Los Angeles’ Must-See Holiday Lights Displays

For many, walking around and looking at beautiful holiday lights is an annual tradition and some of the best quality time they’ll get around this festive time of the year. Whether it’s a romantic evening stroll or a cherished family drive, the magic of the twinkling lights sets the perfect festive mood.

Whatever the reason for your excursion, you’ll only want to see the best of the best. Here are the 8 best holiday lights in Los Angeles you need to see.

Enchanted Forest of Light

Location: 1418 Descanso Dr, La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011

Cost: $35/adult; $25/child(ages 2-12); kids under 2 are free

Descanso Gardens’ Enchanted Forest of Light is a nighttime, interactive experience that features a one-mile walk through unique light displays in some of the popular areas of the garden.

Fan favorites are back, like the entire town of magical “stained glass” creations on the Main Lawn by Tom Fruin, a contemporary sculpture. Other returning illuminated favorites include the Flower Power on the Promenade, sparkling geometric installations from HYBYCOZO in the Rose Garden, and superb lighting effects in the Ancient Forest.

Enchanted Forest of Light is a rain-or-shine event and tickets are non-refundable, have timed entry, and must be purchased in advance. Descanso Gardens members get $5 off per ticket and for more information on prices, dates, and entry times, click here.

Christmas Tree Lane

Location: Santa Rosa Ave, Altadena, CA 91001

Cost: Free

Christmas Tree Lane is an annual tradition in the city of Altadena which features deodar cedar trees strung with Christmas lights. Running about a mile along Santa Rosa Street, this place is something that many Southern Californians visit every year to get in the holiday spirit.

On the weekends, this route gets very busy and the drive is slow. Embrace the leisurely drive and just enjoy the lights while listening to some holiday music in the comfort of your car.

Experience the magic of Christmas Tree Lane as it lights up for its 103rd year on December 9th. The Winter Festival, a celebration of seasonal cheer, arts, crafts, and delectable treats from local vendors, extends the joyous event from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

L.A. Zoo Lights: Animals Aglow

Location: 5333 Zoo Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Cost: Ticket starts at $18; zoo members can save up to 27% on tickets

The city’s wildest holiday tradition, Los Angeles Zoo Lights, presents new animal lantern sculptures among blooming flowers and towering trees that can make the night even brighter. This year, it features all-new seasonal wonders which include magical Winter Wildlands with glowing ice crystals, majestic pine trees, snow-loving animals, views of the “northern lights”, and breathtaking photo spots.

This event is a self-guided 60-90-minute stroll through a large area of the zoo which is filled with interactive experiences and roaming live entertainment. You can dance along with motion-sensing cactuses, enter a giant walk-in kaleidoscope, and play on luminous swings. For an additional fee, you can enjoy a spin on the carousel.

Moreover, hot cocoa and other tasty treats are available for purchase and for guests 21 and older, there’s beer, wine, and spiked hot chocolate. Ticket prices vary and VIP experiences and community nights are also available.

Holidays at the Disneyland Resort

Location: Anaheim, CA 92802

Cost: Standard ticket price starts at $96/day

There’s no better place to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year than the happiest place on Earth. Holidays at the Disneyland Resort is when both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure are filled to the brim with festive decorations and holiday cheer.

There are countless things to enjoy, including the Disney Festival of Holidays, Disney ¡Viva Navidad!, and Festival Featings at Disney California Adventure Park. More merry magic can be experienced at the adventure park with its World of Color – Season of Light, Mater’s Jingle Jamboree, and Luigi’s Joy to the Whirl.

On the other hand, Disneyland Park presents the “It’s a Small World” Holiday, “Believe…In Holiday Magic” Fireworks, wintertime enchantment at Sleeping Beauty’s winter castle, and the merriest musical procession in town with its A Christmas Fantasy Parade. On top of that, there’s holiday decor and lights all over the Disneyland Resort, festive eats and treats, holiday shopping, and so much more. For information on the Holiday Time at the Disneyland Resort Guided Tour, click here.

Festival of Lights at The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa

Location: 3649 Mission Inn Avenue, Riverside, CA 92501

Cost: Free

The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa’s holiday merriment, Festival of Lights, will be celebrated until January 7th of next year. This cherished annual tradition attracts thousands of visitors who are all thrilled to watch the display come to life through the holiday.

With a total of 4.5 million twinkly lights and over 400 animated figures, this festival is known as one of the largest holiday light collections in the nation and is voted the “Best Public Lights Display: by USA Today. Click here to reserve parking in advance.

Holiday Road Los Angeles

Location: 26800 Mulholland Hwy, Calabasas, CA 91302

Cost: Prices start from $24.99 to $39.99

Holiday Road at King Gillette Ranch is a premier, immersive holiday experience where you can expect to see thousands of lights, some larger-than-life holiday displays, Santa and Mrs. Santa, numerous candy canes, elves, and all of your favorite holiday cheer.

This ⅔ mile long walking trail is self-guided so I recommend you truly enjoy the attractions at your own pace. Most guests spend one to one and a half hours in total on the grounds engaging in both the walking trail and preshow area.

There are various interactive areas, food & beverages from a rotation of the city’s top food trucks and vendors, Instagrammable spots, and seasonal cocktails at the Holiday Bar. Please note that this only takes place until December 27th from 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Hikari – A Festival of Lights

Location: 5380 3/4 University Dr, Irvine, CA 92612

Cost: $25-$35/adult; $15-$25/child(ages 2-12); active military personnel and kids under 2 are free

Hikari, Tanaka Farms’ festival of lights, is a celebration filled with joy and sparkle. The farm transforms into a farm-themed, homey winter wonderland with a nod to Japanese culture thrown into the mix.

Apart from the million twinkling lights, you can enjoy a cozy wagon ride around the farm, a cup of hot cocoa, and the many photo ops scattered all throughout the area. You can also visit the Barnyard animals and even revel in live music on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights.

Activity tickets are needed for games, arts & crafts, mini ATVs, face painting, and photos with Santa. Please note that one parking pass ($10) is required per vehicle and activity tickets are $6 each or 6 for $30.


Location: 301 N Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007

Cost: Prices vary per date

Lightscape presents an immersive landscape of lights, colors, and amazing artistic installations. This third edition of the event has once again dotted the roughly mile-long pathway at the Los Angeles County Arboretum.

The reconfigured route features crowd favorites such as the light cathedral and the fire garden. But aside from those, everything else is new. The illuminated forest walk and the chasing lights along the Mario Kart-esque “rainbow road” are certainly Instagrammable.

Besides the full bar, there are food trucks every night while Santa also visits the event on selected nights. Lightscape opens until January 2nd from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. For more information on the event, including dates and ticket prices, click here.

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