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A field trip to see The Festival of Lights at The Mission Inn in Riverside!

A field trip to see The Festival of Lights at The Mission Inn in Riverside!

November 28, 2014 through January 6, 2015


Last holiday season, my family and I visited the most talked about display of holiday lights in the Inland Empire called The Festival of Lights at the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa in Riverside.

“For over a century, world leaders and Hollywood stars have chosen The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa in Riverside, CA as a place of refuge and renewal.  Originally built as a two-story adobe guesthouse in 1876, the Inn has become the crown jewel of Inland Southern California, occupying an entire city block.”


“As a National Historic Landmark and member of the prestigious Historical Hotels of America, visitors and guests experience the romance and enchantment of a European castle with the Inn’s one-of-a-kind architecture, designed by some of California’s most famous architects.  The site of countless weddings, including ceremonies for Bette Davis and Richard and Pat Nixon, the Inn offers dozens of overwhelmingly inspirational settings, including the region’s only hotel chapel – the exquisite St. Francis of Assisi.” (info from


The Festival of Lights

From November 28, 2014 – January 6, 2015 the Mission Inn lights up with the Festival of Lights!  You can enjoy more than 4 million dazzling holiday lights on display throughout the front, back and inside of the inn.


The Festival of Lights

Special features also include:
  • an appearance by Santa Claus
  • the world’s largest manmade mistletoe measuring 12’ x 8’
  • horse-drawn carriage rides


  • freshly fallen snow
  • An elaborately decorated Christmas tree in the hotel lobby

Christmas trees abound at The Mission Inn!

  • delectable holiday confections at the original famous Casey’s Cupcakes® located at The Inn.
  • an outdoor ice-skating rink on the Main Street pedestrian mall
  • holiday vendors
  • family-friendly entertainment


Holiday decor on display at The Mission Inn

Here are a few tips when planning a visit to see The Festival of Lights:
  • The best time to see the lights is during the week when it is less crowded.
  • If you visit on the weekend, plan to go at sundown when the lights just come on.  We did this last year and it was perfect.  We found a parking spot, got something to eat at a local restaurant downtown and afterwards walked around to see the Christmas lights.
  • Bring extra $ for parking in case you can’t find a free spot.
  • Dress in layers.  In the early evening it is fairly warm outside.  By nightfall it is chilly.
  • If you want to do any type of activity, like take a picture with Santa Clause or take a horse-drawn carriage ride, it will cost extra.
  • Take a stroll inside the inn too!  The decorations are beautiful and there is a lot of history to explore!

President Taft’s Chair

  • Bring a camera!  There are a lot of family photo opportunities around the property.


Visit The Festival of Lights at The Mission Inn in Riverside and start a new holiday tradition this year!

Happy Holiday Field Tripping!


Disclosure:  This post is for informational purposes only.