Get Ready for An LA Christmas!
Amid the palm trees and swimming pools, LA is an amazing place to spend Christmas. In fact, it’s rapidly becoming as popular as New York as there are now so many great holiday events and activities right across the city. If you're coming to visit, most hotels will not just be open, but serving Christmas lunch and dinner.
Perhaps the most spectacular (and most Hollywood) part of the holiday season in LA is the abundance of Christmas lights.
One of the most spectacular lighting experiences can be found at the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade, which has been running for over a century and more than 1 million lights on the harbour and boats will be seen by more than a million people in 2014.
The parade takes place over 5 nights and hundreds of boats take part. Also, just down the road on December 10th 2011 you can see the Marina del Rey Boat Parade that has been been running for 50 years. It starts with fireworks just before 6pm.
No coverage of Christmas in LA can be complete without a mention of Christmas Tree Lane in Altadena who have been adding lights to their ‘Mile of Christmas Trees’ since the 1920s. Local workers and volunteers start creating the displays in early October and the official visiting time starts at the beginning of December in 2014.
Things To Do in LA at Christmas 2014
For over eighty years the Hollywood Christmas Parade in LA has been broadcast across America and features bands, novelty acts, celebrities, local civic leaders and of course Santa Claus himself. Grandstand seating starts from $35 a seat, and group booking discounts are available. Most years it is held on the last Sunday of November, to give you enough time to digest the Thanksgiving turkey and get into the festive spirit.
Disneyland is never short of an excuse to roll-out the decorations and celebrations, and in 2014 they will turn the park into a massive Christmas party by adding lights to everything they can, including the Haunted Mansion, It’s a Small World and of course Main Street USA – and they also run a unique Christmas Parade every day and their always-spectacular fireword displays. There are no end of things to do at Disney at Christmas.
Many locals like to take part in the annual Christmas Bird Count which starts on December 14th 2014 and has become a long standing tradition in LA. Just as it’s name suggests, it’s an opportunity to count and track local bird life.
2014 Christmas Shopping in LA
Christmas Shopping is always a magnet for lights – to attract people to come to the stores and buy their Christmas gifts, and one of the best streets to visit is the world famous Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, LA, where you will see store windows packed full of decorations and lights, and at the very end of the road the Beverly Wilshire hotel is a beautiful sight every year.
And if you want to experience the magic of Christmas Shopping on a slightly less extravagant budget, we also recommend The LA Grove / Farmers Market.
Meeting Santa in LA
For kids, Christmas is a really special time, and there’s nothing more exciting than meeting Santa Claus. The LA Zoo always has a Santa during the holiday season, and of course you can also meet his reindeer, but you’ll also find him in shopping malls – one year we even went ice skating with Santa at The Lakes at Thousand Oaks.
Finally, don’t forget Christmas Day can be a big sports experience – the LA Lakers regularly play at home to packed crowds.