Mickey Mouse Christmas House in San Rafael via Lights of the Valley

The Most Spectacular Holiday Lights in the Bay Area


A certain kind of magic materializes during the holidays—the streets come to life, ablaze with twinkling lights, snowmen and the jingling of bells.

Never mind that we're all grown up—holiday lights never seem to lose their enchanting effect. Come winter, it's one of the traditions we look most forward to, and finding the most dazzling displays is our seasonal treasure hunt. So don't you tarnish your seasonal spirit with a fretful online search. We've put together a handy Bay Area guide to the most stunning, colorful, and extravagant lights in the area.

Zoo Lights, Oakland

via East Bay Loop

This holiday season, the Oakland Zoo will explode with dazzling lights all around—see the new laser light show on the gondolas that soar over the zoo or music-themed light show. Santa, too, will be there to join in the fun on select days. Added bonus: you can warm up with hot cocoa and homemade s'mores at Flamingo Plaza. //Dec 1st-23rd, 26th-31st, Jan 1st, $10 for adults, $9 for children (2-14) and seniors (65-75), children under 2 and adults 76+ get in free, oaklandzoo.org.

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