Best East Bay Holiday Lights: Alameda's Christmas Tree Lane - 510 Families
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Best East Bay Holiday Lights: Alameda’s Christmas Tree Lane

It’s well established that the best place to see holiday lights in the East Bay is in Alameda. It’s well worth the drive and exercise of parking (not usually too bad), to see the lights that make the 3200 block of Thompson Ave feel so special.

kids under candy cane Christmas display
A super cute photo op among the seriously awesome lights of Christmas Tree Lane in Alameda | Photo: Julie Herson

What we’ll miss this second pandemic year: Santa waiting to greet the children. Too many children will not be fully vaccinated and ole’ Santa is vulnerable at his age.

But still, the houses and median will be lit up and you don’t want to miss it. Plan to park (either on Thompson Avenue or a nearby side street) and walk the length of the block and back again.

Christmas light display Paw Patrol puppies and snowman
Paw Patrol fans will appreciate this house’s inflatables at Alameda’s Christmas Tree Lane | Photo: Julie Herson

This nightly event runs from Saturday, December 4, 2021 through New Year’s Eve.

Look for the mailbox available for letters to be dropped off. Letters with legible return addresses will still go to the North Pole for a reply from Santa himself!

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(Related: Where to mail letters to Santa in the East Bay >)

children looking at Christmas light display
Your kiddos will be mesmerized by all the lights and cute tableaux lovingly set up at Alameda’s Christmas Tree Lane. My kids loved this baseball diamond with animals playing baseball (Giants vs. A’s!) | Photo: Julie Herson

It can get pretty crowded on weekends, so if you can, try to come on a weekday evening. We visited on a Monday around 6:30 pm this year and it was much more low-key and easier to linger in front of our favorite houses without feeling crowds push us along. Swing by a coffee shop on your way for a cup of hot cocoa to keep warm while you stroll along the Christmas paradise.

Santa's Workshop tableau
Santa’s elves are busy at this house, with a real conveyor belt moving gifts along at a steady clip | Photo: Julie Herson

We spied so many favorite characters, including an oversize Grinch, Paw Patrol pups, Star Wars and of course Snoopy and his friends. One house really went all out, with Santa’s Elves working diligently moving gifts along a functioning conveyor belt. These are homemade, highly detailed figures and scenes that you cannot buy at Target, people. One house even has a light show timed to music with a Nutcracker theme, which was a real favorite with my kids. Another house has a life-size dancing hula Santa.

toddler looking at Christmas light display
The candy canes are eye catching, but don’t forget to look up at the roof for your Star Wars’ favorites! | Photo: Julie Herson

The lights will be on through New Year’s Eve from 5:30 – 10 pm. Bring your camera and your Christmas spirit!

Fans of this ignited form of Christmas cheer can follow special announcements on the Christmas Tree Lane Facebook page.

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Christmas Tree Lane in Alameda

Read next: Where to find the best holiday lights in the Bay Area and our massive guide to holiday activities for East Bay families >>

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2 thoughts on “Best East Bay Holiday Lights: Alameda’s Christmas Tree Lane”

  1. Pingback: Christmas Activities in the East Bay - TempleHill.org

  2. Born and raised in Alameda. Thompson Ave was always a favorite place to visit durning the holidays.

    Jack Metzner
    Alameda High grad 1957

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