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From Las Posadas to Santa Walks: Enjoy the Holidays in Los Angeles!

Featured Holidays in LA
Written by Suzy Guese

This blog post was updated on December 14, 2022.

Sure, there might not be a lot of snow, but Los Angeles definitely gets into the spirit of the season! That’s why, as the sun shines, the decorations and carolers still come out in LA every single year. Because Los Angeles has its own way of celebrating the holiday season, and the beloved local celebration known as Las Posadas is a great example. If you are lucky enough to score some cheap flights to Los Angeles for December, be sure to not miss these holiday celebrations!

Be a part of the Las Posadas tradition!

Nativity Scene at Olvera Street by Trudy Crookshanks is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

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, recreating the arduous trip of Mary and Joseph in search of shelter. The procession takes place and ends at the Avila Adobe, considered the oldest house in Los Angeles. This year, Las Posadas will stretch each night from December 16th to December 24th.

The tradition shows off the city’s roots to Hispanic settlers and their holiday customs, and it’s filled with songs, music, and traditional treats such as pan dulce (sweet bread) and steaming cups of a delicious beverage called hot champurrado, a Mexican form of hot chocolate. Although Las Posadas undoubtedly began as a Catholic ceremony, everybody’s invited and accepted here. So, why not join the fun while you’re visiting?

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Splurge at the Farmer’s Market

Throughout the month of December, the iconic Farmer’s Market of Los Angeles hosts a wide variety of holiday events for the whole family. From holiday recipes and Christmas carolers to craft workshops and toy soldier bands, this iconic landmark from 1934 really does come alive for the holiday season with its Hanukkah celebrations, plenty of yuletide decorations…and even a rock & roll dance party to get the season started with a blast!

Walk off the holiday weight by hiking with Santa!

The Grove Fountain by Karen Borter is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0 Perfect for families celebrating the holidays together, the Hiking with Santa walk takes place in December. Starting from Ascot Hill Park, the activity promises great views of Downtown LA, as well as the surrounding mountains and nearby cities. It’s a terrific way to escape the chaos of the City of Angels for a few hours, even if you’re not used to hiking at all. Moreover, all participants get the same prize…why, a photo with Santa himself, of course!

Head to Naples Island for the light show

With its annual Holiday Boat Parade in full swing, Naples Island in Long Beach probably boasts one of the biggest electricity bills for the month of December. Here, boat owners can enter their shiny nautical creations into the parade of lights. If the appealing nature of this unique celebration inspire you enough to head to Los Angeles for the holiday season, be sure to 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, in case you had any doubt about it!

Where are you going to celebrate the holidays this year? Tell us in the comments below!

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

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