Southern California is one of the best places to visit during the winter months. Although you’re unlikely to see any snow (real snow, that is), there are still lots of seasonal activities and things to do in Los Angeles, from big-budget theme park attractions to low-key local fun, to keep you busy.
We put together a list of our favorite things to do in Los Angeles in the winter to help you plan the perfect wintery LA itinerary.
Many of these great activities and attractions are available on the Go Los Angeles® Card.
Choose as you go from dozens of top Los Angeles attractions and save up to 55% off combined admission vs paying at the gate. Or, build your own pass and save up to 20% off.
See all available passes, attractions & prices – Learn more.
Aquarium of the Pacific
Interact with the sea life of Southern California, Baja, and beyond. Touch sharks, hand feed colorful lorikeet birds, and watch penguins play at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach.
Universal Studios Hollywood
Winter is one of the best times to visit Universal Studios Hollywood. This time of year typically means less crowds–and shorter lines.
From the enormous back lot, to the special effects stage, to the all new King Kong 360 3-D movie adventure, there’s lots to explore, so be sure to leave yourself plenty of time.
You’ll travel through working sets, learn all about cutting-edge movie-making technology, and get on board rides built to resemble your favorite blockbuster hits.
Warner Bros. Studio Tour
Want to see more behind-the-scenes Hollywood magic? Head to Warner Bros Studio for the Warner Bros. VIP Studio Tour, complete with the chance to get on the set of hit television shows like The Big Bang Theory and The Ellen Degeneres Show.
If you’re lucky, you might even see some celebrities on set. he Warner Bros. VIP Studio Tour also includes a 10-million item prop department, the tallest sound stage in the nation, and a ride through the back lots.
Sony Pictures Studios Tour
Get the real experience of a working studio on a 2-hour guided tour of Sony Pictures Studios. You’ll see historic sound stages once home to the Yellow Brick Road, Emerald City, and the Spider-Man movies.
Your tour may even swing by a smash-hit game show, “Jeopardy!” or “Wheel of Fortune.”
Be the Audience at a Live Taping
After you tour a studio, complete the LA experience by attending a live taping of one of your favorite shows.
How to get tickets to live tapings in Los Angeles: Be sure to plan well in advance and arrive early as many shows sell out fast and seats are not always guaranteed–even with a ticket.
- American Idol: click here.
- Conan: click here.
- ESPN SPORTSNATION: click here.
- Hell’s Kitchen: click here.
- Jeopardy!: click here.
- Jimmy Kimmel: click here.
- The Late Night Show with James Corden: click here.
- The Price is Right: click here.
- tosh.0: click here.
- The Voice: click here.
- Wheel of Fortune: click here.
Get Ready for the Academy Awards
With the Academy Awards approaching on February 28, 2016, there’s no better place to be than Hollywood.
Taking the stage where some of your favorite celebrities will undoubtedly be standing on the night of the Oscars is one of the best ways to gear up for the show.
With a Dolby Theater Tour, you’ll have VIP access to the famous five-level theater where the Academy Awards take place each year and where you can walk down Hollywood’s memory lane and see images of famous Oscar winners like Jack Nicholson and Grace Kelly on display.
Scope out the Museum Scene
LA is home to lots of fascinating, world-class museums worth exploring when it’s chilly or raining outside.
For the full Hollywood experience, movie buffs should check out the famous Hollywood Museum, to learn all about movie production, film making technology, the legacy of Tinsel Town, and more before heading to Madame Tussauds to pose for souvenir photos with their favorite celebrities.
For a more educational museum experience that you won’t find in many other cities, the Museum of Tolerance features unique exhibits that explore issues of tolerance, prejudice, discrimination, the legacy of the holocaust and contemporary human rights issues and the Japanese American Museum, located in the heart of Little Tokyo downtown, is internationally recognized for its dedication to examining America’s ethnic and cultural diversity.
Science fans will enjoy visiting the excavation site at La Brea Tar Pits and museum, one of the world’s most famous Ice Age excavation sites where you can see scientists and volunteers preparing fossils for examination or a visit to the Natural History Museum, home to real dinosaur fossils, an extensive collection of natural gems and minerals, and ancient Latin American archeological artifacts.
Six Flags Magic Mountain
Test your fear of speeds, heights, twists, and turns on the many roller coasters and thrill rides at Six Flags Magic Mountain.
Visitors will fewer lesser crowds during the winter months which means more time for testing your limits on each thrill ride.
Pick up Some Fresh, Local Produce
Head to the Farmer’s Market nearest you and pick up some seasonal, fresh fruits, veggies, and locally baked goods.
Watch a Winter Sunset
Vivid sunsets are commonplace during the Los Angeles winter. Take advantage of the miles of unobstructed views along the coastline for some of the best sunset viewing in the world.
Some of the best LA spots to watch the winter sunset, include: Griffith Observatory, Hermosa Beach Pier, Dockweiler State Beach (bring a camera to get a photo of the sunset over the famous shipwreck that washed up onto the shore), and Terranea Bluff Top Park.
Make a day of it and head to Santa Monica Pier for thrill rides and quintessential boardwalk fun at Pacific Park and then visit the sea life at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium before watching the sun set over it all for a postcard-worthy view.
Save on Attraction Admission
Whatever your reason for visiting LA, we know you’ll do it in style this winter with these fun attractions.
And remember, a Go Los Angeles® Card can save you big on admission to many of these activities.
Although you probably won’t experience a white Christmas, the thriving metropolis more than makes up for its lack of snow with extravagant festivities and creative displays.