Craziest Christmas Displays in Los Angeles

Of course Los Angeles, the city of celebrities and glitz would go all in on their Christmas light displays. Both neighborhood homeowners and businesses vie for Santa's attention with competitive light displays. If you like lights, most are festive and fun. But some really go that extra mile to be over the top, causing some to ask is it just too much? You decide with these five festively crazy holiday light displays throughout the Los Angeles area.

The Grove LA Shopping Mall
Having lived near The Grove for years, I'm a little biased with my warm feelings towards this "Disneyland-esque" shopping mall. But, each year their Christmas celebration gets bigger and glitzier and starts earlier and earlier. Santa's Cottage (pictured above) was erected by November 5 and was followed days later by "The Grove Christmas with Seth MacFarlane," including performances by Lea Michele, Rachel Platten, a live orchestra and chorus. Frankly, it's akin to a Vegas show. But if 100-foot fir tree with 15,000 lights and 10,000 ornaments, plus (fake) snow, Santa's cottage and huge crowds are your thing, then hit The Grove for their holiday displays.

A ribbon of lights wrap Cartier on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills (Photo: Lori Huck)

Rodeo Drive – Cartier
To be expected, Rodeo Drive area of Beverly Hills is chock full of twinkling lights. Even the palm trees lining the medians of surrounding streets are adorned in their holiday best. But perhaps no store goes more over the top than Cartier. With a dazzling multitude of red lights forming a Christmas bow wrapping the entire building and two white-light panthers sitting on the roof (seen above), Cartier goes all out.

One of 26 six houses festively decorated on Candy Cane Lane in El Segundo (Photo: Lori Huck)

Candy Cane Lane in El Segundo
It's said per their Facebook page that Candy Cane Lane in El Segundo began in 1949. There were some dark years during the energy crisis, but it's back with a multi-color vengeance. 26 houses are decorated within the 1200 block of East Acacia, but the neighboring blocks also present some very creative holiday decorations of glory. It's pretty magnificent and well worth the visit. Pay attention to some of the decorator's use of imagination and detail (pictured below).

Adjacent block to Candy Cane Lane, El Segundo are magical fairies (Photo: Lori Huck)

LA Zoo Lights
For the third year in a row, and this year as part of their 50th Anniversary, the LA Zoo Lights is a celebration of animal-themed LED lights, lasers, 3D-projections with animated displays. Since the organizers of the LA Zoo and Botanical Gardens present the light show around the holidays, it takes on a Christmas-y air. But is it that Christmas-y or is it just very cool, mesmerizing light displays that take place November through January? As you decide, go check out the real reindeer and reindeer babies, plus take your picture with Santa. Do note though, the rest of the zoo's animals will be sleeping.

The Christmas House in Mar Vista (Photo: Lori Huck)

The Christmas House in Mar Vista
A private Mar Vista residence on the corner of Palms Boulevard and Federal Avenue turns into The Christmas House for the holidays. Full of festive lights, a light strung tree, blow-up animals, cartoon characters and general good cheer, David and Carol Gusman bring the spirit of Christmas to the neighborhood. For the last four years, David even "represents" Santa Claus to kids on the Saturday before Christmas Eve. Even Scrooge might smile as he passes The Christmas House.

Author's bio: Lori Huck works in television development as well as writes on entertainment, travel and the arts. She's a fan of the vibrant arts scene in Los Angeles and is a member of various film, television, and arts organizations.

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