The winter and holiday season is here & we tapped our amazing Los Angeles BCB Market Leaders, Catherine Stergar and Lorin Sanchez, to put together an awesome Top Family Winter Bucket List of hot spots, hidden gems & fun things to do with your kiddos all summer around the city!
Be sure to also check our BCB site for ongoing FREE events around LA here — free playdates, workouts + more to help you connect with new mamas in your area!
Los Angeles Winter & Holiday Bucket List
This is one of our favorite festive family (or night out) events in Los Angeles! Street Food Cinema transforms Heritage Square and the Museume into a Charles Dickens-style town square that combines classic holiday movies outdoors with lots of Christmas cheer.Victorian Home Tours, Holiday Outdoor Movies, Caroling, Piano Sing-Along in the Perry Mansion, delicious Food Trucks, Alfresco Bar with craft beer and mulled wine, Holiday Light Tunnel, dance lessons at Scrooge’s Dance Hall, Candle Making with Banter & Bliss Candle Co. and more.
Enchanted: Forest of Light at Descanso Gardens
Enchanted has become my favorite holiday tradition with my daughters. I started taking my eldest when she was 3 and we have been every year since. It is a Christmas walk in the woods that is entertaining and magical for all ages! We love to grab hot cocoa or hot apple cider (which you can also spike) and journey through all of the exhibits. It is an experience unlike anything else in town and we highly recommend it!
We love to get a little taste of winter (and real snow) by heading up to Lake Arrowhead for a day or weekend trip. It is a short drive and a real escape from the city. The kids love to play around on the playground, rides and games at Lollipop Park in the Lake Arrowhead Village. Grab some yummy waffles from Belgian Waffle Works and enjoy the view of the water or take a trip on the paddlewheel boat. If you do head up in the colder months, always check the weather as they do sometimes require chains on your tires to head up into the mountains.
What would a LA bucket list be if it didn’t include Disneyland? It is always one of our favorite places to go and even that much more spectacular during the Holidays. The Festival of Holidays, Tree Lighting, Season of Light and Christmas Fantasy Parade are just a few of our favorite things. There are also lots of yummy treats that only come out for a limited time.
Riley’s Apple Farm
A bit of a hike from Los Angeles, but apple picking at Riley’s Apple Farm is the perfect day trip to make wonderful fall family memories. They are open August – November for U-Pick and other seasonal fun. In the heart of California’s “Apple Country” you can pick your own local varieties and even make your own apple cider! I recommend a change of clothes for the kiddos if making apple cider, we learned the hard way just how much fun they can get into.
Kidspace Children’s Museum – Snow Days
Do you wanna build a snowman? Kidspace is one of our favorite local museums year-round, but during the holiday season they make it extra fun for the family with 5 days of SNOW! Time to break out the mittens, boots and hats and play in real snow. Playtime is included with admission and there are also some other winter themed activities that you can enjoy for a small fee. Build a snowman, make snowballs and snow angels and play in the snow dance party that takes place every half-hour. SNOW much fun!
Moonlight Forest Magical Lantern Art Festival at the LA Arboretum
Moonlight Forest is a fantasy of lights set in one of the most beautiful venues in Los Angeles, the Arboretum and Botanic Garden. This Festival takes you under the seas and into a winter wonderland filled with bright beautiful exhibits. There is lots of room for the kids to run around and also food trucks and other snacks on site. It is a great night out and will surely wear everyone out for a great night’s sleep!
Dogs! A Science Tail at the California Science Center
Definitely on our bucket list before it closes on January 5, Dogs! A Science Tail give you a up close experience with the science behind puppy love. Experience the extraordinary way a dog sees, hears, and smells the world through fun and unique hands-on exhibits in this 9,000 sq. ft. exhibition for humans. They often have live demonstrations, so mark your calendar and check it out before it’s too late!
A trip to Vasquez Rocks has been on our bucket list for a while now, and what better time to go than in the cooler months of winter in Los Angeles! Located in the high desert near Agua Dulce Springs, the park features 932 acres of spectacular rock formations, Tataviam Indian sites, and a seasonal stream. The park is a popular hiking, picnicking, and equestrian area and has been used in many hit movies, television shows and commercials. Pack up the kiddos and head outdoors as the weather gets cooler to check out these amazing formations!
This will be on my LA bucket list for a few years – it is suitable for children 8 and up, so make sure to check the website and confirm age details. Shadowland Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating children of all ages about wolves and their contribution to the environment. Two Hour Educational Tours are available by appointment to the public on Saturdays at 10:00 a.m. at a beautiful ranch about 90 minutes outside of LA. Join the wolf pack for this unique opportunity to meet, feed, pet and take pictures of and with the wolves!
We hope you enjoy this round-up of super fun activities and adventures to do with your kiddos in LA this winter! Leave us a comment & let us know what else we should add to the list.
Catherine, 33, has two kiddos, Charlie, 5 & Stella, 2, and lives in Redondo Beach, CA. Catherine’s favorite part about living in the LA area is that she can walk to the beach in about 20 minutes. For more information on Catherine + the rest of our BCB Market Leaders, click here.
Lorin, 40, also has two kiddos, Gia, 6 & Mila, 2, and lives in Los Angeles, CA. What’s Lorin’s favorite part about living in LA? “I love the access we have to so much in and around Los Angeles. There is so much we can expose our children to that they would normally have to travel all over for. We can even surf and ski in the same day, not that we’ve ever done it!” For more information on Lorin + the rest of our BCB Market Leaders, click here.
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