The City of Angels shines over the holidays with these top 10 attractions

While winter never truly comes to Los Angeles and Southern California, that doesn't stop Angelenos from celebrating the holiday season just the same. So whether it is Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year's, the Winter Solstice or some combination of them all that you celebrate, there's something for everyone to enjoy in the Southland. Mickey and Minnie go all out at Disneyland , Harry Potter and the Grinch transform Universal Studios into a holiday haven, parades abound and the Los Angeles Ballet even takes "The Nutcracker" on the road. There's places to ice skate and go sledding, too – just don't expect any real snow! Los Angeles is famous for its New Year's extravaganza, as the 129th Tournament of Roses Parade will be televised all over the United States. Visiting SoCal for the holidays means you can go in person, but to get good viewing spots, you'll need to join the throngs camping out along the parade route the night before, or splurge and buy seats to watch the parade live. The annual Hollywood Christmas Parade brings out Santa and the stars, too; and you'll find the sledding at Snow Day LA, on a big hill right near Dodger Stadium.

Hollywood Christmas Parade
Photo courtesy of Hollywood Christmas Parade

The Hollywood Christmas Parade marks its 86th year in 2017 and (as usual) it's quite the extravaganza. Happening on November 26 and wending its way from Hollywood Boulevard at Orange (right at the TCL Chinese Theatre) all the way to Vine, down...  Read More

CHILL at The Queen Mary
Photo courtesy of CHILL at The Queen Mary

CHILL at the Queen Mary in Long Beach harbor is the home of the pop-up Ice Adventure Park, a 38,000-square-foot ice park created to honor international holiday traditions from six different regions around the world. Open daily from December 13,...  Read More

Tournament of Roses Rose Bowl Parade
Photo courtesy of Tournament of Roses � Rose Bowl Parade

The 129th Tournament of Roses Rose Parade kicks off on January 1, 2018, at 8 a.m., traveling 5.5 miles along Orange Grove Boulevard and Colorado Avenue in Pasadena. The nationally televised New Year's Day parade is famed for its extravagant...  Read More

Little Tokyo
Photo courtesy of Go Little Tokyo

The Oshogatsu Festival in Little Tokyo brings the Japanese style of celebrating the New Year to Southern California. This all-day festival on January 1, 2018, begins at 11 a.m. and goes to 4 p.m., with events taking place in the Japanese...  Read More

Bai Holiday Ice Rink at Pershing Square
Photo courtesy of Bai Holiday Ice Rink at Pershing Square

The Bai Holiday Ice Rink at Pershing Square returns for the 20th year, so once again Angelenos are flocking to the center of Downtown Los Angeles to enjoy the ice skating (and more) through January 16, 2018. With a portion of the proceeds going...  Read More

La Canada Flintridge
Descanso Gardens
Photo courtesy of Descanso Gardens © Jake Fabricius

Descanso Gardens' annual holiday fantasy lights creation is known as Enchanted: Forest of Light and it really does seem as if you've entered an enchanted wonderland. Normally an internationally renowned garden located to the north of downtown...  Read More

Snow Day LA
Photo courtesy of Snow Day LA

How often do you get a chance to go sledding in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles? Only during the holiday season, when Snow Day LA brings its unique adventure to a hill near Dodger Stadium. There, they create a synthetic snow, made with a...  Read More

West Los Angeles
Los Angeles Ballet
Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Claire Walker & LAB Ensemble in The Nutcracker; LA Ballet Photography: Reed Hutchinson

The Los Angeles Ballet was founded in 2004 by Artistic Directors Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary, and Executive Director Julie Whittaker. The LAB is known for its superb stagings of the Balanchine repertory, as well as the mounting of...  Read More

Universal Studios
Photo courtesy of Universal Studios Hollywood

With an all-new "Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter," Universal Studios Hollywood literally brings the magic to the holidays this year. Fans of the boy wizard will find Hogsmeade village transformed into a fantasy land of Christmas...  Read More

Disneyland<sub>®</sub> Resort
Photo courtesy of Disneyland Resort

With the traditional holiday elements all in place, Disneyland and its Disney California Adventure next-door theme park are decked out and ready for visitors. Classics include Sleeping Beauty's Castle completely lit up in Christmas lights and...  Read More


Meet Jenny Peters

Jenny Peters – aka Jet Set Jen – is a Los Angeles-based freelance journalist, editor and party columnist specializing in travel, entertainment, film, food, wine, fashion and the other good...  More About Jenny