25 Best Christmas Lights in Los Angeles [2023 Holiday Guide]

Best Christmas Lights in Los Angeles

LA decorates for the holidays like no other, so I’ve created a list of the best Christmas lights in Los Angeles to help you see it all.

From DIY home displays to entire streets fully decorated for the holidays to Disney characters, and boat parades, Los Angeles has some of the best holiday lights in all of America. 

Many of the Christmas light displays in Los Angeles are free of charge to view, especially the neighborhood celebrations. 

Bundling up and taking a drive through the city’s most festive neighborhood is a favorite activity for LA locals during the holiday season.

Wherever you are in the LA area, you’ll have lots of holiday light displays to see. The best Christmas lights in Los Angeles are spread all through the city. 

Take a look through this list, and then head out to witness the magic for yourself. They only get better each year.

Note: this article contains affiliate links, which help run this site at no extra cost to you so I can keep providing free travel advice and tips.

Best Christmas Lights in Los Angeles
A closeup of a Beverly Hills street lamp wrapped in garland, Christmas lights, and ornaments, as people in the out-of-focus background, past other decorations, including a Christmas tree and strung lights.

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Where to See Christmas Lights in Los Angeles

To find the best Christmas lights in Los Angeles, check out our map of LA Christmas Light Destinations below:

Best Neighborhoods to See Christmas Lights in Los Angeles

Rodeo Drive Holiday Lighting Celebration

Rodeo Drive Holiday Lighting Celebration
A Rodeo Drive Christmas Tree lit up at an intersection with decorated palm trees, strung lights, and another lit Christmas tree in the background.

Where: 200 Block of Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, CA
When: 2023 celebration date TBD, but installations are viewable November – December

The Holiday Lighting Celebration on Rodeo Drive has become quite the tradition in Beverly Hills. 

Grammy-winning performers, and crowds in the thousands, come out for this magical holiday show right on Rodeo Drive. 

One of the main attractions is the “Beverly Hills Express” train car, covered in glitter and lights. See it at Wilshire Blvd. and Santa Monica Blvd. 

You might even see the Mayor when the lights come on at 5pm, and you’ll definitely get to see Santa greeting the crowd. 

Stick around on celebration night and witness the fireworks at the end of the evening. This celebration rings in the Christmas season with a bang!

Winterlit Holiday Lights, Santa Monica

Winterlit Holiday Lights, Santa Monica
The Ferris wheel, rollercoaster, and Santa Monica Christmas tree all lit up on the pier, which extends into the ocean in front of the last rays of sunset.

Where: Downtown & Third Street Promenade, 3rd St Promenade, Santa Monica, CA
When: Mid-November through mid-January, 12pm – 10pm

Santa Monica’s brightest holiday tradition returns each year with its annual Winterlit Festival all through the season. 

The 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica lights up with tens of thousands of colorful lights, along with endless other Christmas decorations and garlands.

Local vendors selling unique Christmas gifts and special art installations add to the Christmas cheer.

The festive glow during Winterlit is contagious throughout downtown Santa Monica; there’s even an ice skating rink. 

Get your photo with Santa, do some holiday shopping, enjoy the live entertainment, and attend the holiday tree lighting. Winterlit is lit during Christmastime!

Christmas Tree Lane, Altadena

Christmas Tree Lane, Altadena
Trees lining a road are decorated with colorful Christmas lights, as cars make light streaks across the bottom of the image thanks to a slow shutter speed.

Where: E Calaveras St and Santa Rosa Ave, Altadena, CA
When: Aightly throughout December

Christmas Tree Lane is an Altadena tradition that’s returned each holiday season for over 95 years.

The giant cedar trees lining Santa Rosa Avenue are strung with festive decor and thousands of twinkling lights, transforming them into giant Christmas trees. 

I’d recommend driving through this light display, because when our team visited on foot, we found it difficult to see the trees properly. 

There are no sidewalks, and the houses themselves aren’t very decorated, so amidst the cars, we couldn’t take in the trees properly. 

If you’re in a vehicle, you can drive nice and slow and peer out the window at the spectacular trees all the way down the street. 

Afterall, I think it’s pretty neat that you can drive and see Christmas lights in LA without getting out of the car.

Candy Cane Lane in Woodland Hills

Where: Lubao & Oxnard Streets in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, CA
When: Throughout December, dusk – 10pm (weekdays), dusk – 11pm (weekends)

The majority of the homeowners on Lubao and Oxnard come together to present a neighborhood holiday light display known as Candy Cane Lane. 

Christmas lights illuminate almost the entire block for this wonderful holiday season tradition. 

Christmas characters, artificial snow, holiday music, and thousands of twinkling lights turn the Woodland Hills neighborhood into Candy Cane Lane. 

This tradition began in 1952 and is straight out of a Hallmark movie.  

With this one, I recommend parking and walking. There’s so much to see on the lawns and front porches.

Sleepy Hollow Christmas Lights Extravaganza

Where: Seaside Ranchos, Torrance, CA
When: Nightly throughout December, 6pm – 10pm

For over 40 years, the Sleepy Hollow neighborhood in South Torrance has become a holiday attraction full of Christmas cheer. 

This neighborhood is known for its stunning elm trees, and during the holidays, there are lights strung throughout the trees all down the street. 

This neighborhood has the best Christmas lights in Los Angeles, and is one of the largest neighborhood holiday displays in the country.

Candy Cane Lane – El Segundo

Candy Cane Lane – El Segundo
A white VW bus is parked in the middle of a grassy lawn and decorated with Christmas lights and stuffed bears who sit in champing chairs beside a make-believe campfire.

Where: 1200 E Acacia St, El Segundo, CA
When: Nightly throughout December, 6pm – 10pm

El Segundo is known for its dedication to tradition – it’s been going strong for 100 years! 

This cul-de-sac in El Segundo is beautifully decorated each year for the holidays, with the whole block participating in spreading the Christmas spirit. 

If you’re heading to the area for Christmas lights, I’d recommend timing it with the El Segundo Holiday Parade to make a whole day out of it. 

The entire family will love all of the festivities in El Segundo. 

Daisy Avenue Christmas Tree Lane, Long Beach

Where: 2000 Daisy Avenue, Wrigley Neighborhood, Long Beach CA
When: Nightly throughout December (2023 parade date TBD)

The holiday lights display on Daisy Avenue is launched with the annual Daisy Avenue Christmas Tree Lane Parade each year. 

The Christmas Tree Lane Parade draws hundreds of locals out with lawn chairs and blankets to line the streets. 

Everyone vais to see Christmas characters, floats, and the lighting ceremony. 

You can also expect live entertainment on weekends around Wrigley and Christmas lights throughout the season. 

Upper Hastings Ranch, Pasadena

Upper Hastings Ranch, Pasadena
In the foreground, a white sign with a Christmas tree cutout reads "Merry Christmas" while in the background, a yard is brimming with inflatable Christmas characters, a tall tree of lights, and glowing knee-high candy canes.

Where: Upper Hastings Ranch community in Pasadena, CA
When: Nightly throughout December, 6pm – 10pm

This Pasadena tradition began over 70 years ago, and it’s only continuing to grow with more festive holiday lights each year. 

UHRA kicks off with an annual Holiday Light Up, and then lights stay up throughout the entire holiday season. 

Each block has its own theme, so there is quite a variety of decorations, lights, and characters to be seen. 

The neighborhood also gives out awards each year for categories such as “Humor and Fantasy,” “Best Use of Lights,” and “Best Religious Display.”  

Best Houses for Christmas Lights in Los Angeles

Lilley Hall

Where: 10104 Moorpark St., Toluca Lake. CA
When: Nightly, Thanksgiving night to Christmas Day

This 1927 home in Toluca was originally owned by musical composer and director Joseph J. Lilley, and continues to host one of the LA region’s most stunning home holiday displays to date. 

Starting with a toy soldier tree lighting ceremony on Thanksgiving, this house is full of holiday spirit all through the season. 

The unique thing about this house is that most of the decorations are vintage and, therefore, quite unique. 

Lots of them are considered collectibles, as far as holiday decorations go, so embrace the nostalgia. 

You can also take a little stroll through the surrounding streets and see lots more gorgeous holiday light displays.

The Holiday House

Where: 3547 McLaughlin Ave., Mar Vista, CA 90066
When: Nightly throughout December

The Holiday House in Mar Vista is known for its wicked Halloween displays as well as its magical Christmas extravaganza. 

The folks at this home love all things festive. Their amazing holiday display on both holidays is always the talk of the town. 

Christmas trees are decorated on the front lawn, and there will be thousands of holiday lights adorning the entire house. Santa Claus might even be visible up on the roof.

This house is always the holiday eye candy of my dreams, so make sure to bring some hot chocolate and check it out. 

Herman Family Festival of Lights

Where: 10803 Overland Ave., Culver City, CA 90230
When: Nightly throughout December, 5pm-10pm (weekdays), 5pm-11pm (weekends)

The Herman Family Festival of Lights is a Hanukkah celebration for everyone, regardless of your religion. 

Dreidels, Stars of David, gorgeous lights, a giant bear, Jewish holiday music, and all things Hanukkah complete this unique light display. Did I mention the 18-foot Menorah?

There are over 40 animations amidst the thousands of lights. You’ll be pressed to find holiday lights in Los Angeles with more holiday cheer. 

Best Places to Look at Christmas Lights in Los Angeles

LA Zoo Lights

LA Zoo Lights
The entrance to the Los Angeles Zoo looks festive with white human-sized snowflakes with intricate patterns hang below the main sign.

Where: The LA Zoo, 5333 Zoo Dr, Los Angeles, CA
When: Nightly throughout November & December, 6pm – 10pm

LA Christmas is not complete without witnessing the magnificent lights at The LA Zoo. Zoo lights definitely live up to expectations. 

With numerous glowing light animals, spectacular lantern sculptures, illuminated palm trees, and lots more breathtaking installations throughout the zoo, this one will knock the socks off the whole family. 

There are also lots more festivities at the LA Zoo for the holidays, be sure to check their website for what’s going on. 

Griffith Park Holiday Train

Where: Griffith Park & Southern Railroad, 4400 Crystal Springs Drive, Griffith Park, Los Angeles CA
When: November 24th – January 5th, 5 – 8pm (weekdays), 5 – 9pm (weekends)

The Holiday Train in Griffith Park is a family favorite every year. 

The mile-long route through the park takes guests through thousands of Christmas lights and Christmas displays on the old train. 

You can sip your hot cocoa and enjoy the lights while experiencing a decades-old tradition. 

The ride is about 10 minutes and you’ll see Griffith Park transform into a winter wonderland.

Sparkle DTLA

Where: The Bloc LA, 700 Flower St, Los Angeles, CA
When: Nightly throughout December, 5pm – 9pm

Sparkle DTLA transforms The Bloc into a holiday light extravaganza. 

Positioned in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles, this holiday installation runs right up to Christmas Eve, and features millions of LED lights with a dance floor to boogie to the holiday beats. 

Several light displays are also available all day long. 

Holidays At Universal City Walk, Hollywood

Holidays At Universal City Walk, Hollywood
An old yellow taxi is parked in front of brick buildings with old-timey storefronts, overhangs, and display windows full of brightly colored sweets and souvenirs is decorated with bright, colorful lights, garland, and giant candy canes.

Where: Universal City Walk, 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA
When: Nightly throughout December

Each year, Universal City Walk is illuminated with millions of colorful lights. It’s a festive promenade like no other. 

Their gigantic Christmas tree takes center stage, surrounded by lots of holiday shopping, dining experiences, and several Instagrammable light installations. 

The entire street feels like you’re in a Christmas movie. 

There are also lots of festivities happening throughout the rest of Universal Studios. Be sure to check the calendar.

Holidays at Universal Studios

Holidays at Universal Studios
A whimsical Christmas tree reaches for the sky, but has a curvy posture, and stands beside signs that say "Merry Grinchmas."

Where: Universal Studios Hollywood, 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA
When: Select dates throughout the winter
Cost: Check ticket prices online

If you’re in Hollywood for the holidays, there are several very special attractions throughout the Universal Studios grounds. 

Events such as Grinchmas and Christmas In The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter draw thousands of guests from around the world.

Both of these events are straight out of a dream – it’s no wonder thousands of visitors flock to the events. 

Check the Universal Studios website for specific event dates and times. 

Knott’s Merry Farm

When: November 17th – January 7th
Where: Knott’s Berry Farm, 8039 Beach Boulevard, Buena Park, CA
Cost: Starting at $59.99

Knott’s Berry Farm is one of the best places for any holiday in the LA region, and they do not disappoint with their Christmas lights display. 

The entire farm in Orange County is illuminated with thousands of colorful holiday lights and decorations. 

As usual, Knott’s offers activities for the whole family to enjoy. 

And they have Christmas sweets and food trucks to satisfy your holiday cravings.

Knott’s also hosts an annual tree lighting ceremony – check their website for this year’s dates.

Enchanted, Descanto Gardens

Enchanted, Descanto Gardens
Three geometric installations glow pink and appear to float over a pond, as blue lights illuminate trees in the distant background.

Where: 1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada Flintridge, CA
When: November 19th – January 7th (Closed Nov. 23, Dec. 24 & 25), 5:30–10pm

Enchanted at the Descanso Gardens is a one-of-a-kind holiday experience in Los Angeles. 

It’s a one-mile walking route through an interactive light display that winds right through the exceptionally beautiful gardens, all lit up and set to holiday songs that play as you walk. 

Visit The Labyrinth at The Rose Gardens, with 3-D light sculptures and glowing meadow grass swaying in the breeze. 

Don’t miss one of the main attractions: Tom Fruin’s stained glass houses on the garden’s Main Lawn. 

The colorful dwellings form their own interactive village. It’s quite an adventure.

Astra Lumina Nightwalk Experience

Where: South Coast Botanic Garden, 26300 Crenshaw Blvd., Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA
When: Select dates throughout December, 6pm-10pm

“A celestial pathway of lustrous light,” Astra Lumina is an out-of-this-world holiday light extravaganza that strives to bring the light from outer space to earth. 

This event is part of the Lumina Enchanted Night Walk event series. It’s a combination of light, projection, and sound. 

The route guides guests through several installations throughout the South Coast Botanic Garden walking route. 

The LA Times, NBC, and Time Out even reviewed Astra Lumina. It’s definitely one of the most enchanting holiday-light experiences in LA. 

Holidays at Disneyland

Holidays at Disneyland
A giant Clydsdale horse with bows French braided into it's main and bells on it's harness, stands in front of the green, red, and gold trolly car that the horse is hooked up to using thick leather straps.

When: November 10th – January 7th (including Christmas Day)
Where: Disneyland, Anaheim, CA

If you’re seeking LA’s most elaborate Christmas displays and holiday lights, Disneyland has you covered. 

Disneyland is also one of the only attractions open on Christmas Day. 

December is magical at Disneyland. The entire park is illuminated nightly with millions of festive holiday lights, Christmas displays, and Christmas characters roaming around. 

Disneyland also hosts live performances by your favorite Disney icons, elaborate holiday feasts, contests, games, crafts, and access to rides. 

The lights are just one reason why Disneyland is a must during the holidays. If anyone does the holiday season with magic, it’s Disney.

Holiday Road

Where: King Gillette Ranch, 26800 West Mulholland Hwy, Calabasas, CA
When: Throughout December, 5pm – 10pm

Holiday Road is an immersive “larger than life” holiday experience at King Gillette Ranch that features all of the best of the festive season. 

You’ll see Santa and Mrs. Claus accompanied by lots of their elves and reindeer, giant candy canes, snowmen, and everything else that comes with the North Pole. 

Not to mention the millions of holiday lights that illuminate the entire walking path. 

There’s also a holiday bar with holiday-themed cocktails and a holiday market with unique gifts for holiday shopping. 

Holiday Road features endless Instagram-worthy holiday scenes and light displays to spread holiday cheer on your feed. 

Other holiday lights in Los Angeles, take notes from this one!

Marina Lights at Burton Chace Park

Where: Burton Chace Park, 13650 Mindanao Way, Marina Del Rey, CA
When: Nightly throughout December, 4pm – 10pm

This 10-acre park in Marina Del Rey is an enchanted sight during the holiday season. 

Guests stroll leisurely throughout the park, which is bathed in warm light nightly. 

Carolers, face painting, food trucks, and lots more add to the Marina Lights experience every December. 

Annual Marina Del Ray Holiday Boat Parade

Annual Marina Del Ray Holiday Boat Parade
In the mostly black image, a yacht decorated in white lights, snowflake lights, and glowing Christmas light animals, sails across dark waters with it's reflection in the lower half of the image and buildings in the distant background.

Where: Marina del Rey Harbor, Marina Del Ray, CA
When: Saturday, December 9, 5:55 pm – 6:00 pm (Fireworks Show), 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm (Holiday Boat Parade)

The annual Marina Del Ray Holiday Boat Parade began as a Los Angeles tradition in 1963, and continues to grow in extravagance. 

Boat owners in the area decorate their watercrafts of all shapes and sizes to partake in this large parade. 

There is no denying that these nautical holiday displays are some of the best Christmas lights in Los Angeles. 

Festival of Lights at the Mission Inn Hotel

Festival of Lights at the Mission Inn Hotel
Two larger-than-life nutcracker decorations guard the entrance to a building that is so overrun by beautiful golden Christmas lights, that it's hardly recognizable, surrounded by palm trees decorated all the way to the tips of the fronds.

Where: The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa, 3649 Mission Inn Avenue, Riverside, CA
When: Opening night on November 18th, and festivities nightly, November 18th – January 7th

Since 1992, The Mission Inn has transformed the entire hotel into a winter wonderland with one of America’s largest collections of holiday lights. 

They were voted “Best Public Lights Display” by USA Today, and only continue to get better. 

Giant nutcrackers greet you at the entrance, and entire buildings covered in shimmering lights will enchant you as you move through the hotel grounds. 

The palm trees are even covered in lights, as an LA Christmas tree ought to be. 

Lights on Display, Sherman Oaks

Where: 3901 Longview Valley Rd, Sherman Oaks, California
When: November 24th to January 1st, Wednesday – Sunday at varying times

This Lights Display at Sherman Oaks isn’t your average light show. 

Mike Ziemkowski took up decorating for Christmas when he was in high school. 

From childhood into adulthood, he spent his spare time building animated Christmas characters to enliven the display. 

Now, Ziemkowski’s holiday display features over a million twinkling lights set perfectly to festive tunes. 

In 2022, his animated light show included a chorus of giant snowmen singing as DJ Jingles set the beat. 

It’s no surprise that Ziemkowski won ABC’s 2015 The Great Christmas Light Fight – this event takes the cake.

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Taylor Neal

Taylor is a multi-disciplinary artist, writer, yoga instructor and frontline worker who spends most of her time in her van (Vannigan) winding through the coastal and mountain roads of California where she feels most at home. From navigating the realities of van-life to the fluctuations in diverse climates and landscapes, Taylor is excited to bring everything she’s learned about California to fellow wanderers seeking beauty and adventure.

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