‘Tis the season!
This holiday, 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, the city will be twinkling with incredible holiday lighting displays and there’ll be dozens of enchanting experiences happening to ring in the season.
Here are some of our favorite events celebrating the holidays:
1. Holiday Road
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 here.
The sensational Love Actually Live extravaganza is back! Bringing Richard Curtis’ beloved smash-hit film to life as a lively, multidimensional movie musical. The award-winning For The Record series is created in partnership with the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts and it’s definitely a winter tradition you’ll want to treat yourself to. Get your tickets here.
The wildly popular Candlelight 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 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 heartwarming tracks from holiday films like “Christmas Time is Here” from A Charlie Brown Christmas, you’ll find something for every musical taste. Here are the seasonally-themed editions coming this December:
- Candlelight Ballet: Holiday Special ft. “The Nutcracker” and More
- Candlelight: Holiday Jazz and Soul Classics feat. Ella Fitzgerald
- Candlelight: Holiday Movie Themes ft. “Christmas Time is Here” & More
Yes, our favorite seasonal activities are back this year which means you get to hobble around an ice rink accompanied by classic holiday jingles, twinkling lights and 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 two huge rinks in L.A.
Get swept into an enchanting winter fantasy with Snow Globe’s theatrical dining experience. Feast on farm-to-table cuisine from Primal Alchemy as ballerinas twirl between the tables and other mythical creatures perform mind-bending acts before your eyes. Book your tickets and experience a one-of-a-kind night out this season. ⭐ Sponsored ⭐
Join real-life Christmas characters and venture into a merry maze of multisensory delights at the Gingerbread Man experience. A wonderful story unfolds through magnificent sights, sounds and aromas that capture the essence of the season. You’ll attempt to catch the Gingerbread Man while witnessing the magic of Santa’s toyshop and indulging in the sweetness of the candy cane lane… But beware of getting lost in other-worldly experiences! Get your tickets here.
The city is positively glowing with mesmerizing festive installations this year. Although some favorites like Candy Cane lane might not be available to the public this year, there are plenty of streets, parks and gardens with glittering decorations and lights to make up for it. From Buena Vista Street to Mission Inn, here are 10 of 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
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 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.
- Credit: Highland Springs Ranch & Inn
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.
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.
L.A.’s largest outdoor movie series is back with Blockbuster hits, live music, food trucks, and great 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 ahead to avoid missing out!
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 filled with festive lights and stunning surroundings. Find out more here.
25-26. Immerse Yourself In A Masterpiece At One Of These World-Renowned Art Exhibitions
Step into the works of two of the world’s artistic masters and allow state-of-the-art technology to transform your surroundings with the complex strokes and details of Gustav Klimt and Claude Monet’s most iconic paintings. After a successful global tour in cities like NYC and Paris, the multisensory exhibitions have finally landed in L.A. for a limited time only. Get your tickets here:
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 spots to find it.
Contrary to popular opinion, Santa is actually a huge fan of the sunny West Coast and him 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 here.
Blitzen’s, the beloved holiday pop-up, has a very shiny, tinsel-wrapped bar and even without the boozy beverages, it absolutely glows. Upon arrival at this holiday haunt in DTLA, you’ll be sprinkled with a bit of snow before you pull up next to Santa at the bar, sip on decadent drinks like Hallelujah! Holy Sh*t! before you’re served up a menu of carolers, drag queen bingo, re-gift your sh*t games, and a holiday puppy pageant. Then of course there’s a delicious fare to keep you filled up for holiday shenanigans. Find out more 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 here.
- Credit: Descanso Gardens
The one-mile-long trail of illuminated installations, Enchanted: Forest of Light, will be returning this November 21 through January 9, 2022. After a year off, the beloved holiday tradition with charming artistic displays, promises to be brighter and more magical than ever. Find out more here.