21 Fun Things to Do on Christmas Day

fun things open on Christmas Day in LA iStock

Wondering what’s open on Christmas Day in Los Angeles? Turns out, there are 20+ plus fun things to do on this special day in LA

After you’ve opened all the gifts, overcooked the holiday ham, and heard Uncle Morty tell the same joke for the 1,000th time, you may want want to escape the house for a spell—instead of googling “what’s open near me” and wonder what to do on Christmas Day, it turns out, we can answer your question about things to do on Christmas Day here—and turns out, there’s quite a lot open on Christmas Day in Los Angeles for families! Whether you want ride coasters on the pier, gobble popcorn during a Marx Brothers double feature or prefer to head to the mountains for a day of snow play, from where to go on Christmas Day to things that are open on Christmas Day, we have you covered from holly to jolly.

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1. Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier

When you're wondering what to do on Christmas Day, one of our favorite spots is Pacific Park—especially if your littles need to burn off some post gifting energy. Open Christmas Day from 11 a.m.-9 p.m., families can enjoy rides, games and a few food outlets. The famous Pacific Wheel offers breathtaking views of the coastline from 130 feet in the sky, and you’ll likely spot some lovely holiday lights as well.

Cost: Admission to Pacific Park is free, while rides and attractions are priced individually ranging $5- $12. Ride tickets and packages are available online or onsite at the ticket booth.

380 Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica
Online: pacpark.com

2. Angel’s Flight Railway

Open 356 days a year, including holidays, Angels Flight Railway is an iconic LA experience that makes for a fun Christmas Day outing. From 6:45 a.m.-10 p.m., 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, it’s a Christmas miracle!

351 So. Hill St.
Los Angeles
Online: angelsflight.org

3. La Brea Tar Pits

Even though the Page Museum is closed on Christmas, you can still explore the incredible grounds of the La Brea Tar Pits from 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Pint-sized paleontologists can observe actual tar bubbling to the surface, check out the Lake Pit, and stroll through this active dig site. But the piece de resistance is the steep grass hill outside the museum—perfect for rolling down over and over and over again.

5801 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles
Online: tarpits.org

4. LA Rams vs. Denver Broncos at Sofi Stadium

If you’ve been dying to cheer on the Rams this season, but tickets have been too pricey or hard to come by, you might want to investigate seats for Christmas Day. Kick-off is 1:30 p.m. when our hometown Superbowl champs take on the Denver Broncos. Who's house? Rams house!

Sofi Stadium
1001 Stadium Dr.
Online: therams.com

5. El Capitan Theater

Are theaters open on Christmas Day? For many families, catching an afternoon movie on Christmas Day is a time-honored tradition, and there’s no more enchanting spot than the El Capitan Theater. Over the holidays, the theater is scheduled to show Avatar: The Way of Water in 3D, and the auditorium will be transformed with a dazzling themed light display.

6838 Hollywood Blvd.
Online: elcapitantheatre.com

6. Chinatown

It’s thrilling to visit Chinatown any time of year but going on Christmas Day is an extra special treat without all the crowds. Select vibrant shops and restaurants will be open, including our absolute go-to for some of the most to-die-for Chinese food in LA, Yang Chow.

Online: chinatownla.com

7. Echo Park Swan Pedal Boats

Behold the beauty of Echo Park Lake as you glide along in a swan pedal boat. From 9 a.m. - 10:15 p.m., rentals are available for a one-hour duration and most boats can accommodate up to five people. Nighttime rentals begin at sunset with swans decked out in lights and give guests a special opportunity to take in the sparkling city skyline and crisp evening air. Guests may bring snacks and non-alcoholic beverages aboard as well. Reservations are required.

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

751 Echo Park Ave.
Los Angeles
Online: wheelfunrentals.com

8. Sand Sledding

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! Grab the smoothest saucer you can find at your local sporting goods store and check out the berms at Venice Beach (the most well-known), Dockweiler Beach, Zuma Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach and Point Mugu for a day of nonstop fun. We’ve got a rundown of the best places to go sand sledding in Los Angeles.

9. LA Kings Holiday Ice at LA Live

LA Kings Holiday Ice at LA Live will be back in full force on Christmas Day. So, dust off your winter hat and mittens for a spin around the breathtaking Christmas tree in the center of the rink. It’s the perfect way to celebrate the season.

Cost: General admission is $25 per person and $20 for kids ages 6 and under and includes skate rental—these are only available on site at the rink. However, a limited number of $45 fast passes are available daily via advance purchase online if you want to skip the hassle and guarantee your entry.

800 W. Olympic Blvd.
Online: lalive.com

Related: LA's Best Ice Skating Rinks to Visit This Winter

10. Sunset Ranch Hollywood

Round up your posse 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 day rides on the Mulholland Trail and 2-hour evening rides on the Mt. Hollywood Trail. Reservations must be booked in advance online. Yippy kay yay!

Cost: Prices start at $65-$145 per person depending on the ride you choose.

3400 N. Beachwood Dr.
Los Angeles
Online: sunsetranchhollywood.com

11. Universal Studios Hollywood

Between the dazzling holiday lights and music at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and the never-ending fun of Grinchmas, Christmas Day is an ideal time to visit Universal Studios Hollywood. Open from 9 a.m.-10 p.m., the park simply 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 for Christmas Day are $134 per person.

100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City
Online: universalstudioshollywood.com

12. LA Beaches

Even though it might be chilly, LA Beaches are open on Christmas Day and it’s an awesome opportunity to test out that swell new surfboard Santa left under the tree. And instead of whipping up an exhausting Christmas dinner, what about having a beachside picnic instead? Just picture yourself lounging by the water, soaking in the sunset view, and having zero dishes to wash. You're welcome.

Online: beaches.lacounty.gov

13. LA Ski Resorts

Fingers crossed, this winter will deliver lots of powder to local mountains. Activities like skiing, snowboarding and sledding are super fun ways to spend the holiday. SoCal resorts including Mt. High, Snow Valley, Mt. Baldy, Bear Mountain, and Snow Summit will be open to visitors on Christmas Day. Here’s our full list of kid-friendly snow play near LA.

14. Neighborhood Holidays Lights

While some of the specialty events that feature holiday lights will be closed on Christmas Day, your best bet 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 really inspire yuletide cheer. 

15. Whale Watching in Los Angeles

Gray whale migration kicks off in Dec. as these gigantic creatures make their way south to warmer waters in beautiful Mexico (take us with you!). An amazing thing to do on Christmas Day? Book a whale watching cruise, and make this a holiday truly one for the history books.

Online: lawaterfrontcruises.com

16. Explore Hollywood Blvd.

Be a tourist in your town 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.

17. Hike LA's Best Hiking Trails

Lucky for us, LA has some of the most impressive hiking trails in the country. So work off that extra cup of eggnog and hit up one of the local trails for fresh air and communing with nature. Popular trails like Runyon Canyon, Franklin Canyon, Griffith Park and others will be open all day.

Online: parks.lacounty.gov

18. New Beverly Cinema

If you’ve always wanted to introduce your kiddos to the hilarity of the Marx Brothers, take advantage of the free time and make this one of your things to do on Christmas Day! New Beverly Cinema will be screening the Marx Brothers classics—Animal Crackers and Horse Feathers as a double feature on Christmas afternoon.

Cost: Tickets are $12 per person.

7165 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles
Online: thenewbev.com

19. Pirate’s Dinner Adventure

Pirates of all ages are invited to take part in an interactive and totally epic dinner show that will have the whole family cheering, "Arrrrgh!" This elaborate, live-action theater production features incredible swordplay, aerial artistry, acrobatics, and a delicious pirate feast.

Cost: Adults are $65.95 and kids ages 3-11 are $39

7600 Beach Blvd.
Buena Park
Online: piratesdinneradventureca.com

20. Medieval Times

If pirates aren’t your jam and you’d rather spend your night with knights, Medieval Times is right up your alley. This exciting dinner show features a Queen, squires, battling knights, magnificent horses, flying falcons, and a four-course feast fit for a king!


7662 Beach Blvd.
Buena Park
Online: medievaltimes.com

21. Disneyland and California Adventure

The mouse house is always open and Christmas Day is no different. With Disneyland and California Adventure both beautifully decorated for the holidays, it’s no wonder both parks get more crowded than you might think on this day. Because advance reservations are required and it’s one of the most popular times of the year to go, we highly recommend getting your tickets asap before they sell out.

Disneyland & California Adventure
Online: disneyland.disney.go.com



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