Here are the best holiday lights displays to visit in Los Angeles to celebrate the season.
Kick off the holiday season with style at this celebration presented by the city of Beverly Hills and the Rodeo Drive Committee on Nov. 17. With special performances by Broadway actress Katharine McPhee and Grammy-award winning musician David Foster, residents and visitors can ring in the festive time with music, dancing and spectacular lights draped across Rodeo Drive’s iconic palm trees. In honor of this year’s theme– “Beverly Hills Express”– a shiny, red stationary train filled with ornaments and gifts will be on display from Wilshire Drive to Santa Monica Boulevard. Even after a visit from Santa and fabulous fireworks show, the Christmas magic isn’t over just yet– the city is holding several holiday installations throughout the rest of year, including the “Glowing Gardens” at Beverly Canon Gardens, “Lights on the Lily Pond” at Beverly Gardens Park and “Unwrap the Magic” displayed on the Beverly Hills City Hall Tower. Nov. 17, 5-8PM, Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills, rodeodrive-bh.com
Celebrate the wild side of the festive season at the L.A. Zoo. Under a new theme called “Animals Aglow,” guests can admire massive, illuminated sculptures of zebras, tigers and more while strolling around the zoo at night. The 90-minute pathway through the grounds is also littered with interactive attractions, like drums that alter the colors of glowing trees and a giant winding tunnel of light. The incredible display is a great way to mark the holidays and new year while enjoying the wonders of nature at the same time. Nov. 18-Jan. 22, 5333 Zoo Dr., L.A., lazoo.org
Head to Marina del Rey this December for an unforgettable holiday adventure. All month long, visitors can stroll through the outdoor plazas for some gift shopping, enjoy outdoor concerts at Fisherman’s Village and in the evening, journey through the Burton Chace Park to marvel at the marina lights. On Dec. 10, take in festive fireworks and watch the harbor fill with ships decked out in holiday decor for the 60th Annual Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade. 13650 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey, visitmarinadelrey.com
Hop on a train ride around Griffith Park and Southern Railroad to admire an amazing, holiday-themed light show. Adorned with thousands of sparkling lights, the one-mile track running around the park is transformed into a festive wonderland. After the magnificent ride, stop by the brand-new pop-up gift kiosk and snap a family picture in front of several, winter-themed photo booths. Nov. 25-Jan. 6, 4400 Crystal Springs Dr., Griffith Park, griffithparktrainrides.com
At this one-of-a-kind immersive experience, guests can explore a series of unbelievable light displays during a one-mile walk through the magical Descanso Gardens. Admire glitzy swirling installations from HYBYCOZO on the Main Lawn, the Flower Power arrangement along the Promenade and dazzling lighting effects in the Ancient Forest. Don’t miss the Rose Garden’s extravagant stained-glass town constructed by sculptor Tom Fruin. Nov. 20-Jan. 8, 5:30-10PM, 1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada Flintridge, descansogardens.org
Get bundled up for a day of ice skating at Pershing Square in Downtown L.A. Whether you’re a beginner or pro, the 7,200-square-foot outdoor rink is the perfect place to embrace the wintery time of year. On Nov. 23, the rink will have its exciting “Icebreaker Opening Celebration,” packed with live performances and entertainment. Following the ceremony, guests can rent skates and glide across the ice throughout December during designated skating sessions, or they can even book a time for a private party. Nov. 23-Jan. 1, 532 South Olive St., DTLA, holidayicerinkdowntownla.com
Venture through the L.A. Arboretum to see an extravagant arrangement of light installations. In addition to the glowing Winter Cathedral, this year’s experience includes the Will O’ the Wisps, which are ghost-like illuminations that flicker and fade across the grounds. Visitors are also transported through the Whole Hole– a wormhole covered in dazzling LED strips– and an endless sea of bright beams in the Laser Garden. Nov. 11-Jan. 8, 301 North Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, arboretum.org