Things to Do This Weekend: Oodles of Holiday Lights Get Glowing

Holiday Road, Lighting of the Bay, and Universal Studios Hollywood all launch their illuminated seasonal splendor.

Holiday Road/Newport Dunes/Universal Studios Hollywood

What to Know

  • Several lighting events and seasonal experiences are debuting over November's final weekend
  • Holiday Road opens in Calabasas, Newport Dunes to dazzle, and Grinchmas and Christmas in the Wizarding World open at Universal Studios Hollywood
  • Check each event's site for advance ticketing and parking information

Illuminated Attractions Aplenty: Just about in every direction you turn in the days ahead, someone is turning on the bright holiday lights. Several pop-up attractions, theme parks, and destinations will kick off their flickeringly fabulous seasonal runs, but do check times, dates, and other-need-to-knows before you go. Beginning their bulb-big extravaganzas this weekend? Holiday Road in Calabasas, the Lighting of the Bay at Newport Dunes, and Christmas in the Wizarding World at Universal Studios.

Festival of Lights: No discussion of dazzling Southern California events would be complete without alighting upon the remarkable Riverside glow show. It all happens at the Mission Inn & Spa, and the wattage? It's a wondrous reverie of colorful shimmer. The hotel itself is famously castle-like, adding to the fairytale-like feel, and admiring all of the over-the-top twinkle from just outside? Totally free. But if you'd like to stay the night, to further soak in the lights, look for a bevy of holiday-themed packages. The Mission Inn's multi-night fantasia begins on Nov. 25.

Winterfest OC: So you're seeking sparkle but also a sportier side to the season? This mondo pop-up boasts a snowboard simulator and ice tubing, in addition to several festive photo opportunities, Christmassy snacks for sale, cameos by Santa, and other ways to visit the North Pole via Costa Mesa. It's upping the cheer at the OC Fair & Event Center, and the kick-off date? Friday, Nov. 25. It's ready for a long-ish run, but note that some weekdays will be closed.

Sock Skating at Kidspace: It's a long holiday weekend, which likely means that the littler tots around your abode are ready to spend some energy, let loose, and have a rollicking time. Look to this Pasadena favorite as it celebrates a kid-cute "Winter Frolic" daily. That means outdoorsy activities, like playing with faux ice blocks, and the popular rink that's all about skating in your socks (that's available for an additional fee).

Museum Store Sunday: We're heading into a major weekend of major occasions, with Small Business Saturday following Black Friday. Giving Tuesday? That big-hearted happening is just ahead, as is Cyber Monday. The Sunday celebration is all about giving our local cultural, historical, and science institutions some love by supporting their in-house, on-site stores. Some will offer deals online, while other spots, like the Gamble House, will have in-person festivities. Swing by the social pages of your favorite place to see what they have afoot on this spirit-raising occasion.

Universal Studios and NBC-owned TV stations operate under the same parent company NBCUniversal.

Contact Us