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Christmas in Los Angeles

Best Christmas Celebrations in the City of Angels


Christmas in Los Angeles

Angelenos go all out for the holiday season, stringing up so many twinkly holiday lights that you might mistake it for Las Vegas. Oddly for such a big city, many of these activities have a small-town flavor, making them all the more charming. And to make it even better, most of them are free.

  • Universal Studios celebrates "Grinchmas" during the month of December with Whoville on the Back Lot, a special holiday show, real snow and family activities. They're even open on Christmas Day. Buy tickets

  • Griffith Park Christmas Lights feature tens of thousands of lights. It runs from just before Thanksgiving1 through the end of the year, with a few nights set aside just for bicyclists and walkers. The rest of the time, this is a drive-through activity.

  • Candy Cane Lane in the San Fernando Valley community of Woodland Hills is a local favorite worth the drive (Lubao Avenue and Oxnard Street, exit US 101 at Winnetka Ave).

  • Robert Road in the South Bay becomes a holiday wonderland, with trees draped in strings of white lights and neighbors vying for the most cheerful display. This is a great place to just park your car and walk. Take Pacific Coast Hwy to Robert Rd (near the Redondo Beach Hollywood Riviera area, between Calle Mayor and Prospect).

  • Naples Island is a canal-filled section of Long Beach where people take a lot of pride in decorating their homes. You can stroll along the canals or take a romantic gondola ride and see them in style. Naples also has an annual holiday boat parade.

  • Holiday Gondola Rides are offered in Redondo Beach and you can see the lights at Naples Island with Gondola Getaway.

  • The Hollywood Christmas Parade is a long-time tradition, held on the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

  • Las Posadas on Olvera Street celebrates a Mexican Christmas tradition on downtown's Olvera Street. A festive nightly procession commemorates Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem. It runs for 9 days beginning December 16.

  • Downtown on Ice is like Rockefeller Center west, only bigger. It's held downtown at Pershing Square from mid-November through the end of the year.

  • Holiday Boat Parade: In conjunction with the holiday boat parade at the LA Harbor in San Pedro, the Battleship IOWA offers a special package that includes a great place to watch the parade (from their deck).

  • Los Angeles Philharmonic - also downtown - offers their Deck the Hall series in December at the gorgeous Walt Disney Concert Hall, with a wide range of musical styles to choose from.

  • LA County Holiday Celebration: Admission is free to this three-hour holiday show that happens on December 24. Even the parking underneath the Music Center is free.  Reservations for tickets to the show aren't needed, either, making it a perfect last-minute holiday activity. More details at their website.

More: Christmas at Disneyland | Christmas in Orange County | Christmas in San Diego | Christmas in San Francisco | Christmas in the rest of California

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