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5 Best Wintertime Los Angeles Activities

a group of people riding skis down a snow covered slope

Tired of all the Christmas hoopla? Just want to enjoy some wintertime fun? Make the most of the season in Los Angeles, both before and after the holidays, with these six best wintertime Los Angeles activities.

1. Strap on your ice skates

Yes, many of you in the East Coast likely don’t even consider it “winter” here, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a bit of ice skating while visiting Los Angeles. Thanks to the wonders of technology, outdoor ice skating in Los Angeles is, yes, a thing, and it’s become a real tradition for the locals throughout the winter months.  You’ll find rinks at Pershing Square Holiday Ice Rink (532 S Olive St, open generally 11:30 am – 9:30 pm, 11pm Friday and Saturday), LA Kings Holiday Ice Live (LA Live, 800 W Olympic Blvd, times vary, see website), Ice at Santa Monica (1324 Fifth St, Santa Monica, times vary, see website).  So, strap on some skates and find a rink near you.

2. See the lights at Descanso Gardens

Enchanted Forest of Light at Descanso GardensThe lights at Descanso Gardens are really something else, but these aren’t just your average holiday lights. Starting Nov. 17, you can see the gardens lit up in wondrous, larger-than-life art displays, 5:30 p.m.–10 p.m. Bring your walking shoes, because the Enchanted: Forest of Light walk is a one-mile trek, though it’ll go by fast. The large-scale light displays are interactive and fun for kids of all ages.  (Nov 17 – Jan 5, 1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada Flintridge)

3. Mark your calendar for special events at top LA museums and restaurants

Photo of Japanese noodles in LAIn January of each year, dineL.A. Restaurant Week is a huge success, offering locals and travelers alike special dining deals at some of the best restaurants in the city. For this reason, visiting LA during the Winter 2020 dineL.A. Restaurant Week, Jan. 17–31, is a great choice.

Similarly, if you want to see some of LA’s best museums for free, mark your calendars for the big free museum day coming up in February 2020.  Last year the free days were February 2 and 3; as of this writing they had not yet been announced.  See the Annual Free For All Day page for updates.

4. Enjoy the white stuff at Snow Day LA

Snow Day LA in Los AngelesYes, you can find snow in Los Angeles this season. Visit Elysian Park during Snow Day LA on weekend nights in November and December for snow tubing across five tube lanes and a bunny hill.  If you’re not quite a fan of slipping down man-made slopes on your backside, you can just enjoy the snowy photo ops and some yummy warm drinks. (2010 Stadium Way, Los Angeles, Fri-Sun nights from 6-10:30 pm Nov 7 to Dec 29)


5. Take advantage of some unique shopping options

Photo of beaded necklaces at Los Angeles crafts fairThe winter months bring several unique shopping options to Los Angeles. December means craft fairs filled with items that are not only good gifts for your friends and family, they’re good gifts for yourself, too. Try the Renegade Craft Fair, Echo Park Craft Fair, Harvest Festival, Hillside Farm Holiday Fair or the Unique LA or Unique Santa Monica markets. All offer something different and fun, for hours of browsing.

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