A Complete Guide to the Top Holidays Happenings in Los Angeles
‘Twas a night before December, and all through the internet, not a creature was tweeting, not even a president. The children were nestled as they awaited their bucket list of holiday happenings in Los Angeles. While visions of Grinchmas and unique holiday markets danced in their heads; Jingle Bell concerts and productions of “The Nutcracker” flew like a flash. Whatever jolly good time you’re looking for, the Entertainment Voice Holiday Guide has Santa’s stash.
Holiday Ice Skating Rink at Pershing Square | Nov. 16 – Jan. 15
Celebrate the holidays with some skating on the outdoor rink at Pershing Square. Surrounded by art, lively actives and the beauty of the city skyline, the rink allows you to enjoy the ice under the sun and the stars. It is sure to be your coolest adventure this winter.
L.A. Zoo Lights at Griffith Park | Nov. 17 – Jan. 7
Take a self-guided 60-90 minute tour of throughout various areas of the L.A. Zoo, featuring creative animal themes light shows, displays, 3D projections, lasers and thousands of glimmering bulbs. While you’re there, stop over to the “North Pole” to catch a musical laser show, visit Ole’ Saint Nick himself, and even spot a real reindeer.
Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Magic Mountain | Nov. 18 – Dec. 31
See the park transform into a magical winter wonderland with millions of dazzling lights, carolers, holiday-centric performances and your favorite rides. New to the events this year is Fire & Ice, a holiday pop-up party filled with seasonal treats and music. Don’t forget to check out the newly added pumpkin spice churros to add a bit of flavor to your season.
Knott’s Merry Farm | Nov. 18 – Jan. 7
Every winter, Knott’s Berry Farm transforms into the merriest of places as it turns into a glorious Christmas celebration for all ages. The park is filled with special holiday-themed live performances, an ice show, lavish decorations, a nightly tree lighting ceremony, and, of course, a visit by the main man himself, Santa.
Enchanted: Forest of Light at Descanso Gardens | Nov. 19 – Jan. 7
Whimsical and magical, the Forest of Light features millions of dazzling lights set up in various exhibitions. The Gardens twinkle as lights present 10 dazzling shows using the botanical garden and forests as a backdrop. Some of the lights include interactive displays that change color with every touch.
LA Kings Holiday Ice Rink at L.A. Live | Nov. 25 – Dec. 21
Skate on the same rink as the LA Kings, which has a giant Christmas tree planted right in the center. The rink also includes a special package for supper & skating at L.A. Live. Simply present your LA Kings holiday ice ticket stub at participating L.A. Live restaurants for dinner and drink deals.
Hollywood Christmas Parade | Nov. 26
After you have stuffed your belly with Thanksgiving turkey and shopped till you dropped on Black Friday, get into the yuletide spirit with Hollywood’s holiday celebration. Grand Marshal Mehmet C. Oz will helm the Hollywood Christmas Parade, which includes special live performances, celebrity guests, and travels all around the heart of Hollywood.
iHeartRadio’s Jingle Ball at The Forum | Dec. 1
iHeartRadio presents the ultimate concert series to get you grooving into the holiday spirit. The all-star line-up of performers includes Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, The Chainsmokers, Sam Smith, Demi Lovato, Cheat Codes, Logic, Kesha, Niall Horan, Halsey, Charlie Puth, and Liam Payne.
A Christmas Carol at A Noise Within | Dec. 1 – Dec. 23
The iconic story of Ebenezer Scrooge returns to the stage at A Noise Within. The Pasadena based stage show has been hailed by the Los Angeles Times as “a yuletide treat” that only “a die-hard humbug could remain unmoved (by).” Geoff Elliott plays the Scrooge himself and co-directs along with Julia Rodriguez-Elliott. Frederick Stuart narrates.
Holiday Rooftop Cinema at The Montalban | Dec. 1 – Dec. 23
The Rooftop Cinema Club presents a special yuletide curation for the month of December. Enjoy outdoor screenings atop The Montalban in the heart of Hollywood. Dawn a lawn chair for Holiday classics including “Elf” (Dec. 1 + Dec. 23), “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (Dec. 9 + Dec. 17), “A Christmas Story” (Dec. 15), “Edward Scissorhands” (Dec. 17) and “It’s A Wonderful Life” (Dec. 23).
South Lake’s 2017 Holidayfest ft. Warbly Jets, James Supercave, and Jessica Childress | Dec. 2
Pasadena’s South Lake Avenue celebrates the season with Holiday-centric scavenger hunts, crafts, horse and carriage rides, and special in-store promotions. Don’t miss your chance to grab a photo with Santa while you enjoy live performances by Warbly Jets, James Supercave, and Jessica Childress. The fun-filled day runs from noon to 5 p.m.
Unique LA Holiday Market at California Market Center | Dec. 2 – Dec. 3
Explore the city’s largest pop-up market featuring over 400 designers, artists, and emerging brands. All tickets include immersive and interactive art installations, a gift-wrapping station, great food and snacks, and unique swag-bags. Hot tip: upgrade your ticket to VIP to gain access to an exclusive VIP lounge where you can relax and enjoy snacks from the event’s sponsors.
Festival of Carols at Walt Disney Concert Hall | Dec. 2 + Dec. 9
The ever-talented performers of the Los Angeles Master Chorale sing holiday favorites from a selection conducted by Artist-in-Residence Eric Whitacre. The show features an array of festive treats, combined with a few seasonal surprises. The night caps off with a visit from Santa himself.
Grinchmas at Universal Studios | Dec. 2 – Dec. 31
Universal Studios becomes Whoville this time of year. Home to The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, the green holiday giant and his beloved four-legged companion Max roam the park. Grab a selfie with the green guy, decorate ornaments, and enjoy a Whoville themed musical show.
A John Waters Christmas at The Comedy Store | Dec. 3
If you are looking for a different flavor this holiday season, look no further than “A John Waters Christmas.” The legendary filmmaker and bestselling author packages all of his yuletide profanity into this entertaining one-man show. Hot tip: the show is selling out fast, so grab your tickets quickly.
George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker at The Music Center | Dec. 7 – Dec. 10
The holiday tradition of “The Nutcracker” continues at The Music Center. Presented by The Miami City Ballet, the classic stage show features Balanchine’s iconic choreography and includes all-new sets and costumes designed by husband and wife duo Isabel and Ruben Toledo. Adding in a little local flavor, the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus provides live vocals to the Tchaikovsky score.
KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas at The Forum | Dec. 9 + Dec. 10
The two-night holiday celebration kicks off with performances by Muse, Thirty Seconds To Mars, Queens of the Stone Age, Rise Against, and others. But the party continues on night two with special guests Morrissey, The Killers, Weezer, The Lumineers, Foster The People, Phoenix, Walk The Moon, Franz Ferdinand, X Ambassadors, and Vance Joy.
Winter Holiday Festival at Pershing Square | Dec. 9 + Dec. 10
Pershing Square transforms into the ultimate holiday hot spot in the City of Angels. The park features an ice skating rink, where you can grab a photo with Santa, take a Polar Express train ride, munch on seasonal treats, and show through holiday craft booths. There is plenty to pack an afternoon at Pershing Square.
Los Angeles Ballet Presents The Nutcracker | Dec. 9 – Dec. 31
The theatrical show “The Nutcracker” has been a holiday staple of the stage for decades. The esteemed Los Angeles Ballet brings Tchaikovsky’s triumph to the various theaters around the city. Dates and venues include Alex Theatre (Dec. 9 + Dec. 10), Royce Hall (Dec. 15 – Dec. 17), Dolby Theatre (Dec. 23 + Dec. 24), and Redondo Beach PAX Dec. 29 – Dec. 31). The visual show is the company’s most complex production to date, which is surely not want to be missed.
CHILL at The Queen Mary | Dec. 13 – Jan. 7
Show-off your skating skills on the outdoor ice rink overlooking the world famous Queen Mary ship. If skating isn’t your forte, don’t worry. The adventure park also includes a 300-foot long Alpine zip line, ice shuffleboard, and DJs spinning fresh seasonal beats.
L.A. Weekly Sips & Sweets at Petersen Automotive Museum | Dec. 14
Savor over delicious confections from 20 of LA’s best pastry and spirit crafters. While you enjoy some treats shop amongst the artisanal vendor village and stop by the photo booth to encapsulate the day. Upgrade your ticket to VIP and gain one-hour early entry to the event, unlimited food samples, beers, wine, and cocktail samples.
Miracle of 34th Street at Pasadena Playhouse | Dec. 14 – Dec. 23
Performers Alfred Molina, Peri Gilpin, and Beth Grant bring the classic story based on the original 1940s radio broadcast to life. When a department store Santa says he is the real thing, his claims lead himself all the way to the Supreme Court. Cameron Watson helms the show penned by Valentine Davies.
Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker at The Wiltern | Dec. 15 – Dec. 16
The award-winning principal dancers of the Moscow Ballet bring lavish costumes and life-sized Matryoshka Dolls to the stage at The Wiltern. Helping to bring the classic Christmas show to life is “La La Land” set concept designer Carl Spragua at the helm of Tchaikovsky’s score.
L.A. Philharmonic Holiday Sing-Along at Walt Disney Concert Hall | Dec. 16
Sing-along to your favorite Holiday tunes like “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Silent Night” and many others accompanied by Walt Disney Concerts Hall’s huge pipe organ, a choir, and a jazz set. Melissa Peterman hosts the joyous good time that will be the best caroling group in the city.
Jane Lynch’s Swingin’ Little Christmas at Largo City Winery | Dec. 20
Emmy and Golden Globe winter Jane Lynch headlines her own holiday show featuring plenty of music and laughs. The talented show woman is joined on stage by Kate Flannery (“The Office”), Tim Davis (“Glee”), and The Tony Guerrero Quintet. All the music featured in the joyful show comes from their holiday album now available on iTunes.
L.A. County Holiday Celebrations at The Music Center | Dec. 24
Los Angeles’ largest multicultural holiday celebration commemorates its 58th year, with performances by the Palmdale High School Choral Union and Sunday Night Signers, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Band, and MUSYCA Children’s Choir all singing holiday favorites old and new. Joining for the first time this year is the City Ballet of Los Angeles performing an excerpt from the holiday classic, “The Nutcracker.” The L.A. County Holiday celebration is destined to become a part of your yearly yuletide tradition.