Ready to have a holly, jolly winter break? Then, it’s time to add these LA family events, attractions, and activities to your December calendar.
Whether you enroll your kids in a holiday baking camp, cheer on a Christmas parade, marvel at the decorations, or all of the above, you and your kids are certain to have a cheerful experience at these Los Angeles holiday events.
Best Los Angeles Christmas Events in 2023
Ready to celebrate Christmas all December long? Check out these joyful LA Christmas events in 2023:
1. Marina Del Rey Holiday Boat Parade
Bring some lawn chairs and a thermos of hot cocoa and set up around Fisherman’s Village to watch the dazzling Marina Del Rey Holiday Boat Parade. During the event, roughly 70 boats, adorned in festive lights and decorations, lead a procession around the waterway, vying to win categories like Best Theme and Best Lights!
2. Hollywood Christmas Parade
For this Christmas event in 2023, kick off the holiday celebrations at the Downey Avenue Christmas Parade. This annual tradition is celebrated for its elaborate floats and decked-out vehicles that cruise down Downey Avenue, spreading Christmas joy. Arrive early with your little ones for a good spot on the parade route, and then mosey over to Santa’s Village.
3. Winter Wonderland at The Grove
The Grove manages to pull off a winter miracle every evening during the holidays! At 6 p.m., snowflakes fall from the sky while twinkly lights illuminate this winter wonderland in SoCal. After playing in the flurries, bring your kiddos to Santa’s Workshop so they can share all their Christmas wishes with Santa Claus himself.
4. L.A. County Holiday Celebration
Listening to Christmas music is one sure way to spread holiday cheer, so gather your crew and head to the annual L.A. County Holiday Celebration, where you’ll enjoy an entire line-up of holiday-inspired performances. From choir groups to local artists, this Christmas event in 2023 will have your whole family singing along!
Best Holiday Light Experiences in LA
’Tis the season to be merry and bright, so make sure to add these LA holiday light experiences to your December bucket list:
5. Holiday Road
After visiting Holiday Road in Calabasas, your family will be talking about the amazing light displays for months. This awe-inspiring Los Angeles holiday event features a walking trail shining bright with thousands of Christmas lights and installations. Sing along with the carolers, meet some elves, take photos with Santa, and don’t forget to stop by the Winter Market for gifts and souvenirs.
6. Enchanted Forest of Light
Looking for another holiday event near you that is sure to impress your kids? Get tickets to Descanso Gardens’ Enchanted Forest of Light for a whimsical adventure into the woods. Illuminated by glowing snowflakes and vibrant stained-glass installations, this walking trail is magical beyond compare.
7. Animals Aglow
Get tickets for the LA Zoo Lights Animals Aglow night experience, where you and your family can admire animated plant- and animal-shaped lanterns. From fluttering butterflies to dancing parrots, this elaborate light display is a delight for visitors of all ages!
8. Neighborhood Light Displays
Prefer to marvel at the light displays and decorations from your car? Then, head to one of the many LA neighborhoods known for their light displays. Candy Cane Lane, which features the homes along Lubao and Oxnard Streets in Woodland Hills, puts on an epic Christmas installation, as does Torrance’s Sleepy Hollow neighborhood. Turn on some holiday music, sip hot chocolate, and take in all the wonderful decorations from the comfort of your vehicle.
Top Kid-Friendly Events in LA
While all of these Los Angeles holiday events welcome children of all ages, these are some of our favorite kid-friendly activities and attractions:
9. “Home Alone” Viewing
Watching “Home Alone” is a treasured holiday tradition, and it’s time for your children to experience it for themselves. On December 5, The Bloc is hosting a free family-friendly viewing of “Home Alone” at Plaza Level Turf. Bring some blankets, pack a picnic, and settle in for this Christmas classic.
10. Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square
It might be 70 degrees and sunny outside, but that doesn’t stop the city from hosting an outdoor ice rink! Round up your kiddos and head to Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square in Downtown LA for an afternoon of figure eights on the ice. For even more winter fun, the ice rink offers curling lessons on select Saturdays during the holiday season.
11. Holidays at the Disneyland Resort
Why not spend the most magical time of the year at the most magical place on earth? Venture just south of LA to the House of Mouse, where you and your kiddos will be dazzled by the park decked out in garland and twinkly lights. From the snow falling on Main Street to the festive parades, you’ll certainly feel the holiday cheer.
12. Holiday Lights Train Ride
All aboard! Surprise your little ones with a ride aboard a real train through the flashing light displays and decorations at Griffith Park. During the Holiday Lights Train Ride, your kids will feel like they’re aboard the Polar Express as they chug along the festive one-mile track.
LA Hanukkah Events
Of course, Christmas isn’t the only holiday celebrated this month. For some Hanukkah-inspired holiday events near you, look into these local celebrations:
13. Santa Monica Menorah Lighting
As part of the Celebration of Lights, there will be an evening lighting of the menorah at Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade. Gather round at sundown during every night of Hanukkah to commemorate the Jewish miracle.
14. The Skirball Hanukkah Festival
Celebrate the holiday at the Skirball Hanukkah Festival. You and your children can spend an afternoon singing along with the klezmer rockers Mostly Kosher, watching a captivating performance of the Skirball Storytellers, and making your very own “helper candles.” Between the dance lessons and traditional fare, this festival provides the perfect way to celebrate the holiday.
15. Menorah Lighting Celebration at Calabasas Civic Center
On the eighth night of Hanukkah, venture over to the Calabasas Civic Center for a festive affair! This family-friendly celebration will include live performances, tasty treats, a fireworks display, and the lighting of the menorah.
Indoor Los Angeles Holiday Events
The weather outside might not be frightful in this coastal area, but you can still cozy up indoors and enjoy these indoor activities in LA.
16. Movie Premieres
It seems December is the best time for highly anticipated movies to hit theaters. For a fun family outing in LA, get tickets to see one of the many kid-friendly flicks premiering this month, such as “Wonka” and “Migration.” And if you want to continue the movie marathon at home, be sure to add these family Christmas movies to your watch list.
17. Winter Camps
School’s out for at least a few days around the holidays, so enroll your kids in one of the many local winter break camps to help stave off boredom. You’ll find coding-focused camps like Coding Adventures and Rev Robots, along with a Holiday Baking Camp, Visual Arts Camp, and even an Indoor Golf Camp. With so many choices, your kids will want to try them all!
18. “A Christmas Carol” Performance
Get tickets to see a spectacular performance of “A Christmas Carol” at A Noise Within Theater in Pasadena. Your entire family will get drawn into this enthralling Charles Dickens holiday tale as you watch the grumpy Ebenezer Scrooge’s transformation right before your eyes on stage.
19. “The Nutcracker” Ballet Production
Your kids will be sure to dream of sugarplum fairies after watching a performance of “The Nutcracker” ballet at the Dolby Theatre. This time-honored story follows the adventures of Clara as her nutcracker doll comes to life. Between the ballet performances and live orchestra music, this holiday event near you will certainly leave a lasting impression.
It might not be the most festive activity, but it sure is fun! If the temperatures have dropped outside, surprise your family with an evening of bowling this December. Reserve a lane, enjoy some friendly competition, and then, if you want to get into the holiday spirit, swing by one of the neighborhoods with holiday displays, tune into some Christmas music, or pop in a holiday film once you get home.