This post highlights the best things to do in January in Los Angeles and has been updated for 2019. It includes a top ten list, evening, free, and family-friendly activities and events. For even more ideas on how to spend your time in LA, make sure to check out our master Things to do in LA post.
This section covers our top ten list for January. When possible, we’ve noted activities that are free or kid-friendly. For more ideas on popular things to do in LA, check out our posts on bus tours and walking tours of the city.
Some of the items listed in this post are included for free with the purchase of a tourist discount pass.
Watch the Rose Parade
January 1 (kid-friendly)
2019 marks the 130th Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena! This annual event draws nearly 700,000 spectators with millions more watching around the world. See dozens of parade floats decorated in thousands of flowers, a number of marching bands and equestrian teams.
Get an up-close and personal behind-the-scenes look at one of the most famous movie production studios in LA with the Warner Bros. Studio Tour!
Meet your guide and board the bus to see iconic backlots, soundstages, and more. This activity is great for families and entertainment lovers alike! Ticket prices and times vary.
Watch the Golden Globe Awards
This star-studded annual event takes place at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills each year in January. If you’re not set to make it to the big event, check local restaurants and bars for special drink menus or discounts, viewing parties, and more!
A great way to sample some of LA’s most exclusive five-star dining establishments at a discounted price, dineLA offers a week of a set price, pre-fixe multi-course menus at dozens of restaurants citywide.
It’s an excellent opportunity to discover new eateries and cuisines. Reservations are strongly encouraged.
Kingdom Day Parade
Join in on the 34th annual Kingdom Day Parade to celebrate the life and legacy of the Civil Rights icon, Martin Luther King Jr. This free event draws thousands of spectators to see parade floats, marching bands, live performances, and more as the parade makes its way through downtown LA. More information is available on the website!
Uncorked LA Wine Festival
At the Uncorked LA Wine Festival, enjoy an evening at the historic Union Station and sample over 200 wines and champagnes from around the globe! Additionally, there will be food trucks on hand, live music, a photo booth, and more! This event is 21+ and runs from 5pm-9pm. Ticket prices vary.
Visit OUE SkySpace
Get the adrenaline pumping when you visit California’s tallest observation deck! Take in the 360-degree views of downtown LA, the Hollywood Sign, and even the Pacific Ocean on clear days.
For the more adventurous, take a ride on the deck’s glass-encased slide
Tip: This attraction is included for free with the purchase of an LA Go Card!
Night on Broadway
A huge night on Broadway in downtown LA, Night on Broadway closes down the streets and draws a quarter of a million people with this free arts and music festival!
Enjoy live performances and music, tons of vendors, fashion, dance, and more. This is an event where the creative minds of LA come together!
Enjoy Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier
Located right on the historic Santa Monica Pier, Pacific Park is an amusement park that’s packed with rides, games, restaurants, and more.
Enjoy a ride on the iconic Ferris wheel or test your luck at one of the many carnival games all while overlooking the Pacific Ocean!
Experience a Whale Watching Cruise
January is a great month to try to see Grey Whales in addition to dolphins and other marine life near LA. Take the family on a whale watching cruise and enjoy a couple hours on the water trying to spot one of these great creatures!
Los Angeles is a great city for night time activities as there is always something on! For additional ideas on how to spend your evening in LA, make sure to check out our master Things to do at Night in LA post.
See a Stage Show!
Spend the evening with a Broadway performance at the historic Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. For the month of January the wildly popular show, Wicked, returns through January 27th. Beginning January 29th, take in the Broadway classic, Hello Dolly! Tickets and showtimes vary.
Go Ice Skating
through January 21
The holiday ice skating rink at Pershing Square in downtown LA stays open through January 21 and offers a fun atmosphere for everyone. Skate rentals are available onsite for $5 and general admission is $9.
Plus, the rink stays open until 9:30 pm or later every night so this is a great activity if you’re looking for something to do after the dinner hour!
Watch a Sporting Event
There are a number of professional sports teams that hail from Los Angeles! Taking in an NHL LA Kings game or seeing the LA Lakers (welcome, LeBron James!) or LA Clippers play basketball is a fun evening for people of all ages. All three teams play out of the Staples Center in downtown LA.
With a little planning, there are a lot of free activities available to do in LA. Some of the events we’ve mentioned in this post like the Kingdom Day Parade and Night on Broadway are free of charge! Here are a few more ideas for free activities in January.
Free Museum Days
It might take a little planning but many museums in Los Angeles offer a free day of admission once a month. For example, the Autry Museum of the West is free on New Year’s Day, LACMA is free on January 8th, and The Broad is always free with reserved or stand-by tickets!
Consider Buying a Tourist Pass
While the pass itself costs a bit of money, it’s so value-packed that you are immediately getting your money’s worth and more after just visiting a couple of attractions.
If you plan to see a lot in LA a pass like this might be just the thing for you! You end up getting a lot of attractions included for free! Make sure to check out our post to see how the tourist discount passes in LA compare.
Experience the Women’s March
For the third year, the annual Women’s March will bring together thousands of people of all cultures, races, political affiliations, and backgrounds for a march in downtown LA. This free event is something unique to experience. The event will take place from 10 am – 3 pm.
Los Angeles offers a lot of family-friendly activities and attractions any day of the year. Some of the items we’ve mentioned like a whale watching cruise or a Warner Bros. Studio Tour are fun for all ages. Here are a few more family-friendly ideas for January.
Visit the La Brea Tar Pits
Step back millions of years and discover what dinosaur, mammoth, and other fossils and bones have been found at these natural tar pits. The museum includes a number of exhibits and interactive attractions. Opening hours and ticket prices vary.
Bonus: the museum offers free admission on the first Tuesday of the month (reserved free tickets are strongly recommended).
Visit the Aquarium of the Pacific
The popular Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach offers a large variety of marine life to view and interact with. See penguins, sea turtles, seals, sharks, and hundreds of other exotic fish species and this fun for all ages aquarium. Check the website for more information and tickets!
Explore the Battleship Iowa Museum
Located at the Port of Los Angeles (one of the world’s busiest ports), the Battleship Iowa Museum is fitting for anyone who wants to learn about war history and connecting the past with the future. There are many interactive and educational exhibits available aboard the museum that are great for families to enjoy.
In this post, we include information with several options for luggage storage during your trip to Los Angeles, including a new trend in Airbnb inspired luggage storage. We also include other options like train and bus stations and even some museums!
TIP: For budget travelers, it is worth considering purchasing a tourist pass. Tourist passes help you save money by packaging attractions together for one flat price. In some cases, you can save up to 50% of the cost you would normally pay to see many of the top Los Angeles attractions.
This post will help you navigate through the myriad of discounts, specials and Black Friday deals for 2018 so you can continue to explore!
Keep in mind that ourname your own price walking toursare always budget friendly in any of our cities and we have special blog posts to cover visiting on a budget or how to enter certain attractions for free with a tourist discount pass!
In addition to great savings on Black Friday, we’ll offer some Small Business Saturday savings to support local vendors we love, and keep an eye out through until next week for what some people are calling Travel Deal Tuesdays!
The world famous Tournament of Roses Parade celebrates it 130th year on January 1st, 2019. This parade is attended by nearly 700,000 and watched by millions more worldwide. Use this post as a guide for everything you need to know about attending the parade. We’ve also included additional events that happen before and after the parade as well as some parade history and fun facts.
This post covers the best activities for the month of December in Los Angeles and it’s been updated for 2018. It includes sections on our top ten, evening, free, and family-friendly attractions and events. For more ideas on popular tourist attractions, be sure to check out our master Things to do in LA post.
This post cover the best things to do in Los Angeles in November and has been updated for 2018. It includes a top ten list, evening, free, and family-friendly activities. For even more great ideas on what to do in the LA area, be sure to check out our master Things to do in LA post.
This post covers the top things to do in burgeoning downtown Los Angeles (DTLA). It includes a top ten list, top museums & attractions and ideas for night time, free, family-friendly, and seasonal events and activities. For even more ideas on what to do in Los Angeles, be sure to check out our master Things to do in LA post.
A word on safety: Parts of downtown LA are still very up and coming. It’s also home to the infamous Skid Row, which houses a homeless population of roughly 8,000. Most of the homeless you’ll come across during your time in LA are benign and keep to themselves but like any big city, it’s always best to use common sense and be aware of your surroundings.
Griffith Park is one of LA’s top attractions but did you know that there are an assortment of things to do within the park? This post covers all of the top things to do in Griffith Park. It includes a top ten list and sections for free, evening, and family-friendly activities. For more ideas on what to do in Los Angeles, make sure to check out our master Things to do in LA post.
This post contains information on things to do in Pasadena, California. It includes a top ten list, free, family-friendly, and evening activities. For even more ideas of things to do while you’re in the LA area, check out our Things to do in LA post.