Los Angeles events, festivals, things to do – January 2018

January 2018
best events in Los Angeles

Free museum day

January 1, 2018 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

Griffith Park (10.1 miles north)

You’re welcome to visit the Autry Museum of the American West when it is Open and Free for New Year’s Day.

Rose Bowl

January 1, 2018 (1 p.m.)

Pasadena (11.8 miles NE)

Oldest of the bowls, the Rose Bowl Game is a college football game usually between the champions of the Big Ten Conference and the Pac-12 Conference (but in 2018 is a college football semi-final game) at the Rose Bowl Stadium. Activities at 1 p.m., game at 1:30 p.m.

Rose Parade

January 1, 2018

Pasadena (12.2 miles NE)

The Rose Parade is a two-hour long spectacle that features 20 marching bands, 40 floats with floral themes, and 400 horses traveling 5.5 miles, mostly on Colorado Boulevard. Free views from the sidewalk are scarce, but you can buy a grandstand seat.

Polar swim

January 1, 2018

San Pedro (24.5 miles south)

The Cabrillo Beach Polar Bear Swim & Dip begins with the coronation ceremony for the club’s new king and queen, and then you can join the crowd at noon running or jumping into the ocean to celebrate the new year, behind Cabrillo Beach Bathhouse. Free.

New Year’s dip

January 1, 2018

Huntington Beach (39 miles SE)

Run into the cold Pacific Ocean in your bathing suit during Surf City Splash at Huntington Beach Pier. The pancake breakfast is 9 to 11 a.m., the costume contest is 11 a.m., and the ocean dip is noon.

Lights at the zoo

January 1 - 7, 2018

Griffith Park (10 miles north)

See dazzling colored lights, meet real reindeer, hear live music on the weekend, and visit Santa some nights at L.A. Zoo Lights at the Los Angeles Zoo.

Lights in the garden

January 1 - 7, 2018

La Cañada Flintridge (14.3 miles north)

Buy tickets in advance for Enchanted: Forest of Light, a one-mile walk through lighting displays, including some that are interactive, at Descanso Gardens. Food is for sale.

Christmas at Knott’s Berry Farm

January 1 - 7, 2018

Buena Park (24.6 miles SE)

Knott’s Berry Farm is adorned with Christmas decorations for Knott’s Merry Farm. It has an ice skating show starring Snoopy, a Charlie Brown Christmas show with classic songs, real falling snow, holiday treats to eat, a Christmas market, Santa Claus, and plenty of rides. Closed Dec. 25.

Winter at the Queen Mary

January 1 - 7, 2018

Long Beach (26.2 miles south)

Chill [sound] is a pricey winter wonderland with ice skating, tubing, paintball, carnival rides, a snow zone, an Alice in Wonderland display, Santa at the North Pole, and a chance to explore the Queen Mary. Closed Dec. 31.

Winter festival

January 1 - 7, 2018

Costa Mesa (42.2 miles SE)

A Winter Fest ticket includes ice tubing, craft making, real snow, walk-through lights, a petting zoo, live shows, and a nightly tree lighting with fireworks at the OC Fair & Event Center. Pay extra for ice skating, carnival rides, arcade games, and food trucks.

Free day at the tar pits

January 2, 2018

Mid-Wilshire (7.8 miles NW)

Register online for up to eight free tickets during Tar Pits Free First Tuesdays to see all the exhibits and fossils at the La Brea Tar Pits & Museum. Free.

Film festival in the desert

January 3 - 14, 2018

Palm Springs (109 miles east)

Despite its distance from L.A., the Palm Springs International Film Festival is one of the largest and most respected film festivals in North America, with a glamorous gala, an opening night reception, parties, dinners, and a large number of international films.

Chocolate show

January 6, 2018 (4 p.m., VIP 3 p.m.)

Downtown (1.6 miles NE)

LA Chocolate Festival and Pastry Show promises “the best chocolate and pastry chefs in Los Angeles, along with wines, beers, and spirits” at the Omni Hotel.

Yoga Expo

January 6, 2018 (10 a.m.)

Pasadena (11.4 miles NE)

The Yoga Expo is a full-day of 50 classes and workshops by local yoga teachers for beginners to experts at Pasadena Convention Center, with music and a food court. Children 12 and younger are free.

Fitness expo

January 6 - 7, 2018

Downtown (0.2 miles south)

See martial arts, power-lifting, strongman, and wrestling competitions plus 200 vendors of fitness products and services at TheFitExpo Los Angeles at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Less crowded Sunday.

LEGO convention

January 6 - 7, 2018

Pasadena (11.4 miles NE)

Bricks L.A. is a convention for fans of LEGO. Buy a ticket to see their amazing creations and make your own at Pasadena Convention Center.

Reptile show

January 6 - 7, 2018

Pomona (31.3 miles east)

See frogs, turtles, snakes, geckos, and other exotic creatures at the Reptile Super Show, with educational tables and vendors in the Fairplex. Repeats in Aug.

New Year’s Race

January 7, 2018

Downtown (1.6 miles NE)

Celebrate the new year by joining the 10K or 5K New Year’s Race, which has music, food trucks, and a beer garden at Grand Park.

Japanese family festival

January 7, 2018

Downtown (2.3 miles NE)

Ring in the “year of the dog” at Oshogatsu Family Festival. Make dog-themed crafts, taste food, watch a lion dance, hear live music, see candy sculpting, and tour the Japanese American National Museum. Free.

No Pants Metro Ride

January 7, 2018 (1 to 3:30 p.m.)

Downtown (2.5 miles NE)

The No Pants Metro Ride is similar to the New York subway version the same day. Check out the website for details.

Golden Globe Awards

January 7, 2018

Beverly Hills (14.6 miles NW)

The Golden Globe Awards honor the best in film and American television for the previous year at The Beverly Hilton. Variety lists the week’s lavish parties.

Restaurant week in Santa Monica

January 8 - 14, 2018

Santa Monica (14.4 miles west)

Santa Monica Restaurant Week has a theme ingredient each year, and dozens of participating restaurants create dishes that include the ingredient. In 2018, it’s the pomegranate.

Art show

January 10 - 14, 2018

Downtown (0.2 miles south)

L.A. Art Show fills a giant space with modern and contemporary art from 100 galleries in 18 countries at Los Angeles Convention Center. Littletopia is a popular section with humorous and irreverent artwork.

Winter solstice show

January 13, 2018 (8 p.m.)

Culver City (8.2 miles west)

Winter Solstice Pagan Holiday Show brightens short winter days with entertainment by acrobats, aerialists, comedians, and magicians at The Actors Gang.

MLK classical concert

January 13, 2018 (2 to 4 p.m.)

Santa Monica (14.4 miles west)

Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra presents its annual Martin Luther King Weekend Concert at SGI-USA World Peace Ikeda Auditorium. Free, no reservations.

MLK parade

January 13, 2018

Long Beach (26 miles south)

Martin Luther King, Jr. Long Beach Parade & Celebration begins at Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue and Anaheim Street with a parade (10:30 a.m.), and it ends at a celebration in Martin Luther King Jr. Park (noon to 6 p.m.). Free.

German version of Mardi Gras

January 13, 2018

Anaheim (32.5 miles SE)

Reserve a table for light-hearted Karneval, which includes an over-the-top costume contest, dancing to German music, German satire, German food, beer, a cocktail bar, and a floor show in the tradition of Rheinischer Karneval at the Phoenix Club. Free.

Pizza & beer in Ontario

January 13, 2018 (1 to 4 p.m.)

Westlake (41.8 miles east)

Pizza & Beer Festival - Inland Empire is a new event promising unlimited tastes of pizza and craft beer, games, art vendors, and DJ music at Cucamonga-Guasti Regional Park for age 21+.

Anime convention

January 13 - 14, 2018

Pomona (31.3 miles east)

Combining the worlds of anime and video games, Anime Impulse is smaller and cheaper than other conventions but still offers celebrities, eSports, panels, cosplay, parties, vendors, artist alleys, food, and fashion on a runway at the Fairplex. Reviews.

Asian American Expo

January 13 - 14, 2018

Pomona (31.3 miles east)

Asian American Expo has eight stages of cultural shows, three food courts, a beer festival, an anime event, video games, and vendors at the Fairplex.

Taste of L.A. breweries

January 14, 2018 (1 to 5 p.m.)

Downtown (2.3 miles NE)

A ticket to DTLA Breweries United Fest gets you unlimited tastes of beer from seven downtown Los Angeles breweries at Triangle Lot (224 Rose Street) for age 21+ and supports charity.

Hawaiian music festival

January 14, 2018 (2 p.m.)

Redondo Beach (19.6 miles SW)

Hear Hawaiian master musicians, admire tropical flowers, and shop for food and crafts at the annual Southern California Slack Key Festival at Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center.

MLK Day at the museum

January 15, 2018

Exposition Park (2.2 miles south)

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration has family art activities beginning at 10 a.m. plus readings of Dr. King’s speeches beginning at 1 p.m. at California African American Museum. Registration is optional. Free.

MLK parade

January 15, 2018 (10 a.m.)

Leimert Park (4.5 miles SW)

Celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at Kingdom Day Parade, starting on Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, going south on Western Avenue, and west on 48th Street to Leimert Park Plaza. Free. [Parade starts 10 a.m., TV coverage starts 11 a.m.]

MLK free museum day

January 15, 2018

Mid-Wilshire (8.6 miles west)

Admission is free to celebrate Martin Luther King Day, with live folk music and family activities at Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Free.

Free national park day

January 15, 2018


Admission is free at national parks on Free Entrance Days in the National Parks (including Death Valley, Joshua Tree, Yosemite, Sequoia & Kings Canyon). Expect more people and less parking than usual.

Boat show

January 19 - 21, 2018

Pomona (31.3 miles east)

See a wide variety of boats at Los Angeles Boat Show [sound], including performance boats, wakesports boats, deck boats, personal watercraft, sport fishing boats, runabouts, cabin cruisers, dinghies, inflatables, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards at the Fairplex.

Restaurant week

January 19 - 26, 2018

multiple locations

Get a special price on a 2-course lunch or a 3-course dinner at 300 restaurants during Dine L.A. You don’t need a ticket, but you may want a reservation. Repeats in July.

Restaurant week in Newport Beach

January 19 - 28, 2018

Newport Beach (46.3 miles SE)

Get a special deal on a fixed-price lunch or dinner at 50 restaurants on Newport Beach Restaurant Week.

Into the Woods

January 19 - Feb. 25, 2018

North Hollywood (13.6 miles NW)

Into the Woods is a Tony-winning musical with dazzling songs by Sondheim that uses familiar fairy-tale characters to tell an epic story at Cupcake Theater.

Discount tickets $20 to $49.

Latin urban music festival

January 20, 2018 (8 p.m.)

Downtown (0 miles)

Young crowds turn out for Calibash, a star-studded concert of rap, hip hop, and R&B, sponsored by Spanish radio station KXOL 96.3 FM at Staples Center.

Women’s march

January 20, 2018 (9 a.m.)

Downtown (1.2 miles NE)

Women’s March Los Angeles “is about having our voices heard, activating our community and unifying our community” at Pershing Square. Free.

Magic show

January 20, 2018

Beverly Hills (10.3 miles NW)

Ivan Amodei involves the audience in his entertaining 90-minute magic show Intimate Illusions, with live cello accompaniment at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.

Discount tickets $36.

Small-town snow festival

January 20, 2018 (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.)

Pomona (29.3 miles east)

Children can play in the snow for free or sled unlimited times down a small hill for $5 cash (wearing closed-toe shoes) at Winter Snow Fest in Diamond Bar. Video.

Motocross racing

January 20, 2018

Anaheim (31.2 miles SE)

Watch off-road motorcycles race on dirt tracks with steep jumps, tight corners, and obstacles at Supercross at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.

Retro video games festival

January 20 - 21, 2018

Pomona (31.3 miles east)

Retro City Festival offers “classic arcades, pinball, tournaments, museums, vendors, and a huge console play area” at the Fairplex in Pomona.

Dinner cirque show

January 20 - 27, 2018

Buena Park (25 miles SE)

Enjoy a five-course dinner while you watch an edgy mix of cabaret, comedy, music, and cirque-style acrobatics at Teatro Martini for age 18+.

Discount tickets $39 to $47.

Cosmetics expo

January 24, 2018 (5 to 9 p.m.)

Downtown (1 mile SE)

Shop from 150 independent brands during Indie Beauty Expo, with DJ music and cocktails for sale at California Market Center.

Contemporary art fair

January 26 - 28, 2018 (reception Jan. 25)

Santa Monica (12.5 miles west)

Art Los Angeles Contemporary features 60 galleries (local and international) plus on-site installations and performances in the soaring space of Barker Hangar.

Boutique art fair

January 26 - 28, 2018

Venice (14.9 miles west)

Startup Art Fair showcases contemporary art by independent artists in hotel rooms at The Kinney Venice Beach.

Chinese New Year at Disney

January 26 - Feb. 18, 2018

Anaheim (28.1 miles SE)

Celebrate Lunar New Year with culturally inspired food, music (Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese), entertainment, a lucky wishing wall, ornamental lanterns, and multi-lingual banners at Disney California Adventure Park.

Free arts & music festival

January 27, 2018 (3 p.m. to midnight)

Downtown (1.7 miles NE)

Enjoy music, games, art installations, kids’ activities, food trucks, and indoor/outdoor performances during Night on Broadway, on a car-free mile of S. Broadway (from W. 3rd Street to W. Olympic Boulevard). Free.

Wine tasting

January 27, 2018 (5 to 9 p.m.)

Downtown (2.6 miles NE)

Taste 150 wines, shop from food trucks, and hear live music at Uncorked LA Wine Festival at Union Station for age 21+.

Beer tasting

January 27, 2018 (3 to 6 p.m.)

Silver Lake (5.4 miles north)

Sample 100 beers from 50 craft brewers with complimentary restaurant bites at the Los Angeles Beer & Food Festival at Mack Sennett Studios.

Dr. Seuss

January 27 - Feb. 4, 2018

San Pedro (22.4 miles south)

Seussical is a smash hit musical featuring colorful characters like the Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, the Grinch, the Whos, and Gertrude McFuzz at Warner Grand Theatre.

Discount tickets $18 to $30.

Free museum day

January 28, 2018

multiple cities

Visit dozens of museums from A to Z (Annenberg Space for Photography to Zimmer Children’s Museum) during the one-day Museums Free-for-All. Free.

Disney’s Aladdin

January 30 - March 31, 2018

Hollywood (7.7 miles NW)

Aladdin is a love story filled with “beauty, magic, comedy and breathtaking spectacle” with a lamp that grants three wishes, at Hollywood Pantages Theatre.

Discount tickets $55 to $79.