Holiday Magic in the City of Angels

While some folks may be dreaming of a white Christmas, many are perfectly content to spend December celebrating amidst the sun and sand of Los Angeles. There's certainly no lack of holiday spirit and the list of events is probably longer than Santa's naughty (or is it nice?) list.

The options are endless, from ice skating and ice sculptures to attending concerts, parades and tree or menorah lightings. Sing along to holiday favorites at the Walt Disney Concert Hall or join Lisa Loeb at the Skirball Center for their annual Hanukkah celebration.

There's no shortage of wattage either. Lights are strung along Altadena's Christmas Tree Lane in spectacular fashion and, while the zoo goes quiet at night, it's not going dark thanks to L.A. ZOO LIGHTS (which replaced the DWP's Griffith Park light display). Additionally, Riverside's Mission Inn once again hosts their Festival of Lights, which lights up an entire block and where you can take your sweetheart to smooch under the world's largest manmade mistletoe. 

But nowhere else in the world can you ring in the new year as we do in SoCal... at the Tournament of Roses Parade – the granddaddy of them all! If you're not up for camping or splurging for seats to watch it live, view the floats in the days prior while they're getting their finishing touches. Then, watch the parade on T.V. – in your jammies – like the rest of the world. Now that's what I call a happy holiday.


Mission Inn
Photo courtesy of The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa

The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa kicks off the holiday season on November 27 when it flips the switch for its popular Festival of Lights. Although it requires a commute inland to Riverside, it will be worth it when you get a glimpse of the four...  Read More

The Grove
Photo courtesy of The Grove

No two neighbors could be less alike yet get along so well. The Grove shopping center and The Original Farmers Market represent the new and old Los Angeles, respectively. These two popular destinations complement each other nicely, especially...  Read More

CHILL at The Queen Mary
Photo courtesy of The Queen Mary

The giant dome that sits alongside the historic Queen Mary - which was once home to the legendary Spruce Goose - will once again be frozen over and transformed into an Ice Kingdom. The 13,000 square foot exhibit features larger-than-life ice...  Read More

Since 1963, Marina Del Rey has hosted a Holiday boat parade, inviting those who own boats - or choose to charter one - to decorate it and join the line up. The parade circles the main channel of the Marina del Rey Harbor and judges select...  Read More

Walt Disney Concert Hall
Photo courtesy of Timothy Norris

Each December the Los Angeles Philharmonic celebrates the sounds of the holidays with their annual Deck the Halls series of concerts. Their 2015 line up includes the rich harmonies of Chanticleer, a holiday organ spectacular, a family-friendly...  Read More

El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument, near the site of the early Los Angeles pueblo (town), is the location for this solemn ceremony and procession that commemorates Mary's and Joseph's journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem. The Posada has...  Read More

The eight-day celebration of Hanukkah kicks off at the Skirball Cultural Center on Sunday, December 13 with this year's theme, "Celebrate Our Light." Music, dance, art making, storytelling and a host of other family-friendly activities explore...  Read More

Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens
Photo courtesy of Jamie Pham

The L.A. Zoo is a hotbed of holiday activity. Although you need separate tickets, the Reindeer Romp daytime event pairs perfectly with the evening ZOO Lights extravaganza. In only its second year, ZOO LIGHTS sets the Zoo's grounds aglow with...  Read More

Each fall scores of volunteers show up to help string thousands of holiday lights along Christmas Tree Lane (also known as Santa Rosa Avenue) so it's ready for its debut each December. A local businessman came up with an idea of lighting the...  Read More

Tournament of Roses – Rose Bowl Parade

What you see on television fails in comparison to viewing the Rose Parade floats up close. Adorned with only natural materials, from flowers (natch) to rice, the massive floats are majestically eye-popping. This year, for the first time, a free...  Read More


Meet Wendy O'Dea

Born and raised in western New York, Wendy O’Dea moved to Los Angeles to attend the USC School of Journalism and stayed for the innovative and creative lifestyle the city offers. Other than...  More About Wendy

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