This post covers the best things to do in Los Angeles in January.
We include free, nighttime, as well as family-friendly events and activities, updated for 2024.
- Top 10
- Nighttime Activities
- Free Things to Do
- Weather in January
- Things to Do in LA (any time of year)
This section will feature our top 10 activities to enjoy in LA throughout January.
For more ideas on popular activities and attractions in LA, see our popular posts here:
- Things to Do in LA
- Where to Store Your Luggage in L.A.
- Things to do in Santa Monica & Venice Beach
- Tourist Attraction Discount Passes
1. Attend a performance
Live theater is a wonderful thing to enjoy while traveling, and the Los Angeles area loves to entertain!
Check out other theatre productions in the Los Angeles area this January.
2. Enjoy a Concert
Los Angeles is full of concert venues, and there's always a talented artist to be found performing in the LA area.
- So Cal Slack Key Festival | January 14th | Redondo Beach | The biggest showcase of Hawaiian ki ho’alu music outside the islands
Classical and Opera Concerts
Note that we make a stop at the Walt Disney Concert Hall on our pay-what-you-wish Downtown Los Angeles walking tour!
Also, there is a secret hidden garden behind the building that is open to the public, and it's free to visit.
TIP: If you're a big music fan, you might also enjoy the special 50th-anniversary exhibit of The Roxy taking place at the GRAMMY Museum. It runs through January 7th.
3. Go to a Sporting Event
Cheer on your favorite L.A. teams in January! Check the information below for game specifics.
On January 1st, the Rose Bowl takes place in Pasadena. Tickets can be purchased here.
Find more sporting events in January in the LA area here.
For more things to do at night, check the section down below.
4. Go on a Sightseeing Tour
Check out our Downtown Los Angeles which includes sites such as the Walt Disney Music Hall, the Bradbury Building and more.
We also have a Hollywood Tour which walks along the Walk of Fame to see sites like the Capitol Records building, the Hollywood sign, and the TCL Chinese Theatre.
5. See a Major Motorsports Event
Everyone loves a good monster truck show, and one of the biggest of them all will be in Anaheim on January 20th and 21st.
Monster Jam typically features some of the most well-known monster trucks in the world, including Bigfoot, Megalodon, Grave Digger, Northern Nightmare and more.
6. See Live Stand-Up Comedy
Los Angeles is home to some of the most famous comedians in the world, and many others are drawn to perform in the city throughout the year.
- Jimmy Dore | January 21st, 28th
- Jessica Krison | January 21st, 26th (Irvine)
- Darcy & Jer | January 10th
Improv Comedy Groups
Stand-Up Comedy Clubs
Check out this list of other comedy performances taking place in Los Angeles in January.
7. Kingdom Day Parade
Join in on the 39th annual Kingdom Day Parade on January 15th, 2024, 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.
Note that several museums, such as the California African American Museum, are likely to offer free events honoring MLK.
For more free things to do in LA, check out our full post.
8. Experience All Things John Waters
The writer, artist, and director John Waters is a true original.
In celebration of his talent and originality, the Academy Museum is hosting a special exhibit, "John Waters: The Pope of Trash" until August of 2024.
It will cover his filmmaking process and also include clips from his films, scripts, set decor, photos, costumes, props, and more.
For more information, visit the Academy Museum website.
9. Watch the Rose Parade
Venture out to Pasadena on January 1st for the 135th 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 with thousands of flowers, a number of marching bands, and equestrian teams.
Click here for everything you need to know about the Rose Parade. This event is free and great for the whole family!
The Rose Bowl itself is the oldest of the college bowl games. It was first played in 1902 and hosts the champions from the Pac-12 and the Big Ten conferences.
The game takes the Rose Bowl Stadium on January 1st.
While you are in Pasadena, read about some other things to do in Pasadena.
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.
Or if you'd like to go ahead and purchase the Go City Pass, which has activities on it like a Warners Bros. Studio Tour, Hollywood Sign Tour, Knot's Berry Farm and more, you can purchase it here.
For more ideas for any time of year, be sure to read our master post on Things to do in LA.
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.
Check out the Autry Museum of the West
Located in Griffith Park, the Autry Museum of the West covers an extensive history of the American West.
Throughout the exhibits, see old western movie props, art, Native American artifacts, and more.
Best of all, admission to this attraction is FREE on January 1, so you don’t even have to pay full price to get inside!
For more ideas on activities and attractions in the park, check out our things to do in Griffith Park post!
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!
The Golden Globes air on January 7th.
National Parks are Free to honor Martin Luther King, Jr.
Spend some time at one of the National Parks that are a day trip away from Los Angeles without worrying about park admission fees.
On January 16th, 2023, all national parks are free to visit!
Pack the car and head to Joshua Tree, Sequoia, or Kings Canyon, or make your way to Yosemite instead.
Free days can be busy but they are a big money saver!
Go for a Hike During L.A.’s Winter Weather
The weather in LA in January 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!
Attend a Live Taping
There is nothing more Hollywood than attending a live taping and it is free!
Many T.V. shows and game shows tape in LA, of course.
Looking for tips and tricks to getting free tickets? Check out our live taping blog here.
Public Star Party at Griffith Park Observatory
One Saturday every month the Observatory hosts a Public Star Party where guests can try amazing telescopes between 2:00 pm - 9:45 pm on the lawn.
You can also check out the free museum while you are there!
Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Grand
MOCA Grand offers free general admission to all visitors.
It’s a great way to introduce children to contemporary art and begin the conversation about what defines something as art.
For even more free activities, see our Guide to Free Things to Do in LA.
Below is just a sampling of the many things to do at night in January.
For suggestions on other nighttime activities, see our post Things to do at Night in LA.
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 you can visit from November through January 7th, 2024. Get ticket information here.
Head to the Wallis to see Music or Dance
The Wallis Center in Beverly Hills has amazing performances year-round.
On January 12th and 13th see Camille A. Brown and Dancers
On January 13th and 28th you can catch Both And (A Play About Laughing While Black)
On January 17th, pianist Michelle Cann.
Check out a Los Angeles Bars
There are many places to get a good drink in L.A.
Below are just a sample of suggestions.
- Check out Hollywood’s favorite speak-easy No Vacancy. It is a very unique experience!
- Want to go back in time to a Hollywood-style swing bar? Go to the Cicada Club.
- Looking for a sci-fi bar? Try the STAR WARS-themed Scum & Villainy in Hollywood.
For suggestions on other nighttime activities, read the other sections of this post or our post on things to do at night in LA.
There are lots of things to do in L.A. with families!
For more ideas of things to do with kids in LA, see our post on things to do in LA with kids.
Attend WinterFest OC
You can catch the last day of WinterFest on January 7th.
There will be carnival rides and activities for everyone including tubing.
In addition to more than a million lights decorating the event space, SNOW will be brought in daily!
All of this takes place at the OC Fair and Event Center.
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 of hours on the water trying to spot one of these great creatures!
See a Movie at the el Capitan Theatre
There is nothing for L.A. than watching movies!
The el Capitan Theatre is a gorgeous movie palace in the heart of Hollywood. The architecture is breathtaking!
If you are a Disney-lover, this is a great theatre to visit because it is owned by Disney and only plays Disney movies!
The best part is that there is often a pre-show event or performance on stage. Check their website for the updated movie schedule.
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.
Stop By Travel Town
Does your kiddo love trains?
A great activity is to go to Travel Town Museum in Griffith Park.
There are daily miniature train rides as well as docent tours the second Saturday of the month.
Head to Disneyland
January is the best month to visit world-famous Disneyland! Why? Because most American schools are back in session so the lines are short!
Plus, it is “winter” in California so the weather is perfect for a day of romping around riding rides.
For more ideas of things to do with kids in LA, see our post things to do in LA with kids.