Your Christmas plans and holiday travel arrangements are already set, but there are plenty of free things to do in December before it’s time to check underneath the tree. From waterfront Christmas lights to a massive New Year’s Eve party, these are the best ways to make the most of your month without breaking into your wallet.
Through Dec 2
HYPERSPECTIVE Inter-dimensional Dome Film Festival; Ace Hotel
Look left, right and all around you as a selection of scored shorts screen in a 360-degree dome theater.
Through Dec 23
“Invader: Into the White Cube”; Over the Influence
The prolific (and anonymous) street artist’s video-game–inspired tile mosaics head inside for a career-spanning survey that also includes a new series of canvas paintings from the artist’s studio practice.
Dec 1, 2
Grand Central Market Holiday Marketplace; Grand Central Market
Head to GCM for unique kitchen, pantry and tabletop finds from retail and culinary pop-ups , plus cookie decorating, love local music and tons of tasty eats.
Grand Park’s Winter Glow; Grand Park
Touch, climb and explore 19 interactive, illuminated installations at Grand Park’s inaugural nighttime experience.
Los Angeles Harbor Holiday Afloat Parade; Port of L.A.
Sailboats and harbor craft of all kinds will light up the waterfront during this annual tradition.
Dec 1, 29
Los Angeles International Children’s Film Festival; Plaza de la Raza • Santa Monica Public Library
Watch over 100 animated and live-action shorts and films from around the world with curated blocks for toddlers, teens and everyone in between.
Union Station Holiday Festival & Market; Union Station
Stroll through Union Station’s handsome south patio as this inaugural holiday market rolls into the historic train station.
CicLAvia: Heart of L.A.; Various locations
Pedal your way through Downtown, Chinatown, Westlake, Little Tokyo, the Arts District and Boyle Heights during this car-free festival.
Marina Del Rey Boat Parade; Fisherman’s Village
Feel as though you’ve escaped to a small-town fishing village at this illuminated boat parade and fireworks show.
Dec 8, 9
Renegade Craft Fair; L.A. State Historic Park
Stroll through one of the country’s top craft fairs.
Artisanal LA Holiday City Market; Bank of America Plaza
Gear up for the holiday season at this holiday pop-up, boasting over 20 artisanal vendors including makers, crafters and chefs.
Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade; Newport Beach
See over 100 decorated yachts and ships parade around a 14-mile circuit in the Newport Harbor.
L.A. County Holiday Celebration; Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
Gather up your friends and family to hear more than 20 choirs, music ensembles and dance troupes from all over the city.
Marina del Rey New Year’s Eve Fireworks & Glow Party; Burton Chace Park
Join in on a free glow party and fireworks shows to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Marina del Rey.
N.Y.E.L.A.; Grand Park
Usher in 2019 with thousands of other Angelenos as a countdown clock is projected onto City Hall.
Free concerts; Various locations
Listen to some tunes without breaking the bank with free shows at the Echo, the Satellite and more.
Free museum days; Various locations
Make the most of free days at LACMA, the Natural History Museum and more, plus always-free museums like the Hammer, Getty and Broad.