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.

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


Holiday Sing-Along: Julie Andrews

  • Price band: 3/4

Strike the harp and join the chorus with LA Philharmonic's Holiday Sing-Along at Walt Disney Hall. Hosted by David Prather and conducted by John Sutton, the seasonal program offers two performances with special guest Julie Andrews taking the stage to recite holiday poems. A festive sing-along of holiday classics by the Angeles Chorale will include provided lyric sheets—just in case you forget how many fa-la-la-la's are in Deck the Halls.

  1. Walt Disney Concert Hall 111 S Grand Ave, between W 2nd & W 3rd Sts
  2. Sat Dec 21
Buy tickets

Holiday Card and Ornament Making at NHM

  • Price band: 1/4

Prep for the holidays amongst dinosaurs and ancient artifacts at this free workshop where kids can create personalized cards and make unique tree-trimmings with various materials provided. Radio Disney will be on the scene, spinning holiday tracks and adding to the fun with dancing and giveaways. Plus, all month long, visitors to the museum can interact with the exhibits via scavenger hunts and prizes.

  1. Natural History Museum 900 Exposition Blvd, between S Figueroa St & S Vermont Ave
  2. Sat Dec 27
More info

Dickens' A Christmas Carol

  • Price band: 3/4

Rediscover the true spirit of Christmas along with Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim and the three Ghosts of Christmas at this new adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, presented by repertory theatre company A Noise Within. This version of the classic play will have original music yet will use only Dickens' original words. It's a rendition that's sure to leave you in a "God bless us, every one!" kind of mood.

  1. A Noise Within 3352 E Foothill Boulevard
  2. Until Sun Dec 22
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Christmas with Charlie Chaplin

  • Price band: 1/4

If you get tired of the same roster of classic holiday movies by the time Christmas rolls around, the Egyptian and Aero Theatres are screening a collection of beloved Charlie Chaplin films (as far as we can tell, the only thing he has in common with Christmas is the "Ch" and a jolly spirit). Films to be screened include Modern Times, City Lights, The Gold Rush, The Kid and the short, "A Dog's Life." Chaplin embodies his iconic Tramp character in these movies, which mix slapstick with poignancy and remind audiences that he was a master of wordless storytelling long before The Artist ever entered theaters.

  1. Egyptian Theatre 6712 Hollywood Blvd
  2. Until Sun Dec 23
More info

It's A Wonderful Life screening

  • Price band: 1/4

Frank Capra's 1946 tale of a family man learning to look at his life in a whole new light at Christmas time—thanks to the creative perspective of an angel trying to earn his wings—is no less relevant today than it was when it first came out. The movie can be found on TV all month long, but the American Cinematheque–presented screenings at the Aero and Egyptian Theatres are the ideal way to view the Jimmy Stewart classic. As an added bonus, the Aero will be airing the Oscar-nominated animated Tom and Jerry short "The Night Before Christmas" before its showings.

  1. Egyptian Theatre 6712 Hollywood Blvd
  2. Until Sun Dec 23
More info

LA County Holiday Celebration

  • Free

While Santa may still be working with his elves to load up his sleigh, you can relax and enjoy a pre–Christmas Eve dinner celebration at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Gather your friends and family and go hear LA's biggest holiday concert, with more than 20 choirs, music ensembles and dance troupes from all over the city. The free three-hour show offers varied pieces, like dances that celebrate the sunny weather during an LA winter, and a choral presentation of a traditional Mexican Christmas song that blends the ancient Aztec language of Nahuatl with Spanish and acapella arrangements of holiday classics. Doors open at 2:30pm. Guests may come and go as they please throughout the show. Reservations and tickets are not necessary; parking at the Dorothy Chandler is also free. Can they make it any easier for you? Actually, yes. A live stream of the concert will also broadcast on KCET.org.

  1. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion 135 N Grand Avenue, between W 1st & W Temple Streets
  2. Tue Dec 24
More info

"5 Towers" concert series

  • Free

Universal Citywalk is decking its (outdoor) halls all season with a huge Christmas tree with choreographed lighting, a rock 'n' roll-themed Santa, tree lighting shows, and a wide-ranging concert series at its new high-tech "5 Towers" venue—phew, we're out of breath already. A diverse line-up of musical guests, including Paige Bryan and Jamar Rogers from NBC's The Voice, will perform contemporary and classic holiday songs at the free concerts. The series finale, on Christmas day, will feature a Latin-American twist with a performance by singer Sajama. Check CityWalk's website for a full schedule.

  1. Universal Studios & CityWalk 100 Universal City Plaza
  2. Until Tue Dec 25
More info

Laugh Factory's 33rd Annual Free Christmas Dinner and Toy Giveaway

  • Free

It's the season of giving and that is exactly what Laugh Factory plans on doing, come Christmas day. The comedy club will open its doors to the underprivileged, homeless and anyone alone on the holiday for four free meals and shows, every two hours, starting at 1pm. Top comedians Arsenio Hall, Dane Cook, Dom Irrera, Kevin Nealon, Tom Arnold, Paul Mooney, Paul Rodriguez and Tom Dreesen will greet and help serve guests as well as take the stage and perform live stand-up shows following each meal. To top it all off, owner Jamie Masada will be giving each child that walk in a toy as their Christmas gift.

  1. Laugh Factory 8001 W Sunset Boulevard
  2. Until Tue Dec 25
More info

Los Angeles Ballet's The Nutcracker

  • Price band: 3/4

Relive the magical holiday tale of Clara and her precious Nutcracker's Chistmas Eve battle with the Mouse King in this classic rendition of The Nutcracker. The Los Angeles Ballet brings the tradition to life for the opening of its 2012/2013 season. Catch a performance any weekend in December, at five different locations across the city.

  1. Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center 1935 Manhattan Beach Boulevard, at Aviation Boulevard
  2. Until Tue Dec 31
Buy tickets

Coney Island Christmas

  • Price band: 3/4

Donald Margulies' adaptation of a Grace Paley short story centers around Shirley, a Jewish girl cast as Jesus in her school's Christmas Pageant. As an old woman, Shirley recounts the affair, recollecting her immigrant-parents' reactions. Directed by Bart DeLorenzo, the story captures the essence of the Christmas spirit in America.

  1. Geffen Playhouse 10886 Le Conte Avenue
  2. Until Sun Dec 30
More info

Snow Days at Kidspace

  • Price band: 1/4

Growing up in LA has tons of unique perks, but the one area where kids are deprived is the fun of playing in snow and having snow days off school. Luckily, the Kidspace Children's Museum does its part to fill this void with its annual Snow Days, when truckloads of real snow are delivered to Pasadena. Kids can familiarize themselves with the stuff by making snowmen, snow angels, learning about how snow is formed and making wintry crafts.

  1. Kidspace Children's Museum 480 N Arroyo Boulevard, at W Holly Street
  2. Until Sun Dec 30
More info

Mohawk Holiday Market

  • Price band: 3/4

Located two doors down (4017 W Sunset Blvd) from the original Silver Lake gem—Mohawk General Store's Holiday Pop-Up makes gifting a piece of pumpkin pie. Enter the cedar-infused space, curated with delicate, hand-cast glass terrariums ($320), Westward sunglasses accented by lapis ($165-$225) and ten flavors of Mast Brothers chocolate ($9), for unique finds for everyone on your list.

  1. Mohawk General Store 4011 W Sunset Blvd
  2. Until Sat Jan 5
More info

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