Have the kids already unwrapped and played with their shiny new toys for hours on end and it’s only 9 a.m on Christmas morning? Need to get out of the house a bit but afraid everything is closed? Fear not Angelenos! Here are 21 cool ideas to help plan part deux of Christmas day.

photo: via Jenifer Scott

Hit the Ice, Ice Baby: A few of our favorite rinks are open on Christmas Day, with special skate-able hours. Specifically, check out Pershing Square or ICE in Santa Monica where you can skate off grandma’s homemade cinnamon rolls in a winter wonderland.

Watch Some Whales: Certain types of whales begin their migration in Dec. so what better gift could you and your family receive than catching a glimpse of one of these marvelous mammals as they glide through the Pacific? Check out these Los Angeles area whale watching options and make sure to book your Christmas day cruise ASAP!

Beach It: Because you can. With 80 degree temps in Dec., put the bubbles the kids got in their stocking to good use! Visit one of our favorite family-friendly beaches.

photo: Museum of Illusions

Imagine It: Ride aboard the Titanic, be a part of a big sandwich or hide from meteors! Go visit the Museum of Illusions where photography is not just encouraged, it’s part and parcel of the exhibition. The museum of optical illusions is intended to fill visitors’ photo albums with vivid and unusual photographs and what’s even sweeter about it being open on Christmas? If you didn’t get around to sending holiday cards yet, these photos will make great New Year’s cards for your friends and family.

Merry Grinchmas, Ho Ho Ho: Meet the Grinch, Max & all of Who-ville at Universal Studios for a very merry, and not at all grouchy or Grinchy holiday. Plus, you can see some merry Minions and quaff warm Butterbeer.

Clifton’s Republic: Part curiosity shop, part kitschy cafeteria, all delicious: you can sneak away for a playfully fun bite at Clifton’s Republic that will also keep you out of the kitchen.

CHILL Out at the Queen Mary: Enter a frozen wonderland, where you must don giant parkas to keep the cold at bay. You can explore the Ice Kingdom, with over two million pounds of ice; go ice tubing; lace up ice skates; ice shuffleboard (this is a thing!) and spend the afternoon in the Holiday Village decorating gingerbread houses and visiting Santa.

photo: dagon via pixabay

Snow Play!: If you grew up in another part of the country, you’ll feel more at home in mittens than swimsuits this time of year, and we know some superb places that are an easy drive from LA that has loads of snow to play in.

Do The (SB) Zoo!: The Los Angeles Zoo may be closed on Christmas Day but the Santa Barbara Zoo is open with bells on from 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. on the 25th of Dec.! This incredibly family-friendly outing right across from the sparkling Pacific is well worth the 2-hour drive (maybe less with traffic being notoriously light on Christmas Day) and has tons of fun local options to experience before or after visiting with the animals!

Snow in the OC: Take a short drive to Winterfest OC and plunge into a full winter experience: an outdoor ice rink, an eight-lane Snowflake Summit ice slide, a play park featuring real snow blown in daily for snow angels and snowman building, strolling carolers and Christmas Day visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

photo: Monica G. via Yelp

Top of the City, Ma!: Open on Christmas, the SkySlide in Downtown LA gives you the best views of the city. Perfect if you have out-of-town family visiting for the holiday looking to soar to new heights!

See Knights or Pirates: Both Medieval Times and Pirate’s Dinner Adventure have Christmas shows, and it’s a fun way to keep the excitement buzzing on Christmas. Bonus: you won’t have to make dinner!

Observe This: While the Griffith Observatory is closed, it still makes for a gorgeous place to explore the grounds, hike up to a view of the Hollywood Sign, or down to the Ferndell trail and playground. It’s also a fabulous way to work up an appetite for Christmas dinner!


Play Tourist For A Day: If your Mother-In-Law has always wanted to know where her favorite celebrity lives (and you need to get her out of the house for a few hours to experience a little holiday peace of your own), make a reservation for everyone to take a bus tour of movie stars homes around Los Angeles! Starline Tours in Hollywood has outings operating Christmas Day so give them a call now to snag tickets.

Test Out New Wheels: If Santa left skates, skateboards, bikes, scooters, trikes, hoverboards (or anything else that moves) under the tree, they are all begging to be road tested. Bring them to one of our favorite bike paths that are traffic free and totally safe.

photo: White Sands National Monument via Flickr

Try Sand Sledding: Your kids might be surprised to find a new sled waiting for them Christmas morning, but it’s a perfectly apt gift when you take them to spend the afternoon at the beach sand sledding. Ah, only in LA!

Last Chance at Lights: Most places that take the time and energy to put up incredible Christmas light displays aren’t going to tear them down on Boxing Day. But those twinkling days are numbered, and Christmas Day is a perfect time to fill the (new?) thermos with cocoa and see these sparkling spectacles.

Nap! Er, Take the Kids to a Movie: Settle down in the dark while the kids throw themselves into the magic of cinema (and popcorn) with a fave flick. Family-friendly movies now in theaters include Mary Poppins Returns and Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse.

“Meet” Your Favorite Celebrity: One of the most unique Hollywood establishments is Madame Tussauds wax museum and if you haven’t ever had the chance to experience this place, what better time than Christmas Day? Out of town guests will get to say they’ve been and you will get to rub shoulders (just not too hard) with some of Hollywood’s most elite figures of stage and screen!

photo: Prayitno via Flickr

Ride A Roller Coaster: Talk about excitement…Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier is open on Christmas, so you can ride the roller coaster and Ferris wheel and hit all the other rides and games to your heart’s content. That’s a thrilling way to end a magical day.

Get the Best Darn Chinese Food Outside of China: Dim Sum never closes! And we have the best examples of the cuisine in the world in Monterey Park.

To see what Red Tricycle Editors are up to this month, follow us on Instagram!

—Meghan Rose, Jenifer Scott & Andie Huber


LA’s Best-Kept Secret: Free Music at the Hollywood Bowl

Eat Your Heart out at the Best Places Kids Eat Free in LA

The Best Museums for Kids in Los Angeles