Holiday Fun

Holiday Spectaculars for the Whole Family

Photo courtesy of Moonlight Forest

It’s time to get out there and take in the wonder of the holidays, and we know just the thing (or nine) to satisfy everyone, from the biggest Abominable Snowman to the tiniest Tim. Beautiful lights, festive performances, real snow—this month is packed with spectacular holiday magic.

Now through December 25

Photo by Javier Guillen/Courtesy of The Music Center

Grand Park’s Winter Glow 2019
This December, Grand Park transforms from the sprawling public space you already know and love into a majestic showcase of light and art. Much more than elaborate holiday string lighting, this celebration of how light connects us in the winter months boasts interactive and immersive installations and plenty of new, illuminated pathways for the intrepid explorer to uncover. Grand Park, 200 North Grand Avenue

Now through December 29

Snow Day L.A.
This weekend event may not get the kids out of school, but it will give the whole family an excuse to enjoy the kind of wintertime fun usually reserved for far-chillier climes with its falling synthetic snow and tubing hill. Continue your journey with the eye-catching LED crystal garden and interactive light show, and fill up on holiday cheer with plenty of food trucks. The Old Lodge, 2010 Stadium Way

Photo courtesy of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter/Facebook

Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Just because all of Hogwarts’s wizarding students head home for the holidays doesn’t mean you have to. Universal Studios’s land of Harry Potter turns extra magical this month, with the Hogwarts castle backdrop and the festive streets of Hogsmeade decked out in decorations and a unique menu at the Three Broomsticks, among other special happenings. Universal Studios Hollywood, 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City

December 14

Marina Del Rey Holiday Boat Parade
The holiday parade that really floats returns to the marina for a dazzling lineup of vessels decked out with glowing holiday cheer. Official viewing spots are at Burton Chace Park and Fisherman’s Village, but you can watch the parade from just about anywhere around the marina. Marina Del Rey

December 21

Photo courtesy of L.A. Phil/Facebook

Holiday Sing-Along
Deck the biggest of them all at the Walt Disney Concert Hall and sing along to holiday favorites, backed by organ, jazz combo, and choir. Family fun, but leave the littlest ones at home—no children under 2 will be admitted. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 South Grand Avenue

Now through January 5

Photo courtesy of Descanso Gardens

Enchanted: Forest of Light
Glittering trees high above your head, chandeliers seemingly floating in air, and sound and light combinations you can dance to—Descanso Gardens transforms during the holidays to create Enchanted: Forest of Light. Combining nature and art, this mile-long walk through the woods is a beautiful way to celebrate wintertime with the entire family. If you want to make a night of it, call for a reservation on-site at the Descanso restaurant, Maple, for farm-to-table dining prior to your magical night walk. Descanso Gardens, 1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada Flintridge

Gilmore Girls Holiday
If you know how Lorelai feels about snow and the holiday season, high-tail it over to Warner Bros. Studio for a backlot tour of the Gilmore Girls and Stars Hollow. Have lunch on the lot, get coffee at Luke’s, take selfies in the town gazebo—it’s all there (just don’t expect to see Lorelai, Rory, Luke or Sooki themselves). Tickets range from $57-$69 per person. Warner Bros. Studio, 3400 Warner Boulevard, Burbank

Now through January 6

Photo courtesy of Santa Monica Pier/Facebook

Holiday Cheer on the Pier
It’s time to put the Santa back in Santa Monica Pier with a procession of festive events for you and your little elves alike! All holiday season will be peppered with fun happenings, like a “snow day” complete with real snow, performances from the Bob Baker Marionette Theater, and carols courtesy of female doo-wop group the Noelles. In between all the cheer, stop in at the fabled merry-go-round to see the windows transformed into a wonderland of colorful confections by Australian artists Pip & Pop. 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica

Now through January 12

Moonlight Forest
L.A.’s most dazzling holiday light display is one you won’t find on any house—it’s this fantastical world of Chinese lantern–inspired creations depicting majestic animals, oversize landscapes, and spectacular covered walkways. Round out your journey with food trucks, drinks, and performances by Chinese acrobats. L.A. Arboretum, 301 North Baldwin Avenue, Arcadia

Now through January 20

Photo courtesy of Holiday Ice Skating Downtown Los Angeles

Holiday Ice Rink at Pershing Square
A time-honored tradition in downtown Los Angeles, the Pershing Square holiday ice rink is open for the season. Get ready for a spin, strap on your skates, and spend 60 minutes in a winter wonderland…no matter that it’s 70 and sunny. To make the magic moment more so, take a night skate and gaze up into the twinkling city lights surrounding the rink. 532 South Olive Street