Holiday Lights

Stroll a Celebrated Speedway as Santa-Sweet Vignettes Shine

Park the car and admire the illuminated displays of "Santa's Speedway" in Irwindale.

Santa's Speedway

What to Know

  • Santa's Speedway Christmas Lights Experience in Irwindale
  • Dec. 1 through Jan. 1, 2023
  • Tickets start at $29; admission is $35 on Fridays and Saturdays and a select number of weeknights close to Christmas

We've never gotten close enough to Santa's sleigh to determine if it has retractable wheels or not — we wouldn't be surprised to learn that the magical vehicle boasts special wheel compartments, should the Jolly Old Elf need to roll instead of glide — but we do know that a few interesting holiday events pop up in those places famously associated with wheels.

Think of parades, for example, and drive-by displays, and the school tailgating events that involve prizes, snacks, and minivans covered in colorful lights.

On occasion, though, the whole car-Christmas connection works its way to someplace rather unusual, a fact that can instantly uplift the specialness of it all.

That someplace in Southern California is the Irwindale Speedway, and while the destination's name may put visions of vroom-vroom velocity in your head, there's a different side to the fender-famous spot come December.

That's when the Santa's Speedway Christmas Lights Experience arrives at that auto-centered attraction, all to give families a chance to stroll by a variety of vivaciously imagined illuminated areas.

Indeed, we said "stroll," for the event is all about inviting guests to park their cars and enjoy the bright sights while sauntering by them at a slow, relaxed, and soak-them-in pace.

The Scene

Want to find new things to do in Los Angeles? The Scene's lifestyle stories have you covered. Here's your go-to source on where the fun is across SoCal and for the weekend.

Starbucks brings the heat with 3 new spicy drinks

New goodies add cosmic kick to Disneyland's ‘May the 4th' line-up

Enormous ornaments, oversized lollipops, a teddy bear that tops out at 30 feet, and a tunnel of lights are some of the twinkly touchstones of the spectacular, as is an ocean-inspired scene.

A tree is so often the centerpiece of such happenings, and the one at the speedway was "... constructed out of twelve miles of 100,000 programmable LED lights." Tall? It most definitely can be called that, standing, as it does, at 110 feet.

A café serving easy-to-munch snacks like hot dogs is on the grounds as is a shop offering Santa's Speedway merchandise.

Weekend nights get busy — that's no surprise — so booking your admission ahead of time is a good plan. Call it a different way to see the speedway, when the bright lights are lining Christmas trees and giant teddy bears rather than the dashboards of dash-fast cars.

Contact Us