There’s nothing quite like a million twinkling lights to light up your little one’s faces (and your own) during the holiday season. As if the city wasn’t bright enough already, LA's eastside definitely knows how to dazzle with dozens of magical light displays across the city. All of these spots will leave your family glowing through the New Year.
Garden of Lights: Enchanted: Forest of Lights
Brand new for this holiday season, Descanso Gardens will light up its lush landscape with a one-of-a-kind holiday light display. Starting November 25 and running through January 8, the light show features several interactive displays, like the Symphony of Oaks, which lets you manipulate lights and sounds in the garden’s Oak Grove. It’s a walk through exhibit so you’ll definitely want to bring the stroller for little ones. Tickets are $28 for adults, $24 for kids 3-17, and free for under 3. Timed entries run from 5-10 p.m. each evening. We definitely recommend purchasing tickets in advance online and if you want a spot to grab a bite before, make a reservation at the newly opened Maple restaurant, now serving dinner.
Wild for Lights: Los Angeles Zoo
See the zoo come alive while most of the animals sleep (though you can catch the nocturnal creatures for once!) November 18–January 8 from 6-10 p.m. After the daytime crowds leave, the zoo transforms into a magical winter jungle with lights, lasers, 3D projections and interactive displays. Animated LED “monkeys” lead the way through various only in LA displays (including animals on a freeway). A black light party in the LAIR reptile house, weekend visits from Santa, holiday-themed treats, and the only place in town to visit real reindeer make this an experience your family won’t forget. This is only the third year of Zoo Lights, and it’s extra special as it kicks off the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Zoo, so there will be new features like the new light waterfall and shadow puppet installation. Admission starts at $9 for adults and children ages 2-12.
Learn more about Zoo Lights here.
Historical Holiday Shine: Downtown LA Walking Tour
Discover the center of the city in the brightest way. Lights, decorations, festivities and holiday cheer are everywhere you look when you take this special Holiday Lights walking tour of downtown. From a Nutcracker village to icicle sheets to Las Posadas to a bright ice rink and more, you’ll celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah and the bright lights of our big city. The tour is for everyone from kids to grandparents, and departs nightly from November 26-December 30 at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and free for kids. If the whole tour is too much, head to a spot where you can play at the playground (or in the fountain if it’s a warm day) until the sun sets, then watch as Grand Park magically comes alive with tons of twinkling lights for the holidays.
Learn more about the walking tour here.
Learn more about Grand Park’s holiday display here.
Thematically, Spot On: Hastings Ranch, Pasadena
This Pasadena area neighborhood will be a sure hit with your little elves. Starting the first weekend of December, each block has its own theme, from Santa’s Toy Shop to a snowy Winter Wonderland. This is a large neighborhood with a ton to see, so driving is recommended. Most drivers go slowly so you can enjoy it as if you’re walking.
Oldie & Goodie: Christmas Tree Lane, Altadena
Purported to be the oldest large scale Christmas light display in the country, Altadena’s Christmas Tree Lane is sure to get you in the spirit. If you head out this way be sure to visit the Balian House, a 4-acre property and mansion with over 10,000 holiday lights and Christmas decorations.
A Majestic Stroll: Saint Albans Road, San Marino
Saint Albans is lined with tall majestic pines that are all bedecked in colored lights for the season. This old San Marino neighborhood will delight munchkins and grownups alike with its stately old California architecture all dressed up for the holidays. This is a short trek, so bundle up, park the car and take a stroll.
information courtesy of Red Tricycle