Life for Fun

Christmas in LA: Fun, Safe Things to Do for Christmas

Elizabeth
December 18, 2020

Looking for things to do in Los Angeles this Christmas? Whereas a normal Christmas season in Los Angeles is traditionally kicked off with the Hollywood Christmas Parade or a visit to see the LA Zoo Lights, this year looks a bit different. Due to recent surges in coronavirus cases, the State of California has ordered businesses and event organizers to shut down traditionally festive activities.


But, fear not! You don’t have to spend the holiday season in a cavelike The Grinch or bah-humbugging all over the place like Scrooge. There are still plenty of great ways to spend Christmas in LA (even if you have to drive a bit out of the city to find them).

How to Spend Christmas in LA

1. Christmas @ CityWalk

Christmas in LA: Fun, Safe Things to Do for Christmas in Cali | Cheese Debit Card
Image: Universal CityWalk Hollywood

Unfortunately, all of the parks in and around Los Angeles are still closed (including Universal Studios and Disneyland). However, Universal has taken to opening select areas of CityWalk for those eager for a delicious taste of the holidays. You can get into the Christmas mood by heading over to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter — Sweets & Treats for Butterbeer and more (currently open only Fridays through Sundays from 12 pm to 8 pm). Even though the park itself is closed, the lights at night are still somewhat festive, too.

2. Christmas Tree Lane in Altadena

Christmas in LA: Fun, Safe Things to Do for Christmas in Cali | Cheese Debit Card
Image: PR Newswire

If you’re willing to drive a bit north of Pasadena, you’ll be rewarded with stunning sights of Christmas Tree Lane, a street in the city of Altadena known for the way in which they decorate the towering cedar trees that line the lane. The best part? It’s a totally COVID-safe activity for Christmas! Load up the car with treats, blare some Christmas music, and enjoy the twinkling lights.

3. WonderLAnd

Christmas in LA: Fun, Safe Things to Do for Christmas in Cali | Cheese Debit Card
Image: Socal Wonderland

Where’s the North Pole really located? This year, in Los Angeles, you’ll find it tucked away in Woodland Hills. The folks behind the drive-thru Haunt’Oween event are turning their tunnels into Christmas-filled holiday lanes. Similar to the Christmas lights in Altadena, you can visit WonderLAnd from the comfort of your own car. Expect millions of Christmas lights, a holiday-tree forest, a stuffed stocking as a gift, immersive stories, and a special appearance by Santa.

4. The Bite LA: Winter Holiday & Stocking Stuffer Sweets Crawl

Christmas in LA: Fun, Safe Things to Do for Christmas in Cali | Cheese Debit Card
Image: The Bite LA

Starting December 3rd, The Bite LA is offering a wonderfully winter-filled and festive option for those looking for a safe, socially-distanced option for Christmas in LA. And, they’ve truly thought of everything. It’s a drive-thru experience similar to WonderLAnd in which you’ll cozy up in your car and drive up to festive candy stations, engage in a distanced snowball fight (they’re plush snowballs you throw at snowmen they’ve stationed along the way), enjoy hot drinks, and gather around a Yule Log for stories. It’s a complete Christmas experience from start to finish.

Pro tip: There’s also a car ugly sweater contest, so you can dress your car up in its ugliest festive wear and win a prize at the end of the season. 

5. The Mission Inn Festival of Lights

Christmas in LA: Fun, Safe Things to Do for Christmas in Cali | Cheese Debit Card
Image: Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise

If your goal is to immerse yourself in a winter wonderland of lights and magic, there’s no better place than The Mission Inn in Riverside (it’s consistently ranked as one of the most festive places in the world around the holidays). And, yes, we know that Riverside isn’t that close to Los Angeles proper, but it’ll make for a great festive road trip opportunity. So, load up on festive coffee drinks or hot cocoa, put on your favorite Christmas music, and enjoy the short road trip down there. Currently, the event is still happening in 2020, but there won’t be vendors present as usual.

6. The Elf on the Shelf’s Magical Holiday Journey

Christmas in LA: Fun, Safe Things to Do for Christmas in Cali | Cheese Debit Card
Image: The Magical Holiday Journey

"This year Christmas Spirit is running low, so during test flights, Santa’s sleigh had to make an emergency landing at the Fairplex in Pomona.” That’s how this spectacle begins, and it only gets better and better. Featuring a scenic design by Emmy Award winner David Korins (of Hamilton fame), lighting design by David Weiner, and an original score, this drive-thru spectacle is just what you need to enjoy Christmas in LA (er, Pomona) this year. Travel through an enchanted world and let the magic carry you on your way.

7. A Salty, Beachy Christmas

Christmas in LA: Fun, Safe Things to Do for Christmas in Cali | Cheese Debit Card

Los Angeles County is home to numerous fantastic beaches, with one of the most famous being Santa Monica and its iconic pier. What better way to enjoy Christmas in LA this year than at the beach under a blanket of stars, some salty waves, and the lights of the pier to illuminate the background. Normally, the Pacific Pier Ferris wheel lights up with an 80-foot snowman, but no matter what there is or isn’t available to enjoy this year, the lights and waves alone are enough to evoke a sense of wonder.

Saving for Christmas Expenses

Whether you’re opting for a scaled-back Christmas this year or not, it still helps to prepare financially for the holiday season. After all, Christmas activities in Los Angeles aren’t always cheap. Prepare to swipe this season with a Cheese Debit Card, which is optimized for cashback savings and other perks like these:


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Prepare for the holidays and sign up for your Cheese Debit Card here.


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