All the Fun Things You Can Do in LA on Christmas Day

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Your littles have ripped through their gifts like wild raccoons, Nana’s snoring by the tree after one G&T, and dad’s cursing like a sailor while trying to assemble the new robot Santa left—yep, it’s time to get out of the house and do something fun together on Christmas Day. Luckily, LA offers tons of opportunities for yuletide yucks and festive fun—from dazzling holiday lights and ice skating to museum outings and sand sledding, we’ve got you covered. So wake Nana up and explore all places that are open on Christmas Day in LA.

best gift experience for LA kids
Sunset Ranch Hollywood

What’s Open Christmas Day in LA: Sunset Ranch Hollywood

Giddy-up, partner, and mosey on over to Sunset Ranch Hollywood for a holiday horse ride to remember. The ranch will be open Christmas Day and is offering 1-hour, 2-hour and 2-hour evening rides for the whole family. Reservations must be booked in advance online. Yippy kay yay!

Cost: Prices start at $75 per person and go up from there depending on the ride you choose.


What’s Open Christmas Day in LA: Echo Park Pedal Boats

Soak in the beauty of Echo Park Lake while riding the iconic swan pedal boats. Rentals are available for a one-hour duration and most boats can accommodate up to five people. Nighttime rentals with the swans decked out in lights are now available as well giving guests the rare chance to take in the sparkling city skyline and crisp evening air.

Cost: Prices run $11 per adult and $6 per child (ages 17 and under).


What’s Open Christmas Day in LA: Angels Flight Railway

Open every single day of the year, including holidays, Angels Flight Railway is a quintessential LA experience that makes for a fun Christmas Day outing. The 118-year-old funicular takes guests on a short and steep ride between Hill St. and Grand Ave. on Bunker Hill downtown.

Cost: At just a $1 fare each way, the price can’t be beat.


what's open christmas day in LA
L.A. Live

What’s Open Christmas Day in LA: LA Kings Holiday Ice at L.A. Live

While the annual ice rinks at Pershing Square and Santa Monica are not operating this year, the LA Kings Holiday Ice Rink is back in full festive force right outside the Center (we’re still not used to saying that). Dust off your winter hat and mittens for a spin around the breathtaking Christmas tree positioned center rink. It’s the perfect way to celebrate the season.

Cost: General admission tickets run $25 per person and $20 for kids aged 6 and under and include skate rental—these are only available on site at the rink. However, a $45 fast pass is available for advanced purchase online for skate dates from now through December 17.


best museum for kids in LA
via Joshua White, Courtesy Academy Museum Foundation

What’s Open Christmas Day in LA: Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

What better day than Christmas to avoid the crowds and check out one of LA’s newest and most exciting venues—the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Open 365 days a year, the museum celebrates absolutely everything we love about cinema through dynamic exhibitions, screenings and programs that will thrill even the most pint-sized film lover. During your visit, be sure to stop by the Hayao Miyazaki Exhibition and catch a special screening of The Muppet Christmas Carol showing at the Ted Mann Theater on Christmas Day at 11 a.m.

Cost: General admission is available by reservation online and costs $25 per adult, while children aged 17 and under are free. Movie screening tickets are $10 per adult and $5 per child and must be purchased in advance to secure seating.


best places to go sand sledding in LA

What’s Open Christmas Day in LA: Sand Sledding

We may not have snow, but every winter a few LA beaches get their annual sand berms to protect against storms and high surf and this means sand sledding season is officially underway! So grab the smoothest saucer you can find at your local sporting good store and check out the berms at Venice Beach (the most well-known of the bunch), Dockweiler Beach, Zuma Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach and Point Mugu for a day of nonstop fun. For the breakdown of where to go, check out our LA Guide to Sand Sledding.

best winter activities in LA
Ron G. via Yelp

What’s Open Christmas Day in LA: Pacific Park

If your kiddos get antsy after a long morning of opening gifts, work off that extra energy at Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier. Open Christmas Day from 11 a.m.– 9 p.m., families can enjoy rides, games and some food outlets. Hop on the famous famous Pacific Wheel for mind-blowing views of the coastline from 130 feet in the air. You likely spot some lovely holidays lights as well.

Cost: Admission to Pacific Park is free, while ride and attractions are priced individually ranging in price from $5- $10. Ride tickets and packages are available online or onsite at the ticket booth.


RELATED: 30 Things to Do in Santa Monica 

What’s Open Christmas Day in LA: The Lakers Game

Wanna catch LeBron and the rest of the Lakers creating a little holiday b-ball magic? You’re in luck! The Lakers are scheduled to play the Brooklyn Nets at the Center (yep, still weird to say it) at 5 p.m. on Christmas Day. Tickets are available online.


Universal Studios

What’s Open Christmas Day in LA: Universal Studios Hollywood

Between the dazzling holidays lights and music at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and the never-ending fun of Grinchmas, Christmas Day is the ideal time to visit Universal Studios Hollywood. The park sparkles this time of year—decked out with festive décor, delicious treats, a gigantic Dr. Seuss inspired Christmas tree, and even a nightly snowfall.

Cost: Tickets start at $99 and go up from there.


El Matador State Beach CA
Anne A. via Yelp

What’s Open on Christmas Day: LA Beaches

LA Beaches are open on Christmas Day and even though it might be a bit chilly, it’s a swell opportunity to test out that groovy new wetsuit and boogie board Santa left under the tree. And instead of whipping up an exhausting Christmas dinner, what about having a festive beachside picnic instead—think sunset view and no dishes to wash (just sayin’)!


What’s Open Christmas Day in LA: Neighborhood Holiday Lights

While some of the beautiful gardens and specialty events that are showcasing holiday lights this season will be closed on Christmas Day, your best bets for light peeping are the wonderful neighborhoods that do it up in style. From the Venice Canals and Christmas Tree Lane to Rodeo Dr. in Beverly Hills and Upper Hastings Ranch in Pasadena, these folks go all out when it comes to spreading a little yuletide cheer.

What’s Open Christmas Day: Whale Watching

Gray whale migration kicks off in Dec. as these fantastical creatures make their way south to warmer waters in Mexico (uh hello, can you blame them?). Book a whale watching cruise on Christmas Day and make this a holiday truly unforgettable.


fun things to do at night with kids in los angeles
Natalie R. via Yelp

What’s Open Christmas Day in LA: Moonlight Rollerway

Channel your inner Xanadu and head over to Moonlight Rollerway in Glendale for a Christmas evening on wheels. After all, it’s every parent’s duty to teach their kids how to shoot the duck with pizazz. The evening skating session is open to all ages from 8 p.m.–11 p.m.


What’s Open Christmas Day in LA: Chinatown

It’s thrilling to visit Chinatown any time of year, but going on Christmas Day is an extra special treat sans the crowds. Select vibrant shops and restaurants will be open, including our absolute fave for some of the most delicious Chinese food in LA, Yang Chow.


What’s Open Christmas Day: La Brea Tar Pits

The Page Museum is closed on Christmas, but the incredible grounds of the La Brea Tar Pits are open and waiting to be explored. Kiddos can watch actual tar bubbling to the surface, check out the Lake Pit and walk through this iconic and active dig site. And don’t forget to roll down the steep grass hills outside the museum.


What’s Open Christmas Day in LA: Hollywood Blvd.

Play tourist for Christmas day and check out some iconic sites that are open on Hollywood Blvd., including Madame Tussauds Hollywood, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the celebrity hand prints in front of the TCL Chinese Theater, the Hollywood Wax Museum and the Museum of Illusions.

best hiking trails for kids near me los angeles
Paula C. via Yelp

What’s Open Christmas Day in LA: Hiking Trails

LA is known for having some of the best, most plentiful hiking trails in the country. So work off that exrtra slice of fruitcake and hit one of the local trails for some fresh air and communing with nature. Popular trails like Runyon Canyon, Franklin Canyon, Griffith Park and more will be open all day.



best places to play in the snow near LA
Mt. High

What’s Open Christmas Day in LA: Ski Resorts

It’s looking like winter will deliver lots of fresh powder to local mountains, skiing, snowboarding and sledding can be a great way to spend the holiday with family. SoCal resorts like Mt. High, Snow Valley, Mt. Baldy, and Bear Mountain and Snow Summit will be open to visitors on Christmas Day. So shred the gnar to your heart’s delight. Here’s our full list of kid-friendly snow play near LA. 


—Andie Huber & Jennifer O’Brien

feature image: iStock


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