Holiday Lights in Los Angeles

Photo courtesy of avilon_music, Flickr

During the holidays, dazzling light displays throughout Los Angeles bring the city to vibrant life at night. In addition to traditional lighting ceremonies and festive decorations throughout the city, Heritage Square presents its annual Lamplight Celebration.

The Grove Christmas with Seth MacFarlane (Nov. 13, 2016)

Christmas at The Grove
Photo courtesy of The Grove, Facebook

The 2016 holiday season kicked off on Nov. 13 at The Grove Christmas with Seth MacFarlane. The 60-minute live show featured the Family Guy creator, who sang with a live orchestra and chorus along with special guests Lea Michele and Rachel Platten. The family friendly event included an incredible musical spectacular, the season’s first snowfall, lighting of The Grove's 100-foot Christmas tree, the arrival of Santa Claus and a fireworks finale.

L.A. ZOO LIGHTS (Nov. 18, 2016 - Jan. 8, 2017)

L.A. Zoo Lights at the Los Angeles Zoo
L.A. Zoo Lights | Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Zoo, Facebook

Since its debut in 2014, L.A. Zoo Lights has grown into a can't-miss nighttime holiday light experience. This year’s event promises to be even more magical, as the Los Angeles Zoo is “ZooLAbrating” its Golden Anniversary with more lights, and more nights. Fantastical light animals welcome visitors on a tour of the zoo that includes giant glowing snowflakes, a disco ball forest, glittering light tunnels, a spectacular water-and-light show, and much more. Journey with the animals through this magical landscape toward the final destination – a bustling Hollywood party celebrating the L.A. Zoo’s 50th year.

  • Take a self-guided 60- to 90-minute tour of a large area of the zoo featuring animal-themed LEDs, lasers, 3D projections, and animated displays, with Golden Anniversary touches throughout.
  • New features for the 2016-17 season include interactive photo ops, a “black light party” within The LAIR reptile house, and a reimagined water show featuring fanciful animations.
  • On select dates, capture your holiday memories in a photo with Santa Claus in a glittering snow-covered setting.
  • Get a glimpse of real reindeer – including two babies!
  • Warm up with hot cocoa and other holiday treats.

Because L.A. Zoo Lights is a special event, the only animals on display will be the reindeer at Reindeer Romp Village and critters within The L.A.I.R. The rest of the zoo’s animals will be off exhibit and snug in their beds. L.A. Zoo Lights is open nightly 6-10 p.m. Closed on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 24), Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. For more info and to purchase tickets, visit www.lazoolights.org.

BEVERLY HILLS HOLIDAY LIGHTING CELEBRATION - RODEO DRIVE (NOV. 20, 2016)

The entire family is invited to celebrate the holiday season in style at the annual Beverly Hills Holiday Lighting Celebration on world-famous Rodeo Drive. This year's event took place on Sunday, Nov. 20, and featured live musical performances, holiday themed theatrics, and a countdown to the lighting of Rodeo Drive.

ENCHANTED: FOREST OF LIGHT - DESCANSO GARDENS (Nov. 25, 2016 - Jan. 8, 2017)

Enchanted: Forest of Light is an interactive, nighttime experience that features a one-mile walk through 10 distinct lighting displays in some of the most beloved areas of Descanso Gardens in La Cañada Flintridge. Descanso Gardens recommends allowing at least 45 minutes to walk through Enchanted - most guests will enjoy the experience for about 90 minutes. Evenings in La Cañada Flintridge can be chilly, guests are encouraged to wear walking shoes and bring a jacket.

Grab a quick bite, a hot chocolate or an adult beverage at one of two lounges within the Enchanted experience. Maple, the new restaurant at Descanso Gardens, is offering pop-up dinner service exclusively to Enchanted ticket holders. To make a dinner reservation, call (818) 864-6435. The Descanso Café will also offer casual café favorites. No outside food or beverages are allowed.  

Enchanted: Forest of Light runs daily from 5 to 10 p.m. starting on Friday, Nov. 25, and ending Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017. The event is closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Tickets are timed and must be purchased in advance. Tickets are $28 (general); $24 (seniors 65 and older, and children 3 to 17); children 2 and younger enter free.

GRAND PARK LIGHTS UP THE HOLIDAYS (Nov. 26 - Dec. 25, 2016)

Holiday lights at Grand Park
Photo courtesy of Grand Park

Downtown L.A.'s popular Grand Park will magically come alive with park-inspired holiday décor for the holidays, featuring a 45-foot Christmas tree as a highlight. Decorations will be up through Christmas Day (Sunday, Dec. 25).

L.A. COUNTY CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING - MUSIC CENTER (Nov. 28, 2016)

The most festive time of year was ushered in on Nov. 28 at the official lighting of L.A. County's Christmas tree on The Music Center Plaza. Coworkers, friends and family gathered to celebrate the light and love of the holidays. The crowd enjoyed hot chocolate and holiday favorites from chamber music ensemble Brass Pacifica and a performance by the Antelope Valley Master Chorale, led by Choir Director David Newby and made up of students from Antelope Valley College.

Tree Lighting Ceremony - The Abbey Food & Bar (Dec. 1, 2016)

Photo courtesy of The Abbey Food & Bar, Facebook

Each year, The Abbey Food & Bar in West Hollywood commemorates World AIDS Day on Dec. 1 with its Tree Lighting Ceremony. The annual ceremony takes place in collaboration with the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. The 7th annual Tree Lighting is taking place from 7-9 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 1. Hosted by Noah Galvin with holiday cocktails by Jim Beam and Effen Vodka.

Venice Sign Holiday Lighting (DEC. 2, 2016)

Photo courtesy of kay’s kamera, Flickr

Now in its fifth year, the Venice Sign Holiday Lighting has become a beloved tradition of changing the lights of the famous Venice Sign from white to red and green for the holidays. Windward Avenue east of Pacific Avenue will be closed for the event, which takes place on Friday, Dec. 2, and includes live music, a poster contest and activities for the whole family. There will also be a collection of new, unwrapped toys for the 10th Annual Muscle Beach Toy Drive (in conjunction with the LAPD Pacific Division & Pacific Area Boosters) and the Great Venice Toy Drive. The festivities start at 6 p.m. on Windward Avenue and the holiday lighting of the Venice Sign is scheduled for 8 p.m.

Holiday Lamplight Celebration - Heritage Square (DEC. 3-4, 2016)

Cast of Holiday Lamplight Celebration at Heritage Square
Cast of Holiday Lamplight Celebration | Photo courtesy of Heritage Square

At Heritage Square, the past becomes the present at the annual Holiday Lamplight Celebration, taking place on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 3-4. Experience the wonder of the holiday season in the beautiful glow of Victorian homes at Heritage Square’s festive holiday event. Tours begin at 4 p.m., advance reservations are required. Admission price is $30 for adults, $15 for children over 6 years. Members get 20% off tickets - limited and incremental to their member level.

This program is not suitable for children under 6 years old. During the evening tours, guest need to be aware of dimly-lit conditions, walking on uneven surfaces, up-and-down steps, and long periods of standing.

Christmas Tree Lane (Dec. 10, 2016)

Christmas Tree Lane in Altadena
Christmas Tree Lane | Photo by Sylvia Carlos, courtesy of Christmas Tree Lane, Facebook

The 96th Annual Christmas Tree Lane Lighting Ceremony and Winter Arts & Crafts Festival is taking place on Saturday, Dec. 10. 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. The festive lighting ceremony attracts thousands of revelers from around the area, as well as local choirs, marching bands, solo performers, and of course - Santa Claus. The Winter Arts & Crafts Festival starts at 2 p.m. and the lighting ceremony is at 6 p.m. Christmas Tree Lane was added to the National Register of Historic Places in September 1990 and is designated a California Historical Landmark.

Candy Cane Lane (Dec. 11-31, 2016)

Photo courtesy of Lydia Marcus, Flickr

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. Candy Cane Lane is an informal group of Woodland Hills homeowners who collectively put on an amazing holiday display of lights and decorations each year. Candy Cane Lane has been a Woodland Hills tradition since 1952, and participants try to outdo each other with their light displays. Santa is often seen posing for photos with children and some of 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.

Candy Cane Lane is located at the intersection of Lubao and Oxnard Streets in Woodland Hills. Visitors drive slowly down the street with their headlights dimmed so that everyone can enjoy the lights. The closest exit is Winnetka, off the 101 freeway. Residents ask that visitors drive by no later than 10 p.m. on weeknights and 11 p.m. on weekends.

Sleepy Hollow Christmas Lights Extravaganza (Dec. 2016 - Jan. 2017)

Its name sounds more like a place you’d visit on Halloween, but the Torrance neighborhood of Sleepy Hollow has been embracing the Christmas spirit for decades with spectacular holiday light displays. Begin your visit to the Sleepy Hollow Christmas Lights Extravaganza from Pacific Coast Highway in Torrance, then slowly drive or stroll along Robert Road, where every house is decorated and the tree-lined street is glittering with lights. Local kids will often sell hot cocoa to visitors as they pass by their houses. The Sleepy Hollow christmas lights start brightening the holidays the first full weekend of December and last until the first week of January.

GETTY CENTER (2016 TBA)

Spend a Saturday evening at the Getty Center, open until 9 p.m. for visitors to enjoy strolling the Central Garden at magic hour, photographing the sunset, Instagramming the lights in the trees, and sharing videos of their friends masquerading as snowflakes. Guests can hunt for special holiday lights throughout the Getty campus, sip mulled cider, and enjoy reduced-cost parking from 4 p.m. to close.