With the holidays fast approaching in the midst of a pandemic, one remnant of normalcy will be the brilliant holiday lights and decor around Los Angeles. Although the pandemic has led to the cancellation of many holiday events, communities around Los Angeles County have come together to ensure that other long-standing traditions continue to brighten the holiday season. Viewing festive light arrangements and tree lighting events is the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit, so members of The Chronicle staff went searching around the city to find this season’s best and brightest holiday attractions.
Christmas Tree Lane
For the past century, the Altadena community has come together every holiday season to bring Santa Rosa Ave. to life with over 10,000 lights. Although COVID-19 delayed the process, 2020 is no exception. Individual homes up and down Christmas Tree Lane deserve their own recognition, adorned with glowing candy canes, light-up reindeer and inflatable holiday figures. However, the most enchanting attraction, which earned the boulevard its name, is the massive array of multi-colored string lights wrapped around the enormous deodar trees, illuminating the road for nearly a mile. These festive decorations do not disappoint, and it comes as no surprise that visiting the drive-through Christmas Tree Lane is a holiday tradition for many. This year, the experience of driving beneath the sparkling canopy will be best accompanied by holiday music and a thermos of hot chocolate.
Hastings Ranch may not be widely recognized for its festive decor, but this holiday season, the community has impressed amid the pandemic with a neighborhood-wide effort in creating what can only be described as a “winter wonderland.” At every turn of a corner lies another street of houses illuminated by enough holiday lights to double the year’s power bill, and with each new block comes a different winter theme. Many residents have taken themes and brought their front yards to life, developing scenes with Arctic animals, holiday characters and even snow-inspired props. Because the traditional walk through the neighborhood is discouraged due to COVID-19, the event is best enjoyed by taking a leisurely drive in the neighborhood, which has done an exceptional job in reigning in holiday cheer.
The Americana at Brand has always been a tried and true holiday hotspot for shopping, entertainment and winter season decor. While many of its events have been canceled this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Americana has outdone itself with its annual winter decorations, providing visitors with much-needed holiday cheer. As always, the iconic trolley is decked out in colorful garlands and ribbons, illuminated by trees and wreaths beaming with ethereal holiday lights. Perhaps the greatest attraction is the 80-foot tall white fir tree, decorated from the base all the way up to the golden star with red and gold ornaments and white lights. This stunning tree evokes amazing holiday spirit and is a must-see attraction for anyone seeking cheer during these unprecedented times.