City Holiday Events 2023

Holiday Events Are Back!

A Victorian Christmas at the Banning Museum in WIlmington. Photo by Simie Seaman

Every year, the City produces and sponsors a variety of events to celebrate the holidays. Here’s Alive!’s annual guide for 2023; check back in next month for updated information.

We appreciate the City departments for sponsoring civic holiday traditions for everyone’s enjoyment!

Hollywood Christmas Parade

When: 6 Sunday, Nov. 26

Where: Starting at Hollywood Boulevard and Orange Streets.

Cost: Free; grandstand reserved seating is on sale at press time.

City sponsor: City Council

Information: (866) PARADE-1, or

LA Zoo Lights: Animals Aglow

When: 6-10 p.m. nightly, Nov. 17 – Jan. 7 
(closed most Mondays and Tuesdays, plus Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas).

Where: LA Zoo and Botanical Gardens, Griffith Park, 5355 Zoo Dr. Free parking.

Cost: $29-$35 (daytime Zoo admission extra).

Value nights: Some nights are lower cost; some are premium cost. Check the Website.

City sponsor: LA Zoo.

Information: (323) 644-6042 or

The after-hours attraction, which requires a separate ticket from the Zoo’s regular day hours, is a self-guided 90-minute walking tour of tens of thousands of LED lights, flurries of illuminated snowflakes, 3-D animated projections, a musical light-and-water show and glittering light tunnels. Animal characters brought to “life” include mischievous animated monkeys, a gigantic glowing snake coiled on a roof, animated elephants and much more.

This year, LA Zoo Lights offers special VIP event nights – Holiday Happy Hours Dec. 7 and 14; and Family New Year’s Eve, which include special features for additional fees. Two special nights are also planned: a Sensory-Inclusive Night (Dec. 5), with reduced sensory exposure; and Pride Night (LGBTQ+), Jan. 4.

Victorian Christmas

When: noon – 4 p.m. Sat., Dec. 2

Where: Banning Museum, 401 E Main St., Wilmington.

Cost: Free admission.

City sponsor: Rec and Parks.

Information: (310) 548-2005 or

This free event is one day for visitors to enjoy period entertainment, tours of the residence museum decorated in holiday splendor, refreshments, a children’s craft area, carolers, and a horse-drawn trolley ride between the museum and the Drum Barracks Civil War Museum nearby. Proof of full COVID vaccination required for those 12 and over to tour the indoor museum.

Holiday Light Festival Train Ride

When: 5-8 p.m. weeknights; 5-9 p.m. Fri-Sun. Nov. 24 – Jan. 5

Where: 4400 Crystal Springs Dr., Griffith Park

Cost: $7 (18 months and under ride free)

City sponsor: Rec and Parks

Information: (323) 662-9678,

Guests can take an evening 10-minute train ride around the festively decorated mile-long track. Magical scenes and tens of thousands of lights are set to captivate families and set the mood for a wonderful holiday season.

The attraction includes three open-air photo areas, plus a gift kiosk.

The trains operate every night until Dec. 23, then resumes Dec. 26-Jan. 5. The trains do not operate in the rain.

Las Posadas on Olvera Street

When: 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Dec. 16-24

Where: Olvera Street, 125 Paseo de la Plaza downtown.

Cost: Free admission.

City sponsor: El Pueblo Historical Monument.


Las Posadas, a Mexican tradition that’s one of the City’s oldest Christmas events, commemorates what Christians believe was the journey of Mary and Joseph from Nazareth to Bethlehem and their search for shelter in preparation for Jesus’ birth. 

On Olvera Street, the event will feature a candlelight procession starting at the historic Avila Adobe at approximately 7 p.m. The leaders of the march, usually children, will be dressed as shepherds, angels, and Mary and Joseph. They will be followed by dozens of other worshipers. The public is invited to join in or merely observe.

Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square

When: various times, Nov. 16-Jan. 16.

Where: Pershing Square downtown, 532 S. Olive St.
Take Metro Red/Purple Line to Pershing Square,
or park in nearby facilities (fee).

Cost: Starting at $20. Skate rental included.

City sponsor: Rec and Parks

Information: (213) 624.4289;

One of the City’s largest outdoor ice rink returns for the 2023 holiday season on Nov. 16. Suitable for experienced and novice skaters. Holiday hours limited. Lockers available for rent. Sessions last one hour.