Holiday Events Beyond Theme Parks in LA

In such a hot and happening city, it’s no surprise that there are endless holiday events in LA. While we all know that the theme parks dress up during this season, we’d like to share our top picks for alternative things to do during the holidays. If you’ll be in town during the fall and winter, consider trying out one of these exciting holiday-inspired activities.



Los Angeles Zoo

Live reindeer come to town each year and make the LA Zoo their home for the holidays! You can visit them daily in Reindeer Village from November 18th – January 8th, with photo ops and fascinating facts about Santa’s essential team. Weekends add additional fun, including a puppet show, ice carving demonstrations, holiday songs, a craft station, zoo keeper talks – and even pictures with Santa! This year also brings the return of the ever-popular LA Zoo Lights at night from November 17th – January 7th.



Marina Del Rey Holiday Boat Parade

Signaling the start of the holiday season, and starting out with fireworks at 5:55 p.m. on December 9th, this holiday event is always a crowd-pleaser. Brilliantly lighted and decorated boats begin circling in the main channel of the Marina at 6:00 p.m. and continue until the evening ends at 8:00 p.m. – in plenty of time for a late dinner or after-party drink to discuss which boats you liked the best. With upwards of 25,000 people viewing the Marina del Rey Boat Parade each year, you may want to watch from a waterfront restaurant or get there early at popular viewing spots including Fisherman’s Village and Burton Chace Park.



Snow Wonder Festival

If you plan to make a day of it, why not prepare for the Boat Parade by attending the Snow Wonder Festival first? This family-focused event runs from 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. on December 9th at Burton Chace Park. Children – or those who are still kids at heart – will enjoy crafts, snow play, sledding, face painting, DJ entertainment, and much more as you get geared up for the main event that evening.



Enchanted: Forest of Light – Descanso Gardens Guild

Running nightly from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. November 19th through January 7th, Enchanted: Forest of Light is a one-mile, nighttime trail that takes you past and through dramatic light displays. Some of these light displays are interactive, while others can simply be viewed and appreciated for their brilliance and creativity. You should allow an hour and a half for a leisurely walk through the entire experience, and you can always plan to stop along the way to grab something to eat at one of cafes or restaurants. Keep in mind that it can get chilly at night, so dress warmly to fully enjoy the experience.



The Hollywood Christmas Parade

This year’s Hollywood Christmas Parade is set for November 26th at 5:00 p.m. While the lineup for this year hasn’t been announced yet, it follows the Hollywood Walk of Fame which is transformed into a spectacular winter wonderland. The parade passes along a three and a half mile route along Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard. It always features incredible celebrities and live music. We really suggest seeing this live at least once! Last year featured Olivia Newton-John as grand marshal, and past concert performances have included such varied artists as Scotty McCreery, Cyndi Lauper, Eric Benét, Kenny G, WAR, The Empty Hearts, and Band Of Merrymakers.



Whether you celebrate specific holidays or simply enjoy the season, you’ll find even more things to do and see in LA during this joyful time of year. For more information on these and other holiday events in the area, consult with our concierge at The London West Hollywood. Happy holidays to all!