Close this search box.

Los Angeles: A Holiday Guide for Families

The Broad Museum, on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles, opens Sunday. Admission is free.

Make the most of the holidays with these 7 activities in + around L.A.

There’s no better time to visit Los Angeles than the winter holidays. With warm temperatures and clear skies, it’s an ideal destination for a family getaway. And while you won’t find snow in Los Angeles, there’s still plenty of holiday magic to go around. With mild, comfortable weather and ample sun, L.A. is a gorgeous backdrop for holiday fun. From Hollywood to Santa Monica, there’s always something exciting happening in the City of Angels. Here are seven fun things for families to do in L.A. during the holidays.

L.A. not quite your speed? Take a look at our favorite holiday activities in the dreamy desert resort city of Palm Springs.

1. For Animal Lovers: L.A. Zoo Lights

Image: L.A. Zoo

The L.A. Zoo Lights: Animals Aglow is a beautiful and unique light show that transforms the iconic landmark into a winter wonderland from now until January 22, 2023. From the L.A. Zoo: “Explore an immersive landscape filled with spectacular lantern sculptures of animals among blooming flowers, towering trees, and more for a wildlife-centered experience that’s as inspiring as it is breathtaking.”

2. For Movie Buffs: Rooftop Cinema Club

A night at the movies is a classic family outing, but it’s even more iconic in what is arguably the world’s most influential city for film. The Rooftop Cinema Club has three L.A. locations with various showings – from cult classics to holiday movies, there are plenty of options to go around. Families can enjoy drinks, food, and iconic city views. Bring a blanket for an extra cozy night out!

Related: The Top 7 L.A. Vacation Rentals for the Holidays

3. For Dance Enthusiasts: The Nutcracker by Los Angeles Ballet

Image: Los Angeles Ballet

The Los Angeles Ballet puts on an incredible performance of The Nutcracker with a twist. Seventeenth-century Germany is swapped out for the production’s setting in 1912 Los Angeles. Says the Los Angeles Ballet’s website: “Throughout the five scenes in two acts are hints and tastes of Southern California – a Spanish style home, calla lilies, bougainvillea, the snowy forests of the Sierras, Venice archways, a moonlit Pacific Ocean and more!”

4. For the Sporty: Pershing Square Holiday Ice Skating Rink

Glide into the holidays with a festive outdoor ice skating rink. The Pershing Square Holiday Ice Skating Rink is the largest outdoor rink in L.A., with plenty of room for skaters to twirl under the twinkling lights of Downtown L.A. Skate helpers are available for beginners, so people of all skill sets and ages can join in on the fun.

5. For the Outdoorsy: Hike Runyon Canyon

Image: Hikes Peak

With its stunning city views and sun-dappled trails, Runyon Canyon is an ideal spot to spend a few hours in nature without traveling too far. Winter hiking is far more comfortable than during scorching summer months, and trails are much less crowded during the holidays. You can take your time exploring and snapping photos. It’s the perfect way to feel refreshed and relaxed in between the rush of holiday activities!

6. For the Young + Young at Heart: Holiday Time at Disneyland

Image: Disneyland

Although Disneyland sits about an hour south of L.A. in Orange County, we’d be remiss not to include one of SoCal’s most magical landmarks. Beloved by Californians and tourists alike, Disneyland makes a merry day trip for people of all ages. Holidays at the Disneyland resort include both parks (Disney California Adventure Park and Disneyland Park) and provide a seemingly endless itinerary of holiday activities. Sampling seasonal food, taking the Haunted Mansion Holiday tour, and celebrating holiday traditions of Mexico and Brazil at Disney ¡Viva Navidad! are just some of the fun holiday activities on offer. 

7. For the Shopaholics: Holidays at The Grove

The Grove goes all out for the holiday season, and for good reason. The sprawling open-air complex is one of L.A.’s biggest attractions for tourists and locals alike. Do some holiday shopping at one of the seemingly endless boutiques, take in the 100-foot Christmas tree and opulent decorations, get photos with Santa, and enjoy the “snow” (there is artificial snow every day at the Grove during the holidays!). 

Sunny Winter Getaways to Los Angeles

L.A. is a great place to spend the holidays, whether you’re looking for a quiet getaway or want to experience all the excitement of the season. With great weather, world-class shopping and dining, and plenty of activities for every family member, there’s something for everyone.

A wide range of Los Angeles vacation homes and condos are available for rent at Open Air Homes. Choose from a selection of luxury vacation rentals in Greater Los Angeles, ranging from beachy bungalows in Venice to airy homes in the Hollywood Hills.

If you’re planning a trip to Los Angeles, this is the time of year to do it! 

Click here to view our available Greater Los Angeles luxury rentals.



You might also like

Subscribe to our newsletter

Subscriber to receive exclusive styling tips, interior & entertaining inspiration, travel tips, updates on events and offerings, and all our favorite finds.