9 Things to Do in LA During the Holidays

Tourists and residents looking to enjoy the Holidays West-Coast style in Los Angeles will find that the City of Angels offers several things to enjoy.

Moreover, the city usually experiences favorable, sunny weather between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. It doesn’t snow and rarely hails. 

The temperatures do drop in the evening and remain until the sun shows itself the following, but most people will enjoy the outdoors in cozy sweaters, footwear, and pants.  

Therefore, many Holiday events take place outdoors, such as seeing the Holiday lights at the Los Angeles Zoo or spending the day at the Happiest Place on Earth, aka Disneyland. 

We listed nine things to do in Los Angeles during the Holidays.

Visit a Theme Park

There is no shortage of things to do in Los Angeles at any time, and driving is so part of the culture that residents overlook when they cross county lines. 

While none of the following theme parks reside within Los Angeles city or county lines, Angelenos treat them as their own.

Let’s take a look. 

1. Disneyland

The Happiest Place on Earth on the West Coast resides in Orange County at Anaheim, a half-hour drive from Downtown Los Angeles in moderate traffic.

Disneyland decks itself in Holiday decor from early December through early January. Millions flock to the theme park to enjoy lights, decorations, and nighttime firework shows that surprise onlookers with spritzes of snow!

Enjoying the Holidays in Los Angeles does require a fair amount of driving. Those involved in fender benders with vehicles or motorcycles can contact legal professionals for help.

2. Knott’s Berry Farm

Also residing in Orange County at Anaheim and a half-hour drive from Downtown Los Angeles is Knott’s Berry Farm. 

Visitors enjoy holiday decor, lights, and shows among the rides and classic characters, such as Snoopy.

3. Universal Studios

Universal Studios lives in Universal City near Hollywood and the Los Angeles Zoo. It takes about 20 minutes to drive there from Downtown LA on 101 N.

The theme park is home to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Jurassic World, which receive a festive makeover for the Holidays.

4. Magic Mountain

Magic Mountain sits in Valencia, CA, almost an hour drive north from Downtown Los Angeles. 

The theme park caters to thrill-seekers year-round. Like the others, it receives a holiday makeover during the Holiday season.

See the Lights

Since Los Angeles experiences mild winters, it’s easy to enjoy Holiday lights at landmarks and sites. Here are three.

5. Los Angeles Zoo

The Los Angeles Zoo opened its gates in November 1966 after moving to its current location from the Griffith Park Zoo.

For the Holidays, the Zoo remains open after regular hours so guests can enjoy the lights. Animals A-Glow became the theme for the 2022/23 Holiday season, celebrating the zoo’s residents.

6. Descanso Gardens

The Descanso Gardens also light up for the Holiday season. Curators and artists insert art installations that celebrate the trees.

In addition, the installations add a forest vibe with sounds that create a total ambiance. 

7. Los Angeles County Arboretum

The Los Angeles County Arboretum also installs light fixtures to celebrate the Holiday season. 

In 2022/23, the big draw became the cathedral of lights tunnel, where guests couldn’t wait to snap a pic. Then, they enjoyed dancing light installations in front of the Queen Anne Cottage.

Attend a Parade

Two major Holiday parades occur in and near Los Angeles annually, the Tournament of Roses and the Hollywood Christmas Parade.

8. Tournament of Roses

The Tournament of Roses Parade takes place in Pasadena, a 20-minute drive from Downtown LA. The first parade took place in 1890! In 1920, the first motorized float entered the fold.

To this day, millions watch the parade in person and on television. Several thousand onlookers line the streets overnight to get the best seat in the house.

9. Hollywood Christmas Parade

No Holiday season is complete without catching a glimpse of Santa, and onlookers will see him rounding out the Hollywood Christmas Parade.

The first parade took place in 1928 and celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2022 since it took a hiatus during World War II and 2020 during the pandemic. 

Nonetheless, the stars come out to celebrate the Holiday season and bring cheer to revelers.


Some people flock to Los Angeles during the Holidays to enjoy the weather. The mild winters allow tourists and residents to enjoy nighttime activities, such as viewing lights at city landmarks. Plus, they can spend their days riding rides and seeing Santa at the end of the Hollywood Christmas parade.

James Morkel

Tech website author with a passion for all things technology. Expert in various tech domains, including software, gadgets, artificial intelligence, and emerging technologies. Dedicated to simplifying complex topics and providing informative and engaging content to readers. Stay updated with the latest tech trends and industry news through their insightful articles.

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