Well it’s that time of year again when you find yourself juggling holiday work parties, Christmas vacation, and family visiting from out of town. Along with the joyful moments spent with loved ones, the holidays may also bring some stress and anxiety. Because, let’s face it, even though you’re family, you all have very different personalities, interests, and agendas. Coming up with new and exciting ways to entertain the whole family can be quite the challenge. But don’t worry, we’re here to help satisfy your entire group, from that uncle who loves sweets to that cousin who watches every Christmas movie multiple times. Below, we’ve delved into four family-friendly holiday activities that will delight, captivate, and leave all members of your bunch asking for more.
LA Zoo Lights
For a wild and magical night, take the whole family to LA Zoo Lights. Open each night until January 6, 2019, this “Wild Wonderland of Light” has something for everyone – dazzling lights and décor, reindeer, sweet holiday-themed treats, and more. For those members of your group who can’t get enough of Christmas lights and décor, witnessing the giant twinkling snowflakes, glowing streams of color at the Twinkle Tunnel, and shiny disco ball forest will be an experience to remember. For younger ones, the carousel will be up and running and Santa Claus will be doing visits. Although most of the zoo’s animals will be sleeping in their night quarters, reindeer will meet and greet visitors at Reindeer Village. And for all those who just love animals, the amphibians, invertebrates, and reptiles will be awake and ready to mingle at the festive Holiday LAIR. Also features performances by glow dancers and stilt walkers, DJ sets on Fridays, karaoke on Sundays, gifts, and designated spots for holiday selfies, LA Zoo Lights has it all.
Photo by MissionInn.com
Festival of Lights at the Mission Inn
Right in the heart of Riverside, the Mission Inn transforms itself into a marvelous spectacle of Christmas Cheer. Now in its 26th year, the Festival of Lights is one of the biggest and best public lights displays in the nation. With around 5 million holiday lights, 200 animated figures (such as elves, angels, and carolers), snow, and beautifully decorated Christmas trees, the Mission Inn successfully captures its Winter Wonderland theme. In addition to bright and stunning scenes of Christmas, such as elves playing in the snow and life-size Gingerbread Houses, the Mission Inn offers Breakfast with Santa, a ballet performance, holiday gifts, and sweet treats. For an unforgettable experience full of Christmas magic and first-class culinary confections, be sure to visit the Mission Inn’s marvelous Festival of Lights.
The Grove provides a variety of experiences, from shopping and restaurants to movies and performances. This makes it a great place to take family with differing tastes and personalities. Younger kids will have a blast visiting Santa’s workshop, sharing what they’d like for Christmas, and snapping a souvenir photo with the big man himself. Adults who love to shop will find all the name brands and styles they’re looking for, while movie lovers can catch a flick with a bucket of buttery popcorn. From delectable sweets to savory delights, in regards to food the Grove has something for every palette. Plus, snow falls every evening at 7 and 8pm. Now who wouldn’t appreciate the wintery magic of that!?
Photo by UniversalStudiosHollywood.com
Universal Studios on an average day is fun, but Universal Studios during the holidays is a magically one-of-a-kind experience. The park itself, adorned with twinkling lights and surreal décor from the movies, could entertain all day long. On top of the brilliant lights and décor, Hogsmeade and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter embody holiday spirit all December long. While gazing up at festive décor, sipping on hot Butterbeer, and nibbling on chocolate frogs, you’ll feel as magical as Harry Potter wearing a Santa hat. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter also features nightly snowfall, a brightly lit castle, and a holiday frog choir. Another exciting aspect of the holidays at Universal Studios is Grinchmas. Each night of Grinchmas, the 60 foot tall Christmas tree is lit and the Grinch himself will be available for photos. Friends from Whoville will also make appearances throughout the day, to take photos and perform musical numbers. And last of all, the Whoville Post Office will be open for you to send the Grinch an endearing postcard! No matter what you end up stumbling upon in the park, you’ll find something that makes your holiday heart grow three sizes.
For more ideas on where to take family and friends this holiday season, visit our 2018 Guide to Los Angeles Holiday Events & Attractions. In it, you’ll find something for every taste, budget, and Christmas style.