This time of year, you don’t have to go far to see lights decorating a house or tree. But some light displays are bigger – and better – than others. If you’re in the mood for some truly brilliant holiday displays in California, these 10 are worth the drive.

  1. Robolights in Palm Springs – This unusual display features lights and robotics. The sci-fi themed art is just as impressive as the brilliant lights, so this is perfect for anyone who’s getting bored of the regular displays. Robolights is open through January 8.
  2. Global Winter Wonderland in Sacramento – This is much more than a light show. It’s a huge event with ice skating, carnival rides, food, photos with Santa, crafts, shopping and amazing performances by the Circus of Light. Then event runs through January 7 but is not open every day; check the calendar. There’s another location in San Diego.
  3. Holiday Circle of Lights in Oakland – A cemetery might seem like a strange place for holiday lights, but the Mountain View Cemetery has been putting on a great event for 11 years now. The display runs through January 1.
  4. Belardo Lights in San Diego – These computerized lights are synched to music on FM 106.1. The display runs through December 27.
  5. Lights on Display in Sherman Oaks – Created by Mike Ziemkowski, an Emmy Award winning video editor, this light display features animatronic elements for a really fun experience. The display runs through January 1.
  6. Festival of Lights in Riverside – The Mission Inn Hotel and Spa is putting on its 25th annual light display. It’s running through January 6. It’s a huge display, and there are other activities, too, including horse-drawn carriage rides. Special meal events, like breakfast with Santa, are available on certain days.
  7. Deacon Dave’s Christmas Display in Livermore – These lights are on display through January 1. It’s always a huge display, and this year’s goal is to break last year’s light count. If you want to avoid the crowds, try to go on a Monday or Tuesday.
  8. LA Zoo Lights – This event combines the regular zoo attractions with a holiday light display. It runs through January 7 but is closed on November 23, December 24 and December 25. Santa’s there on select nights, and there are real reindeer.
  9. Fantasy of Lights in Santa Clara – This 1.5-mile drive-thru light display runs through December 30 but is closed on Christmas. It’s put on by the Santa Clara County Department Parks and Recreation. It’s been a tradition since 1998, but now the display uses LED lights to make the decorations brighter and more environmentally friendly.
  10. Christmas Boat Parade in Newport Beach – This parade runs every night from December 13 through December 17, with a fireworks display on the opening and closing nights.