Holiday Drive-thrus to Amaze and Delight

Christmas will look very different this year, but the holiday spirit lives on! Isn’t that what practically every Holiday Special is about? Enjoy the season safely with these festive drive-throughs. To remain safe, guests must remain in their vehicle at all times during the event experiences. No riding in convertibles or truck beds. All guests must wear masks when  they choose to open their windows. Also, be aware that most of these attractions will have strobe lights.

No matter what happens, it’s Christmas, and we are damn well going to celebrate! Pack up some hot chocolate and holiday snacks, cozy blankets and get ready for some holiday cheer!

Holiday Road

Holiday Road

Located at King Gillette Ranch in Calabasas, Holiday Road will feature larger-than-life holiday installations, Christmas lights, Santa, Mrs. Claus, Elves, and countless candy canes. The decorated trail is approximately one mile long, and should take around 35 minutes driving at 5 MPH. Time slots start at 5:30pm and end at 10:00pm. Advanced ticket purchase is required. Pro tip: Book the earliest slot possible. Otherwise you will probably have to wait approximately 30 mins before your car is released onto the trail. The earlier sessions in the night tend to move much quicker and have less wait time. Be prepared with snacks and entertainment for the little ones. $ 75.00 per vehicle containing up to seven people. Due to Covid restrictions there will be no food or beverage sales and no restrooms. No smoking of any kind. Pets are discouraged, but will be allowed as long as your pet remains in your vehicle at all times. Rain or shine. Holiday Road will remain open through January 10, 2021. Now if I could only get that Lindsey Buckingham song out of my head!

Night of Lights OC

Night of Lights OC (Photo courtesy of Night of Lights OC)

More than one million lights will bedazzle you at Winter Fest OC’s Night of Lights. You will drive yourself along a well-defined one-mile magical and immersive winter wonderland. Themed holiday scenery and characters, animated light shows and tunnels synchronized to music, special effects, and a Christmas tree lighting spectacular will fill you with Christmas joy. You can play the accompanying music through a car radio or smartphone. Tickets are available online only for timed sessions. $49.99 – $69.99 per vehicle depending on the night. Night of Lights OC will run every night through January 3rd (excluding Christmas Eve). Entrance begins at 5pm with timed sessions available until 10pm (Sunday through Thursday) or 11pm (Friday and Saturday). Santa will make an appearance through December 23rd. Then he gets kind of busy. Pets are allowed but note they will be stuck in the car for an hour and there will be effects that could freak them out. Rain or shine.

Winter Holiday

Bite LA invites you to celebrate the Winter Holidays with their Stocking Stuffers Sweets Crawl at Legg Lake in El Monte. Drive through Winkle, the Holiday Gnome Village, enjoy stories and songs with Santa, and get into a snowball fight with sneaky attack snowmen using soft plush snowballs (Each guest gets eight “snowballs” to defend themselves with.) The snowball fight sounds like the most fun activity out of all of them. Each guest will also receive eight sweet treats, a hot drink and a free stocking. Vegan and gluten-free treats are available. Dress up your car for the “Ugly Sweater Contest” and win prizes! Tickets start at 98.00 (+ $3.00 booking fee) for cars with one or two persons up to $272.00 +( $10.00 booking fee) for six to seven occupants. No pets, smoking or alcohol.

Dodgers Holiday Festival

If anything good happened in 2020, it’s that the Dodgers are now the 2020 World Champions! Celebrate their win at their drive-thru Holiday Festival, complete with a light show, LED video displays, and interactive displays honoring the Dodgers World Championship, It’s even going to snow in the Dodger Stadium parking lot! Admission starts at $55 per vehicle up to $115 on Christmas Eve and must be purchased online in advance. Open nightly from 5-10PM through December 24th.. No public restrooms will be available and you will not have any access to Dodger Stadium.

Electric Noel

Electric Noel is all about neon! Warm yourself with its glow this holiday season at this high-tech Christmas drive-thru experience. On this 30-minute drive, you will thrill to a musical light spectacular as you journey from Santa’s command center and the elf village to Main Street and Mistletoe Lane. At the end there will be a magical surprise! The contactless experience is produced by the collective of award winning designers behind Fright Farms and is happening the the same location 60 miles west of Los Angeles at SilverLakes Park in Norco, CA. Tickets are $39 per vehicle for off peak weekday hours and $49 per vehicle on weekends. Reserve your time slot online. Hours are 5pm – 10pm Tuesdays through Sundays through January 3rd. You will need an FM radio to listen to directions and music. The use of restrooms is allowed and encouraged. (That’s refreshing.) If you choose to participate in the optional photo-op, you may exit your vehicle masked and must stay within the designated photography area.


Woodland Hills invites you to first-ever WonderLAnd drive-thru experience by the creators of Haunt’OWeen. As you travel through the 30-minute immersive experience you will enjoy an elaborate musical light show with millions of lights and themed decor. Experience a wintery forest, twinkling light tunnels, and an appearance by Santa Claus himself. The event runs from through December 30th from 5 P.M. to 11 P.M. $70 per vehicle up to 8 passengers. $90 per vehicle for 9 or more passengers.

Six Flags Magic Mountain Holiday in the Park Drive-thru Experience

Did you ever think you would be driving around inside Magic Mountain? Everything is new this year. Unfortunately, they have not developed a roller coaster that you can strap your car on to. Give them time. For no9w you must be content with going 3mph. The park will be decked out with millions of twinkling lights through eight distinctly themed areas, like Holiday Square, Merry Lane and our favorite, Gleampunk District. You will also enjoy seasonal music favorites and choreographed light shows, holiday characters decked out for the holidays, and appearances by Santa and Mrs. Claus. The park is offering holiday snack packs and merchandise packages with treats like hot chocolate and popcorn. You can also order funnel cakes (YES!). experience. You can also buy merch bundles including Park-themed masks, souvenirs, and Candy Fudge. All pre-purchased items will be delivered directly to your vehicle during the drive-thru. Holiday in the Park is open weeknights thru Jan 10 & weekends thru Jan 31, 2020. Note that unlike the other events, tickets ($30 & $35) are required for each person in your vehicle, including guests of Season Passholders & Members.

The Elf on a Shelf’s Magic Holiday Journey

(Photo: Alex J. Berliner/ABImages}

*Tickets are sold out through the 23rd. Tickets are available December 24 – January 3, 2021.*

If you ask me, that elf is a little snitch, but families have embraced him, and dressing him up and hiding him does look like a lot of fun. This immersive journey provides you with a mission to save Christmas. The story is, “During test flights, Santa’s sleigh had to make an emergency landing at the Fairplex in Pomona. Now the Scout Elves have assembled there, and they need your help! Join them on a drive-thru quest to build more Christmas Spirit, as you and your elf-loving crew magically shrink down to elf-size and embark on a fun expedition to help repair Santa’s sleigh.” You will need a smart phone for the music and story, which is available in both English and Spanish. The Fairplex will be decked out with dazzling lights, toy repair workshops, and gingerbread villages. Elves perform acrobatics and circus tricks. Light, pre-sealed refreshments will be available for purchase from your vehicle. All ordered refreshments will be brought to your car. Tickets start at $24.95 per person. Each order allows entry for one car. Every person in the car must have a ticket. (Note: Children 2 years old and under do not need a ticket.) Each car/order has a minimum requirement of two tickets/people and a maximum of eight tickets/people. Pets are allowed if they remain in the car. Restrooms will be available for use at the start and at the end of the experience. There will be strobe lights. Scheduled ticket times are every 15 minutes between 4:45 PM and 9:30 PM.

The Happy Place

Photo courtesy of The Happy Place

Are you a member of one of the many major world religions that doesn’t celebrate Christmas? Or are you at the point where you are going to scream if you hear “Jingle Bells” one more time? The Happy Place is here for you. It’s a fun drive-thru experience for any time of year. Subaru is sponsoring this fun event at Westfield Century City to help you “find your happy.” The experience features over 18 unique and vibrant exhibits, including California Dreamin’ Club Happy, Rainbow Road, Sweet Tooth Street, and Tickle the Keys: The Giant Piano Experience – with the world’s first car-operated piano! There will be a twist on the classic lemonade stand to raise money for the Los Angeles Food BankYou will also drive through “Winky’s Car Spa – The ultimate flashy car wash experience for every kid at heart.” I’m sorry to announce that you don’t actually get your car washed–it’s just for fun. The Happy Place continues through January 10, 2021. Times start at Noon or 3 PM and continue until 8:45 PM depending on the day. Tickets for the entire vehicle start at just $49.50. Vehicle Height Restriction: 6 Feet 7 Inches.

Elise Thompson

About Elise Thompson

Born and raised in the great city of Los Angeles, this food, culture and music-loving punk rock angeleno wants to turn you on to all that is funky, delicious and weird in the city. While Elise holds down the fort, her adventurous alter ego Kiki Maraschino is known to roam the country in search of catfish.
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