menorah
Be part of the Festival of Lights when Hanukkah begins on December 18th, 2022. Menorah lightings are happening all over the city that day, including the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica and an all-day festival at The Skirball Cultural Center in West L.A.
Go Ice Skating
These holiday rinks are sure to keep you on your toes:
- Skate by the sea at the 3rd annual Ice Rink at Paséa Hotel & Spa from now until December 31st in Huntington Beach. Add on a firepit experience with holiday cocktails to make it a very merry evening. Tickets can be found here and are $35 an hour.
- The L.A. Kings Holiday Ice Event features the largest outdoor skating rink in Los Angeles located at L.A. Live in DTLA. Dates are now through January 8th. Reserve your skate here.
- Skate at Santa Monica takes place near the third street promenade at 5th street and Arizona and is open DAILY from noon to 10 p.m. until January 16th, 2023. Tickets are just $20 and can be purchased on-site.
Ride a Holiday Train
Perfect for kids, the Holiday Light Festival Train Ride is a ten-minute train ride in Griffith Park offering just the right amount of fun for $7. Lines open at 5 p.m., and you can expect a short wait as their online sales have already been closed.
Visit Yuletide Cinemaland
Get ho-ho happy when you enjoy Christmas Classics like Elf (12/3 &12/10) Home Alone (12/20), and A Christmas Story (12/18) with dozens of like-minded viewers like you. Screenings of Yuletide Cinemaland films include access to food trucks, holiday cocktails, and singalongs. Each night has two screenings at the Heritage Square Museum in Pasadena. Tickets required.
LA3C is a brand new two-day music, art, and food festival to celebrate the culture and creativity of Los Angeles. It takes place December 10th and 11th at the LA State Historic Park. Enjoy bites from Ramen Hood, Prince Street Pizza, Tepito Truck, and more while enjoying performances from Snoop Dogg and Lil'Baby. Get more information and tickets here.
Enjoy Real Snow
Take advantage of one of the things that make Los Angeles so great: the ability to be in snow and sand all in one day. Mountain High Resorts is just an hour and a half from downtown Los Angeles in Wrightwood, California. No stay is required, and you can sign up for Snow Play Day activities that range from tubing and sledding to just a chair lift.
Prefer to stay closer to the beach? The Snow N Glow Holiday Festival taking place at either the Ventura or Del Mar Fairgrounds, features tubing on real snow, private igloo rentals, holiday activities, fireworks, and more.
Hear the Sounds of the Season
These concerts are the perfect way to get Christmas ready - and keep your out of town guests entertained.
- Arturo Sandoval’s Swinging Holiday on December 23rd at 8 p.m. really jazzes up Christmas along with the LA Phil. at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Purchase your seats here.
- The 63rd Annual L.A. County Holiday Celebration is a free concert on December 24th from 3 to 6 p.m. featuring a range of diverse artists and performances at the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion. Tickets are first-come, first-served on-site.
Wish Yourself a Merry Christmas
December 25th is a day for family and friends, but there's always food to consider. The 24 Meals of Christmas should give you some good ideas to start with. Updates for 2022 coming mid-month.
Say Hello to 2023
Grand Park’s NYELA is back after a two-year absence with their FREE New Years Eve Event in DTLA! Performers include Cuban Funk artist Cimafunk, DJ Raul Campos, and famed DJ Marques Wyatt among others. The event takes place from 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on December 31st, 2022. Get more details including parking on their website.