Holiday lights are one of the best parts of the festive season. And no, we’re not talking about the stream of brake lights on the 405. In early December, Southern California lights up in a whole new way. We may not have a White Christmas in L.A., but there’s nothing quite like the sight of palm trees wrapped in twinkling lights. From immersive experiences to free displays, we are lucky to have no shortage of sparkling holiday lights in Los Angeles. Here are the very best light displays to check out this holiday season.
Holiday Lights In Los Angeles
From ancient forests to colorful zoo animals, Los Angeles is home to some truly unique lighting experiences during the holidays. With so many fun things to do, it can be hard to know what to make time for in the deluge of Christmas events, but these incredible light displays are sure to put you in the holiday spirit.
November 9 – December 31, 2023
Astra Lumina is back for the 2023 holiday season and offers enchanting night walks through the South Coast Botanic Garden. This immersive experience features the magic of projections, lighting, and music to transform the garden into a celestial pathway to experience the wonder of the stars and enjoy peace and harmony.
Enchanted Forest of Light at Descanso Gardens
November 19, 2023 – January 7, 2024
Enchanted Forest of Light is a one-mile trek through several inspiring lighting experiences in some of the most beloved areas of Descanso Gardens. It is an immersive nighttime experience unlike anything else in Los Angeles. Popular recurring favorites include a town of dazzling “stained glass” houses by contemporary sculptor Tom Fruin created in the Rose Garden, sparkling geometric installations from HYBYCOZO on the Main Lawn, the Flower Power light installation on the Promenade, and exquisite lighting and sound effects in the Ancient Forest.
November 24 – December 27, 2023
Located on the grounds of King Gillette Ranch, the legendary Christmas Road holiday experience in Calabasas is back again for a unique experience for visitors of all ages. The spectacular walking trail is packed with illuminated lights, larger-than-life Christmas displays, and iconic holiday images. Grab a drink or a holiday treat and head out on the road!
L.A. Zoo Lights: Animals Aglow in Griffith Park
November 17, 2023 – January 7, 2024
The LA Zoo lights are back and better than ever this year! For a wild wonderland of light that is as uplifting as it is magnificent, explore an immersive landscape filled with spectacular lantern sculptures of animals among blooming flowers, towering trees, and more. Want to enjoy the lights as a date night? Grab tickets to the Holiday Happy Hours, where you’ll enjoy express entry into the L.A. Zoo Lights event and access to a private lounge from 6:30–8:30 pm with gourmet hors d’oeuvres, beer, wine, and a signature cocktail.
November 17, 2023 -January 2, 2024
The Arboretum is transformed into an illuminated nighttime experience thanks to the critically acclaimed international spectacle of light, art, and music known as Lightscape! Newly reimagined for 2023, Lightscape combines nature and art in the mesmerizing Fire Garden, awesome Arch of Light, eye-catching Feast of Light, and exotic Dancing Palms, among other incredible light and art installations. Food trucks and a full bar are available on-site for treats to enjoy as you explore.
November 24, 2023 — January 7, 2024
This one-mile holiday light festival train ride through Griffith Park gets its annual festive overlay with thousands of glittering Christmas lights and holiday displays. In addition to the evening train ride, you can check out the Holiday Kiosk for gifts and snap photos at the three winter-themed photo booths. Tickets are available in person and online.
November 10, 2023 – January 7, 2024
Decked out in festive lights and holiday decorations, Disneyland Resort is a great place to get into the season’s spirit. Both theme parks, Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, feature plenty of holiday lights to enjoy while you take in the Disney experience.
Free Holiday Lights in Los Angeles
Not every beautiful light show requires costly ticket prices. There are plenty of twinkling neighborhoods in Los Angeles to check out a magical holiday show without spending a dime.
Christmas Tree Lane
This just under a mile stretch of Santa Rosa Avenue in Altadena has been light annually as a Christmas Holiday display since 1920. The massive deodar cedar trees lining the street are decked out in colorful twinkling lights to enjoy as you take a cruise in your car.
Candy Cane Lane in Woodland Hills
Each year the residents of Candy Cane Lane deck out their houses with colorful lights and displays. Located at the intersection of Lubao and Oxnard, families often show out in big crowds on weekends to check out the displays, so head there during the week if you want to avoid traffic.
City of Beverly Hills
Santa’s sleigh and reindeer have famously soared above Wilshire and Beverly Drive for decades. There’s plenty more holiday cheer to be found along Santa Monica Boulevard, Rodeo Drive, and the glittering streets of Beverly Hills. With a Christmas Tree, Menorah displays, and holiday lights there’s so much to explore.
Sleepy Hollow Christmas Lights
Torrance’s seaside neighborhood is transformed each year into a winter wonderland of dazzling lights and festive decor. You can even meet Santa Claus and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate as you enjoy the strolling around. The display, found at Pacific Coast Highway and Calle Mayor, is generally open nightly from 6 to 10 pm.
Downtown Santa Monica
The famous shopping cart Christmas tree at Edgemar is a truly unique sight to see. All along Main Street Santa Monica you’ll find holiday cheer and you can support local businesses while you shop. Heritage Square is also lit up with traditional Christmas trees. Don’t miss the Miracle on Main Street event with tree lighting and caroling!
November 24, 2023 – January 1, 2024
Universal CityWalk is decked out in festive Christmas decor to enjoy while you stroll and shop or dine. The stunning 40-foot tall Christmas tree with over 200,000 LED lights will dazzle visitors to the outdoor entertainment destination.
November 18, 2023 – January 7, 2024
Since its inception in 1992, the Festival of Lights at the Mission Inn Hotel in Riverside has grown into one of the nation’s largest holiday light displays. The gorgeous display is a magical must-visit and once you see it in person it’s easy to understand why it was voted “Best Public Lights Display” by USA Today. While the display is free to explore, you may want to reserve an advanced parking space.
More holiday fun: