From Immersive Winter Wonderlands to Light-Filled Exhibits, the Best Holiday Festivities in L.A. & Beyond

'Tis already the season.

There's nothing like massive amounts of colorful lights to get us in a festive state of mind, and Los Angeles' coolest destinations have already decked out their digs in the spirit of the Yuletide spending season. From stylish shopping hubs like The Grove, Beverly Center, and Rodeo Drive (and even South Coast Plaza down in Orange County) to landmarks like Union Station, the Santa Monica Pier, and Grand Park, there are plenty of spots to celebrate the holidays around town.

Below, we've rounded up the best tree lighting ceremonies, fireworks-filled extravaganzas, and other Christmas celebrations taking place across L.A. and beyond. Keep reading below for more and bookmark this page as we'll be adding more events (including Hannukah happenings) they land in our inbox.

Looking for L.A.'s best holiday shopping markets? Check out our favorite ones here, and get stylish gift ideas from our holiday gift guide series.

Ongoing Events

Santa's North Pole Village at Wisdome (DTLA Arts District): Explore a 35,000-square-foot winter wonderland at 360-degree art park Wisdome. Enjoy hot chocolate while exploring a life-sized elves village, take sights and scents during a 4D snow show of the Northern Lights, take an immersive snowflake adventure ride, decorate cookies in Candyland, go ice skating among the pines, see one of the largest collections of nutcrackers in L.A., and of course, take plenty of festive photos for your holiday cards (including in the Grinch's chair, inside a life-sized snow globe, and with Santa himself). Admission is $25 for kids 12 and under and $30 for adults; additional fees for activities apply ($5 to $30). Plus, bring an unwrapped toy donation for Toys for Tots and get a very special gift from Old Saint Nick. Get more details and buy tickets online here.
When: Now through Monday, Dec. 30
Where: Wisdome, 1147 Palmetto Ave., L.A., 90013

Photo: City of Beverly Hills

Rodeo Drive's Holiday Lighting & Open Later Days (Beverly Hills): The luxury shopping stretch kicks off the holiday season this Thursday, Nov. 14 with a holiday lighting celebration from 5 to 8 p.m. on the 200 to 400 block of Rodeo Drive. Live performances include a headlining show by award-winning actor and Glee star Matthew Morrison as well as jazz ensemble The Cufflink Crooners, DJCoryLive!, and hip-hop and contemporary dance groups, while a grand fireworks finale and an appearance by Saint Nick will cap off the festivities. Then every Friday and Saturday until Dec. 21, Beverly Hills' Bold Holidays continue with retailers holding later hours for gift shopping, an Instagrammable photo set pop-up by star-beloved The Scenario Studio, strolling carolers, holiday light displays, art walks, entertaining rides on the Jolly Trolley with Mrs. Claus, an open house at Greystone Mansion, dining deals, and much more. See the full schedule here.
When: Bold Holidays Open Later Days from Friday, Nov. 15 to Sunday, Dec. 21
Where: 200 to 400 block of Rodeo Drive and various locations, Beverly Hills, 90210

Photo: Courtesy of the Beverly Center

Beverly Center's holiday events (Beverly Grove): Now that the Beverly Center is properly decked out for the holiday season inside and out, the luxe retail center is hosting a slew of festive events at its Grand Court on level 6. The second installment of its Holiday Eats cooking demo takes place takes place Dec. 7. Shoppers can also snap a photo with Santa every Sunday from Nov. 24 to Dec. 15 (11 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily), and The Apollo Trio and the GB Duo will perform jazzy holiday tunes on select dates from Nov. 29 and Dec. 22; more details here. (Past events included a Holiday Eats fireside chat and cooking demo with celebrity stylist Brad Goreski and New York Times bestselling author and Emmy-nominated writer/producer Gary Janetti and Paws & Prints photos with Instagram-famous pup Jiffpom.)
When: Now through Dec. 15
Where: Beverly Center, 8500 Beverly Blvd., L.A., 90048

Holiday Cheer on the Pier (Santa Monica): The seaside landmark is decking out its famous merry-go-round with the help of whimsical Australian artists Pip & Pop, which is dreaming up a Candyland-inspired installation for the historic ride's windows from Nov. 27 through the new year. On Saturday, Nov. 30 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., a winter wonderland is taking over the merry-go-round deck with real snow (free for kids 12 and under, $5 for ages 13 and older; RSVP here). Other free holiday festivities include puppet shows by the legendary Bob Baker Marionette Theater (Dec. 5, 12, and 19 at 6 and 7 p.m.), photos with Surfing Santa (Dec. 8 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. next to Pier Burger), storytime and hands-on crafts with the Santa Monica Public Library (Dec. 13 at 4 and 5 p.m.), and doo-wop carols from all-female group, The Noelles (Dec. 21 and 22 at 4, 5, and 6. p.m.). Plus, Unique Markets will be popping up Dec. 14 and 15 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily) with 100 vendors, food trucks, and more; tickets are $12 per day and available here. For more festive events in Santa Monica, click here.
When: Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019 to Monday, Jan. 6, 2020
Where: Santa Monica Pier, 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, 90401

Photo: Grand Park

Grand Park's Winter Glow (DTLA): Starting Monday, Dec. 6, massive Downtown park's second annual evening art display will expand to the newly-renovated Music Center Plaza, where visitors can stroll through immersive and interactive installations and works by L.A. artists Cassandra Carillo, Carlos G. Rodas, Aphidoidea, Alfie Numeric Ebojo, Lakan de Leon, and other local talents.
When: Monday, Dec. 6 to Wednesday, Dec. 25 (6 to 10 p.m. daily)
Where: Music Center Plaza and Grand Park, 135 and 200 North Grand Ave., L.A., 90012

Monday, December 2

County of L.A. tree lighting ceremony (DTLA): The City of Angels is toasting the holidays with a music-filled tree lighting ceremony that will include holiday tunes by chamber music ensemble Brass Pacifica and chorale performances. Hot chocolate will be served, too.
When: Monday, December 2 starting at 5 p.m.
Where: Music Center Plaza, 135 North Grand Ave., L.A., 90012

Friday, December 6

Original Farmers Market's Holiday Celebration (Beverly Grove): The iconic L.A. food landmark is celebrating the holidays with the Salvation Army and bringing an evening of free festive entertainment to its Market Plaza. Enjoy performances by Emmy-winning actor/singer/director Obba Babatundé, Broadway star Shoshana Bean, and actress/singer Jen Lilley; family-friendly crafts and activities; Mickey O's holiday variety show; strolling carolers; and more. Plus, actor and Trejo's Tacos founder Danny Trejo will partake in a Q&A session.
When: Friday, Dec. 6 from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Where: The Original Farmers Market, 6333 W. 3rd St., L.A., 90036

Thursday, December 12

Flyer: Courtesy of Melrose Place After Hours

Melrose Place After Hours Holiday Soirée (West Hollywood): Melrose Place's inaugural tree lighting holiday party promises live entertainment, sips, snacks, and shopping surprises. Expect a live DJ and caroling by the L.A. Gay Men's Chorus, a hot cider bar at Alfred Tea, and discounts, raffles, and in-store bites and drinks at retailers like Violet Grey, Kate Somerville, Bldwn, A.P.C., Nordstrom Local, Away, Mejuri, and many, many others. Santa will also be there, so don't forget to bring an unwrapped toy donation for Toys for Tots to get on his good list.
When: Thursday, Dec. 12 from 6 to 8 p.m.
Where: Melrose Place & Avenue and surrounding streets, West Hollywood, 90069

Sunday, December 15

Hannukah at The Point (El Segundo): Ahead of Hannukah, Manhattan Beach's Congregation Tikvat Jacob is celebrating the Jewish holiday with festive crafts, a scavenger hunt, dreidel games, food, and a raffle.
When: Sunday, Dec. 15 from 1 to 2 p.m.
Where: The Point, 850 South Pacific Coast Hwy., El Segundo, 90245

Malibu Lumber Yard's Merry Merry Party (Malibu): Head to the coastal shopping hub's Center Courtyard for festive performances by Trinity Rose, the Pacific Festival Ballet (which will be previewing The Nutcracker), and Malibu High School & Jr. High Choir alongside cookie decorating and ornament making at the Kids Kraft Korner, pup adoptions from Paw Works, and plenty of holiday sips and bites in stores.
When: Sunday, Dec. 15 from 2 to 5 p.m.
Where: Malibu Lumber Yard, 3939 Cross Creek Rd., Malibu, 90265

Monday, December 23

Westfield Century City's Hannukah Celebration (Century City): The luxe lifestyle center's festival of lights includes a menorah lighting, crafts, live entertainment, and more at the top of the Constellation Boulevard entrance on level 1 near Nordstrom and The Crack Shack.
When: Monday, Dec. 23 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Where: Westfield Century City, 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., L.A., 90067

Past Events

Thursday, November 14

The Bloc's Sparkle DTLA debut (DTLA): Welcome the holiday season with an illuminated soirée filled with 16 million lights during the debut of The Bloc's nightly Sparkle DTLA show. The free, all-ages event promises free hot chocolate and cake pops by Starbucks, non-alcoholic sips by District Bar & Kitchen, bites from The Urban Oven, and hands-on holiday card making with Paper Source. The outdoor celebration will also feature a surprise performance at 6 p.m.; there's discounted parking ($5 for self-park, $10 for valet). Get more details here.
When: Thursday, Nov. 14 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Where: The Bloc, West 7th and Flower Streets, DTLA, 90017

Christmas at The Americana at Brand (Glendale): Presented by Keck Medicine of USC and sponsored by Uber, the Glendale shopping center's free annual tree lighting celebration will be hosted by Ava Michelle and promises festive musical performances alongside SoCal "snow," a fireworks finale, and Santa's grand arrival. Note that items such as weapons (including permitted ones), backpacks, glass bottles, signs/banners, noisemakers, laser pointers are prohibited; see more details here.
When: Thursday, Nov. 14 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Where: The Americana at Brand, 189 Americana Way, Glendale, 91210

Friday, November 15

Photo: Westfield Topanga

Light the Night at The Village at Westfield Topanga (Canoga Park): Red carpet host AJ Gibson will host the family-friendly festivities at Westfield Topanga's open-air The Village (located by the koi pond near Tender Greens), where there'll be musical performances by pop caroling group Snowfall, La Follies, and Mini Pop Kids as well as "snow" and a visit from Santa. Westfield Rewards members will enjoy bites by Lucille's Smokehouse Bar-B-Que, drinks from Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, popcorn, and more treats at the Rewards Corner outside of 24 Hour Fitness. The event is free, and guests are encouraged to donate a new, unwrapped toy for the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission. Get more info and RSVP here.
When: Friday, Nov. 15 from 7 to 9 p.m.
Where: The Village at Westfield Topanga, 6600 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Canoga Park, 91303

Saturday, November 16

Westfield Topanga's Holidays are Here (Canoga Park): Following Friday night's under-the-stars soirée, the Valley shopping destination's indoor center promises a family-friendly show featuring dance numbers by La Follies and the Cubcakes Dance Crew, an a capella show by Jingle 5, an appearance by the jolly man of the season, and more.
When: Saturday, Nov. 16 from 4:30 to 6 p.m.
Where: Westfield Topanga, 6600 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Canoga Park, 91303

Danny Trejo hosts The Shops at Montebello's first tree lighting (Montebello): Fancy yourself a trip to the SGV for a sighting of big screen villain-turned-real life superhero Danny Trejo? The actor and founder of Trejo's Tacos and Trejo's Coffee and Donuts is hosting The Shops at Montebello's first-ever tree lighting ceremony. The family-friendly and free event will include hot cocoa, a silent disco party, and giveaways, plus a free light-up Christmas tree want for the first 100 kids to arrive.
When: Saturday, Nov. 16 from 5 to 8 p.m.
Where: The Shops at Montebello, 2134 Montebello Town Center, Montebello, 90640

Sunday, November 17

Photo: The Grove

Christmas at The Grove (Beverly Grove): Presented by Citi and co-sponsored by BMW, The Grove's 18th annual free event will be hosted by Leslie Odom Jr. and will include performances by Aloe Blacc (who was recently confirmed), Ashley Tisdale, The Tenors, Tori Kelly, Malea Emma, and Isaac Slade of The Fray. L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti will also make an appearance, and the festivities also promise the official lighting ceremony of the shopping center's 100-foot Christmas tree, the first "snowfall" of the season, and a fireworks finale. Note that items such as weapons (including permitted ones), backpacks, glass bottles, signs/banners, noisemakers, laser pointers are prohibited; see more details here.
When: Sunday, Nov. 17 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Where: The Grove, 189 The Grove Dr., L.A., 90048

Thursday, November 21

South Coast Plaza's 38th annual tree lighting (Costa Mesa): The luxury shopping center's annual (and free) holiday festivities will illuminate its 90-foot outdoor white fir tree with 94,000 colorful LED and strobe lights at Town Center Park adjacent to the Westin. There'll be performances by the Orange County School of the Arts, carolers, and plenty of Santa sightings, and guests will also enjoy complimentary seasonal drinks and sweet treats. Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis and free parking is available at South Coast Plaza's lots and structures at 660 Town Center Dr., 625 Sunflower Ave., and 602 Anton Blvd.
When: Thursday, Nov. 21 starting at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Town Center Park at South Coast Plaza, at Anton Boulevard and Bristol Street, Costa Mesa, 92626

Union Station's annual tree lighting (DTLA): The historic L.A. landmark's annual tree lighting ceremony under the stars will bring snow to the south patio alongside performances by the Grand Arts Chamber Singers, The Beverly Belles, and the Toy Soldiers Drumline. Guests will also enjoy "Cocoa Bars" served by Elftenders, selfies with Santa, holiday arts and crafts, games, a marshmallow eating contest, and a photo-ready Candy Cane Lane decked out with neon lights. Then every Friday in December, swing by the station for free Cocoa Concert series; more info here.
When: Thursday, Nov. 21 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Union Station, 800 Alameda St., L.A., 90012

Friday, November 22

2nd & PCH's tree lighting ceremony & holiday programming (Long Beach): The buzzy new retail destination is kicking off its-ever holiday festivities, starting on Saturday, Nov. 23 with an art installment unveiling and kids crafts at 4 p.m., followed by musical performances, selfies with Santa, and a tree lighting at 6 p.m. The events continue through the weekend with morning workouts, storytime with Mrs. Claus, kid-friendly activities, and even meet-and-greets with Frozen character impersonators; see the full weekend schedule here and here.
When: Friday, Nov. 22 from 4 to Saturday, Nov. 23 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 24 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: 2nd & PCH, 6400 East Pacific Coast Hwy., Long Beach, 90803

Sunday, November 24

Photo: Palisades Village

Christmas at Palisades Village (Pacific Palisades): The coastal shopping and dining hub's second annual tree lighting celebration kicks off at 5:30 p.m. with family-friendly activities, followed by the ceremony starting at 7 p.m., when there'll be live performances by Disney Channel's Dakota Lotus alongside Jayden Bartels, So You Think You Can Dance winner Fik-Shun, and The Adderley School. Plus, enjoy "snowfall" and an appearance by Santa. Note that items such as weapons (including permitted ones), backpacks, glass bottles, signs/banners, noisemakers, laser pointers are prohibited; see more details here.
When: Sunday, Nov. 24 from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: Palisades Village, 15225 Palisades Village Ln., Pacific Palisades, 90272

Main photo: The Grove

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