It’s officially the holiday season, Black Friday has passed and Christmas lights are now up. One of the best parts about Christmas is the beautiful lights showcasing across Los Angeles. Whether you want to see a yacht parade with light covered boats cruising through Marina del Rey or an Enchanted Forest of Light, this list covers all of DRU’s favorite lights to view during the holiday season.
Enchanted – Forest of Light
Until January 5th, 2020
Descanso Gardens’ light-up experience ditches the kitsch aesthetic typical at other venues in favor of a whimsical, wondrous, curiosity-driven display that’s among L.A.’s most stunning and, more importantly, most fun. The interactive, nighttime program has set up 10 illuminated installations around the botanical garden grounds, from luminescent forests to free-standing hands-on art pieces.
Tickets: Enchanted – Forest of Light
Where: 1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011
Christmas Tree Lane
December 14th – January 1st, 2020
While L.A. might lure in visitors with breezy palm trees, the region is no slouch when it comes to conifers. Case in point: This grand, mile-long driveway of cedars in Altadena becomes blanketed in lights each holiday as it transforms into Christmas Tree Lane. Take a majestic cruise down the hill after it lights up the second Saturday in December (Dec 14, lighting at 6 pm). Just a heads up: While you may feel inclined to drive through with your headlights off, that’s full-blown illegal.
Where: Santa Rosa Ave, between Woodbury Ave and Altadena Dr (Altadena)
Until December 31st
Free of the boardwalk’s grunge and Abbot Kinney’s pretense, the Venice Canals are an idyllic slice of L.A. living made all the more charming by the Christmas lights that line its bridges each year. Leave your car a few blocks away to avoid the narrow, one-way Dell Avenue, and take a stroll through the shimmering neighborhood. For a more offbeat holiday, make sure to come out for the canals’ long-running and gleefully irreverent boat parade (typically first Sat in Dec).
Where: Dell Ave (Venice)
Marina Del Rey Boat Parade
Dec 14th, 2019
Feel as though you’ve escaped to a small-town fishing village during the Marina Del Rey Boat Parade. Bring a blanket and gather around Fisherman’s Village or Burton Chace Park to watch as 70 boats glide through the marina with holiday lights and decorations in competition. Categories include Best Theme, Best Animation, Best Band, Best Lights and more. The festivities on December 14 begin at 5:55pm with fireworks, and the boat parade starts at 6pm, rain or shine.
Where: Fisherman’s Village & Burton Chace Park
Candy Cane Lane
Until December 31st
We all like showing off to our neighbors, but the homeowners behind Candy Cane Lane take it to the extreme. For over 60 years, these eight blocks—centered around Lubao and Oxnard Streets in Woodland Hills—have been blanketed in lights. The displays typically light up starting the second Saturday in December and last through the end of the year.
Where: Lubao and Oxnard St (Woodland Hills)
Dec 11 2019-Jan 12 2020
While not strictly a holiday display, this timed-ticket, nighttime event held across the grounds of the Arboretum should satisfy your search for all things illuminated. The event includes a slew of Chinese lanterns—but not the small, hanging type. A field in the Arcadia botanical garden is covered with parade-float–sized structures, with other themed archways and playful creatures lining the pathways around the grounds.
Tickets: Moonlight Forest Tickets
Where: Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanical Garden, Arcadia
Sleepy Hollow Christmas Lights Extravaganza
Until January 2nd
Sometimes you simply want to see as many lights as possible, and Torrance’s Sleepy Hollow neighborhood surely delivers. Follow the stream of brake lights overflowing from Robert Road for a trek through this visual overload. Starting in early December, 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).
Where: Robert Rd, off of the Pacific Coast Hwy, and surrounding streets (Torrance)
Grand Park’s Winter Glow
Until Dec 25 2019
Touch, climb and explore interactive, illuminated installations at Grand Park’s inaugural nighttime experience. For most of December, Winter Glow will complement the park’s traditional holiday decor with hands-on displays of all sizes. It’s not as much of a destination as competing ticketed displays, but it’s hard to argue with free; if you’re in the area in the evening, it’s worth a stroll through the park.
Where: Grand Park Downtown