Get ready to dust off those ugly sweaters and ring in the holiday season with these magical December events and experiences. With Christmas just around the corner, there are tons of dazzling spectacles that are filled with festive cheer for you to enjoy. Whether it’s a hillside wonderland decked out with oversized ornaments or celebrations to ring in 2024 — you’ll find tons of ways to make it a memorable month.
Here are the most wonderful things to do in December in L.A.:
The South Coast Botanic Gardens has transformed into a cosmic haven of twinkling lights, falling stars, and otherworldly wonder. At the Astra Lumina walking experience, you’ll wind through a glowing world that tells a tale of astral proportions. Get tickets to Asttra Lumina here!
📍Location: 26300 Crenshaw Blvd, Palos Verdes Estates, CA, 90274
L.A. Comic Con returns to the Los Angeles Convention Center this December – and we’re absolutely geeked! Every year, thousands of fans flock to the beloved convention to catch the ultimate mash-up of their favorite pop culture things. Don’t miss out by grabbing your tickets now. Find more info on L.A. Comic Con here!
- Friday, December 1, 2023
- Saturday, December 2, 2023
- Sunday, December 3, 2023
📍Location: Los Angeles Convention Center, 1201 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90015
Most of the year is spent cruising along boulevards on roller skates and skateboards, but this season is all about the ice skates. In SoCal, you have the unique opportunity to partake in this winter pastime with the summer-like sunshine kissing your face as you glide across a frozen rink. You can choose between skating at LA’s largest ice rink located right in front of the Crypto.com Arena, a cliffside rink in Palos Verdes or you could head a little further away for a legendary beachfront experience. Or visit them all. Here are the best places to go ice skating in and around LA:
- LA Kings Holiday Ice
- Ice At Santa Monica
- Pershing Square Holiday Ice Rink
- Skating by the Sea At Palos Verdes Civic Center
- Paséa Hotel’s Oceanfront Ice Rink
- SkyPark At Santa’s Village
- Skate By The Sea at Hotel del Coronado
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!
Grab the kiddos and dive headfirst into the playful world of the beloved author at this imaginative adventure! With this experience, Dr. Seuss’s beloved storiesc come to life with epic Seussian surprises around every bend. Don’t miss out and grab your tickets to The Dr. Seuss Experience here!
📍Location: 395 Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica, 90401
Holiday Road’s winter haven features a larger-than-life holiday celebration encompassing all traditions. You’ll be welcomed into King Gillette Ranch with a glittering tunnel and giant candy canes, which opens up to a vast paradise shimmering with oversized holiday decorations that represent all cultures and parts of the world. This annual tradition is a treasured Los Angeles experience and encapsulates all the magic of the month, perfectly. Get tickets to what’s likely to be the most popular event of the season here.
📍 Location: 26800 Mulholland Hwy, Calabasas, CA 91302
The holidays are the perfect excuse to indulge in some adventure. So, foodies and thrill seekers alike — go on a culinary quest with Mystery Picnics! You and your friends will indulge in a self-guided foodie adventure where delectable bites await at every clue you solve. Along the way, you’ll collect gourmet picnic treats and unlock the door to a hidden, picturesque picnic spot far from the hustle and bustle. Download the Fever app and join in the Mystery Picnics fun here!
Holiday boat parades have been illuminating the SoCal coast for over half a century and each year gets bigger and brighter. It’s California, so naturally, you’ll find dozens of Santa’s captaining yachts, motorboats, and other aquatic modes of transport, not just the usual sleigh. Here are two notable celebrations on the ocean water that you don’t want to miss:
- Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade – December 9, 2023
- Newport Beach Boat Parade – December 13 to 17, 2023
- Naples Long Beach Boat Parade – December 16, 2023
If you’re looking to switch things up before the New Year — then check out Dining In The Dark. At this unique experience, your senses will be heightened as you embark on a unique culinary adventure. They say that 80% of people eat with their eyes — and with that sense eliminated, your other senses take over to elevate your meal to an unforgettable level. 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
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.
📍 Location: The Montalban Theatre, 1615 Vine St, Hollywood, CA 90028
What would this time of year be without the ritual of decorating a tree with the fresh smell of pine filling the air? Although it might seem more fitting to have a glittering palm tree in LA, nothing quite marks the season like a traditional Christmas tree. Here are wonderful places to find (or cut) your own natural Christmas tree to put up in your home for the season.
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 about Santa’s Village 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 (shh, don’t tell Mrs. Claus). 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. Whether you’re naughty or nice, — get your tickets to Santa’s Secret here!
📍 Location: The Beverly Center 8th Floor – 8500 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048
The Bubble World experience is a multi-sensory adventure, transporting you to another universe to explore every imaginable kind of bubble. Step into over 10 immersive rooms, each with its own imaginative theme, and see why it’s one of the best immersive experiences in L.A.
🎟 Tickets: Secure your tickets here!
🗓 When: Now through Janurary 2024
📍 Location: 1345 N. Montebello Blvd, Montebello, CA 90640
Experience Sinister Saloon: Night of the Krampus in Hollywood—a 2.5-hour immersive journey through haunted tales and eerie encounters, featuring themed elixirs and a haunting cabaret show, bringing Krampus into the Old West this holiday season. RSVP to Night of the Krampus here!
Homegirl Café is part of Homeboy Industries, which provides a safe space and hands-on job training for those formerly incarcerated. Homegirl Café reminds the clients/staff that community is everything, and we don’t have to go through our worst days alone. You can support them and this incredible cause just by visiting Homegirl Café. As you walk through those doors, you’ll be welcomed with warm words and even warmer coffee. We highly recommend trying their pastries which are baked fresh daily! Plus, nothing is more filling than knowing you’re supporting a powerful cause. Check out more of our favorite organizations here!
📍Location: Homegirl Café, 130 Bruno St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Just in time for Hip Hop’s 50th birthday, Hip Hop Til Infinity has arrived to Los Angeles. This incredible exhibition is a visual mixtape that brings you on an immersive trip through the history of Hip Hop. After a highly successful NYC edition, this exhibition is celebrating Hip Hop’s momentous anniversary right here on the West!
📍 Location: Hip Hop Til Infinity – 6400 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Just a few miles away from Santa Barbara, nestled amongst the lush hills, you’ll find a stunning outdoor spa. These cascading thermal pools known as the Montecito Hot Springs can be reached with an easy trek and are filled with sulphur which is known for its healing properties. Is there anything better than rewarding yourself with a free, hot soak after a long week? Probably not. Find all our favorite hot springs around LA here.
BEYOND THE STREETS & CONTROL Gallery is back with another incredible exhibition. UNDER PRESSURE is a group exploration of contemporary airbrush. Curated by Mister CARTOON, the master of airbrush — along with a roster of eclectic artists, showcases the application of airbrush in refreshing and conceptual ways. The space highlights 16 artists from a wide range of backgrounds, ages, and career positionings — UNDER PRESSURE takes into account the historical significance and evolution of airbrush. Learn more here!
📅When: Now through December 23, 2023
📍Location: 434 N La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Heritage Square and Street Food Cinema are back with the incredible Yuletide Cinemaland. Soak up the holiday ambiance at one of LA’s largest outdoor cinema pop-ups where all your favorite Christmas classics and cult hits will be screened with fun singalongs, delicious street food, and multicolored lights dancing amongst historic Victorian buildings. You’ll even get to tour some of the homes decked out in holiday decorations this year. Book ahead to avoid missing out!
- December 15, 2023: Elf
- December 16, 2023: Home Alone
- December 17, 2023: The Muppet Christmas Carol
- December 18, 2023: Tim Burton Night
- December 19, 2023: The Holiday
The city is positively glowing with mesmerizing festive installations this year. Whether it’s the iconic Candy Cane Lane, a historic inn covered in fairy lights, parks and gardens with glittering decorations and lights, you’ll find plenty of dazzling displays around the city. 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
- GLOW at The South Coast Botanic GardenChristmas Tree Lane
- Christmas Tree Lane
- Sleepy Hollow Christmas Lights Extravaganza
- ‘Sparkle DTLA’ at The Bloc
- Dana Point Harbor
- Buena Vista Street
- Old Pasadena
- The Grove
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. Now through January 7, 2024, 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!
📍Location: 10600 Highland Springs Ave, Cherry Valley, CA 92223
Shifting Perspectives: Vertical Cinema challenges the standard perception of creating and enjoying films. Found inside the museum’s double-height Hurd Gallery, Shifting Perspectives offers a unique vertical cinema viewing experience that also honors the spirit of experimentation in cinema. The exhibition also showcases and debuts three incredible works by Southern Californian filmmakers: Zaina Bseiso, Fox Maxy, and Walter Thompson-Hernández. Commissioned by the museum exclusively for this exhibition, these films use a vertical format to explore the topography of a region that is generally perceived to be horizontal—much like cinema itself. Learn more here!
📅When: Now through August 4, 2023
📍Location: 6067 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036
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
No need to buy that ticket to Italy because 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 about this charimg gondale cruise here!
This picturesque setting is your taste of Switzerland on the West Coast at this Big Bear spot. While it is a little bit of a drive, it’s worth seeing a real winter wonderland where you can partake in exhilarating sports all day and even some nights. On select weekends when the weather allows, the powdery slopes are illuminated with glowing lights for nighttime skiing. Stay in one of the cute cabins in the resort and you’ll have yourself a very merry Christmas indeed. Get all the details for your skiing getaway here!
Whether you’re a sports fan or not, the buzz of a full crowd in the City of Champions cannot be missed. It’s fall after all, which means catching a Kings game is a must! Go Kings, Go — check out their schedule here.
📍Location: Crypto Arena, 1111 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90015
It’s that time of year when we say Goodbye to the old and Hello to the new—and what better way to do that than with the help of some spectacular fireworks shows or glamorous parties in town? Check out our ultimate list of things to do this New Year’s Eve to ring in 2024 in Los Angeles. Get the full list of NYE plans here!