December in Los Angeles: Weather, What to Pack, and What to See

Summer Christmas
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December is a perfect month to visit Los Angeles, weather-wise. If you want to get away from cold, cloudy winter weather and avoid shoveling snow, it's a great place to go. While you can leave your cold weather gear at home, you might need something to keep you dry during the rain. December can be one of the rainiest months of the year.

If you're thinking of going to LA in December, expect all the top tourist attractions to be packed during the last two weeks of the month and even more packed between Christmas and New Year's Day. The theme parks are busier than at any other times of the year, and even the museums are full of people.

Los Angeles Weather in December

December is in the rainy season and prone to winter storms, so try these things to do on a rainy day in Los Angeles if it's raining when you'll be there.

  • Average High Temperature: 68 degrees F/20 degrees C
  • Average Low Temperature: 50 degrees F/10 degrees C
  • Water Temperature: 60 degrees F/16 degrees C
  • Rain & Sun: 2.35 inches (6.0 cm) rain, 74 percent sunshine
  • Hours of Daylight: You'll have about 10 hours of daylight per day to explore Los Angeles in December.

Use the weather averages to get an idea of what things may be like, but it might be different when you visit, so you should check the forecast a few days in advance, too.

What to Pack

For rainy days, take a rain jacket with a hood and an umbrella. A mid-weight jacket will be enough on dry days. Unless you're going to the ski slopes, leave the heavy winter coat at home. Long-sleeved shirts layered with sweaters work best.

Even for many of LA's nicest restaurants, you will fit right in wearing stylish, semi-casual attire. For everywhere else, to dress like a local, go casual. Even yoga-pants-and-sneakers casual.

December Events in Los Angeles

Almost everything that happens in LA during December is related to the holidays. Christmas in Los Angeles is full of unexpected fun, including some great holiday parades featuring decorated yachts and over-the-top Christmas light displays.

The Los Angeles Auto Show begins in late November but usually extends into the first week of December. It's one of the world's biggest auto shows with more than 1,000 vehicles on display and up to 100 of them available for test drives.

In LA, you can also see whales nearly year-round. December is a good time to see gray whales. Find the best places to see them and when in the guides to Los Angeles whale watching and Orange County whale watching.

For New Year's Eve, indoors and out, there will be parties and public celebrations.

If you're looking for something else to do in December like a fun concert or theatrical performance, try these resources:

December Travel Tips

  • To get maximum enjoyment from your theme park visit in December, consider getting a priority pass along with your Universal Studios ticket, and use these proven tips to reduce the time you spend waiting in lines at Disneyland.
  • Los Angeles traffic is legendary for its jams and slowdowns, but things can get even worse on the days when people leave town (or come back). And no matter what, avoid driving from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles on a Sunday evening.
  • In December, pomegranates and persimmons are in season. Look for them at local farmers markets and on the menus at restaurants.