Company Logo - Home Link

What to do in Los Angeles in December

Book A Guided Walking Tour

This post covers the best things to do in Los Angeles in December.

It includes free, family-friendly, as well as nighttime activities, all updated for 2022.


TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN DECEMBER

This section will feature our top 10 activities to enjoy in LA throughout December.

For tips on the most popular activities in LA, check out our other popular posts:


1. Go on a Sightseeing Tour

We offer pay-what-you-like walking tours or you can try our self-guided walking tours.

Check out our calendar to book a guided walking tour.

If you’re looking for a bus tour, we have a great comparison of L.A.’s best. From hop-on-hop-off buses to nonstop our nighttime tours, you’ll find one to suit you.

Another option is to check out a studio tour. See what it is like to be a working Hollywood actor or a gaffer. Or find out what a gaffer does!

Check out our post about Studio tour options.


2. Go to a Concert

There are a lot of concert venues in Los Angeles.

We’ve listed the highlights below, but you can find information about concerts or purchase tickets here.

Find all of this month's concerts here.


3. Go to a Sporting Event

December is the month to enjoy an L.A. game! You can find all of December's sporting events here.

Here are some teams with games in December:

Football

Basketball

Hockey

Also in December, is the LA Bowl, which takes place in 2022 on December 17th.

Seeing a big game is a great way to spend your afternoon or evening! For more things to do at night, check the section down below.


4. Attend the Theatre

Live theatre is a wonderful thing to enjoy while traveling. L.A. has several options in December.

Los Angeles loves to entertain! Here are just a few of the many plays and ballets happening in December 2022.

There's also a holiday show, Pop! Holiday Pop!, with the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra at the Long Beach Convention Center on December 17th.

You can find all this month's shows here.


5. Catch Some Stand-Up Comedy

It seems like there are always at least a few notable comedians performing in Los Angeles each month, and that won't be changing for December.

Here are some of the biggest stand-up comedy shows to see this month:

Check this list of comedy performances in Los Angeles for more.


6. Holidays at Universal Studios

Universal Studios, one of the biggest attractions in LA, will transform itself for the holiday season!

Guests will enjoy a made-over Wizarding World of Harry Potter with nightly snowfall and loads of holiday decor.

Visitors will also be able to get into the spirit at Grinchmas, a Grinch themed spectacle that’s totally decked to the halls– Who -ville style!


7. Christmas with the LA Philharmonic

Fans of the classic Christmas movie Home Alone will a chance to experience the film in concert this holiday season.

The Los Angeles Philharmonic will be performing the music of the brilliant John Williams as the movie plays in the background on December 20th, 21st, and 22nd.

Tickets can be purchased here.

Also this month, on December 18th, the Philharmonic performs The Nutcracker. Gustavo Dudamel conducts.

These events take place at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, which is well known for producing some of the best sound quality of any concert hall in the world.


8. Shop at a Craft Fair

Shop small and feel good about it this holiday season! There are multiple craft fairs happening in the LA area throughout the month of December.

Some favorites include Unique LA Market that presents their Annual Holiday Market on December 10th and 11th.

Bring the kids to the Harvest Fest craft fair since there will be food and activities. The dates are December 2nd - 4th in Pomona.

Also, check out Hillside Farm’s craft fair which runs December 3rd - 4th in Norco.

Another option is the Echo Park craft fair for unique handmade items. It takes place from December 6th - 8th.


9. Celebrate New Year’s Eve

LA is an excellent location to ring in the new year!

Check with restaurants to see who is offering special menus and drinks or go all out on the town!

Popular events on December 31st include:

There will also be a gathering for the Countdown at Grand Park in downtown La. This popular event has a 3-D digital countdown and fireworks.

A new year's eve party will take place a Universal Studios with music, dancing, photo-ops, drinks, and of course rides.


10. Save Money with a Tourist Attraction Discount Pass

To make the most out of your time in LA, and save a lot of money while seeing the sights, consider purchasing a tourist attraction discount pass.

You’ll pay one fee upfront and receive free or highly discounted entry into many of the city’s most popular attractions and activities.

Tourist discount passes work by bundling multiple tickets into one price, usually between 20%-50% the retail price.

Read our post comparing the different LA tourist discount passes. Several bus tour companies, including hop-on-hop-off buses, also offer discounts and deals.

For more ideas for any time of year, be sure to read our master post on Things to do in LA.


Griffith Park Holiday Lights Festival

Take the family to Griffith Park and watch it come alive with thousands of twinkling lights for its Holiday Light Festival celebrations.

A train decorated for the holiday will take you around a one-mile track past thousands of lights.

Events run between November 25, 2022 and January 6th, 2023. The cost is $5 per person, no matter the age.

Times and additional information can be found on the website.


FREE THINGS TO DO IN DECEMBER

Los Angeles always has free events for the whole family to attend. In fact, some of the events we’ve listed above are also free to attend!

For even more free activities, see our guide to free things to do in LA.


Hollywood Christmas Parade

Head down to Hollywood to grab your spot for the famous Hollywood Christmas Parade, now celebrating it's 90th anniversary!

There will giant floats, entertainment, music, horses, and plenty of celebrities.

The parade route runs along Hollywood Boulevard, Vine Street, and Sunset Boulevard.

It's a fun way to start the holiday season!


Grand Park’s Winter Glow

In Downtown L.A. Grand Park will be all decked out for the holidays as Grand Park’s Winter Glow.

This is an immersive night-time art experience that is meant for any age group.

This event is typically free from December 1st - 24th. Note that dates for 2022 haven't been listed yet so keep checking the website.


Public Star Party at Griffith Park Observatory

The Griffith Park Observatory is open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night until 10 pm.

This is an excellent opportunity to use their telescopes and see the stars.

You can also check out the free museum while you are there!


Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Grand

The MOCA Grand offers free admission to all visitors. Special Exhibitions cost more, but general admission is free.

It’s a great way to introduce children to contemporary art and begin the conversation about what defines something as art.


Go for a Hike during L.A.’s Winter Weather

The weather in LA in December can be crystal clear blue skies and very moderate temperatures, making it the perfect climate for a lovely afternoon hike.

For a popular option, check out Runyon Canyon Park where you’ll have 360-degree views of downtown LA, the Hollywood Sign & Griffith Observatory, and even the ocean on clear days. It’s free to hike in the park!

Tip: Check out our post on things to do in Griffith Park for even more hiking options!


THINGS TO DO AT NIGHT IN DECEMBER

Below is just a sampling of the many things to do at night in December.

For suggestions on other nighttime activities, see our post, Things to do at Night in LA.


The Nutcracker

A true sign of the holiday season, The Nutcracker, will be playing in the LA area in 2022.

The Nutracker will be at Walt Disney Concert Hall with the Los Angeles Philharmonic on December 18th in LA.

The folks at the Irvine Barclay Theatre will also be putting the show in Irvine on on December 10th.

The American Balley Theatre will be performing the show on December 17th in Costa Mesa.


Enchanted Forest of Lights

Walk through the beloved Descanso Gardens during the holiday season to experience the Enchanted Forest of Lights.

It is a beautiful light display over 1 mile of walking.

This activity is great for the whole family, and the display is running from late November 20th, 2022 - January 8th, 2023.


See Love, Actually, LIVE

For the Record troupe is back again and this time they have converted the Holiday movie Love, Actually into a fun musical show!

Head to the Wallis Center to enjoy this production.

Shows run from November 27th - December 31st, 2022.


Holiday Boat Parades

Want a truly unique experience? Attend a free holiday boat parade! Could there be anything more L.A. then enjoying a parade near a beach?

See magnificent boats all dolled up for the Christmas season parade in marinas aroune the LA area. You don’t need your own boat to attend.


Holiday Fireworks at Manhattan Beach

A great way to really feel the holiday spirit in a local community is to attend the Manhattan Beach Fireworks.

There will be music, vendors, and of course, a spectacular firework display on December 11th, 2022.


Santa Monica Santa Pub Crawl

Join in on the holiday fun with the 14th annual “Santa” Monica Pub Crawl!

Pick a “Santa” bar route and attend the official after-party where all routes come together. The pub crawl begins at 5 pm and raises money for the Westside Food Bank.

Come dressed as Santa or in your favorite holiday attire! This event is 21+ on December 17th, 2022.


UNCONFIRMED: Silent Disco Skate Party

If you’re a fan of ice skating, head down the Bai Holiday Ice Rink in Pershing Square for a silent disco on ice. Enjoy jamming to an amazing on your headphones while skating.

You can rent skates and free headphones will be provided to skaters. Find out more here .

You’ll pass by this ice rink during our Downtown L.A. Tour.

NOTE: The rink reopens November 23. This event has yet to be confirmed for 2022.


Check out a Los Angeles Bar

There are many places to get a good holiday-inspired drink in L.A.

Go to AR Cucina and try the Buon Natale for a drink inspired by a Gingerbread House. Head to Big Bar for 15 different holiday-inspired drinks! Cafe Birdie will have several different Eggnog drinks too!

For suggestions on other nighttime activities, read the other sections of this post or our post on things to do at night in LA .


FAMILY-FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES IN DECEMBER

There are lots of things to do in L.A. with families!

Here are a few more kid-friendly activities for the month of December.


WinterFest in the OC

Bring the whole family to WinterFest !

In years past there will be carnival rides and activities for everyone including tubing and SNOW that was brought in daily.

The website hasn't yet been updated but the dates are listed as November 25th, 2022 - January 1st, 2023.


Holiday Sing-Along at the Disney Concert Hall

Bring the family together at the Disney Concert Hall downtown where a jazz combo, choir, and the performance center’s massive pipe organ will come together to lead everyone in a holiday song sing-along !

It’s a fun tradition for the whole family! Santa will be there!

In 2022 the show take place on December 3rd at both at 11:30 am and 2:30 pm.

For more ideas of things to do with kids in LA, see our post, Things to do in LA with Kids


RELATED POSTS:

About The Author

Mel

Mel loves to be a tourist in her own city. With a background in performing arts, tourism, and photography, giving tours and being a story-teller comes naturally to her. She loves traveling, food, and theatre. Mel splits her time between Chicago and Los Angeles (#theatrelife) and leads tours and manages both cities!
Updated: September 22nd, 2022
Back to Top
cross