Roundup Of My Favorite Holiday Activities in Los Angeles
I have lived in Los Angeles for almost 20 years, and before that, in a suburb 45 minutes away from Los Angeles. The funny thing is, I never did many holiday activities until after I had kids. Now that I have a family, I’m all about the fun family-friendly holiday activities throughout the city.
If you are new to the area or are just getting starting to participate in family-friendly fun, here are some of our family holiday favorites.
Los Angeles Family Friendly Holiday Fun
Here are some of our favorite activities for the holidays. My boys are 8 and 4, so they are tested on both young and older kids. We don’t tend to choose things that are over-crowded since my boys have never really liked crowded activities, so these are perfect for kids who don’t have the patience to be around large crowds and wait in long lines.
- Holiday Train Ride: I did a whole post on our favorite holiday train rides in Los Angeles. Even though my oldest son has outgrown his love of trains, he still enjoys the North Pole Express in Fillmore. It is a fun, festive experience. Every year, I see kids and teens on the train and they look like they’re having a good time singing songs with the elves. It is quite a drive from Los Angeles and books up quickly on weekends, so if you’re interested in this train ride, book it early. That being said, there are other holiday train rides in the Los Angeles area that are fun and local, so if you’re not feeling the long drive, all is not lost.
- LA Zoo Lights: We did this for the first time last year and had so much fun! My kids really loved being at the zoo after dark, even though many of the animals were not out for viewing. That being said, I do know someone who didn’t enjoy the event because there were almost no animals to see. The zoo is lit up with special holiday decorations and it is really a beautiful experience, especially for those of us who live in condo/apartment communities since we don’t have decorated neighborhoods. I have seen deals on Living Social for this event, so keep an eye out for it if you don’t want to pay full price. Also, members have the opportunity to buy tickets at a discount.
- Bob Baker Marionette Theater: I have lived in Los Angeles for almost 20 years and had never heard of this theater until last year. We saw The Nutcracker, performed by marionettes. My 4 year old (3 at the time) was terrified so we had to stay out in the hall, but there were other young kids who enjoyed the performance. My older son was enthralled. After the show, they have a little ice cream parlor where attendees get a free ice cream treat. This was a win with my oldest and I think my youngest will handle it better now that he is a bit older.
- Ice Skating Rinks: This morning, the local news announced the opening of ICE in Santa Monica, an outdoor ice skating rink. There is also an outdoor ice skating rink in Downtown Los Angeles. We haven’t been to either as I felt like my youngest was too young, but I think we may try the one in Santa Monica this holiday season.
- Tree Lightings: Most cities have a tree lighting ceremony, so check out your neighborhood news for your local tree lighting. We have attended the tree lighting in Culver City and at The Grove. Both were really nice and festive, but a bit too crowded for my kids’ taste. If you don’t mind crowds, I highly recommend checking one out.
I try not to overbook my family during the holidays since there is already a lot going on. That being said, the Polar Express Train is a must for us every year and I think LA Zoo Lights has also become a must-do. Do you have any favorite local holiday activities?