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

Surfer at Christmas, Manhattan Beach California
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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 time 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 F (20 C)
  • Average Low Temperature: 50 F (10 C)
  • Water Temperature: 60 F (16 C)
  • Rain: 2.35 in (6.0 cm)
  • Rainfall: 5.2 days
  • Sunshine: 7.1 hours
  • Daylight:10 hours
  • UV Index: 3 (lowest of the year)

To get an idea of how those conditions compare to the rest of the year, use the guide to LA and climate to get an idea of what things may be like. Keep in mind that it might be different when you visit and check the forecast a few days in advance.

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.

  • LA Auto ShowHold onto your seat for one of the world's biggest auto shows. You'll see more than 1,000 new models, tuned and customized rides, and concept cars on display. You can even test drive almost 100 models. It starts in mid-November and usually runs through Thanksgiving weekend but may extend into December.

For New Year's Eve, indoors and out, there will be parties and public celebrations. And more fireworks than you can imagine possible.

Things to Do in December

  • The LA Lakers and LA Clippers both play basketball at the Staples Center in downtown LA, giving you lots of chances to watch a pro game.
  • The LA Kings hockey team also plays in the same arena.
  • If football is your sport, you can watch the LA Rams play at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (moving to SoFi Stadium in Inglewood in 2020). The LA Chargers play at Rokit Field at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson.
  • In LA, you can also see whales nearly year-round. December is an excellent 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.

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.
  • Los Angeles hotel occupancy rates are consistent over most of the year but are at their lowest in December, as long as you avoid the year-end holiday week.
  • In December, pomegranates and persimmons are in season. Look for them at local farmers markets and on the menus at restaurants.
  • Besides these seasonal tips, don't miss these tips that are good for Los Angeles visitors year-round.
  • Any time of year. you can use these tips to be a smarter Los Angeles visitor who has more fun and puts up with fewer annoyances.
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