Los Angeles celebrates the 2018 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, too – just don't expect any real snow! Los Angeles is famous for its New Year's extravaganza, as the 130th 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 ultimate shopping adventure on Rodeo Drive as Beverly Hills BOLD takes over that famous destination.

Hollywood Christmas Parade
Photo courtesy of Hollywood Christmas Parade


The Hollywood Christmas Parade marks its 87th year in 2018 and (as usual) it's quite the extravaganza. Happening on November 25 and wending its way from Hollywood Boulevard at Orange (right at the TCL Chinese Theatre) all the way to Vine, down...  Read More

The Queen Mary Christmas
Photo courtesy of The Queen Mary Christmas


The Queen Mary Christmas is an all-new for 2018 celebration in Long Beach harbor, aboard that famous ocean liner. The fun includes ice skating onboard the Queen Mary's uppermost deck, nightly tree lighting ceremonies on the ship's bow, a...  Read More

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


The 130th Tournament of Roses Rose Parade kicks off on January 1, 2019, 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

Beverly Hills BOLD Holidays
Photo courtesy of Beverly Hills BOLD Holidays


The Beverly Hills BOLD Holidays celebrations are happening all season long, on the 200, 300 and 400 blocks of Rodeo Drive, as well as throughout the city. All the streets in that famous city come alive from November 16 to December 22, 2018, with...  Read More

Winterlit at the Santa Monica Third Street Promenade
Photo courtesy of Winterlit at the Santa Monica Third Street Promenade


Winterlit at the Santa Monica Third Street Promenade is an extravaganza of inclusive holiday events, including everything from Santa and Mrs. Claus lighting the City of Santa Monica Christmas tree on December 3, 2018, at 5:30 p.m. to Menorah...  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

LA Kings Holiday Ice at L.A. Live
Photo courtesy of LA Kings Holiday Ice at L.A. Live


The LA Kings professional hockey team presents its annual outdoor ice skating rink in downtown Los Angeles for the 2018-2019 holiday season, as "LA Kings Holiday Ice" comes to L.A. Live, right next to Staples Center, where the team plays. Kids...  Read More

West Los Angeles
Los Angeles Ballet
Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Ballet


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 "Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter," Universal Studios Hollywood literally brings the magic to the holidays. Fans of the boy wizard will find Hogsmeade village transformed into a fantasy land of Christmas cheer and see...  Read More

Disneyland Resort
Photo courtesy of Disneyland


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 during the 2018-2019 holiday season. This year's party is themed "Believe . . . in...  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