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A Sunny Winter Wonderland: LA’s December Events and Traditions

There might not be snow, but Los Angeles can still get into the spirit of the season. As the sun shines, the decorations and carolers still come out in LA.

 

The setting might be far from a winter wonderland, but Los Angeles has its own way of celebrating the holiday season.

 

If you are lucky enough to score cheap flights to Los Angeles this December, don’t miss some of these holiday events.

 

Attend a night of Las Posadas: For several nights in December, Los Angeles celebrates Las Posadas, a procession commemorating the journey of Mary and Joseph into Bethlehem.

 

Musicians and costumed participants process through the streets with statues to the Holy Family. The procession takes place on Olvera Street in Downtown Los Angeles, one of the oldest parts of the city. This year’s Las Posadas will stretch each night from December 16th to December 24th. The tradition shows off the city’s roots to Mexican settlers and their holiday customs.

 

Spend a day at the Farmer’s Market Holiday Festivities: Throughout the month of December, the iconic LA Farmer’s Market will host a variety of holiday festivities. From decorations and holiday music to craft workshops and toy solider bands, the market that began in 1934 comes alive for the holidays. Just watch out for the strolling carolers if you are already sick of holiday music.

 

Share a smooch under King Kong’s Mistletoe: Right next to Universal Studios, the Universal City Walk is an experience unto itself in Los Angeles. The pedestrian shopping and entertainment circus is littered with massive signs including one of King Kong. For the holidays, he dangles mistletoe for those in the romantic mood amidst all of the kitsch. If you aren’t feeling the public display of holiday affection, snap a shot of the king. It is certainly not something you see everyday.

 

Walk off the holiday weight for a cause at the Santa Walk: In the LA area’s Westfield Topanga Mall, the second annual Santa Walk will take place on December 4th. Benefiting Variety—The Children’s Charity, the walk provides participants with a five-piece Santa suit. If you don’t feel like adorning a Santa suit, spectators can at least come out to see something, yet again, you don’t see everyday, thousands in Los Angeles in Santa suits.

 

Head to Naples Island for the light show: Naples Island in Long Beach probably boasts one of the worst electricity bills for the month of December. The area puts on an annual Holiday Boat Parade where boat owners can enter their lit up nautical creations into the parade of lights. This year’s theme is TV Land Holidays set to take place on December 17th. If the lights of Naples inspire you before or after the parade, you can take a boat or gondola ride through the canals to see how each home has over decorated in lights for the holidays. This is Los Angeles’ idea of a sleigh ride.

 

CC Flickr photo credit: paul stumpr

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About the author

Suzy Guese

Suzy Guese is a travel writer from Denver, Colorado. She caught the travel bug after taking her very first flight at just three months old—she was headed for Disney World—and has been a total travel junkie ever since. From family car trips across North America to stints abroad in Europe, Suzy travels the globe with her redheaded temperament in search of sarcasm, stories, and travel tips to share with anyone willing to listen. She blogs about her travels at http://suzyguese.com.

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