With many folks’ commutes canceled by the pandemic, you might not be spending as much time in your car as usual. Well, start your engines and buckle everyone in for a holiday treat. These holiday drive-through attractions let you celebrate the season from the safety of your vehicle.
Holidays In Your Car (www.holidaysinyourcar.com): From the creators of the wildly popular “Concerts in Your Car” series comes this drive-through holiday lights spectacular at the Ventura County Fairgrounds from 5-10 p.m. nightly through Jan 2. Drive through an enchanting mile-and-a-half display of more than 1 million LED lights, accompanied by holiday music. Holograms, laser light shows and multicolored projections cast festive images of the season onto sets – some more than 40 feet tall. Advance online ticket purchase is required. $49 for up to four passengers; $64 for five passengers or more.
Holiday Light Up with the Upper Hastings Ranch Association (www.upperhastingsranch.org): Go old school and drive through this Pasadena neighborhood to enjoy lights and parkway displays from 6-10 p.m. nightly Dec. 12-Jan. 2. This tradition began in 1951 when a few Ranch families decorated their driveways with luminaria (paper bags with candles) to guide Santa Claus to their homes. Eventually, homeowners began creating wooden parkway displays and the competition was on! The displays are free to visit.
The Elf on the Shelf’s Magical Holiday Journey (www.elfontheshelfjourney.com):This immersive drive-through experience at the Fairplex in Pomona through Jan. 3 expands on the stories, characters and themes of “The Elf on the Shelf.” During the hourlong adventure, visitors help save Christmas after Santa Claus encounters a sleigh mishap. Attendees will be transported through a series of holiday dreamworlds – including a toy repair workshop, gingerbread village covered in candy, arctic winter wonderland and Santa’s Magical Grotto – to help find the magic Santa needs to fly again. There will be a toy drive benefiting Toys for Tots and Children’s Hospital L.A. Attendees can make a monetary donation at the time of their ticket purchase or bring an unwrapped toy to the experience. Ticket prices start at $19.95 for children and $24.95 for adults.
Santa’s Speedway Christmas Lights Drive-Thru (www.santasspeedway.com): This all-ages experience happening through Jan. 10 at Irwindale Speedway & Event Center transports families into a Christmas wonderland as they drive along an actual NASCAR track. The holiday lighting displays along the speedway come from Mobile Illuminations, the company responsible for the Grove, Universal Studios and Warner Brothers’ Christmas extravaganzas. Families will visit Santa’s Village, a land filled with Christmas sweets including 20-foot illuminated lollipops, Rudolph’s enchanted garage and a 110-foot tree made up of more than 100,000 LED lights. $75 per car.
WonderLAnd (www.socalwonderland.com): Honoring all cultural traditions, this Woodland Hills attraction will center on an elaborate holiday musical light show. Guests will drive through nearly a million lights, all time-coded to a festive array of seasonal songs. Installations will include a “Holidays Around the Globe” display and a wintery forest surrounding WonderLAnd’s version of the massive Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. Vehicles will travel around North Pole mountains and through a 90-foot twinkling snowflake tunnel and a snow flurry vortex tunnel. And, yes, Santa, Mrs. Claus, and the elves will be on hand with candy canes. The experience is open from 5-11 p.m. daily through Dec. 23 and Dec. 26-30. $70 per vehicle.
Holiday Road (www.holidayroadusa.com): From the team that brought you Nights of the Jack comes this holiday drive-through experience at King Gilette Ranch in Calabasas. Through Jan. 10, you can expect to see larger-than-life holiday installations, thousands of Christmas lights, Santa, Mrs. Claus, Elves, countless candy canes and all your favorite holiday cheer! $75-$95 per car.
Christina Elston is Editor of L.A. Parent.