This holiday season, we have the ultimate gift of getting to step out of our cars and soak up the festive cheer around the city in the company of friends and family. On top of that, all of our favorite holiday traditions are back in full swing, some of which are bigger and brighter than ever before. Starting in November through early January, the city is getting festive! From charming Christmas tree lighting ceremonies to ice skating under the stars — there’s so much happening to ring in the season.
Here are some of our favorite events celebrating the holidays:
Instead of the usual array of snowmen, snowflakes, and other seasonally-themed displays. The South Coast Botanic Garden is shining the light back on nature. This 87-acre coastal haven will be transformed into a multicolored and multisensory galactic experience known as Astra Lumina. Bring a jacket and walk through this mesmerizing glowing light forest of stars. Grab your tickets to Astra Lumina here!
Yes, our favorite seasonal activities are back this year which means you get to hobble around an ice rink accompanied by classic holiday jingles and twinkling lights to work up an appetite for all those holiday treats. While you might be a little bit rusty after your year off, you have the whole month to find you’re groove. Here’s where you can find the perfect rinks in L.A.
Get in the Christmas spirit at Santa’s Circus! From the producers that brought Angelenos “The Vampire Circus” to The Montalban last October, Santa’s Circus is taking over this holiday with an interactive circus show featuring breathtaking stunts, amazing skills, magic and illusions, comedy — and most importantly, family fun. Unleash your inner child at this Christmas wonderland! Get your tickets to Santa’s Circus here.
Bring a little Hygge into your holidays with this Danish-style holiday festival. If you think Solvang, a.k.a. “The Danish Capital of America,” is already Christmas-y most of the year, then just wait until you see it during the Julefest. It’s a month-long celebration where the quaint hamlet is filled with twinkling lights, traditional ornaments, festive treats, and other holiday delights. Find out more about Julefest here!
The wildly popular Candlelight Concert Series will be setting the winter nights aglow with these mesmerizing musical concerts set in some of L.A.’s most beautiful venues. Wrap yourself in sweet seasonal nostalgia with awe-inspiring renditions of classics across genres. Whether it’s jazz numbers like “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” by Ella Fitzgerald or classical renditions of holiday hits — find all the seasonally-themed editions happening this December here.
- December 15, 2023 — Holiday Special featuring The Nutcracker & more
December 16, 2023 — Best Hits and Christmas Favorites by Vitamin String Quartet
December 20, 2023 — Holiday Jazz and Soul Classics
- You can also gift the glow of Candlelight to a loved one!
Here’s a reminder that it’s all about the moments shared with your community and loved ones that truly make this season so special. So get the hot chocolate ready, grab those jackets, and attend one (or all!) of these beautiful tree lighting ceremonies happening around Los Angeles. It really is the best way to get into the holiday spirit! Find local tree-lighting ceremonies here.
Come dashing through the snow at Santa’s Secret! Explore a winter wonderland with eight immersive installations in search of Santa’s vintage speakeasy. Along the way, you’ll find everything from naughty gingerbread girls and rugged lumberjacks to living snow globes. Then, once you stumble into Santa’s speakeasy, enjoy Christmas cocktails, delicious food, and a live band. The night concludes with a variety show with a mix of ballet, burlesque, and unique, jaw-dropping acts in which all of Santa’s wildest secrets are revealed! Whether you’re naughty or nice, — get your tickets to Santa’s Secret here!
The holiday season is magical and charming, and sometimes even mystery has a bit of romance to it. At this unique dining experience, your senses will be heightened as you embark on a unique culinary adventure. At Dining In The Dark, you’re blindfolded and must rely on your sense of taste and smell. As you dine, those senses take over and instantly elevate your meal to a whole new level. Try something new this holiday season, and grab your seat to Dining In The Dark here!
- December 19, 2023: RSVP here.
- December 21, 2023: RSVP here.
- You can also gift Dining In The Dark to a loved one!
📍 Location: City Club Los Angeles, 555 Flower Street 51st Floor, Los Angeles, 90071
The picturesque 123 Farm, known for its beautiful swaths of violet flowers over the summer, has a stunning night market. Its towering trees and fields have been 1,000 years in the making and you can continue to enjoy its beauty post the summer blooms. Every Thursday to Sunday through October 24, you can stroll through the lavender fields and olive groves draped with lights to enjoy food, live music, games, and unique handmade goods. Find out more here!
Wander through light tunnels, paths lined with countless candy canes, and various winter-themed scenes in the Santa Monica mountains. This year, Holiday Road will be turning King Gillette Ranch into a glittering wonderland once again, except this time you get to explore it on foot. There’ll also be tons of food and drinks to fuel your festive venture. Find out more about this magical haven here.
The city is positively glowing with mesmerizing festive installations this year. There is everything from streets of over-the-top lights, Christmas events, parks and gardens with glittering decorations, and fantastical merriness happening at Disneyland to discover. From Buena Vista Street to Mission Inn, here are the best places to see holiday light displays around L.A.:
- ‘Wildlights’ At The Living Desert
- The Mission Inn Festival of Lights
- Christmas Tree Lane
- Sleepy Hollow Christmas Lights Extravaganza
- ‘Sparkle DTLA’ at The Bloc
- Dana Point Harbor
- Buena Vista Street
- Old Pasadena
- The Grove
L.A.’s largest outdoor movie series is back with Blockbuster hits, live music, food trucks, and mild weather – what more can you ask for? This season you’ll get to enjoy the festive Yuletide Cinemaland pop-up with all your Christmas classics at the scenic Heritage Square. Book your movie night under the moonlight here!
Italy may be out of reach for some, but you can still go on a Venetian escape along the canals in Long Beach. Cruise under the romantic bridges covered with festive lights and stunning surroundings. It’s definitely one of the most unforgettable Christmas events.Find out more here.
Get your golden ticket and hop aboard the magical Polar Express Train for a dazzling journey to the North Pole. Every carriage will be decked out with sparkling baubles and brimming with holiday charm, as actors retell the story and dancing chefs serve you cocoa. Find out more about the onboard Christmas events here!
London’s acclaimed holiday display ‘Lightscape’ has turned every inch of the expansive L.A. Arboretum into a sea of glimmering lights. Visitors will enter through a twinkling Winter Cathedral and journey down a mile-long path of multi-colored, glowing trees and a dozen large-scale installations that explore light in all shapes and forms., all accompanied by charming themed music. Find out more here.
Escape the ordinary SoCal winter and let Winter Fest OC weave its magical festivities around you. Step into a whimsical world of shimmering snow play, twinkling light displays, and carnival adventures. Embrace the chill, feel the thrill, and let your inner child dance at this winter wonderland! Learn more about Winter Fest OC here.
🎄When: November 24, 2023 — January 7, 2024
📍Location: 88 Fair Dr, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
- Credit: Hotel del Coronado
Skate along the shoreline with waves crashing onto the sandy shores, just a few feet away at Hotel del Coronado’s legendary Skate By The Sea. Where else can you glide over the ice with palm trees swaying in a fresh, salty breeze—and all for a good cause? Find out more here.
What are Christmas events without hot chocolate? If the holidays were made for anything, they were made to indulge in all your favorite treats. While some days are still warm enough to wear shorts at this time of year in L.A., you can still give in to the seasonal tradition of sipping delectable chocolate treats. Here are a few of our favorite hot chocolate spots!
Contrary to popular opinion, Santa is actually a huge fan of the sunny West Coast and he and his elves have been bringing that North Pole magic to Lake Arrowhead for years. Adventurers of all ages will find an alpine adventure with gingerbread men, candy, and seasonal decorations filling this festive village. Partake in workshops, find souvenirs, take hikes and so much more at Skywalk Santa’s Village. Find out all the details on Santa’s Village here!
The one-mile-long trail of illuminated installations, Enchanted: Forest of Light will be returning this November 19, 2023 through January 7, 2024. One of the most beloved Christmas events with charming artistic displays, promises to be brighter and more magical than ever. Find out more about this wonderous holiday tradition here.
Halloween may have passed, but it’s not too late to get into a spooky mood this Holiday season. Krampus’ Cove is a pop-up Christmas event inside the Lost Property Bar―and they are inviting mischievous guests to enter their Krampus’ macabre world. You can surround yourself with oddities while sipping on devilishly good cocktails! Dates are set to be announced.Stay up to date with them here.
📍Location: 1704 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028