Whether you’re a native Angeleno, fresh to the west coast, or you’re simply visiting for a little while, winter might feel like a bit of an off time to kick it in SoCal. But there are so many great things you can do to keep busy throughout the winter season, including a few classic LA staples — as well as some brand-new ideas that might bring a little spice to your eggnog! There are so many choices for what to do, you’ll basically never get bored. Here are just a few ways that you can stay entertained while spending your winter in the city of angels.
- Drive to the Beach
Yes, the beach. There are so many beautiful beaches all over LA, from Santa Monica to Venice. Even if you don’t get in the water — which can be totally freezing throughout the winter — spending some time enjoying the scenery and relaxing while you listen to the waves is good for the soul. Try a new one like El Pescador in Malibu or put your feet in the sand with a beer at Paradise Cove.
- Take a Hike
Hiking is another awesome activity for the winter in LA, where it isn’t too cold to enjoy the walk, but the sun isn’t going to roast you alive. It’s basically the best of both worlds. Head to the Hollywood sign for one of the more classic LA hikes that can take you to gorgeous views. In Malibu, consider Solstice Canyon or one of these memorable hikes.
- Head to the Museum
Museums are a great choice for those who do find themselves a bit chilly in the wintertime, even in Southern California. Options like the Getty Museum can be a great destination, with beautiful grounds, stunning exhibitions, and, of course, free admission. Try and hit them during the week rather than the weekends, when the kids are in school and the grounds are less crowded. Discover the largest car collection in the world at Peterson Automotive Museum. Across the street, you can spend a whole day at the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, the largest museum in the US devoted to the arts, sciences, and artists of moviemaking.
- See a Movie
Whether you have a soft spot for classic cinema or you have a hankering for that new release, seeing a movie can be an awesome choice for the winter, especially in the land where movies are made. Why not hit one of the city’s most iconic theaters, like the TCL Chinese Theater, the New Beverly, or Nuart Theater? Not feeling like you want to be in an enclosed space with new Covid variants? Check out Rooftop Cinema Club in Downtown LA and at The Drive-Up at Santa Monica Airport. Learn more about our time there. The Montalban on 1615 Vine Street shows rooftop movies too. Select a holiday flick or find a place showing what you want to see and head over that way!
- Check Out the Lights
Just because there isn’t any snow doesn’t mean you can’t catch a little sparkle here and there. In fact, there are plenty of places to see Christmas lights all throughout LA. For example, the LA Zoo has a totally Instagramable light display that you definitely don’t want to miss. The Enchanted Forest of Light at Descanso Gardens has been so popular you need to book tickets right away. This one-mile walk through unique lighting experiences is one you won’t forget.
- Go Ice Skating
Ice skating isn’t just for those on the east coast anymore! There are plenty of places where you can lace up and get cruising in LA if you want to feel a bit more authentic with your winter activities. Check out the LA Kings Ice Rink or Skating By the Sea for some unique experiences this season.
Want to see the natural beauty of the sky while you soak in the spirits of the wintertime? Head to Griffith Observatory for a lovely stargazing session that can keep you and your crew entertained while the wintertime washes overhead. This can be a great way to relax and feel a bit special. Certain nights they bring the telescopes on the lawn for all to see the universe!
- Grab Some Coffee
Even though you haven’t headed up the coast to the Pacific Northwest, you can certainly find some great coffee down in LA to satisfy any winter fix. Head to one of LA’s many amazing coffee roasteries like House Roots, Cognoscenti Coffee Bar, Compelling Coffee, Mad Lab, or Go Get Em Tiger — and that’s just the very start!
Create positive change this season by finding a meaningful volunteer opportunity. Improve the lives of others and make Los Angeles stronger with VolunteerLA.
10. Immerse yourself in Van Gogh
This digital art experience called Immersive Van Gogh is still showing in LA. Paired with provocative music, watch Vincent Van Gogh’s greatest paintings melt and morph all around you.
Wintertime in LA
No matter what your favorite activities to do are — in SoCal or otherwise — there are so many options to broaden your horizons in LA this winter. From heading to the movies to lacing up your skates, the city of angels can be lovely in the winter as well as the summer.