For over 25 years The Mission Inn’s Festival of Lights has been wowing visitors of all ages. Located in Riverside California, The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa goes all out every holiday season. Transforming its exterior into a holiday light show that is visited by more than 500,000 people over the course of its 6-week run.
This years candy-inspired theme uses more than 5 million Christmas lights.
Things to do at the Festival of Lights
In addition to The decorations at The Mission Inn, the streets surrounding the hotel have been closed down and filled with small family-friendly attractions.
Their isn’t a crazy amount of stuff to do, but you’ll find plenty of live music, food, and rides throughout the Festival area. A unique thing you can do at the Festival Of Lights is get pulled around in the horse-drawn carriage. Usually, we wouldn’t think of it as a big deal. But the carriages are covered in Christmas lights and resemble the pumpkin carriage from the movie Cinderella. All the kids riding inside looked like they are having a blast.
We had a good time, but it was busy. We ended up having to wait over an hour to get in and see The Mission Inn lights. The actual walk through was extremely fast. Only took about a minute. So when we unceremoniously stumbled out the side, we were shocked that it was already over.
If you and your family are planning to go, I suggest going during a weekday, or when it’s not busy so you can enjoy the lights without the security guards herding you through so quickly.
Some Helpful Information
Festival of Lights Map
If you’re curious about the Festival’s layout, you can view a printable map at the link below.
I wish I would have seen that map before we visited. We completely missed out on the Christmas tree, thinking we had already seen everything.
Directions & Parking
Here’s the address
3649 Mission Avenue Riverside CA 92501
We visited at 6 pm on a Saturday. The place was packed. Not having seen the parking map linked below. We drove around for about 20 minutes before we found a spot.
If you and your family are planning to go during peak hours, you may want to consider taking the metro. It’s cheap and will drop you off relatively close to everything.
Hours & Dates
The Hours of the festival change a lot between days.
11/25/2017 – 12/23/2017
- Monday-Thursday = 5 pm-10 pm
- Friday = 5 pm to 11 pm
- Saturday = 3 to 11 pm
- Sunday = 3 pm to 10 pm
- 3 pm to 9 pm
12/26/2017 – 01/06/2018
- Everyday = 3 pm to 11
We think The Mission Inn’s Festival of Lights is an excellent event for nearby residents. But the number of things to do may not be enough to justify residents of Los Angeles and Orange County to visit.
Oh and thanks for reading this far into the post. I know this event is a seasonal one, but there are plenty of other fun things you can do year-round in Riverside County. Our current favorite is The March Field Air Museum in Moreno Valley. You can also find plenty of other great locals spots on the rest of our site.
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