Christmas in Los Angeles: The 10 Greatest Annual Events

About 1 in 8 Americans are projected to travel for Christmas of 2021. In fact, Christmas – along with New Year’s – is the busiest time of the year for traveling. 

But where is everyone going? Often, traveling for Christmas means going somewhere sunnier and warmer. Los Angeles just so happens to be a great destination for both travel and living! 

Don’t let the lack of snow fool you – Christmas in Los Angeles can be quite the magical experience. If you’re going to be spending Christmas in LA, recently moved here, or looking to move soon, check out these 10 amazing annual events in the area. 


Marina Del Rey Holiday Boat Parade 

The Marina Del Rey Holiday Boat Parade is a time-honored Christmas tradition that has been happening in December every year for over 50 years. 

This nighttime event kicks off with a set of spectacular fireworks over the water. The fireworks are quickly followed by a 2-hour boat parade featuring various boats, both large and small, decorated with lights, signs, figurines, and more. 

The event is free and attracts as many as 25,000 people each year. You can watch from several different locations, including Burton Chace Park, Fisherman’s Village, and waterfront hotels, restaurants, and balconies. 

Each year has a different theme, so access their website linked above for more information.


L.A. Zoo Lights 

The LA Zoo first introduced its holiday event, “LA Zoo Lights,” back in 2014 and has continued this tradition every year since. Experience the incredible nighttime adventure from L.A. Zoo Lights during the holidays. 

LA Zoo Light features the world’s largest illuminated pop-up storybook right in their park. It also includes a disco ball forest, giant lit-up snowflakes, and a tunnel full of twinkle lights and color. The walk-through event features many different glowing animal displays that are a delight for families. 

The event happens rain or shine, so it’s guaranteed fun. The zoo also provides different kinds of weekend activities and entertainment for anyone coming to see the lights.


L.A. King’s Holiday Ice Rink

Each year, the LA Kings open their outdoor Holiday Ice Rink to the public right out front of the Staples Center. From late November to early January, you, your friends, and your family can visit the ice rink for some outdoor ice skating fun. 

You can access the website linked above for special dinner deals at some of the LA LIVE restaurants and look into group ticket deals. 


Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

The Holidays at Universal Studios are back! Each year, from November to January, you and your family can enjoy Christmas at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The park will be transformed into a festive, holiday-themed wonderland full of lights, food, and entertainment. 

The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle is a special event that features a special light show with music to match. 


Knott’s Merry Farm 

This time of year, Knott’s Berry Farm temporarily changes its name for the season to Knott’s Merry Farm for its festive activities. 

Typically throughout December, Knott’s hosts a large Christmas celebration complete with a winter wonderland of decorations and lights. The park turns into a classic festival with dozens of family activities, including Christmas carols, performers, and an ice show. 

Knott’s Berry Farm is great for the whole family. It features a Christmas Craft Village, shops, a tree lighting ceremony, and Santa’s Christmas Cabin, and much more. 


Enchanted Forest of Light 

Descanso Gardens is displaying its Enchanted Forest of Light for the holidays. The park offers an interactive nighttime experience that outshines the typical day in LA. 

The Enchanted Forest offers a one-mile walkthrough of the gardens, which are transformed into a twinkling, magical holiday wonderland. 

Descanso has added an entire town made of stained glass to the magical experience. You’ll also see amazing light creations. Round out the evening with some food, drink, and gift shop options. 


The Hollywood Christmas Parade 

The Hollywood Christmas Parade has been a tradition for over 80 years, and it’s not about to stop. It takes place on the streets of Hollywood and features several popular hosts.

This Christmas Parade is a great and unique way to experience Hollywood. The City of Los Angeles puts on this parade every year, starting at Orange Street. It always has plenty of celebrities, bands, character balloons, floats, and specialty acts – a fantastic way to celebrate your LA Christmas. 


The Science of Gingerbread

Looking for a fun family event for you and your kids for your Los Angeles Christmas? The Discovery Cube, which is a children’s science museum, hosts its signature winter event almost every year. Your kids can design their very own gingerbread location to display in the gingerbread competition. 

Even if you don’t want to participate, take a trip down to the museum to see amazing gingerbread creations. Tickets include general admission, a photo with Santa, and access to the gingerbread village just northwest of LA. 


The Polar Express Train Ride 

In Perris, CA, which is just northwest of Los Angeles, you and your family can experience another one of the Christmas events in Los Angeles: the unique Polar Express Train Ride. 

This real train ride includes sounds from the popular motion picture, magical decorations, and spectacular car hosts. Everyone gets hot chocolate and shortbread served by dancing chefs – just like in the movie. 

Relive the magic with a golden ticket, Santa and his helpers, and lots of caroling and entertainment. 


The Long Beach Nutcracker

Just outside of LA, you and your family can experience the time-honored Christmas tradition of The Nutcracker ballet. Long Beach has been presenting this ballet for 39 years now at the Long Beach Terrace Theater, along with other locations over the years.

What better way is there for you to truly get into the holiday spirit? The beautiful ballet runs for just five performances this year, so see their site for more info. 


Contact Fisher Real Estate Today

Southern California sounds like a dream around Christmastime, doesn’t it? And rest assured, the area has much more to offer year-round. 

If you’re interested in relocating to Southern California, Fisher Real Estate has your back. An affiliated partner of RE/MAX Estate Properties, we specialize in real estate throughout the Westside and the South Bay areas. 

Realtor Charles Fisher has over 14 years of experience and is ready to help you find your next home in SoCal. Contact us today!

Check out this article next

Top 10 Best Places to Live in California for 2022

Top 10 Best Places to Live in California for 2022

Deciding on the best place to live in California can be a daunting task because it can be tough to choose just one location! The…

Read Article