We don’t typically get white Christmases in Southern California. However, we do get plenty of Holiday Spirit. Why we should celebrate Christmas on just one day when we can celebrate Christmas for the whole month? The following article details the fun Christmas traditions that I go to every year in Los Angeles, California that you can attend too! Even if you don’t live in LA, it’s easy to find people who want to celebrate. You can find a group of friends to decorate your tree or look for events in your community! I encourage you to enjoy your holiday season to the fullest extent possible.
LA Zoo Lights
The first event I went to this month was the La Zoo Lights at the Los Angeles Zoo. The Zoo is transformed into a Christmas land. It takes a little more than an hour to walk through all of the lights and decorations. There’s a carousel for the little ones, live reindeer, photo ops, music, food, and pictures with Santa Claus for children of all ages. The event is open to the public for nightly admission, rain or shine, until January 8, 2017. If you would like to go, check out their ticket website:
Disneyland and California Adventure
The next big holiday tradition for me is visiting Disneyland to see all the decorations. Of course, the parks are beautiful. There are lots of photo opportunities in Disneyland itself, though I spent most of this year in the other park. Disney’s California Adventure is currently hosting what they are calling the Festival of Light. They have special performances, such as their Feliz Navidad show, and have themed stands all along the walk way near Hollywood Land down to the boardwalk and lagoon. They sell holiday themed snacks, drinks, ornaments, clothing, and other Disney goodies. The way it’s set up is really cute. However, it’s the holiday themed World of Color that makes the ticket worth its price. This year’s World of Color is brand new and about 31 minutes long. As long as you get your fast passes for World of Color early in the day at the Grizzly River Run ride, and arrive at the show timely, you are in for a treat and can avoid some of the crowds.
This year, my boyfriend and I splurged and decided to do the World of Color dining package, which was amazing. Our package included a delicious three course meal and Preferred Viewing for World of Color. It was truly magical. Disney also offers a dessert party, where guests get to sit and eat sweets while enjoying the show. I hope to try this in the future. Reservations for World of Color Packages can be made through the Disney Dining Website or through the free Disneyland App.
Chill on the Queen Mary
I also tried a new event this year: Chill on the Queen Mary. I plan to make this a tradition. Admission to the event gives you permission to freely explore the Queen Mary Ship, which is decorated for the holidays. It also gives you access into what I’d describe as a Christmas Festival. Santa and Mrs. Claus were making the rounds. There were performers and carolers. Kids could design their own stockings. There was ice skating and sledding, a special Alice in Wonderland lights exhibit, amazing food, and even a Polar Express 4D experience. My favorite part was honestly exploring the Queen Mary. I’ve learned about the history of the ship and heard the stories of the ghosts that haunt the boat, but I had never been before this event.
The only word of advice I’d offer for this event is get the ELF pass, which allows guests to skip the lines. The only complaint I would have about this event is the lines were bad for some of the attractions and I did not have the ELF pass to save me.
If you want to attend Chill at Queen Mary, the details are attached.
NORAD Santa Tracker
The final tradition I have happens on Christmas Eve. No matter where you are in the world, you can do this. Every year I track Santa on noradsanta.org. My parents used to do it with me, and now I do it with my little cousins. For a long time, I believed my Grandpa was Santa and that I was tracking his progress around the world. This website has created so many magical memories for me and I hope it will for you too. Happy tracking!
I wish you all a very merry month of holidays. I hope you have a blast with both new and old traditions.