Celebrate this holiday season with the best of Silicon Valley's twinkling holiday lights! This year, Silicon Valley has plenty of events for get your into the festive season. Walkthrough brightly lit displays, ride a train past sparkling decorations, experience Christmas lights in a snowy landscape, or enjoy San Jose's first drive-thru holiday lights event. Here are some of the many places to enjoy outdoor holiday lights around the Bay Area.
Who said Santa's not coming to town?
Malls through the Bay Area are bringing Santa back with new guidelines. Hint: he's socially distancing and wearing a mask! Save your spot here.
A San Francisco tradition, every year families hike up Castro Hill to gaze at one of the city's magical Christmas house displays. Tom Taylor and Jerry Goldstein started decorating their old Victorian house near Dolores Park 42 years ago. The 65ft Christmas tree is brilliantly illuminated, and decorated with giant teddy bears, presents, and stockings. Although Tom died in October this year, the tradition goes on. Santa makes a special appearance on Christmas eve.
3650 21st Street
San Francisco, CA
Date: Now – Jan 1st
Start a new tradition with Holidays at Filoli! Enjoy a stroll around the winter garden, beautifully adorned with festive lights and decorations. Cozy up to the firepit, and sip on hot cider or mulled wine. Filoli is open daily from Nov 21st – Jan 3rd with daytime (10am – 4pm) and evening (4pm – 8pm) hours. Price: daytime: $28 (adult), $15 (member adult), $15 (child), $8 (member child 5-17 yrs old), Free (under 5 yrs old); evening: $38 (adult), $25 (member adult), $20 (child 5-17 yrs old), $12 (member child), Free (under 5 yrs old). You must make a reservation in advance since capacity is limited. Due to COVID-19, Filoli’s historic house is closed to visitors.
Santa will be visiting the beautiful Woodland Garden Court on select dates. You are invited to take a socially distanced selfie with Santa himself!
86 Cañada Road
Date: Nov 21st – Jan 3rd
Christmas Tree Lane celebrates its 80th lighting this year! Get into the spirit of the season with a drive through the Christmas displays, with the carolers, vintage lawn displays and thousands of holiday lights. Open to car traffic ONLY this year.
1700 – 1800 Fulton Street
Palo Alto, CA
Date: Dec 12 – Dec 31th, 5pm – 10pm
Update: Carriage Rides have been canceled due to new COVID rules. Enjoy a carriage ride with your loved ones and friends through the festive streets of Los Gatos! The ride includes homemade cookies, and hot chocolate. Masks must be worn and riders should be from the same household. Regular carriage is $110 for four adults and two children under 8, and large carriage is $130 for up to six adults. Advanced reservations are required.
Downtown Los Gatos
Los Gatos, CA
This event is sold out. The 22nd Annual Fantasy of Lights holiday walk-through is now a drive-through. Expect to be dazzled by the lights as you make your way through the winter wonderland. Tune your car radio to the indicated station to get the full effect of the show.
Vasona Lake County Park
Los Gatos, CA
Date: Now to Dec 30th, 6pm – 9pm (closed Christmas day)
Price: $20 per vehicle, $50 for oversized vehicles
Explore the unique holiday decorations while partaking in Santana Row's Holiday Scavenger Hunt. This year's hunt involves searching for the animals on The Row from a set of clues. Pick up your clues at the Santana Row Concierge, or download and print them from here. It's a lot of fun for the whole family!
Once you've completed the scavenger hunt, return the clues to the Santana Row Concierge any time during operating hours for a special gift and be entered to win a $100 Santana Row gift card.
For more details contact the Santana Row Concierge by phone or text at 408.551.4611.
San Jose, CA
Date: Now to Dec 23th, Mon – Fri 10am – 9pm, Sat 12:30 pm – 9pm, Sun 11am – 7pm
San Jose's most popular tradition is a little different this season. It's now a drive-through event at History Park. Check out the festive holiday lights, community-decorated trees and so much more. Purchase tickets online in advance here. You may “buy one, give one” to allow a less fortunate family to attend.
San Jose, CA
Date: Now to Jan 3rd, 4 – 10pm
Price: $10 – $40 depending on time
For the last 16 years, this Willow Glen house at 1851 Cherry Ave has been displaying Christmas Lights to raise money to support sick children. You're invited to see the Christmas display, and leave a tax-deductible donation at one of the curbside bins or online at Make-a-Wish Foundation.
Plan to make a night of it! Willow Glen is known for its holiday light displays and Christmas trees so take some time to tour this San Jose neighborhood.
1851 Cherry Ave
San Jose, CA
Date: Until Dec 25th from 6:00 pm to 9:30 pm daily
Get in the holiday spirit by bringing family for a 75-minute roundtrip ride on the Redwood Forest Steam Train. After your trip head over to the Winter Wonderland walk through at Bret Harte Hall. Pass through festive decorated trees and Christmas scenes on your way to see Santa Claus. Greet Santa from a safe distance and pick up a cup of cocoa to warm up in the picnic areas on your way out. Buy tickets in advance online.
5401 Graham Hill Rd
Date: Dec 5-6, 12-13 and 18-23
Price: $33 adult, $24 children (2-12 yrs old)
Start a new Holiday Family Tradition at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds this holiday season. Imagine over a 1/2 mile of spectacular lighted Holiday displays all around you: giant Christmas trees twinkling with lights – Santa – reindeer – snowmen – lighted tunnels and many more magical moments. Stay in your warm car and drive through this holiday experience, with your car radio tuned to KDUB 99.9 FM to enjoy the Holiday Lights soundtrack in your car.
After your magical journey, stop at the Holiday Food Stands and pick up your favorites for the drive home. Each week different fair food vendors will be available for your enjoyment. You can stay in your car and they will come to you. Food is at the end of the Holiday Lights Drive. Click here for this weeks food service offerings.
Tickets and reservations are on sale now. Get yours here before they sell out!
Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds
Date: Open Fri - Sun through Dec 27th from 5:30pm to 9:00pm (closed Christmas Day).
Price: $15 - $35 per vehicle depending on time slot