Updated for 2020
If you’re looking for something safe to do with your family this holiday season that has proper social distancing in place, then this list of The Best Drive Thru Holiday Light Displays in Southern California is for. There’s a new way to do the slow-roll-by-lights tradition, and it involves the same pop-up drive-thru that recently concluded the Halloween season.
From drive thru Christmas light displays to drive thru Nativity scenes, SoCal Field Trips has the best events of the season right here. One piece of advise though; order your tickets now because these drive thru holiday events in Southern California will sell out fast.
Best Christmas and Holiday Drive Thru Light Displays in Southern California
Christmas in Color, San Dimas
Load up your friends and family into the van (or car, or truck) and experience Christmas like never before at Christmas in Color in San Dimas! Drive through acres of more than 1.5 million lights perfectly synchronized to holiday music you’ll hear right through your radio.
You’ll drive by giant candy canes, snowmen, arched pathways and more. With so many incredible attractions and acres of land to view, you’ll want to take your time driving through this Winter Wonderland. And starting at $30 per car, this is sure to become an instant family Christmas tradition. The price does not increase by the number of people in your car, so the more the merrier!
Christmas Lights, Saddleback Church, Lake Forest
On December 1 through 24, you’ll have the opportunity to drive through Saddleback Church’s campus in Lake Forest and experience a wonderland full of lights, decorations, and music. Advance free reservations are required at saddleback.com.
Christmas Lights in LA, Pico Rivera
Christmas Lights in LA in Pico Rivera is a mile-long holiday lights drive-through experience that invites SoCal families to celebrate the season in the comfort and safety of their own car.
More than a million lights sparkle along with professional entertainers, candy giveaways, sound effects, food vendors, and photo ops. Featured sections include White Winter Wonderland, Santa’s Boombox, The Polar Express, Battle of the Houses, Santa’s Workshop, and more.
Dodgers Holiday Festival, Los Angeles
The 2020 World Champion Los Angeles Dodgers are hosting a drive-thru Dodgers Holiday Festival, complete with a light show, LED video displays, fake snow and interactive displays honoring the Dodgers World Championship and celebrating the holidays! Open nightly from Nov. 27 – Dec. 24.
The Elf on The Shelf, Pomona
This Elf on The Shelf drive thru experience opens on November 12 and runs for eight weeks at the Fairplex in Pomona. The one-hour drive thru show features a dazzling light spectacle with toy repair workshop, gingerbread villages, and all the sights and sounds of the holiday blended with a touch of high-spirited fun that only Santa’s favorite Scout Elves can deliver.
Tickets start at $24.95 for adults, and $19.95 for kids depending on the time slot you choose. Everyone over the age of 2 needs a ticket to enter. Each car will need an Android or iphone smartphone to experience the narration and music that guides you through the experience.
Electric Noel, Norco
Discover the neon glow this holiday season with Electric Noel, a high-tech Christmas drive-thru experience! Journey from Santa’s command center and the elf village, to Main Street and Mistletoe Lane – amongst many other magical, high-tech spectacles. Their highly mechanized technology is truly a sight to behold, culminating with an automated surprise you won’t want to miss.
Electric Noel is a covid-safe experience open Tuesday – Sunday from 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm. Time-slotted tickets are available from December 3 – January.
Happy Place Drive-Thru, Los Angeles
Happy Place Drive-Thru returns to Westfield Century City Mall for an all new happy experience! The event features 18 larger-than-life experiences and interactive moments including:
- California Dreamin’ – A road trip through the glorious Golden State
- Tickle the Keys: The Giant Piano Experience – The world’s first car-operated piano, measuring over 30 feet long and over 11 feet tall
- Club Happy – A pulsating nightclub experience… for your car!
- Rainbow Road – Vibrant displays in every color of the rainbow
- Sweet Tooth Street – A joyful candy supersized wonderland
- Super Bloom – A HAPPY PLACE favorite, reimagined with 40,000 handmade flowers
- And so much more!
Hikari Light Festival, Tanaka Farms, Irvine
Attend the brand new holiday celebration called Hikari Festival of Lights at Tanaka Farms in Irvine! Literally translated, Hikari means shine in Japanese, and this holiday season Tanaka Farms will shine with over a mile of twinkling lights! As you drive through their 30-acre farm, you will be dazzled by farm-themed lighting from trees, to scarecrows, tractors…even their sugarcane got the holiday light treatment. Plus, every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday you can have a very special visit from Santa, himself!
It’s the brand-new Holidays in your Car happening at the Del Mar Fair Grounds with an opening date of Dec. 5. With headlights turned off, attendees will drive through an enchanting mile-and-a-half display of over one million dazzling LED lights, accompanied by uplifting holiday music. Awe-inspiring holograms, laser light shows and impressive multi-colored projections casting festive images of the season onto sets — some standing over 40 feet tall — will all contribute to an unforgettable experience celebrating the most magical time of the year! Tickets are sold per car. Please note the number of passengers must not exceed the number of safety belts/seats in the vehicle.
Holiday in Your Car, Ventura
It’s the brand-new Holidays in your Car happening at the Ventura County Fairgrounds with an opening date of Nov. 22. With headlights turned off, attendees will drive through an enchanting mile-and-a-half display of over one million dazzling LED lights, accompanied by uplifting holiday music. Awe-inspiring holograms, laser light shows and impressive multi-colored projections casting festive images of the season onto sets — some standing over 40 feet tall — will all contribute to an unforgettable experience celebrating the most magical time of the year! Tickets are sold per car. The number of passengers must not exceed the number of safety belts/seats in the vehicle. For example, if there are four people (or fewer) in your car, it is $49 to attend, while five people (or more, up to the limit of safety belts/seats) is $64.
Light It Up MoVal, Moreno Valley
New for 2020, Light It Up MoVal has collaborated with Josh Barnett Productions to showcase Lightasmic a top Light Show Company in Southern California. Offering guests of all ages the chance to enjoy a drive through show in a safe and fun-filled environment. Advance tickets cost up to $30 per car (up to 8 people) or $40 for drive up entrance at the gate.
Santa’s Speedway Christmas Lights Drive-Thru, Irwindale
From November 25 – January 10, Santa’s Speedway is a 30-45 minute safe yet, riveting experience is designed to transport families of all ages into the magical world of Christmas as they witness first-hand a series of jaw dropping Christmas scenes and holiday themed vignettes from Mobile Illuminations (the company responsible for The Grove, Universal Studios and Warner Brothers’ Christmas Extravaganzas).
As families enter Santa’s Speedway between a pathway of California’s largest color changing display of palm trees, they will experience the exhilaration of driving on an actual NASCAR racetrack as they come across Santa’s Village with at elves hard at work, a land filled with Christmas sweets including 20ft tall illuminated lollipops, Rudolph’s Enchanted garage filled with Racecar Reindeers, a 100 ft long lit Christmas bow and light display, plus a scene worthy of grabbing Santa’s attention – the world’s largest free standing light tree, measuring 110ft and made up of over 100,000 LED lights.
Night of Lights OC presented by WinterFest OC, Costa Mesa
Night of Lights OC is a magical interactive drive through a winter wonderland of lights! This one mile drive includes over one million lights, including animated lights to music, Christmas tree lighting spectacular, plus a winter wonderland drive-thru. The event opens on December 3rd at the OC Fair and Event Center in Costa Mesa.
WonderLAnd, Woodland Hills
A frosted, all-ages welcome adventure emerges in Woodland Hills! Celebrate the holiday season with millions of lights and themed decor during a festive WonderLAnd drive-thru show. Experience the magic of a inclusive showcase during the most wonderful time of the year from the safety & comfort of your car.
This holiday drive-thru show features synchronized Holiday music lights, elaborate sets and immersive stores, a massive holiday tree, countless lights, hologram installations. Tickets include the opportunity to see Santa and to receive a stuffed holiday stocking.
If you’re looking for a more traditional holiday lights experience, then check out our guides to the best holiday lights in Southern California according to each region!
- The Best Holiday Lights in Los Angeles
- 100 Christmas Light Display in Orange County
- The Best Holiday Lights in San Diego
- The Best Holiday Lights in Riverside
Holiday in the Park Drive-Thru Experience, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Valencia
For the first time ever at Six Flags Magic Mountain, experience millions of lights, festive holiday theming, and seasonal music favorites in a drive-thru nighttime spectacular, Holiday in the Park Drive-thru Experience. Beginning at 6pm on select evenings November 20 – January 3 , make merry memories as the park transforms into a magical winter wonderland with millions of colorful lights.
Holiday in the Park Drive-thru Experience will include eight distinctly different areas throughout the park with millions of twinkling lights choreographed to festive music, beloved holiday characters decked out for the holidays, iconic Holiday in the Park decorations, and a drive-by featuring Santa and his elves. New this year, go for a ride in The Underground featuring several of the famous West Coast Customs show cars on display.
Happy Holiday Field Tripping!