December 2018 events calendar for Los Angeles

Plan your month with our December 2018 events calendar of the best activities, including free things to do, holiday festivals and our favorite concerts
NYELA
Photograph: Courtesy Grand Park/The Music Center
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After endless, premature teases from retailers, the holidays are here for real and they’ve taken over our December 2018 events calendar. Dive into the spirit of giving with a stop at one of the best gift shops in L.A. or channel your altruistic side with these volunteer opportunities. If you’re not stuck showing your visiting relatives around town, maybe consider making an escape to one of our favorite weekend getaways. Whatever your plans are—even if you’re feeling like a bit of a grinch—you’ll find plenty of activities to take advantage of in our December events calendar.

RECOMMENDED: Full events calendar for 2018

Los Angeles Auto Show
Photograph: Courtesy Los Angeles Auto Show
Things to do

Los Angeles Auto Show

icon-location-pin Los Angeles Convention Center, Downtown
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Drift into the Convention Center for the 10-day L.A. Auto Show with cars that would even make Bond drool. If you’re a car nerd, get behind the wheel to test drive one of the cherry rides, while celebrities meet and greet at the manufacturer exhibits.

Grand Park's Winter Glow
Photograph: Courtesy Hannah Stouffer/H+/Grand Park
Things to do, Exhibitions

Grand Park’s Winter Glow

icon-location-pin Grand Park, Downtown
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Touch, climb and explore 19 interactive, illuminated installations at Grand Park’s inaugural nighttime experience. The Downtown park is taking advantage of this time of year’s ever-shortening daylight with a light-up activation that brings a bit of warmth to the area.

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Ace Hotel Pool Party in Palm Springs
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/James O.
Things to do, Festivals

Palm Springs Wine Fest & Golden Grapes Party

icon-location-pin Ace Hotel & Swim Club, Palm Springs
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California makes some incredible wine, and to celebrate, Palm Springs is celebrating with its first-ever CA-centric festival. Kick things off on Saturday at the Ace Hotel & Swim Club with a free pool party.

Holiday gift market at Botanica in Silver Lake
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Thelma A.
Shopping, Markets and fairs

Botanica Community Gift Market

icon-location-pin Botanica, Silver Lake
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Silver Lake’s darling restaurant and pantry shop is throwing its first-ever holiday market, and the team is celebrating vendors from the community. Want to shop local? These are the cute, curated and L.A.-made gifts you’ve been looking for.

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She & Him
Photograph: Courtesy Dan Winters
Music, Rock and indie

A Very She & Him Christmas

icon-location-pin The Wiltern, Koreatown
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She & Him’s Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward offer their perfectly breezy pop confections, setting exactly the right tone for a lazy, hazy evening.

Neko Case
Photograph: Courtesy Emily Shur
Music, Rock and indie

Neko Case + Destroyer

icon-location-pin Orpheum Theatre, Downtown Historic Core
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Gifted alt country songstress Neko Case is equally at ease fronting power pop gems and murder ballads alike. Over two decades into her career, her voice is still as haltingly spectacular as its ever been—and particularly powerful live. She hits the road with fellow New Pornographers collaborator Dan Bejar.

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Music, Rock and indie

Nine Inch Nails

icon-location-pin Hollywood Palladium, Hollywood
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Trent Reznor is back with an electronic juggernaut that still continues to push the boundaries of rock music. Expect his beautiful melodies teeming with industrial grit to get—and stay—under your skin. They’re joined by Scottish noise pop icons the Jesus & Mary Chain.

Third Eye Blind
Photograph: Michael Juliano
Music, Rock and indie

KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas

icon-location-pin The Forum, Inglewood
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Strike the electrified, amped-up harp and join the chorus: the KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas lineup is here. Don’t let its dainty Christmas name fool you—the annual concert is most definitely a plugged-in affair featuring some of the year’s top mainstream, alt-rock radio staples. The first night’s lineup includes Smashing Pumpkins, Third Eye Blind, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Greta Van Fleet, AFI, AJR, Badflower, Bad Religion and the Interrupters, while night two includes Florence + The Machine, Death Cab for Cutie, Bastille, Mike Shinoda, Billie Eilish, Chvrches, Lovelytheband, Mike Posner and Young the Giant.

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Kurt Vile and the Violators
Photograph: Kurt Vile and the Violators
Music, Rock and indie

Kurt Vile and the Violators

icon-location-pin The Wiltern, Koreatown
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The Philadelphian troubadour—and the War On Drugs collaborator—and his crew hit L.A. peddling lo-fi psych and an echo-sodden, agreeably eccentric blend of folk and rock.

Music, Folk, country and blues

Fleetwood Mac

icon-location-pin The Forum, Inglewood
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If you’ve ever had a soft spot for the Mac, you owe it to yourself to catch the group on its current tour. We imagine the M.O. will be the same as usual: a set list crammed with hits, during which Stevie and Christine (but sans Lindsey) graciously share the spotlight. And try not to grin when Mick Fleetwood takes his lovably kooky drum solo during the encore.

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ABT's The Nutcracker
Photograph: Gene Schiavone
Theater

American Ballet Theatre: The Nutcracker

icon-location-pin Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa
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American Ballet Theatre is returning to Southern California with its production of The Nutcracker. The show will feature larger-than-life scenery, a Christmas tree and sets and costumes designed by Tony Award-winner Richard Hudson.

hip-hop artists
Photograph: Michael J. Chen
Music, Rap, hip-hop and R&B

Rolling Loud

icon-location-pin Banc of California Stadium, USC/Exposition Park
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See Post Malone, Lil Wayne, Cardi B and Lil Uzi Vert headline this two-day hip-hop fest, which this year has moved from the far reaches of San Bernardino to a much closer locale: Exposition Park’s Banc of California Stadium. The absolutely massive lineup also includes the likes of Wiz Khalifa, 21 Savage, Ty Dolla $ign, Young Thug, Kodak Black, Playboi Carti, Tyga and Lil Yachty.

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Threedom
Photograph: Courtesy Stitcher
Comedy, Podcast recordings

Pee Cast Blast

icon-location-pin The Theatre at Ace Hotel, Downtown Historic Core
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Spend an entire day at the Theatre at Ace Hotel as nearly all of podcasting’s funniest comedians come together for a “Monsters of Rock”-style event. Pee Cast Blast’s lineup includes—deep breath—Comedy Bang! Bang! (featuring Scott Aukerman, Paul F. Tompkins and Lauren Lapkus), The Andy Daly Podcast Pilot ProjectDoughboysThrowing ShadeOff Book and Teachers Lounge

lollapalooza 2018, travis scott
Photograph: Neal O'Bryan
Music, Rap, hip-hop and R&B

Travis Scott

icon-location-pin The Forum, Inglewood
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After celebrating the release of his latest album, ASTROWORLD, Travis Scott returns on his WISH YOU WERE HERE tour. The Houston rapper and Kayne West protege presides over a cavalcade of famous friends on his recent record, trading verses with Drake, harnessing the psychedelic production of Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker and making way for guitar riffs provided by John Mayer.

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Long Beach Ballet performs "The Nutcracker"
Photograph: courtesy of Long Beach Ballet
Dance, Ballet

The Nutcracker

icon-location-pin Terrace Theater - Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center, Long Beach
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Long Beach Ballet’s The Nutcracker is one of the only productions of the holiday classic that includes not only a live full orchestra, but a horse, flying sleigh and “pyrotechnics.”

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