Los Angeles may not get much in terms of snow (none), but the city makes up for it when it comes to going all out for Christmas. We set out in this post to bring you the most extensive list of Christmas light displays in the greater Los Angeles area. Some, such as the Newport Beach Christmas Light Boat Parade have fireworks displays on opening and closing nights as well.
Here are some of the incredible Christmas light displays to see before the Christmas season is over.
Christmas Tree Lane
A mile long drive of trees in Altadena becomes blanketed in lights and Christmas Tree Lane. It lights up the second Saturday in December and is well worth a drive down the street.
Santa Rosa Ave, between Woodbury Ave and Altadena Dr (Altadena)
Hollywood and Vine Christmas Lights
Tinsel town now glows even more brightly. After years when Christmas lighting was neglected at this iconic Hollywood intersection, they have returned. The decorations are installed along Hollywood Boulevard between Vine Street and Highland Avenue, with 54 palm trees receiving permanent lighting, and each tree also getting RGB lamps installed under the crown that can light up the palm fronds with different colors depending on the holiday.
27 light poles will have holiday decorations. The tree lights will be kept up all year, while the decorations will be removed after New Year’s Day.
The Christmas decorations (which can also be used during other holidays) are a joint effort of Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and the Hollywood Entertainment District to will help to bring back a festive spirit to the neighborhood.
Rodeo Drive Christmas Lights in Beverly Hills
Count on Beverly Hills to go all out on Christmas displays. Lights swirl around the palm trees that line Rodeo Drive, up the steps of Via Rodeo and down the “old world” cobblestone path, over the span of Wilshire Boulevard and onto the extravagent Beverly Wilshire.
Rodeo Dr, between Santa Monica Blvd and Wilshire Blvd (Beverly Hills)
Balian is known for its red-striped ice cream cups, but it is also known for its Mediterranean Revival mansion in Altadena. Each Christmas thousands of lights are elegantly draped across the corner lot. Th house is a must visit. Not only do you get to see a breathtaking display of lights, there are oversized wooden nativity animals. There’s plenty of street parking along the residential streets (be courteous) and Christmas Tree Lane is only a few blocks away.
1960 Mendocino Ln, Altadena, CA 91001
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Christmas Lights at Venice Canals
The Venice Canals are beautiful all year long. But at Christmas time, not only do you see the beautiful homes reflecting in the tranquil water of the canals, the dazzling display of lights on the homes and across the Venice Italy style foot bridges are reflecting in the waters as well. Park away from the neighborhood and walk in. This is not a driving tour. Parking is more difficult to find down here than other parts of town, but it is on top of my list to see just because I love the neighborhood so much.
The Venice Canals are just south of Venice Blvd and North of Washington and a block or two off the Pacific Ocean. Here is a Google Map of it.
Enchanted Forest of Light
Descanso Gardens’ light-up is among L.A.’s most stunning and, more importantly, most fun Christmas light displays. The interactive, nighttime program has set up eight illuminated installations around the botanical garden grounds, from luminescent forests to free-standing hands-on art pieces.
1418 Descanso Dr, Los Angeles, 91011 Hours 9 – 5 pm daily. Tickets $23 – $25
Sleepy Hollow Christmas Lights Extravaganza
Torrance’s Sleepy Hollow neighborhood delivers more Christmas lights than you could hope for. Follow Robert Road off of the Pacific Coast Highway for a tour of this brilliantly lit neighborhood. The display runs every night from 6 to 10pm, starting in early December up until New Year’s Day, and you can walk the few blocks if you’d prefer (park on the PCH, Calle Mayor or Prospect Avenue).
Robert Rd, off of the Pacific Coast Hwy, and surrounding streets in Torrance
L.A. Zoo Lights
Holiday Lights are back at Griffith Park, now at the L.A. Zoo. This time at the zoo you will be able to see reindeer and sit for a photo with Santa. Standout displays include elephant statues animated with projection mapping, a twinkly light tunnel and festive interpretations of L.A. landmarks. The Christmas light display at the zoo will be up until January 7th
5333 Zoo Dr, Los Angeles 10am-5pm daily. Last entry 1hr before closing.
I recommend checking their website. I would think a Christmas light display would be open later than 5:00 pm!
Christmas at Disneyland
Disneyland turns into a holiday zone for 2 full months (Nov 10–Jan 7). Rides sport Christmas makeovers and there are holiday-themed nighttime shows. Christmas lights and decor are all over the parks, from the auto-themed Americana decorations in Cars Land to icicle lights draped atop Sleeping Beauty Castle and the joyous facade of “It’s a Small World.”
1313 Disneyland Dr (Anaheim)
109th Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade and Ring of Lights
For the 109th year, the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade decorated boats parade is doing just that as over 100 decorated vessels parade around a 14-mile circuit in the Newport Harbor. You can see the parade for free during each of the five nights, but there are also reserved seats and dining packages available for purchase, as well as holiday lights cruises.
The parade will begin at approximately 6:30 p.m. each night from December 13 – 17.
Fireworks will be featured on opening night, Wednesday, December 13 at approximately 6:15 pm from the Newport Pier and on the final night, Sunday, December 17 at approximately 9:00 pm from the Balboa Pier.
This is a free event, however you can get reserved seating from $10 – $20 at the event website.
Festival of Lights at the Mission Inn
The Mission Inn in Riverside is illuminated with 4.5 million lights during the annual Festival of Lights. Folks, that a LOT of lights. The free six-week-long holiday tradition begins the day after Thanksgiving with a “switch-on” ceremony and ends on January 6th. You’ll find horse-drawn carriage rides, fresh snow and more than 400 animated figures.
It has been called the “Best Public Lights Display in the Nation” by USA Today and draws over 500,000 visitors each season
3649 Mission Inn Ave, Riverside
Candy Cane Lane Woodland Hills
Candy Cane Lane is a group of homeowners at Lubao & Oxnard Streets in Woodland Hills who collectively decide each year to put on an amazing holiday display of lights and decorations.
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 begins on the 2nd Saturday of December and lasts through the end of the year
- It’s located at the intersection of Lubao and Oxnard Streets (by Pierce Collage) in Woodland Hills
- People drive slowly down the street with their headlights dimmed so that everyone can enjoy the lights.
- Residents ask that visitors drive by no later than 10pm on weeknights and 11pm on weekends. Many residents turn off their lights after this time to discourage viewing.http://www.woodlandhillscc.net/candy_cane_lane.html
Candy Cane Lane in El Segundo
This display takes up the 1200 block of East Acacia with bright lights and occasional visits from Santa. The street is closed to car traffic, so bundle up, park the car, and explore the faux wintery wonderland on foot.
1200 E Acacia Ave El Segundo, CA 90245
Christmas Lights at Manhattan Beach Pier
As if you needed another excuse to go to the beach! Nothing says “California Christmas”. Make a day of it. Manhattan Beach is a walkable, fun town with loads of great restaurants, bars and shops. Then when the sun sets, head out to the picturesque pier.
100 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Christmas Lights in Long Beach’s Naples Neighborhood
The houses around Naples Island in Long Beach put on one of the best displays of Christmas and Hanukkah lights in Southern California. Park in the Mothers’ Beach lot off of Appian Way, or in the marine lots east of Davis Bridge, Marine Stadium, and 54th & Bayshore. Then, take a stroll around the island to enjoy the Christmas light display
One house is even known to look like the set of the best-ever Christmas movie, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.
For an extra treat make a reservation to see the lights of Naples from a romantic ride on a Gondola. Grab a blanket and your honey, Gondola Getaway will provide the hot chocolate or you can bring your own if you prefer the bubbly. Call (562) 433-9595.
Festival of Lights in Downtown Long Beach
More than 30 businesses will join the holiday spirit this year by decorating for the season as part of the Downtown Long Beach Associates’ annual Festival of Lights promotion taking place from December 1 through 24. Visitors are encouraged to check out the participating businesses and vote for their favorite holiday display.
Sleepy Hollow Christmas Light Extravaganza
Off the Pacific Coast Highway and Robert Road, this Torrance neighborhood’s Christmas decorations are a sight to see. In the past, residents have suggested that the smoothest way to enjoy the lights is to park on PCH or nearby Calle Mayor or Prospect Avenue, then walk in to the neighborhood to enjoy the lights.
The Christmas tree at The Grove
The Grove’s Christmas tree soars to 100 feet, taller than those at Grand Park and the Music Center in Downtown. The entire shopping mall is illuminated in beautiful Christmas lights and decor. There’s a plastic Santa on a sleigh pulled by reindeer taking flight near the fountain. And yes, it does snow in LA. You can seat every night at 7 and 8 p.m. at the Grove. Oh, and did we mention The Grove and the adjacent Original Farmer’s Market both make excellent places to do some Christmas shopping.
189 The Grove Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Christmas Tree at the Americana at Brand
Created by the same developer at The Grove, the Christmas attractions at the Americana in Glendale are similar. I don’t know if this tree is 100 feet, but it comes close. Santa’s workshop sits beside the pond with the “dancing fountain” (there is also a dancing fountain at The Grove). Giant bows and lights adorn the old fashioned street light poles and each night at 7 and 8 pm, snow falls on “the green”, which I am assuming is the area around the grand fountain.
Nothing was skimped on when it came to making the Americana one of the most beautiful Christmas displays in Los Angeles. There is also a full lineup of holiday events including singers, drummers and or course Santa. See the event schedule here: https://americanaatbrand.com/docs/AmericanaatBrandSeasonalHoursandEvents2017.pdf
889 Ameriana Way, Glendale 91210
Holiday Lights at The Getty
Note: due to the unfortunate LA fires, one of which burned immediately in the vicinity of The Getty Museum, be sure to call prior to going to make sure the holiday lights will be on.
The Getty Center comes alive with festive holiday lights on Saturday nights beginning the day after Thanksgiving. Visitors can sip complimentary mulled cider as they take in the twinkling lights of the city between viewing the exhibits.
1200 Getty Center Dr, Los Angeles 310-440-7300
Winterlit Celebration, Santa Monica
Elaborate light displays of Christmas trees, jutting icebergs, and icicles serve as the background for strolling carolers, a visit from Santa Claus and even a snowfall on opening day.
Wilshire Blvd & 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica 310-394-1049
Lights on Miracle Hill – A Christmas Promise
It’s reported that it takes volunteers 10,000 man hours to install these 500,000 lights. The impressive light show draws over 10,000 people each year. Admission is free and it runs on weekends through December 25th.
18901 Amar Road, Walnut
Christmas Tree Lane, Long Beach
Long Beach features Christmas Tree Lane with 23 lighted and decorated Christmas trees along Daisy Ave.
Daisy Avenue between Willow Street & Pacific Coast Highway. Musical entertainment is featured on weekends. This event began in 1953 and is a collaborative event between residents, government, and sponsors.
Daisy Ave & W Willow St, Long Beach 562-570-4450
Canals of Naples, Long Beach
Cruise the enchanting canals of Naples in an authentic gondola while viewing the intricately decorated homes along the waterfront. This attraction begins to book in July for the holidays.
E 2nd St & E Naples Plz, Long Beach 562-433-9595
Hastings Ranch, Pasadena
This neighborhood really gets into the Christmas spirit here from mid-December to January 1. Carolers and musicians entertain guests! Lights are on from 6-10pm, but best time to visit is between 7-9:30pm.
N Sierra Madre Blvd & Riviera Dr, Pasadena
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Block-long Light Tunnel, Reseda
The tunnels straddle the sidewalk on both sides of the street and extend almost the entire block. Please Park on Valerio near the school and enjoy the walk through the tunnels. S’mores and bonfires on the weekend.
7300 Yolanda Avenue, Reseda
Christmas Tree Lane, San Marino
Even more spectacular than the Altadena display of lights, this street is backlit with estate homes, whose homeowners have gone all out for the holidays.
St. Albans Drive at Huntington Dr.
DTLA Christmas Light Walking tour
See the lights and decorations of Downtown LA during this festive season on this walking tour.
Sites visited include:
- Grand Park with its illuminated fountain
- Walt Disney Concert Hall
- The Broad Museum
- Candle Cove at California Plaza
- Icicle sheets in the Old Bank District
- Pershing Square festivities
- A return trip via the LA Metro rail to Union Station* *rail fare not included
- Meeting Time: 6:30 PM
- Meeting Point: Los Angeles Union Station (between the Information Booth and Traxx restaurant)
- Address: 800 N. Alameda Street Los Angeles, CA 90012
- This is a 2 hour tour
- Adults $17, Children under 13 are free.
Christmas Tree at Grand Park
Grand Park’s Fountain Overlook and spectacular Christmas tree. (near Grand Ave.)
- 200 N Grand Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90012
4th Street Lights
Along 4th Street just west of Main, a ceiling of white lights now greets motorists
Pershing Square Ice Skating & LA Live Complex Christmas Tree
The outdoor skating rink at Pershing Square, between Hill, Olive, 5th and 6th streets, just began its 11th season in the park. And a few blocks to the south, outside the L.A. Live complex, a 52-foot digital Christmas tree is being presented.
Christmas Tree at Union Station
Union Station kicked off the holiday season on Thursday, Nov. 30 at 6:30 p.m. with the Annual Tree Lighting under the stars on the station’s south patio, accompanied by a performance from L.A.’s celebrated Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra followed by the internationally acclaimed All-American Boys Chorus. The event kicks off a month-long series of free “Cocoa Concerts” at the historic downtown destination (Nov. 30, Dec. 8, 15 & 22).
There you have it. The best places in Los Angeles to see Christmas Light Displays. Be sure to take some time to get out and see one or two of them!
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