Staying in Los Angeles This Season? Check Out the Top 6 Things to do in LA for the Holidays

by F. Ron Smith on December 6, 2010 (TRAVEL TUESDAY)

“Stuck in LA for the Holidays?” You hear that phrase all of the time because people assume the best way to spend the holidays is back east where it is snowing or somewhere in a log cabin with a working fireplace.

The truth is, you can find many things to do in Los Angeles to get that good old holiday spirit while staying warm!  If you don’t want to make the drive to Anaheim and pay the admission price to celebrate the Holidays at Disneyland, check out six things to do in the local Los Angeles area that are just as fun and exciting.

tree1.  Grinchmas at Universal Studios Hollywood- Sing along with the Whos of Whoville in this musical festival full of holiday cheer. Experience Universal’s winter playground of real snow,celebrity readings of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, live performances and a spectacular tree lighting ceremony. Universal Studios Hollywood knows that the holidays are a time for giving, so they are currently offering a deal where if you buy a day, you get a 2nd day for free! For hotel packages, visit

2.  Outdoor Ice Skating- This is the 13th season for the LA“Downtown on Ice” skating rink at Pershing Square which is the heart of Los Angeles. You can ice skate in this beautiful outside skating rink every day through January 17th, 2011 for the amazingly low admission cost of $6.

3. The Grove- Enjoy the beautiful Holiday lights, enormous lit Christmas tree and Santa’s house at The Grove Shopping Center. Visit and take pictures with Santa (right in front of Barnes and Nobles) and listen to Christmas Caroling at the LA Farmers Market. This will help put you in the mood to do all of your Holiday gift shopping!

4.  Los Posada on Olvera Street– From December 16th to December 24th, you can participate in this historic and beloved Mexican Indian fiesta on Olvera Street. This is the perfect event for your entire family or a group of friends as you indulge in multiple cultures while enjoying a variety of holiday displays and entertainment. If you have children, make sure you do not miss the children’s piñata breaking, which begins at 6 p.m every night.

boat parade5.  Christmas Boat Parades- The cool thing about the holidays in LA is that we have more than just our houses to decorate…we have boats! Enjoy extravagant fireworks and amazing holiday light displays on the evening of December 11th at either the King Harbor Boat Parade in Redondo Beach, the Naples Christmas Boat Parade in Long Beach, or the annual Marina Del Rey Holiday Boat Parade where the theme for the boat parade is Christmas in Paradise.

6.  Bob Baker Marionette Theater- This is the perfect event to take your youngsters to during the holidays. Located in Silver Lake, the Bob Baker Marionette Theater has been operating since 1963 and is considered to be a true Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Landmark. Bob Baker, the ultimate puppet master, has been crafting his marionettes since the 1930s all over Hollywood and the big screen.  The show has been called the “Best Children’s Live Theatre.”

Now, why would you want to spend your holidays anywhere else besides LA when we have it all here? What are some of your favorite LA holiday activities and events? Please share your opinions below and share with us some other great ideas you may have. Cheers!

Photo courtesy of Kevin Cole’s Flickr and Falling Sky’s Flickr

Ron SmithF Ron Smith is a founding partner at Partners Trust Real Estate and lives with his family in Brentwood. He can be reached at


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