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Christmas events in Los Angeles

Your guide to the best Christmas events and activities in L.A., from tree lightings to holiday performances

Photograph: Courtesy Los Angeles Ballet

You won't find snow-covered trees and below-zero temperatures in LA, but there are still plenty of Christmas events and holiday activities to get you in the festive mood—even when it's 70 and sunny in December. From meeting Santa and his (real) reindeer to singing Christmas carols and scooping up crafty gifts at holiday markets—our list of the city's best events and things to do this season will help make L.A. a winter wonderland all month long.

RECOMMENDED: More Christmas in Los Angeles

Our favorite Christmas events and holiday activities

Festival of Carols

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. One hundred and ten singers will belt out 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 will also participate in the magical concert, and kids can visit with Santa after the show.

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Walt Disney Concert Hall , Downtown Saturday December 10 2016

Santa Monica Pub Crawl

Recommended

You've walked, donated and volunteered all in the name of charity. Now, here's your chance to drink for those in need. Gather your friends and join other do-gooders at the 6th annual Santa Monica Pub Crawl. A $15 admittance fee ($20 at the door), benefitting the Westside Food Bank, allows you to participate in one of four routes around Santa Monica to experience drink and food specials at some of the city's best spots, including Tacoteca, Cabo Cantina, Ye Olde King's Head, The Albright and more. Sign up online and collect a wristband on the day of the event (or a week in advance at the Westside Food Bank to avoid lines). Then crawl from spot to spot on foot or enjoy a discount on the Big Blue Bus where $4 allows you to ride all night long. Dress up in a holiday-themed costume and even take on the Santa Scavenger Challenge Hunt with your friends to earn a prize. Crawlers can download the official "SM Pub Crawl" app for a complete list of bars, routes, specials, map, bus stops and updates. 

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Various locations in L.A. Saturday December 10 2016

Marina Del Rey Boat Parade

Feel as though you've escaped to a small-town fishing village with the 52nd anniversary of the Marina Del Rey Boat Parade. Bring a blanket and gather around Fisherman's Village or the Burton Chace Park to watch as the 70 boats glide through the marina with holiday lights and decorations in competition. Categories include Best Theme, Best Animation, Best Band, Best Lights and more. The festivities begin at 5:55pm with fireworks, and the boat parade starts at 6pm, rain or shine. RECOMMENDED: Where to see Christmas lights in Los Angeles

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Fisherman's Village , Marina del Rey Saturday December 10 2016

The Music Center Holiday Sing-Along

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 Plaza for their annual Holiday Sing-Along and sing your bedecked heart out. 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. The event is free, but tickets are required (distribution starts at 5:30pm).

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Music Center , Downtown Friday December 16 2016

Groundlings Holiday Show

Recommended

The legendary Hollywood improv theater that launched the careers of Will Ferrell, Lisa Kudrow and many more comedians is putting on 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 just short of two hours long, including intermission.

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Groundlings Theatre , Melrose Friday December 9 2016 - Saturday December 17 2016

Holiday Sing-Along

Strike the harp and join the chorus with LA Philharmonic's Holiday Sing-Along at Walt Disney Hall. The seasonal program offers two performances, with a special guest to-be-named 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.  

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Walt Disney Concert Hall , Downtown Saturday December 17 2016

The Latina Christmas Special

Presented by Latino Theater Company, this unique holiday production, directed by Geoffrey Rivas, is a full-length play with three mini one-woman shows within it. Three Latina comedians—Sandra Valls (Showtime’s Latin Divas of Comedy), Diana Yanez (Margaret Cho's Sensuous Woman Show) and Maria Russell (FX’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia)—tell past Christmas stories as first-generation Americans. Laughs, music and scandal are guaranteed.

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The Los Angeles Theatre Center , Downtown Historic Core Friday December 9 2016 - Sunday December 18 2016

Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker

This Russian ballet company has been gracing U.S. audiences with its rendition of The Nutcracker since 1993. The annual production of the classic Christmas tale features a growing Christmas tree and falling snow, all set to Tchaikovsky's iconic score.  

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The Wiltern , Koreatown Friday December 16 2016 - Saturday December 17 2016

A Very Special Holiday Special

During Little Fish Theatre's production of A Very Special Holiday Special, there will be a "talking Christmas tree, Grandma’s visit to the babe in the manger, the sons of Israel watching a flame, and Les Miz—elf-style. Not quite sure what any of that adds up to? Neither are we, but the show comes from Little Fish Theatre's frequently used playwright Mark Harvey Levine, so we're not too worried. 

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Little Fish Theatre , San Pedro Until Saturday December 17 2016
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