Los Angeles is truly a unique Christmas destination. Instead of snow, you get gorgeous Los Angeles weather through the window of your car rental, which has a charm all to itself. The city of fine shopping and dining somehow becomes even more glitzy during the holiday season.
Whether you’re traveling to L.A. with your family, passing through with your friends, or have lived here all your life and want a fresh perspective on the city, here are some of the best things to do in the city around Christmas. From shopping to food to the best Christmas tree in town, we have you covered.
Since everyone knows L.A. runs on cars, don’t forget to rent a car today!
Weather in L.A. during Christmas
When most people think of Christmas, they think of cold, red noses, and, if you’re lucky, snow. However, just because you’re anxiously waiting for Santa doesn’t mean you have to stay in polar conditions. The weather in L.A. during December is an even 50–60 degrees Fahrenheit. While the Angelenos may be shivering in their jackets, it is positively balmy compared to the rest of the country. Some days the temperatures even reach the low 70s!
You won’t get snow in L.A., but you probably won’t get rain in December either—the days are mostly clear and sunny.
Places to Visit in L.A. During Christmas
These are some of Los Angeles’s most special holiday destinations.
Any time of year is a great time to visit Hollywood, but Tinseltown glitters even more during Christmas. Check out the holiday lights and decorations. If you’re in town the weekend after Thanksgiving, you can even catch the annual Hollywood Christmas Parade.
The House of Mouse is always full of magic, and of course, they kick it up a notch during the most magical time of year. Visit Disneyland during Christmas, and you’ll see amazing Christmas lights, characters in holiday gear, and even special Christmas-themed shows and parades.
If you want to spend Christmas in Los Angeles but don’t want to miss out on snow, head to Disneyland—the park creates a nightly artificial snowfall that adds to the ambiance.
If you’re not a Disneyland person, check out the holiday displays at some of the other theme parks around L.A., such as Knott’s Berry Farm (or Knott’s Merry Farm during the holidays), Six Flags Magic Mountain, and Universal Studios. All of these parks are a bit outside of the city, which is why it is useful to have access to a car rental.
The L.A. Zoo
If you’re visiting L.A. with children, then you have to stop by the L.A. Zoo for their special L.A. Zoo Lights exhibit, which is open every holiday season. After the zoo closes for regular operations, visitors with special tickets can walk through a portion of the zoo with holiday lights, light-up animal displays, themed snacks, and plenty of photo opportunities so you can capture memories that will last a lifetime.
The L.A. Zoo holiday light display is sure to please visitors of all ages, but the youngest ones will especially have that gleam in their eyes.
Holiday-Exclusive Shopping Spots in Los Angeles
L.A. is a premium shopping destination all year round, with boutiques for all budgets promising to help you look like the stars. During Christmas, even more shopping opportunities abound as pop-ups and holiday markets crop up all over the city.
Union Station Holiday Festival
During December, local artisans and craftspeople take over the South Patio at L.A.’s iconic Union Station. This is one of the best places to go shopping for unique handmade gifts during the holiday season and support local small businesses.
Jackalope Art Fair
If you need a break from Los Angeles’s usual polish, check out the Jackalope Art Fair. This craft fair, technically located in Burbank, specializes in quirky, unique vendors. Open for one weekend in December only, the Jackalope Art Fair is one of the best places to go for everything from leather wallets to soap.
Searching for the Best Christmas Trees
No Christmas is complete without a tree. No tree in L.A. may rival the one in Rockefeller Center when it comes to international fame, but there are still plenty of places to see some spectacular lights and ornaments. Here are some destinations you should check out on your quest to find the best Christmas tree in Los Angeles.
The Americana at Brand, located in nearby Glendale, is one of the L.A. area’s most iconic entertainment districts with shopping, movie theaters, and so much more. During December, it is one of the city’s most beloved holiday destinations thanks to the massive white fir decorated with over 12,000 lights and thousands of ornaments. Rent a car, head to Glendale, and make a whole day out of shopping, dining, and admiring the tree.
The Grove is the Americana’s biggest rival for the title of L.A.’s most spectacular tree. The tree is even bigger than the famous one at Rockefeller Center, usually standing at over 100 feet. Admire the spectacular lighting, then take in everything else The Grove has to offer, such as the musical fountain, trolley cars, and plenty of shops.
Places to Eat in L.A. on Christmas Day
L.A. is always bustling, but even this busy city winds down for Christmas Day as most people head home to spend time with their families. If you’re in the city on this day, here are some places that will still be open for food.
Hotel restaurants are always a good bet for dining on a holiday. For high-end French cuisine, Lillie’s in the Culver Hotel is one of the hottest reservations in town, although finding a table shouldn’t be a problem on Christmas.
If you want a holiday meal that screams Americana, Southern-inspired Yardbird will be serving a special holiday menu on Christmas Day.
Getting the Most Out of Holidays in L.A.
On behalf of Legacy Car Rental in Los Angeles, we wish you a merry Christmas and happy holidays! If you’re in L.A. over the Christmas season, check out the lights, visit some nearby theme parks, and do some shopping. Renting a car from us will help you check every item off your list!