Los Angeles events December 2018. Things to do in LA.

Los Angeles
Best events for 12 months

Los Angeles events December 2018

Martha Stewart event

December 1, 2018
(1 p.m., VIP noon)
Downtown (1.1 miles north)
Watch Martha Stewart do a cooking demonstration and then answer questions at the Wine & Food Experience, which showcases “the best food, wine, beer and spirits from local & national chefs and mixologists” at Los Angeles Center Studios for age 21+.

Holiday boat parade

December 1, 2018
(6 to 8 p.m.)
San Pedro (23 miles south)
See elaborately decorated boats cruising the Main Channel of Los Angeles Harbor during the Holiday Parade of Boats. Pre-parade activities begin at 4 p.m. at Banning’s Landing Community Center. Free.

Holiday market

December 1 - 2, 2018
Downtown (1 mile east)
Shop from 400 curated designers and artists at the Unique L.A. Holiday Market, which also has DJ music, free drinks and snacks, do-it-yourself projects, and a kids’ play area at California Market Center.

Holidays at the mansion

December 1 - 2, 2018
Beverly Hills (11.5 miles NW)
Joy to the Holidays has “holiday décor, festive designs by well-known interior designers, last-minute holiday shopping, food samplings, entertainment, and a self-guided tour of the first floor” of Greystone Mansion.

Tea festival

December 1 - 2, 2018
Pasadena (11.8 miles NE)
Named for its founder, the Devan Shah Tea Festival brings together authors, industry experts, buyers, retailers, artists, educators, and tea lovers at Rose Bowl Stadium. Optional classes.

Arts & crafts show

December 1 - 2, 2018
Pomona (31.3 miles east)
Shop for handmade items from 300 vendors at the Harvest Festival, which offers entertainment, food booths, and a children’s activity center at the Fairplex.

Arts & crafts on a Corona farm

December 1 - 2, 2018
Norco (52.5 miles SE)
Holiday Craft Fair features 100% handmade arts, crafts, and foods at Hillside Farm.

Tamale festival

December 1 - 2, 2018
Indio (131 miles east)
How far would you drive for delicious tamales? The Indio International Tamale Festival tempts you with 200 vendors, five stages of entertainment, beer and wine gardens, a tamale eating contest, a carnival, a Saturday car show, and a Saturday parade in downtown Indio. Free.

Holiday home tour

December 1 - 9, 2018
multiple locations
See inside beautiful homes decorated for the holidays.

Auto show

December 1 - 9, 2018
Downtown (0.2 miles south)
Check out the latest new vehicles, test drive nearly 100 models, and see exotic cars on display at the Los Angeles Auto Show at Los Angeles Convention Center.

Nutcracker ballet - Inland Empire

December 1 - 23, 2018
multiple locations
The Nutcracker by Inland Pacific Ballet tells the traditional story of Clara’s journey to a land of snow and a kingdom of sweets with the addition of a dancing 40-foot Chinese dragon in Claremont, Rancho Cucamonga, and Riverside.

Nutcracker ballet

December 1 - 24, 2018
multiple locations
The Nutcracker by The Los Angeles Ballet is a holiday classic with outstanding choreography and dance at Royce Hall, UCLA.

Pirate Christmas

December 1 - 25, 2018
Buena Park (24 miles SE)
Santa saves Christmas from wicked pirates at Pirates Take Christmas, which includes audience participation and a four-course feast at Pirate’s Dinner Adventure.

Dr. Seuss at Universal Studios

December 1 - 30, 2018
Hollywood (10.2 miles NW)
Fans of Dr. Seuss books will enjoy Grinchmas. The characters of Who-ville sing carols around the Christmas tree and put on a theater show, while Cindy Lou Who tells stories. Meet Max the Dog and get your photo taken with the Grinch at Universal Studios. See schedule.

Christmas at Magic Mountain

December 1 - 30, 2018
Santa Clarita (35.9 miles north)
See holiday lights and decorations, falling snow, and Christmas characters during Holiday in the Park, with lots of entertainment, holiday foods, and select rides at Six Flags Magic Mountain. Not available Dec. 3-7 & 10-14.

Lights at the zoo

December 1, 2018 - Jan. 6, 2019
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

December 1, 2018 - Jan. 6, 2019
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. Closed Dec. 24 & 25.

Lantern art

December 1, 2018 - Jan. 6, 2019
Arcadia (17.5 miles NE)
Take a one-mile walk through a wonderland of “exotic animals, shimmering flowers, whimsical pandas, soaring dragons...” at the Moonlight Forest with food for sale at Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden. Closed Mondays & Tuesdays. No pets or bikes.

Christmas at Knott’s Berry Farm

December 1, 2018 - Jan. 6, 2019
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.

Christmas on the Queen Mary

December 1, 2018 - Jan. 6, 2019
Long Beach (26.2 miles south)
Queen Mary Christmas has “thousands of twinkling lights, carolers and musical performances, an outdoor skating rink, and Santa” onboard the Queen Mary.

Hanukkah festival

December 2, 2018
(11 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
Bel Air (17.8 miles NW)
Hanukkah Family Festival offers “light for the people” with lively music, a sing along, storytelling, and art activities at the Skirball Cultural Center.

Contemporary Nutcracker

December 6 - 9, 2018
Redondo Beach (17.8 miles SW)
The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker features Kara and a nutcracker prince who takes her to distant lands, with a contemporary score and primarily African-American dancers at Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center.

Holidays in San Diego

December 7 - 8, 2018
San Diego (120 miles south)
Thinking of a getaway? Balboa Park December Nights has entertainment, holiday lights, food, and free museums that make it a huge annual event. Free.

Hispanic Christmas celebration

December 7 - 9, 2018
Exposition Park (3.4 miles south)
El Fieston Navideño has a parade (Dec. 7 at 7 p.m.), music, singers, folk dancers, Santa Claus, the Wise Men, a beer garden, and ethnic foods from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico at Exposition Park. Free.

Boat parade & fireworks

December 8, 2018
Marina del Rey (15 miles SW)
Kids play in the snow at Snow Wonder in Burton Chace Park (noon to 6 p.m.), fireworks go off on the jetty (5:55 to 6 p.m.), and the Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade circles the main channel (6 to 8 p.m.). Free.

Pub crawl

December 8, 2018
Santa Monica (15 miles west)
Join 6,000 people in festive attire on the “Santa” Monica Pub Crawl, which features food and drink specials at 30 bars on four different routes.

Small-town snow festival

December 8, 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.

Nutcracker for kids

December 8, 2018
Costa Mesa (41.8 miles SE)
Pacific Symphony performs a 45-minute version of The Nutcracker designed for children ages 5 to 11, and then it finishes with a grand finale holiday sing-along and a visit from Santa at Segerstrom Concert Hall.

Winter Holiday Festival

December 8 - 9, 2018
(11 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
Downtown (1.2 miles NE)
The L.A. Department of Recreation and Parks hosts the Winter Holiday Festival with 60 tons of snow for sledding, merry-go-round, a Ferris wheel, DJ , food vendors, craft making, and photos with Santa at Pershing Square. Ice skating is not free.

Craft market

December 8 - 9, 2018
Chinatown (3.1 miles NE)
Renegade Craft Fair has independent craft makers and artisan food at Los Angeles State Historic Park. Free.

Art fair

December 8 - 9, 2018
Silver Lake (5 miles north)
Shop from 100 craftspeople for jewelry, clothing, ceramics, weavings, flowers, and fresh juice at friendly Echo Park Craft Fair at Mack Sennett Studios. Held in May and December.

Christmas carols

December 8 & 15, 2018
(2 p.m.)
Downtown (1.5 miles NE)
Hear your favorite carols and songs sung by the Los Angeles Master Chorale at the Festival of Carols, which combines traditional favorites with new arrangements every year at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Nutcracker ballet

December 8 - 24, 2018
Irvine (45.3 miles SE)
The Nutcracker by Festival Ballet Theatre features colorful scenery, magnificent costumes, and sensational dancing at the Irvine Barclay Theatre.

Fireworks at the beach

December 9, 2018
Manhattan Beach (19.4 miles SW)
A snow park with a sledding hill opens at 4 p.m., a jazz band plays at 5 p.m., and the Manhattan Beach Holiday Fireworks go off at 7 p.m. Free.

Nutcracker ballet - Long Beach

December 15 - 16 & 21 - 23, 2018
Long Beach (24 miles south)
Long Beach Ballet gets rave reviews for its annual production of The Nutcracker, which includes a flying sleigh, a live horse, pyrotechnics, and a full symphony orchestra at the Terrace Theater.

Nutcracker ballet

December 15 - 23, 2018
Costa Mesa (41.8 miles SE)
American Ballet Theatre performs The Nutcracker with 100 performers on stage, dazzling sets, amazing costumes, and Tchaikovsky’s timeless score at Segerstrom Center for the Arts.


December 16 - 17, 2018
Downtown (1.5 miles NE)
Los Angeles Master Chorale sings Handel’s magnificent Messiah accompanied by a chamber orchestra and four soloists in Walt Disney Concert Hall. The audience is allowed to sing along on Monday.

Nativity procession

December 16 - 24, 2018
(6:30 to 8:30 p.m.)
Downtown (2.8 miles NE)
Watch a reenactment of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem at Las Posadas, a Spanish tradition with a colorful candlelit procession, songs, dancing, and the breaking of piñatas at Olvera Street. Free.

Holiday boat parade

December 19 - 23, 2018
Newport Beach (48 miles SE)
Watch beautifully decorated yachts, boats, kayaks, and canoes sail in Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade at Newport Harbor. Fireworks some nights. Free.

Symphony sing along

December 22, 2018
(11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.)
Downtown (1.5 miles NE)
Sing popular songs of the season accompanied by a huge pipe organ, a choir, and a jazz combo at Holiday Sing Along in the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Free hot chocolate, coffee, and photos with Santa pre-concert.

Holiday celebration

December 24, 2018
Downtown (1.7 miles north)
Bands, choirs, and dance companies from throughout Los Angeles participate in the L.A. County Holiday Celebration at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at The Music Center. People line up early for the free seats.

Jewish party

December 24, 2018
(10 p.m.)
Hollywood (7.8 miles NW)
Originally a party where Jewish singles ages 21 to 49 met and mingled, now everyone is welcome to attend Matzoball Los Angeles at The Argyle for age 21+.

Marching bands

December 29 - 30, 2018
Pasadena (12.7 miles NE)
See outstanding bands that were chosen to participate in the upcoming Rose Parade at Bandfest in Robinson Stadium at Pasadena City College.

Austrian music & dance

December 30, 2018
(2:30 p.m.)
Downtown (1.5 miles NE)
Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concert brings the waltzes of Strauss to life with costumed dancers, singers, and an orchestra in Walt Disney Concert Hall.

New Year’s Eve - restaurants

December 31, 2018
multiple locations
OpenTable lists restaurants that offer special menus and celebrations on New Year’s Eve.

New Year’s Eve at Skyspace

December 31, 2018
(9 p.m.)
Downtown (1 mile NE)
Skyspace NYE Party offers incredible views, two dance floors with DJs playing hip-hop and house music, an open bar, skyslide rides and passed hors d’oeuvres until 10:30 p.m., a midnight countdown, and a champagne toast at OUE Skyspace for age 21+.

New Year’s Eve crystal party

December 31, 2018
(8 p.m.)
Downtown (1.2 miles NE)
A ticket to New Year’s Eve Ball at the Crystal Forest includes a two-hour buffet, a glass of champagne, and an “iconic forest of ice, snow, and magnificent crystals” on five floors at Clifton’s Republic.

New Year’s Eve jazz

December 31, 2018
(7 and 10:30 p.m.)
Downtown (1.5 miles NE)
Greet the new year listening to an eclectic small orchestra at New Year’s Eve with Pink Martini in Walt Disney Concert Hall.

New Year’s Eve downtown

December 31, 2018
Downtown (1.8 miles NE)
N.Y.E. L.A. Countdown to 2019 has two stages of live music, food trucks, and a countdown to midnight at Grand Park and the Music Center. Tight security. Free.

New Year’s Eve - Roaring ‘20s party

December 31, 2018
Downtown (2.5 miles NE)
Experience the excitement and glamour of the Roaring Twenties at Prohibition NYE, with theatrical burlesque, live jazz ensembles, famous DJs, an open bar featuring champagne and specialty cocktails, and a midnight ball drop in the concourse at Union Station.

New Year’s Eve in Hollywood

December 31, 2018
(9:30 p.m.)
Hollywood (7.7 miles NW)
Dress upscale for Gatsby’s House, which features five DJs, a four-hour premium open bar, three areas to mingle, two rooms of music, and a midnight countdown at W Hollywood for age 21+.

New Year’s Eve at the Egyptian

December 31, 2018
(9 p.m.)
Hollywood (8.7 miles NW)
Cleopatra’s New Year’s Eve Ball has multiple dance floors, DJs playing dance music, a light show, and a heated outside courtyard at the Egyptian Theatre.

New Year’s Eve - hip hop

December 31, 2018
(8 p.m.)
Hollywood (8.9 miles NW)
The Champagne Ball features “two rooms of music playing the best of hip-hop & top 40 hits” plus a special guest artist and a midnight champagne toast and balloon drop at OHM Nightclub for age 21+.

New Year’s Eve in Pasadena

December 31, 2018
(9 p.m.)
Pasadena (12.5 miles NE)
A ticket to New Year’s Eve Masquerade Ball includes party favors, a balloon drop, a countdown to midnight, and a champagne toast in pretty iX Tapa Cantina for age 21+.

New Year’s for kids

December 31, 2018
Pasadena (13 miles NE)
Celebrate the new year early with a balloon drop, live DJs, party hats, noisemakers, a countdown to the stroke of noon, and a balloon drop during Noon Year’s Eve at Kidspace Children’s Museum.

New Year’s Eve - variety show

December 31, 2018
Santa Monica (14.4 miles west)
New Year’s Eve Musical Review includes song, dance, comedy, dinner, champagne or cider, and party favors for all ages at Santa Monica Playhouse.

New Year’s Eve with knights

December 31, 2018
Buena Park (23.5 miles SE)
Ring in the New Year with the lords and ladies of Medieval Times. Ticket includes admission to the Museum of Torture, a two-hour live tournament, a four-course meal, party favors, DJ dancing, and champagne (or kids’ beverage).

New Year’s Eve at the aquarium

December 31, 2018
(8 p.m.)
Long Beach (24.1 miles south)
Dance to DJ music, see aquarium exhibits, buy food, and visit the cash bar during New Year’s Eve Night Dive at the Aquarium of the Pacific for age 18+.

Family New Year’s at Knott’s

December 31, 2018
Buena Park (25 miles SE)
New Year’s Eve Celebration at Knott’s includes rides, live music, dancing, comedy, party hats, noisemakers, and fireworks at midnight at Knott’s Berry Farm.

New Year’s on a ship

December 31, 2018
Long Beach (26.2 miles south)
Dance to live and DJ music in multiple rooms, and watch a midnight fireworks show at New Year’s Eve Aboard the Queen Mary for age 21+.

New Year’s Eve for families

December 31, 2018
Fullerton (27.1 miles SE)
First Night Fullerton has live music, food vendors, activities, and midnight fireworks. It’s alcohol-free but there are bars in the neighborhood, at N. Harbor Boulevard & W. Wilshire Avenue. Free.

New Year’s Eve - Orange County

December 31, 2018
(8:30 p.m.)
Huntington Beach (38.6 miles SE)
New Year’s Eve Celebration is the ultimate dance party, with Kool & The Gang, DW3, and DJ Jonathan Philips performing live and complimentary champagne at midnight at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach.

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