Where to See Holiday Lights in the Los Angeles Area
The magic of the season can best be felt when people gather to do something special for their community; when people collectively decorates their homes, you can feel the holiday spirit spread far and wide. One of my favorite childhood traditions was our annual trip through Los Angeles neighborhoods to see homes decorated to the fullest and now I carry on that tradition with my own children. In the spirit of the season, we made a list of the best neighborhoods and attractions to see Christmas lights in Los Angeles. Happy Holidays!
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LA Zoo Lights
5333 Zoo Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Shining nightly from 6 PM to 10 PM November 16th through January 6th, 2019, the LA Zoo glows with thousands of twinkly holiday lights. Tickets are sold in day and time increments for the best possible experience. Other special activities include Santa Claus visits, real live reindeer, treats and goodies. (The Zoo is closed Nov. 22nd, Dec. 24th, Dec. 25th.
Magic of Lights Fontana
Auto Club Speedway
9300 Cherry Ave., Fontana, CA 92335
A new holiday drive-thru experience is coming to Auto Club Speedway from November 16th through Sunday, December 31, 2018! Experience Magic of Lights from the comfort of your own car as you wind through the sparkling path in the O’Reilly Auto Part’s Fan Zone – the Inland Empire’s newest favorite holiday tradition. Magic of Lights features festive scenes of sparkling displays depicting the favorite characters of the season. The 20-30 minute experience is an affordable, easy outing for families, couples and groups for holiday light sightseeing.
Candy Cane Lane Woodland Hills
Lubao & Oxnard Streets
Candy Cane Lane in Woodland Hills is an eight square-block area that is annually transformed into Candy Cane Lane, with a celebration of lights, figures and artificial snow by a group of homeowners. Candy Cane Lane has been a tradition in Woodland Hills since 1952 and the residents have tried to outdo each other with their light displays each year. Santa has been seen posing for photos with children and some of Santa’s elves have been seen roaming. It traditionally begins the second Saturday in December, but there is no official website.
Christmas Tree Lane Altadena
Santa Rosa Avenue in Altadena
This is the 98th year of Christmas Tree Lane in Altadena This neighborhood is the oldest large-scale Christmas lighting spectacle in the US and has earned it a place on the National Register of Historic Places that boasts a lights spectacle over 1 mile long consisting of over 10,000 lights. It runs from dusk to 10:00pm weekdays and until midnight weekends/holidays through January 2nd. The Open Ceremony will be on December 8th at 6:00 pm.
Upper Hastings Ranch
bordered by Sierra Madre Blvd, Rivera Dr, Michillinda Ave in Pasadena
This Pasadena neighborhood has been decorating for the holidays for more than 50 years. This year’s Holiday Light Up is scheduled for Saturday, December 8th at 6:00 pm. In addition to the lights, families will also enjoy carolers (on select days).
7300 block of Yolanda Ave, Reseda, CA
It’s the 14 year anniversary of Yolanda Lights. Each year, the homes on this block create tunnels of lights. Families are invited to walk or ride (skates, strollers, wagons, bikes) through the tunnels. This holiday light display is a neighborhood effort stressing cooperation rather than competition.
Balian House Altadena
1960 Mendocino Lane
Altadena, CA 91001
Home to the famous ice cream manufacturer, this estate sits on 3.5 acres and is decorated with 10,000 colored lights and numerous holiday depictions. This gorgeous estate can be combined with Christmas tree lane in Altadena (see above listing) by turning right on Altadena to Allen. Turn right on Allen and then left on Mendocino. (Check online to see if it’s lit before you go.)
Rodeo Drive Beverly Hills
300 block of Rodeo Drive
From November 15th through the first week of January, 2019, the infamously lavish Rodeo Drive gets a festive makeover during the holidays with thousands of twinkly, yet glam holiday lights. Twinkle lights and red ribbons adorn the trees, lavish holiday displays decorate the shop windows, poinsettias are planted in the center divider and so much upscale more.
A California Christmas at the Grove
189 The Grove Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Celebrate the holidays at The Grove which is home to a 100-foot Christmas Tree, holiday lights and Santa’s House. Snow falls every evening at 7 & 8 pm, through December 25. Music performances will be held throughout the season. Check The Grove event calendar for schedule.
Holiday Lights Walking Tour
Downtown Los Angeles , (meeting place is Union Station – 800 N. Alameda St.)
For a guided way to see the lights and decorations of downtown Los Angeles, you can purchase tickets for a guided walking tour. Tours meet at 6:30 pm at Union Station. For two hours, you’ll have the chance to wander downtown and take in the sights including Grand Park, the Pershing Square ice rink, and Nutcracker Village at California Plaza. Tickets are available online; adults are $15, children 13 and under are free).
Sleepy Hollow Christmas Lights Extravaganza
Pacific Coast Highway and Calle Mayor, Torrance, CA
This is a neighborhood event that has been taking place for over 40 years. You’ll find homes decorated with thousands of lights as well as families selling hot chocolate to spectators (be sure to bring small bills).
Bainbridge Circle Holiday Extravaganza
Murrieta, CA 92563
Running from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve is the Inland Empire’s best neighborhood holiday lights display which features anything but your run-of-the-mill holiday lights display. The Bainbridge Circle Holiday Extravaganza is a multi-home organized synchronized lights display complete with music and tons of festive cheer.
Festival of Lights: The Mission Inn Hotel and Spa
3649 Mission Avenue
Riverside CA 92501
The 25th Annual Festival of lights switch on-ceremony will be held on Friday, November 23rd, 4:30 PM. The ceremony is a spectacular event in which the castle-like hotel is instantly illuminated with 5 million holiday lights followed by a full fireworks display. The Festival of Lights is an annual gift to the community and has been named “Best Public Lights Display in the Nation” by USA Today. The magical display, in the heart of Riverside, attracts more than 500,000 visitors from all over the world each year.
Enchanted: Forest of Light
1418 Descanso Drive,
La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011
Enchanted: Forest of Light is an interactive, nighttime experience unlike anything else in Los Angeles, featuring a one-mile walk through unique lighting experiences in some of the most beloved areas of Descanso Gardens.
Wakefield Winter Wonderland
21865 Copper Hill Dr., Santa Clarita, CA 91350
This annual tradition involves cul-de-sacs featuring homes that go all-out for the holiday season. You’ll feel like you’re on a movie set as you look from one home to the next. Your family will enjoy the sight of thousands of lights and festive displays.
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