10 Valley pit stops to boost holiday cheer

10 Valley pit stops to boost your holiday cheer

  • Category
    Social Scene
  • Written by
    Jessica Cary Fiers
  • Illustrated by
    Christine Georgiades

Feeling challenged about getting in the holiday spirit with our warm temperatures and sunny skies? Understood. I hail from the Northeast where snow is always part of the deal, and despite three years of living in LA, I still drag my feet when it comes to breaking out the mistletoe. However I have discovered a few ways to put a little holiday spring in my step—all of them right here in the Valley.


Holiday at Americana at Brand

Every night, throughout the holiday season, this swanky outdoor mall turns into a winter wonderland with sudden snowfalls and a ginormous tree decked out with thousands of twinkling lights and ornaments.

Tree lighting celebration on November 16; 7:30 p.m.; Snowfalls at 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. through December 25
889 Americana Way, Glendale


Holiday Street Festival at Tujunga Village

This family-friendly event has been a holiday tradition in Studio City for over 35 years. Live music, Dickens-style carolers, classic cars, an express train and face painting. Stores offer goodies like cookies and apple cider, and Santa makes an appearance.

December 2; 5 to 9 p.m.
4300 Tujunga Avenue, Studio City


Candy Cane Lane

Since 1952, the residents of a Woodland Hills neighborhood have put on an extravagant holiday display spanning eight square blocks. Folks come from across LA to drive through this dazzling display.

December 9 to 31; Mon.-Thurs. sunset to 10 p.m.; Fri.-Sun. until 11 p.m.
Between Lubao Avenue and Oxnard Street near Pierce College


Lights on Display

Sherman Oaks resident Mike Ziemkowski is an Emmy Award-winning video editor. His talents are on full display with the stunning high-tech spectacle he puts on at his house each year. Animatronic Frosty belts out tunes, cheery elves sway along, and multicolored lights dance across the property.

November 24 to January 1; 5 to 10 p.m. daily
3901 Longview Valley Road, Sherman Oaks


Holidays at Universal CityWalk

In the center of the outdoor plaza, there is a 40-foot-tall Christmas tree illuminated with over 200,000 glistening LED icicles. Throughout the season there are free live concerts, street performers, and Santa Claus is available for photo opportunities.

November 24 to December 23
100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City


The 34th Annual Granada Hills Holiday Parade

More than 10,000 spectators line streets to watch this colorful, festive spectacle with vintage cars, marching bands, local dancers and a cappella carolers. Come hungry; this year’s theme is “Favorite Holiday Foods & Special Treats.”

December 3; 1:30 p.m.
Begins at the intersection of Petit Avenue and Chatsworth Street and ends at Granada Hills Charter High School


Jingle Bell Run

This holiday-themed 5K run is certain to spark some festive holiday cheer. Participants wear costumes or ugly Christmas sweaters and tie bells to their shoes, creating a chorus of jingles as they run or walk through the course.

December 10
Starting and ending at Glendale Central Park, 201 E. Colorado Street


Winter Nights at The Village at Topanga

Live ice sculpting, carolers from the West LA Children’s Chorus, twinkling lights and tons of “snowfall” turn this outdoor mall into a picturesque scene for three consecutive Sundays.

December 3, 10, 17; 5 to 7 p.m.
6600 Topanga Canyon Blvd, Canoga Park


Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

This Universal Studios attraction is completely tricked out for the holidays. Hogwarts castle and the streets of Hogsmeade dazzle with lights and decor. Enjoy hot Butterbeer and melodious holiday tunes from the Frog Choir and Hogwarts students.

November 24 to January 7
Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal City


2017 Holiday Light Festival Train Ride

Climb aboard the Holiday Light Express for a magical train ride through a fully decked out Griffith Park. The classic 20th century locomotive snakes through ornate displays illuminated by more than 10,000 sparkling lights. Children 18 months and under ride for free.

November 24 to December 30 (excluding Dec. 24 and 25);
Mon.-Thurs. 5 to 8 p.m.; Fri.-Sun. until 9 p.m.
4400 Crystal Springs Drive, Los Angeles