Nothing says Christmas time like the Christmas tree! The smell of the pine, the twinkling of the lights – it’s magical. Whether you like your tree lighting celebration with snow (real or faux), Santa, reindeer, horse drawn carriages or even fireworks, we’ve got the event that will flip your switch. Kick off the holidays with a bright start at these electrifying tree lighting ceremonies.
photo credit: The Grove Christmas tree by josuab via Creative Commons
Santa Monica Tree Lighting Ceremony
Better watch out, better not cry, it’s time to get ready for Santa! Come to the tree lighting at Santa Monica Place. The evening starts when Santa promenades down the Promenade at 6 p.m., then the tree is lit at 6:30 p.m.
Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade, November 20, 6 p.m.
The Americana Tree Lighting
It’s an evening of Christmas magic with Cirque du Santa, a winter wonderland of magical elves, flying reindeer, dancing snowmen, plus Santa Claus and a fireworks finale! Then watch as the 100 ft. Christmas tree is lit and the fountains dance, holiday melodies play and the snow falls…
The Americana, November 19 at 7:30 p.m.
Salvation Army Tree Lighting and Kettle Kickoff
The signature red kettles will be out to remind us of the true meaning of the holidays along with fun, free activities and entertainment that the whole family will enjoy. There will be a Christmas tree lighting, live holiday music and singalongs, and more.
Original Farmers Market, November 24 at 5 p.m.
Hermosa Beach Tree Lighting
Surfs up and Christmas is here! The lighting of the Hermosa Beach Holiday Tree features holiday carolers, bands from local schools, hot cocoa and an appearance from Santa. It’s Christmas by the beach.
Hermosa Beach Pier, December 4 at 6 p.m.
photo credit: InSapphoWeTrust via Creative Commons
Christmas Tree Lane
Every Christmas season for more than 90 years, the majestic deodars (that’s fancy evergreen trees, to us) on the “Mile of Christmas Trees” are strung with over 10,000 lights. It is the oldest large-scale Christmas lighting spectacle in the United States. Drive or stroll along the street and drink in the sights – just don’t forget the winter coats and thermos of hot chocolate – it gets cold! The tree lighting ceremony is on December 13, but the lights go on nightly through the New Year.
Christmas Tree Lane, December 13 at 6 p.m.
photo credit: tkksummers via Creative Commons
Burbank’s Tree Lighting
The season’s festivities kick off tonight when Santa arrives and the tree is lit. Merrymakers parade to San Fernando Boulevard for Santa’s Downtown Wonderland under magical snowfall lights. From Magnolia Boulevard to Olive Avenue, there will be plenty of fun for kids to take part in.
City Hall, December 6 at 6:30 p.m.
The Grove Tree Lighting
This one we include because it’s the biggest tree and the boldest celebration. The fireworks you can hear and see for over a mile, the concert is rocking and the atmosphere electric. Easily one of the coolest tree lightings in town. However (and you saw this “but” coming a mile away) the noise and crowds can scare tiny tots, and the crush can make the bathroom situation tricky for potty training pee-wees. So, with big kids, we say go for it! And with littles, we say plan carefully and you’ll have a blast. Make reservations for dinner outside, where you have a table to sit at and bathrooms to use. Or put the kids in pjs and simply park on the roof of the Grove garage and watch all the excitement from above.
The Grove, November 16 at 7:30 p.m.
photo courtesy of Beverly Hills
Tree Lighting Ceremony in Beverly Hills
A shimmering glow of nearly 150,000 lights will brighten Rodeo Drive this holiday season, during the annual Beverly Hills Holiday Lighting Ceremony. The sparkles come from 16 full size Baccarat chandeliers over the famed street. The festivities will feature the seasonal spectacular lighting of the holiday lights, a fireworks show and a confetti “snow” shower. Now, let the holidays begin.
Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, November 23 at 6 p.m.
Queen Mary Tree Lighting Evening
Ready for a trip back in time? Or would you prefer a jaunt to the arctic? At this tree lighting celebration you can combine the two. The Queen Mary hosts a very special evening of entertainment and delicious treats by the old fashioned ship. Enjoy carolers, cookies, Santa and Mrs. Claus, a live holiday band, choir performance and of course the lighting of the tree. Then cool down with a free visit to Chill! (The Ice Kingdom, tubing and skating will cost extra.)
The Queen Mary, December 3 at 8 p.m.
Legoland Tree Lighting
It’s time for Holiday Snow Days at Legoland, with real snow, the chance to build Lego snowmen, snowball targets, a new snowy musical, the biggest Lego Christmas Tree in the world – complete with a nightly tree lighting ceremony. (You’ll also want to catch the festive entertainment from the Brickettes and say “hello” to the life-sized LEGO Minifigure Santa as he walks around Fun Town with his helpers.)
Legoland, December 6-30
photo credit: LEGOLAND
Disneyland‘s Lighting of the Tree
Celebrate the most festive time of the year at The Merriest Place On Earth! What’s extra special at Disney for the holidays? Sleeping Beauty’s Castle has snow-capped towers that shimmers with icicles and lights. “It’s a Small World” Holiday is decked to help you embrace holiday festivities around the globe. And end the day with a different holiday light display when the “Believe… In Holiday Magic” fireworks show builds to a crescendo of bursting colors and falling snow. The tree is lit nightly on Main Street, U.S.A.
Disneyland, November 13–January 6 at dusk
What tree lighting ceremony do you plan to attend this year? Let us know in the comment section below.