The minute the Halloween decorations come down, the tinsel in Tinseltown goes up! From downtown to Disneyland, little eyes widen as the switch is flipped to light up fully decked trees with festivities that bring out the kid in all of us, including fake snow, fireworks and the tallest LEGO Christmas tree in the world.
photo: Meghan Rose
Rodeo Drive Holiday Lighting Ceremony
There’s no business like snow business, and the red carpet is always rolled out on Rodeo Drive. But on this day, the famous strip will feature every kid’s favorite star: Santa Claus. Get ready for a plethora of lights twinkling on Rodeo’s Drive’s famed palm trees, a snow shower, live music, marching band and light show choreographed to a live DJ. Kids don’t even care about the light flipping at this one; it’s all about playing in the “snow.”
Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, November 20 at 6 p.m. Event details.
photo: The Music Center
The Music Center Plaza Tree Lighting
Ho-ho-help usher in the most merry time of year with the official lighting of Los Angeles County’s Christmas tree on The Music Center Plaza. Sip on free hot chocolate and hum along to holiday favorites performed live by a chamber music ensemble and student choir before you wander across to Grand Park and take in a little more twinkle, as the park sparkles to life for the holidays.
The Music Center, November 28 at 5 p.m. Event details.
photo: The Grove
The Grove’s Christmas with Seth MacFarlane
We recommend coming early if you have little ones, exploring the decor, and then snagging a table to watch the festivities from afar – it gets awfully crowded and loud for kids. But the magic of the spectacle makes it all worth while. This year the hour long show is hosted by Seth MacFarlane, featuring a star-studded musical spectacular, the season’s first snowfall, lighting of the positively ginormous Christmas tree, the arrival of Santa Claus and finally a fireworks finale.
The Grove, November 13 from 7-9 p.m. Event details.
Manhattan Beach Tree Lighting Celebration
Surfs up for Santa at Christmas by the sea. The lighting of the Manhattan Beach Pier, with it’s holiday tree made of lights at the end features holiday music, food, shopping and the festive atmosphere of a community celebration.
Pier Ave. in Manhattan Beach, November 16 from 6-9 p.m. Event details.
image: Lucy Pollak Public Relations
Culver City Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration
Are you dreaming of a white (but warm) Christmas? Then take in the 7,500 warm-white LED lights on the gorgeous 22-foot Rocky Mountain pine tree in Downtown Culver City. Savor (free) hot chocolate and cider and nibble on cookies while reveling in Santa sightings and performances by folk dancing groups and local choirs. A special gift from energy-efficient elf: this celebration is “green.”
Town Plaza, December 1 at 6 p.m. Event details.
Pasadena Christmas Tree Lighting
For a more folksy affair, join the mayor and fellow merrymakers for this jubilation celebration at Pasadena City Hall. There will be hot chocolate, cookies, arts and crafts for the kids, the tree lighting at 6:15 p.m. (switch flipped by Santa and the Mrs. themselves) and a diorama scene with a sleigh where parents can take pics of their little ones. We think it’s the best free family tree lighting event in the San Gabriel Valley. Bring an unwrapped toy for the Spark of Love Toy Drive.
Pasadena City Hall, December 2 at 6-8 p.m. Event details.
photo: Americana at Brand
The Americana’s Christmas Tree Lighting
Let it snow in Glendale and fête with flying reindeer, magical elves and Mr. Kris Kringle himself. This outdoor mall goes all out with the theme of Sammy Davis, Jr.’s tune, “Christmas time All Over the World”, celebrating Christmas music from around the globe. Then faux snow falls as Santa arrives, the beautiful Christmas tree is lit, and the evening ends with a grand fireworks finale.
The Americana at Brand, November 17 from 7-9 p.m. Event details.
photo: LEGOLAND California Resort
LEGOLAND Christmas Tree Lighting
A mind-boggling 245,000 forest green DUPLO bricks go into the creation of the world’s tallest LEGO Christmas tree, towering at 30 feet above folks filled with the holiday spirit. No need to plan around one specific day for this outing; every night in December until (and including) Christmas Day, the tree sparkles to life with a holly jolly soundtrack featuring favorite holiday tunes. It’s totally worth the drive for LEGO obsessed kids.
LEGOLAND, December 1-25 at 5 p.m. Event details.
Disneyland‘s Lighting of the Tree
The splendid 60-foot-tall Christmas tree on Buena Vista Street in the plaza outside Elias & Co. at California Adventure won’t just be lit once, or twice…but every day at 5 p.m. November 10-December 24 with the festive jingles of the Buena Vista Street Community Bell Ringers. The Merriest Place On Earth itself becomes even merrier for the holiday season with A Christmas Fantasy Parade, “It’s a Small World” and other rides decked into glittering spectacles, the Jungle Cruise becomes the Jingle Cruise, Believe in the Holiday Magic Fireworks show and a chance to meet Santa Claus in Critter Country.
Disney California Adventure Park, Buena Vista Street, November 10-December 24 at 5 p.m. Event details.
What tree lighting ceremony do you plan to attend this year? Let us know in the comment section below.