Sure, the temps are still holding steady in the 70s-plus (this is LA, after all), but the Christmas season has already begun. Nutcracker performances are selling out, Santa Monica’s ice rink is open (and Downtown’s is about to), and the epic tree lighting ceremonies begin this week! First up? Fireworks and snow flurries at Glendale’s The Americana, followed by a celeb-filled celebration in Beverly Hills. Read on for the details on these events along with the rest of LA’s most spectacular tree lightings.
Christmas at The Americana at Brand - Glendale
Visions of more than sugarplums will be dancing in front of your little ones' eyes! This outdoor mall goes all out for their celebration of the season where, to the delight of all ages, the first snow flurries of the year will fall. Dance performances, live entertainment and fireworks only add to the holiday magic ending with Santa’s arrival and the lighting of the 100-foot tall Christmas tree. And that’s how you kick off the holidays!
When: Thurs., Nov. 14, 7:30p.m.-9:30p.m.
899 Americana Way
Rodeo Drive Holiday Lighting - Beverly Hills
Lights, camera, holiday action! Where else can you welcome the holidays in red carpet style (surrounded by more glitz than you can shake a candy cane at) than Rodeo Drive? This year their annual Holiday Lighting include performances by DJ CoryLive!, followed by Jazz ensemble The Cufflink Crooners, while contemporary and hip-hop dance numbers will thrill with holiday pop. Headlining this year’s extravaganza, TV actor and Broadway performer Matthew Morrison will take the stage for a special performance of holiday songs, along with a sneak peek from his upcoming 2020 album of Disney classic covers. The evening will be capped by a dramatic and glittering grand finale of fireworks.
When: Fri., Nov. 15, 5p.m.-8p.m.
2 Rodeo Dr.
Christmas at The Grove - Fairfax District
Keep little ones up passed their bedtime for this unforgettable night. Hosted by singer and actor Leslie Odom, Jr. with music directed by Nick Rosen, this magical evening will feature special performances by Isaac Slade of The Fray, Tori Kelly, The Tenors and more. Delight in the season’s first snowfall, a fireworks spectacular and Santa’s grand arrival.
When: Sun., Nov. 17, 7:30-9:30p.m.
The Grove Dr.
Manhattan Beach Tree Lighting Celebration
Cowabunga Santa Claus! Celebrate the start of the holiday season South Bay-style with the annual Manhattan Beach Pier Lighting and Open House. Your tiny tots’ eyes will light up at the sight of the solar-powered festival of lights along with a 12-foot tree (adorned in all its festive glory) as the centerpiece of the town plaza. Local business, restaurants and retail stores will also be staying open extra late so you can get a jumpstart on holiday shopping.
When: Wed., Nov. 20, 6 p.m.-9p.m.
Union Station Tree Lighting - Downtown
The historic station will illuminate a towering tree with thousands of glistening lights on the majestic South Patio as snow drifts from the sky in a classic kickoff to the holiday season. Kids are sure to enjoy the the Toy Soldiers Drumline performers along with groups singing classic holiday tunes. There festive, family-friendly celebration will also feature “Cocoa Bars” with Elftenders, Santa selfies and our very own "Candy Cane Lane," full of holiday-themed arts, crafts and interactive games and entertainment.
When: Thurs., Nov. 21, 6:30p.m.
800 N. Alameda St.
LA County Tree Lighting - Downtown
Your little elves can make lots of merriment in DTLA with the official lighting of Los Angeles County’s Christmas tree at The Music Center Plaza. Enjoy the sweet sounds of holiday favorites from local music artists and community groups then jingle all the way through Grand Park to see it twinkle with holiday décor. Word has it, there may even be hot chocolate.
When: Mon., Dec. 2, starting at 5 p.m.
200 N Grand Ave.
Santa Monica Holiday Tree Lighting Party
Santa and Mrs. Claus join festive forces with city officials to light the Santa Monica Holiday Tree on Third Street Promenade. Kids can enjoy the craft station where they can create their own letters to Santa, while parents will love checking out the decked-out shops and sipping peppermint hot chocolate. Added bonus: Snow is in the forecast!
When: Thurs., Dec. 5, 6p.m.-9p.m.
1200 Block of Third St. Promenade
Culver City Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration
Thankfully, one of Santa’s stops this season is historic and charming Culver City where a 22-foot Rocky Mountain pine tree, draped in over 7,500 warm white LED lights, will be the piece de resistance for all to behold. Downtown Culver City businesses provide the hot cider, cocoa, cookies and other festive treats that are sure to warm even the grinchiest in your pack. If all of this weren't gift enough, there will also be up to one hour of free parking during the tree lighting event in any of downtown’s three main parking structures (yes please!).
When: Thurs., Dec. 5, 5p.m.-8p.m.
-Sylvie Greil, Jenifer Scott & Shannan Rouss