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Best Free Holiday Events In Los Angeles

christmas lights 610 header
(Credit: Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

The holiday season can be stressful and expensive. Finding those special moments do not have to come at a cost. Los Angeles has many opportunities for friends and families of all ages do participate in activities with lots of holiday cheer. Free s'mores and hot chocolate, magical snowfalls, movies and parades are surefire ways to create favorite holiday memories.

s'mores fire smores
(credit: Mark Krapels/Shutterstock)

S'mores & Stories By The Fire
Terranea Resort
100 Terranea Way
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275
(310) 265-2800
Every Friday night in December, 7pm to 8pm.

Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes is celebrating the season with cozy coastal evenings by the fireplace. Families are invited to join the oceanfront resort each Friday night around the firepit located at the resort pool for ooey gooey s'mores and a holiday story. Santa's elves are on-hand to make the night extra special, too. Terranea Resort is a unique place to celebrate the holidays – its decorated Christmas tree is a magnificent centerpiece as it sits looking out to the Pacific Ocean. A perfect opportunity for family photo ops.

grove holidays winter chirstmas
(credit: James W./Yelp)

Magical Snowfall
The Grove
189 The Grove Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 900-8080
November 15 – December 24, 7pm to 8pm

Get caught in the snow at The Grove. The outdoor lifestyle, shopping and dining destination is bringing a nightly magical snowfall - cue the ooohs and aaahs. For snowflakes and holiday spirit, grab a spot anywhere at The Grove and look up. There are two snowfalls each night, which are set to the sweet crooning of Frank Sinatra's "Let It Snow." The Grove is hosting a full holiday lineup of free activities for the holidays as well where guests are invited to visit Santa in his enchanted house featuring a chestnut roaster, hot chocolate and cider, and embrace the wonder of The Grove's decorated 100-foot-tall white fir Christmas tree.

marina del rey boat 2
(credit: Marina Del Rey Boat Parade)

Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade
Fisherman's Village
13755 Fiji Way
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
December 12, 5:55 to 8pm

Like its counterparts south in Newport Beach and elsewhere in Orange County, Marina del Rey will be putting on their own Holiday Boat Parade. The event is not only an annual event, but a tradition of the Marina channel since 1963. A fireworks display kicks off the holiday party of decorated yachts and boats of all sizes. Florence Henderson is named Grand Marshall for this year. Think red and green Christmas lights, floating Santa and his elves, festively wrapped gifts, and Christmas trees. Boats will show off their décor as they make their way around the main channel of the harbor at least three times. The best free viewing locations include Fisherman's Village or Burton Chace Park, or grab a seat at one of the waterfront restaurants.

Related: Best Seafood Restaurants In Los Angeles

christmas parade
(credit: Sergei Bachlakov/Shutterstock)

Uptown Whittier Christmas Parade
6723 Greenleaf Ave.
Whittier, CA 90601
(562) 696-2662
December 12, 2015 10am to 12pm

The City of Uptown Whittier hosts one of the more traditional Christmas parades in town. Rich in culture, neighborly and entertaining, community members connect to one another at this annual and historic parade. In its 62nd year, the Uptown annual Christmas parade is one you want to attend; you don't have to be from Uptown Whittier to enjoy it. High stepping equestrian groups, spirited marching bands and drill teams, decorated floats and local dignitaries encompass the parade. Spectators set their lawn chairs along Greenleaf Ave. between Hadley St. and Mar Vista St.

winterlit santa monica downtown
(credit: Downtown Santa Monica, Inc.)

Holiday Movie Night: "Home Alone"
Third St. Promenade
On Third St. between Broadway and Santa Monica Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
December 18, 2015 7pm.

This year, Downtown Santa Monica transforms into a magical "winterlit' destination, celebrating with holiday cheer and fun holiday-related activities. Movies, hot cocoa, Christmas lights and Santa – all conjure up good holiday feelings. Get into the mood as Downtown Santa Monica hosts a free movie screening of "Home Alone" (PG) one of America's favorite holiday movie classics made by John Hughes, and just right for the entire family. Hot chocolate will be served. Before the projector runs, bring the kids at 6pm to create a holiday craft project.

Related: Best Movie Theaters In Los Angeles

Sheryl Craig is a writer with a passion for interesting finds and treasures in Los Angeles. She has a background in journalism and public relations. A mother of two daughters, Sheryl integrates her healthy lifestyle into raising her children. Her work can be found at


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