Socially Distant Holiday Series: The Best Festive 2020 Holiday Drive-Thru Experiences in Greater Los Angeles

To say the holidays are looking a bit “different” this year would be an understatement… While we don’t know what ‘s going to happen we do know that no matter what there’s going to be a chance to celebrate the season even if it means getting in the car and driving (which Angelenos love to do so much). I guess that it’s worth the traffic.

Here are some of the top 2020 Holiday Drive-Thru Experiences in Greater Los Angeles to embark on with your family for an evening of festive fun, or a significant other for a romantic holi(date).

[Editor’s Note: As COVID-19 continues to remain a growing public health and safety issue, if you plan on getting out of the car at any point, be sure to wear a face mask and keep at least six feet from others outside your household at all times.]

Night of Lights OC (Dec. 13, 2020 – Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021)

Night of Lights OC, a magical and immersive winter wonderland drive-thru experience running this holiday season at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa. From the safety of their own vehicles, guests will be guided through a mile-long course of illuminated wonders, featuring over one million lights, themed holiday scenery and characters including Santa (through Dec. 23rd), with animated light shows and tunnels synchronized to music through a car radio or smartphone. There will be special effects, a Christmas tree lighting spectacular, and more…

Guests can even Pre Order In-Car Holiday Food Treats. Holiday favorite treats are available before you enter the Night of Lights OC experience through a pre-order when purchasing your tickets. Seasonal favorites include hot cocoa, cinnamon sugar donuts, as well as Mom’s Bake Shoppe cookie buckets and brownies, tamales, and Holiday ‘Family 4 Pack’ meals. Food is available to order online by 10am on the date of admission and will be available to pick-up prior to entering the drive-thru experience.

Early Bird general admission starts at $49.99 per vehicle (up to five people) on select nights. Larger vehicle tickets (six to nine people) start at $69.99 on select nights. Vehicle height is limited to 8 feet or less, due to the light tunnels. Pricing will increase after Early Bird tickets are sold out.

Ventura’s Drive-Thru Light Show Extravaganza (Nightly through December)

This unique holiday lights spectacle will offer a riveting display with symphonies of sight and sound. The limited-run event will include an enchanting mile-and-a-half display of over one million dazzling LED lights, accompanied by holiday music. There will be awe-inspiring holograms, laser light shows and impressive multi-colored projections casting festive images of the season onto sets – some standing over 40 feet tall (Tickets are priced at $49 for up to 4 passengers and $64 for 5 passengers or more). 

Tickets are priced at $49 for up to 4 passengers and $64 for 5 passengers or more. Each ticket is valid for ONE car and the number of passengers must not exceed the number of safety belts/seats in the vehicle.  Tickets are only available online and in advance and are only valid for the DAY & TIME on top of the ticket and are nontransferable to another date. All guests must stay in the vehicle for the duration of the experience.

Six Flags Holiday Drive-Thru, Valencia (Nightly, Nov 20-Jan 3)

The Holiday in the Park Drive-Thru Experience at Six Flags Magic Mountain will include eight immersive, distinctly different areas throughout the 125-acre theme park which will be filled with an exquisite palette of colorful twinkling lights, choreographed to festive music. Guests will enjoy distanced greetings from beloved holiday characters all decked out for the holidays, popular iconic holiday decorations, a drive-by featuring Santa and Mrs. Claus and their helpful elves, and more.

Visitors can pre-purchase holiday snack packs and merchandise bundles which include sweets and treats that are perfect for sharing and taking home a piece of this unique event. All pre-purchased items will be delivered directly to each vehicle during the drive-thru experience. A “Holiday Snack Pack” (up to 4 people) includes:

  • 4 cups of hot chocolate
  • 1 dozen tasty holiday cookies
  • 2 bags of tasty candy
  • 1 large buttery popcorn & souvenir bucket

YUM.

Online reservations are required and tickets must be purchased in advance. A limited number of cars will be allowed each night so be sure to make your reservation and purchase early. Admission tickets start at $20 per person, with a minimum of two individuals per vehicle required. Tickets will not be available for sale at the park and all reservations must be made in advance. Members and Season Pass Holders can use their valid pass for free admission, along with a required reservation made online in advance.

Woodland Hills WonderLAnd (Nightly through December) 

This frosted, family-friendly adventure features millions of lights and themed decor during a festive WonderLAnd drive-thru show in Woodland Hills. With numerous open air tunnel installations, synchronized holiday music light shows, sountless lights and festive displays, hologram installations and a visit from Santa, Mrs. Claus & The Elves it’s an experience not to be missed. 

$70 per vehicle

Celebrities and VIPs celebrated the grand opening of The Elf on the Shelf’s Magical Holiday Journey, a one-of-a-kind theatrical and immersive drive-thru experience that transports guests through a series of larger-than-life, holiday dreamworlds to help Santa save Christmas, at the Fairplex in Pomona, CA on Wednesday, November 11, 2020 (Photo: Alex J. Berliner/ABImages}

Pomona’s Elf on the Shelf Drive-Thru Journey (Nightly through December)

The immersive drive-thru experience The Elf on the Shelf’s Magical Holiday Journey features an original story brought to life by world-class artists from theater, TV, and film, including scenic design by Emmy Award® winner David Korins (Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen,  The 2019 Oscars), with original music composed by Emmy Award® nominee Curtis Moore (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), and lighting design by Broadway lighting designer David Weiner (Romeo and Juliet, Outside Lands Festival). Visitors will journey through an enchanted elf-sized world with magic and elf-tacular surprises around every bend including a scavenger hunt for hidden sleigh bells in their quest to find Christmas spirit and save Christmas.  ($24.95 per person). 

$24.95 per person 

Santa’s Speedway, Irwindale (Nov 25, 2020 – Jan 10, 2021)

Drive along an actual NASCAR track during this illuminated display at Irwindale Speedway with the seasonal Santa’s Speedway event. This two-mile route includes a Santa’s village setup on a drag strip and a 100-foot-tall tree constructed out of strings of lights with a time allotted ticket slot available every 15 minutes, starting at 5pm. 

Santa’s Speedway is $59 per car load (maximum 8 occupants per vehicle). Santa’s Speedway is an experience meant to be shared with your family from the safety of your vehicle.

Did I miss anything? What are your favorite holiday drive-drive thrus in the Greater Los Angeles area? Let me know, at hellomollyannobrien@gmail.com.

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