Events

The Most Festive Things to Do in LA This Holiday Season

Published On 11/20/2017 Published On 11/20/2017
November
Disneyland
Flickr/Michael Saechang
November
Friday - Sunday
Nov 10-Jan 7
Disneyland
The annual Christmas Fantasy Parade is always a Disney-riffic monster of an event, and since it’s only an hour away, it’s kind of a no-brainer to hit if you live in LA. Pro tip: The best time to go on Space Mountain is during the parade, so if your idea of festive-ness somehow doesn’t include holiday Mickey, you’re still in luck.
Cost: Admission depends on the day, but ranges from $97-$124
Thursday
Nov 16
Downtown
DJs set the scene at this outdoor ice rink right in the center of Downtown on Thursdays, and curling -- everybody’s favorite sport -- lessons take it over on Sundays, with free-skate most of the rest of the week.
Cost: $4-$9 depending on the time of day
Friday - Sunday
Nov 17-Jan 7
Reindeer are real things, not just fictitious Santa Claus animals, and you can visit them in Reindeer Village at the LA Zoo until January 7, 2018. Not a reindeer fan? That’s weird, because they’re the best, but the rest of the zoo will also be decked out in wintry splendor for Zoo Lights, which includes NYE festivities, a happy hour lounge, and more.
Cost: $10 for Zoo Lights, $21 for Reindeer Romp
Sunday - Sunday
Nov 19-Jan 7
La Cañada
This beloved garden has set up "Enchanted: Forest of Light" through January 7, 2018; it’s a 1-mile walk through some crazy-impressive lighting displays (some of which are pretty interactive). There will be two lounges set up throughout the whole "Enchanted" experience, so you can get your food and drank on, too.
Cost: $28
Thursday
Nov 23
Downtown
Want to find a way to get some exercise in AND give back to the community before you stuff your face with a thousand pounds of Thanksgiving deliciousness? The Turkey Trot is just for you; a charity race through DTLA, this year benefiting The Midnight Mission. They’ve partnered with Bombas socks this year, and each pair sold, another is donated to The Midnight Mission along with $6. Hooray for being a good person!
Cost: Free
Sunday
Nov 26
Hollywood
Hollywood’s biggest parade is rolling out the red carpet again, this year starting from Hollywood Boulevard at Orange Drive, moving east to Vine, south on Vine to Sunset, and west on Sunset back to Orange Drive. Good luck driving through Hollywood that day.
Cost: Free
Wednesday
Nov 29
Arts District
One of the Arts District’s greatest gems is gearing up for Round 2 of its annual Christmas takeover. Last year featured fake snow falling outside the windows, carolers, a Santa, Manischewitz pong, and of course, themed food & drink specials -- we can’t wait to see what they do this year. It’s just enough to warm your Grinchy heart.
Cost: No cover!
December
SantaCon
Michael Warwick/Shutterstock
December
Saturday
Dec 2
Downtown
The pop up market always goes balls-to-the-walls for the holidays, this year with more than 400 vendors to peruse. DJs, food, free drinks, art installations, free DIY project demos, a photo booth, and lounges await at this so-much-better-than-the-mall shopping option.
Cost: $15-$35
Saturday
Dec 2
Disney Hall
Are you the one in the friend group who just can’t get enough Christmas Carols? Spoiler alert: Everybody who pretends not to understand your obsession really does understand, and will probably also want to get tickets to the Festival of Carols, where over 100 classically-trained carolers will be hitting you with the classics. Also on December 9. 
Cost: $39-$129
Saturday
Dec 9
All over LA
Let’s be honest: SantaCon is a huge nightmare. The streets are filled with stumbling Santas at every corner, most of whom are just a bit too merry -- but is there a part of you that yearns to be one of those stumbling, merry Santas? Yes. Yes there is.
Cost: Free
Saturday
Dec 9
The Phoenix Club (Anaheim)
It’s just like the beer fests you know and love, but this time featuring all of those OC breweries you miss, like Noble Ale Works, Bottle Logic Brewing, and more. Holiday ales and specials will be the name of the game, and as per usual, the ticket grabs you unlimited tastings from every brewery on site.
Cost: $55
Wednesday - Sunday
Dec 13-Jan 7
Long Beach
The Queen Mary’s winter wonderland launches December 13, with classics like ice skating, the winning North Pole Village, a zipline, and a 140-foot ice tubing slide. There’s also an Ice Bar this year, where you can grab a parka and have the coldest drink you’ll drink all year.
Cost: $30
Wednesday - Sunday
Dec 13-17
Newport Beach
Over a million viewers will be posting up for the 109th annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade December 13-17, so why not be one of them? The harbor will be alive with boats, yachts, and canoes, many of them sporting over $500,000 in decorations. Oh, rich people. Bless their hearts.
Cost: Free
Saturday
Dec 16
Santa Monica
If you’re looking to drink your way through the holidays (and who isn’t) a good place to start is at the Santa Monica Pub Crawl. You’ll have four crawlable routes, so choose wisely -- though if you want our advice, choose the Pier Route, as the bars are bigger and you’ll have an easier time getting a drink. Also, uh, don’t forget to eat.
Cost: Early bird tickets are as low as $15
Sunday
Dec 24
Downtown
Bands, choirs, and dance companies will be spreading the cheer during this free, three-hour Christmas Eve show at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
Cost: Free
Sunday
Dec 31
Downtown
LA’s biggest free party (and maybe LA’s biggest party, period) is Downtown’s non-alcoholic rager (yes, that's a thing) at Grand Park, which includes food for sale, photo booths, art, and three stages of TBA live music.
Cost: Did we mention the free part?