During this time of year, L.A. goes the extra mile to earn its “Tinseltown” title! Our streets and beloved gardens are bedazzled with some of the best lights and holiday attractions in Southern California. From coveted neighborhoods to commercial displays and festivals, here’s our list of the best places to see holiday lights in the Los Angeles area this year.
Lightscape- Los Angeles Arboretum (Through Jan. 16, 2022)
Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden comes alive this season with an internationally acclaimed extravaganza all the way from London. Lightscape transforms the gardens with light, art and music for an illuminated night experience the whole family can enjoy. Wander through the magnificent Winter Cathedral, experience the breathtaking Fire Garden, roast marshmallows and more. arboretum.org/lightscape
L.A. Zoo Lights (Through Jan. 9, 2022)
An L.A. favorite since its debut in 2014, L.A. Zoo Lights has grown into a must-see holiday light experience. This is an unforgettable journey that includes the world’s largest illuminated pop-up storybook, a magical disco ball forest, giant glittering snowflakes, and a twinkling 200-foot tunnel filled with dynamic swirls of color. This year’s event features more light animals than ever before, spectacular new additions – both hand-crafted and high-tech, as well as live amphibians, invertebrates, reptiles and asian elephants. lazoo.org/plan-your-visit/special-experiences/zoolights
Enchanted Forest of Light- Descanso Gardens (Through Jan. 9, 2022)
Get some steps in on this one-mile walk through Descanso Gardens during their annual Enchanted Forest of Light. The installation features stunning light displays in some of the most beloved areas of Descanso Gardens. Many of the large-scale displays are interactive, allowing you to manipulate the lights and sounds. This year, there’s a new exhibit, an entire town of magical stained glass creations built in the Rose Garden by contemporary sculptor Tom Fruin. descansogardens.org/programs-events/enchanted
Holiday Light Festival at the Griffith Park & Southern Railroad (Through Jan. 7, 2022)
This year, the Griffith Park & Southern Railroad welcomes the whole family for an evening train ride around a festively decorated one-mile track. The Holiday Light Festival features magical scenes and tens of thousands of lights that will help set the mood for a wonderful holiday season. Weather permitting, the train will run nightly except Christmas Eve, Christmas Night, and New Year's Eve. Tickets are $5 per person, for all ages. Tickets are available for purchase at the ticket booth, as no online tickets are available. griffithparktrainrides.com/holiday-light-festival
Sleepy Hollow Christmas Lights Extravaganza- Torrance, CA
Robert Rd. off of the Pacific Coast Hwy, and surrounding streets
Sometimes you simply want to see as many lights as possible, and Torrance’s Seaside neighborhood (sometimes referred to as Sleepy Hollow) surely delivers. Follow the stream of brake lights overflowing from Robert Road for a trek through this visual overload. Starting in early December (this year’s info is still to come), seemingly every tree, house and lawn becomes blanketed in an electric bill-dizzying degree. The displays typically run every night from 6 to 10pm, 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).
Marina Lights - Burton Chace Park
Marina Lights will cast a festive glow on Burton Chace Park from 4–10 p.m. nightly in December. Make it a fun family outing with dinner at one of the Marina’s waterfront restaurants, then a walk around the park and enjoy the light displays. For more holiday events, check out the Visit Marina del Rey website.
“Peanuts” at Candy Cane Lane in Woodland Hills
Lubao and Oxnard Streets, Woodland Hills
Every year, an eight square-block area of the San Fernando Valley neighborhood of Woodland Hills is transformed into Candy Cane Lane, a dazzling celebration of lights, figures and artificial snow. A holiday tradition since 1952, Candy Cane Lane is an informal group of Woodland Hills homeowners who collectively put on an amazing holiday display of lights and decorations. Santa is often seen posing for photos with children and Santa's elves have been glimpsed roaming the neighborhood. The annual event begins on the second Saturday of December and lasts through the end of the year.
Christmas Tree Lane in Altadena
Located just north of Pasadena on Santa Rosa Avenue in Altadena, Christmas Tree Lane is the oldest large-scale Christmas lighting spectacle in the United States. Every Christmas season since 1920, the majestic deodars on the "Mile of Christmas Trees" are strung with 10,000 lights. Christmas Tree Lane was added to the National Register of Historic Places in September 1990 and is designated a California Historical Landmark.
With so many unique neighborhoods, Los Angeles is a hub for SoCal light viewing opportunities! We’ve listed some of our local favorites, did we miss any on your list this year?