City Holiday Guide

The City produces and sponsors a variety of events
to celebrate the holidays.

Here’s Alive!’s annual guide!

LA Zoo Holiday Lights

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.

When: 6-10 p.m. nightly, Nov. 15 – Jan. 5
(closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas).
Where: LA Zoo and Botanical Gardens, Griffith Park, 5355 Zoo Dr.
Free parking.
Cost: $12-$21.95 (daytime Zoo admission extra)
City sponsor: LA Zoo.
Information: (323) 644-6042 or www.LAZoolights.org

Holiday Ice Rink

The City’s largest outdoor ice rink reopens for the season Nov. 14 and features entertainment focused on the musical Frozen every Tuesday; DJ spotlights every Thursday; learn to curl on Saturdays; and a silent skate party Dec. 19.

When: Various times, Nov. 14-Jan. 20.
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 $5, more for special times and events. Skate rental extra.
City sponsor: Rec and Parks.
Information: (213) 624.4289; holidayicerinkdowntownla.com

Holiday Light Festival Train Ride

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. 26-29. The trains do not operate in the rain.

When: 5-8 p.m. weeknights; 5-9 p.m. Fri-Sun. Nov. 29 – Dec. 29.
Where: 4400 Crystal Springs Dr., Griffith Park
Cost: not yet announced for 2019 (was $5 last year)
City sponsor: Rec and Parks
Information: (323) 662-9678, www.griffithparktrainrides.com

Hollywood Christmas Parade

Hollywood’s long-running Christmas Parade, sponsored by the City, is scheduled for 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 27, in Hollywood. A grand marshal has not yet been announced.

The parade, an American tradition for 86 years, is held traditionally the Sunday after Thanksgiving and telecast locally and throughout the nation during December. This year’s broadcast partners again are the CW network and the Hallmark Channel. Check local listings. Take the Metro/Red Line to the Hollywood and Highland station, or park in the center’s garage (fee).

When: 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1.
Where: Starting at Hollywood Boulevard and Orange Streets.
Cost: Free; grandstand reserved seating is available from $32.50 to $85 (dynamic pricing).
City sponsor: City Council.
Information: (866) PARADE-1, or www.thehollywoodchristmasparade.com

Civil War Christmas

Guests can enjoy a trolley (to the Banning Residence Museum), music, a bell ringing and an authentic encampment featuring how Civil War-era soldiers and families celebrated Christmas.

When: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sat., Dec. 7.
Where: Drum Barracks Civil War Museum, 1052 Banning Blvd., Wilmington.
Cost: Free admission.
City sponsor: Rec and Parks.
Information: (310) 548-7509 or www.drumbarracks.org

Las Posadas on Olvera Street

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 to 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.

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.
Information: www.elpueblo.lacity.org

El Pueblo Tree Lighting Ceremony

El Pueblo Historical Monument – Olvera Street – plans to kick off its Christmas season from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Dec. 6 by lighting its public Christmas tree.

The event includes food, mariachi music, dancing, costumes and of course officials throwing the switch to illuminate the tree on Los Angeles’ historic district. All the community is invited for this Christmas celebration where L.A. began.

When: 5:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6
Where: Olvera Street, 125 Paseo de la Plaza downtown.
Cost: Free.
City sponsor: El Pueblo Historical Monument.
Information: www.elpueblo.lacity.org

Victorian Christmas

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 and a horse-drawn trolley ride between the museum and the Drum Barracks Civil War Museum nearby. This annual holiday tradition, which has been operation for more than 30 years, is only a single day this year due to the Wilmington parade Dec. 8.

When: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sat., Dec. 7.
Where: Banning Museum, 401 E Main St., Wilmington.
Cost: Free admission.
City sponsor: Rec and Parks.
Information: (310) 548-2005 or www.thebanningmuseum.org

Wilmington Winter Wonderland

You’ll believe it can snow in the Port during the Wilmington Winter Wonderland. Bring the family and let the kids play in the snow at Wilmington Waterfront Park.

When: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Sat., Dec. 7.
Where: Wilmington Waterfront Park, 1004 W. C St., Wilmington.
Cost: Free.
City sponsor: Harbor
Information: www.portofla.org

Harbor Afloat Parade

Join harbor community members for this free and festive boat parade on the LA Waterfront, sponsored by the Port. Enjoy the sparkling spectacular parade of boats and celebrate the nation’s busiest international trade gateway. Pre-parade festivities at Banning’s Landing Community Center (4 p.m.).

When: 6-9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7
Where: LA Waterfront; Banning’s Landing Community Center,
100 E. Water St., Wilmington.
Cost: Free.
City sponsor: Harbor
Information: www.portofla.org

Pershing Square Winter Holiday Festival

Rec and Parks hosts the Winter Holiday Festival with tons of snow for sledding, a trackless train ride, entertainment, food vendors, and a free photo with Santa. (Nearby ice skating is additional cost.)

When: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Sat.-Sun., Dec. 7-8.
Where: Pershing Square downtown, 532 S. Olive St. Take Metro Red/Purple Line to Pershing Square, or park in nearby facilities (fee).
Cost: Free.
City sponsor: Rec and Parks.
Information: laparks.org/pershingsquare/winter-holiday-festival

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