Christmas events in Los Angeles, Even when it’s 70 degrees and sunny in December, there are still plenty of Christmas events and seasonal activities to get you in the holiday spirit. Sure, you won’t find snow-covered trees and below-zero temperatures in Los Angeles. Our selection of the greatest events and activities to do in the city this holiday season will help turn Los Angeles into a winter paradise all month long with outdoor movie screenings, illuminated walks in botanical gardens, seasonal shows, festive takeovers of theme parks, and Christmas lights all across town.
Christmas events in Los Angeles
1. Enchanted: Forest of Light
The roughly ten-lit installations in this year’s holiday tradition at Descanso Gardens are full of discovery and delight. The botanical garden’s nighttime experience expertly combines interactive artworks with eerie, glowing forests, all set against a backdrop of lit-up trees and shimmering sound effects.
The botanical garden’s annual evening event expertly combines interactive art pieces with eerie, glowing forests, all against a backdrop of lit-up trees and shimmering sound effects.
The 2022 event will essentially resemble the one from the previous year. The multicolored stained-glass-inspired sculpture by Tom Fruin has once more multiplied into a whole village of buildings in the rose garden, but this time with even more little cottages that you may enter. We did miss the spinnable, dizzying multicolored pendants, but HYBYCOZO’s light-and-shadow-generating polyhedrons—including the one you can pose inside of—are back on the main lawn. That indicates that the once-present serpentine Candyland-like path is now ostensibly no longer present (though the color-changing oak grove should still satisfy all of your stomping-on-lights needs).
While the mist-filled “Ancient Forest” continues to attract tourists with its setting straight out of E.T., other parts of Enchanted (delightedly) remain much the same as they have in the past. For example, a field of artificial tulips vibrates with waves of dazzling color changes. The “Rainbow Sycamore” columns can still be tapped, and the experience is still intuitively engaging. Additionally, in keeping with its setting in a botanical garden, the majority of the installations showcase the natural beauty of Descanso’s flora, doing so with a finesse that distinguishes it from other botanical garden light displays that have appeared in recent years.
The walk around “Enchanted” is around a mile, therefore you should wear comfortable shoes.
2. Marina Del Rey Boat Parade
The Marina Del Rey Boat Parade will make you feel as though you’ve escaped to a sleepy fishing community. Bring a picnic and your friends and family to Fisherman’s Village or Burton Chace Park to watch as 70 boat race around the harbor decked out for the holidays. Best Theme, Best Animation, Best Band, Best Lights, and more are just a few of the categories. Fireworks kick off the celebrations at 5:55 p.m., and the boat procession begins at 6 p.m., rain or shine.
3. Yuletide Cinemaland
Holiday outdoor screenings have been organized by Street Food Cinema in Heritage Square, which is the closest town square to a Dickensian one in Los Angeles. You can watch screenings of movies like Elf, Home Alone, A Christmas Story, The Muppet Christmas Carol, and more between Victorian home tours, piano sing-alongs, strolls through a light tunnel, and sips of hot cocoa, mulled wine, and craft beer. These movies are typically shown twice each night, at 6 and 8 o’clock. Just be sure to dress warmly in your favorite holiday sweater.
4. L.A. Zoo Lights
Through January, the L.A. Zoo will be open late on most nights as part of this lovely update to its holiday lighting tradition. The “Animals Aglow” version of the festival has focused entirely on enormous animal-shaped lanterns, creating a pleasant, colorful trail that honors the zoo’s native animals.
5. Holiday Time at Disneyland
The holidays take over at Disneyland as soon as the Halloween pumpkins are gone from Main Street. For a full two months (Nov. 11–Jan. 8), the well-liked theme park transforms into the merriest spot on earth with Christmas makeovers of well-liked attractions and holiday-themed nightly performances. In terms of holiday decorations, you can see Christmas lights all across the theme parks, from the Americana auto-themed ornaments in Cars Land to the icicle lights atop Sleeping Beauty Castle. The cheerful façade of “It’s a Small World” is what really stands out, though. Just keep in mind that in order to see everything all, you’ll need to swiftly make an appointment.
6. ‘Home Alone in Concert
Reserve a seat for the next special Home Alone screening at the Walt Disney Concert Hall to kick up your Christmas movie marathon. The Los Angeles Philharmonic, under the direction of David Newman, is bringing the cult film to life by performing John Williams’s score live to image in an immersive experience.
7. Christmas at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
This holiday season, Muggles can look forward to a little sorcery and magic. Holiday decorations have been added to the Harry Potter-themed area at Universal Studios Hollywood, featuring lights and wreaths along the Hogsmeade Village’s rooflines, as well as, of course, lots of winter-themed items in the gift shops. The seven-minute projection presentation “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts,” which runs from November 25 to January 1, is worth staying for if you want to see Hogwarts Castle decorated with dancing lanterns, vibrant banners, and a Christmas tree.
8. L.A. County Holiday Celebration
Visit L.A.’s largest holiday performance, which features more than 20 choirs, musical ensembles, and dance groups from across the city, with your friends and family. The free three-hour event at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion shows how diversely L.A. observes the holidays. You are welcome to come and go whenever you choose (past performances have ranged from an all-female mariachi ensemble to a Korean dance troupe).
9. Rooftop Cinema Club
With a lineup of seasonal favorites, the masters of outdoor moviegoing are extending the outdoor cinema season. Nearly every night in November and December, one or more of RCC’s three locations—DTLA, the Arts District, and El Segundo—will be hosting a holiday performance.
10. Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square
Ordinarily, Los Angeles doesn’t seem like much of a winter wonderland—that is, until you build an ice skating rink right among the Downtown skyscrapers. The outdoor holiday skating rink at Pershing Square is back after a nearly three-year absence. Come skate around and pretend there is snow on the ground. Admission includes skate rentals, but there is an additional fee for lockers and skating equipment.