City Holiday Events

Enjoy the Season!

A Victorian Christmas at the Banning Museum in WIlmington

Some City-sponsored events returned last year, and more continue reopening this year as the pandemic seems to fade into the distance (cross our fingers).

Every year, the City produces and sponsors a variety of events to celebrate the holidays. Here’s Alive!’s annual guide for 2022.

LA Zoo Lights: Animals Aglow

When: 6-10 p.m. nightly through Jan. 22
(closed most Mondays and Tuesdays, plus Christmas Eve and Christmas).

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

Cost: $27-$39 (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.

Victorian Christmas

When: noon – 4 p.m. Sat., Dec. 3

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. through – Jan. 6

Where: 4400 Crystal Springs Dr., Griffith Park

Cost: $7

City sponsor: Rec and Parks

Information: (323) 662-9678,

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

The trains operate every night until Dec. 23, then resumes Dec. 26-Jan. 7. The trains do not operate in the rain.

Holidays by the Sea/Harbor Afloat Parade

When: 4-8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3

Where: LA Waterfront; Banning’s Landing Community Center, 100 E. Water St., Wilmington.

Cost: Free.

City sponsor: Harbor, Council District 15


First, enjoy a town square tree lighting, then live entertainment, a tall ship light display, and crafts and games. Then, at 6 p.m., join harbor community members for this free and festive boat parade on the LA Waterfront. Enjoy the sparkling spectacular parade of boats and celebrate the nation’s busiest international trade gateway.

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.

Pancakes With Santa

When: 10 a.m. -noon Sat., Dec. 10.

Where: Studio City Rec Center, 12621 Rye St.

Cost: Free admission.

City sponsor: Rec and Parks


Enjoy and celebrate the holidays with Santa! Pancakes, arts and crafts, cookie decorating, photos with Santa. (Note: Check with for more complete information on your local Rec Center holiday happenings.)

Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square

When: various times, through Jan. 1.

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 2022 holiday season on Nov. 23. Suitable for experienced and novice skaters. Holiday hours limited. Lockers available for rent. Sessions last one hour.