Inside LA - The Los Angeles Lowdown

10 Best Things To Do In LA In December

best things to do in LA in December
Christmas Lights in the Old Bank District, downtown

December is always a busy month and there are always a lot of demands on our time, especially now. Rushing here, rushing there, trying to do all the Christmas shopping, get all the food, do the social rounds etc. Maybe you’re looking for something different to do with friends or family, maybe you want to escape the treadmill for a few hours with that special person and do something worthwhile, something fun. Well, you’re in the right place. We’ve spent hours weighing up the different activities and events happening in Southern California this month and we’ve distilled it down to the 10 Best Things to Do in LA in December.

Have fun, stay safe and see you next year!

1. THE NUTCRACKER (DECEMBER 3-26)

What could be more Christmassy than going to see this Yuletide staple by the Los Angeles Ballet? What’s more, there are several performances at the Dolby Theatre. That’s right – where the annual Academy Awards (aka the Oscars) are held. It’s actually a great venue for ballet too, as it has a huge stage and room for a seventy-piece orchestra. It also has great acoustics and sight-lines too.

More information here.

2. THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER (ALL MONTH)

What can we say about him that hasn’t already been said. Many times. But surely the world of Harry Potter is perfectly attuned to Christmas. Universal are being tight-lipped about what new twists they’re adding this year, but either way it’s sure to be fun.

More information here.

3. THE GROUNDLINGS COZY WINTER CABIN (DATES THROUGH DECEMBER)

The Groundlings is a breeding ground for comic talent that often ends up becoming famous – their alumni include Lisa Kudrow and Will Forte, to name just two. Their sketch comedy shows are always very funny – and reasonably priced for LA too. You may even see some well-known faces in the audience, Jennifer Aniston was in the audience one night I went.

More information here.

4. CATCH A SHOW (ALL MONTH)

There’s a veritable cornucopia of Broadway big-hitters hitting Los Angeles this month. Annie, The Book of Mormon and Jesus Christ Superstar (and Harry Connick Jr) are all appearing at either the Pantages Theatre or the Dolby. Come on! Why not have dinner in Hollywood – either at Musso and Frank Grill, Yamashiro or Palms Thai (it’s just down the street from the Pantages and is great, believe me) – and see a show?

More information here.

5. TIME-TRAVEL BACK TO GOLDEN AGE HOLLYWOOD (EVERY FRIDAY NIGHT)

Who isn’t, on some level at least, fascinated with ‘the dream factory’? Who wouldn’t want to be a 1930’s movie-star? Getting chauffeured from your Santa Monica beach house to the studio lot around 10 am, wrapping on your close-ups by lunch, and then, after a short siesta, going to the premiere of your new movie in the evening. To be followed by the after-party, which is at the Cocoanut Grove Nightclub, of course.

Well, join us for the evening as we take you back to those halcyon days on our Hollywood Speakeasy Bar tour. We’ll show you around a variety of speakeasies, roof-top bars and movie-star hangouts on this nighttime adventure. Cocktails are highly recommended, although not obligatory.

More information here.

Hollywood Speakeasy Bar Tour

6. GO TO A CONCERT (DATES THROUGH DECEMBER)

Los Angeles always has some big artists and acts passing through, and Christmas-time is no exception. This month Jane’s Addiction, Tori Amos, Lady Gaga, Jay-Z and the Blind Boys of Alabama are all performing here. Going to see one of these shows would definitely be one of the best things to do in LA in December.

More information here.

7. CYCLAVIA: SOUTH LA (DECEMBER 4)

CicLAvia is without doubt one of the best things to happen to Los Angeles in the last decade. When whole neighborhoods, which had been lost to pedestrians and cyclists and taken over by motor vehicles, are periodically reclaimed by banning said vehicles, it’s amazing what can happen. People walking, cycling and having fun in a much cleaner environment. Suddenly Los Angeles feels like a very different place and we can truly realize that actually LA wasn’t designed around the car, in spite of what many people think.

More information here.

8. SANTA MONICA PUB CRAWL (DECEMBER 17)

Did someone say pub crawl? Then sign me up! Part of the joy of Christmas is the sense that it’s allowed – and even encouraged – to have just a little too much to drink… only to get into the spirit of the season of course. And when you combine that with a pub crawl, well, you’re getting some exercise too. Santa Monica must be the perfect place to have a pub crawl (the other is downtown), since there are so many great bars within walking distance of each other. This event is even raising money for good causes, with proceeds going towards the Westside Food Bank.

More information here.

9. LA COUNTY HOLIDAY CELEBRATION (DECEMBER 24)

This is a really fantastic FREE annual event, that’s held at the Music Center. All kinds of performers, from the Pacifico Dance Company, to Sista Jean’s Blues Machine, to the Los Angeles Gay Men’s Choir, to Las Colibri. There’s something for everyone in the program, which runs from 3-8 pm..

More information here.

10. GO TO A COMEDY SHOW (DATES THROUGH DECEMBER)

The Christmas Holidays are definitely the right time to do this! Who doesn’t want to laugh until they cry at least once a year – it’s therapeutic. There are several famous stand-up comedians appearing in LA over December, but my pick? Chris Rock. Where? Anaheim. Sarah Silverman and Patton Oswalt also have shows during the month.

More information here.

best things to do in LA in December
The Dolby Theatre

If you have any feedback on the 10 Best Things to Do in LA in December please email us or reach out on social media, we’d love to hear from you.

– By Damien Blackshaw. (Twitter)

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