The My Daily Find Holiday Guide to Festive Lights and Boat Parades 2012

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The Griffith Park DWP Festival of Lights is not happening again this year.  According to the DWP website, “ it is taking a holiday, as a major water infrastructure project is under construction on Crystal Springs Drive.”  However, the good news is that there are still many festive lights and boat parades to see.  Here’s a list of top festivities in and out of Los Angeles that are worth the drive.

This Sherman Oaks home  was named of of the top three light displays in the nation by “Good Morning America.”  It is complete with videos, an animatronic DJ spinning elf, a singing Frosty the Snowman, and more.


Sherman Oaks Lights on Display: Emmy Award winning video producer/editor Mike Ziemkowski’s “Lights on Display” was named one of the three top light displays in the nation by “Good Morning America.”  It’s one dazzling show at his Sherman Oaks home, complete with videos, an animatronic DJ spinning elf, a singing Frosty the Snowman, and more, from 5 p.m.-10 p.m. daily through New Years Day. 3901 Longview Valley Rd., Sherman Oaks.

Candy Cane Lane: This Woodland Hills neighborhood has been a community tradition since 1952 — and a very crowded one at that.  Candy Cane Lane is a group of homeowners at Lubao and Oxnard Streets in Woodland Hills who  decide each year to put on an incredible holiday display of lights and decorations. Residents ask that visitors drive by no later than 10pm on weeknights, 11pm on weekends through December 31 (starting December 8).  Exit off the 101 Fwy at Winnetka and go north.

Sleepy Hollow Christmas Lights Extravaganza in Torrance:  This neighborhood has a brilliant assortment of houses with festive lights. Many of the homeowners can be found outside with hot chocolate, kettle corn and other goodies. Check the Facebook page for the exact location.

Riverside Festival of Lights :There are more than three and a half million twinkling lights in a one block area at the 20h annual Festival of Lights in Riversides.  Presented by Duane and Kelly Roberts, owners of The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa, and coordinated by The Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce and the Festival of Lights Committee.  Visit before Christmas Eve for photos with Santa Claus in Santa’s Workshop. Don’t forget to check the outdoor ice skating rink and shopping.

Christmas Tree Lane in OxnardVisit this neighborhood with  a ten block loop of homes fully decorated to the hilt through December 26. Trolley rides are available for $10 until Thursday or park your car and walk.  The lights are on 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.  daily thru December 26. F & G Streets between 5th and Palm, Oxnard

Christmas Tree Lane AltadenaAltadena’s Christmas Tree Lane has been a tradition since 1920 where one quarter mile of cedar trees are strung with  lights.  It’s said to be the oldest Christmas tree lighting spectacle in the United States and is designated as a California Historical Monument. Not to miss in the area is the Balian House, a 1922 mansion with 10,000 lights on the walkway alone.  The lighting of the tree will start on December 8 at 6 p.m., but the day will begin at 2 p.m.with an Arts and Crafts Festival in the Altadena Library Parking lot. Christmas Tree Lane will provide complimentary spiced hot cider, coffee and cocoa.Through  January 7, dusk until 10 p.m. 1960 Mendocino Lane, Altadena, CA.  Santa Rosa Ave. between Woodbury Ave. and Altadena Dr.

Marina Del Rey Boat ParadeThis community is celebrating their 50th holiday boat parade on December 8 with fireworks shooting off at 5:55 p.m. and the parade beginning a 6 p.m.  The Grand Marshall is three-time Beach Volleyball Olympic Gold Medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings. Burton Chace Park is one of the most popular outdoor viewing spots! There will be music, plus live commentary about each boat from announcers Lisa Osborn, a newscaster on radio KFWB-AM and Mickey Laszlo, a cartoon voiceover actor and former traffic reporter on KABC-TV. Want to see the parade closer up? Consider taking a cocktail cruise on a Hornblower boat.

Venice Canal Boat Parade: The annual parade is home grown with residents uniquely decorating boats. Boats begin to assemble on December 16 at 4 p.m. and the parade starts at 4:30pm at the corner of Eastern and Sherman Canals and goes around the entire canal.  Park on side streets or on Ocean, Venice or Washington and take a stroll.  Don’t miss the house at the corner of Carroll Ct. and Eastern Ct. with fully moving displays and tons of sparkling lights. Lights on through New Years Day.

Naples Long BeachThe houses around Naples Island shine bright. Park in the Mothers’ Beach lot off of Appian Way, or in the marine lots east of Davis Bridge, Marine Stadium, and 54th & Bayshore. Stroll around the island and enjoy the seasonal light display. Make a reservation for a gondola ride and pretend you are in Italy— or take a holiday waterfront Tour of Lights on a double decker bus.

Newport Beach: Christmas Boat ParadeIt’s “Surf, Sand and Santa!” when this tony town continues its 104 year tradition starting December 19 and ending December 23. The parade starts off Bay Island at 6:30 p.m. and finishes at the same site at approximately 9 p.m. each evening when a fireworks display will ring in the finale.  Watch as an array of multi-million dollar yachts, kayaks, canoes and other small boats light up the harbor with dazzling holiday lights and the sounds of music fill the air.  Homeowners join in on the excitement with beautifully decorated homes as well.  Don’t miss the Zimmerman House with its computerized light show.

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About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.

  • Kelly

    The Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association is happy to announce that the popular holiday lights show is finally returning to Griffith Park in 2014. Unlike the Festival of Lights show from years past, this all-new magical experience, known as L.A. Zoo Lights, is now being hosted by the Los Angeles Zoo!

    L.A. Zoo Lights is set to be a dazzling new winter wonderland event, where guests will be captivated as the Zoo’s enchanting environment transforms
    into a series of awe-inspiring animal escapades rendered in LED lights, lasers, 3D projections, spectacular sets, and interactive displays.

    L.A. Zoo Lights will be open nightly from Friday, November 28, 2014, to
    Sunday, January 4, 2015, from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m., except on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Visit for more information and to purchase tickets.

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