Best Christmas places to visit

Christmas lights, Christmas nights and events people should attend.

Julianna Hernandez, Staff Writer

With Thanksgiving gone, Christmas season has arrived in all its glory: drinking hot cocoa, wearing red and green and going to as many Christmas parties as possible. Also, the season presents places decorated spectacularly to get others in the Christmas mood.

Whether it be shopping malls decorated in Christmas lights or events in the neighborhood, there is something for everyone to enjoy in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas.

  1. The Grove

A short drive up the five freeway will bring one to the well known shopping center: the Grove. During the holiday season, the shopping mall transforms into a Winter Wonderland. The mall is decked with thousands of lights and snow falling between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. every evening leading up to Christmas. The Grove houses Santa’s Workshop in the middle of the square. The large, red decorated building holds Santa Claus himself and offers a different take on taking a picture with Old Saint Nick. The workshop will remain open until Dec. 24.

  1. LA Zoo Lights

From now until Jan. 7, the L.A. Zoo will be putting on a massive light show. While the animals are sleeping, the zoo lights up at night with thousands of LED lights, lasers and music. Live reindeer are present, and tickets range from $15 to $20 each night. The zoo also offers free parking. If one decides to go, tickets must be purchased in advance.

  1. Downtown Disney

Downtown Disney is an inexpensive way to celebrate all things Disney for the holidays. The district is decorated for the holidays in a similar fashion to Disneyland. Also, the Grand Californian Hotel builds a massive gingerbread house that sits right across from a spectacular Christmas tree. It is worth walking through during the holiday season. One can enjoy three to five free hours of parking if they make a $20 purchase or receive validation from a restaurant. Downtown Disney is perfect for Christmas shopping or a night out with friends in a winter wonderland.

  1. Birch Street Brea

For a stunning Christmas light display close to Biola, Birch Street leads to the Christmas lights in Eagle Hills. The whole street is lit up and has been a local attraction since 1981. The neighborhood lights up until Dec. 31.

  1. Downtown Anaheim Tree Lighting

This weekend on Dec. 2, Downtown Anaheim will be holding its free annual Christmas Tree lighting ceremony, including one picture with Santa for each family—or dorm room. There is an international food fair, gift shopping and performances by local high schools. The night ends with the tree lighting.

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