Holiday events and Christmas activities in Los Angeles

Your guide to the best holiday events and activities, from Christmas carols and concerts to shopping, snow days and fun places to take guests from out of town.

The Nutcracker photograph by Reed Hutchinson, courtesy Los Angeles Ballet; Christmas tree and Santa Claus photographs courtesy Malibu Country Mart


Holiday Trunk Show

  • Price band: 1/4

Before you head to the mall to check off your gift list this season, consider the Craft and Folk Art Museum's Holiday Trunk Show series in Mid-City West for one-of-a-kind goodies. Local artists Judith Hendler and Lou Zeldis will showcase their intricate jewelry, woodcarvings and baskets, while Julie Ward of Gallery Asha and Lynn Doran's collaboration will close the series with garments featuring handcrafted textiles. As you explore the unique art collection and perchance find a gift for that special someone, don't forget to enjoy the complimentary bubbles.

  1. Craft & Folk Art Museum 5814 Wilshire Boulevard, at S Curson Avenue
  2. Until Sat Dec 15
More info

Holiday Wonders: Festival of Carols

  • Price band: 2/4

This season, we'll leave the singing to the pros. Join the Los Angeles Master Chorale for all of your favorite holiday carols in concert at the iconic Walt Disney Concert Hall. Grant Gershon will conduct "Deck the Hall," "Silent Night," "The First Noël," "White Christmas," "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" and more to get you in the festive spirit. Pulling out all the stops, the Disney Hall's pipe organ, played by John West, will also participate in the magical concert. Group rates are available, with discounts offered for children 6 to 12.

  1. Walt Disney Concert Hall 111 S Grand Ave, between W 2nd & W 3rd Sts
  2. Until Sat Dec 15
More info

Nightmare Before Christmas screening

  • Price band: 2/4

Though primarily Halloween-themed, this creepy stop-animation Burton fave has become a true Christmas mainstay. Catch Jack and Zero trying to take over Christmas in 3D on the big screen for one day only at Santa Monica's Aero Theatre, as part of its holiday film series. And if the film inspires you to make someone else's holiday bright, there will be a Toys for Tots drop-off bin in the theater lobby. Check the website for details and tickets.

  1. American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre 1328 Montana Ave, at 14th Street
  2. Sun Dec 8
More info

An Olde English Christmas Concert

  • Price band: 2/4

Be transported to ye olde England at this holiday concert at the First United Methodist Church in Pasadena (500 E Colorado Blvd), where the renowned Angeles Chorale kicks off its 38th season, aptly titled "The British Invasion." Traditional English Christmas favorites in store include Benjamin Britten's "A Ceremony of Carols" and John Rutter's "Gloria," among others.

Holiday Leather Stuff Workshop

  • Price band: 1/4

Looking for ideas to make your own holiday gifts but don't know where to start? Go to the Santa Monica Museum of Art for an afternoon of leather crafting. Artist Justin Dienes, founder of Old North Wind, will teach two sessions of leather crafting techniques for you to craft wristbands, bracelets, key chains and anything else you can think up. Tools and supplies are provided. Bring your imagination.

  1. Santa Monica Museum of Art (SMMoA) 2525 Michigan Ave, at Cloverfield Blvd
  2. Until Sat Dec 15
More info

Georgetown Cupcake Holiday Decorating Workshop

  • Price band: 3/4

Get crafty at this tasty weekend workshop where you can frost, decorate and gift-wrap a dozen holiday-themed cupcakes.

Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles Holiday Spectacular

  • Price band: 2/4

A performing arts staple of Los Angeles for over 30 years now, the GMCLA brings holiday cheer in its annual holiday musical extravaganza while raising awareness for important LGBT issues. This year the chorus returns to the Alex Theatre with a show that will feature audience favorites from past years and holiday standards 'with a twist.'

  1. Alex Theatre 216 N. Brand Blvd., 91203
  2. Until Sun Dec 15
Buy tickets

A Swingin' Christmas with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

  • Price band: 2/4

Packing songs that have been featured in Swingers and Dancing with the Stars alike, multi-squillion-selling Cali swing outfit Big Bad Voodoo Daddy rolls into town with its super-slick take on swing and current album in tow—Rattle Them Bones—still steeped in the sound of New Orleans. Nineteen years after the band first formed, BBVD still knows how to kick up its heels—and tonight, it'll turn yuletide classics like “Blue Christmas” and “Jingle Bells” into rollicking extravaganzas.

  1. Walt Disney Concert Hall 111 S Grand Ave, between W 2nd & W 3rd Sts
  2. Fri Dec 26
More info

Rufus and Martha Wainwright's Christmas 101

  • Price band: 2/4

Rufus and Martha Wainwright host this yearly event, originally started by their late mother Kate McGariggle. The evening features eclectic carols performed in both French and English by the McGariggle and Wainright families and friends, including Emmylou Harris, Van Dyke Parks and Carrie Fisher.

  1. Royce Hall 340 Royce Dr, at UCLA
  2. Fri Dec 26
More info

The Music Center Holiday Sing-Along

  • Free

Sure, it's great to sing-along in the car to Kost 103's Christmas music, but nothing beats belting out Jingle Bells with a lively crowd. Head to the Music Center for their annual Holiday Sing-Along. The evening is free, but tickets are required and distributed on a first-come basis the day of the event, beginning at 6pm. Lyrics sheets are provided for you to join the crowd to sing such favorites as The Christmas Song, O Christmas Tree, Silver Bells, The Twelve Days of Christmas, We Wish You A Merry Christmas and more. It will hardly be a silent night.

  1. Music Center 135 N Grand Avenue, between W 1st & W Temple Streets
  2. Fri Dec 20
More info

Groundlings Holiday Show

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The legendary Hollywood improv theater that launched the careers of Will Ferrell, Lisa Kudrow and many more comedians is putting on two showings of their hilarious, live holiday show. It's a festive, holiday-themed night of sketches and improv. (And you might just witness the next Kristen Wiig.) The show runs approximately two hours long, including intermission.

  1. Groundlings Theatre 7307 Melrose Ave
  2. Until Sat Dec 21
Buy tickets

Malibu Country Mart Winter Wonderland

  • Free

This month the Malibu Country Mart is transforming into a one-stop holiday destination for all your Christmas and Hanukkah needs. Besides its extensive roster of luxury retailers (with in-store specials so you can start checking people off your shopping list), every Saturday before Christmas Eve there will be free, fun activities for families to start getting kids excited for the holidays. Get into the holiday spirit in sunny Malibu, with dreidel playing and stocking decorating on Dec 8, photos with Santa and a cookie decorating party on Dec 15 and meeting Santa and petting his real (yes, real!) reindeer on Dec 22 at the event's final day.

  1. Malibu Country Mart 3835 Cross Creek Rd
  2. Until Sat Dec 21
More info

Bob's Holiday Office Party

  • Price band: 2/4

You complain about your holiday office party: weak egg nog, a $10 waffle iron from the white elephant gift exchange, Jill from accounting attempting to sing karaoke. Just be thankful you're not at Bob's Holiday Office Party. The play, now in it's 17th annual run and soon to be turned into a film, shares a look at Iowa-based insurance agent Bob Finhead as his friends and clients stop by for the annual party. Twin farmers, a stoner, a floozy and a pastor's wife are just some of the cast of characters that bring big-time laughs to the small-town setting as Bob struggles with fulfilling his dreams in the city as a professional inventor while grappling with leaving the charm of his small town. Bickering, fighting and drinking ensue. Well, some things might be familiar.

  1. Pico Playhouse 10508 West Pico Blvd
  2. Until Sun Dec 22
Buy tickets


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