The holiday season is a great time to be a kid. There’s lights everywhere, ice skating, and you have free range to drink a lot more hot chocolate than usual. So we rounded up the best holiday events for kids in LA!
1. Give The Kiddos The Gift Of Saving The World At Stranger Things: The Experience
Some of the biggest movie blockbusters come out at this time of year, but what’s better than feeling like you’re saving the world yourself?
Stranger Things: The Experience takes you on an interactive narrative journey with twists and turns I won’t spoil here. But let’s just say that when you set off on this adventure in 1980s Hawkins, not everything is as it seems. It’s up to you and the kids to save the day!
2. Snuggle Up For Hot Cocoa, Victorian House Tours, And A Movie At Yuletide Cinemaland
Stepping through a tunnel of lights, you’ll enter a cinematic holiday wonderland that’s more than simply an outdoor movie experience. There’s also photo opportunities with Santa, live piano sing-a-longs, food trucks, a bar for the adults, and tours of the gorgeous Hertiage Square’s Victorian homes!
Below is the schedule for the remaining Yuletide Cinemaland dates—don’t miss your favorite flick!
- Saturday, December 17th: The Muppet Christmas Carol
- Sunday, December 18th: A Christmas Story
- Monday, December 19th: How The Grinch Stole Christmas
- Tuesday, December 20th: Home Alone
- Wednesday, December 21st: The Nightmare Before Christmas
- Thursday, December 22nd: Love Actually
- Friday, December 23rd: Elf
3. Holiday Road LA Has Caroling, Face Painting, And Some Of The Biggest Lighting Displays In LA
Sparkling, multi-colored lights are one of the best parts of the holiday season, but why stop at a couple strings of bulbs? Holiday Road LA raises the bar with elaborate sets, life-sized (and larger than life) characters, and detailed sets of cozy festive scenes.
But the decorations are just the start of the fun! The kids will also enjoy getting their faces painted, the live carolers, and seeing Old Saint Nick himself. There’s even a Winter Market for some last-minute shopping!
4. Catch A Ride On The Magical Polar Express As It Passes Through California!
Polar Express is hands down my favorite holiday movie. If you told me when I was a kid that I could get my own golden ticket and get on the train itself, I would’ve been out the door before you could say “all aboard.”
But it’s true! You can step aboard the legendary magical train, complete with singing and dancing actors and, of course, hot chocolate.
5. The Magical Candlelight Series Features Pop Music Covers, Film Scores, And More!
If you want to enjoy a night of soothing string music in the warm glow of candlelight, don’t think you can’t bring the kids along! While Vivaldi may not be every kid’s favorite, there’s plenty of options for the whole family to enjoy.
Whether the kids are into movies, anime, or pop icons like Beyoncé and Taylor Swift, there’s something for everyone:
- The Best of Hans Zimmer: A quartet will recreate the legendary composer’s best works from movies like Madagascar, Wonder Woman, Gladiator, and Pirates of the Caribbean.
- The Best of Joe Hisaishi: Featuring many songs from Studio Ghibli films like Spirited Away, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and My Neighbour Totoro.
- A Tribute to Beyoncé: Not only will Queen Bey’s greatest hits be covered like “Halo,” but also Destiny’s Child staples such as “Say My Name!”
- A Tribute to Taylor Swift: From classics like “You Belong With Me” to newer hits like “Cardigan,” you’ll hear Taylor in a whole new light (literally).
6. Grab Some Skates And Hit The Ice At The Crypto.com Arena!
Who says ice skating is only for places that get snow? The LA Kings Holiday Ice rink is open now through January 8, so you can carve it up around the dazzling tree at the center of LA Live.
Don’t forget to show your tickets to participating restaurants on the day you skate. With Supper & Skate, you’ll get discounts at these LA Live eateries:
- Flemings: 10% off
- Katsuya: 15% off
- Lucky Strike: 10% off
7. Walk Through A Botanic Garden That Has Been Transformed Into A Cosmic Wonderland Of Light And Sound At Astra Lumina
Light displays are always fun, but they rarely tell an emotional story. But Astra Lumina at South Coast Botanic Garden is a night walk adventure filled with jaw-dropping lights that does just that.
The garden of lights, soundscapes, and otherworldly scenography comes from world-renowned multimedia studio Moment Factory. At Astra Lumina, you’ll follow a captivating narrative of fallen stars, rebirth, and ascendance.
8. Walk Past Giant Gingerbread Houses, See Live Entertainment, And Ride A Train At Santa’s Village!
A lot of people think Santa’s Village is at the North Pole, but it’s actually just north of San Bernardino. Running through January 8th, SkyPark has transformed into the home of the big man in the red coat.
What’s Santa doing in SoCal? SkyPark at Santa’s Village actually has an explanation, so be sure to ask once you’re there! And afterwards, don’t miss all the fun activities Santa’s Village has in store, including:
- NorthWoods Express Train Ride
- Village of Lights
- Fantasy Forest Experience
- Santa’s Workshop & Post Office
- Live Entertainment
- Ice Skating At Silver Bells Arena
- Santa’s House & North Pole
- Special Appearances From Magical NorthWoods Characters, And Possibly Even The Clauses!
9. Head To The Most Charming Town In California Solvang’s Julefest Celebration
Solvang already feels like a cozy, festive town year-round, but they pull out the big guns during the holiday season. The “Danish Capital of America” is putting on Julefest, the annual month-long celebration of lights, ornaments, treats, and more.
These are just a few of the best holiday events for kids in LA, but there’s always more to be discovered. Keep checking back for all the experiences in Los Angeles you won’t want to miss!
See more: For more of the best holiday events for kids in LA, check out our seasonal roundup.