As a family we have always enjoyed taking an evening out of the busy season to enjoy Christmas lights. When the kids were little, we'd dress them in their pajamas and bring Christmas cookies and hot chocolate along in the minivan. These days, we usually go out for a meal, and then off to view lights.
Our go-to place has usually been the Pasadena area. While we've visited the Balian House and Christmas Tree Lane in Altadena numerous times, one of my new favorite spots of late is St. Albans Road in San Marino. It is just a short street and there are no fancy decorations. But the gigantic pine trees are decorated with lights and it's quietly spectacular. St. Albans is located just West of Sierra Madre Blvd. The pine trees are between Huntington Drive and Monterey Road, right next to Lacy Park.
If you're heading out that way, from the west I suggest St. Albans first, then ice cream at Carmela. Carmela has apple cider sorbet right now and it is divine side by side with my favorite ice cream of theirs, lavender honey. After that, make your way to the Balian house and Christmas tree lane in Altadena afterwards.
This year, I heard about the L.A. Zoo lights. We got tickets online (highly suggested) and went last week and it was so much fun. The animals are not out, but the zoo is decorated beautifully with many light displays. We even got to ride on the carousel, and it's magical at night. :-) Zoo Lights is on until January 4th. I cherish these times with our family!
The zoo animals were put to bed, but they did have a live reindeer exhibit!
Riding the carousel and feeling like a kid :-)
The parents to be