Pros: Free Wonderful light displays Dramatic Gets you in the Christmas Spirit
Cons: can get crowded towards the end of the year.
The Bottom Line: great Christmas experience Souther California style. Fun for the whole family that is free, educational and festive.
My family lives in Los Angeles, not exactly known as a winter wonderland. But that doesn't stop LA from putting on an free annual holiday festival of lights which thrills thousands of people both young and old.
Griffith Park is the largest municipal park in the United States with over 4,000 acres. This park boasts walking trails, horseback riding, camping, golfing, swimming and is the home of the LA Zoo and several museums. It is really a nice place to visit and spend some quality time with the family. It's a great way to "get away" from the hustle and bustle of the city. There really is something for everyone!
Each year during the month of December, the LA Department of Water and Power hosts a Festival of Lights which stretches a few miles throughout the park. There is the option to walk the festival, bike it or drive it which most people do. There are pick up points by the zoo that will bus people in as well.
The festival highlights big events in Los Angeles history such as the naming of Mulholland Drive, several nods to Western Heritage that depict native Americans and early settlers, some famous LA landmarks such as the airport, and the Hollywood Sign, famous US landmarks such as the Empire State Building and a few shameless plugs about the history of the LA Department of Water and Power.
There are sections of tunnels that are completely lit up by thousands of lights, which is really fun to drive through. The displays are imaginative, creative and many are moving lighted displays. There is suitable and festive Christmas music that is played throughout. The whole experience is best described as joyful and celebrates Christmas to the fullest.
It really is a fun way to celebrate the holiday season LA style, with the windows rolled down and cruising through the lights. We went on the last day of the display and it took about 1 hour total to leisurely drive through. There were loads of people on foot and in cars enjoying the lights. Our four year old was mesmerized, our one year old fell asleep in the car, we were pretty happy with the whole thing.
A great experience for anyone who wants to enjoy the Christmas Spirit! We will be going back next year, and will definately take any out of town guests there as well. Did I mention that this festival is free? Yahoo!