Covid or not, Angelenos spend a lot of time in their cars. So it’s no surprise that getting in the holiday spirit will mostly come from behind the wheel this year. Everything about 2020 is different, but you can still find a little festive fun for the season. Here are a bunch of ways to see lights, meet Santa (from a safe distance), and even celebrate the Dodgers win with giant bobbleheads. Don’t forget: All of these events are BYOB hot cocoa.
Consider the safe, festive, extremely kid-friendly celebration of the Dodgers World Championship win this year. The drive-thru event features a light show, fake snow, interactive displays, and Dodger Elves in the stadium parking lot. Bring a donation, like new or gently-used baseball or softball equipment, toys, or pairs of socks — all unwrapped and ready to offer without getting out of your car. Open nightly through December 24th; prices start at $55 per car.
This Woodland Hills show promises millions of lights and holiday-themed decor, plus menorahs, giant candy canes, a huge lit tree, Santa and Mrs. Claus, and even the elves. The drive lasts about 20-25 minutes, but the kids (and those kids-at-heart) will reward you with oohs and ahhs. Runs through December 23. Tickets are $65-$90 depending on how many in your car, date and time.
Homes in the lovely Pasadena foothill community of Hastings Ranch have been putting on their own light show since the 1950s, a quaint show of holiday spirit that can be enjoyed from your car. Starts mid-December. PS: Since you’re in the area, take a swing by Christmas Tree Lane in Pasadena to get a peek of the historic twinkle lights dangling from big pines along East Mariposa Street and Santa Rosa Avenue. Through December.
This car-friendly street crawl features edible stocking stuffers, a “sno-ball” fight, gnome village, safely distanced stories and songs with Santa, and even an ugly car sweater contest (get creative!). The best part: You don’t leave your car. Masks are mandatory as you’ll roll down windows at various points. Runs December 3-27 at the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area in El Monte. Tickets start at $98 per vehicle.
The Valencia theme park has become one giant pathway of illuminated displays for the holidays. Expect dancing lights and happy seasonal songs, 30-foot-tall ornaments, fake snow, a cool car show, and a visit from Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Tickets are $20-$25 per person. Go on an off-night (i.e. not a weekend) for the best chance of entry. Through January 3.
Ok, this is a walk-thru, not a drive-thru, but a worthy mention. The quick and charming 20-minute timed visit allows you to see the puppets in all their festive glory at the quirky Highland Park theater. Plus, the theater is on the brink of having to close the curtains for good. Every little bit helps. Tickets are $60 groups of six. Through January 3.
Featured photo by Tim Mossholder/Unsplash