While many spend Christmas Day indoors, other people love finding a fun activity to do or a destination to visit that the whole family can enjoy. However, with so many businesses closed, finding open stores and available entertainment can be difficult.
Well, not to fear. Here at Teak Master, we’ve put together a list of the best activities, most of them Christmas themed, that you can do in Los Angeles on Christmas Day.
Head to Pacific Park on Santa Monica Pier
Who can say no to an amusement park by the sea? Pacific Park, located at the end of Santa Monica Pier overlooking the Pacific Ocean, is open on Christmas Day from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Enjoy the rides during the day, and wait until night falls to see the Ferris wheel and pier lit up for the holidays. You can play games with the whole family in the many arcade stands on the pier, then stop and grab a meal at the seaside restaurants before heading home.
Visit Universal Studios Hollywood
One of Los Angeles’ most popular theme parks, Universal Studios, is open on Christmas Day. Best of all, because Christmas tends to be a low-traffic time in LA, and most people celebrate at home, the lines for the rides are sure to be shorter on Christmas Day than on most days.
The theme park is open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Walk through the magical world of Harry Potter, and then go on as many thrilling 3D rides as you can manage. You’ll notice that many of the park’s workers dress up as residents of Whoville and the Grinch for Christmastime, interacting with guests and kids in a fun way.
You can also catch a free show at Universal Plaza and try one of the many Christmas foods and treats offered throughout the park.
Explore Disneyland Resort
Speaking of amusement parks, why not go to the most famous of them all for Christmas? Check out Disneyland Resort, where you’ll find your favorite Disney characters, from Minnie to Goofy, getting into the holiday spirit.
Walk through the park to admire the Christmas decorations, watch the holiday performances, including “Mickey’s Happy Holidays” and “Disney Viva Navidad,” and enjoy seasonal Christmas treats. Make sure you reserve tickets early, as Disneyland is a popular destination for families on Christmas, and tickets may be booked up fast.
See Snow at The Grove
Surprisingly, one of Los Angeles’ biggest shopping destinations remains open on Christmas Day. Swing by The Grove to walk through the magical lights of the city’s most famous outdoor shopping center, relax by the fountain, and maybe take in a movie. Don’t forget to stop by the farmer’s market for some delicious holiday desserts and other food you can pick up.
Did you know you can see snow at The Grove? If you visit at night, you’ll be there for the two “snowfalls” the center orchestrates at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. every night of the holidays. Though you might not see much real snow in Southern California, take your kids with you to admire the wonder of snow falling on the Grove’s enormous lit-up Christmas tree.
Take In a Double Feature at the New Beverly Cinema
On Christmas Day, the historic Beverly Cinema on Beverly Boulevard puts on a family-friendly double feature to celebrate the holidays. Take your kids to this historic 1920s cinema, known mostly for its projections of film classics in a top-quality theater, and enjoy the movies.
In past years, features have varied from Marx Brothers skits to “The Muppet Christmas Carol.” The New Beverly Cinema is a perfect Christmas Day choice for old movie buffs and parents who want to reminisce about the Christmas movies of their youth together with their kids.
Hit the Ice at LA Kings Holiday Ice
Though Los Angeles may not get much real snow, there are still plenty of fun winter activities to enjoy with the whole family, such as ice skating. Head downtown to the massive LA Kings Holiday Ice rink to take a turn on the ice. Kids love this small taste of winter joy, and you may find big crowds here putting their ice-skating skills to the test on Christmas Day.
The rink is open Nov. 26 to Jan. 8, though opening hours and days are subject to weather conditions. Schedule a few sessions earlier in December if you want to practice a little before heading to the rink on Christmas Day. Tickets are $25 per person and $20 for children aged six and under.
Go Skating in Burbank
If you want to go skating but prefer a smaller, more intimate rink, check out The Rink in downtown Burbank. Located right next to City Hall, it’s open on Christmas Day from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Approximately 165 skaters can be on the 4,100-square-foot rink at any given time, meaning you’re unlikely to have to wait to get out on the ice.
Rental prices can vary slightly from year to year, but it’s generally a $10 fee to skate on the rink, with a $5 fee to rent ice skates.
Dine in Chinatown
It’s a long-standing tradition in Los Angeles that Chinese restaurants tend to stay open on Christmas Day. Well, things are no different in Los Angeles. And what better place to find a great Chinese restaurant to eat at than Chinatown itself?
Head down to Chinatown to walk in the colorful, lit-up streets and sit down at one of the many excellent authentic restaurants lining the neighborhood’s streets. If you have trouble deciding, try Yang Chow restaurant on 819 N. Broadway. It’s consistently rated as one of the best eateries in the area.
If you’re looking for a fun activity to do on Christmas Day this year in Los Angeles, this list should have you covered. Did we leave out one of your favorite spots? Contact us at Teak Master to let us know, and we’d be happy to include your suggestion on our next list.