All over the Bay Area, holiday lights and electric bills are going through the roof. If you don’t have a lawn to display your holiday cheer, head over to one of these places that do!
Check out the best holiday light displays in your area.
Where: Conservatory of Flowers
When: December 7th – Spring 2018
What it is: The new light show at the Conservatory of Flowers will honor the 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love and the natural wonders of winter. The multicolored lights will illuminate the conservatory with holiday and winter scenes while surrounded by a decorated train.
Where: McLaren Lodge
When: December 7th (4pm-8pm) – December 31st
What it is: The 88th Annual Winter Carnival has lots of free activities including a snow play area, carnival rides, arts and crafts, a cookie factory, a visit from Santa, and music and live entertainment. The official City Tree will be lit at 6 pm with Santa arriving shortly beforehand.
Where: Westfield Shopping Centre – Union Square
When: November 30th – January 2018
What it is: The upside-down tree that has sparked a newfound trend is back again. Deemed as San Francisco’s “most Instagrammable tree”, the 50-foot sparkling wonder is a must-see display this holiday season.
Where: Union Street (from Gough to Steiner Streets) & Fillmore Street (from Union to Lombard Streets)
When: December 2nd – January 2nd
What it is: The 27th Annual Union Street Fantasy of Lights is a decorated area of houses and businesses that lights up the neighborhood for multiple events and shopping opportunities. Santa visits, ornaments are crafted, and an elf-hunt takes place in participating stores.
Where: Fisherman’s Wharf
When: December 15th | 6pm-8pm
What it is: The Fisherman’s Wharf Community Benefit District and the St. Francis Yacht Club present the oldest and largest lighted holiday boat parade on San Francisco Bay. Boats with lights and holiday decorations will parade along the waterfront from Pier 39 westward to Crissy Field where they will turn around and head back. Find a seat along the waterfront for this one-of-a-kind light show.
Where: San Fransisco Zoo
When: December 15-17, 19-23, 26-30
Cost: Adults: $8 | Youth ages 4-14: $6 | Kids 3 and under: Free | Parking: $10
What is it: Enjoy the 100-acre park, conservation center, and Zoo under beautiful bright lights. Holiday music is played throughout as the festive displays lead you through the park.
Where: 501 Woodside Court – South San Francisco
When: November – January
What it is: The residents of this usually quiet cul de sac go all out for the holidays. Each house puts up a display of lights and holiday characters to entertain guests from all over. Most people recommend parking on a nearby street and touring the neighborhood on foot to get the full experience.
Where: 3650 21st Street – Noe Valley
When: December 7th-December 30th
What it is: This classic Victorian house boasts gigantic holiday decorations to make the 65-foot-high tree in the yard seem as if it were only five feet tall. With massive presents placed under the tree and stuffed animals galore, this yard is a local favorite.
Where: 3671 Chelsea Court – Pleasanton
When: December 1st – 31st | 6pm-9pm
What it is: Bob and Sue Widmer have been transforming their house for the holidays since the ’80s. Now, their entire family chips in with the process. They welcome all guests to come take pictures and enjoy the entertainment provided. Santa will be visiting with complimentary photos on December 15th, 16th, 22nd, and 23rd.
Where: Oakland Zoo
When: December 1st – January 1st | Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
What it is: The entire zoo is decorated with festive lights. Ride the festive gondolas, watch the laser light shows and meet Santa while enjoying the animals. Fun for the whole family and the best time to visit an amazing zoo!
Where: 3200 Thompson Ave – Alameda
When: November – January
What it is: This little street of houses all pitch in to create a fun holiday experience for the whole community. Each house creates a light display with its own take on the holidays. Santa is there in the days close to Christmas for pictures while kids sell treats outside of their homes.
Where: Mountainview Cemetery – Oakland
When: December 1st – January 1st
What is it: Don’t let the fact that this is a cemetery fool you! The Holiday Circle of Lights has as much festivity and cheer than any light display. Prance through the story scenes that twinkle with wonder.
Where: 352 Hillcrest Ave – Livermore
When: December 1st – January 1st
What is it: This walk-through wonderland will surprise you! Peek through the windows to all of the creative displays of the holidays. In past years, they’ve had an elf barber shop, an elf Starbucks, a proposal bridge for humans and elves and even a place for elves to do yoga.
Where: 417 Blackstone Drive – Marinwood
When: December 3rd – January 1st
What is it: From the street, this house looks like any other over-the-top decorated house. But, walk up to the two-car garage to reveal two spectacular holiday displays of what has to be every Walt Disney toy, stuffed animal, and decoration. The Mize Family has announced that this is their last year of putting on the display.
Where: 383 Quietwood Drive – Marinwood
When: December 1st – December 31st
What it is: This family’s home has served as the community’s favorite holiday house for over 30 years. They enthusiastically decorate their yard with a teddy bear theme. After keeping up the holiday tradition with multiple generations, the family has announced that this will be their last year decorating.
Where: 34 Devonshire Drive – Novato
When: December 3rd – January 6th
What it is: This is the Christmas house of all Christmas houses! Edmundo Rombeiro and his family have transformed their entire home into a Christmas museum for the past 26 years, and every year it gets bigger and more elaborate. Walk through the house to see the detailed design of trains and figurines that go from floor to ceiling in almost every room. If you’re going to see any Christmas display this year, the Rombiero Christmas House is the one to see!
Where: 563 Miller Creek Road – Marinwood
When: December 1st – January 7th
What is it: This unique house creates an intricate display that the Marinwood Mommies describe as a “real-life I Spy book.” Guests of all ages will enjoy looking for everything that is listed on the display.
Where: Vasona Lake County Park – Los Gatos
When: December 5th – December 30th (Closed Christmas Day)
Cost: $20 per vehicle
What it is: This drive-through display is truly one-of-a-kind. Peer out the window at large animated lights while listening to Holiday music on your car radio. Watch as the displays come to life with hilarious and heart-warming scenarios. Over 50 themed displays and a 90-foot twinkling tree will have you “oohing and aahing” throughout your adventure.
Where: 1705 Fulton Street – Palo Alto
When: December 16th-December 31st
What is it: This is the 77th year that the 1700-1800 blocks of Fulton Street have decorated their yards for guests. See how each home presents it’s own holiday cheer as you drive down the street.
Where: 1545 Stone Creek Drive – San Jose
When: November 30th – January 1st
What it is: Over 70,000 lights span across 1/3 acre of apricot trees. The land is decked out in Christmas figurines and quirky holiday displays. There’s plenty of parking and space for the whole family to stroll through the magic.