During the holidays, dazzling light displays throughout Los Angeles bring the city to vibrant life at night. From traditional lighting ceremonies to festive decorations at popular attractions and local neighborhoods throughout the city, here are the best holiday light displays in LA.
Lightscape - Los Angeles Arboretum (Nov. 12, 2021 - Jan. 16, 2022)
Direct from a sold-out run in London, Lightscape makes its West Coast debut at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden. The internationally acclaimed extravaganza of light, art and music transforms The Arboretum into an illuminated night experience the whole family can enjoy. Wander through the magnificent Winter Cathedral, experience the breathtaking Fire Garden, and much more.
Tickets to Lightscape are now on sale at The Arboretum website. Admission to Lightscape and The Arboretum are separate. Timed entry to Lightscape starts at 5:30pm - once inside, guests can stay as long as they like. This self-guided walking event is just over a mile long. Lightscape is accessible for wheelchairs, mobility assistance devices, and strollers.
LA Zoo Lights (Nov. 19, 2021 - Jan. 9, 2022)
Since its debut in 2014, LA Zoo Lights has grown into a can't-miss holiday light experience. Glowing animals welcome you as you embark on an unforgettable night time journey that includes the world’s largest illuminated pop-up storybook, a magical disco ball forest, giant glittering snowflakes, and a twinkling 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 – and returning favorites.
- Take a self-guided 60- to 90-minute stroll through a large area of the Zoo filled with wildlife-inspired displays, dynamic lights and projections, immersive interactive experiences, fabulous photo ops, and seasonal magic.
- Enter a fantastical realm to discover more light animals than ever before – with tigers, lions, macaws, monkeys, meerkats, and flamingos “decorating” the Zoo just for you.
- Marvel at sound reactive lights, illuminated singing displays, and stroll through the 200-foot tunnel of twinkling and dancing lights.
Admission for this all-ages evening program is separate from daytime Zoo admission. No live animals other than the LAIR (Living Amphibians, Invertebrates, and Reptiles) and Asian elephants will be on display during evening events.
LA Zoo Lights is open nightly from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Closed on Thanksgiving Day (November 25), Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. For more info and to purchase tickets, visit LA Zoo Lights.
Enchanted Forest of Light - Descanso Gardens (Nov. 21, 2021 - Jan. 9, 2022)
Enchanted Forest of Light is an interactive nighttime experience that features a one-mile walk through stunning lighting displays in some of the most beloved areas of Descanso Gardens. Many of the large-scale light displays are interactive, allowing visitors to manipulate the lights and sounds. New for this year is an entire town of magical stained glass creations built in the Rose Garden by contemporary sculptor Tom Fruin. Popular returning favorites include sparkling, swirling installations from HYBYCOZO on the Main Lawn; Flower Power on the Promenade, and exquisite lighting effects in the Ancient Forest.
While guests usually take about an hour to walk through Enchanted, Descanso Gardens recommends allowing at least 90 minutes to enjoy the experience. Evenings in La Cañada Flintridge can be chilly - for their comfort, guests are encouraged to dress warmly and wear walking shoes. Enchanted is accessible for strollers, wheelchairs and mobility assistance devices.
Enchanted Forest of Light runs daily 5:30 -10 p.m. Enchanted is closed on Thanksgiving Day (November 25), Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Tickets are timed and must be purchased in advance. Entry to Enchanted is separate from daytime admission from Descanso Gardens. For more info and to purchase tickets, visit the Enchanted website.
Holiday Tree Lighting - Union Station (Nov. 30, 2021)
The landmark Union Station in Downtown LA is hosting the annual Holiday Tree Lighting under the stars on Tuesday, Nov. 30. "The Last of the Great Train Stations" will illuminate a towering 30-foot tree while guests are immersed in thousands of glowing lights and snow flurries on the South Patio. The family-friendly holiday celebration also features free hot cocoa, holiday cookie bar, holiday arts & crafts zone, a custom photo op, and Santa selfies. The festivities begin at 6:30pm, with the tree lighting scheduled for 7:15pm.
Inspired by The Andrews Sisters, 1950s and '60s girl groups, and Postmodern Jukebox, The Beverly Belles will ring in the holidays with witty banter and perfect three-part harmony. Local favorites Weekend Celebrity will perform holiday favorites, Top 40 covers and original music. LA-based artist Septerhed will create a live mural throughout the evening that represents the city's vibrant and diverse holiday season.
Holiday Light Festival - Griffith Park & Southern Railroad (Nov. 26, 2021 - Jan. 7, 2022)
Beginning the day after Thanksgiving, 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 - no online or phone sales.
GLOW - South Coast Botanic Garden (Nov. 20, 2021 - Jan. 17, 2022)
Taking place at South Coast Botanic Garden, GLOW ("Garden Lights & Ocean Waters") has been reimagined for its sophomore year. Food, drinks, music and a transformative Garden featuring thousands of lights will have guests hanging on the beach, drinking cocktails on the bayou, and chasing waterfalls. A stunning kelp forest will take your breath away and spark interest in the beauty of the sea. This year’s exhibit also includes interactive experiences and themed nights.
Timed tickets to GLOW are now on sale at the South Coast Botanic Garden website, with discounted pricing for Members.
LA County Christmas Tree Lighting (2021 TBA)
Each year, the City of Los Angeles ushers in this festive season with the lighting of the official LA County Christmas Tree. The all-ages event includes live performances of holiday favorites and free hot chocolate. The lighting ceremony has previously taken place at Music Center Plaza and Grand Park. Date, time and location of this year's event is TBA.
Rodeo Drive Holiday Lighting Celebration
Each year, Beverly Hills welcomes the holiday season by hosting the Rodeo Drive Holiday Lighting Celebration, bathing the city in twinkling festive lights at the push of a button. The 2021 kickoff ceremony took place on November 18 and encompassed all three blocks of world-famous Rodeo Drive. The free program included three stages of live entertainment, festive decor featuring Holiday Helpers, the arrival of Santa Claus, and a fireworks show to end the evening.
Venice Sign Holiday Lighting (Dec. 4, 2021)
Spanning Windward Avenue at Pacific, the Venice Sign is a modern-day replica of the original that was installed in 1905 by Abbot Kinney, the legendary founder of the "Venice of America."
Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2021, the annual Venice Sign Holiday Lighting has become a beloved tradition, when the Venice Sign's lights change 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 Saturday, Dec. 4 and includes live music, a poster contest, and activities for the whole family. The festivities start at 6:15pm on Windward and the holiday lighting is scheduled for 8pm.
Marina Lights - Burton Chace Park (December 2021)
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.
Holiday Road (Dec. 3-31, 2021)
Taking place at King Gillette Ranch in Calabasas, Holiday Road is a family-friendly walking experience that features larger-than-life holiday displays, thousands of Christmas lights, Santa & Mrs. Claus, and countless candy canes. Stop by the Holiday Bar for an adult beverage to sip along the trail, nosh on food truck bites, and shop for keepsakes in the souvenir store. Tickets are on sale at the Holiday Road website.
Candy Cane Lane (December 2021)
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.
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 (December 2021 - January 2022)
Its name sounds more like a place you’d visit on Halloween, but the Torrance neighborhood of Sleepy Hollow (aka Seaside Ranchos) 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. The Sleepy Hollow Christmas lights start brightening the holidays the first full weekend of December and last until the first week of January.
Christmas Tree Lane (December 2021)
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.
The Christmas Tree Lane Facebook Group has announced that the lights will be on view, but there won't be a Lighting Ceremony or Winter Arts & Crafts Festival in 2021.