Although Los Angeles is by no means a winter wonderland, at least as far as falling snow is concerned, don’t despair. If you and your clan are looking for a way to get into the holiday spirit in a big way, take your family to see a million blazing lights in shows across the Southland that are nothing short of theatrical. After all, Hollywood is in our backyard and so is the sentiment and magic of this amazing place. Not sure where to go to experience the best result? Consider one or more of the following five holiday extravaganzas at which to cast your collective eyes. Oh, and plan to be star struck at what you see, even if that isn’t in your usual nature.
9480 Dayton Way
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
If high-end light shows are your thing, head for Beverly Hills during the holidays. The storefronts and street posts on Rodeo Drive promise some seriously exclusive decorations that sparkle like the star that this part of the 90210 has proven to be. Check out all the splendor there, at the pedestrian only Rodeo Two, and at the mansions from Wilshire Blvd. to Sunset Blvd. that are maintained and managed to give you a good look at holiday cheer as you ride or stroll by, singing carols all the way.
25th Annual Festival of Lights
The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa
649 Mission Inn Ave.
Riverside, CA 92501
Dates: November 24, 2017 – January 6, 2017
It’s worth the quick trip outside of L.A. to see the amazing display of lights at the historic Mission Inn. Over 4.5 million lights illuminate the hallways and walkways, along with 400+ animated figures. Stop and sing along with Dickens carolers, stroll through freshly fallen snow, and explore three large gingerbread villages set up in the area. Featuring one of the nation’s largest holiday light collections, the Festival of Lights is now in its 25th year and is one of the largest and best public displays around. The festival is free, and runs through January 6th, 2018. Highlights of Festival of Lights include 200 animated figures including angels, elves and Dickens carolers, appearances by Santa Claus, the world’s largest man-made mistletoe, horse-drawn carriage rides, fresh snow, beautifully decorated Christmas trees, and delectable holiday treats at the famous Casey’s Cupcakes and more!
L.A. Zoo Lights
LA Zoo & Botanical Gardens
5333 Zoo Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Dates: November 17, 2017 – January 7 2018
Experience the magic that is L.A. Zoo Lights this holiday season! From November 17, 2017 through January 7, 2018, the Zoo comes alive with nighttime holiday light events. Once you enter the park, you’ll take a self-guided tour that lasts from 60-90 minutes inside the Zoo. See creative animal-themed light displays, including 3D projectors, lasers, and thousands of LED’s, as well as a water show, live reindeer, music, and the all new “Wild Wonderland” finale. In addition to the tour, there will be hot cocoa and other holiday treats on offer, as well as a chance to take pictures with Santa on select dates!
Enchanted: Forest of Light
1418 Descanso Dr.
La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011
Dates: November 25, 2016 – January 8, 2017
Enjoy a one-mile walk through eight distinct lighting displays in the beautiful Descanso Gardens this month. The interactive, nighttime experience includes large-scale light features, lighted pads, and a chance to manipulate sound and color in the Oak Grove. The beautiful gardens are transformed into 10 themed sparkling displays that will surely get you in the holiday spirit! Learn more at our Guide To Descanso Garden’s Enchanted: Forest Of Light.
The Grove Christmas Tree & Decorations
189 The Grove Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Dates: November 13, 2017 – December 25, 2017
Los Angeles’ answer to New York’s legendary Rockefeller Center tree is the evergreen tree installed at this popular outdoor mall in West Hollywood! Celebrate the magic of the holiday season as the Grove transforms itself into a winder wonderland complete with a huge tree, a sled with Santa and reindeer and much more! Snow falls every evening at 7 & 8 pm, through December 25, 2017 as well! Boasting to be the largest in the City of Angels, the Grove’s offering sparkles and shines on a water show nearby that dances to familiar tunes traditionally sung during every holiday season. Stick around and see Santa if you are so inclined; he’ll be working in his very own gingerbread house.
Christmas Tree Lane
Christmas Tree Lane is said to be one of the first and still one of the best Christmas light displays to conquer the Los Angeles area. At this time of year, the entire lane becomes a competition to see which house can outdo the others for the most extravagant light display in the nation. When riding by, make a point of searching out Balian House. This huge manse and surrounding property promises some 10,000 holiday lights and a myriad decorations to put you in the spirit you’re there to secure. On December 9, 2017 there will be a winter arts and crafts festival at 2 pm followed by a lighting ceremony at 6pm.
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Each year, the City of Beverly Hills puts on a display of decorations that is unlike any other! Many neighborhoods around L.A. decorate, but there’s nobody quite does it like Beverly Hills. See decorations that span the width of Wilshire Boulevard, walk up and down the famed Rodeo Drive and see lights around palm trees, and more. This year, they will showcase a breathtaking lighting display, which will stay lit until the first week of January. The city comes alive with stunning geometric and iridescent light installations along North and South Beverly Drive, Canon Drive and Rodeo Drive, along with a special installation of sculptures by HYBYCOZO at Beverly Canon Gardens and Two Rodeo Drive.
Sleepy Hollow Christmas Lights Extravaganza
Pacific Coast Highway / Calle Mayor
Torrance, CA 90505
Dates: December 1, 2017 – January 1, 2018
If you’re looking for a Christmas lighting of massive proportions, look no further than Torrance’s Sleepy Hollow Christmas Lights Extravaganza. The neighborhood really delivers on an overflowing amount of visuals. Starting in early December, each home, tree, lawn and everything else in the neighborhood will be lit up with in an over the top celebration of the holidays. The event has taken place for more than 40 years, and it makes for a wonderful way to spend the evening with teh ones you love and family.
Candy Cane Lane
5966 Lubao Ave
Woodland Hills, CA 91367
Make sure to visit Woodland Hills in the Valley for the chance to visit Candy Cane Lane, located at the intersection of Oxnard Street and Lubao Avenue. You’ll enjoy traveling through this well-lit, very festive area where all the houses have been done up just right. If you have the time, get out and walk around and maybe you’ll be rewarded with some hot chocolate and a small holiday bite for the effort, as the owners of these homes in Woodland Hills are happy you came around to enjoy all the effort they collectively put into this holiday light show.
Related: Free Winter Holidays In Los Angeles
1601 Main St.
Venice, CA 90291
Dates: Throughout December 2017
Stop by the beautiful Venice canals for a bit of holiday light delight this season. While the Venice canals are beautiful on their own, the addition of lights on the bridges and on the homes just adds an extra touch. Walk the famed bridges which are lined by lights and walk around the neighborhood. Make sure to park a few blocks away as it can be quite busy this time of year.
Marina Del Rey Boat Parade
13755 Fiji Way
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
Date: December 9th, 2017
Like the Orange County holiday boat parades, Marina del Rey will be pulling off their annual holiday light show this year. The event is not only an annual event, but a tradition of the Marina channel since 1963. A fireworks display kicks off the holiday party of decorated yachts and boats large and small. The Grand Marshall this year will be Carol Costello and you’ll get to watch red and green Christmas lights, floating Santa’s and his elves, festively wrapped gifts, and Christmas trees float by. Boats will show off their décor as they make their way around the main channel of the harbor at least three times. The best free viewing locations include Fisherman’s Village or Burton Chace Park, or grab a seat at one of the waterfront restaurants.
Upper Hastings Ranch
3725 E Sierra Madre Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91107
Date: December 2017
Visit the grid of ranch-style homes in Upper Hastings Ranch in this Pasadena neighborhood if you want to see something really spectacular! The blocks decorate according to a different theme, so while one street might be lined with Santa’s, the other will be candy canes. Walk around the neighborhood throughout the month of December!