‘Tis the season for…palm trees? Christmas in L.A. might not conjure up images of snow-capped trees and chilly temperatures, but you can still get into the holiday spirit if you know where to look. These Los Angeles Christmas events will add a little glitz and glamour to your holiday season.
1. Catch the Hollywood Christmas Parade
Every Sunday after Thanksgiving, celebrities, performers, marching bands, and over-the-top floats descend on Hollywood Boulevard to kick off the holiday season in typical L.A. fashion. This year, the 88th annual Hollywood Christmas Parade is set for December 1 at 5 pm, making it the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit. As one of the most popular Los Angeles Christmas events (and the largest Christmas event in the country), you’ll definitely want to book your tickets early to save your spot.
2. Take a tour of the Christmas markets in Old Town Pasadena
Take in the glittering streets (and pose for some killer photo ops) on a three-hour private tour of the Christmas markets of Los Angeles. Your tour will kick off with a visit to the famed French bakery Laduree, where you’ll nibble on a mouth-watering macaroon and sip on complimentary coffee.
Treats in hand, you’ll head to the historic neighborhoods of Pasadena and Glendale, known for their eclectic atmosphere and jaw-dropping holiday decorations. Whether you choose to do a little Christmas shopping or take a leisurely stroll, the bustling streets and astonishing sites will leave you feeling merry.
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3. Drive through Christmas Tree Lane in Altadena
Every December, the giant cedar trees lining this street are strung with thousands of twinkling colored lights. The deodar cedars date back to 1883 (before Altedena even existed), when 134 seedlings were planted on either side of Santa Rosa Avenue.
The result? A gorgeous, tree-lined street that, in 1920, became known as Christmas Tree Lane. Today, it’s become a must-see site every holiday season. You’ll find food trucks offering warm drinks and holiday treats as families, couples, and friends stroll the streets taking in the sparkling sites. Spontaneous caroling is optional (and encouraged).
4. Check out the Marina del Rey holiday boat parade
The Marina del Rey boat parade is so typically L.A., and we’re here for it. If you’re in town on December 14, head to the jetty for this free event. The evening will kick off with a fireworks display at 6pm as the festively decorated boats take to the marina for a spectacular water parade. Nobody ever said Christmas in Los Angeles was traditional, and we’re O.K. with that. Want to make a day of it? Check out the full schedule of events.
5. Visit the Enchanted Forest of Light at Descanso Gardens
The one-mile walk through this interactive nighttime display is one of the most popular Los Angeles Christmas events. The lights and sounds set up among the towering trees can be manipulated, making for an experience that’s uniquely different for every visitor.
Tickets to the Enchanted Forest at Descanso Gardens are on sale now. General admission is $30; children under two are free. The Enchanted Forest will run until January 5, 2020.
If you’ll be spending Christmas in Los Angeles, these seasonal activities will add a festive spring to your step. As you plan your stay, be sure to check out the December 2019 calendar of events from TimeOut for happenings throughout the city, and let PlacePass help you find the best holiday experiences and excursions L.A. has to offer.