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Our Official Guide Of The Best December 2016 L.A. Events

(Credit: The Mission Inn)

Get ready for a month of endless holiday festivities Los Angeles! With so much to do and see this month, we've found the best there is to do throughout the month, and the best places to catch a show, see the lights, eat, drink, and overall enjoy the holidays throughout December.

November 3, 2016 - January 16, 2017
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Downtown Santa Monica | ICE at Santa Monica
Fifth Street and Arizona Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Downtown Santa Monica's ICE, or their ice rink is back again this year. With it, it'll bring a ice to not only the beachside community of Santa Monica but for all areas of Los Angeles, transforming the corner of Fifth Street and Arizona Avenue into the winter wonderland known as ICE at Santa Monica, an 8,000-square-foot ice-skating rink. Admission is just $15 and it's the perfect place to celebrate the holidays with friends and family, or even throw a private party. Hours vary, though the rink is open Mondays through Thursdays from 2pm to 10pm, Fridays from 2pm to 12am, Saturday from 10am to 12am and Sundays from 10am to 10pm.

November 25, 2016 - January 8, 2017
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(Credit: Descanso Gardens)

Enchanted: Forest of Light
Descanso Gardens
1418 Descanso Dr.
La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011

Enjoy a one-mile walk through eight distinct lighting displays in the beautiful Descanso Gardens this month. The interactive, nighttime experience includes large-scale light features, lighted pads, and a chance to manipulate sound and color in the Oak Grove. Pair your evening out with a holiday dinner service at Descanso Gardens' restaurant, Maple, featuring classic fall flavors, garden-fresh cocktails, craft beer, and wine.

November 25, 2016 - December 30, 2016
Griffith park train
(Credit: Neal C./yelp)

Griffith Park Holiday Light Festival Train Ride
4400 Crystal Springs Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(800) 438-1297 Ext 805

Open every day of the year, except for Christmas Day, the Griffith Park Train Rides are one of L.A's best and most inexpensive experiences and family attractions. From November 25, 2016 to December 30, enjoy an evening train ride around their festive and decorated one mile of track! Magical scenes and thousands of lights will delight those who take part in it!

November 23, 2016 - January 8, 2017
queenmarychill- VERIFIED - Kellie fell
(Credit: Queen Mary)

CHILL At The Queen Mary
The Queen Mary
1126 Queens Hwy.
Long Beach, CA 90802
(800) 437-2934

CHILL has taken over the Queen Mary once again, and this year it features a new holiday adventure with "Alice in Winterland." The fully immersive experience tells the story of the Lewis Carroll classic through a visually stunning landscape. Lace up and take a spin at the outdoor ice skating rink, hop in an ice tubing luge, grab a drink at the Magic Mushroom Martini Bar, or check out the Swingin' Sleigh Ride and the world's largest Giant Rocking Horse Ride. CHILL is open select dates through January 8, 2016

November 25, 2016 - December 23, 2016
Holidays at Universal Citywalk
(credit: Holidays at Universal CityWalk)

Holidays At Universal CityWalk
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608
(818) 622-9841

Free for all to attend, Universal CityWalk is always bustling during the holidays. This year, take photos with Santa Claus, enjoy live entertainment, holiday shopping and look up in awe at the Christmas tree with 200,000 choreographed pulsing LED lights that will rock to the music!

November 25, 2016 - January 7, 2017
mission inn
(Credit: The Mission Inn)

The Mission Inn's Festival of Lights
The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa
649 Mission Inn Ave.
Riverside, CA 92501
(951) 784-0300

It's worth the quick trip outside of L.A. to see the amazing display of lights at the historic Mission Inn. Over 4.5 million lights illuminate the hallways and walkways, along with 400+ animated figures. Stop and sing along with Dickens carolers, stroll through freshly fallen snow, and explore three large gingerbread villages set up in the area. The festival is free, and runs through January 7th, 2017.

November 18, 2016 - January 8, 2017
(Credit: Jamie Pham)

L.A. Zoo Lights, Reindeer Romp, and Holiday Happy Hour
Los Angeles Zoo
5333 Zoo Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 644-4200

The L.A. Zoo is packed with festivities this month. L.A. Zoo Lights returns, celebrating the season with twinkling tunnels, a disco ball forest, and a menagerie of animals brought to life with lights. This month also features the return of Reindeer Romp, the only place to see live reindeer in Los Angeles, including two new adorable babies. Weekends have even more to do, like holiday crafts, ice-carving demonstrations, animals unwrapping gifts, and visits from Santa Claus (every weekend through December 18). On December 8 and 15 the zoo will host an evening Holiday Happy Hour with express entry, a private lounge with complimentary snacks and drinks, and fun themes for both nights.

December 13, 2016 - December 24, 2016
(credit: The Grove)

Holidays At The Grove
189 The Grove Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90036

You can never go wrong with holidays at The Grove. Caruso, who owns The Grove surely knows how to entertain, and this year during the holidays it's no different. Step inside Santa's Cottage where kids can get photos taken with Santa Claus, look up in awe at the 100 foot tall Christmas tree with over 15,000 lights and 10,000 festive ornaments and enjoy more holiday decor!

November 23, 2016 - December 11, 2016
Disney's Moana
(Credit: ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.)

See Disney's Moana
El Capitan Theatre
6838 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(800) DISNEY6

See a screening of Disney's newest animated film, Moana, like only the El Capitan Theatre can provide. Moana is the story of an adventurous teenager who sets sail on a daring mission to save her people, discovering herself along the way. Exclusive to the theater, attendees can enjoy music from Disneyland's The Side Street Strutters Jazz Band before the film, and a visit from Moana, live on stage. Breakfast meet and greets with Moana are available on select dates, as are Movie & Meal Packages that include a trip to nearby Dave & Busters for food and fun.

December 1,5,6,7,8,12,13,14,15, 2016
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(Credit: A24/Plan B Entertainment)

"The Contenders 2016" Film Screenings
The Hammer Museum
10899 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 443-7000

Awards season is just around the corner, so The Hammer Museum is partnering once again with The Museum of Modern Art to bring you the opportunity to see recently released films that are bound for awards glory. Ten nights of films will be accompanied by intimate post-screening conversations with directors and actors, including Tom Ford, Amy Adams, and Werner Herzog. Tickets will go fast, so grab them before they're sold out.

December 1, 2016
christmas tree lighting
(credit: Sakdinon Kadchiangsaen/Shutterstock)

Downtown Santa Monica Tree Lighting
3rd Street Promenade
Santa Monica 90401

The City of Santa Monica will offer their official holiday tree lighting party tonight. Starting at 6:30pm at the 1300 block of the Third Street Promenade, join Santa, Mrs. Claus, city officials and others as the tree is lit up! There will be caroling that you can sing along to, kids' craft stations, and much more!

December 1, 2016
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(Credit: The Ritz-Carlton)

Glitz and Glamour Spa Soiree
The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Los Angeles
900 W Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90015
(213) 743-8800

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and treat yourself to a day at the spa. The Ritz-Carlton is throwing an evening of pampering tonight, where guests are invited to enjoy one complimentary mini treatment along with tasty holiday bites, and a glass of champagne or spiked apple cider. A 15% retail store discount and pop-up shop within the spa will also be available for multi-taskers to do some holiday shopping.

December 2, 2016
3rd third street promenade
(credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images) (credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Cinema on the Street - Happy Holidays Edition
3rd Street Promenade
Santa Monica 90401

Between Santa Monica Blvd and Arizona Ave on the 1300 Block of the Third Street Promenade, Cinema on the Street will offer a free screening of the comedy-horror film Gremlins! Hot chocolate will be served to the first 100 guests.

December 2, 2016 - December 23, 2016
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(Credit: Craig Schwartz)

"A Christmas Carol"
A Noise Within
3352 East Foothill Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91107
(626) 356-3100

Classical repertory theatre company, A Noise Within, is continuing their holiday tradition of presenting Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol". This marks the 5th year of the company performing the time-honored tale of Ebenezer Scrooge's journey from miserly curmudgeon to generous philanthropist. Sixteen performances are slated for this season.

December 2, 2016
downtown santa monica
(credit: Artem Onoprienko/shutterstock)

Montana Avenue Holiday Walk
Montana Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90403

Every year, Montana Avenue comes to life during the holidays for its Holiday Walk! Beginning early in December, find great gifts, have your photos taken with Santa Claus, listen to live music, eat great food and sip on delicious drinks. It's a great night for all who attend! The event is from 5pm to 9pm.

December 2, 2016
(credit: RSZ)

The Groundlings Holiday Show
7307 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 934-4747

For just $20, see the legendary Groundlings Theatre present its holiday show with an evening of sketches and some improv. The skits and improv are always hilarious and this almost 2 hour show never disappoints.

December 3 & 4, 10 & 11, 16-31, 2016
The Grinch and Max at "Grinchmas" at Universal Studios Hollywood
(Credit: Universal Studios Hollywood )

Grinchmas at Universal Studios Hollywood
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608
(800) 864-8377

The Grinch, his faithful dog Max, and all the Whos from Who-ville are returning to celebrate Grinchmas at Universal Studios. In addition to special shows and free concerts, you'll have a chance to decorate ornaments, send a book to a child in need at the Who-ville Post Office, and take a Studio Tour to see re-enacted scenes from the movie. Joining the Grinchmas fun this year are the Merry Mischievous Minions, and the addition of an all new Hot Butterbeer at "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter." Grinchmas runs the first two weekends, and daily starting December 16.

December 3-4, 10-11, 16-18, 22-24, 2016
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(Credit: Reed Hutchinson )

Los Angeles Ballet's "The Nutcracker"
Various Locations

The Los Angeles Ballet puts on an unforgettable performance of "The Nutcracker" in various theaters around the city throughout December. The production holds firmly to the traditions of the classic story of Clara and her beloved nutcracker, while still offering surprises throughout. Each show will offer audience members the chance to meet the cast for photos in the lobby, as well as grab a pic with Santa. Performances take place at the Alex Theatre in Glendale (December 3-4), Hollywood's Dolby Theatre (December 10-11), Royce Hall at UCLA (December 16-18), and the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center (December 22-24).

December 4, 2016 - January 15, 2017
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(Credit: Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Photo by Cheshire Isaacs.)

Amelie, A New Musical
Ahmanson Theatre
135 N Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 628-2772

The charmingly shy character Amelie became a sensation in the Oscar-nominated film of the same name. She's back in a new musical to embark on a magical journey in the streets of Montmartre, using her imagination to secretly orchestrate moments of joy for those around her. Hamilton's Phillipa Soo plays the lead role, continuing to capture the hearts of audiences following the musical's world premiere in Berkeley.

December 5, 2016
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(credit: Esters Wine Shop & Bar)

Cocktail and Wreath Making Workshop
Esters Wine Shop & Bar
1314 7th St
Santa Monica, CA 90405
(310) 899-6900

Looking for a little fun activity this holiday season? Esters Wine Shop & Bar in Santa Monica is putting on a special cocktail and wreath making workshop! Whether you're looking for some entertaining tips before the December madness sets in, or seeking an activity for company in town, both make for a fun, festive occasion. The cocktail workshop actually is on December 5 from 6pm to 8pm and is led by Rustic Canyon's bar manager Aaron Ranf. Here, you'll learn to make three different holiday themed cocktails while enjoying bubbles and bites from Esters. But, on December 10th, the fun begins when you get to learn how to make wreaths from florist Krystal Chang from 1pm to 3pm. Book a reservation by calling (310) 899-6900 for either or both events.

December 10 & 11, 2016
(credit: George Robertson)

KROQ's Almost Acoustic Christmas
The Forum
3900 W Manchester Blvd
Inglewood, CA 90305

KROQ's Almost Acoustic Christmas is back again this year and better than ever! With headliners like Blink 182, Beck, Green Day, Weezer, Kings of Leon, M83 and other standout stars like the extremely popular up and comer Bishop Briggs, The Head and The Heartt, Bastille, AFI, X Ambassadors, Grouplove and others, there's nothing quite like celebrating the holidays at this legendary event! The event will mark its return to the Forum again this year for 2 nights, and proceeds will benefit local charities Para Los Niños and the Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center.

December 7, 2016 - December 24, 2016
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(Credit: Zachary Andrews)

Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol"
Rubicon Theatre Company
1006 E. Main St.
Ventura, CA 93001
(805) 667-2900

Broadway veteran Peter Van Norden and Emmy Award-winner Joe Spano join the Rubicon Theatre Company to reprise their roles in Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." The innovative yet faithful retelling of the holiday classic earned rave reviews in its premiere last year, incorporating highly theatrical elements on a multi-level set. The production is presented as a play with music, and is set in the style of the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of "The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby."

December 8, 2016
pitchoun - verified
(Credit: Pitchoun! Bakery)

Tour De France Wine Tasting
Pitchoun! Bakery
545 S Olive St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 689-3240

Downtown L.A. french bakery Pitchoun! is hosting a wine tasting featuring five fabulous French wines from the Beaujolais, Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Cotes du Rhone regions. The wines will be available for tastings alongside shareable platters of dry meats, cheese, and homemade terrines and antipasta selection. Eat, drink, and enjoy live lounge music from 5pm - 8pm. So, drink up for the holidays and be merry!

December 10, 2016
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(Credit: SANTA Monica Pub Crawl)

8th Annual SANTA Monica Holiday Pub Crawl
Various Locations

Grab your friends, don your most festive holiday-themed costume, and make your way down Wilshire, The Pier, Third Street Promenade, or Main Street in Santa Monica for the 8th annual SANTA Monica Pub Crawl. Your admittance fee will once again benefit the Westside Food Bank, so you can feel good as you make your way through some of the city's best bars and restaurants, enjoying food and drink specials along the way. If you're feeling extra festive, join the Santa Scavenger Challenge Hunt for a chance to earn fun prizes.

December 10, 2016
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(credit: Marina Del Rey Boat Parade)

Marina Del Rey Boat Parade
Fisherman's Village
13755 Fiji Way
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
Date: December 10, 2016

Like the Orange County holiday boat parades, Marina del Rey will be pulling off their annual holiday light show this year. 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 large and small. The Grand Marshall this year will be Florence Henderson and you'll get to watch red and green Christmas lights, floating Santa's and his elves, festively wrapped gifts, and Christmas trees float by. 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.

December 10 & 11, 2016
(credit: Azovtsev Maksym/shutterstock)

Echo Park Craft Fair
Mack Sennett Studios
1215 Bates Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90029
(323) 660-8466

A community of designers, craftspeople and artisans that live and breathe their craft will take over Mack Sennett Studios in Echo Park for the neighborhood Echo Park Craft Fair. For those that love Pinterest, this is a no-brainer event. Set within the huge 5,000 square foot Mack Sennett Studios, expect to find crafts from over 120 artsy artists and designers. Handcrafted items have made a huge comeback in recent years, so it's no surprise this is a popular event. The Echo Park Craft Fair was actually founded by a shoe designer and a textile artist and is held every other year. Growing from just a small hangout to an big and popular artists event, it's provided an outlet for local L.A. craftspeople to showcase their handmade goods.

December 10 & 11, 2016
Renegade Craft Fair
(credit: Renegade Craft Fair)

Renegade Craft Fair
Grand Park
200 N Grand Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Butting up against Echo Park's Craft Fair is the popular Renegade Craft Fair in downtown L.A. Set in Grand Park for two days, the event will be open from 10am to 5pm and is meant to be a celebration of DIY goods. This year marks the 8th year the event has come to Los Angeles and it's free to attend. Grab plenty of unique craft goods that you can't find anywhere else!

December 10 & 17, 2016
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(credit: Malibu Country Mart)

Malibu Country Mart Annual Winter Wonderland
Malibu Country Mart
3835 Cross Creek Rd.
Malibu, CA 90265

Southern California's great lifestyle center in Malibu will be celebrating the holiday season throughout December by transforming into a Winter Wonderland. Along with festive holiday décor, the shopping destination will feature a beautifully decorated Christmas tree, a menorah, and many twinkling lights. On December 10th, from 12pm to 4pm, there will be activities including taking photos with Santa, as well as a cookie decorating party. Then, on December 17, see Santa's Reindeer and take photos with Santa from 12pm to 4pm. There will also be strolling caroleers from 12pm to 2pm.

December 10, 11, 17, 18, 2016
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(Credit: Katie Ging)

The Long Beach Ballet's "The Nutcracker"
Long Beach Terrace Theater
300 East Ocean Blvd.
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 436-3636

The Long Beach Ballet is pulling out all the stops once again for its 34th production of "The Nutcracker." A full symphony orchestra, flying sleigh, live horse, and on-stage pyrotechnics are all part of the ballet's performance. Principal dancers from the San Francisco Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet join a cast of over 200 dancers for the family-friendly event.

December 17, 2016
(Credit: JW Marriott Los Angeles)

L.A. LIVE's Holly Jolly Day
JW Marriott Los Angeles
900 West Olympic Blvd,
Los Angeles, CA 90015
(213) 216-3390

An afternoon of exclusive ice skating on the L.A. Kings outdoor rink awaits you at The Mixing Room's second annual Holly Jolly Day. Along with access to the rink, treat stations with cupcake decorating, and a chocolate fountain will be set up, full of holiday sweets. Festive cocktails and spiked hot chocolate will be available at the bar for adults, and Santa Claus himself will visit Mrs. Claus' life-sized gingerbread kitchen for photo ops and a meet-and-greet.

December 17, 2016
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(Credit: Los Angeles Philharmonic Association)

Deck the Hall Holiday Sing-Along
Walt Disney Concert Hall
111 S. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 972-7282

Melissa Peterman plays host once again to this annual holiday favorite. A choir, jazz combo, and the hall's iconic pipe organ will accompany you as you since your heart out to numerous popular songs of the season. Performances for the family-friendly event (ages two and up) are held today at 11:30am and 2:30pm

los angeles theatre
(credit: Stephanie P./yelp)

The Shining Movie Screening + Holiday Party
615 S Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90014
(323) 221-3343

L.A.'s spectacular movie palace recreates the Shining's Overlook Hotel for their annual holiday party. An eerie children's play room, mirrored powder room, wood paneled study, and crystal chandeliers deck out the theater's three floors. After you go exploring, watch Stanley Kubrick's famous flick on the big screen, enjoy full bars, a themed photo booth, DJs, live music and dancing in the ballroom. The event is 21+ and a formal attire dress code is required.

December 17, 2016
(Credit: National Children's Chorus)

The National Children's Chorus' "PEACE"
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
555 W Temple St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

America's leading treble chorus, The National Children's Chorus, is holding a holiday concert inspired by peace. The moving program examines the desire for and significance of peace throughout the ages, and calls for its continuation in our global community. The group will perform Leonard Bernstein's "Chichester Psalms" accompanied by harp, percussion, and the Cathedral's majestic pipe organ, as well as a world premiere arrangement of "Do You Hear What I Hear," and more.

December 23 & 24, 2016
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
(credit: CBS)

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer - The Musical
Dolby Theatre
6801 Hollywood Blvd
Hollywood, CA 90028

Score a ticket to see "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" in a musical you won't soon forget! In it, you'll see all your favorite characters, including Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius and, of course, Rudolph, as they come to life on stage!

December 23, 2016
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(Credit: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures)

White Christmas Sing-Along
Walt Disney Concert Hall
111 S. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 972-7282

Everyone loves a good sing-along, and the L.A. Phil knows how to put on a good one. The beloved 1954 film White Christmas will be shown on the big screen with lyrics embedded on the screen. Belt out classics like "Snow," and of course, "White Christmas" with your friends, family, and an audience full of strangers. Afternoon and evening performance will take place.

December 24, 2016
menorah hannukah
(credit: PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP/Getty Images)

Menorah Lightings on the Third Street Promenade
Third Street Promenade
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Join local synagogues and others as they congregate to celebrate the Festival of Lights this Hanukkah at the world-famous Third Street Promenade! There will be a ceremony where the lighting the menorah will begin shortly after sundown each evening.

December 31, 2016
Grand Park + The Music Center's N.Y.E.L.A. Grand Park + The Music Center new years eve
(Credit: Grand Park)

Grand Park + The Music Center's New Year's Eve Celebration.
Grand Park + The Music Center
200 N Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Celebrating its fourth year as a go-to central gathering place for Angelenos to ring in the new year, Grand Park + The Music Center is once again helping you say hello to 2017. The event will include music, dancing, large-scale art installations, and a countdown to the new year via 3-D digital video on the side of the iconic City Hall building. Be sure to check the website as the date gets closer for more details.

Article by Kellie Fell.
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