Things To Do in Los Angeles During The Winter: LA Winter Wonderland Guide

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Visiting Los Angeles during the winter, and wondering what there is to do in the sunny
California state? Well you’re not alone, a ton of people know what to do during the warmer seasons, but winter always has people confused. Like is winter in LA even fun? What is there even to do during the winter in LA? Well you would be surprised but there’s a lot! There’s some great things do during the winter that are even better during this time than other seasons!

So without further ado, let’s look at what you need to have on your la winter bucket list 😎.

Santa Monica pier during the winter

Beaches To Visit in La During the Winter

Santa Monica

Visit the famous Santa Monica beach where you can walk along the water, or even rent bikes and take a nice beachside cruise. You’ve probably seen the famous pier in movies and tv shows or at least heard about it from fellow travelers.

If the views of the crashing waves and gorgeous sunsets are not reason enough to visit this famous beach then the amusement park on the pier will surely catch your eye. The amusement park features the worlds one and only solar powered ferris wheel, a roller coaster and arcades. The pier also has great food and snack options like ice cream, elotes, burgers, funnel cakes, and so much more between the restaurants and the food stands.

The pier is a free to visit other than small fees for the amusement park. The pier is also very safe with constant police patrols either on foot, by car, by horse or by quad. There are also LA county lifeguards on duty to keep swimmers and beachgoers safe. The pier also has its own showers to freshen up after a swim and restrooms.

malibu beach
Copyright Ziga Plahutar via


Okay, if you’ve watched Hannah Montana then you have for sure always wanted to visit the seaside city of Malibu. The beaches are nice and warm while also clean and not as crowded as LA beaches.

If you’re looking for a more crowed beach we recommend visiting Malibu pier. Malibu pier contains shops and restaurants and will have lifeguards on duty. Other popular beaches in the Malibu area are Zuma beach which is a popular surfing destination and Little Dune which is a more secluded cliffside beach but also popular amongst surfers.

Venice beach
Copyright AdamKaz via


Venice beach is a very popular area for beachside activities like volleyball, fishing, surfing and swimming. This is a well known surfing spot and is great for people watching or just taking a walk along the boardwalk.

harry potter area winter theme

Theme Parks In LA To Visit During The Winter

Universal Studios

Universal Studios is a very well known theme park in the Los Angeles area and it features some of the best rides you can find at theme parks! Considering that there are only two Universal Studios parks in the United States you can expect heavy foot traffic.

The park is famous for its well known Studio Tour where you get to see some what some of the sets from famous movies and shows look like. The park is also famous for its Harry Potter and Super Mario Bros. themed areas. This is a ticketed event so be sure to purchase tickets, and read up on the park rules before you go!

Six Flags

Six Flags is a theme park with thrilling attractions located about 40 minutes from Los Angeles. The park requires tickets but its well worth it between its many fun rides and good foods and snacks.

Magic Mountain is the all around thrill park, with mild to wild rides, entertainment, dining, and shopping. The park does require tickets and is entirely cashless so be sure to purchase tickets before hand. If you’ve forgotten to bring a card you can luckily convert cash to a prepaid card at a kiosk at the park.

Disney California Adventure park Festival of holidays entrance sign


The famous Disney parks are full of fun rides, cool picture-worthy attractions, great food, and Delicious Desserts. The park is located in Anaheim, which is roughly 35 minutes from Los Angeles. This is a ticketed event, so you definitely want to make sure you purchase tickets beforehand or risk the park being at capacity when you would like to visit.

There are two parks and park hopper options, so purchase tickets wisely. During winter, you’re likely to visit while Disney has their Christmas and holiday-themed foods and attractions. This is one of the best times to see as you get to enjoy the holiday cheer.


Legoland is another fun theme park located in the surrounding vicinity to Los Angeles. This is a farther drive from Los Angeles of about 90 minutes but its certainly worth it if you’re up to it. Legoland has several different themed LEGO areas with attractions, dining areas and shopping locations. The park does require tickets so be sure to purchase tickets

Griffith observatory
Copyright Peter Photo via

Landmarks and Sights That are Great During Winter in Los Angeles

Griffith Observatory

This is a famous landmark and viewpoint located in the upper Hollywood Hills. The Griffith Observatory is free to visit but you will most likely have to pay for parking. You can either drive up to the location, though parking is very scarce.

Or you can park at the bottom of the hill and hike up which isn’t too bad of a hike, especially during Winter time when it isn’t scorching hot outside. From this viewpoint you’ll get great views of the Los Angeles skyline and a nice look at the Hollywood sign from afar.

Hollywood sign during the winter

Hollywood Sign

When in Hollywood you most definitely must visit the Hollywood sign. This sign has become a notoriously well known must see attraction in the upper Hollywood hills because it signifies wealth and in ways the American dream. Besides the symbolism of the sign its also just a great spot for taking photos of the Los Angeles skyline and is a nice outdoorsy adventure.

The Hollywood sign is free to visit but does require a hike to get to it. When you visit the area you can either park at the very bottom of Mount Hollywood and hike all the way up which is a bit of a trek but if you’re up to it can be a nice hike. Otherwise we recommend driving up to Griffith observatory and then hiking the rest of the way which drastically cuts down your hike time.

walk of fame

Walk of Fame

Visiting the iconic Walk of Fame is such an inspiring and heartwarming feeling to see what these people we all know and look up to have accomplished. The Walk of Fame pays tribute to legendary people who’ve worked in the entertainment industry. The sidewalk goes on street after street so plan on spending at least 3 hours here.

There are also cool shops in the area such as the Funko Pop shop, the Hard Rock Cafe and souvenir shops. There’s also the celebrity footprints to check out in front of the Chinese Theatre and there’s a Kobe Bryant mural at the Hollywood & Highland located on the fourth floor terrace.

urban light
Copyright Bruno Coelho via

Urban Light

This is one of the most serene landmarks in Los Angeles. The lamp posts become so beautifully illuminated at night effectively lighting the entryway to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). This is a very popular photo spot in the city for good reason. The lamp posts turn off at dawn and then at dusk they beam a brilliant light.

The best time to visit this picturesque installation is at dusk, so you get partial light from the day but it’s just dark enough to experience the true glow of the lamp posts. The Urban Light is a very popular free-to-visit attraction so expect lots of other tourists in the area.

The lamp posts were created as an art installation when an artist named Chris Burden collected around 200 lamp posts origination from the early 1900’s in Los Angeles. Now the lamp posts serve as what we call the “Urban Light” art installation which lights the way to the LACMA.

Rodeo Drive

Rodeo Drive is a place of luxury and is by far one of the most well known shopping areas in all of Los Angeles. Though the average person may not be able to afford shopping here its definitely nice to walk around, browse and enjoy the bustling streets of Beverly Hills.

Big Bear Mountain- skiing,

Since it is Winter time and you are on vacation why not spend it snowboarding in the mountains! Big Bear Mountain is a well known location for Skiing and Snowboarding. The Mountain is a 2 hour trip from Los Angeles so you’ll want to leave early in the morning so you get the most daylight for your festivities. This is a ticketed event so you will need to purchase tickets and be sure to have the proper gear and attire so you’re as comfortable as you can be.

Even if you’re not a huge snowboarding fan you can always rent a cabin and enjoy a snowy winter whilst you drink hot cocoa by the fireplace. Or rather you can head out and make snow angels or even go sledding or build a snowman! There’s tons of winter wonderland fun to be had at big bear.

Hot springs in California are a popular thing to do in the winter
Copyright Kwiktor via

Thermal Springs

Hot springs aren’t just beautiful to look at but they’re also well known for their therapeutic benefits for the skin as well as relaxation. Always be careful around any hot spring as the temperature might be suitable for one but for another it could be too hot. Personally, scalding hot water feels good to me but for you it may not so definitely dip a toe in to test temperature before submerging yourself.

Hot springs are nice to soak in and the hot water helps us relax but you’ll want to limit your time in the water or take breaks. Being in the water too long can cause your body temperature to be unregulated and can cause dehydration. Also be sure to watch out for wildlife in the area such as snakes.

As always, make sure to read warning signs; not all hot springs are meant for humans or animals, for that matter. This is why it’s really important to read signs and always test the water first. And if in doubt, ask!

  • Bring sunscreen and a hat
  • Wear the right shoes
  • Be careful! The trail leading to the springs is full of boulders, debris, and gravel.
  • Watch out for rattlesnakes
  • Be respectful to the wildlife in the area
  • Do not drink the Hot Spring water or submerge your head fully.
funko pop store

Shopping To Do In Los Angeles In Winter

Funko Pop store

The Funko pop store is such a unique experience filled with tons of cute photo taking opportunities with huge life size displays. From Harry Potter, to Donald Duck to Icy Viserion you’ll surely be able to take a great photo here to remember your trip to LA. You can also find exclusive and unique Funkos here so definitely be sure to browse the selections as this is the perfect time to find some Christmas gifts for your loved ones.

  • This is a free to visit location so no tickets or admissions fees are required.
  • Large bags like luggage are not permitted in the store.
  • All well behaved dogs are welcomed, though if they cause a ruckus you and your dog may be asked to leave.

The Grove

Since it is winter time you can always check out the Grove for all of your Christmas gift wants and needs. If not planning on shopping you can still hit the Grove for dining, catching the Grove Trolley, catching a movie or just browsing. This is a very vibrant, historical and just downright beautiful outdoor shopping mall, so it’s worth stopping by.

Museums and Tours To Do In Winter in La

Warner Bros. Studio Tour

This studio tour takes your through over 100 years of cinematic history where you get to explore the places your favorite movie legends have been made. Depending on the type of ticket you purchased you can expect the tour to last between 3-6 hours between the self guided tour, the guided tour, shopping and dining.

La brea Tar Pits and Museum

This is one of the funnest and most interesting museum exhibits to experience. The museum features exhibits from the La Brea Tar Pit excavations of fossils dating back to the ice age and beyond. There are exhibits of plants and animals like mammoths, saber tooth cats and sloths. And no I’m not naming the mammals featured in the Ice Age movies but when you step into this museum it will feel as if you’re being transported into the ice age. This museum is a ticketed attraction so you will need to purchase tickets in advance to ensure entry.

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