Top Los Angeles Things to Do in December

“Come From Away” is now playing at the Ahmanson Theatre.

The holidays are in full swing with lots of fun and unique shows, shopping and more. Here are more than 30 of the top things to do in Los Angeles this December.

Edited by William Yelles.

The Bai Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square
All month. Skate among the skyscrapers at this ice-skating rink, which materializes every holiday season at Pershing Square. See website for hours, skate-session schedule and prices. 532 S. Olive St., downtown. holidayicerinkdowntownla.com

 

“Come From Away”
All month. This moving musical is set in the week following the 9/11 attacks and tells the true story of what transpired when 38 planes carrying 7,000 passengers were ordered to land unexpectedly in a small, welcoming town in Newfoundland. See website for show times and ticket prices. Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown, 213.628.2772. centertheatregroup.org

 

Ice Presented by The Plaza at Santa Monica
All month. This 8,000-square-foot outdoor skating rink in downtown Santa Monica brings holiday spirit to the beach. M-Th 2-10 p.m.; F 2 p.m.-midnight; Sa 10 a.m.-midnight; Su 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Admission, including skate rental, $15. 1324 Fifth St., Santa Monica, 310.260.1199. downtownsm.com

 

Miracle Bar at The Kimpton Everly
All month. This holiday season, The Ever Bar at The Kimpton Everly Hotel will transform into Miracle Bar—a retro-inspired Instagrammable winter wonderland featuring kitchy, throwback holiday décor, a 20-foot inflatable Santa and Christmas-themed cocktails. Su-W 4:30 p.m.-midnight; Th-Sa 4:30 p.m.-2 a.m. 1800 Argyle Ave., Hollywood, 213.279.3532. everlyhotelhollywood.com

 

“Queen Mary Christmas: Where Holidays Set Sail”
All month. On board the ship, an 80-foot-tall Christmas tree decorated with more than 45,000 LED lights is illuminated nightly accompanied by a spectacular music and light display. More Christmas trees can be found lining the ship’s Promenade Deck. At the Gingerbread Village, the Queen Mary is replicated in cookie dough and icing. Speaking of icing, guests can don their skates for a spin on the ice rink located on the Sports Deck. See website for complete schedule of activities, hours and ticket prices. 1126 Queens Hwy., Long Beach, 562.499.1739. queenmary.com

 

“Wicked”
All month. The Broadway sensation is back by popular demand. Learn the untold story of the witches of Oz, the “wicked” Elphaba and good witch Glinda, in this smash-hit prequel to The Wizard of Oz. See website for show times and ticket prices. Hollywood Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323.468.1770. hollywoodpantages.com

 

Downtown L.A. Holiday Market
Dec. 1-2. At Unique Markets’ pop-up, shop the wares of 300 independent designers, makers and brands, who’ll be selling home goods, clothing, bath products, gourmet edibles and more. Free drinks, DIY projects, photo-booth portraits and gift wrapping. 10 am-5 pm. Daily admission $15, VIP $35. California Market Center, 110 E. Ninth St., downtown. uniquemarkets.com

 

“The Nutcracker”
Dec. 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 22-24. The Los Angeles Ballet performs the beloved holiday tale about Clara and her Nutcracker—set in 1912 Los Angeles—at the Alex Theatre, Dolby Theatre, Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center and Royce Hall at UCLA. The Dolby Theatre shows feature performances by the Los Angeles Ballet Orchestra. See website for schedule and ticket information. Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale, 818.243.2539; Dolby Theatre, Hollywood & Highland, 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323.308.6300; Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Redondo Beach, 310.937.6607; Royce Hall at UCLA, 10745 Dickson Court, L.A., 310.825.4401. losangelesballet.org/the-nutcracker

 

CicLAvia: Heart of L.A.
Dec. 2. Six miles of L.A.’s normally congested streets turn into a car-free park for a walk and bike tour through Chinatown, downtown and Boyle Heights during this beloved open-streets event. See website for route details. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. 213.355.8500. ciclavia.org

 

“Love, Actually Live” comes to life on stage at The Wallis.

 

“Love, Actually Live”
Dec. 4-31. For the Record’s multimedia theatrical celebration of Love, Actually brings the beloved Christmas film to life with carols and pop hits performed by a cast including Rumer Willis and Steve Kazee. See website for show times and ticket prices. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310.746.4000. thewallis.org

 

Chanukah Happy Hour
Dec. 5. Saddle Peak Lodge will be hosting a family-friendly Chanukah Happy Hour. This event will include a menorah candle lighting with Rabbi JB Sacks who will lead the lighting and tell some stories. A prix-fixe menu of traditional holiday dishes, singing and Chanukah gelt for kids are also included. 6:30 p.m. $60. 419 Cold Canyon Rd., Calabasas, 818.222.3888. saddlepeaklodge.com

 

Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade
Dec. 8. The theme of this year’s annual parade of decorated boats and fireworks show is “Holiday Water Wonderland.” Fireworks, 5:55 p.m.; parade, 6-8 pm. Beforehand, enjoy real snow, sledding, arts and crafts, face painting, a DJ and food trucks in the park from noon-6 p.m. Free. Burton Chace Park, 13650 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey, 310.670.7130. mdrboatparade.org

 

Smorgasburg LA Holiday Popup on the Pier
Dec. 8. Taste the best of downtown’s weekly Smorgasburg LA as over 70 vendors journey west to the Santa Monica Pier, including favorites like Goa Taco, Katsu Sando, Lobsterdamus and Ponchos Tlayudas, plus, special popup vendors including NYC’s Burger Supreme and more. 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Free. 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica. la.smorgasburg.com

 

Echo Park Craft Fair
Dec. 8-9. This popular homegrown arts and design event showcases the wares of over 120 talented local artisans. Shop for jewelry, clothes, ceramics, perfume and more. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. One day $12; weekend pass $20. Mack Sennett Studios, 1215 Bates Ave., L.A. echoparkcraftfair.com

 

Renegade Craft Fair
Dec. 8-9. This celebration of the DIY spirit features both emerging and established makers selling their wares, plus food and drink, workshops, music and more. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Los Angeles State Historic Park, 1245 N. Spring St., downtown. renegadecraft.com

 

The Disgusting Food Museum
Opens Dec. 8. From the folks behind the Museum of Failure pop-up comes this new exhibition providing the opportunity to smell and taste dozens of the world’s most vile creations that are delicacies in other cultures. Maggot infested cheese, sheep eyeball juice, frog smoothies, roasted guinea pigs and mouse wine, anyone? W-F 2-8 p.m., Sa-Su noon-7 p.m. See website for ticket prices. A+D Architecture and Design Museum, 900 E. Fourth St., L.A. disgustingfoodmuseum.com

 

Los Angeles Auto Show
Through Dec. 9. Test drive nearly 100 of the auto industry’s latest models and explore 1,000 vehicles at this annual car show—one of the world’s largest. Kids can enjoy video games, virtual-reality demos and play zones. See website for hours. $5-$35, under 6 free. Los Angeles Convention Center, 1201 S. Figueroa St., downtown, 310.444.1850. laautoshow.com

 

“Valley of the Heart”
Through Dec. 9. Legendary playwright Luis Valdez (Zoot Suit) is behind this sweeping new epic—set amid the Great Depression and attack on Pearl Harbor—that explores America’s ideals and actions. See website for show times and ticket prices. Mark Taper Forum, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown, 213.628.2772. centertheatregroup.org

 

Manhattan Beach Holiday Fireworks
Dec. 9. The picturesque beachside city’s annual holiday celebration features a Skechers-sponsored snow park, a Santa float and live music, capped off by a fireworks show over the pier. Snow park, float, 4 p.m.; fireworks, 7 p.m. Free (new, unwrapped toy or cash donation to benefit the YMCA Adventure Guides Toy Drive requested for snow park admission). 2 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Manhattan Beach. mbfireworks.com

 

“It’s a Wonderful Life” Radio Play
Dec. 12-23. One of the all-time classic Christmas stories comes to life on stage in a 1940s-style radio broadcast. Simon Helberg (The Big Bang Theory) stars. See website for show times and ticket prices. Pasadena Playhouse, 39 South El Molino Ave., Pasadena, 626.356.7529. pasadenaplayhouse.org

 

Disney on Ice Presents “Dare to Dream”
Dec. 13-16. Bring the kids to see their favorite Disney movies come alive on ice. The show features characters from Moana, Beauty and the Beast, Frozen, Tangled and Cinderella. See website for show times and ticket prices. Staples Center, 1111 S. Figueroa St., downtown, 888.929.7849. disneyonice.com

 

Bunker Hill Holiday Market
Dec. 14. Check something off everyone’s list this year at the Bunker Hill Holiday Market presented by Artisanal LA. Shop over 20 local makers and choose from a diverse selection of hand-crafted jewelry, candles, sweets and more. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Bank of America Plaza, 333 South Hope St., L.A. bunkerhillholidaymarket.com

 

“Welcome to America”
Through Dec. 15. Welcome to America is the first U.S. solo show by art-world sensation Farshad Farzankia. Based in Copenhagen, the artist works in various media, including installations and painted wood sculptures. His large canvases and sculptures pop with color and are inspired by that which many of us hold so dear: memories of our youth and family. Richard Heller Gallery, 2525 Michigan Ave., B-5A, Santa Monica, 310.453.9191. richardhellergallery.com

 

The retro-inspired Miracle Bar features Christmas-themed cocktails.

 

“The Wonderful Winter of Oz”
Dec. 15-30. The Lythgoe Family Panto returns to the Pasadena Civic Auditorium with its newest production, The Wonderful Winter of Oz, a holiday-themed, family-friendly musical in the style of a traditional British Family Panto. On Christmas Eve, Dorothy gets swept away by a “freak” Kansas blizzard and lands in a world of munchkins and witches. See website for show times and ticket prices. 300 E. Green St., Pasadena, 626.449.7300. visitpasadena.com

 

“Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol”
Through Dec. 16. In this world-premiere adaptation, Tony Award winner Jefferson Mays breathes new life into the classic Christmas tale, turning it into a one-man show in which he plays Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim and more. See website for show times and ticket prices. Gil Cates Theater, Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Westwood, 310.208.5454. geffenplayhouse.org

 

“Hughie & Krapp’s Last Tape”
Through Dec. 16. Two-time Tony winner Brian Dennehy stars in both Eugene O’Neill’s Hughie and Samuel Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape. See website for show times and ticket prices. Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater, Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Westwood, 310.208.5454. geffenplayhouse.org

 

Brian Setzer Orchestra
Dec. 22. The 15th annual Brian Setzer Orchestra Christmas Rocks! tour makes a stop in Los Angeles at The Microsoft Theater. The show features music from the 19-piece orchestra’s best-selling holiday albums as well as original Brian Setzer hits. $49.50-$109.50. 777 Chick Hearn Court, L.A., 213.763.6030. microsofttheater.com

 

Los Angeles County Holiday Celebration
Dec. 24. Performing artists from across L.A. County come together in this 59th annual holiday tradition. See website for list of performers. 3 p.m. Free. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., L.A., 213.972.3099. holidaycelebration.org

 

“Bob Baker’s Nutcracker”
Through Dec. 30. Bob Baker’s adaptation of the ballet classic is one of Bob Baker Marionette Theater’s most beloved shows since it began in 1969. Bob Baker’s Nutcracker features over 100 handcrafted puppets to take the entire family on an adventure through the wizardry of strings and into the enchanted world of the fantastic. This is the first time that the show is being performed outside of its original location. See website for show times. $20. Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena, 626.356.7529. pasadenaplayhouse.org

 

“Dixie’s Tupperware Party”
Through Dec. 30. The hilarious off-Broadway one-woman comedy starring Dixie Longate as the fast-talking, gum chewing, ginger-haired Alabama gal who is bringing your grandma’s Tupperware party into the 21st century. See website for show times and ticket prices. Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City, 213.628.2772. centertheatregroup.org

 

Ozzfest
Dec. 31. For the first time since its 1996 debut, OZZFEST–the annual musical event that celebrates hard rock and heavy metal–has created a special one-night-only New Year’s Eve celebration to ring in 2019. Ozzy Osbourne headlines, joined by rockers Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Jonathan Davis (of Korn), along with Body Count featuring Ice-T. The New Year’s Eve party will include an outdoor stage, along with other holiday festivities. 2:30 p.m. $49.50-$179.50. The Forum, 3900 W. Manchester Blvd., Inglewood. Tickets

 

“Come From Away” photo by Matthew Murphy. “Love Actually, Live” photo by Lily Lim. Miracle Bar photo courtesy The Kimpton Everly.

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